There’s at least a lot of ways to clean your floor, but why limit yourself to the most painful and time-consuming methods? Ditch the old-fashioned mop and scrub brush for a powerful, hassle-free steam mop.
If you laid out your entire life on a sheet of paper, you’d probably be impressed by the number of mops that you’ve gone through. There’s a good chance that you bought most of those mops because that’s what was at the local supermarket, only to find that they just didn’t cut through the grease and grime at home like you thought they would. If that sounds family, it’s time to consider buying a steam mop. Not only are they more convenient than a regular mop, they’re also better at cleaning your floors.
Steam mops look like a cross between a Swiffer and a vacuum. They work by pressing steam through a cleaning pad, which quickly lifts dirt and grime off of your floor. And that’s all there is to it. I wish that there was a more exciting explanation for how they work, but sometimes it’s best to keep things simple. Just keep in mind that steam can damage unfinished floors.
One of my favorite things about steam mops is that they only use water, no chemicals or vinegar. You don’t have to worry about a powerful chemical smell assaulting your eyes and lungs every time that you decide to mop. If you happen to like the smell of pine sol and bleach you can spritz a little on the floor (just don’t put it in the tank, because the results range from “it’ll break” to “it’s dangerous”). If you want a “clean” smell when you mop (and hey, who doesn’t like a good huff of lemon-scented cleaner now and then), you could put a drop of lemon oil or the like on the floor or in a cheap aromatherapy diffuser.
With the explanation and minor caveats out of the way, let’s look at our top picks for sparkling floors.
Bissell Symphony Vac-and-Steam ($180)
There’s no point in mopping your floor if you’re not willing to sweep it first. You’d just be pushing dirt around. Thankfully, someone had the bright idea to make a hard floor vacuum cleaner that doubles as a steam mop. The Bissell Symphony can simultaneously steam and vacuum your hard floors, which cuts your cleaning time in half and eliminates your need for a dusty old broom. This makes the Bissell Symphony a great tool for both deep cleaning and day-to-day use. This steam mop comes with 4 reusable cleaning pads, which is more than enough to use it throughout the week. The Symphony would be a great option for people with a lot of kids, pets, or messy roommates.
But there are some downsides to such luxury. The Bissell Symphony is a lot bulkier than other steam mops because it doubles as a vacuum. It can’t swivel, it can’t pivot, and it can’t glide beneath your furniture. If you decide to steam and vacuum simultaneously (why wouldn’t you), then you’re probably going to be sucking up some moist dirt and debris. To avoid any gross crusty buildup inside of your vacuum, you might want to empty and rinse its reservoir after each use. Oh, and you can even steam and vacuum your carpet with the Symphony, but it won’t work nearly as well as a traditional vacuum or carpet cleaner would, so we’d suggest keeping this little wonder off the carpet.
SharkNinja Lift-Away Pro, Two-In-One Pocket Steamer ($160)
The SharkNinja Lift-Away Pro is a powerful steam mop that doubles as a pocket steamer. Like other high-end steam mops, the SharkNinja has three power settings to cut through any light spills or heavy buildup. But you can also detach the center of the SharkNinja to clean curtains, walls, grease-covered kitchen cabinets, and showers.