Best steam mops for deep cleaning, tried and tested 2024

High-temperature, bacteria-busting mops to add to your cleaning arsenal

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Saskia Kemsley1 minute ago
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Mopping the floors one of the least enjoyable household chores.

Aside from giving the bathroom a deep clean, the task of dusting, vacuuming and clearing the floor from scattered objects and debris fills us with a sense of dread.

Worse than prepping for a full-house mop, is manoeuvring a cumbersome mop and bucket from under the sink when it’s full and sudsy. There’s an inevitable spillage, and we’ll probably knock over kitchen items along the way.

Enter: the steam mop. Far easier to use and more effective at killing bacteria, say hello to your new favourite cleaning tool. We spoke to Jemma Pendlebury, Product Manager at Product Care Group for insight into steam mops.

What exactly is a steam mop and how does it work?

“Compared to a regular mop, a steam mop has an additional water tank that heats up and releases steam, helping to lift and remove dirt. The Russell Hobbs Steam & Clean uses microfibre pads on the mop head to optimise cleaning they are designed to pull away the bacteria, grease and dirt they come into contact with using steam to easily lift debris.”

Why is a steam mop better than a regular mop?

“The use of water vapour can help to remove bacteria without the need for toxic cleaning chemicals. They are also much easier and quicker to use as there are no additional steps like with a traditional mop; including a separate water bucket, having to continuously wring out the head, do a dry mop or spend time washing the mop head.

“They work quickly and efficiently, with the Russell Hobbs Steam & Clean mop heating up in 15 seconds, it’s a much easier way to clean the floors. Unlike the mops where you add disposable wipes to the bottom, the pads on steam mops are washable, meaning they are more friendly to the environment.”

What floors should steam mops not be used on?

“Steam mops are great to use on various sealed floors, including tile, wood and carpet. However, they should not be used on floors or materials where water can get inside or underneath. For example, we advise that steam mops aren’t used on unsealed wood flooring as water can penetrate the surface and cause irreparable damage.”

Can you use a regular floor cleaner with a steam mop?

“A steam mop works by heating the water up to nearly 100°C, ensuring it is hot enough to kill bacteria and viruses and loosen tough dirt without adding cleaning chemicals. At Russell Hobbs, we advise to only use water.”

Do you have any top tips for using a steam mop?

“When picking a steam mop, opt for one with a triangular head, as this allows you to get into tighter corners, so the entire floor gets thoroughly cleaned.

“To achieve the cleanest floors, do an initial sweep or vacuum before mopping. If there is loose dirt already on the floor, this can pull along in the mop and scratch the surface, so removing these before mopping helps with a more thorough finish. Additionally, adding water to loose dirt can be counterproductive, spreading dirt further across the floor.”

Best steam mops at a glance

What's the best way to maintain your steam mop?

“It’s important not to add additional chemicals to the water tank as this can damage the inside of the mop. In hard water areas, we recommend using filtered or distilled water.

“It’s also important to wash the microfibre pad after each use. Simple maintenance of the pad will ensure that it lasts longer and cleans most effectively every time. Not washing and drying them correctly can lead to them becoming stained and less effective. The Russell Hobbs Steam & Clean mop comes with 2 microfibre pads, so you always have a clean one to hand.”

We’ve rounded up a selection of the best steam mops on the market for spick and span floors.

Shop now

Russell Hobbs Steam & Clean

Russell Hobbs

Best for: value for money

  • Tank capacity: 380ml
  • Heat-up time: 15 seconds
  • Cord length: 5 metres
  • Accessories: two microfibre pads

For a value-for-money, highly effective steam clean look no further than this handy model from Russell Hobbs. Though it only has a 380ml tank capacity, the upshot is an easy-to-store device for smaller homes. The lightweight and manoeuvrable design makes a chemical-free deep clean an absolute breeze, while the 5m power cord ensures you’re not tied to the mains outlet.

The two included microfibre cloths are machine washable, making for an environmentally friendly and powerful piece of kit. We’re big fans of the triangular mop head, which makes reaching awkward corners easier than ever – especially with the help of the innovative tilt-head axis design.

Buy now£34, Amazon

Shark S6002UK Steam & Scrub Automatic Steam Mop


Best for: scrubbing power

  • Tank capacity: 350ml
  • Heat-up time: 30 seconds
  • Cord length: 8 metres
  • Accessories: four dirt grip pads, filling flask

A slightly more hi-tech steam cleaner than most, the Shark Steam & Scrub is gentle on floors while attacking difficult stains. Unlike most options on the market this steam mop scrubs and sanitises at the same time, removing the need for oodles of elbow grease. The two innovative power pads rotate 150 times per minute to scrub and lift stubborn dirt, while high-temperature steam works to kill up to 99.9 per cent of bacteria.

The Shark steam mop has two settings to make switching between an everyday clean and an intense, deep-clean easier than ever. The four included cleaning pads are machine washable and quick drying, so you can be sure you’ll always have a fresh one to hand before embarking on a Sunday reset.

Buy now£159.99, John Lewis

Vileda Steam Mop Steam Plus


Best for: easy storage

  • Tank capacity: 400ml
  • Heat-up time: 15 seconds
  • Cord length: 6 metres
  • Accessories: two microfibre steam pads

Despite its sizeable tank capacity, the Vileda steam mop is surprisingly lightweight. It heats up in just 15 seconds and is equipped with three different steam settings depending on the floor you’re working with. The triangular-shaped mop head is quickly becoming industry-standard, and we appreciate how effective it is for reaching nooks and crannies.

The carpet-glide technology is particularly unique, ensuring that rugs and carpeted areas of your home can get the full bacteria-killing steam treatment. What’s more, the removable handle makes storing this steam mop wonderfully simple.

Buy now£94.99, Amazon

H2O HD Pro 5-in-1 Steam Mop and Handheld Steam Cleaner


Best for: versatility

  • Tank capacity: 450ml
  • Heat-up time: 30 seconds
  • Cord length: 6 metres
  • Accessories: microfibre cloth for mop head, carpet glider, duster tool, window cleaning tool, angled jet nozzle, brush set, extension hose, absorbent cloth for duster tool, absorbent cloth for window tool, microfibre cloth for garment tool.

It may be pricey but the H20 HD is the ultimate all-rounder steam mop. With five functions in one 2.8kg device, you’ll never need additional cleaning tools again.

It comes with an impressive list of additional accessories in the form of specialised tools, which makes using the H20 throughout your household, vehicle and outdoor spaces a pleasure rather than a pain. The device converts from floor to handheld in seconds and is foldable for simple storage.

Buy now£200.02, Argos

Vax Steam Clean Multi Steam Mop


Best for: additional accessories on a budget

  • Tank capacity: 330ml
  • Heat-up time: 15 seconds
  • Cord length: 5 metres
  • Accessories: nine-piece multipurpose tool and accessory kit

Priced at just £50, the Vax Steam Clean comes with a whopping nine additional accessories which makes the mop a truly versatile tool. Three-level variable steam control allows you to adjust the amount of steam depending on the surface you’re using – whether it be floors, taps, hobs, windows, mirrors, tiles or upholstery. Watch dirt and grime disappear in seconds and enjoy the relief afforded by a bacteria-free household.

Buy now£50.02, Argos

Beldray BEL0701TQN 10-in-1 Handheld Steam Cleaner


Best for: Tik Tok cleaning hacks

  • Tank capacity: 250ml
  • Heat-up time: three minutes
  • Cord length: 4 metres
  • Accessories: water tank cap, general nozzle, flexible hose, mini mop head, window/mirror cleaner, mini mop head cloth, measuring jug, funnel and 3x plastic round brushes

The Beldray 10-in1 handheld steam cleaner has gone viral on Tik Tok as a must-have among the online cleaning community. While not technically a steam mop, it comes with a variety of attachments which make sanitising your entire home a simple feat. It includes tools for cleaning toilets, tiles, cars, windows, barbeques, ovens and upholstery. The angled nozzle makes reaching the furthest corners of your kitchen and bathroom easy breezy.

Buy now£25.01, Argos

Karcher Steam Mop SC 2 Upright


Best for: sleek and stylish aesthetics

  • Tank capacity: 400ml
  • Heat-up time: 30 seconds
  • Cord length: 5 metres
  • Accessories: descaler cartridge, universal floor cloth

Suitable for all sealed hard floors, the Karcher SC 2 will remove 99.99 per cent of common household bacteria entirely. Our favourite feature is the fact that it comes with a descaling tank, which is particularly useful for city-based households who struggle with hard water. This means that you can enjoy streak-free cleaning without having to distil your tap water first. It has two different steam settings, an ergonomic handle and an easily refillable water tank.

Buy now£99.99, Karcher

Bissell Vac & Steam All in One 1977E Steam Mop


Best for: satisfying dirt removal

  • Tank capacity: 930ml
  • Heat-up time: 15 seconds
  • Cord length: 5 metres
  • Accessories: nine-piece multipurpose tool and accessory kit

Stained hard floors are no match for the Bissell Vac & Steam, which has a whopping 930ml tank capacity and 5 metre power cord for easy, continual cleaning over large areas. Our favourite part of this brilliant mop is the innovative Dry-Tank technology which separates dust and muck from wet cleaning, which not only makes the tank easy to empty but prevents the need for rigorous hoovering before embarking on a steam clean.

What’s more, the easy-release mop pad tray means that you won’t have to get your hands dirty. The microfibre pad clicks off and can be thrown straight into the washing machine so it’s ready to use again.

Buy now£149, AO