2018 Steam Mop Reviews & Ratings
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Review steam mop brands Kmart, Kogan, Bissell, ALDI Lumina and Hoover on reliability, ease of use, value for money, effectiveness of clean, other features and attachments, ease of storage, plus overall customer satisfaction in 2018.
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Canstar Blue research finalised in September 2018, published in September 2018.
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Cheap clean wins the day 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.
Five brands featured in the final results, but only Kmart received a five-star review for overall customer satisfaction. The discount department store is well-known and loved for keeping up with – and setting – Aussie lifestyle trends, and it has certainly wiped the floor with its competitors when it comes to steam mops, dominating some established brands in the floor cleaning space, such as Bissell and Hoover.
The five brands in our 2018 steam mops review were rated in the following order for overall customer satisfaction:
- 1st Kmart
- 2nd Kogan
- 3rd Bissell
- 4th ALDI Lumina
- 5th Hoover
Kmart scored five stars across most research categories – including reliability, ease of use, effectiveness of clean, ease of storage and value for money. It got four stars for other features and attachments.
Kogan and Bissell had to settle for four stars overall, while ALDI Lumina and Hoover received three stars apiece. The one area where Kmart was marked down was where Kogan secured five stars, thanks to its wide line-up of extra tools. Bissell also achieved five stars on effectiveness of clean, alongside this year’s winner.
To help you decide which brand will be best for your cleaning needs, and budget, here is an overview of the five brands that featured in our 2018 review, plus some that didn’t, followed by some tips on buying the right steam mop for your home.
Best-Rated Steam Mops
The store that has a growing online following with cheap and chic homewares and appliances, features just one steam mop. This beloved steam mop is comparatively light on features and extra attachments but features a cheap price of $45. It comes with a 250ml jug, and heats up in 45 seconds, which is a bit slower than some other brands. Replacement pads are also available for purchase. In the box includes a measuring cup, carpet glider, and a pack of hard floor microfiber cloths.
Kmart’s steam mop 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, which perhaps isn’t much of a downfall if all you’re after is steam cleaning your floors without any bells and whistles.
Kogan has a short but sweet presence in the world of steam mops, with three options on offer, ranging in price from around $150 to $200. The difference in price basically refers to how many 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 brief range of steam mops – which also includes 5-in-1 and 10-in-1 options – makes it easy to pick out a model right for your home.
Previous winner Kogan was still a standout performer in our steam mops review for 2018, with four stars for overall satisfaction and most other categories. It was five stars for other features and attachments.
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 repeated use and brings a variety of attachments on offer to clean surfaces above the floor area, including counters, sinks and tile grout. It boasts 180° swivel steering, and heats up fully within 30 seconds. The PowerFresh has a retail price of $349, but there are models that can be found for cheaper.
Bissell was rated four stars for overall satisfaction, as well as for most other categories. It also received five stars on effectiveness of clean but just three stars on value for money in our 2018 review.
Released sporadically in supermarket chain ALDI’s ‘Special Buy’ range, the Lumina-branded steam mop is an elusive beast, but evidently a fair few consumers jump at the chance to put one in their trolley if given an opportunity. There are generally tweaks with each new release, so one year’s steam mop may 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’s Lumina may be worth it, but keep in mind you will have to keep an eye out on the Special Buys catalogue.
ALDI was rated three stars for overall satisfaction and the same score for reliability and ease of storage. It achieved four stars on ease of use, value for money and effectiveness of clean, but just two stars for other features and attachments.
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 in the range. Many models are focused with ultimate performance in mind – boasting twin tanks, triangular heads for getting those nooks, plus ultrasonic vibration in some models to jiggle out all that dirt left by dogs and humans alike. Hoover’s pricing is about average, with most steam mops costing over $200.
In our 2018 review, Hoover was rated three stars overall, but notably got four stars in two areas – ease of use and ease of storage. It was three stars for all other categories.
Other steam mop brands
Aside from the five major steam mop manufacturers rated in this year’s review, there are several other brands worthy of your consideration, including:
Karcher is a home appliance specialist, with five steam mops in its range. Resembling more of a vacuum cleaner-style than more prototypical ‘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. Karcher’s ‘SC’ series boasts easily refillable water tanks, high pressure ‘VapoHydro’ cleaning, plus ‘Comfort Plus’ floor kits. Karcher steam mops are dearer than much of the competition, with the basic ‘SC1’ model costing about $140 or so in-store, while the more advanced ‘SC5’ models cost close to $900.
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 large range on offer, including one mop specialising in cleaning up hard-to-get pet hair. Most are of the stick variety and come with accessory kits to aid in cleaning not just floors but other surfaces such as windows, countertops and so on. The ‘Classic’ is boasted for 15 minutes of steam time and 1300W of power. Most of Vax’s steam mops are around the $200 mark, but there are some models that are more than $200.
Black & Decker
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. If used properly, Black & Decker claims that its steam mops are good for removing 99.9% of germs. Black & Decker steam mops often fetch prices of about $150.
Perhaps best-known for its infomercials advertising its vacuum cleaners, home cleaning specialist Shark perhaps unsurprisingly produces a range of steam mops. In the range is a series of stick mops, with basic yet powerful functionality. Arguably the all-star in Shark’s line-up is the ‘Blast & Scrub’ mop, with its 1200w motor for quickly heating up the water. There are three levels of ‘intelligent’ electronic steam control, and it’s good for most surfaces including wood and hard floors. This steam mop sits with a price tag of around $350, but it does pay to shop around considering the brand is not TV-exclusive anymore.
What to consider when buying 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 81% of Aussies said their steam mop has made chores easier, while 72% 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 2018 research identified, which you might like to keep in mind:
- Reliability: 35%
- Ease of use: 19%
- Value for Money: 17%
- Effectiveness of clean: 13%
- Other features and attachments: 10%
- Ease of storage: 5%
Here are some of the other key findings from our survey:
What’s the difference between steam mops and regular mops?
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?
Our research indicates that Australians spend an average of $128 on new steam mops. With Kmart’s steam mop costing $45, there is quite a large spread between the cheapest and dearest. A common misconception about steam mops is that they are much more expensive than regular 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’d be saving yourself by buying one.
- 87% said they believe their steam mop gets better results than a traditional mop
- 71% said their steam mop is easier to use and manoeuvre than their regular mop
Aside from time and water savings, steam mops may also be more environmentally friendly. 15% of survey respondents said they prefer using a steam mop because they don’t need to use chemicals. The absence of floor cleaners in many steam mops can be chalked up as an additional cost saving measure over traditional mops.
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 of the possible features you might 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 – 40% said their steam mop was an impulse purchase.
How to look after your steam mop
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:
- 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.
- 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.
- 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!
- 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.
- 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 64% saying they regularly replace their pads on the steam mop. Regular maintenance is the key to a happy steam mop – and a happy customer. We hope you found this review helpful.
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, 331 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.