Best Steam Mops For Hardwood Floors 2018
Cleaning hardwood floors using a steam mop is more convenient.
After all, nobody enjoys scrubbing or carrying buckets.
Steam mops are way better, faster, and effective.
And most importantly, no chemicals at all.
The Question is:
What is the Best Steam Mop that will not damage your hardwood floor?
In this guide I’ll help you choose the best quality steam mops;
As well as Product Comparisons, Reviews, Warnings, Safety, buying guide & many more.
Let’s get the show on the road.
What is Steam Mop & How Does it Works?
As the name suggests, steam, it’s a type of mop that utilizes steams to sanitize the floors, which is supplied from a water container.
Commonly uses for tiles, carpet and even hardwood floors.
A regular mop requires cleaning agents like detergent or bleach, where a steam mop uses the vapor to disinfect.
The unit usually comes with a cleaning pad, which gets attached to the steam head for collecting dirt, a little water container and offer dry mopping feature.
The heat kills off more than 99% of germs and other microbes without resorting to any kind of chemicals.
Here I have listed some of their benefits;
- Dries Quickly
- Kills Off 99.99% Bacteria
- Saves Time
- No Buckets
Types of Steam Mop Suitable for Hardwood
Among the many types you may find, these two below are the ones that fit for your hardwood floor cleaning chores.
Dry Steam Mop: Emits steam to decontaminate the hardwood floors. Not only they wipe out germs but also root out the insects and pests.
Steam Mop with a Vacuum Option: Certain mops have a vacuum built into them. As a result, a steam mop with vacuum cleaning option sucks up dust, dirt and generate steam as well.
What is the Best Steam Mops 2018 ?
Last update on 2018-10-18 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API
Get it or regret it, the decision is entirely yours, but as per my research and findings, I can dare to suggest the Bissell Powerfresh 1940 without a doubt.
I mean, why not?
It is one of the best products Bissell ever conceived.
It’s a phenomenal package that checks all the right boxes and is overflowing with attractive features. Some of its perks are;
- Variable Heating Control System
- Detachable Water Tank
- Real Quick Warm-Up Time
- Scrubber Brush
- Exceptionally Long Power Cord
Nonetheless, below I have written a detailed review of the product. Read on to find out more about it.
Also Check the Top 10 Steam Mops Comparison Chart here.
Best Steam Mops Reviews
Finding the right product is no easy task. Going through hundreds of products and thousands of reviews can be time-consuming, and a bit frustrating too.
No worries, cause I have done the hard work for you.
After hours of research, here I have listed the top 10 steam mops for hardwood.
1. Bissell Powerfresh Steam Mop 1940
The Bissell Powerfresh 1940 is our Top pick as the best hardwood floor steam cleaner. It’s a basic, simple and easy to use steam cleaner that you can get under just $100.
Built with extreme care, this one is made to last longer. Apart from the great build quality, it also offers superior performance and disinfects the floor to the hilt.
Putting the whole device together should be a cakewalk and won’t take you more than a couple of minutes.
What makes Bissell mop a bit special is its detachable water reservoir, making it possible for you to refill the tank while mopping.
That means reduced downtime and quick cleaning for you. Furthermore, the unit features a massive water tank, able to hold enough water to give you a solid hour of mopping.
Another cool feature is the absence of an off/on switch. You just need to connect the device to the power outlet and the water will begin to heat up. Once the water gets warm, you will have the steam unleashed.
You can adjust the the mop with steam control and use it according to the type of dirt.
Moreover, unlike cheaper options, it only takes a minute to heat up.
The swivel head makes it easy to steer and move across the floor. It can rotate up to 270 degrees, which is awesome. There’s also going to be a scrubber brush on the back to remove stubborn dirt or make gout lines vanish.
The 23-feet power cord is more than sufficient. It’s pretty long and won’t compel you to keep unplugging room to room. The unit also includes two detachable cleaning pads and a scent pad capable of producing flowery fragrance on the floor.
- Detachable water tank allows easy and quick refill
- The power cord is remarkably long
- Heats up quickly
- The scrubber brush lets you remove gunk
The water tank often gets cracked and may need to be replaced after a few months of use.
While running a crockery shop, Melville Bissell invented a carpet sweeper to keep his workplace dust free. The advanced mop got patented in 1876, and by the 1890s, his company was selling more than a thousand sweepers per day. At present, no other company sells more floor care products in North America than Bissell Homecare.
You can actually trust a Bissell product.
2. Bissell Symphony Pet Steam Mop with Vacuum Cleaner 1543A
As the name implies, Bissell Symphony 1543A has been specifically designed for pet owners. It sucks up pet hair, dog food, and debris thoroughly and uses steam to sterilize the floor.
Its ability to do both vacuuming and mopping simultaneously makes it stand out from the competitors.
However, unlike the shark, the steam release isn’t automatic. Instead, you have to press down a trigger, which is located on the handle and pretty easy to squeeze.
There’s a separate on/off switch for vacuuming independently.
With the symphony, refilling water tank is easier than ever. In fact, you can do it with one hand. Just flip open the lid on the water tank and pour water in. No need to unscrew the tank cap or use a funnel. On top of that, the water heating system is remarkably quick and takes less than a minute to produce vapor.
As there’s a vacuum built inside the device, it’s a tad heavier than other steam mops.
However, it’s not heavy enough to put stress on your hands. If you are concerned about the maneuverability, rest assured. For the adjustable handle ensures exceptional control and easy access to hard-to-reach spots.
The manufacturers were thoughtful enough to provide a disposable pad alongside the usual reusable ones. So, if you have an absurd amount of filth to clean and don’t want your hands to get dirty, simply use the disposable one and toss it once you are done.
The last feature I want to talk about is the power cord. It’s impressively 25 feet long and lets you go about cleaning without having to worry about the power outlets. There’s a small problem: sometimes it can leave a trail of dirt and may require you to wipe down the floor afterwards.
- Able to do both vacuuming and steam cleaning
- The adjustable handle makes maneuvering easier
- Refilling is a breeze
- Produces vaporization under a minute
- Includes disposable cleaning pad
The device can leave residue on the surface as inspected with some models.
3. O-Cedar Microfiber Steam Mop with Extra Refill
O-Cedar began its journey in the early 1900s. At first, they used to manufacture only wood polishes. Since cedar leaf oil was the principal component in the polish, the company was named after the cedar tree itself. As they gradually got bigger, they started producing other floor care products.
When you pick this thing up, you’ll especially notice how lightweight this thing is. Weighing only 5 lbs, it offers extraordinary control. That said it might feel a bit flimsy due to the low weight. But don’t get fooled by its looks, it has great construction and should serve you well.
Reaching low places and small corners are now a lot easier with this one. That’s because its steam head has a triangular shape, which is the perfect model for cleaning dirt build up in narrow spots.
As you know, carpet cleaning is a bit different from cleaning floors. You need a glider for that. Don’t worry, o-cedar has your back and comes with a quality glider. There’s also a 20 feet power cord eliminating the outlet problem.
Here’s the coolest part, it takes only 20 seconds to heat up, which is quite a feat. Not only it warms up quickly, but it can accommodate a large volume of water too. In fact, it’s big enough to clean a large room on one full tank of water.
However, the fact that the water tank isn’t transparent is a tad disappointing. The opaque reservoir doesn’t let you see the amount of remaining water. To make it worse, there’s no indicator to signal the need of a refill.
- Heats up in only 20 seconds
- Very light in weight
- Triangular swivel steam head
- Includes a glider for carpet cleaning
Due to the non-transparent water reservoir, you can’t see how much water is left.
4. Shark Genius Steam Pocket Mop S5003D
Compared to the other brands, Shark is a relatively new face in this industry (created in 1998). However, in this short period, they have managed to carve a niche out for themselves as one of the leading manufacturers of household cleaning appliances.
Hate touching filth-loaded yellowish cleaning pads? Thanks to the touch-free technology, since you will no longer have to. There’s a button on the body, upon pressed opens the mop and releases the dirt grip pad. That means you won’t need to remove the cleaning pads with your own hands.
Similar to the Bissell 1940, they have also ditched the on/off switch and provide steam spontaneously.
Once you have plugged the device in, it’s good to go. Another impressive feature is the steam buster spray, which blasts through tough and sticky substances.
The three different settings allow you to customize the steamer level for sudden spills and stubborn dried dirt. I wish the control system had been located on the handles instead of the body. That way you wouldn’t have to bend down for adjusting the heating level.
Maximum capacity of the water tank is 350ml, which can cover approximately 1000 sq feet. Although not remarkable, but isn’t terrible either. However, its ability to heat up quickly is more than impressive. Takes less than 60 seconds, which is really cool!
Although there’s no major flaw in the design, it bugs me that the water tank can’t be removed. Since you gotta drain the tank before storing, it would have been a bit easier if the reservoir was detachable.
- No-touch technology
- Variable settings
- Heats up in no time
- Steam buster spray comes in handy while removing greasy marks
Sadly, the water tank isn’t removable which can be a pain in your bum.
5. Bissell 1544A Powerfresh Lift-Off Pet Steam Mop
You may ask, how’s it any different from its predecessors? For starters, unlike the previous ones, it can be used as a hand-held steamer to wash the mirrors and above the floor. Secondly, it comes with 13 different tools to use in conjunction with the hand-held steamer. But more on that later.
With the medium-sized water tank, you can continue mopping for about 20 minutes before the steam runs out. Refilling shouldn’t be a problem since the reservoir is removable and should take only a couple of minutes.
The purpose behind adding a scrubber brush on the back is to help you remove sticky residue. But be careful while pushing down with your feet as the steam can get very warm. In addition, it also features a power cord measuring more than 20 feet to allow uninterrupted cleaning.
What makes this thing special is the kit bag that includes 13 different tools. Each of them has distinct characteristics making the device highly versatile. For example, the angle tool helps you purify the pet tools, while the window squeeze tool works on cleaning mirrors and windows.
When it comes to performance, there’s nothing you can complain about. It produces exceedingly warm steam and doesn’t show any mercy to the germs. More importantly, it annihilates the microbes without making the floor soapy wet.
Weighing more than 10lbs, it can feel a bit heavy. However, that isn’t necessarily a bad thing as it will make the device more durable. Nonetheless, you can still maneuver it pretty comfortably.
- Comes with 13 tools
- Removable water tank
- Features a scrubber brush to remove stuck-on dirt
The water tank cap is flimsy and gets broken easily.
6. Shark Steam Pocket Mop Hard Floor Mop S3501
If you are someone who is price conscious, then this could be your ideal floor cleaning solution. Packed with numerous features, it comes at a very low-price and offers great value for the money.
Fully equipped to obliterate bugs extensively and that too without flooding the floor. Since it doesn’t leave any dregs behind, the floor gets dry in double-quick time. Sadly, unlike shark S5003D, it doesn’t produce steam by itself and requires you to pump the trigger constantly.
In order to reduce the downtime, reversible cleaning pads are included, which you can flip over and make use of both sides. That way, you won’t need to change the pad halfway through steam mopping. On top of that, 25 feet cord is provided so you can clean the entire house with the least amount of cord movement.
With a maximum capacity of 450 ml, it features one of the largest water reservoirs out there. That means you won’t have to stop for refilling midway through the cleaning job. Regarding the heating time, it takes around a minute to process vaporization.
A rectangular shaped steam head and compact design allow it to reach tight corners far more easily. Also, it comprises an ergonomic handle which makes maneuvering effortless.
The only drawback is, to operate cleaning, you have to thumb the trigger continuously. It can be a bit hard on your fingers and can lead to cramping. If the auto steam release is a priority for you, better try the shark S5003D instead.
- Extra large water tank
- Reversible cleaning pads
- 25 feet power cord
Squeezing the trigger constantly can be a strenuous task.
7. Hoover Steam Mop Twin Tank WH20200
Hoover is best known for producing vacuum cleaners and steam mops.
Over the last hundred years, they have earned a reputation for manufacturing top-notch floor care products at a very reasonable price. This one is also no exception as it comes under 100$ and offers lots of bangs for the bucks.
The fact that it comes with not one but two tanks makes it stand out among the competitors. While one is to hold water, the other one is for keeping the cleaning solution. With the help of controlling system, you can adjust the amount of water and solution according to the thickness of the dirt.
Performance-wise, it’s one of the best steam mops for hardwood floors out there. Cleans the floor really well and doesn’t leave any residue behind. So, there’s no need to wipe down the surface afterwards.
When it comes to design, I believe it needs a bit more fine-tuning. For example, to activate the steam, you are required to hold down the trigger all the time. It’s a problem as the exertion of force can cause muscle spasm after a while. Moreover, the placement of power button is very inconvenient and requires you to lean down.
Transparent water tank allows you to see when the canister is nearly empty. That way, you can refill the tank before it runs out of the water. Furthermore, the reservoir is quite big and has enough oomph to cover two medium-sized rooms at one go.
To be honest, the construction of the device is a bit of a let-down. It’s disproportionately heavy at the top and can tip at the slightest of touch. To cap it off, it’s made of plastic and doesn’t inspire much confidence.
- Performs cleaning really well
- Holds a large amount of water
- Transparent water tank
- Two separate tanks for water and solution
Top-heavy and tips easily, which you may not want to experience at all while cleaning.
8. Bissell Powerfresh 2075A Steam Cleaner
If I were to describe this thing in one word, it would be ‘versatility.’ This 3-in-1 steam mop not only comes with an extension wand but also works as a handheld steam cleaner. On top of that, the unit includes a variety of accessories to make your job a lot easier.
The grout tool here makes the grout lines disappear and return the floor to its original condition. It’s easy to use and super effective in scrubbing off greasy stains.
Included bristle scrub brush and angle tool are super helpful as they assist you in cleaning bathroom, windows, kitchen sink, and shower head. Moreover, the swiveling steam stead allows you to get into narrower spaces easily.
Features an 11.8 oz water tank, which isn’t very big. Its small size means it offers around 10 minutes of clean time. It would have been much better if the tank was a bit bigger. However, that shouldn’t be a deal-breaker as refilling is easy as pie and takes no time.
Depending on the dirt, you can adjust the settings. However, I recommend against steam cleaning on high setting as it can leave wet marks. The lower setting provides ample amount of steam and is the ideal choice for cleaning.
The unit also includes an amazingly long power cord measuring 25 feet. As a result, you can clean the whole house without having to change outlets regularly.
- Extremely versatile
- Grout tool comes in handy while cleaning grout lines
- Includes bristle scrub brush and an angle tool
- The power cord is exceptionally long
The water tank is relatively small, and thus, causes frequent breaks for water recharges
9. Hoover FloorMate FH40160PC Deluxe Hard Floor Cleaner
This comes with a regular handle, but there’s also a version with a foldable handle that makes storage much easier.
This one is designed for hard floors, including hardwood, laminate, ceramic, vinyl, and marble. It can actually wash the floor and then help dry it afterwards.
You have different modes for you floors with this gadget, including wash, scrub, and dry. It resembles the cleaning process for carpets. You end up with a much cleaner floor, and the drying time afterwards is much shorter.
The controls are very easy to use. It’s not all that hard to figure out, as you don’t have any complicated controls to master.
It’s very light at less than 14 pounds. That’s 8 pounds lighter than a previous version. It’s very maneuverable, although the short cord does complicate things a bit. But it can get into the corners with no trouble.
It’s also comparatively quiet, as it doesn’t cause as much of a ruckus as other powerful vacuum cleaners. It comes with a cleaning solution, but even with just water you can really get rid of a lot of dirt from your floor. Dust balls and pet hair are no problem for this baby.
10. Hoover FloorMate SpinScrub FH40030
This is a Hoover, and that means high quality that pretty much outshines most of vacuums from China. The company has been in this business for a hundred years.
This bagless vacuum also washes and dries the floor as well. It uses a 2-tank system so you don’t get the dirty water back on to the floor.
It’s great for pet owners, and some reviewers who own lots of cats and dogs have reported that it can handle pet hair very well indeed. Pets can also make lots of tracks on hard floors, and this device can really get rid of all that dirt.
The controls are all laid out nicely. You just turn a small dial to vacuum, then you turn it to washing, and finally to drying. The brushes can wash and scrub the floor very gentle so that it doesn’t mar the surface.
It already includes the detergent you need as well as 30 wipes for hard floors. The dry function very well, so you can have it nice and dry in minutes instead of hours.
The power cord is 27 feet long, so you can pretty much clean an entire room without having to unplug and plug frequently. It’s built to North American electrical standards.
Top 10 Steam Mops Comparison Chart 2018
Caution, Warning & Potential Problems
As hardwood isn’t exactly the ideal material for steam cleaning, you may face certain problems. Here are some of the potential hitches that you could face.
Vulnerable Wood Joints
If the floor is water-resistant, there should be no risk of moisture penetration. Right?
Even if the wood surface is properly sealed with a moisture-resistant coating, the wood seams are still susceptible to water penetration.
For the wood joint, seal is prone to cracking over time due to prolonged use. As a result, liquid might succeed in penetrating the floor and undermine the surface from underneath.
Can Invalid the Warranty
Hardwood floors usually come with a warranty.
However, they are often accompanied by some clear-cut instructions that may include acts that will make the warranty null and void.
So, before you mopping, make sure to check if using the steam complies with the guidance provided by the manufacturers.
Unlike water, it’s a light substance. Therefore, the likelihood of steam penetrating the wood surface is far greater than the water.
How to Steam Clean Hardwood Floors Safely and Efficiently
Here you have my version of a simple step-by-step guide to learn steam cleaning your floors properly with optimum efficiency guaranteed.
- Vacuum the Entire Area
Vacuuming the floor will remove pet fur, debris, and other particles and prepare the surface ready for steam cleaning.
- Get Rid of Rough Particles
Need to remove sharp objects such as stone and grit before using steam as they can leave a mark on the surface.
- Pour Distilled Water into the Tank
Using tap water can sometimes clog the water unit. Therefore, it would be better if you use only distilled water.
- Set the Steam Setting on Low
Steam cleaning at high setting may cause the floor to get extremely wet. So, unless you are removing greasy marks, you should stick to the low setting.
- Activate the Steam
Mops like Bissell 1940 produce steam automatically once plugged in. In contrast, cleaning devices such as Hoover require you to squeeze the trigger continuously.
Once the water gets heated, activate the steam and slowly glide it across the floor.
- Clean the Grout
If the grout is extremely filthy, it may need some scrubbing with the brush beforehand. Certain steam mops include accessories that are particularly designed to remove gunk from grout.
Hardwood Floor Steam Cleaner Buying Guide
Let’s talk on the essential factors to check before picking a steam cleaner for your hardwood floor. If followed accurately, this will help ease your case, no doubt.
Water Tank Capacity
Any device that needs frequent refilling isn’t worth your time.
Pick one that can hold enough water for you to clean the entire house with one or two refills.
The best steam mop for hardwood floors should also feature a removable water tank. You can simply take it to the sink for a refill, which is far simpler than using funnels.
If possible, get a see-through water tank so you can keep an eye on the amount of water left.
Standard steamers weigh from 5 lbs to up to15 lbs.
If you go for a lightweight steam cleaner, it will be easier for you to maneuver and handle the device.
On the other hand, heavier mops offer durability and last a long time.
So, the key is finding the perfect balance between maneuverability and longevity.
Almost all the steam cleaners out there offer control of the output.
With the controlling system, you can dictate the amount of steam released and adjust according to the type of filth.
Most of the devices come with three-speed settings. While high setting might be required for removing sticky substances, the lowest setting should suffice for cleaning regular dirt.
Particular attention should be given to the heat-up time of the device.
The rule of thumb, in this case, is that the quicker it produces steam, the better.
A super quick warm-up time will reduce the downtime drastically and help you make the floor spotless in the shortest possible time. Quality mops take about 60 seconds to heat up.
The Length of the Power Cord
Nobody likes changing outlets midway through steam cleaning.
Unless you are an exception, you want a steam cleaner with a really long cord.
Individuals that have a large room to clean can’t afford to get anything less than 20 feet.
So, if you have a gigantic room, you’d better opt for something with 25 feet.
Types of Steam Head
There are three types of steam heads, and each of them has their own set of advantages. Let’s take a look at them.
Rectangular Shaped: Due to having a larger head, they are ideal for cleaning large spaces in a short period as they cover a lot of areas.
Triangular Shaped: If corners and tight spaces are your main concern, triangular heads can be the perfect solution.
Thanks to being smaller than the rectangular ones, they provide access to the narrower spaces and helps to make them clean.
Swivel: Offers greater maneuverability than the previous ones and easier to work around bed, couch, and drawers.
While some device features auto steam release and needs to be only plugged in, others involve a trigger that you need to press down constantly.
Although the trigger provides more control over the device, it can strain your fingers.
Steam cleaners such as Bissell 2075A come with accessories that are specially designed to clean kitchen, windows, sinks, countertops, and shower heads.
These tools are incredibly helpful and will make your job much easier.
Here, I have tried to answer some of the most commonly asked queries about steam mops.
Question: Are Steam Mops Safe for Wood Floors?
Answer: Steam mopping is ok as long as the surface isn’t sopping wet. If too much water is used, the wood floor could absorb water leading to permanent damage such as swelling and discoloration.
Moreover, make sure the floor is sealed correctly before start mopping. Otherwise, it could cause irreversible damage to your floor.
Question: What Is A Sealed Hardwood Floor?
The sealed floor is a common feature in most of the recently made houses. For the uninitiated, if the floor is coated with some kind of protective elements such as polyacrylic or polyurethane, it’s called a sealed floor. They are usually water and stain resistant.
Question: How Do You Know If Your Wood Floors Are Sealed?
As I have mentioned earlier, sealed floors are stain-proof and can’t be penetrated by the water.
Therefore, if a few drops of water manage to stain the floor and gets soaked by the wood, the floor is unsealed, or the sealing is damaged. On the other hand, if they bead up and don’t get absorbed, then you have nothing to worry about as the sealing is solid.
Question: What Type of Flooring Can I Use A Steam Mop On?
While porcelain and ceramic flooring are well-suited to the steam cleaning, hardwood and laminate flooring requires some precautions.
Nevertheless, vinyl flooring is impervious to water and thus allows the use of steam cleaner.
Question: Are The Cleaning Pads Reusable?
Regular cleaning pads are washable and last a long time. Usually, you can use a cleaning pad up to 25 times.
However, if you want something for one-time use, you should get the disposable ones.
Question: How Much Does it Costs?
A good mop can cost you between 50$ to 150$ depending on the quality and extra features.
While there are some amazing budget options with a low price tag, if you want something feature-rich, you will need to fork out more than 100$.
Question: What Maintenance Does My Steam Mop Need?
Not much. Just make sure you drain the tank before storing, wipe the unit regularly, and use only distilled water. And before you clean the device, don’t forget to unplug the unit.
Question: Is Apple Cider Vinegar Good for Hardwood Floors?
Apple cider vinegar is great for sanitizing the ground and a fine alternative to the white vinegar.
Unlike the white vinegar, it doesn’t break down the wood surface or takes the shine away from the floor.
Question: Can You Use it On Laminate Floor?
Surely, but with certain cautions. As laminate floors are made of wood, they can be damaged if exposed to moisture without necessary precautions.
Hence, you must make sure that the floor is water-repellent before mopping.
If you have an unsealed floor or the floor is compromised, avoid using water, chemicals or steam on your floor.
Question: How Long Does it Last?
The lifespan can vary from model to model. However, it worth its salt should last at least a year.
To sum up, a steam cleaner is a marked improvement on traditional mopes and capable of changing your life for the better.
But you gotta choose carefully. The buying guide I handed out to you earlier should help, so should my reviews of best steam mop for hardwood floors.
Lastly, remember the warnings and take necessary precautions before you use the steam cleaner.