A top-rated steam mop will sanitize your floors and leave them cleaner than a traditional squeeze mop. Most steam mops have the added bonus of sanitizing without chemicals, killing viruses, bacteria and mold.
For a versatile steam mop with all the bells and whistles, experts say the Oreck Steam-it (Est. $150) is one of the best. It's "a whiz at cleaning floors, and it can do so much more," says Good Housekeeping editors, who name it the top steam mop in their comparison test. Another leading testing organization also lists the Steam-it as one of the best-performing steam mops. Convenient features include a ready light and power switch on the handle, variable steam settings and an extra-wide swivel head. "It's lightweight and quiet, and…there's no soap and therefore no perfumey stink or residue left on the floors," says an owner at Amazon.com.
Between the 35 minutes of continuous steam and the 25-foot power cord, the Steam-it can handle big jobs without a lot of resetting. It's also highly versatile. "Not just for floors, this mop has attachments that clean windows, countertops, and toilets," says Good Housekeeping. Oreck includes two brushes, a carpet glider and a squeegee, along with four washable microfiber bonnets. Its one-year warranty is shorter than some brands, however, and a number of Amazon.com owners mention problems after about a year of use.
For basic disinfecting and cleaning, the Hoover TwinTank Steam Mop (Est. $90) is a top pick for less than $100. "Plenty of features, ease of use, and reasonable price create the trifecta," says Jerry Arlen at Bestcovery.com, a review website. The Hoover's standout feature is its two-tank design, giving users the option of disinfecting with just water or using detergent. The tanks are removable for easy filling and a dial on the handle adjusts the water-soap mixture.
Reviewers say the TwinTank is light and easy to handle, with bonus features such as a power switch, ready light and extra-long 30-foot cord. Steam is ready in less than a minute. "Another thoughtful extra: the Hoover comes with a resting pad to protect the floor while it heats up or cools down," says Good Housekeeping. The TwinTank does an excellent job of cleaning vinyl and tile, according to users, but can leave a film or streaks on hardwood flooring. The uncomfortable trigger and a body that doesn't stand upright are minor issues for most owners. Hoover covers the TwinTank with a two-year warranty.
Reviews also pick the Bissell PowerFresh Steam Mop 1940 (Est. $90) as an excellent machine and a good value. "I have used it on tile, hard wood, and laminate with great results," says one user at Amazon.com. "The only downside is that I still have to manually clean my grout lines on my tile floor." The PowerFresh steams using only water, leaving behind none of the streaks or tacky film that owners complain about with mops like the Hoover TwinTank.
Bissell includes two washable microfiber pads with the PowerFresh. Erica Ryan, a blogger with review site TheSteamQueen.com, says, "The pads are pretty thick and that extra cushion helps get into any grooves and patterns you might have in your flooring." She also praises the Bissell's 12.5-inch swivel head for its ability to fit under most cupboards and clean along the walls. Owners frequently say the PowerFresh is especially easy to set up and handle.
Bissell's 15-ounce water tank is much smaller than the 40-ounce reservoir on Oreck's Steam-it, but owners are pretty pleased with its runtime. "The water tank looks small, but lasts a long time," says one Amazon.com reviewer. As a bare-bones steam mop, the PowerFresh doesn't include extra attachments for steaming upholstery or fixtures, can't be turned up to clean vertical surfaces and doesn't include a cooling pad. With no onboard power switch, users turn on the machine by plugging it in. This is why we name it a runner-up to the Oreck Steam-it, but if a basic mop is all you need, the Bissell will do.