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Best Steam Mop for Hardwood Floors of 2022

Updated
Get your hardwood floors pristine without risking dulling or damage.

Cleaning your hardwood floors the old-fashioned way with a standard mop may not get you the results you want.

Harnessing the grime-fighting powers of steam can work wonders. But, at the same time, you’re likely wary about risking harm to your flooring.

Your concern is warranted. Picking an incompatible steam mop could have disastrous consequences for your floors. Here’s everything you need to know to find the best steam mop for your hardwood floors.

Our Top Picks

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Image
Model
Product Comparison Table
Features

Product Image of the LIGHT 'N' EASY Steam Mop, Floor Steamers for Hardwood and Tile,Lightweight Steam Mops for Laminate Floor,Carpet Steamer,Wood Floor Mop Steam Cleaners,7618ANW
Best for All Floors
Light ‘N Easy S3101 Steam Mop
  • User-friendly design
  • Suitable for soft & hard flooring
  • Ideal for speedy cleaning
Product Image of the Bissell Steam Mop, Steamer, Tile, Hard Wood Floor Cleaner, 1806, Sapphire Powerfresh Deluxe
Best for Stubborn Messes
Bissell PowerFresh Steam Mop
  • Prompt heat-up & preparation
  • Two settings for different surfaces
  • Smooth gliding
Product Image of the Shark S5003D Genius Hard Floor Cleaning System Pocket Steam Mop, Burgundy/Gray
Most Innovative Features
Shark Genius Hard Floor Steam Mop
  • Three settings for almost all surfaces
  • Drop pads straight into your hamper
  • Steam blaster for interruption-free mopping
Product Image of the LIGHT 'N' EASY Steam Mop, Electric Foor Steamer for Hardwood/Tile/Rug/Laminate,Wood Floor Mop Steam with Swivel Head,M Water Tank (7338ANW), 20 Feet Power Cord, White Violet
Best for Heavily Furnished Homes
Light ‘N Easy S7338 Auto Steam Mop
  • Speed-controlled steam
  • Long cord for extra reach
  • Easy to maneuver
Product Image of the Shark Steam Mop Hard Floor Cleaner for Cleaning and Sanitizing with XL Removable Water Tank and 18-Foot Power Cord (S1000A),White
Best for Smaller Homes
Shark S1000A Steam Mop
  • Space-saving design
  • Straightforward to use
  • Lightweight & low-effort


Product Reviews

We immersed ourselves in the steam mop market on your behalf. We’ve meticulously investigated, reviewed, and assessed each model for you. So we’re happy to say that our in-depth sleuthing paid off. We’ve found five potential candidates for the best steam mop for hardwood floors.

1. Light ‘N Easy S3101 Steam Mop

Best for All Floors

With different floorings in one home, cleaning can be daunting. But not with this product.

We love that the S3101 is rated for hard surfaces (wood, laminate, tile, and stone) and carpet.

You can use this versatile mop in nearly any residence. You probably don’t have hardwood bathrooms, and many homes have at least one carpeted room.

True to the name, the Light N’ Easy won’t break your back. It weighs four pounds; toting it up and down stairs shouldn’t be too taxing.

What We Like

User-Friendly Design

There’s nothing complex about setting up or using this mop. For one, you don’t have to remove the tank to refill it, which saves you time.

The controls are straightforward. You pump the handle and move the mop around to produce steam: the faster you go, the more steam you’ll generate.

Suitable for Soft and Hard Flooring

Users with carpets will appreciate the duality of this mop. You may be able to retire your old carpet cleaner, or save yourself the cost of a new one.

As the device works on flooring other than wood, you can use it throughout the house. Renew the stone on your patio or garage, or give yourself a break from scrubbing tiles.

Easily Carried and Stored

There are handheld steam cleaners that weigh more than this compact steam mop. It shouldn’t be cumbersome to move around from room to room.

The last thing we need is another big appliance to cram into a closet. The slim build and light weight are practical for those with limited space.

Ideal for Speedy Cleaning

You can clean quickly with this mop. Moving the mop vigorously forces more steam out.

The 7.4-ounce tank heats up in less than a minute. Those who don’t like to waste time will appreciate how rapidly this model gets ready for action.

What We Don't Like

Carpet Attachment Sold Separately

Although the Light N’ Easy comes with one mop pad, the carpet glider is sold separately. To profit from the complete flooring package, you’ll have to purchase it by itself.

This doesn’t impact the machine’s functionality, but it is somewhat irksome. The way it’s advertised, you’d expect it to be inclusive.

No On/Off Switch

When you want to turn this off, you have to physically unplug it from the wall. As soon as you plug it in, it starts heating up. This is inconvenient if you need to quickly stop steaming to answer the door or tend to your child. You could damage your floors if you leave it standing in one spot and forget to unplug it.

It says it stops producing steam when your hands leave the handle, but customers found this wasn’t always the case.

7.4 Ounce Reservoir

The reservoir holds around a cup of water, which the mop goes through quickly. You might have frequent trips to refill this mop, especially if you emit more steam as you clean.

Product Specs

Tank Capacity and Warm-Up Time 7.4 ounces, ready in 30 seconds
Mop Pad Washable microfiber pad, 10.5 by 6 inches
Settings Automatic shutoff when you release the handle
Weight 4 pounds
Cord Length 20 feet

2. Bissell PowerFresh Deluxe Steam Mop

Best for Stubborn Messes on Hardwood Floors

Are your hardwood floors subject to a host of affronts regularly? Little ones, pets, and careless spouses can dirty up your glossy floors in the blink of an eye.

In this case, the Bissell PowerFresh Deluxe might be an appealing choice. It comes with a built-in brush for tackling dried mud, forgotten sticky spills, and caked-on grime.

Once the bulk of the mess is dealt with, you can reattach the mop head. At 12 inches wide, it can cover vast swathes at once to shorten your cleaning time.

What We Like

Prompt Heat-Up and Preparation

This machine can be ready to jump into action as quickly as you are. The Bissell heats up in 30 seconds.

So by the time you perform a preliminary wipe-down, it’ll be ready to finish the job with a sanitizing burst of steam.

Two Settings for Different Surfaces

If you’re obliged to steam your hardwood often, it’s best to do it on a low setting. Depending on what you’re steaming, you can switch this model between low and high.

Crank it up to high for your tiles, marble, and ceramic. Hardwood, aging linoleum, and other delicate surfaces can be gently treated on low.

Smooth Gliding

The microfiber of this widely-built mop pad is cushiony and thick. Aside from protecting your floors from scratches, it should glide over them without a hitch.

Option to Include Scent Disk

Steam has many advantages, but it doesn’t leave a fragrance behind. So after transitioning to steam, you may miss your favorite scented cleaning products.

Thankfully, the mop attachment has a tray built to hold Bissell scent disks. The spring-fresh aroma should satisfy your desire to enjoy aromatic evidence of your hard work.

What We Don't Like

Might Have a Shorter Lifespan

A handful of users report that their Bissells didn’t last as long as they’d hoped. Several customers experienced their steam mops giving up within one year of purchase.

Your product is under a two-year limited warranty umbrella, but it’s still disappointing. Although this happened to a minority of buyers, it’s understandable if you don’t want to risk it.

Not Effective on Grout

Although this steam mop comes with a bristled attachment that looks like it should be fantastic on grout, customers say otherwise. After scrubbing and scrubbing their grout until their arms tired, many customers said there was no physical difference to how their grout looked. Still as dirty as ever!

Mop Pads Get Dirty Quickly

The mop pads don’t absorb a lot of the dirt. Instead, it sits on the surface of the mop pad and spreads dirty water around.

Product Specs

Tank Capacity and Warm-Up Time 19 ounces, ready in 30 seconds
Mop Pad Microfiber pad, 12 inches wide
Settings Low and high
Weight 5.7 pounds
Cord Length 25 feet

3. Shark Genius Hard Floor Steam Mop

Most Innovative Features

The Shark Genius might tempt users who are fond of appliances with ingenious features.

If you’re the germaphobic type, you’ll likely adore this mop. With the touch of a button, detach and reattach the pad from the device — no hands needed.

It also has a targeted steam blaster for stubborn stains. So if you suddenly come across a resilient stain, you can blast it into submission and return to steam mopping.

What We Like

Three Settings for Almost All Surfaces

The Shark Genius gives you total control over steam generation. You’ll be able to steam mop surfaces ranging from delicate to hardy with settings from low to medium and high.

All three settings are rated for use on hardwood flooring. Of course, it’s up to you to determine which setting is most appropriate for your wood.

Drop Pads Straight Into Your Hamper

This gadget’s touch-free mop pad will appeal to users who are queasy about touching grimy mop pads.

Hold the Genius over to drop the pad straight in your laundry hamper. Dump it in your washing machine without touching it once.

Steam Blaster for Interruption-Free Mopping

You usually have to stop when you come across a tacky or grimy spot with a traditional mop. Typically, you’re obligated to get down on your knees and scrub to loosen it up.

The chances of such aggravating delays are minimized with this machine. It has a built-in steam blaster to send a concentrated jet of steam at whatever is in your way.

Longer-Lasting Mop Pads

The mop pads are dual-sided. Once you’ve worn out one side, you can switch to the second one.

Shark states that the pads can last up to four months with regular use. Since replacement pads are an ongoing cost, this should save you a little money.

What We Don't Like

Swiveling Mop Head Might Hinder You

Several customers report that the mop head is extremely pliable. The swiveling mop head may prove too flexible for some of you.

If you have a lot of wide-open spaces to steam, struggling to keep the mop straight could get irritating. Users who have become accustomed to stiff mop heads for years may also have trouble adjusting.

Hard to Fill Up With Water

If you want a removable tank, this isn’t the steam mop for you. You have to fill the measuring cup first, then pour it into the reservoir, which takes extra time. Plus, the opening is small, so it’s tricky. Lastly, you can’t see the reservoir easily, making it hard to tell how much water is in there.

Can’t Stand Up On Its Own

Leaving the steam mop and storing it has never been more frustrating. This steam mop doesn’t stand up on its own. You have to lean it against a wall.

Product Specs

Tank Capacity and Warm-Up Time 11.8 ounces, ready in 30 seconds
Mop Pad Two double-sided dirt-grip washable pads,
4.71 by 13.8 by 7 inches
Settings Low, medium, high. Steam blaster available
Weight 6 pounds
Cord Length 22.4 feet

4. Light ‘N Easy S7338 Automatic Control Steam Mop

Best for Heavily Furnished Homes

Our furnishings and decorations are what make our homes unique. Unfortunately, they can also be troublesome to navigate with bulky appliances.

Users with crowded hardwood floors could find the S7338 by Light N’ Easy steam mop alluring. The 8.6 by 8.6-inch square head can swivel to slide under couches and tables. The flexibility of the machine enables you to navigate obstacles with ease.

The smaller head is petite enough not to get jammed under smaller-sized furniture. It also has the advantage of fitting neatly into most standard-sized corners. And you won’t have to repeatedly pass over the same area as with a narrower, rectangular mop.

What We Like

Speed-Controlled Steam

You’re able to regulate steam generation through your movements. If you push the mop head back and forth swiftly, you’ll get more steam.

So if you run into a tough stain in the midst of mopping, you can break it down with a few brisk movements. Then just slow it down to cut off steam production.

When you position the mop handle upright, steam will stop instantly. This is practical if you have curious pets or children who wander out while you’re cleaning.

Long Cord for Extra Reach

Having a lot of items in a room can shorten the cord length of appliances like this. For instance, a 10-foot cord can turn into a 5-foot one if your outlet is behind an enormous couch.

We’re glad that this device has a cord that’s 20 feet long. It’ll likely be enough to work with, even if you have to wind it around various pieces of furniture.

Simple to Maneuver

A head that swivels 360 degrees won’t limit you in a crowded space. You may not have to bend or move furnishings around as you would with a stiff-head model.

Adding to that, the whole mop weighs less than five pounds. Most steam moppers shouldn’t feel worn down after manipulating it for a while.

Ergonomic Handle

The handle on this steam mop is unlike no other. It’s a circular handle making it comfortable to hold. It also provides a space to wrap the cord around, which is fantastic for storage purposes.

What We Don't Like

Thinner Pads

A few customers have found that the pads are thin, meaning they wear out faster. This means you need to keep an eye on your mop pads; check them regularly.

Otherwise, you hazard scuffing or scratching your hardwood floors. If you’re the forgetful sort and this sounds too dangerous for you to chance, pick a model with thicker pads.

Requires More Effort Than Desired

The reason for this being a little lower on our list is because it does require more effort than other options. Although it heats up in 30 seconds, it can take another few minutes to get going. Once the mop pad is wet, it starts to work better, which can take up to five minutes. You might have to go over the same spot multiple times to see a difference.

Not Heavy Duty

With many steam mops, you can physically see the steam emitting from the device. This lets you know it’s working. With this steam mop, you can’t see the steam come out. Therefore, it’s not as heavy-duty as other options. Plus, it’s not the best for large homes since it does require more effort.

Product Specs

Tank Capacity and Warm-Up Time Tank capacity N/A, ready in 30 seconds
Mop Pad 8.6 by 8.6 inches
Settings Smart sensor, automatic shutoff when positioned upright
Weight 4.9 pounds
Cord Length 20 feet

5. Shark S1000A Steam Mop With Removable Tank

Best for Smaller Homes

Do you live in a smaller residence with fewer square feet to steam? This product may work for you. The power cord is 18 feet long, which won’t be too restrictive in humbler domiciles.

The pads are reusable and will keep as long as you aren’t steaming vast expanses of flooring. This lightweight model won’t eat up space you don’t have. It’s slim and unbulky, so it shouldn’t give you much trouble to store.

You can control how much steam you’ll expose your hardwood floors to. Steam is generated by pumping the mop handle as little or as often as you need.

What We Like

Space-Saving Design

When your living space is modest, economizing on space is a priority. A bigger appliance might not fit in your designated storage areas.

The Shark should fit conveniently into the smallest of closets. One buyer managed to rig up a hook for it, which could work as the handle is rounded.

Straightforward to Use

This simply-built machine is controlled manually through a pump. You squeeze the handle to push out steam as you manipulate the mop.

There are no electronic settings to switch between, and it’s easy to set up. Attaching pads to the mop is as easy as pressing the head down on the pad while it’s on the floor.

Refilling the removable tank is a breeze. You pour water into it (straight from the tap), screw the cap back on, and reattach it to the mop.

Lightweight and Low-Effort

Manipulating the S1000A shouldn’t overpower uses of all levels of physical ability. The total weight of this mop is 4.6 pounds.

Hoisting it over your carpets or out of storage likely won’t be too exhausting. It also has a long handle, meaning most of you won’t have to hunch over while steaming.

Great for Speedy Cleaning

Customers love how quickly this allows them to clean their floors. It heats up in 30 seconds, emitting strong power from the get-go. You can clean your bathroom floors, carpets, and other hard floors in just a few minutes.

What We Don't Like

Less Durable Pads

One of the reasons why we suggest this product for smaller-scale residents is the pads. Several buyers have reported that the pads collect dirt fast, requiring frequent replacement.

This machine might not be optimal for regularly steaming big areas. The pads will last for longer if you use them less.

Pump Could Tire Your Hands Out

A few users have complained that handling the pump is tiring after a while. If you have limitations (e.g., arthritis), the repetitive motion might grow painful.

Those of you in this category might prefer a model with hands-free controls. A few examples are the Light N’ Easy S7338 or the Shark Genius.

Product Specs

Tank Capacity and Warm-Up Time 12.6 ounces, ready in 30 seconds
Mop Pad N/A
Settings Pump to generate steam
Weight 4.6 pounds
Cord Length 18 feet

Product Comparison Chart

Product Best Tank Capacity, Warm-Up Time Mop Pad Settings Weight Cord Length
Light ‘N Easy S3101 All Floors 7.4 oz, 30 sec Microfiber pad, 10.5″ x 6″ Automatic shutoff 4 lbs 20 ft
Bissell PowerFresh Stubborn Messes 19 oz, 30 sec Microfiber pad, 12″ Low and high 5.7 lbs 25 ft
Shark Genius Hard Floor Innovative Features 11.8 oz, 30 sec Double-sided dirt-grip pads Low, medium, high. Steam blaster 6 lbs 22.4 ft
Light ‘N Easy S7338 Auto Heavily Furnished Homes N/A, 30 sec 8.6″ x 8.6″ Smart sensor, automatic shutoff 4.9 lbs 20 ft
Shark S1000A Steam Mop Smaller Homes 12.6 oz, 30 sec N/A Pump – generate steam 4.6 lbs 18 ft

You’re right to arm yourself with information before buying a steam mop. There are so many types of mops on the market that shopping might momentarily overwhelm you. Let’s now answer some common questions about steam cleaning this flooring type.

Can I Use a Steam Mop on Wooden Floors?

You can theoretically use a steam mop on both solid (all-wood) or engineered wood (wood and composite materials) — as long as they’re sealed (1).

Varnish protects and preserves the underlying wood from daily wear and tear. This liquid dries to form a transparent film that’s durable and usually gloss-enhancing.

Wood is sturdy with aesthetic appeal, but you should know its weaknesses. A major flaw is its tendency to absorb moisture, which can alter its appearance.

As steam is vaporized water, you can’t expose unsealed wood to it. Residual moisture from the steam may distort the boards over time.

Don’t Overdo It

Repeatedly and frequently steam mopping your hardwood floors is inadvisable even if they’re sealed. Heat and moisture can wear down sealants. So check with a woodwork expert to determine if and when you need a fresh coat (2).

Are Steam Mops Worth It?

If you despise mopping and scrubbing floors, a steam mop is worth your while. Harsh detergents may speed up cleaning but can also eat away your floors. On the other hand, steam may be hot, but it’s biodegradable and non-toxic.

Users concerned about germs may also find these devices helpful. Wood requires the same diligent sanitization as carpeting. Nasty organisms like salmonella can survive on any surface for weeks (3).

Check Your Warranty

If your hardwood flooring is new or recently refinished, examine the warranty. As the National Wood Flooring Association doesn’t recommend steam-cleaning, you could void your warranty by doing it.

Things to Consider (Buying Guide)

You don’t want to hazard exorbitant repairs by choosing the wrong steam mop. So these are all the product specifications you should look out for:

Available Settings and Control

If you’re determined to steam mop your floors frequently, you may want a model with control settings so you can choose a lower option.

It’s critical that you’re able to stop steam production whenever you want. If turning the machine off is fiddly, you risk harming your hardwood or injuring yourself.

Mop Pad Construction

Mop pads must be soft and non-abrasive to avoid scuffing, scratching, or marking your floors.

You should also choose a sturdy material, like quality microfiber, that will last for dozens of uses.

Note the dimensions and shape of the mop head and pad. Is it wide or narrow? Triangular for corners, or rectangular? These facets will impact how you can use them.

Weight

Steam mops can significantly outweigh their traditional counterparts.

If you get tuckered out dragging a regular mop, weight should be first on your list of priorities. There’s no purpose in buying a model you won’t be able to handle.

On the lower end of the spectrum, steam mops weigh four pounds. On the higher end, they can be 6-7 pounds.

Tank Capacity

Tank capacity is linked to how much steam mopping you can do before refilling. Still, before you buy a model with an enormous tank, remember that the additional ounces could weigh you down.

Tank capacity is generally anywhere between six and 20 ounces. 12 ounces is average and the most common.

Warm-Up Time

Don’t forget the tank capacity when you see the time it takes the mop to warm up. A 30-second warm-up time is ideal for a moderately sized tank. But if the tank is tiny and takes minutes to get hot, it could become frustrating to use.

Ease of Use and Maneuverability

You want a flexible steam mop that’s easy to maneuver.

What about user-friendliness? Do you have to press down a switch non-stop while you’re steaming?

Is the cord long or so short that you’ll have to replug it every few steps? Look for one at least 15 feet long.

Are there any futuristic features like a smart switch to make your life easier?


Tips for Steam Mopping Hardwood Floors

We provide a few steam mopping tips for users who are curious, hesitant, or both:

  • Don’t idle: Allowing the steam to blast into one area of your flooring for a long moment can damage it.
  • Work speedily: On that note, keep up a quick pace as you steam. Don’t slowly drag it over your flooring: a brief pass should be sufficiently cleansing.
  • Let it warm up: Don’t try to forcefully use your steam mop before it’s ready. You could cause harm to the internal mechanisms or spew hot water instead of steam.
  • Keep pads clean: A buildup of filth will render your steam mop ineffective. You risk scuffing your floors by pushing a mop covered in solid grime across them. Clean them as needed, or replace them if they’re past washing.
  • Let the mop cool off safely: The mop pad will be scalding hot after you use it. Don’t prop it up on your hardwood floors to dry. Instead, position the mop, so the pad isn’t touching anything.

FAQs

Which Steam Mop is Best for Hardwood Floors?

In our opinion, the best steam mop for hardwood floors is the Light ‘N’ Easy S3101 Steam Mop. It is easy to use, suitable for hard and soft flooring, and perfect for quick floor cleaning.

How Often Can I Steam Clean My Hardwood Floors?

Knowing how often you can steam clean your hardwood floor is tricky because hardwood can absorb moisture, causing mold growth and warping. However, if you steam clean your hardwood floor every couple of weeks, you should be fine. But only do this if the floor is sealed.

Also, if you have pets and children, you may need to adjust the frequency slightly to keep your hardwood sanitized and bacteria-free.

What Should You Not Put on a Hardwood Floor?

You should not put ammonia on your hardwood floor. Ammonia is highly abrasive and contains active ingredients that dissolve lignin in wood, effectively weakening the floor.

Which Steam Mop Does Not Leave Streaks?

The steam mop that does not leave streaks is the Shark Genius Hard Floor Cleaning System. It has three heat settings for all flooring types and a steam blaster for streak-free mopping.

Why is My Floor Sticky After I Steam Mop?

Your floor is sticky after you steam mop because you have used the wrong detergent, or you’ve used too much or little of the detergent. It dries and leaves a residue that feels sticky underfoot.


Before You Start Steaming

If you aren’t sure whether or not your hardwood floors are sealed, check with a professional. Don’t venture a guess and hope for the best.

Double-check that steaming won’t void your warranty if your hardwood floors are new. If another accident happens that requires repair, you want to be covered.

Finally, use caution when you’re steaming hardwood. Remember not to overdo it, and monitor how your hardwood responds to steaming. If you notice the floors have begun to deteriorate, stop using your steam mop on them.

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Headshot of Amy Anthony

About the Author

Amy Anthony

Amy is a stay-at-home-mom, seasoned writer, and a home cleaning and organization aficionado. Amy enjoys having an absolutely spotless home and has worked hard to develop strategies to keep it that way, despite having 2 kids and 3 dogs!