Steam Mop Reviews & Ratings

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Canstar Blue’s 2019 steam mop review has seen Bissell, Kmart, Kogan and Hoover rated on value for money, effectiveness of clean, reliability, ease of use, other features and attachments, ease of storage and overall satisfaction.

See our Ratings Methodology.

Most Satisfied Customers | Bissell

Bissell has cleaned out the competition in Canstar Blue’s steam mop ratings for 2019, scoring five stars for value, effectiveness, reliability, ease of use, storage and overall satisfaction.

Bissell rated best in steam mops review

Mopping floors doesn’t really scream fun, and no matter how many times you do it, the floors tend to never stay clean for long. If you have children, pets or dirty shoes, your floors are back to their unclean state in no time, making the household mop a crucial tool for your family. But the ‘traditional’ style of mop is centuries old and using it can feel like a chore in itself. If you feel like your old mop is in need of an upgrade – or you’re looking to buy your first one – you may want to consider buying a steam mop.

But there are so many steam mop brands out there these days, with an increasing array of different features and accessories designed to make the job of cleaning your kitchen, bathroom and living room floors even easier. So, which steam mops are best at their job? To offer some guidance on the subject, Canstar Blue has surveyed hundreds of Australian consumers who have recently purchased and used a new steam mop. Their feedback is reflected by the star ratings you see above.

It’s the third year of our steam mop ratings and we’ve had three different winners every time. After wins for Kogan and Kmart in 2017 and 2018 respectively, our 2019 award belongs to Bissell. After success for a couple of budget brands, perhaps the market is starting to mature and Australians are seeing the value in paying a little extra for quality? Make up your own mind with our review and buying guide.

Best-Rated Steam Mops

steam mop cleaning floor

Canstar Blue’s 2019 review of steam mops saw four brands compared and rated in the following order for overall customer satisfaction:

  • 1st Bissell
  • 2nd Kmart
  • 3rd Kogan
  • 4th Hoover

Bissell earned top marks for effectiveness, reliability, ease of use, ease of storage and value for money, in addition to overall satisfaction. Kmart and Kogan had to settle for four stars overall this year, while Hoover scored three stars. Alongside this year’s winner, Kmart also got five stars with regards to value for money, but no brand was able to totally convince consumers when it comes to other features and attachments.

To help you decide which brand will be best for your cleaning needs – and budget – here is an overview of the four brands that featured in our 2019 comparison plus some that didn’t, followed by some tips on buying the best steam mop for your home.

Steam Mops Compared

Bissell

Bissell_Steam_Mop_Upright

Bissell is a home cleaning specialist, with carpet cleaners, vacuum cleaners and steam cleaners on offer. Its range of steam mops is reasonably concise but features a large range of extensions and accessories to purchase. The standout model seems to be the ‘PowerFresh’, which is claimed to kill 99.9% of germs using only water. It comes with a washable pad for repeat use with an easy to fill water tank. It features a low-profile triangle swivel head to help clean hard-to-reach areas such as corners and crevices. The PowerFresh has a retail price of $349, but there are Bissell models that can be found for cheaper.

  • Bissell steam mops have swept the nation with five-star reviews for overall satisfaction, as well as all other categories except for other features and attachments where it received four stars.

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Kmart

kmart_steam_mop_new

While a go-to for all your homewares and knick-knacks, Kmart may not offer the range that some of its competitors do, but if you’re not looking for a model with all the bells and whistles, Kmart’s single steam mop may be the one for you. Available for $49, Kmart’s steam mop comes with a 45ml water tank, and provides approximately 25 to 30 minutes of steam time. In addition, it features a 180° swivel head to help clean tight spaces and under furniture. Replacement pads are also available for purchase. In the box, it includes a measuring cup, carpet glider, and a microfiber cloth pad.

  • Previous winner Kmart was still a solid performer in our steam mops review for 2019, with four stars for overall satisfaction and most other categories, but five stars on value for money.

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Kogan

Kogan Steam Mop

Kogan has a fairly extensive range of steam mops, with six options currently on offer, ranging in price from around $40 to $200. The difference in price basically refers to how many extra attachments you receive in the package. The 13-in-1 model costs just under $200, for example, and has a wide array of accessories to make short work of hard floors, carpets, ovens, barbecues, windows & mirrors, tiles & grout, and much more. Kogan’s range of steam mops – which also includes 5-in-1, 10-in-1 and 15-in-1 options – makes it easy to pick out a model that’s right for your home.

  • Kogan received four stars for overall satisfaction and all other rated variables, including value for money and effectiveness of clean.

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Hoover

hoover steam mop

Hoover is an iconic American brand that gave rise to brand names being used as normal words. Ever heard the term ‘Just get the hoover’ referring to any old vacuum cleaner? Hoover may be best-known for its vacuum cleaners, but it does make a series of steam mops, with seven models available at the time of writing. Most models are focused on performance – boasting twin tanks, triangular heads for getting into those nooks and crannies, plus ultrasonic vibration in some models to jiggle out all that dirt left by dogs and humans alike. Hoover’s pricing is competitive within the market, with most steam mops costing over $200.

  • Hoover was rated three stars for overall satisfaction and most other categories, but received four stars for both effectiveness of clean and reliability.

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Other Steam Mop Brands

Aside from the four major steam mop manufacturers rated in this year’s review, there are several other brands worthy of your consideration, including:

ALDI

Aldi_steam_mop

Released sporadically in its ‘Special Buy’ range, supermarket chain ALDI has previously offered two brands of steam mops – Stirling and Lumina. There are generally tweaks with each new release, so one year’s steam mop might be different to the next. However, ALDI’s mantra remains the same – cheap appliances that consumers love. Historically, the Lumina steam mop has cost in the region of $30 and had basic functionality, with a few attachments in the kit included. For ‘bang for buck’ steam mopping, ALDI might be worth considering, but you’ll have to keep an eye out for the Special Buys catalogue.

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Black & Decker

black_and_decker_steam_mop

Black & Decker may be best-known as a power tools brand, but it also makes an array of home cleaning products, including steam mops. Black & Decker provides a comparatively large range of steam mops – some with up to 1600W of motor power. Other steam mops feature what’s called a ‘SteaMitt’, which is an attachment that makes cleaning glass and vertical surfaces much easier. But most models are basic in their functionality, with no gizmos or gimmicks, and are ready to use in 20 seconds. According to Black & Decker, the stock pad in the box is good for 100 wash cycles, for repeated deep cleaning. Its steam mops often fetch prices of about $150.

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Karcher

karcher steam mop

Karcher is a home appliance specialist, with five steam mops in its range. Resembling more of a vacuum cleaner-style than typical ‘stick’ steam mops, Karcher’s range will look right at home in your laundry. If you’re after a brand that blurs the line between professional and domestic cleaning, Karcher might be it. Its ‘SC’ series boasts easily refillable water tanks, high pressure ‘VapoHydro’ cleaning, plus ‘Comfort Plus’ floor kits. Karcher’s steam mops are some of the more expensive options on the market, with the basic ‘SC1’ model costing around $140, while the more advanced ‘SC5’ models cost closer to $900.

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Shark

shark_steam_mop

Best-known for its infomercials advertising its vacuum cleaners, home cleaning specialist Shark perhaps unsurprisingly produces just one steam mop, which features basic yet powerful functionality. The ‘Klik n’ Flip’ steam mop comes equipped with a 28ml water tank and an 8m cord, and offers up to 15 minutes of steam time. It’s stated to be suitable for most surfaces, including wood and hard floors. This steam mop has a price tag of around $100, but it does pay to shop around considering the brand is not TV-exclusive anymore.

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Vax

Vax Steam Mop

Vax is a vacuum cleaner specialist, but also produces a range of steam mops, so you can vacuum up the loose debris then hit the floor with your steam mop afterwards. There is a large range on offer, including one mop specialising in cleaning up hard-to-get pet hair. Most models are stick steam mops, and come with accessory kits to help clean windows, countertops and other surfaces. The ‘Classic’ is stated to take 30 seconds to heat up and has 1300W of power. Most of Vax’s steam mops are around the $200 mark, making it a competitively priced option within the market.

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What to consider when buying a steam mop

Woman washes the floor with a steam mop

Even though steam mops are increasing in popularity – and it’s evident that the big-name brands don’t necessarily produce the most satisfied customers – many people are probably still using their humble old mop and bucket. These people may benefit from a steam mop, so if you’ve been left in the dark in regards to steam mops, you might like to read on. Our survey found that 43% of Aussies said their steam mop has made their cleaning chores easier, while 29% wished they had purchased a steam mop sooner.

If you’re considering buying one or upgrading, here are the key drivers of customer satisfaction that our 2019 research identified, which you might like to keep in mind:

  • Value for Money: 29%
  • Effectiveness of clean: 20%
  • Reliability: 19%
  • Ease of use: 18%
  • Other features and attachments: 11%
  • Ease of storage: 3%

Here are some of the other key findings from our survey:

What is a steam mop?

A steam mop is a form of mop that (as the name suggests) uses steam to clean floors and carpets, unlike regular mops which use a combination of cleaning agents like bleach and detergent. The steam mop was first developed in South Korea back in 1998 and was made available to the public in 2004.

They work by heating up water inside an internal reservoir to temperatures as high as 120°C, which in turn creates steam. This steam is then pumped out of the cleaning head, which loosens grime much more effectively than regular mops. Manufacturers also claim that the steam created by these steam mops kills bacteria much better than standard mops.

  • They key difference between a standard mop and a steam mop is that a standard mop requires you to have a bucket of hot water nearby while mopping, which you have to constantly go back to in order to ring out any excess water your mop has collected.
  • The primary reason for their development was that customers could save themselves time and effort.

Steam mops come with an in-built water tank which heats the water to the necessary temperature at the press of a button. They are very effective at doing this, as the benchmark for heating time among steam mops on the market is just 15 seconds! So, as well as saving you the physical effort of scrubbing vigorously, they also save you time and water.

Cost vs Convenience: How much do steam mops cost?

washing floors with steam mop

Our research indicates that Australians spend an average of $136 on new steam mops. With some steam mops costing as little as $30, there is quite a large spread between the cheapest and dearest. A common misconception about steam mops is that they’re much more expensive than regular old mops. While this might be true in some cases – since prices vary according to model and brand – the difference in price between the two is mostly negligible, especially when you consider the price of a good mop and bucket, plus the physical cost in terms of time and effort. Would you pay a little extra if it meant your life was made easier?

Traditional mops are generally cheaper, but you have to ask yourself if the minor difference is worth the time and effort you could be saving yourself by buying one.

  • 53% of survey respondents believe a steam mop cleans better than a traditional mop
  • 40% said their steam mop is easier to use and manoeuvre than their regular old mop

Aside from time and water savings, steam mops may also be more environmentally friendly. 18% of survey respondents said they purchased one to reduce the use of chemicals around their home. The absence of floor cleaners with many steam mops can also be chalked up as an additional cost saving measure over traditional mops.

Set with modern professional steam cleaners

How to find the best steam mop for your needs

After learning about different steam mops, it’s important to shop around to find the best quality versus price match for your specific needs. The best steam mops are often the ones that come pre-loaded with a number of highly useful features that allow them to perform different functions. Some of the features you should look for are as follows.

  • Long power cord: Probably the simplest feature to consider is power cord length. A long power cord means that you won’t have to constantly plug-in and unplug your mop in various different sockets as you make your way around your home.
  • Stand-up: This gives added convenience as it allows the mop to stand up on its own if you have to do something else (like answer the phone). Tipping over while heating or cooling can be a big problem, so this feature eliminates the risk. Additionally, you should also look for a pad rest that you can put under it so it doesn’t damage the floor after sitting in one place for too long.
  • Carpet glider: This attachment allows the steam mop to be used on the carpet. This is useful if your existing model isn’t compatible with carpets and you want to get rid of some light soiling.
  • Steam lock switches: On and off lock switches are safety features that will prevent you from accidentally turning on the steam flow if the water tank is open.
  • Add-water indicator: This is a light that some models have which warns you when the water supply is running low. This will allow you to refill the reservoir ahead of time.
  • Additional cleaning accessories: There are all kinds of accessories out there that you can attach for the purpose of cleaning different spaces that you can’t normally reach. Tools like jet nozzles and brushes can be very useful for properly cleaning shower cubicles and under cupboards.

There are many other neat accessories and features that you could find, but these ones are probably the most common. Consider all the possible features you may need and the spaces you’d need to clean, and then look for a model that matches your criteria.

While steam mops can be cheap, some cost hundreds of dollars, so it’s important to get your purchase right. Many Australians did not research their steam mop before purchasing – 20% said their steam mop was an impulse purchase.

How to look after your steam mop

Cleaning the floor with steam cleaner

Once you’ve bought your ideal steam mop, you need to ensure that you take care of it properly. Since they have internal parts, they require much more maintenance than a standard mop, which puts a lot of people off buying them. However, as long as you know what to do, it can actually be very easy, and will ensure your steam mop retains a high standard of cleaning.

We’ve compiled a list of steps you need to take to ensure that your steam mop doesn’t suffer or break down:

  1. Use distilled water where possible: After using your steam mop for a while, limescale and other mineral deposits can start to build up on the inside. These can clog the nozzle and weaken the heating function, increasing the time it takes for your water to be heated, or causing it to not heat properly at all. Using distilled water (water that has been purified) is the best way to avoid this problem.
  2. Do not add chemicals or soap: Steam mops are designed to function on pure water, nothing else. Adding any other ingredients can harm the unit and cause internal damage.
  3. Clean your water reservoir every now and then: Please make sure that it is turned off before you do this and unplug it just to be sure!
  4. Wash the mop pad after every use: This doesn’t take much effort, and the manual that comes with your purchase will have the necessary instructions on how to do this.
  5. Clean the steam nozzle: If you notice that the steam is escaping slowly, it might be because the nozzle on the mop head is being blocked by mineral build-up. To clean it, remove the mop head and stick a small object like a pen lid in to loosen up the deposits.

Regular cleaning sounds like a pain, but if it becomes a habit, it can be fairly easy. Australian steam mop enthusiasts are a pretty diligent bunch, with one in four (25%) saying they regularly replace the pads on their steam mops. Regular maintenance is the key to a happy steam mop – and a happy customer. We hope you found this review helpful.

Vacuum Cleaner Reviews & Ratings

Picture credits: j.chizhe/shutterstock.com, XArtProduction/shutterstock.com

More about Steam Mops

Our steam mop ratings saw a number of brands perform well in different areas:

  • Best Overall: Bissell was rated best for overall satisfaction, ahead of Kmart and Kogan.
  • Best Value: Bissell was also rated best for value for money, leading the way from Kmart and Kogan.
  • Best for Effectiveness: Bissell was rated best for the effectiveness of clean, ahead of Hoover and Kmart.
  • Best for Reliability: Bissell was a clear winner in regards to reliability, with Kogan and Kmart the next best-rated.
  • Best for Ease of Use: Bissell was again rated best for ease of use of its products, ahead of Kmart and Kogan.
  • Best for Other Features & Attachments: Kmart was rated best for other features and attachments, followed by Bissell and Kogan.
  • Best for Storage: Bissell was rated best for ease of storage, leading the way from Kogan and Kmart.

 

Frequently asked questions

Canstar Blue surveyed 3,000 Australian adults across a range of categories to measure and track customer satisfaction, via ISO 26362 accredited research panels managed by Qualtrics. The outcomes reported are the results from customers within the survey group who have purchased a new steam mop in the last 2 years – in this case, 290 people.

Brands must have received at least 30 responses to be included. Results are comparative and it should be noted that brands receiving three stars have still achieved a satisfaction measure of at least six out of 10. Not all brands available in the market have been compared in this survey. The ratings table is first sorted by star ratings and then by mean overall satisfaction. A rated brand may receive a ‘N/A’ (Not Applicable) rating if it does not receive the minimum number of responses for that criteria.

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