We independently research, test, review, and recommend the best products—learn more about our process. If you buy something through our links, we may earn a commission.
Have your floors started to lose their luster? Perhaps they’re looking a bit dingy, or even stained. Before getting on your hands and knees to refresh your floors or lug out your old supplies that don't quite seem to get the job done, consider adding a steam mop to your collection of home cleaning tools. In addition to cleaning, steam mops can restore a shiny finish, disinfect floors, and even kill dust mites (meaning they might even help ameliorate pesky allergies). Of course, with all these benefits comes considerable demand, so the market category has been fast-growing. To help save you from the struggle of sifting through pages of products to find the most effective steam mop for your household needs, we enlisted the help of the PEOPLE testing lab to bring you the best. Carpets Steam Mop
To determine which steam mops outrank the rest, a group of PEOPLE testers took 27 of the most popular options to task. They evaluated each steam mop for its ease of use, effectiveness, portability, cleaning capability, maneuverability, and value. In doing so, they were able to whittle away the less-stellar performers to cement the best steam mops of 2023. All in all, the PurSteam Steam Mop Cleaner 10-in-1 came out on top thanks to its quick heat-up time, adjustable steam output, empty tank alert, and more.
Comes with instructions accompanied by pictures
It’s not soundless — you can hear the steam the entire time it’s in use
It takes as many as 25 passes to remove super tricky stains like hot sauce and syrup
The PurSteam Steam Mop Cleaner 10-in-1 is the #1 best-seller in steam mops on Amazon. In addition to being a more affordable option, it’s incredibly effective at removing stains, whether it be dirt, hot sauce, or even sticky syrup. Weighing in at just five pounds, the mop is very lightweight, which makes it easy to maneuver. Though, it’s worth mentioning that the cord is just under 16 feet long, so you may have to unplug and replug depending on the size of the space you’re cleaning.
Speaking specifically to the steam potential of this mop, we found it to be applaudable. The heat-up time was quicker than the 30 seconds listed in the manual, and the steam is controlled by a dial similar to an iron. Another aspect we love about this mop is how easy it is to use for first-time steam-mop users; the steam times are listed in the instruction manual (12 to 25 minutes depending on the level of the stain). While some stains require more steam time than others, we found that even the dirtiest grout lines and stickiest syrup is removable with this mop (which comes with a grout cleaning attachment), so long as you have the patience to perform up to 25 passes. For floors that look like new, though, we say the extra effort is absolutely worth it — especially given the price. “The price was 50-percent less than the [average price of all mops tested] and based on how it performed... it’s a great value,” our tester remarked.
Price at time of publish: $70
Capacity: 12.8 oz. | Steam Output: On-demand | Weight: 2.2 lbs. | Cord Length: 15.9 ft. | Accessories: 10
Heats up and cools down quickly
Doesn’t come with directions in the box
There isn’t an on/off button
With over 31,000 5-star reviews on Amazon, it’s safe to say the Bissell PowerFresh Steam Mop 1940A is a fan favorite — which we certainly found to be true in our testing. The mop holds 16 ounces of water and is easy to fill up thanks to a removable tank and a stand that steadies the mop when it’s time to click the full tank into place. Designed with a continuous steam output that can be adjusted to three different levels, once this mop is filled and plugged in, it begins heating up to be put to work in just 60 seconds.
Beyond its ease of use, this steam mop works wonders on stains of all levels. In most instances, we found that seven to 10 passes were enough to thoroughly remove stains, though we had to use the removable scrubber to successfully tackle dirty grout lines.
Our only complaint about this steam mop is that it doesn’t come with directions (only pictures without descriptions), so we had to print them offline to fully understand how to use the mop and all its features.
Still, the fact that it’s easy to fill, heats up quickly, impressively removes stains, and cools down in just four minutes makes it well worth the price.
Price at time of publish: $93
Capacity: 16 oz. | Steam Output: Continuous | Weight: 6 lbs. | Cord Length: 23 ft. | Accessories: 5
Has an indicator light that lets you know when it’s ready to use
Features a scent-boost drawer, so it not only steams but dispenses fragrance, too
Only takes three slow passes to remove even the stickiest stains
Removing the cover is challenging
Emptying excess water is difficult
The Bissell Powerfresh Deluxe Steam Mop 1806 is another Amazon top seller, with nearly 14,000 5-star reviews. It weighs just six pounds, has a 16-ounce tank, and a 25-foot cord, all of which make it incredibly easy to maneuver. But that’s not all there is to love about this steam mop — there is an on/off button on this model, which was interestingly absent in most of the steam mops we tested. Once you turn it on, it has an additional indicator light that lets you know when it's heated and ready to use, which makes it even more intuitive.
What really sets this mop apart, though, is the fact that it comes with scent discs. “I'd be tempted to steam mop all the time, just so my house smells like this every day!”our tester excitedly shared.
Scent aside, the steam mop works very well to remove stains, even those that tend to be more stubborn — it took only three slow passes to completely remove the sticky, dried-on maple syrup from our test, whereas the same task took most other models anywhere from 12, up to 60 passes. Part of what makes it so effective is its swivel head, which makes even harder to reach stains more accessible.
The few gripes we had with this steam mop were that it’s corded (though, that’s par for the course), doesn’t have wheels, and the mop pad has to be removed by hand (as opposed to having a button to automatically eject it, though there is a little tab for grabbing and pulling it off located on the back of the mop head to make it slightly easier to remove).
Price at time of publish: $103
Capacity: 16 oz. | Steam Output: Continuous | Weight: 6 lbs. | Cord Length: 25 ft. | Attachments: 5
Comes with a bunch of accessories
The water tank has a small hole which makes it tricky to fill
It doesn’t have a swivel head, so cleaning around corners isn’t as easy
It should come as no surprise that more than one Bissell steam mop has made this list — the brand is renowned for its innovative, effective cleaning solutions. The Bissell PowerFresh Lift-Off Pet Steam Mop 1544A is especially great for pet owners, as it comes with a bunch of accessories to target any and all pet stains, as well as common dirt and grime. Like the Bissell Powerfresh Deluxe Steam Mop 1806, the Bissell PowerFresh Lift-Off Pet Steam Mop 1544A comes with an on and off button, which we were again happy to see, especially while trying to swap accessories.
Speaking of accessories, the steam mop comes with multiple grout brushes, a microfiber mop pad, a scrubby mop pad, an extension hose, a window squeegee attachment, and more. While more accessories mean more cleaning potential, Beck points out that it also means having to keep track of all the parts. “They do include a little bag for storage to make it a bit easier,” she adds.
In addition to being well equipped to tackle any stain, this steam mop also comes with scent discs, which easily eliminate stinky pet odors set into carpets.
The only downside of the steam mop is that it’s tricky to fill — the water port is on the side of the tank, and it is a hole instead of a hinged door to guide water into the opening. However, there is a removable handheld portion (the "Lift-Off Pod") that can be dumped into the sink.
Price at time of publish: $145
Capacity: 13.5 oz. | Steam Output: Continuous | Weight: 10 lbs. | Cord Length: 25 ft. | Accessories: 18
Easy and intuitive to use
Works well to completely remove stains
There isn’t an on/off button
It takes as many as 34 passes to remove stubborn stains like syrup
The grout cleaner isn’t entirely effective
The weight and design of themShark S5003D Genius Hard Floor Cleaning System Pocket Steam Mop made it very easy to carry around and use even with the tank completely filled. It also works well to remove all kinds of stains, though it requires more passes on darker, stickier splotches and more elbow grease when it comes to cleaning grimy grout. There’s a steam blaster option that provided an extra burst of steam that helped remove the hot sauce and syrup stains as well as most of the grime in the grout (though not as effective as other models we tested). Plus, thanks to its swivel head, it’s easy to maneuver around corners, as well as under furniture edges, so no spot is left un-steamed with this mop in hand.
While the steam mop heats up quickly, it takes nearly 10 minutes to cool down. That said, once cool, the dirty mop head can be ejected, so you don’t have to get your hands dirty in the process — which is why it's advertised as "never touch a dirty pad again".
Price at time of publish: $110
Capacity: 11.8 oz. | Steam Output: On-demand | Weight: 5.77 lbs. | Cord Length: 22 ft. | Accessories: 3
Heats up in less than 30 seconds
Has adjustable settings for the type of surface
The instructions are a bit overwhelming given the number of attachments
There is no discernible maximum fill line
The swivel head swivels too much — almost in an uncontrollable way
The Black Decker 7-in-1 Steam Mop is among the more aesthetically-pleasing mops on the market thanks to its silver, blue, and white design. But don’t be fooled: The benefits of this steam mop exceed well past its appearance. it cleaned all the stains in our test with relative ease; the lighter soils and stains required only two passes and the toughest stains required no more than 10 passes. And because the steam was dispersed over the entire pad and the unit is very maneuverable, cleaning in corners was easy and effective.
As effective as the steam mop is, it’s not without its shortcomings. First, the mop has daunting instructions, as they detail all 11 of the included attachments. While it’s great to have additional accessories to achieve a deeper clean, it means more reading material before getting started. Our other complaint is that the water tank doesn’t feature a "max fill" line and, as such, it's easy to overfill. We found that it continued to leak throughout use, especially when the handheld component was detached and held overhead. With that in mind, it’s best to be conservative when filling the tank and refill if needed.
You'll also want to be careful of the detachable pad, because while it’s easy to remove, it also drips after use, making it easy to soil just-steamed floors. Additionally, we found that while the machine is very easy to maneuver, it’s not so simple to guide it in a straight line. The wand and cleaning head operate on a near 270-degree swivel, making it nearly impossible to clean in a straight line as the swiveling head meanders along its intended path.
Despite its shortcomings, this lightweight steam mop is easy to carry, push, and use altogether. "I would recommend this steam mop to friends and family for its superior cleaning ability, but I would dissuade any consumer who does not like extra complexity or superfluous frills and additions,” our tester explains. “My favorite things about this mop are its cleaning ability and detachable steamer.”
Price at time of publish: $200
Capacity: 19.2 oz. | Steam Output: Continuous | Weight: 6 lbs. | Cord Length: 20 ft. | Accessories: 11
The pad detaches when used on extra sticky stains
It doesn’t work well on grout
It needs to be propped up to remain upright
The Black+Decker Classic Steam-Mop HSM13E1 also makes the list — particularly due to its affordable price. The slim steam mop is about as basic as it gets but it works well to remove stains and enhance the finish on floors. That said, the machine doesn’t work well on dirty grout lines, nor does it easily remove sticky stains. The pad became detached on the syrup testing, which we noted could easily result in burns if the user should attempt re-attaching while the steam is in use.
That said, if your goal is to use a steam mop as part of your weekly tidying, as opposed to on heavy, sticky stains, this mop is a great option. “I would definitely recommend this steam mop to people looking for light-use areas, or without small children or animals — for singles and older individuals, it is a valuable tool to clean easily and well,” our tester says. "It is best suited to those groups and not well suited [for families] requiring a more powerful unit.”
Price at time of publish: $59
Capacity: 12 oz. | Steam Output: Continuous | Weight: 5 lbs. | Cord Length: 16 ft. | Accessories: 1
Incredibly lightweight when compared with other models tested
Works well on all stains, including grimy grout lines
Because it’s so lightweight, it feels less substantial and long-lasting
The Reliable Pronto Plus 300CS 2-In-1 Steam Cleaner works so well, our tester actually questioned if it’s too good to be true. “I love this mop — I'm thinking of buying one for myself; I loved it so much,” she exclaims. “The high pressure nozzle was so much fun to use and was really effective at getting the gunk out of deeper set grout lines and other crevices.” This model comes with a wall hanger for easy storage (though, it can’t stand upright on its own), as well as an accessory bag to keep the more-than-a-dozen attachments organized and in reach.
The Reliable Pronto Plus was by far the most light-weight mop we tested — it only weighs 4.5 pounds (including the cord) even when full of water. It also heats up and cools off quickly, taking just 15 seconds for the former and six seconds for the latter.
The only concern we had about this product is that it didn't feel as durable as the other models and could potentially need to be replaced sooner.
Price at time of publish: $149
Capacity: 11.83 oz. | Steam Output: Continuous | Weight: 2.9 lbs. | Cord Length: 20 ft. | Accessories: 14
Heats up in less than 30 seconds
Cools down in less than two minutes
The mop pad tends to roll under on uneven tile floors
It requires more passes to adequately remove stains
It doesn’t stand up on its own
The True & Tidy Heavy Duty Steam Mop STM-500 is great for everyday light duty work. We found that, at 6.6 pounds, this steam mop wasn't heavy to use for short periods of time, but might be a little heavy to use for an extended periods. Additionally, it’s great to use for quick clean-ups and tidying, but longer sessions can be less convenient, as the mop doesn’t stand on its own, so you have to be hands-on with it during the entirety of use.
The most notable feature of the mop is how easy it is to maneuver — during our testing, it easily glided around the floor and around obstacles. This is because of the shape of the mop head and the swivel joint that allowed the mop to stay flat on the floor — the unique shape of the mop head made cleaning corners easy, too.
As great as it is for light cleaning seshes, we found that it’s not the best option for heavy traffic areas, as it requires many passes to adequately remove stains.
Price at time of publish: $80
Capacity: 11.8 oz. | Steam Output: Continuous | Weight: 5.25 lbs. | Cord Length: 20 ft. | Accessories: 2
Heats up in five seconds
The instructions are comprehensive with pictures
The steam mop works well to completely remove stains, including in grout lines
It’s not the easiest to maneuver due to a head that rolls and stretches
If your primary concern is cleaning tile floors, the Hoover Steam Complete Pet Steam Mop is the way to go. For starters, it heats up almost immediately, taking just five seconds, and doesn’t drip or leak in the process. The controls were intuitive and easy to operate, and the ability to easily adjust the steam settings was a plus.
Best of all, this steam mop works well to remove any and all stains (though, it can take up to 25 passes for like-new results). All grout stains were completely removed while using the handheld steamer hose with the specific grout cleaner attachment. In fact, we found that this model works markedly better on grout lines than any other unit we tested.
The only shortcoming of this steam mop is its head, which features a pad that stretches and rolls when pushed along — while maneuvering around furniture, we found that the pad almost seemed like it was going to slip off. That said, the mop did work work well to clean underneath furniture.
Price at time of publish: $109
Capacity: 12.8 oz. | Steam Output: Continuous | Weight: 6.8 lbs. | Cord Length: 26 ft. | Accessories: 10
The larger a steam mop’s tank, the longer you’ll be able to use it to tackle tough, stuck-on stains. That said, higher capacities also mean the overall weight of the unit will be heavier, so you have to decide if a larger tank that requires less refills trumps a lower-capacity, lightweight unit that has to be refilled.
Steam mops either feature on-demand or continuous steam output. Continuous steam means that the moment you turn the machine on, it’s steaming. While continuous steam is convenient in the sense that you don’t have to hold a trigger button during use, it can also whittle away at the water in the tank while moving between activities, as it’s steaming even if you’re not actively passing it across the floor.
When shopping for a steam mop, think about the areas you intend to clean. If your goal is to tidy up smaller areas, weight is less of a factor. However, if you intend to mop larger areas of your home — or your home as a whole — a lighter weight unit will be ideal, as it won’t fatigue your muscles in the process.
Again, you’ll want to consider the size of the space you intend to clean. Where small rooms can get away with a 10- to 15-foot cord, larger spaces require longer cords to avoid having to constantly unplug and replug the unit. When unplugging and replugging, the steaming process can take longer since it will cool down the unit between each unplug.
For light duty work, a simple mop head will work just fine. If, however, you’re looking to invest in a multi-use product, a model like the PurSteam Steam Mop Cleaner 10-in-1 has attachments like a narrow nozzle for cleaning grout and even a handheld clothing steamer to get a lot of bebang for your buck.
We tested the 27 most popular steam mops on the market. Before using each mop, the testers read its corresponding instruction manual to get a full lay of the land. They then filled each water tank with distilled water to the max fill line (if applicable — otherwise, they used their best judgment) before placing it on a scale and weighing it. They then turned on each model and set a stopwatch to measure how fast the steam was generated. Each mop was tested on sealed concrete and tile floors, as well as on a variety of stains, including dirt, syrup, and hot sauce. They were then evaluated for their ease of use, effectiveness, portability, ease of cleaning, maneuverability, and value. For cordless models, we noted if there was a decline in power or if the battery depleted during the testing period. We also measured how long it took the mop to cool down after turning it off or unplugging it and how easy (or difficult) it is to remove its pad. Finally, if there was a detachable, handheld steaming component, we measured how well it performed. After all of our testing, PEOPLE testers were able to exclude the less effective machines to uncover the 10 best steam mops of 2023.
“Steam cleaners combine the use of water and heat to effectively clean and sanitize sealed hard floors and a variety of hard surfaces all around your home,” says Trisha Rach, Steam Brand Manager at BISSELL. “Not only are they a great cleaning tool for floors, steam cleaners also come in handy for effectively cleaning and sanitizing hard surfaces in kitchens, bathrooms, and all around the home, like tile grout, counters and sinks, windows, and more.” And since they’re powered solely off of water and heat, Rach points out that they’re free of harsh cleaning chemicals, making them safe for homes with kids and pets.
While some steam mops say that they can be used on carpet, Leanne Stapf, COO of The Cleaning Authority, says that they work best on hard floors, including vinyl, linoleum, and most tiles. “Avoid using steam mops on hardwood or laminate floors as well as any flooring that is unsealed, as the moisture can damage or warp your flooring,” she says.
Flooring type aside, Rach says steam mops are ideal for stuck-on messes — which is why PEOPLE reviewers specifically tested them on caked-on syrup, hot sauce, and dirty grout lines.
For the most effective steam clean, Rach says to look for a steam mop with multiple steam levels, a trigger to control the steam, and a mop foot that swivels. “Other features, like a removable water tank, a long power cord, and washable mop pads make them easier to use,” she adds.
Tacking onto this, Stapf says that a machine that heats up quickly is important. “Hot water is essential for an effective steam mop,” she explains. “So you will want to find an option that can reach [an] ideal water temperature.”
Since steam mops use hot water to clean, it’s important to be mindful of how you use the machine. When the steam is turned on, you don’t want to place your hands or any other limbs in its path, as a burn is possible.
Outside of safety, Rach says that a potential error comes down to the very water you use in your mop. “To get the most out of your steam cleaner, use distilled or demineralized water in your tank if you have hard water, as mineral deposits can affect the steam performance and eventually cause a clog over time,” she explains. Additionally, she says to empty the water out of the tank after each use to prevent leaking (as well as mold growth).
We created the PEOPLE Tested seal of approval to help you find the very best products for your life. We use our unique methodology to test products in three labs across the country and with our network of home testers to determine their effectiveness, durability, ease of use, and so much more. Based on the results, we rate and recommend products so you can find the right one for your needs.
But we don’t stop there: We also regularly re-review the categories in which we’ve awarded the PEOPLE Tested seal of approval — because the best product of today might not be the best of tomorrow. And by the way, companies can never buy our recommendation: Their products must earn it, fair and square.
Household Steam Cleaner In short, PEOPLE Tested provides recommendations you can trust — every day, every purchase.