Best steam cleaners for 2016 revealedVax, Shark and Bissell models go head-to-head

21 January 2016

Woman using a steam mop in her home

Steam cleaners from Vax, Bissell and Shark go head-to-head in our latest tests

Our latest steam cleaner test put five new steam mops and 10 of the most popular older models under the microscope in the Which? test lab – with just one earning our sought-after Best Buy recommendation.

If you're planning to do a spring clean for 2016, you'll want to choose carefully. Our tough tests found big differences between the best and worst steam mops, with two models scoring so poorly we’ve named them Don’t Buys.

We included steam cleaners for all budgets, with prices ranging from £38 to over £100. But however much you have to spend, you’ll want to be sure that your money isn’t going to waste.

Find out which steam mops impressed – and which ones to steer clear of – by reading our steam cleaner reviews.

Thane, Bissell and Vax steam mops reviewed

We’ve updated our testing to ensure we only recommend the very best mops, and to make it easier to compare results we re-tested older models which are still popular as well as new steam mops.

While it might be tempting to plump for the latest model, older steam mops can be a smart buy. For example, the Bissell 23V8-E is currently on sale for a tempting £40. To see if it does a good enough job of cleaning to beat pricier rivals read our full Bissell 23V8-E review

Other popular models on test include the Thane H20 x5 mop, the Vax Steam Fresh Combi S86-SF-C and the Shark S3901 Lift-Away mop. The best mops are not always the most heavily promoted though. To find out which steam mop excelled in our latest test take a look at our Best Buy steam mops.

New improved steam cleaner tests

We spoke to nearly 400 Which? members who own a steam cleaner to find out how they use it and what matters most to them. Then we used their suggestions to improve our tests, so that you know a Best Buy steam cleaner will tackle the toughest home-cleaning jobs.

Our new tests challenge steam cleaners to clear up sticky drink spills from floors and to blast grime from hard-to-reach spaces like gaps between tiles and corners. We also test how durable each mop is and how easy they are to use.

We've found steam mops that struggle to clean even the most basic spills and scuffs. Make sure you know which ones to avoid by looking at our Don't Buy steam cleaners.

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