We’ve put steam mops and 2-in-1 steam cleaners from Abode, Bissell, Black & Decker, Hoover, Morphy Richards, Sainsbury’s, JML and Vax through our tough tests to see how well they can clean everyday stains from your floors and surfaces.
The 14 steam cleaners in our latest head-to-head test includes steam mops for cleaning hard floors, and 2-in-1 models that are steam mops with a pop-out handheld steam cleaner. The 2-in-1 models can also be used to clean surfaces such as countertops, tiles and glass, and to freshen fabrics, removing creases and odours.
We tried out models priced between £25 and £150 on everyday grime, including sticky jam, pasta sauce and muddy footprints.
Two models emerged victorious, having earned our coveted Best Buy recommendation. While another proved so inept at the basic business of cleaning away marks and spills from floors that we have highlighted it as a Don’t Buy and recommend you avoid it.
You can find out which were the best and worst in our steam cleaner reviews.
Best Buy that clears tough stains
Steam mops are designed to make tackling grubby floors that bit easier. But our independent tests show that while some are good at clearing easier grime, such as dirty footprints and pasta sauce, they can really struggle on sticky stains – like jam. However, one of the newly tested models can actually clear away jam too, without leaving the usual sticky residue behind – an impressive feat among steam cleaners.
Which? steam cleaner expert Adrian Porter said: ‘Each steam cleaner we get into the lab doesn’t just get tested on how well they clean and how easy they are to use. In response to a number of concerns raised by Which? members, we put each model through a durability test and do an expert assessment of the steam cleaner’s build quality.
‘To test durability, we run the steam cleaner through 30 cycles; filling the water tank up, let it heat up and then steaming until the tank is empty. In our latest batch, the steam output of several machines dropped by a third or more – and one stopped working completely on the 18th cycle.
‘If a steam cleaner does not get a good durability report from us – over three stars or more – we won’t make it a Best Buy.’
Our list of recommended Best Buy steam cleaners are all proven to clear stubborn stains, are durable and are easy to use.
Steam cleaners tested
We’ve tested steam cleaners and mops from the brands listed below, and more:
- Black & Decker steam cleaners
- Karcher steam cleaners
- Shark steam mops
- Thane steam mops
- Vax steam mops