Best Steam Cleaner 2019 – Buyer’s Guide

Steam cleaners are pretty revolutionary when it comes to dirt-busting, and they are rapidly growing in popularity.

They use water to create steam, which is powerful enough to do all of your cleaning tasks, without the need for harsh chemicals. Some can use detergents, which leaves a nice smell behind too. But the lack of chemicals means a safer environment for you and any children or pets, and also means it is cheaper to clean everything.

We have categorised the steam cleaners in four ways – steam mops, cylinder steam cleaners, the best handheld steam cleaners and the best hard floor cleaners. This makes it much easier for you to find what you are looking for, in terms of your precise needs.

Check out our buying guide below for the differences, and then read our impartial reviews of the best steam cleaners currently available.

The Best Steam Cleaners – Our Top Picks

IMAGE PRODUCT DETAILS
Kärcher SC4 EasyFix Steam Cleaner
  • Tank capacity: 0.8-litre
  • Heat up time: 4 minutes
  • Runtime: 10 Minutes
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Black + Decker FSMH1351SM-GB Steam Mop
  • Tank capacity: 0.5L
  • Heat up time: 25 seconds
  • Runtime: 20 minutes
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Bissell CrossWave 3-in-1 Multi-Surface Cleaner
  • Tank capacity: 0.8 litres
  • Heat up time: 30 seconds
  • Runtime: N/A
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Best Steam Mop

Black + Decker FSMH1351SM-GB Steam Mop

GOOD FOR: Handheld tasks, hard floors, fabrics

Black and Decker are incredibly well respected when it comes to cleaning and power tools, and this steam mop is no different.

The 1300W of power and 0.5L tank will give you around 20 minutes of use before it needs refilling, which should comfortably clean one room’s flooring. The tank is fully removable, making it easy to take to the tap with no struggles.

Autoselect™ Technology will automatically adapt the amount of steam required for each floor surface, and you get a special fabric cover head which is perfect for windows and glass. There is also a squeegee included to get them dry, and Black and Decker also say you can steam fabrics such as clothing or curtains for a freshen up. This makes it an ideal multi-surface item.

The tank detaches from the main body of the cleaner so it is a bit more adaptable and able to reach higher surfaces or steam your hob and shower area with the included brush fittings. Anti-calc technology should help if you want to use tap water, but we would still say it is a good idea to use it post-filtered.

Specifications

  • Tank capacity: 0.5L
  • Heat up time: 25 seconds
  • Runtime: 20 minutes

We like

  • Great attachments included
  • Nice run time
  • 6m long cord

We dislike

  • Nothing!

Final Verdict

With nothing negative to say, this is by far one of the best steam mops around at the moment. Easy to move around, a great selection of attachments and a fab price tag under £100 makes it a bit of a steal

Bissell 2234E Steam Mop with Detachable Handheld

GOOD FOR: Handheld tasks, hard floors

Bissell have a whole host of fabulous steam mops to choose from, but we have selected this one as their best. It is a similar shape to a cordless vacuum, so there is no bulkiness or struggling to move it around the floor.

You can take the top section off to transform it into a handheld model, perfect for around the shower and grouting. Or keep it all together for the hard floors in your home. It comes with soft, hard and scent pads, and a three piece brush set for when you want to use the handheld on the hob/tiles/benches. One tank of water will see it clean for 15 minutes, giving you plenty of scope to get the job done thoroughly.

When you’re done, it can be stored on the wall mount. This means it is not only always within reach, but it won’t take up room under the stairs nor get damaged.

Specifications

  • Tank capacity: 0.3L
  • Heat up time: 30 seconds
  • Runtime: 15 minutes

We like

  • Good size
  • Wall mounted in between use
  • Good run time

Final Verdict

A fabulous piece of kit, and well worth the price to say you get both a handheld and floor cleaner all in one, which both work excellently

Morphy Richards 720022 12-in-1 Steam Cleaner

GOOD FOR: Carpets, hard floors, handheld tasks

An update of the 9-in-1 720020 model which made our list, the 720022 ups the game and gives you a huge 12 functions within one little device.

There are both upright and handheld modes depending on the task at hand. Upright gives you the option to choose between hard floor or carpet glider functions to give it a freshen up, and handheld will allow you to tackle the kitchen benches, shower tiles, grimy oven and BBQ or even give your garments or curtains a little hygiene boost.

The 400ml water tank isn’t huge but should allow you to tackle those more minor jobs with plenty left over, and it also makes it nice and easy to slot under the tap for a refill, although it is always recommended you use filtered water.

It is compact, ready in quick time and the head is a great size which will cover more as it goes, saving you time to do something which is a bit more enjoyable. Having said that, it is certainly one of the most enjoyable steam mops to use, and if you’re still on the mop and bucket method, then the price and change will be huge.

Specifications

  • Tank capacity: 0.4L
  • Heat up time: 30 seconds
  • Runtime: 14 minutes

+ Downloads

Morphy Richards 720022 12-in-1 Steam Cleaner User Manual

Download

We like

  • Range of adaptations
  • Gives a good wash to hard floors
  • Lightweight to manoeuvre

We dislike

  • Have to hold down button for steam so your thumb can ache during the bigger jobs

Final Verdict

A great steam mop without breaking the bank, and the fact it can tackle all areas of the home is a big plus.

Shark S6003UK Smartronic Deluxe Klik N’ Flip Steam Mop

GOOD FOR: All types of hard and sealed floors including hardwood, marble, tile and stone

Able to tackle the most stubborn mess and stains, this steam cleaner from Shark is incredibly efficient at its job.

The Klik n’ Flip name comes from the ease of turning over the Dirt Grip cleaning pad. Designed to be touch-free, all you need to do is flip it over to get even more out of it in one go. Once you are done, the pad can be removed and washed in the washing machine which helps you cut down on waste and the cost of buying a new one with each clean.

For any hard to remove stains, just give it a quick blast with the concentrated, superheated steam nozzle. The head can be flipped back into place to wipe afterwards. There are three steam settings for use across all types of hard floor, whether it be wood or tile.
Up to 99.9% of all bacteria is removed, which is fabulous for any allergy sufferers or homes with little ones around.

Specifications

  • Tank capacity: 0.38 litres
  • Heat up time: 30 seconds
  • Runtime: 11 minutes

We like

  • Pads absorb water well for quick drying time
  • Jet steam is powerful

We dislike

  • No on/off switch, has to be done from the mains

Final Verdict

A very efficient steam mop which can be used across all hard floors, making it great value for money

Shark S3255UK Lite

GOOD FOR: Sealed hard floors

The benefits of thorough cleaning with no chemicals required. 99.9% of bacteria can be removed from hard flooring with this fab cleaner.

A height adjustable handle and swivel head makes it easier to manoeuvre. Plus, you can adjust to make it all a comfortable experience and reach right into the corners and edge of your home. If there’s any particularly ground-in stains, the steam blaster mode can remove them with no extra effort from you.

The heat pads which are included are really effective in picking up all the dirt and locking it in, so you won’t just be spreading it about your floor. They are machine washable, so there are no extra costs involved when concerning replacement pads and detergents.

To release the steam, you must pump the handle which can prove difficult until you get used to it. This could have be made easier if there was a button to press instead.

Specifications

  • Cord length: 6m
  • Steam flow rate: 18mg/s Overheat safety protection
  • Water capacity: 0.25L

+ Downloads

Shark S3255UK Lite User Manual

Download

We like

  • Doesn’t leak water
  • Lightweight and easy to control
  • Easy to set up

We dislike

  • Difficult method for releasing steam
  • Doesn’t sit up unless leaned against something

Final Verdict

Not the most simple to use, but a powerful steam mop from a well-loved brand

Vileda Steam Mop 146575

GOOD FOR: Sealed hard floor types such as tiles, vinyl, wood and laminate

With a dedicated carpet glider for refreshing your living areas, this Vileda model is perfect for all of the floor steaming requirements around your home.

It can heat up in only 15 seconds, ready to kill 99.9% of bacteria with no need for chemicals and detergents. Easy to lift and manoeuvre, it can be taken all around the home, with no need to worry about stairs or obstacles.

It is suitable for use on hard sealed floors, as well as on both laminate and wood flooring, so you don’t have to worry about the surface of your room. The variable steam strength options will tackle a range of stains, no matter how tough.

If you are looking to make the switch to a steam mop from an ordinary mop and bucket, this is an affordable option with great cleaning power for the price. You won’t regret the change.

Specifications

  • Weight: 2.5kg
  • Water tank: 400ml
  • Cable: 6m

+ Downloads

Vileda Steam Mop User Manual 146575

Download

We like

  • Carpet glider fitting
  • Long handle and slimline design for easy control
  • Stands up vertically by itself

We dislike

  • Carpet fitting can come off easily

Final Verdict

A great product for those entering the steam mop world, or those who need a new one with loads of benefits

Russell Hobbs RHSM1001

GOOD FOR: Laminate, refreshing carpet

Effective and affordable, this Russell Hobbs offering is incredibly efficient at coping with those quick scoots over the flooring to remove any spills or disinfect the area. There is an 8-metre power cord, which is a lot more generous than a lot of the others on the market and great if you have large areas to cover. It is lightweight, and the 360-degree swivel head will help you tackle all of those corners and edges.

Great for pet owners and households with any young children, the steam will kill up to 99.9% of bacteria. It will soon become one of your most-used appliances in the bathroom, kitchen and entrance hallway.

It is a simple set-up, and even though there is no boost button, for a constant supply of steam which won’t soak your floor it is a steal.

Specifications

  • Tank capacity: 0.3 litres
  • Heat up time: 15 seconds
  • Runtime: 15 minutes

+ Downloads

Russell Hobbs RHSM1001 Steam and Clean Steam Mop User Manual

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We like

  • Price
  • Slimline

We dislike

  • Leaves some streaks

Final Verdict

Cheap and cheerful, but without sacrificing quality and good work

H2O HD Steam Cleaner

GOOD FOR: Sealed hard wood, Laminate, Ceramic tiles, Slate, Marble, Granite, Vinyl, Carpet

Versatile, with the ability to clean hard floors, carpets, windows, glass and your oven or cooker, this H2O steam cleaner is ideal for those hectic homes.

It converts from upright to handheld with the flip of a switch so that you can cover the house with no hassle. It heats up in just seconds, and the 360° head makes manoeuvering it all a bit easier. When combined with the easy digital steam control, so your needs are catered for.

When storing, the foldable handle makes it more compact. It is also lightweight, so easy to carry and move from room to room in ready for the big Spring clean. A long 6m power cable will help you cover the full room without any limitations or extension cable needs.

Bacteria and viruses are eliminated with the powerful 1500W steam jet power, creating a cleaner and more hygienic atmosphere. This is all without the need for detergents and chemicals, which not only helps your home but also your bank balance.

The hard floor types are marble, ceramic, carpet, stone, linoleum, sealed hardwood and parquet floors, which should cover you. Using filtered water is best to reduce limescale, although it is suitable to use tap water. You can see how much is remaining in the tank which is handy so you aren’t disturbed and have to stop halfway through.

Specifications

  • Dimensions: 125 x 32 x 28 cm
  • Capacity: 450ml

We like

  • Quick heat up
  • Large mop head

We dislike

  • Water container is a bit fiddly to fill
  • Leaves a bit of water behind on floor

Final Verdict

Multi use and easy to adapt, this makes this a great product by a rising name in the steam mop world

Vax Steam Fresh Power Plus Steam Cleaner

GOOD FOR: Hard floors, carpets, handheld

If you’re looking for a steam mop for under £100, then you have come to the right place. Falling just under this price tag is this Vax model, which is perfect for a full home clean.

It uses detergent as well as steam to help break down tough grease and grime, so it is one of the best steam cleaners for tougher cleaning. Variable steam and power modes are all within reach so you can cater it to your exact needs, and a steam boost will help budge the harder areas.

There is a quick transition to handheld ability, for when you need to clean the oven or round the bathtub. The soft scrub brush is great for agitating dried on grease and grime, and there is also a precision tool for more targeted results.

A carpet glider attachment helps tackle soft flat furnishings, giving these a freshen up too. It glides easily on hard surfaces, as well.

Specifications

  • Tank capacity: 0.3L Water, 0.165L Detergent
  • Heat up time: 20 seconds
  • Runtime: 20 minutes

We like

  • Quick heating and long running times
  • Nice long lead
  • Quick drying

We dislike

  • Don’t get many essential attachments with the purchase

Final Verdict

A great price to say it is sturdy and effective, without being too extreme or completely useless

Kärcher SC1

GOOD FOR: Hard floors, handheld

The Kärcher SC1 is a 2-in-1 steam cleaner that is versatile and can kill up to 99.9% of all common household bacteria. It isn’t only lightweight but also great value for money, whether being used as a simple steam mop or a smaller handheld steam device.

A handy feature of this steam cleaner is that the water tank is pretty small, so it is easy to fill it up under the sink. The other side to this is that the tank needs to be filled up often, which can be a drawback. It can also take a little while to heat up, taking around 3 minutes.

There is 3 bar pressure though, so it will tackle some of the toughest dirt in your home. It includes a floor tool, hand tool, floor cloth, hand cloth, detail nozzle, round brush, power nozzle and accessory storage bag with the purchase, so you’re ready to get started straight away. It may seem a bit pricier than some alternatives, but for the flexibility and name, we’d say it is the price to pay.

Specifications

  • Tank capacity: 0.2 litres
  • Heating up time: 3 minutes
  • Runtime: 7 minutes

+ Downloads

Kärcher SC1 user manual

Download

We like

  • Three different steam modes
  • Comes with safety valve
  • Versatile
  • Simple and practical
  • Ultra lightweight

We dislike

  • Small water tank so needs frequent refilling
  • Takes a while to heat up

Final Verdict

A great product from a reliable household name. A solid purchase and a great addition to your household cleaning arsenal if you don't mind the few extra seconds taken to heat up.

Vax Steam Fresh Combi S86-SF-C

GOOD FOR: Hard floors, carpets, handheld

The Vax Steam Fresh Combi is a great 2-in-1 steam mop that is lightweight and manoeuvrable. The Vax works with detergent so can cut through tough grime and grease easily, especially on carpets.

The Vax Steam Fresh Combi comes with lots of handy attachments to help clear stubborn stains and is very effective when used as a handheld. It has two separate tanks, one for detergent and the other for water. These are very easy to remove and refill, giving you more time to focus on cleaning.

This steam mop is multifunctional and can be used on so much more than just carpets. It’s suitable for sealed hardwood flooring, tiles, grout, showers, windows and lots more.

Specifications

  • Tank capacity: 0.5 litres
  • Heat-up time: 20 seconds
  • Runtime: 12 minutes

+ Downloads

Vax Steam Fresh Combi S86-SF-C user manual

Download

We like

  • Can be used as a handheld
  • Comes with lots of attachments
  • Very effective on stains and stubborn dirt

We dislike

  • Can’t change the steam settings
  • Handheld can be a little heavy
  • Small water tank, so has to be refilled often

Final Verdict

A powerful cleaning tool, but you’ll have to refill frequently

Best Cylinder Steam Cleaner

Kärcher SC4 EasyFix Steam Cleaner

Don’t let the compact yet slightly-different-than-the-others look fool you; this is one of the most capable steam mops on the market, as you would expect of Karcher.

All you need is water, which is perfect if you want to avoid harsh chemicals. The jets are powerful, and removed grime which has been there for years when we tested it. Your floors and tiles can get to a stage where they look perfectly clean, despite not being, after a few years. A couple of uses of the SC4, and they will be back to new again.

The hard floor cleaning kit and on-board storage (to hold all the attachments and brushes you need) are the finishing touches to this fantastic steam cleaner. Accessories included are a hand nozzle, detail nozzle and round brush and a microfibre cover for the hand nozzle. This will all help you clean around doors, appliances and bathroom pieces.

Specifications

  • Tank capacity: 0.8-litre
  • Heat up time: 4 minutes
  • Runtime: 10 Minutes

We like

  • Child lock on the steam gun
  • Parking position - tank won’t move when you do
  • Plenty of accessories to help you out

We dislike

  • Longer than usual heating time

Final Verdict

A solid build which is not at all flimsy will ensure it is a product with you for years

Polti Vaporetto Go Steam Cleaner

The Polti Vaporetto Handy 25 Cleaner has a host of 5* reviews, and for several reasons. It is affordable for a cylinder steam cleaner, coming in nicely under £100. It also comes with a host of accessories and the British Allergy Foundation seal of approval.

Coming with an anti-slacked safety cap and convenient carry handle, there is also a shoulder belt which allows easy transport during cleaning operations. So despite cylinder steam cleaners traditionally being a bit bulky and requiring dragging around, this one is a little different and perfect for anyone who will be tackling the entire house in one go.

Accessories are conveniently stored in an onboard compartment, and you get a floor brush, extension hose, lance, window-washer, curved nozzle, spatula, nylon brush, brass brush, grout cleaner and cloth, as well as a filling jug. Polti certainly hasn’t sold us short.

Optional accessories include a Professional Steam Generator Iron, Wallpaper Stripper, Pressure Lance and Steam Disinfector accessory for sanitising surfaces and fabrics and reducing the bacterial, fungal and viral load.

As you’d imagine, it is lightweight. This also makes it brilliant for getting those hard to reach places, such as on top of cupboards or ceilings if they need more than just a dust. It isn’t the most robust because of this though – it is largely plastic, and there are little niggles such as the handle not being the most ergonomic and the clips which hold the pads on to the mop not being very secure. But in all, the versatility and ease of movement make it a gem to use. It is certainly notably better than the Go Steam, which was their previous model.

Specifications

  • Tank capacity: 1.1L
  • Heat up time: 6 min
  • Runtime: Up to 50 minutes

We like

  • Lightweight
  • Great choice of fittings and extra available
  • Choice of heat settings via dial

We dislike

  • Very plasticky so not overly substantial

Final Verdict

Not quite as starry as the Karcher, but for the money saving and extra usability options, you may want to give it a go

Best Handheld Steam Cleaner

Hoover SSNH1000 Steam Express

Compact and portable, the Hoover SSNH1000 is fab for anyone who wants something which can tackle tough grime in a concentrated manner.

It uses just water to get the job done, whether it be getting rid of grease on the hob and oven, mould from the bathroom taps and shower, or cleaning the grout on your tiling.

Tools include a shovel plate, angled nozzle, metal round brush and comb brush, so you have an attachment for every need and occasion. An extension hose also means it can reach higher areas, such as your cooker hood or on top of kitchen cupboards without you having to risk ladder work.

It takes quite a while to cool down, and as it has a relatively small water tank, this could mean a long wait to get it refilled and ready to go again (you have to wait until it is cool and pressure is reduced until you can open the cap). For this reason, it isn’t good for anyone who takes on large volumes of jobs. It also wasn’t the most effective at budging tougher dirt. But for something under £40, which will help you with regular steam cleaning, it is easy to use, and the attachments are effective.

Specifications

  • Tank capacity: 0.4L
  • Heat up time: 30 seconds
  • Runtime: 12 minutes

We like

  • Good attachments
  • Comfortable to hold

We dislike

  • Better for lighter cleaning

Final Verdict

Not the absolute best handheld steam cleaner, but cheaper than alternatives and great as long as it doesn’t have to put up with too much

Vytronix HSG1000

This little handheld steam cleaner has everything you could possibly want from an item of its type. It is perfectly mobile as it is lightweight and easy to manoeuvre, and there are plenty of accessories to help you tackle your whole home.

Despite the small size, it has a relatively generous 350ml water container, so you’ll be able to get a lot of work done before needing to pause and refill. You should get between 10 and 20 minutes of use with each go.

The 12 piece accessory kit is both easy to use and gives you a great range of applications. From a window cleaner to a concentrated nozzle, and a garment/upholstery tool to small nylon brush when something needs more scrubbing power, you can get your windows and oven sparking or your sofa refreshed.

The button for the steam does require a little bit of pressure, but other than this, it is an ideal solution for anyone who needs a bit of help with the cleaning work, such as those who suffer from dexterity issues or who don’t want to be scrubbing away for ages.

Specifications

  • Power: 100W
  • Dimensions: 30 x 15 x 21 cm
  • Capacity: 350ml

We like

  • Lightweight
  • Plenty of accessories

We dislike

  • Can be time consuming - on harder tasks, the water may only last for a few minutes

Final Verdict

Best for those short bursts of cleaning as opposed to huge tasks, but it is a nice price and simple to set up

Beldray BEL0701TQN 10-in-1 Handheld

With a nice selection of attachments to help you clean garments, the bathroom and even the car, the Beldray 10-in-1 is one of the most popular steam cleaners on the market.

The power cord is 4 metres long, which is generous and saves you having to unplug and move around too much. You get a measuring jug, funnel, flexible extension hose, three plastic round brushes, mini mop head and an angled nozzle with the purchase, which means your entire home can be tackled. We especially liked the mini mop head, which is great for cleaning the benches in your kitchen or targeting small sections of your hard flooring.

It gives you 10 minutes of continuous steam, which isn’t the longest time of all of those reviewed so is maybe best for anyone who just needs a short blast from time to time (say you clean the bathroom a few times per week so it is all kept on top of). You also need a bit of elbow grease to lift harder dirt.

But it is under £30, and one of the most versatile hand steamers on the market without you having to buy every attachment separately. Plus it is available in blue and orange, for an added touch.

Specifications

  • Tank capacity: 0.25L
  • Heat up time: 1 minute
  • Runtime: 10 minutes

We like

  • Range of included fittings is different from many other handhelds on market
  • Iron attachment for clothes

We dislike

  • Can be a little cumbersome depending on where you are cleaning
  • Smallest tank of those reviewed

Final Verdict

Very small tank, but good options for attachments and easy to hold

Bissell Steam Shot 2635e

By far one of the most popular handheld steam cleaners out there at the moment, if not of all time.

The Bissell Steam Shots are compact handheld steamers, perfect for using around the home. This newest model comes with 9 attachments enabling you to clean anything, anywhere, including a window squeegee. It’s easy to use and lightweight, but it can be tricky to use for any extended amount of time thanks to the position of the trigger, which can hurt your thumb after a while.

With a steam time of around eight minutes, the Bissell Steam Shot is powerful and definitely worthwhile. It’s lightweight and easy to use, making it one of the best handheld steam devices around.

Specifications

  • Tank capacity: 0.36 litres
  • Runtime: 8 minutes
  • Power: 1050W

+ Downloads

Bissell Steam Shot user manual

Download

We like

  • Effective for household cleaning
  • Convenient
  • Attachments are easy to use
  • Lightweight

We dislike

  • Awkwardly placed trigger button
  • Only suitable for light-medium duty tasks

Final Verdict

It’s not quite a steam mop but you can tackle most of the house with the Steam Shot, meaning you don’t need to resort to bleach or chemicals.

Best Hard Floor Steam Cleaner

Bissell CrossWave 3-in-1 Multi-Surface Cleaner

You love using your steam mop, but it just pushes around a lot of the crumbs which your vacuum neglected, and then leaves the floor so wet that you can’t walk on it for ages.

This 3-in-1 solves all of your cleaning conundrums. It will wash, vacuum and dry all of your hard floors, from sealed wood to tiles and laminate. As a bonus, you can also scoot it over your low-pile carpets or rugs, too – just press the appropriate button.
There is a little storage tray which you can keep the machine in, which also acts as a cleaning device. Simply fill with water and turn the machine on and the water will be absorbed with the spinning brush. You can also store and spare heads in the dedicated holder.

A separate dirty water tank will ensure that you only clean with fresh water and detergent. Whether you have a pack of hounds or a particular messy family, this device can clean throughout your home and remove dirt you didn’t even know was there.

Specifications

  • Tank capacity: 0.8 litres
  • Heat up time: 30 seconds
  • Runtime: N/A

+ Downloads

Bissell Crosswave User Manual

Download

We like

  • All in one cleaning power
  • Can go across different floor types
  • Large capacity

We dislike

  • Is on the noisier side

Final Verdict

It is a little bit pricey, but for the control, capacity and power, you won't be wasting your money

Kärcher FC5 Hard Floor Cleaner

Sometimes, getting a hard floor clean means sweeping or vacuuming it all before getting out the mop and bucket, or steam cleaner if you are lucky. This Kärcher model vacuums and steams in one, using SmartRoller technology. No need for exerting yourself any more than the minimum required.

It will also remove any excess water, ensuring your floors are dry after just a few minutes so everything can get back to normal. It seems to push itself along without much need for pushing it, so if you have a large area to cover it shouldn’t be problematic.

The only problem with there being a ‘vacuum’ aspect too is that it can get a bit clogged up, just like an ordinary vacuum. An ordinary steam mop would just push this to be collected at another date. As long as you clean the space thoroughly before you use it, this should not cause any huge problems.

Specifications

  • Tank capacity: 0.4 litres
  • Heat up time: N/A
  • Runtime: N/A

We like

  • Rollers are machine washable
  • Fresh water tank can be filled under tap

We dislike

  • Could clog up if not maintained

Final Verdict

Brilliant for using across all hard floors, there will be no marks or crumbs left behind at all. Great if you vacuum and it is as bad as ever two minutes later.

Steam Cleaner Buying Guide

Types Of Steam Cleaner

  • Steam Mops

The traditional type of floor steam cleaner, catered towards cleaning different forms of hard flooring. They are usually similar in looks to a cordless vacuum, and nice and easy to move around. There are also a couple of sub-categories within this type – some are suitable for carpets and soft furnishings such as rugs too, thanks to different heads being available, and some are multifunctional so you can remove part of the mop to create a handheld steam cleaner. We have mentioned what each model excels at. The majority are quick at starting up, but may not hold much water

  • Cylinder

The traditional steam cleaner. They usually go one further than the steam mops and give you more possibilities such as soft furnishing, upholstery, window and car attachments, as well as the ordinary floor pads. They look like a cylinder vacuum, with a separate tank which you pull behind you holding the water as opposed to a small reservoir at the bottom of the stick. They usually take a few minutes longer than steam mops to heat up but do have a much larger tank for those longer jobs

  • Handheld

If you just want a small steam device which can clean your oven, shower and grouting without the actual mop part (maybe you still like a traditional mop and bucket or don’t have hard flooring), then a handheld is the answer. They can be more powerful than the multifunctional steam mops, so good if you need something for a tougher job. Some also come with attachments such as window cleaners or brushes

  • Hard Floor Cleaners

A bit of a cross between a steam cleaner and a wet and dry vacuum. They use a combination of water and steam to clean your laminate/tile/wood flooring, but can then vacuum this water up to leave your floors dry and safe to walk on straight away. This also means it can collect debris, so you don’t always have to vacuum or sweep the floors beforehand. If you want a product specially designed for floors, need more than a steam mop, and want to limit how much you use your upright vacuum, then they could be a good answer. Many are also suitable for industrial cleaning

Self Standing

If you are buying a steam mop, to make life a little easier, it may be worthwhile getting one which can stand upright by itself. This means you won’t have to prop it against your worktops when you have a break. A surprising amount of steam cleaners lack this fundamental feature, so make sure you double check

Water Tank Capacity

The bigger the water tank, the longer you can steam for. But that can come at a price. Bigger water tanks also mean more weight, longer heating times and less portability, so it’s definitely something to take into consideration.

If you do want a large tank, then buying a cylinder steam cleaner may be the best option

Accessories

Deciding what accessories you will need for your steam cleaner all depends on the kind of cleansing you want to accomplish around your home. This could limit the models available to you.

To clean carpets you will need a carpet glider, and to clean grout you will need a grout brush and an extension nozzle. If you are looking for maximum versatility, it is probably worth getting a steam cleaner with a selection of accessories to try out. Remember, you can always buy extra accessories in the future.

So what accessories do steam cleaners usually have available?

  • Squeegee – to clean glass
  • Scrubbing brushes – to remove dirt and grime from the grout and in between tiles. Some may also be suitable for hobs or ovens
  • Carpet glider – to refresh carpets
  • Cleaning pads – to clean surfaces such as hard floors. Most will come with one as standard but always check if replacements are available, or if they are machine washable
  • Upholstery tool – to treat stains and refresh fabric easily
  • Scrubbing pad – to remove grease and buildup from ovens. They offer more concentrated cleaning than a brush

Steam Heat Up Time

Heat-up-time can differ depending on the model and make of your steam cleaner. It can take anywhere between 20 seconds to 3 minutes before you are ready to start steam cleaning, depending on the size of the tank and power levels. Though this may not make a huge difference to some people, it’s still something to think about

Run Time

This is the length of time your steam cleaner can run for before needing to be filled up with water. Again this depends on the type of mop you have, as well as how much cleaning you are getting done, so it is important to consider this before you buy

FAQ’s

What Are The Benefits Of Steam Mops And Steam Cleaners?

  • The steam can kill up to 99.9% of bacteria and cut through dust mites, foul odours and general dirt build-up easily, leaving your home spotless and smelling fresh with minimal effort
  • Versatility – steam cleaners are great for cleaning so many different surfaces. This could be cleaning carpets, ceramic, grout, sealed hardwood flooring, lino, marble, bedding and upholstery
  • They only use water (and maybe a little bit of detergent), so are cheaper and safer to run in the long run. It cuts the cost of detergents, bleach and sprays for cleaning, which are usually amongst the most expensive items on your weekly shopping list
  • Maintenance is minimal. The running costs of using a steam mop are low, depending on the type of mop you have. Many steam mops come with reusable mop heads that can be popped in the washing machine
  • Cut out drying time – gone are the days of waiting on soggy floors to dry after mopping. With a steam mop, there is minimal residue left on the floor, meaning you can get on with the more important things much quicker
  • By using just water to cleanse your home, steam cleaners are eco-friendly and efficient, making it easier and more enjoyable if you are concerned about the planet

How Does A Steam Cleaner Work?

Water is heated in the tank and turns into steam at a certain temperature. This steam is then released from the mop head or attachment when the dedicated trigger is pressed, sterilising floors and other surfaces and lifting tough stains which would otherwise be difficult to remove. This means that, for most people, they aren’t hard to use and can in fact be much easier than a traditional mop and bucket or cleaning with a cloth/brush

Can They Be Used On All Kinds Of Surfaces?

No, some steam cleaners are better suited for certain surfaces or materials. For example, there are some steam mops which also excel at refreshing carpets, whereas another model may be very poor at this and better for hardwood floors.

We have mentioned which surfaces each model is best for. But do remember that everyone’s flooring is also different. If you are unsure, always test a small section of the surface you wish to cleanse before using.

Steam cleaners are not all the same temperature, so it is a good idea to know how hot yours will be and whether it has a variable steam level to ensure it is the best for your materials. Always follow the instructions and user manuals for your steam mop to avoid damage on certain surfaces

Will I Have To Keep Buying New Cleaning Pads Every Time I Use My Steam Mop?

This really depends on the model and make of your mop. Some come with reusable mop pads so these can easily be removed and washed in the washing machine after use. Others use disposable mop pads so you will have to buy new ones every time. Think about the long-term costs

Can I Use Detergent With Steam Cleaners?

Some steam cleaners work with detergent for heavy duty cleaning, and often have a separate tank for this so you can use it without too. But the majority of them work with just steam. Check the mop’s features before you buy as detergents can be pretty expensive, depending on the model, but if you need detergent you may be more limited in choice