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Which? names six steam mops as Don’t Buys

Three of the best steam mops topped our table


Our latest tests uncovered three Best Buy and six Don’t Buy steam cleaners

Our latest steam mop group test has uncovered three new Best Buys, but we’ve also named and shamed six Don’t Buy steam mops that failed to shine in our independent cleaning tests.

A decent steam mop or steam cleaner should take the hard work out of wiping away everyday grime and spills, but we found huge differences between the best and worst models. 

And paying more for a steam mop won’t guarantee a better experience, as one of the new Best Buys is available for £50 or less. 

Head straight to our Best Buy steam mops to find out which models we rate.

Best and worst steam mops

We tested 18 steam mops and 2-in-1 mop and handheld steam cleaners in total, including models from Morphy Richards, Russell Hobbs, Shark and Vax. 

A third were so poor at cleaning that we’ve highlighted them as Don’t Buy models to avoid. Some struggled to shift even muddy footprints, which is the lightest stain we tested the steam mops out on. Take a look at the gallery below to see the difference between a Best Buy and Don’t Buy steam mop.

Besides poor cleaning power, some models make cleaning hard work as they are difficult to manoeuvre around the floor and tough to push across stains and spills. Hard-to-fit cleaning pads and attachments and stiff controls were other frustrations we encountered.

Find out more about all the latest steam cleaners by reading our full steam mop reviews

Top steam mop problems

And we aren’t the only ones to encounter problems; Which? members have told us about problems they have had with their steam mops in our annual product reliability survey of 11,000 members in September 2014.

Cloths or pads not emerging clean from the washing machine is the top problem members reported having had with their steam mops, with 18% of those who have had a problem with their steam mop experiencing this. A further 14% said their steam mop spat water, 13% said their steam mop just stopped working and 12% said the steam output notably decreased.

We test whether steam output drops off after multiple uses and also whether each steam mop will leave your floor wet after cleaning.

We also rate steam mop and steam cleaner brands for reliability based on Which? member feedback. Visit our best steam mop brands page to find out how brands compare.

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