I’ve been in the cleaning business for years and I’ve used many different brands of steam cleaning machines. So, here’s my experienced guide and reviews of the best steam mops for hardwood floors.
Before you buy one of these top-rated hardwood mops, ensure that your floor is sealed. These mops are safe for hardwood (including bamboo), but only if it is sealed. Regular cleaning with steam can damage unsealed hardwood floors. They warp and bend. And you don’t want that. So, after using different machines from O-Cedar to Shark to Bissell, here are the top 5 steam mops for your wooden floors.
Top 10 Steam Mops for Hardwood Floors
Using a steam mop makes it a lot easier to clean your house. Unlike normal bucket water mops, steam cleaners use pressure and hot vapor to break down dirt. The microfiber cloth on the head then wipes off the loosened dirt, grime, and grease.
So, you’re excited because you’re about to dump that pail of water, your squeeze mop, and the squeegee. That’s your regular old-school mop that makes you bend as you clean your floor. It’s tiring. No doubt.
I’ve prepared this guide to help you buy a steam mop that’s suitable for your expensive hardwood floor. That way, you’ll not encounter rot and damage if you follow the user guide that comes with the machine.
Our review criteria takes into account important qualities to determine top-ranking products. The criteria include the following (you can click on each to read more about the specific things we looked for):
- Accessories included
- Price vs. value factor (including warranty)
- Weight of the machine
- Tank size
- Heating time
- Available settings
- General user reviews
For the top ranking hardwood floor steam mop, the score on most of these points of reference must be high. That said, here are the detailed reviews of each of the mops that made it to this list.
Reviews and Product Information
Let’s dive into the product reviews, shall we?
1. Bissell PowerFresh Steam Mop 1940
- Super easy to assemble
- Lightweight – 6lb
- Washable microfiber pads
- 16 oz tank capacity
- 23 ft power cord
- Great maneuverability
There’s a reason why the Bissell 1940 steam mop is the bestselling mop for hard floors on Amazon. With over 11,000 (that’s right, eleven thousand) positive user reviews, you can be sure it is a product worth its salt. I’ve used it, and from the time I unboxed it, I was impressed.
Full name in stores: Bissell PowerFresh Steam Mop, Floor Steamer, Tile Cleaner, and Hard Wood Floor Cleaner, 1940
Throughout my use, the Bissell 1940 has great maneuverability, is thorough, and lightweight. Your house has corners, and I bet you cannot get around cleaning those with ease if you’re using any other mop. But the Bissell 1940 steam mop has the best flexibility for this kind of job.
The mop pad is well designed to reach around the mop head. This creates a cushioning bumper that prevents scratches on your hardwood flooring.
If you use force to mop around corners and objects, the mop pad will be gentle so that you won’t leave any scratch marks.
With a water tank capacity of 16 oz and continuous steam, this machine makes cleaning tile, hardwood, and linoleum flooring so much easy. The water tank is detachable. This makes it easy to fill it because you can hold it under your sink for a refill.
Variable steam settings also make it possible to clean different sealed surfaces. The 1940 has 3 different steam settings: low, medium, and high. These are possible thanks to the SmartSet Digital Steam Control technology.
Price and performance
I have to say, for the function you get here, the price is fair. It is not overpriced as other hardwood steam mops out there. Unfortunately, you do not get any attachments and accessories other than the mop pads.
That means the Bissell 1940 Steam Mop for Hardwood Floors can only clean and sanitize floors.
Over 11k user reviews average a 4.1 star rating for the Bissell Powerfresh Steam Mop 1940 for Hardwood Floors. But what do the reviews say?
Most users like the super-quick heating time, and the effectiveness when cleaning. Another user commented on the durability. “…no degradation in function from the day I purchased it 2 years ago“
- Super easy to assemble in less than 2 minutes.
- Easy to maneuver while cleaning.
- Long power cord.
- Very light and easy to carry upstairs
- The highest steam setting for deep cleaning can leave your wooden floors a little damp. That means you cannot go aggressive mode with this steam mop.
- The water bottle cap is also a little delicate. I’ve had it break on one unit, but that was because I forced it a little bit. I expect it to be a little tougher than that.
- The power cord is not an auto-roll type.
2. O-Cedar Microfiber Steam Mop
- Heats up in 20 seconds!
- Lightweight (weighs 5lbs)
- Carpet attachment included
- Variable steam settings
- Suitable for wood, vinyl and laminate.
So, the first thing I always recommend is checking for accessories or additional uses. The O-Cedar steam mop is a great addition on our list of top 10 steam mops for hardwood floors.
Other than cleaning sealed hard floors, you can use it to “touch-up” your carpets and area rugs. Isn’t that something anyone would like? What makes it even better is the price point, staying at par with the top-ranked Bissell 1940 product.
So, if you’re looking for a multipurpose steam mop that’s cheap (or budget-friendly,) consider adding this in your shopping cart.
The size of this thing favors those who want to maneuver tight areas when cleaning.
Other than cleaning wood flooring, you can use it to sanitize other types of hard surfaces too. These include tile, vinlyl, and laminate (if sealed).
In summary, the O-Cedar mop is easy to use and is very efficient at cleaning dirt, grime and even stubborn stains. It is also one of the quietest steam mops on this list.
- It is one of the few steam mops under $100, costing around $70.
- Heats up fast.
- One refill cleans up to two rooms of medium size.
- You get an extra mop pad refill.
- 1-year Manufacturer’s Guarantee.
- Washable microfiber mops
- The carpet refresher doesn’t do much.
- The deep cleaning feature is not as good as with other top rated hardwood steam mops.
- Does not have a refill indicator.
A few things were undesirable when I tested and reviewed the O-Cedar hardwood steam mop. They were also echoed by other reviewers across different stores. First, the fact that the water tank is not detachable makes it difficult to refill. You have to carry the whole unit to be able to do that.
Second, the water tank is a little high up the design. This makes it feel a bit heavier than you’d expect. I felt a bit of weight when pushing the unit on the floor and I bet it will be a little bit cumbersome if you have a large floor.
However, those are (in my opinion) minor issues that cannot overshadow the performance.
3. Bissell Powerfresh Deluxe Steam Mop 1806
- 25 ft power cord
- Heats up in 30 seconds
- 2 year warranty
- Includes a built-in scent disc tray
- Includes various attachments
- Has special brush for sticky messes
- Continous steam
- Weight: 6lb
- Tank capacity: 16 oz
If you’re looking for a multipurpose top rated steam mop for hardwood floors, the 1806 Deluxe mop from Bissell is worth your attention.
Full store name: Bissell Powerfresh Deluxe Steam Mop, Steamer, Tile, Hard Wood Floor Cleaner, 1806
This is one of the few top-draw mops that comes with a few accessories that will make your cleaning job a lot easier. First, floors don’t do so well with sticky messes. Sometimes, a steam mop pad does not do the cleaning as expected. With this, I liked the SpotBoost brush. It helps get rid of those messes.
The swivel mop head also makes it easy to maneuver around and underneath furniture. It actually makes cleaning corners and hard-to-reach areas a breeze.
- It is a lightweight model.
- The powercord is long enough for a large room.
- You can use fragrance discs with it, resulting in fresh-smelling floors.
- Two variable mop pads included: soft microfiber, and a scrubby one.
- The mop pads are washable.
- It comes with 8 spring breeze fragrance discs at no extra cost.
- Although the power cord is long, it does not have an automatic rewind. It can get a bit tangly if you’re cleaning around furniture.
- The heating time on this unit is not the very best in this ranking. Other top-rated wood steam mops heat up 10 seconds faster than the Bissell 1806 steam mop.
- It also does not have an easy scrubber which would be a nice addition for old hardwood floors.
Overall, it is a great product for the performance and ease of use. The price is a little higher than our first two mops, but it does not overshadow the features. To me, it happens to be a well-balanced product.
4. Bissell PowerFresh Lift-Off Pet Steamer, Tile, Bathroom, Hard Wood Floor Cleaner, 1544A Steam Mop
- 2-in-1 mop system for floor and above the floor cleaning.
- Includes 13 different accessories.
- Handheld mode
- Can clean pet upholstery, floors, kitchens etc.
- 1500 Watts of steam power
- 2 years warranty (limited)
Another great addition on our list of the best hardwood floor steam mops comes from Bissell, again! Quite dominant, yes, but well deserved.
Do you have pets? Is your floor hardwood? Great, then this one is for you. The Powerfresh 1544A is the perfect tool for cutting through the stickiest of pet messes.
For a price almost similar to that of the Shark mops on this list, this model actually gives a lot of functionality. You get a ton of accessories and extentions, including the following:
- Window Squeegee
- Flat Surface Tool
- Fabric Steamer
- Bristle Tools
- Angle Concentrator tool
- Grout Tool
- Flat Scraper Tool
The 1544A hard surface steam mop is a multipurpose steamer. You can use it on wood floors, ceramic, linoleum, and granite.
The handheld unit increases its utility to above-the-floor cleaning.
You don’t need to clean buy an etra portable steam cleaner. This one will handle almost all your cleaning sbathroom to kitchen.
The large tank is a plus, but it does not slow down your cleaning task. It heats up fast, taking only 30 seconds to be steam ready.
25 inch power cord included so you can clean large surface areas in your house. There’ll be no need to change your power source sockets.
The swivel head improves the maneuverability of the mop. Even though the 13-inch mop pad path width is quite wide, I found it easy to clean corners and other hard-to-reach places in the house.
The carry handle is also handy. It makes it easy to move around the handheld steam cleaner while on the job.
It is one of the heaviest machines here, weighing 10.6 pounds. This could be attributed to the large water tank of 13.5 oz carried on-board.
Only high and low steam settings available.
Lack of automatic power cord rewind. The cord can become messy and tangled around furniture while mopping your floors.
I thought it’d be nicer if Bissell made the 1544A Pet Lift-off Steam Mop a cordless handheld cleaner.
5. LIGHT ‘N’ EASY Steam Mop
6. Shark Genius Steam Pocket Mop System (S5003D)
- Tank capacity: 11.8 oz
- 3-level electronic steam control
- Power cord length: 22 ft.
- Two washable dirt-grip pads included.
- Lightweight model: 5.8 lbs
- 3 variable steam settings
- 1-year warranty (limited)
Although Shark steam mops are a little pricey, they are quite innovative. I haven’t had the chance to test so many of these mops, but from the view of most users, the mop is effective and efficient.
Unlike the O-Cedar and Bissell models we’ve already discussed this one is quite unique. The steam blaster system is not common across different brands. On the Shark S5003D mop, it blasts stuck-on messes. Once it loosens it, the double sided mop pads wipes it clean off your hardwood floor.
Something else I liked about this model is the handsfree mode. I didn’t have to touch the mop pads after I was done cleaning dirt-laden hard floors. At the press of a button, the pads detach. You can easily drop them into your washing machine.
Official store name: Shark Genius Hard Floor Cleaning System Pocket (S5003D) Steam Mop.
- Heats up in 30 seconds
- High heat setting disinfects and gets rid of 99.9% of germs.
- Multipurpose use – ready for vinyl, tile, and sealed hardwood.
- Lightweight, easy to maneuver and ergonomic.
- Poor maneuverability.
- Water tank is not detachable.
- Quite pricey.
The steam mop has great features. I found it easy to cover large areas of hardwood surface with the medium setting. Yet, The extra-wide mop pad made it difficult to maneuver and clean corners and tight areas.
Shark have gone the extra mile of including great innovation with this mop. If you want to clean large areas of wood flooring, this would be a great buy.
4. Bissell PowerFresh Lift-Off Pet Steamer, Tile, Bathroom, Hard Wood Floor Cleaner, 1544A Steam Mop
5. LIGHT ‘N’ EASY Steam Mop
6. Shark Genius Hard Floor Cleaning System Pocket (S5003D) Steam Mop
7. BISSELL Spinwave Powered Hardwood Floor Mop and Cleaner, 2039A
8. Shark Steam Mop Hard Floor Cleaner (S1000A)
9. Oreck Steam-It Steam Mop, Steam100LRH
10. LIGHT ‘N’ EASY 5 in 1 Steam Mop S3101
- Lightweight design: 4lbs
- Safe for all floor types
- Easy handling (swivel mop head)
- 20 seconds of heating time
- Washable pads
- 20 ft power cord
- Tank capacity: 7.4 oz
Light ‘n’ Easy is not one of the big household staples you’d expect on this list. Yet, their multipurpose mop is one of the best for hardwood and other types of floors.
The tank capacity is not suitable for those who want to clean large surface areas within a short time. Being small, you’ll be forced to refill and heat several times.
The mop pad is wide enough for a decent job, and so is the steam pressure (1150 w).
As for those who like refreshing carpets using steam mops, you can get a carpet glider designed for the Light ‘n’ Easy multipurpose floor mop. The only part I didn’t like is that you have to buy it separately.
When I tested this on an old hardwood floor, I noticed that it has a very soft grip on the handle. This made a big difference in terms of handling the mop. This reduces the amount of energy you waste pushing the mop around on hardwood surfaces.
The steam control on this unit is unique and impressive. The mop stops producing steam when you stop moving it. As soon as you resume motion, it starts steaming again.
As with most top rated mops, you get a 1 year warranty. I liked that part as it helps build confidence in the product’s durability.
Two not-so-good factors with this floor steamer.
First is the manual steam control. Other competitors on this list come with automatic variable steam controls. It is a no-brainer that going automatic would make the performance of the Nice ‘n’ Easy S3101 a much more competitive hard floor steamer.
The small water tank capacity is also a little disappointment. Perhaps the manufacturer focused a little too much on cutting the weight of this thing. 7.4 oz is too small to hold enough water for mopping a medium sized room.
Buying Guide: Questions to Ask
Before you buy a wood steam mop, check if your flooring is still under warranty. If yes, check with your floor’s manufacturer to make sure using steam to clean won’t void it. Most manufacturers of steam cleaners indicate that their models can be used on hardwood flooring. They even recommend using them on laminate, tile, and sealed floors. This information may be different from what floor installers recommend.
Have you checked the floor’s warranty? Good! Now consider the following questions as a guide for buying the right steamer.
What’s your budget?
Cheaper models may not always be the best. For steam mops, the price can range anywhere between $60 and $200. The most important consideration in relation to price is how much you’re getting for the price. Consider things like additional mop heads, tank size, mop pads, and accessories.
Be careful not to overlook vital features while cutting on your budget. In stead of setting your budget as low as possible, shop around and compare prices.
Will you clean more than hardwood floors?
This is a question of multipurpose use. Yes, you want to clean hardwood floors, but that’s not the only hard surface in your home. Can you use the mop to clean tile, grout, marble countertops, etc?
Choose a model that can be used to clean different hard floors. Most Shark, Bissell, and O-Cedar steam mops can be used to disinfect bathrooms and tiled floors.
How much surface area do you want to clean?
If you’re going to clean a large area, choose a steam mop with a large tank capacity. A longer power cord will also come in handy in this scenario. This will make it easy for you to reach far ends of your floor without having to refill and re-heat the water.
But if you want to clean small areas of wood flooring in your house, a shorter cord and a small water reservoir will suffice. This kind of machine will also be light on your back and elbows (good for people with arthritis too).
Do you want a cordless or corded steam mop?
I’ve used both corded and cordless steam cleaning machines. Each has its own advantages and disadvantages.
If you have a large room with furniture in it, maneuvering around can be a challenge. Choose a corded steam mop for hardwood floors. The same will also be a prudent choice if your house have few power sockets. I would recommend you buy one with a long power cord for convenience.
Cordless steam mops are intended for small rooms. You can steam from the power of their inbuilt batteries and recharge if need be. This is usually rare. If you want to
Types of Steam Mops
When shopping for a mop for your floors, you can choose from three different types. Handheld steam cleaners, canister, and cylinder steam cleaning machine. Each of these has its own advantages.
Handhelds are much easier to carry around and store. They do not take up a lot of room because of their small-sized water tanks. Handheld steam mops are suitable for cleaning small areas. Visit the link to see my review of the top 5 handheld steam cleaners.
Canister (or cylinder) steam cleaning machines are suitable for commercial large-scale cleaning jobs. You can use canister steamers for long hours of cleaning. They’re typically heavy because of the large water tanks.
The third type is the normal steam mop that stands upright. It comes with a cord, although some are cordless. The long handle makes it easier for you to clean floors without bending for long periods.
Some floor steamers are great for multipurpose use. Bissell has a unit that can convert into a handheld unit. I found it suitable for cleaning bathroom walls and other above-the-floor areas.
Are steam mops safe for hardwood floors?
Before we go into reviews, it is important to know that soaking your hardwood floor with water is not safe. Cleaning with excess water (and excess heat) can damage the floor.
- You can steam mop a hardwood floor with the right setting. Too much heat will force the wooden planks to warp and bend. This usually voids your warranty.
- Another safety measure when using Shark, O-Cedar, or your preferred brand of steam mop for hardwood floors is checking whether it is sealed. Sealed wooden floors do not absorb water easily, but too much heat can still damage them.
- Engineered wood is better than solid hardwood at dealing with moisture. So, if your floor is engineered wood, you can clean it with a steam mop with a microfiber attachment attached to it.
Engineered wood floors have a plywood base that is dimensionally stable. This means that it warps and flexes less easily upon contact with moisture than solid wood.
To sum up on the safety issue, check that floor is sealed or at least engineered before cleaning with a steam mop. Also, make sure that the mop you buy is recommended for the type of floor you want to clean.
Click here for more information on how to clean hardwood floors.
Review Criteria for the Top Hardwood Steam Mops
Believe it or not, not all mops have the same power when it comes to cleaning. They’re also not equally effective. Some machines are better cleaners than others. The standard expectation is that you’ll be able to loosen dirt such as dried food spills. You’ll also expect to sanitize different surfaces with ease. But, different steam mops perform differently at these tasks.
For us to rank the best in our reviews, here are the different factors we considered in our review criteria. While they apply to wooden floors, they are not limited to them.
I’m always looking for innovative features. If a mop has something unique that makes my work easier than when using another brand, it scores high in my review. Here are some of the important features I like to include in my steam mop machine reviews:
- Steam control
- Swivel head
- Detachable steam generator
- Length of the power cord
- Readiness light indicator
- Empty Light Indicator
- Safety features
Accessories and Attachments
A steam mop is not something you want to buy after every six months. If you invest in one, you expect it to last as long as your vacuum cleaner. If you’re planning to buy a mop a single job of mopping hardwood floors, then the basic model will do. However, if you’re like me, you definitely want a mop for multipurpose use.
We looked at attachments to rank the best steam cleaners for hardwood floors. More attachments meant you can use the machine for different cleaning needs. You can clean not only floors but also countertops, windows etc. with the accessories. Some mops come with additional mop heads and microfiber pads. If these come without a price increase, then the machine scores more points on this rating.
Price vs. value factor (including warranty)
Yes! Price is a delicate point that cannot stand on its own. I’ve used a good number of steam mops for different floor types. Some high-priced models may not perform as good as you may expect of them.
Price is an important factor to consider when buying the best steam mop for hardwood floors. However, buy a model that offers the best performance, warranty, and accessories compared to other mops within the same price range.
Weight of the machine
Unless you’ve started a steam cleaning business, the weight of your steam mop is a raking factor. Weight is subjective but you want to be able to lift your steam mop while cleaning your floors.
In short, you want to make sure the steam mop you prefer is easy to lift. Most of the machines we ranked as part of the top 10 steam mops weighed under 15 pounds. With heavier machines, you’ll keep the mop in one spot longer than required. This can soak the floor with moisture and cause damage to it.
Steam mops save you a ton of time. They do make the cleaning process a lot faster compared to using bucket mops. But, you cannot achieve this if you have a small water reservoir and a large hardwood floor to cover.
So, tank capacity of wood floor steam cleaner is a big point at least for me. A smaller tank means more refills and more time spent cleaning. A bigger tank capacity means more time spent teaming but more weight. When reviewing the best steam mops for wood floors, we took tank capacity into account. Small ones score less, yet huge tanks affect the points gained on weight.
I usually want to be ready to mop in just a few minutes. If it takes more than 3 minutes for the machine to be ready, then it is not the best time saver out there. So, we considered that in our tests of all the steam mops on this list.
How much time does it take for the mop to reach a steaming temperature? And is the temperature adequate to sanitize wood floors (kill 99.9% germs)? The highest water temperature also shows whether the cleaner will leave moisture behind.
Other than mopping hardwood floors safely, what else can the electric steam mop do? Can you use it to clean grout, tiled or even mop laminate floors? If you can derive more than one use for your steamer, you won’t need to buy other machines for different jobs.
Can you detach the working end with the mop pad so that you can use it as a handheld steam cleaner? If yes, then your model is versatile. With a portable steamer, you can clean countertops, grills, bathroom walls, and more. We highly ranked machines that can be used to clean different types of floors and areas in the home.
Settings are important especially if you want to mop an unsealed hardwood flooring. Steam level settings help you control the amount of steam you want to use for your cleaning job. A high steam level is not very food for wooden floors from my experience. Excess dampness weakens joins in wooden planks. If you leave moisture behind, you also attract mold and dirt.
The design of most models we’ve tested and ranked have a control panel. You can use it to select and control the amount of steam delivered. This option comes in handy if you have multiple types of hard flooring. You might need extra steam power to clean different types of flooring in your home.
I and my team have tested many brands of steam cleaners but we also considered the experiences and views of other users. Reviews give a lot of insight into how warranty issues are dealt with by the manufacturer. So, we took it upon ourselves to read thousands of user reviews. Before rating a steam mop as good for hardwood flooring, we take these views into account.
Prepare Your Floor Before Steaming
Old wooden floors should not be cleaned with steam. Heavily trafficked areas of the flooring are likely to get worn out. When water soaks into the grains, it will cause warping, discoloration, and rotting.
Scratches can also break the seal on wood floors, leaving them exposed to moisture. To prevent these, prepare the surface before applying a steam mop on it. Here’s what to do before steam mopping a hardwood floor:
- Inspect the surface to see if there are any breakages in the sealant.
- Sweep and vacuum all the loose dirt and dust from the floor.
- Steam mop the floor lightly with a low steam setting.
Do not keep the mop pad in one place for long to avoid soaking the wood with moisture. Also, avoid putting vinegar in your steam mop when cleaning this kind of floor. It will only leave it with a dull finish.