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Which steam mop and two-in-one steam cleaner brand?

Top five steam mop and two-in-one steam cleaner brands for 2018

By Jon Barrow

Article 1 of 2

Choose a new steam cleaner from a brand that won't let you down. In this guide we highlight the best - and worst - so that you can buy with confidence.

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In this guide, we share what we've learnt about some of the biggest steam mop brands, such as Bissell, Thane and Vax, based on our years of in-depth testing and feedback from genuine owners. By combining this unique information we're able to give you a real insight into how a steam cleaner is likely to perform when you get it home.

The best steam mops and combination two-in-one devices make cleaning floors easier, as their jets of steam blast away sticky stains and muddy footprints. It's unsurprising that these devices have become hugely popular over the last few years and manufacturers have quickly flooded the market with models in all shapes and sizes. But all too often they perform poorly and leave owners frustrated.

Our insider advice reveals the steam mops and combination two-in-one steam cleaner brands that impress and those which you should avoid. If you're more interested other types of steam cleaners then you can learn more about these devices in our separate top three cylinder and handheld steam cleaner brands guide.

And if you just want the best steam cleaner for your budget, head to our in-depth steam cleaner reviews to find out which models we recommend.

Steam mops and combination two-in-one steam cleaner brands rated

We've brought together all our know how about the key steam cleaner brands, including recent tests for individual models and owner's feedback from our annual survey, so you can see easily compare brands amd see which are the best.

For each brand you can find out:

  • Average test score - how well steam cleaners from this brand do in our tests.
  • How reliable it is - we ask owners to tell us about any problems they've had with their steam mops and combination two-in-one devices, and use this data to assess how likely or otherwise each brand's steam cleaner is to let you down.
  • How owners rate it - how satisfied owners are with their brand of steam cleaners, and whether they would recommend it to a friend.
  • Our verdict - we tell you, in a nutshell, what we think of the brand.

The five main steam mop and combination two-in-one steam cleaner brands feature in our tables, so if you're considering splashing out on a Shark or a Vax model then find out what owners of these brands really think of them.

Here's a preview of how the brands stack up against each other:

Only logged-in Which? members can see which brands came out on top in the table below. If you're not yet a member, sign up to Which? to get instant access.

Brand name Average review score Reliability rating How owners rate this brand
59% 62%
This brand's steam cleaners received the strongest endorsement from its customers in our survey and the company also managed a five star rating for the reliability of its devices. Our tests have shown that its two-in-one steam cleaners can be impressive, with two recent launches being rated as Best Buys, but older models have sometimes disappointed.
63% 59%
This company has produced some of the top-rated steam cleaners that we've tested and two of the six current models that we're assessed are Best Buys. Its customer score - 59% - is ok and owners reported few reliability issues with their steam mops and combination two-in-one steam cleaners. In fact, 90% of those in our survey were still fault-free after five years use.
59% 59%
This brand was the most commonly-owned in our steam cleaner customer survey. It's produced an impressive number of Best Buys, including four standard steam mops and two combination devices, but some models do disappoint and we've found one Don't Buy. Its steam cleaners are pretty reliable but those from other brands are likely to last longer.
48% 52%
Combination two-in-one steam cleaners made by this manufacturer are reliable but the brand only received mediocre customer feedback in our survey. This is likely to be due to the poor performance of its cleaners - both of the models that we've tested only narrowly avoided being rated as Don't Buys.
51% 48%
Two-in-one steam cleaners from this manufacturer are quite expensive and owners gave them the thumbs down in our latest survey. Although they're unlikely to experience any faults, only a minority of users would recommend them to their friends and our test results show that they tend to do a poor job at cleaning surfaces.

Table notes
Based on a survey of Which? members conducted in September 2017. Survey sample sizes: 964 (reliability), 1125 (customer score). Test lab data correct at November 2017.

Key

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Users also told us about two other smaller brands - Holme and Abode. We haven't included them in our table as we haven't got any test data or enough reliability feedback to give them a rating but we can report their customer scores. And they're not good. Users gave Holme a lowly 38% score and Abode a frankly terrible 32%. Based on this user feedback these are two companies to avoid.

If you're interested in test results for any of the brands mentioned here, plus a number of others, then head to our steam cleaner reviews page to read verdicts on all popular models.

Choosing the best steam mop and combination two-in-one steam cleaner brand

As the table above shows, most of the big steam cleaner brands are very reliable. Four of the five that we were able to analyse received five star reliability ratings and even the worst gave a four star performance. That's impressive.

Only six percent of steam cleaners from the most reliable brand experienced a fault within five years of use but in reality, fault rates were pretty low for all five major manufacturers. However, the same wasn't true for smaller brands - we didn't get enough information to give individual scores for these but when grouped together we found that 19% of their models experienced a fault within five years of use.

Yet while steam cleaners may be generally reliable, many customers told us they were unimpressed with their devices. And the average customer score, 54%, compares very poorly to those given to other domestic products such as corded vacuum cleaners (74%), and washing machines (80%).

This poor user feedback is almost certainly down to the often dismal performance of the steam cleaners rather than any longevity issues. Our in-depth testing has uncovered many substandard devices that struggle to clean better than traditional mops and more than a quarter of those that we've assessed are so bad that we've rated them as Don't Buy steam cleaners.

But not all models are disappointing - in fact, we've found a number of Best Buy steam cleaners that we've happy to recommend.

More steam cleaner buying tips

All steam cleaners heat up water to produce steam which is then used to clean surfaces at high pressure. They come in three main types - steam mop, handheld and cylinder steam cleaners – though you can also buy two-in-one steam cleaners that combine a mop for floors with a detachable handheld device for cleaning tiles, glass and other surfaces.

Handheld devices are cheap and compact. They're fine for small cleaning jobs, such as around the taps in your bathroom, though you'll want a bigger unit to clean larger areas.

Steam mops stand upright while cylinder steam cleaners have a main body, bendy hose, plastic tube and nozzle. Like two-in-one steam cleaners they can handle both large and small cleaning tasks, though the downside is that they tend to be expensive and are heavy and bulky to store.

Read more about the different types of cleaner and get tips on using them in our guide on How to buy the best steam cleaner.

It's worth noting that if you live in a hard water area then you should look for a cleaner that has a hard water filter or alternatively should consider using distilled water. Otherwise the device could get furred-up and become unusable.

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