Best steam cleaner 2020: 9 top steam mops to make your home shine

Discover the cleaning power of steam with the best steam cleaners and steam mops to banish dirt and remove bacteria for good. Here's our top nine upright and handheld steam cleaners, for the best prices...

best steam cleaner
(Image credit: Amazon)

The best steam cleaner, or steam mop, will help to deep-clean your home and banish any harmful nasties once and for all. And with all this talk about how we, as a nation, are going to come out from the other side of COVID-19 now has never been a better time to invest.

Yep, these handy cleaning devices can kill up to 99.99 per cent of bacteria, fungi and mould. They can even remove carpet stains, give a new lease of life to your upholstery, refresh your tiles, or other hard flooring, and make your kitchen appliances shine. Simply put, an upright or a handheld steam cleaner, will rid the need of you ever getting on your hands and knees with a scrubbing brush again. Not to mention the help they can offer when it comes to the dreaded task of cleaning your oven.

Keep scrolling for the top models available right now, to keep your home hygienically clean without the use of any harmful chemicals – it's a win win.

If you would prefer a vacuum cleaner instead, no worries: head over to our pick of the best vacuum cleaners so you can Spring clean your home with ease.

Best steam cleaners and steam mops 2020

Best steam cleaner you can buy: Kärcher SC 3 Easyfix Steam Cleaner

(Image credit: Karcher)

1. Kärcher SC3 Easyfix Steam Cleaner

Best steam cleaner you can buy: this one comes with a hook and loop connection for quick, easy removal of the floor cloth

Specifications
Cable length: 4m
Water tank: 1 litre
Heat-up time: 30 seconds
Power: 1900W
Weight: 3.1kg
Reasons to buy
+No need for detergent+The super absorbent microfibre cloths are machine washable+Comes with a range of handy attachments+Cleans greasy ovens and hobs+Removes stains on carpets and upholstery+Even gets rid of mould on tiles and taps
Reasons to avoid
-Quite bulky to move around-Pricier than other models-A bit industrial looking

An impressive looking piece of kit, this steam cleaner from Kärcher means business and delivers amazing deep cleaning results using just tap water. It heats up quickly and is great for hard floors as well as limescale and stubborn stains around the home. We also love its large water tank and the range of attachments that come with. The only drawback is a short lead and it is heavier than other models on the market.
Buy the Kärcher SC 3 Easyfix Steam Cleaner

Multi-functional accessories

You can use this steam cleaner on so many areas around the home – hard floors, ovens, hobs, taps, tiles, sofas, carpets – using the floor and hand nozzles as well as the handy round brushes.

Child lock

A great idea and perfect for families with young children, this model has a locking system to prevent little ones from getting it started.

Steam flow control

For easy use, the Kärcher model has its steam volume control on the handle, which you can use to suit the type of surface and level of dirt you’re dealing with.

Shop more Kärcher products at Amazon

Best steam mop you can buy: Shark Klik n’ Flip Automatic Steam Mop S6003UK

(Image credit: Shark)
Which is best for me? A steam cleaner or a steam mop...

Steam cleaners come as handheld, mops and cylinder models. Each offers a different type of cleaning, and you can also get a combination of them all if you want to clean different types of surface on a regular basis. 

Steam mops are best for hard flooring, cylinders are good for carpets and upholstery and handheld machines are best for reaching small or inaccessible areas.

2. Shark Klik n’ Flip Automatic Steam Mop

Best steam mop you can buy: with intelligent controls for a targeted clean

Specifications
Cable length: 8m
Water tank: 330ml
Heat-up time: 30 seconds
Power: 1200W
Weight: 2.7kg
Reasons to buy
+Intelligent controls+Suitable for sanitising all types of hard and sealed flooring+Easy to use+Precise, targeted steam+Gets rid of stuck-on steam
Reasons to avoid
-Some find it quite heavy, even though it's meant to be lightweight-Tank is pretty small-Needs to lean against wall to stabilise after use

The Klik N’ Flip S6003UK from Shark gets our vote, and a second Real Homes Loves badge, for the best steam mop you can buy. It's designed to make cleaning floors even easier thanks to its intelligent operation that delivers a precise, targeted steam clean on hardwood, marble, tile and stone. Simply flip the mop head and you’ll cover twice the area, too – hence the Klik n’ Flip name. It also cleans away 99.9 per cent of common household bacteria, ideal for homes with children or pets.
Buy the Shark Klik N’ Flip S6003UK Steam Mop

Twice the clean

The double-sided, machine-washable Dirt Grip cleaning pads allow you to steam clean double the area by simply flipping the mop head. You can release the used pad by clicking a switch too, so there’s no need to get your hands on the grimy pad.

Steam blast

Check out the Steam Blast mode, which delivers a targeted blast of super-heated steam, ideal for removing stubborn stains.

Easy to use

Suitable for all types of hard flooring, this model is lightweight and comes with swivel steering for easy movement around furniture.

Find more Shark products at Amazon

Best steam mop for quick jobs: Vileda Steam Mop

(Image credit: Vileda)

3. Vileda Steam Mop

Best steam mop for quick jobs: this one does exactly what it says on the tin and heats up in a super-speedy 15 seconds

Specifications
Cable length: 6m
Water tank: 400ml
Heat-up time: 15 seconds
Power: 1550W
Weight: 2.5kg
Reasons to buy
+Heats up in just 15 seconds+Stamps out 99.9% of bacteria+Can be used on all hard floors+Cleans quickly and easy+No need for smelly chemicals+Allows you to clean for longer thanks to its large water tank
Reasons to avoid
-The design doesn't look as expensive as others-Can leave floors rather wet-Quite rounded at edges so hard to get into corners 

Vileda specialise in cleaning products so it’s no wonder that their steam mop is the business. It’s fast, lightweight and kills 99.9 per cent of bacteria, just like the Shark model above, without the need for chemicals. You can use it on all hard sealed floors such as wood, laminate, vinyl and tile and there’s even a carpet glider for refreshing carpets, too.
Buy the Vileda Steam Mop

Easy to use

As it’s lightweight and comes with a swivel head, tackling awkward corners and objects is simple. It also works for 28 minutes on one tank.

Removes stubborn stains

Using powerful steam cleaning, Vileda’s mop deals with 99.9 per cent of bacteria, making your home ultra clean - ideal for homes with children and pets and those who suffer from allergies.

Variable steam

You are in control with the variable steam setting that enables you to use this mop on delicate flooring, too.

Shop more Vileda products at Amazon

Best powerful steam cleaner: Vax Steam Fresh Power Plus

(Image credit: Vax)

4. Vax Steam Fresh Power Plus Steam Cleaner

Best powerful steam cleaner: steam clean anything with this multifunction model

Specifications
Cable length: 8m
Water tank: 300ml
Heat-up time: 20 seconds
Power: 1600W
Weight: 3.4kg
Reasons to buy
+The fact it converts to a handheld+Variable steam control+Plenty of versatile attachments for different uses+Cleans all surfaces, horizontal and vertical+Works on upholstery and fabrics too+It’s easy to set up and get going
Reasons to avoid
-It is one of the heavier models-Smallish water tank-The pads sometimes can slip off

When you want your steam mop to do more than just clean floors, this Vax steam mop is the model for you. Not only cleans floors but it also comes with a handheld reach wand, so you can tackle the tops of cupboards, around the shower and those hard to reach areas with ease.
Buy the Vax Steam Fresh Power Plus Steam Cleaner

Tackles grease and grime

Whichever cleaning mode you opt for, this steam mop will break down dirt quickly and easily thanks to the use of detergent rather than just steam, which also leaves your home smelling fresh. You can even use it in the oven!

Different attachments

This one really is multifunctional, as it comes with a handheld reach wand and a number of add-ons that allow you to clean a number of surfaces including ovens, hobs and showers. 

Steam boost

Ideal for getting down and dirty with stubborn stains, this function gives you extra cleaning power when you need it.

Find more Vax products at Argos

Best small steam mop: BISSELL PowerFresh Slim 3 in 1 Steam Mop

(Image credit: Bissell)

5. Bissell PowerFresh Slim 3-in-1 Steam Mop

Best small steam mop: this slimline steam mop is a great choice for smaller homes and flats

Specifications
Cable length: 7.6m
Water tank: 300ml
Heat-up time: 30 seconds
Power: 1500W
Weight: 1.86kg
Reasons to buy
+It’s a 3 in 1 design+Converts from an upright steam mop to an extended reach surface cleaner+And even has a portable handheld steam mop too+Gets rid of grime and grease on hard wood, ceramic lino, granite and marble+Stores away easily after use+Comes with a pouring jug for easy refilling
Reasons to avoid
-Quite expensive for such a small model-Smallish water tank-Not big on power

When space is limited in terms of storage in the home, this steam mop from Bissell is an ideal choice. Not only is it slim in design but it also comes with a wall mount so you can hang it up after use. It comes with an extension wand and tool kit for awkward nooks and crannies as well as offering swivel steering to get into tight spaces and grimy areas around furniture.
Buy the Bissell PowerFresh Slim 3-in-1 Steam Mop

Universal tools

Use the steam trigger to get just the right amount of steam for the job and tackle a variety of surfaces using the on-board tools and attachments.

Easy to use

This slimline model is so easy to move around and is ideal for smaller homes where a bulky machine would just get in the way. The swivel steering is perfect for tight spaces such as under tables and sofas as well as along edges and kitchen plinths.

Find more Bissell products at Amazon

Best handheld steam mop: Russell Hobbs Neptune

(Image credit: Amazon)

6. Russell Hobbs Neptune Multi Function Steam Mop

Best handheld steam mop: converting from a mop to a handheld in seconds, this design is really versatile

Specifications
Cable length: 5m
Water tank: 330ml
Heat-up time: 25 seconds
Power: 1300W
Weight: 3.34kg
Finish: White and aqua
Dimensions: H111cm x W30cm x D21cm
Reasons to buy
+Has 11 different uses+Water tank is easy to refill+Cleans hard floors really well+Sanitises mattresses too
Reasons to avoid
-Quite heavy compared to other designs-Looks a bit cheap

When you want a really multifunctional steam mop, this one from Russell Hobbs has got it all, with 11 functions that can tackle everything from carpets and sealed hard floors to windows, grout and tiles, sinks, shower screens, upholstery, curtains, ovens and hobs. It’s said to kill 99.9% of bacteria so will make your home hygienically clean and give peace of mind to those with young children, babies or allergy sufferers. As well as an upright steam mop, it can also be used as a handheld steamer, too.
Buy the Russell Hobbs Neptune Multi Function Steam Mop

Lightweight design

Its compact style and lightweight design makes this one easy to carry around the home, including up and down the stairs. The water tank is also removable, which makes it quick and easy to fill up, and it has an anti-scale filter to keep things running smoothly.

Triggered steam flow

You’re in charge of how much and when to inject steam thanks to the trigger design that’s simple to use.

Carpet glider

As well as cleaning hard floors, this one can also be used to refresh carpets thanks to the carpet glider that simply attaches to the mop head. You can also convert the cleaner to a handheld design and use the different tools for windows and upholstery.

Allergy free

Cleaning 99.9% of bacteria, this one’s great for allergy sufferers and you can even sanitise mattresses using one of the handy tool attachments.

Shop more Russell Hobbs products at Amazon

best steam cleaner: Morphy Richards Complete 12-in-1 Steam Cleaner

(Image credit: Argos)

7. Morphy Richards 720022 12-in-1 Steam Cleaner

Best steam cleaner for cleaning under furniture: this steam cleaner comes with a detachable handheld

Specifications
Cable length: 5m
Water cap: 400ml
Power: 1600w
Heat up time: 30 seconds
Weight: 2.9kg
Reasons to buy
+12-in-1 cleaner+Accessories included+Easy to store
Reasons to avoid
-Doesn't get right into corners

If you liked the sound of the Polti Vaporetto Pro 75 Flexi Steam Cleaner but want something that's upright, heats up in 30 seconds and easier to store, then you'll want  this steam cleaner from Morphy Richards. It has an average size water tank, heats up quickly and is available at a very reasonable price. We think it's a great all-rounder for carrying out those chores you hate quickly and easily. 
Buy the Morphy Richards 720022 12-in-1 Steam Cleaner

Handy features

This steam cleaner comes with a small handheld tool for when you're cleaning those hard-to-reach areas. Even better? 400ml of water fit in its see-through water tank that takes the guessing out of run-time.  And, it comes with a variety of accessories which can be attached to the handheld steam cleaner for up to 12 uses around the home.

Easy to store

We love the fact its handle folds away allowing for easy storage in small spaces, while  it also has cable storage on board for its 5m long cable.

Suitable for a range of surfaces

Of course this machine works on hard floors and carpets, but also worktops, tiles, ovens, BBQs, windows, grout, taps, wheels and more. The cleaning opportunities are endless.

Shop more Morphy Richards products at Argos

Best multi-functional steam mop: Vax S86-SF-C Steam Fresh Combi Multifunction Steam Cleaner

(Image credit: Vax)

8. Vax Steam Fresh Combi Multifunction Steam Cleaner

Best multi-functional steam mop: this 15-in-1 model that tackles all types of surfaces around the home

Specifications
Cable length: 8m
Water tank: 260ml
Heat-up time: 20 seconds
Power: 1600W
Weight: 3.7kg
Reasons to buy
+Offers 15 functions in one piece of kit+Leaves flooring surfaces dry in just three minutes+Works on carpets too+Eliminates 99.9% of harmful germs and bacteria+Cleans ovens, hobs, tiles, mirrors, windows and more+Has a long cable for an easy reach
Reasons to avoid
-Small water tank-Needs detergent-Quite heavy to carry up stairs

With a fast heat-up time, this second model from Vax to feature in our best steam cleaner guide is a multi-function design that offers 15 features in one. It has a detachable handheld cleaner as well as a 10-piece tool kit and also comes with variable steam control. The detachable handheld cleaner just needs one click and it’s ready. It works on sealed hard floors and leaves them smelling fresh thanks to the detergent, and can also be used on tiles, showers and loads more.
Buy the Vax Steam Fresh Combi Multifunction Steam Cleaner

Handheld mode

Simply remove the detachable unit with one click and steam clean windows, mirrors, taps, tiles, sinks and bathroom surfaces.

Variable steam

You’re in charge of how much steam to inject into your cleaning and when. The variable steam and detergent controls are easy to use and easy to reach.

Compact scrub brush

A built-in brush pops out when needed to help get rid of tough, stubborn stains from floors and tile grouting.

Shop more Vax products at Amazon

Best steam cleaner for large jobs: Polti Vaporetto Pro 85 Flexi Steam Cleaner

9. Polti Vaporetto Pro 85 Flexi Steam Cleaner

Best steam cleaner for large jobs: an easy to use steam cleaner that is extremely powerful

Specifications
Cable length: 7.5m
Water tank: 1ltr
Heat up time: 6 mins
Power: 1100w
Weight: 5.8kg
Reasons to buy
+Ideal for deep cleaning+Continuous refill system+British Allergy Foundation Seal of Approval+Powerful at 4.5 bar+Kills and removes 99.99% of germs and bacteria+Comes with accessories
Reasons to avoid
-Expensive

This steam cleaner from Polti is as easy to manoeuvre as a vacuum cleaner, and works extremely well when deep cleaning floor and carpets. We'd also like to note that although the Polti Vaporetto is more expensive than our best steam cleaner, the Kärcher SC3, it does heat up faster and it's a 4.5 bar steamer, while the SC3 is slightly less powerful at 3.5 bar.
Buy the Polti Vapotetto Pro 85 Flexi Steam Cleaner

Continuous refill system

This steam cleaner has a continuous refill system to allow you to add more water at any time. This way you you can carry out uninterrupted cleaning whenever you need to. Although you may have to keep unplugging and changing sockets if you're working with a large space, this does still mean less trips to the sink. 

Allergy friendly

Holding a British Allergy Foundation Seal of Approval, this steam cleaner claims to be effective against dust mites. It can kill and remove 99.99 per cent of bacteria, fungi and mould. All with just hot water.

Accessories included

This is the part we love the most – the Polti comes with a floor attachment, the Vaporflexi brush. This allows you to steam clean under furniture with ease ensuring every inch of your home is clean. The machine also arrives with a carpet accessory, a window squeegee accessory, a concentrator tool, a small brush and a few others.

Browse more Polti products at Amazon

How to buy the best steam cleaner or steam mop

When looking for a new, or replacement, steam cleaner there are a few elements to consider to ensure it is the best steam cleaner for you:

Cable length

All steam mops are corded, so depending on the size of your house or the amount of plug sockets you have dotted around, be wary of the cable length.

Water tank

Since these appliances convert water into steam, the size of the water tank is an important feature. Live in a larger home? Opt for a mop with a large water capacity to save having to top it up regularly.

Heat up time

Waste no time waiting for your mop to heat up, the majority of our picks heat up in just 30 seconds.

Power

A higher wattage won’t necessarily equal better performance so consider all the specifications before making your mind up. 

Weight

You’ll find that handheld steamers are lighter and easier to use but don’t steam for as long as mops. Mops heat up more quickly and last a lot longer but the exact time will depend on the size of the water tank. Opting for a lightweight steam mop is a smart thing to do, especially if you have stairs in your home. Also, look at the overall design and see if the handle is ergonomic enough for you and if the style of the steam mop suits the way you work.

Attachments

You can also get a range of attachments for your steam cleaner that open up many more cleaning options, such as upholstery tools, scrubbing pads and squeegees for cleaning windows and appliances, for example. 

What is the best steam cleaner and steam mop?

Let's recap...if you want to get your hands on the best steam cleaner on the market, we recommend buying the Karcher SC3 Easyfix Steam Cleaner. To name a few reasons why: it has a large water tank; it doesn't require detergent; it can clean upholstery and kitchen appliances and it comes with a range of attachments included.

Prefer a steam mop? We wouldn't hesitate to buy the Shark Klik n’ Flip. It comes with intelligent steam controls for a precise, targeted clean and can be used on all types of hardwood floors, as well as tiles.

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