The Shark Vac-Then-Steam is a steam vacuum -- a steam mop combined with a vacuum. Unlike other steam vacuums or steam sweepers, the Vac-Then-Steam is unable to mop and vacuum simultaneously. Instead, as its name suggests, users must vacuum before steam cleaning. To switch to the steam mode, you have to attach not only a mop cover but also a steam frame. The Vac-Then-Steam releases steam continuously with the flip of a switch, and it takes only half a minute to warm up. The 10-ounce tank provides 12 to 16 minutes of cleaning time, and the 30-foot power cord allows you to clean large areas without having to change outlets.
On the downside, the Vac-Then-Steam weighs 9.5 pounds, more than double Shark's other steam mops. Many reviewers say the Vac-Then-Steam performs well as a vacuum, but just as many complain that it has poor suction and is difficult to push. All agree that one drawback is the loudness of the vacuum. Users also cannot switch between steaming and vacuuming quickly; Shark recommends waiting 10 minutes before using the vacuum to prevent condensation from entering the vacuum. If price is a consideration, you may be better off with a steam sweeper like the Bissell Steam&Sweep 46B4 (Est. $100).
No comparison tests or professional reviews exist as yet for steam sweepers and steam vacuums. Instead, we rely on the dozens of owner-written reviews available on Amazon.com, Walmart.com and Target.com.
The Shark Vac-Then-Steam receives above average reviews from over 185 owners. Complaints include low suction power and varying steam capabilities. Of note, the Shark Vac-Then-Steam is the only steam vacuum that is incapable of using both of those features at the same time.
Review: Euro-Pro Operating Shark Steam and Mop Vac, Contributors to Amazon.com
Target.com publishes owner-written reviews and ratings for the steam mops sold here (Shark, Bissell, Haan, Thane H2O and Oreck). The Shark Vac-Then-Steam receives 3.5 out of a possible 5 stars from over 50 reviewers. Some reviewers say the Shark Vac-Then-Steam both vacuums and steam mops very well, while others complain about poor suction and steam power and say the unit is difficult to push. Most agree that the vacuum portion of the Shark Vac-Then-Steam is very loud.
Review: Shark Vac Then Steam Mop, Contributors to Target.com
The Shark Vac-Then-Steam earns an average rating of 4 out of 5 stars from about 50 users. Owners praise its ease of use and most say it vacuums and steams well, leaving floors very clean. The downsides are that it leaves floors streaky for some users and that the vacuum portion of the Shark Vac-Then-Steam is very loud.
Review: Shark Vac Then Steam Mop, MV2010, Contributors to Walmart.com
This independent user review website provides overall product scores on a scale of 1 to 100. Users also review products and rate various aspects of their performance on a scale of 1 to 5. The Shark Vac-Then-Steam receives a high score of 89 out of 100 from more than a dozen reviewers.
Review: Shark Vac-then-Steam 2-in-1 Vacuum and Steam Mop MV2010 Reviews, Contributors to Viewpoints.com