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We test 16 steam mops in the CHOICE labs, including models from Bissell, Black & Decker, Karcher, and Kenwood.
Steam mops are a handy household ally that can help you cut down on costly (and sometimes harsh) chemicals in your home. But do they perform any better at cleaning floors than a simple mop and bucket?
We've tested 16 models, priced from $49 to $499, to tell you:
A steam mop may be reliable, but does it meet your expectations? For the first time, we've also asked you whether you're satisfied with your steam mop purchases. Our latest brand reliability and brand satisfaction results are featured in our full results (these aren't incorporated into our overall scores).
For more buying tips, see our new steam mop buying guide and more expert advice here.
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Our test report compares products across these 35 criteria.
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The overall score is made up of stain cleaning performance (50%), ease of use (30%) and floor wetness (20%).
Based on brand reliability in the last 12 months.
How well the steam mop accessories (if supplied) perform in a home bathroom.
The model refers to the particular model of the brand we have tested. Sometimes the model can be part of a series of models with quite similar specifications.
Models marked with a # are newly tested.
The ease of use score (30% of overall score) is made up of: mop head moving score, ease of using the controls, mop reach and replacing the mop pad.
Rather than just the length of the cord, this figure is the distance between the power point and the tip of the steam head, and includes the power cord (and hose and wand, if applicable).
Generally refers to manufacturer website.
This is the price we paid in March 2015.
Score based on whether steam mop owners are satisfied with their purchases. A brand may be reliable but will not necessarily meet owner expectations.
This refers to the brand name of the model, or who the model is made by, or, if they aren't manufactured by the brand, then the brand under which they are distributed.
How well the steam mops clean a range of common substances off vinyl floor including a muddy footprint, tomato sauce, soy sauce, mustard, coffee and red wine.
A steam lock switch is handy so you don't have to keep holding down a button to release steam.
If the tank is clear, then this won't be necessary.
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