Canstar Blue’s 2020 steam mop review has seen Hoover, Kmart, Bissell and Kogan compared and rated on their ease of use, effectiveness, durability, ease of storage, additional features, design, value for money and overall satisfaction.
See our Ratings Methodology.
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.
There are 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. At least, that’s the idea. So, which steam mops are best equipped for the job? To offer some guidance on the subject, Canstar Blue has again surveyed more than 300 Australian consumers who have recently purchased and used a new steam mop, with their feedback reflected by the star ratings you see above.
It’s the fourth year of our steam mop ratings and we’ve had different winners every time. After wins from Kogan and Kmart in 2017 and 2018 respectively, our 2019 award went to Bissell and 2020 has yielded yet another winner – Hoover! After success from 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.
Here are the best brands of steam mops, as rated by consumers in Canstar Blue’s latest review:
Hoover has topped our steam mops review this year after earning the only five-star reviews given for effectiveness, durability & reliability, ease of storage, design, ease of use, value for money and overall satisfaction.
Bissell managed to edge out Hoover on additional features with the sole five-star rating given for that category, before landing on a solid four-star rating for overall satisfaction alongside Kmart. Kogan rounded up the scores on three stars overall.
To help you decide which brand will be best for your cleaning needs – and budget – below is an overview of the four brands that featured in our 2020 comparison plus some that didn’t, followed by some tips on buying the best steam mop for your home.
Take a closer look at the top-rated brands featured in our ratings, to find a steam mop best suited to your household and cleaning needs.
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 several 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, a steam trigger control, 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 between $100 and $300. You can buy Hoover products directly via the retailer’s website or Godfreys.
Hoover’s steam mop range includes:
Hoover was rated five stars for effectiveness, durability & reliability, ease of storage, design, ease of use, value for money and overall satisfaction. It got three stars for additional features.
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 cleaning and microfiber pads are also available for purchase. In the box, you’ll find a measuring cup, carpet glider, and a microfiber cloth pad.
Kmart was a solid performer in our steam mops review for 2020, with four stars for overall satisfaction and most other categories, but three stars for effectiveness.
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, and 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 also has a hybrid vacuum steam mop cleaner – the CrossWave − designed to clean both wet and dry messes at the same time.
Bissell’s steam mop range includes:
Bissell rated five stars for additional features and four stars in most other categories, including for overall satisfaction. It got three stars for design and value for money.
Kogan has a fairly extensive range of steam mops, with various 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 12-in-1 model costs just under $250, for example, and has a wide array of accessories to make short work of hard floors (i.e. laminate floors, tile floors etc.) and carpets, ovens, barbecues, windows & mirrors and 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’s steam mop range includes:
Kogan rounded up the scores with a four-star rating for additional features and three stars everywhere else.
Aside from the four major steam mop manufacturers rated in this year’s review, there are several other brands worthy of your consideration, including:
Released sporadically in its Special Buys 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.
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.
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 $169, while the more advanced ‘SC5’ models cost closer to $1,000.
Best-known for its infomercials advertising its vacuum cleaners, home cleaning specialist Shark perhaps surprisingly produces just one steam mop, which features basic yet powerful functionality. The Shark Steam Mop comes with a large 375ml water tank 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.
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 them competitively priced within the market.
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 45% of Aussies said their steam mop has made their cleaning chores easier, while 22% 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 latest research identified, which you might like to keep in mind:
Here are some of the other key findings from our survey:
Unlike regular mops which use a combination of cleaning agents like bleach and detergent, steam mops use steam to clean floors and carpets. The steam mop was first developed in South Korea back in 1998 and was made available to the public in 2004.
Steam mops work by heating up water inside an internal reservoir, to temperatures as high as 120°C. This creates steams, which is then pumped out of the cleaning head. It’s designed to loosen grime much more effectively than regular mops. Manufacturers also claim that the steam created by these steam mops kills more bacteria than standard mops.
Steam mops come with an in-built water tank which heats the water to the necessary temperature at the press of a button. The benchmark for heating time in steam mops on the market is generally 15 seconds.
Our research indicates that Australians spend an average of $152 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 small, 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.
Aside from time and water savings, steam mops may also be more environmentally friendly. In fact, 14% 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.
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 include:
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. Our survey shows 23% of Australians researched and compared different steam mops before buying, while 17% made an impulse purchase.
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:
This report was written by Canstar Blue’s Home & Lifestyle Content Lead, Megan Birot. She’s an expert on household appliances, health & beauty products, as well as all things grocery and shopping. When she’s not writing up our research-based ratings reports, Megan spends her time helping consumers make better purchase decisions, whether it’s at the supermarket, other retailers, or online, highlighting the best deals and flagging anything you need to be aware of.
Picture credits: J.chizhe/Shutterstock.com, XArtProduction/Shutterstock.com.
*Prices taken from respective retailers, correct as of October 2020.
Our steam mop ratings saw a number of brands perform well in different areas:
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 two years – in this case, 341 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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*Prices correct as of publication date.