Find out how Consumer puts steam mops through their paces.
Overall score breakdown
Overall score includes:
Stain removal (50%)
We assessed stain removal using a large sheet of vinyl with everyday stains like coffee, mustard, red wine, shoe polish, and soy and tomato sauces. We left these stains to dry overnight and then attempted to clean them with the steam mops.
Ease of use (30%)
Includes ease of filling, mop head movement, control use and mop pad attachment.
Floor wetness (20%)
How good the mop is at drying the floor. A score of 50% or less means there was enough water left to cause a slipping hazard.
Hand-held mode does not contribute to overall score.
Carpet attachment was not tested.
About our test
We test steam mops on a sheet of vinyl, staining it with red wine, tomato sauce, mud, mustard, coffee and soy sauce. Then we let the whole mess dry overnight, before mopping up any excess with a damp cloth.
The next day, we fire up our steam mops and get to work. Each mop’s performance is converted into a stain-removal score.
We also look at how much water is left on the floor after mopping. Steam mops should leave very little residual water: the models in our round-up with very good floor wetness scores (eight or above) left the vinyl almost completely dry after mopping.
Some steam mops come with various attachments, such as a jet nozzle or brush. We assess these by cleaning soap scum and discolouration from taps in our test bathroom. We give models with these accessories a hand-held mode score.
You’re out of luck if you’re keen on using steam mops to remove stubborn grout stains from your tiles. We tried this on a stained tile surface, and all the models were hopeless at tackling grout stains.
Our ease-of-use assessment looks at:
the ease of filling the tank
the ease of navigating the mop head, including whether the mop gets
tiring to use after a while
the ease of accessing and using the controls, and whether the mop
head was difficult to attach
the steam mop's reach (that is the distance between the power point
and the tip of the steam wand, with the wand fully extended if it’s
We've tested 13 steam mops.
Find the right one for you.