Hardwood is a great option for floor finishing. It possesses that universal appearance that makes it adaptable for all sorts of interior themes new or old. Whether you are modernizing your home with industrial décor or going back to roots with rustic aesthetics, hardwood floors will always be a great addition to any interior.
However, all this aesthetic richness and the plush touch of timber floors come with one headache: its difficult cleaning. For instance, you can’t wash them like concrete, tile and marble floors neither can you dry clean them like carpets. On top of that, using non-recommended chemicals and DIY solutions are also detrimental to the sealing and finishing of hardwood floors.
This leaves you with just wet mopping and scrubbing that can turn out to be really testing for your back and knees. So, is there any way to clean hardwood floors without damaging them and without undergoing great physical fatigue?
A steam cleaner is an answer to your hardwood floor cleaning woes. They are constructed like upright vacuums and use fine steam to effectively clean hardwood and all similar delicate floorings. Contrary to popular belief (thanks to aggressive marketing of cleaner and bleaching product manufacturers), simple tap water is good enough to clean floors. It can even exterminate the majority of bacterial growth infesting the floor when used in the form of overheated steam.
Best Steam Cleaners for Hardwood Floors
In short, a steam cleaner is a complete cleaning solution for your hardwood cleaning. Here, we are going to review 13 of the best steam cleaners for hardwood floor of this year. Buy one and get rid of those hefty overhead chemical costs that reduce the service life of any hardwood surface.
1. Bissell 1940 PowerFresh Steam Mop- Steam Cleaner with Scented Mopping Disc
3- Level steaming
Includes soft and scrubbing microfiber pads
Carpet glider and fragrant disc
An Amazon’s Choice product
Have you ever had to deal with a gum stuck to a hardwood surface? If you have to then you must be aware of how it tests one’s patience. Steam can soften such hardly stuck-on messes on floors so you can easily peel them off.
For all such tricky cleaning tasks and regular hardwood floor mopping, Bissell has introduced a perfect solution. Bissell 1940 PowerFresh is a steam mop in the construction of an upright vacuum. It has a swiveling handle and a long power cord that makes its use quite easy. Then you get a microfiber soft pad for light cleaning and a scrubby pad to deal with stubborn stains and spots.
You can also set a steam output at three levels, depending on the cleaning task at hand. Bissell has also made sure that you can give a complete cleaning treatment to your wooden floors from its steam mop. Therefore, you also get a fragrance disc that can be inserted into the mop pad to permeate the cleaned floor with a pleasant smell.
Bissell 1940 PowerFresh can be used on non-wooden flooring as well. You can use it on marble, vinyl and as well as carpets (a carpet glider included). Although tap water is good enough, you can also use demineralized scented water in the mop for better results.
Swiveling handle and long power cord for better maneuverability
Fragrant disc for pleasant cleaning sessions
Flip-down scrubbers ideal against tough mess
Can be used on non-wooden floors as well
Difficult to change cleaning pads
Consumes considerable power given its size
2. Shark S6003UK Klik n’ Fli- Steam Cleaner with Powerful Steam Blaster
3-level intelligent steam control
Dual-sided dirt grip pad
An Amazon’s Choice product
SharkNinja is renowned name among vacuum cleaner manufacturers. It makes some of the best cleaning appliances for homes. SharkNinja has kept up with this tradition with its steam cleaner that goes by the name Shark Genius Hard Floor Cleaning System.
Nearly every feature of this steam cleaner is worth mentioning. Let’s start with its ergonomic long handle that has a ring-shaped end for better grip. It is also one of the few steam mops on the block that is hands-free. With a touch of button present on the handle, you can attach and detach its cleaning pad.
Then its cleaning pad is also quite something. It’s a large dual-side pad that is particularly designed to trap the dirt from all tricky spots. Whether its grout lines or crevices, the washable and woven threads of Shark’s cleaning pad reach there and pick up the mess.
While direct steam channels can be set at three different levels, you also get a special steam blaster that fires a powerful torrent of steam. It comes in really handy when you are dealing with those unyielding backed on stains.
With all these valuable features, Shark Genius Hard Floor Cleaning System is also quite lightweight. Weighing just over five pounds, it won’t strain your hands and arms during detailed cleaning sessions.
Wide dirt grip pad, clean floor in fewer sweeps
Steam blaster to deal with stuck-on stains
A bit heavy on the pocket
May not give good results on non-wooden floors
3. Bissell PowerFresh Lift-Off Pet Steam Mop- Best Steam Cleaner for Homes with Pets
Upright and handheld use
Designed for homes with pets
An Amazon’s Choice product
This is the second Bissell steam cleaner on our list and more versatile than the previous one. To begin with, you can use it both in upright and handheld settings. Its steaming power can be adjusted at two levels and it only takes 30 seconds for the unit to heat up and start steam cleaning.
However, the most striking feature of this Bissell steam cleaner is its wide assortment of cleaning tools. Apart from simple scrubbing pad, you get 12 more cleaning extensions that make sure you can steam clean every nook and corner of the house. Bissell, in fact, has added some tools particularly for homes with pets. For instance, an angle tool is given that helps you in sanitizing the difficult-to-clean pet toys and carriers. Then there is a fabric steamer that allows you to freshen up the pet beddings.
Besides, those pet-specific tools, you also get grout extension, bristle scrub brush, and a window squeegee as well. All these particular tools come in handy where simple flat scrub doesn’t give optimal results. Moreover, the handheld configuration allows you to easily use at vertical surfaces as well.
The extended 25-foot power cord further makes the use of PowerFresh Lift-Off Pet Steam Mop hassle-free.
Equally good for horizontal and vertical cleaning, upright and handheld configuration
Quick to clean, take 30 seconds to produce superheated steam
13 versatile tools for comprehensive cleaning
No option for adjusting steaming outputs
4. Shark Steam Pocket Mop Hard Floor Cleaner- Best Budget Steam Cleaner
Superheated steam in 30 seconds
Features a soft-grip ring handle
Comes with 20-foot power cord
An Amazon’s Choice product
Many homeowners don’t consider steam cleaners and mops in the first place because of their price. There are definitely many expensive steam cleaners available in the market, but you don’t need to invest in them when there you can also find budget options that effectively get the work done.
This Shark steam cleaner is actually something similar. It is a reasonably priced steam mop that offers good cleaning results on hardwood floors like any high-end unit. The steam cleaner comes with two dual-sided microfiber pads that effectively captures the backed on dirt and dust off wooden floors with gentle steaming.
This Budget Shark Steam Hard Floor Cleaner is also good with its readiness. You can get it steaming and cleaning within 30 seconds after powering it on. We also like this model due to its greater water tank capacity of 450 ml. It allows you to wind up large cleaning tasks in one go. Moreover, the 20-foot quick-release cord ensures that you can move the cleaner from one room to the other without changing power outlets.
If you are buying a steam cleaner for the first time and skeptical about their performance, then go for this cost-effective but highly functional unit.
Washable dual-sided two mopping pads, hassle-free cleaning
Large water tank
Extended power cord
A great bang for the buck
Only one steaming output
Water tank is difficult to fill
5. LIGHT ‘N’ EASY Powerful Floor Steamer Cleaner- Sensor-Based Steam Cleaner
Features 2.0 Smart Sensor
Superheated steam in 30 seconds
Comes with 20-foot long power cord
LIGHT ‘N’ EASY has introduced a steam cleaner for hardwood a floor that is truly its namesake with its properties. It is a lightweight (under five pounds) unit that is quite easy to use. It has slim construction where a water tank and mopping pad are fitted on a long, ergonomic handle with comfortable grip.
It is one of the few steam cleaners that get ready with steam under 20 seconds. But the most striking feature of this handy steam mop is its sensor-based steaming action. The unit releases more steam as you press it hard against the floor or move it rapidly. This makes it easy for you to clean stuck-on stains with ease and without tapping buttons and waiting for the unit to level up its steaming action.
Similarly, the steam emission stops as you stop moving the mop. This makes sure no part of the floor gets unnecessarily wet. The handle of this steam cleaning unit is designed to deliver the utmost maneuvering convenience. It has a swiveling connection to the mop head, allowing it to move 360-degree. The handle also features a cord wrap that ensures the cord doesn’t dangle and tangle when you clean near the power outlet it is plugged in.
Equally good on laminate, tile and carpeted floors
Sensors ensure efficient use of steam
Lightweight and ergonomic design
Swiveling handle for better maneuverability
Fixed handle may be a bit too long for some users
May not give good results on corners and grout lines
6. O-Cedar Microfiber Mop- Steam Cleaner with Best Anti-Bacterial Action
Adjustable steam level settings
Quick heating action
Come with a snap-on carpet glider and an extra microfiber pad
O-Cedar has designed a steam cleaner for all those users who are more focused on exterminating the bacterial growth on floors. The steam cleaner features a microfiber pad that can get rid of bacteria from the hardwood floors. The manufacturer has also successfully tested the pad on E. Coli, a bacterium pretty common on dirty and messy floors.
Besides that, the manufacturer has also worked on making its steam cleaning unit an aerodynamic and ergonomic mop. It features a long handle that is pretty similar to umbrella handle, ensuring better grip while moving and pressing the unit.
Another striking feature of this O-Cedar cleaning unit is its sharp triangular cleaning hand. Apart from giving the mop a stylish appearance, this particular shape also works well when you move it around tight corners and crevices. It takes less than one minute for the steamer to deliver super-heated steam. You can also adjust the level of steam coming out of the smartly placed outlet.
In addition to hardwood surfaces, you can also use the unit to clean laminated, marble and carpeted floors. A carpet glider also comes with the unit so you can maintain its maneuverability on weaved and quilted floorings as well.
The microfiber cleaning pad is washable. You can use it for 25 cleaning sessions. And the good news is an extra pad also comes within the price of the steamer unit.
Adjustable steam level, ideal for all sorts of floors
Washable cleaning pad
Triangular head ensures better accessibility
Tested for successful bacteria extermination
A bit too heavy
Doesn’t hold much water
7. BISSELL CrossWave Floor and Carpet Cleaner – 2-in-1 Steam Cleaner
Feature dual-action multi-surface brush roll
Two tank water system
Bissell is dominating our list of steam cleaners for all the right reasons. The Bissell unit we are going to review here is a 2-in-1 cleaning appliance. In the price of two, you get a vacuum and as well as a steam mop. The unit has the upright construction and features a smart control on the handle from where you can easily switch it in between two different cleaning apparatus.
It is important to mention here that Bissell hasn’t added the mopping option in an upright vacuum machine just for the sake of it. The multi-surface brush roller of the machine uses both microfiber fabric and nylon bristles to give optimal cleaning results. Whether it’s sealed hardwood floor or laminated finish, Bissell CrossWave Floor Cleaner gives equally good cleaning results.
The other striking feature of this machine is its two-tank system. The cleaning unit has different chambers for clean and dirty water to give you uncompromised and fresh mopping every time. This Bissell 2-in-1 cleaning machine is worth your money if you need a regular vacuum that can also provide occasional hardwood floor cleaning.
A mop that also vacuums and vice versa
Equally good for all floor types
Feature a winning combo of nylon bristles and microfiber fabric
Easy to maintain and clean
Not suitable for extensive hardwood cleaning
8. COSTWAY 13-Oz Steam Mop- Best Budget Steam Cleaner with Large Water Container
Comes with an extra mopping pad
Features a 16.5-foot power cord
This is another cost-effective steam cleaner on our list. COSTWAY Steam Mop is ideal for all those who are fed up with manual mopping and cleaning of hardwood floors and looking for a better cleaning solution without straining their budgets.
There are many worth-mentioning features of this budget steam mop. To begin with, it features quick superheat steaming mechanism that let you use it within half a minute after switching it on. We also like its 16-oz tank that allows you to go on extended cleaning binges without reloading water again and again.
While keeping its product budget-friendly, COSTWAY has made sure it doesn’t lack on the functional front from any aspect. It features a swiveling handle that moves up to 90-degree like any top-quality steam cleaning unit. Then the cleaning head is carved into a triangular shape to reach all those spaces where rectangular cleaning pads can’t give desired mopping results.
COSTWAY also claims that its cleaning head can be used for versatile cleaning tasks. Apart from hardwood floors, you can also use it on carpets, upholstery and even windows and curtains. The manufacturer also saves you cost by adding an extra microfiber pad.
A reasonably-priced steam cleaning unit
Swiveling handle for improved maneuverability
Large tank allows extended steam cleaning sessions
Works on non-wooden surfaces as well
No option for steam level adjustment
Power cord could be longer
9. LIGHT ‘N’ EASY Floor Steamer – Best Lightweight Steam Cleaner
An extremely lightweight steaming cleaner unit
Patented washable microfiber mop pad
This LIGHT ‘N’ EASY steam cleaner is one of the lightest unit on the block. It won’t be wrong to call it feature-light. Without water, it weighs even less than four pounds. And the good thing is the lightweight of this steam cleaning unit has no bearing on its performance.
It offers you the same top cleaning performance on hardwood floors that you expect from any high-quality steam cleaner. The ergonomic design of the unit clearly indicates how light this steam mop is. There is a narrow handle expanded into a slim water tank that is then fitted on a cleaning hand in swiveling configuration.
You can move the handle on the cleaning hand in a full circle. Such greater mobility comes in really handy when you have to clean floors with lots of hindrances in the form of furniture and appliances. The patented cleaning mop used in the unit deserves special mention. It is a 3-layer washable mop pad. The fit, permeation and adsorption layers work in tandem to give you optimal results on hardwood floors.
The detail construction of mop pads makes them equally good on carpets and other floors. While offering such value, LIGHT ‘N’ EASY has also kept the price of this steam cleaning unit quite reasonable.
Lightweight 360-degree swiveling handle makes cleaning a breeze
Get ready with piping hot steam within 20-30 seconds
Impressive patented mop pad for optimal cleaning results
Equally good on tiles and carpets
Single steam output
Short power cord may become an impediment in cleaning large spaces
10. Holife Floor Steamer Cleaner- Best Steam Cleaner for Nonstop Cleaning
One-button steam release
Comes with 2 extra mop pads
1-year service warranty
60-day money-back guarantee
Water level running low in the midst of steam cleaning is the most irksome issue for many users. Holife has designed its steam cleaner to get around those avoidable break and fitted it with large container that hold enough water to let you clean a large room without stopping to refill it. The 320-ml water tank of Holife Steamer Cleaner provides superhot steam for 10-15 minutes that is enough to mop up any large room or lounge.
Another impressive feature of this steam cleaning unit is its precise temperature treatment. It delivers superheat steam at 110 degree Celsius that is good enough to kill almost all of the bacteria present on hardwood floors. We also like the adjustable telescopic handle of the unit that allows users of all heights to use it with ease. The 90-degree swiveling handle adds up to that convenience.
Holife also provides glider extension with the unit so you can use it on carpets without putting too much force. It is one of the most reliable steaming cleaner units on the block that also reflects from its 60-day money-back guarantee.
Doesn’t just clean but also deodorize the floors with its superhot steam
Adjustable telescopic handle, easy-to-use
Large water tank, non-stop cleaning sessions
Get ready with steam in just 25 seconds
No steam adjusting levels
Power cord is not that long
11. iwoly M11 Steam Mop Cleaner- Best Steam Cleaner for Extended Cleaning Sessions
2-setting intelligent steam control
Free standing construction
Comes with 1-year worry-free warranty
If greater water capacity is your first and foremost requirement in a steam cleaner, then you will love this steamer unit by iwoly. This upright steamer unit comes with a large water container of 410-ml capacity. With such volume, you can easily deal with large hardwood floors in one go. On high steam level, you can nonstop run the steam cleaner for 20 minutes.
Apart from impressive water capacity, the adjustable handle and one-touch control also make this steam cleaner quite easy to use. The telescopic adjustable handle features a D-shaped grip for firm handling. From the grip, the control button is within fingers’ reach. You can use it to adjust the cleaning levels on ‘high’ and ‘low’.
The high steaming level comes in really handy when you are mopping a hardwood floor after quite a while and dealing with some stubborn baked-on stains. In order to give 100% cleaning results, iwoly has also used vibration in the cleaning head. It helps in agitating and prying off the deeply embedded dry stains.
You can extend the impressive mopping function of iwoly M11 to carpeted floors as well. For that, a glider also comes with the unit.
Easy to use with its adjustable handle and one-touch operation
Large water container
Vibration function for optimal cleaning results
Can be used on carpets as well
Short power cord doesn’t complement large water container
Handle swiveling could be better
12. SKG 1500W Floor Steamer- Best Steam Cleaner for Mixed Flooring
6-in-1 multifunction design
Comes with 3 microfiber mop pads
Smart digital settings
SKG Floor Steamer is one of those seaming units that you can call a ‘complete package’. This ergonomically designed upright steam mop features an adjustable telescopic handle and 180-degree triangular cleaning head. The unique construction of the mop pad ensures you can clean every nook and cranny with the unit. It dual upright and handheld configuration allows you to use it on both horizontal and vertical spaces.
SKG’s steam cleaning unit also stands apart among other models because it comes with a set of accessories just like any full-fledged vacuum cleaner. There is a square frame, straight nozzle, brush nozzle, and an extension hose. These accessories make it more than good enough for using on non-wooden surfaces as well. Moreover, the water capacity of over 400-ml is enough for undertaking extensive cleaning tasks.
SKG Floor Steamer gives impressive results on carpets as well. Its superheat steam of 212 Fahrenheit is suitable for deep clean carpets and rugs while getting rid of the bacterial infestation as well. If your home has a mix and match of carpets and hardwood floors then SKG Steaming Cleaning unit will come in really handy.
Large water tank for nonstop steam treatment
Equally good for carpet deep cleaning
Can also be used in handheld configuration
Comes with multiple cleaning accessories
A bit heavy
Consumes considerable amount of power
13. GoodGoods LLC New Electric Steam Mop Cleaner- Best Dual-Configuration Steam Cleaner
Multiple level steam control
Lightweight and ergonomic design
Comes with five different attachments
For all those homeowners who want a single hassle-free moping solution for both carpeted and hardwood floors, there is another option in the form of GoodGoods Electric Steam Mop Cleaner. Unlike many steam mop units, this versatile cleaning machine features a control dial that let you regulate the amount of steam output.
This feature comes in really handy when you have to mop clean different materials. Set the high amount of steam while cleaning carpets. And when dealing with delicate hardwood and lamination finishing, move the dial to lower levels. Apart from effective 3-layer microfiber pads, you also get five different cleaning accessories.
From vertical brush to a window squeegee and small round brush to the jet nozzle, you have enough options to undertake a number of challenging wet cleaning tasks without buckets and wringing and rinsing sponges and mops.
Apart from telescope handle with ring-shaped grip, GoodGoods Steam Cleaner also features a handle in the middle that comes in really handy when you are using it with squeegee or brush attachments. Like any high-quality steamer cleaner, this unit also gets ready with superheated steam within 30 seconds.
Impressive steam control dial
Comes with multiple accessories for holistic cleaning
Can be used as handheld unit
Equally good on wooden and non-wooden surfaces
The cord in not long enough to clean an entire floor from a single power outlet
Difficult to refill the water container
It is important to mention here that these 13 steam cleaner models have not been reviewed in any preferential order. The numbering is used just for reading convenience.
Short Steam Cleaner Buying Guide
After skimming through the above reviews, you must have got a fair idea of how to pick a suitable fit of steam cleaner for your particular needs. In this section, we are going to make these criteria more unambiguous by sharing the features that you should consider while seeing any steam mopping unit on online or roadside stores.
Set with modern professional steam cleaners on yellow background. Top view, flat lay. Banner with copy space. Cleaning service concept.
If you have noticed, nearly all models we have reviewed here offers superheated steam. It is very important to factor in this characteristic if you really want to get a steamer unit for deep and bacteria-free cleaning performance.
Steam temperature exceeding 170 Fahrenheit is perfectly heated to give you desired cleaning results. It is worth mentioning that working with regular steam may not be suitable on hardwood floors for various reasons. Firstly, ‘lukewarm’ steam doesn’t have enough potency to exterminate bacteria. Secondly, when steam is not superheated, it takes more time to dry and extended dampness is not suitable for the finishing and sealing of timber floorings. Besides that, superheated steam also allows you to use the mop for deep-cleaning carpets.
To sum it up, always prefer units that offer greater steam/water temperatures.
Until now it is pretty clear that cleaning pads of a steam cleaner for hardwood floor should always be soft. This is the reason why the majority of high-quality steam cleaner available in the market comes with microfiber mopping pads. We will also recommend you to pick microfiber units for your delicate hardwood floors.
If you are picking any 2-in-1 cleaning unit, then make sure it uses a soft-bristled brush in its mopping mode. By settling on the right type of cleaning pads, you can ensure damage-free cleaning of your hardwood floor finishing.
This is another important factor to consider while choosing a steam cleaning unit for timber finishes. Dampness is detrimental for wooden items and therefore a steam cleaner must have an adjustable output. If you can’t find a steamer cleaner with adjustable steam control in your budget, then try to get a unit with either of these configurations.
A unit that intrinsically operates with low steam
A unit that features start-and-stop control
Keep in mind that like lukewarm steam, too much of it can also cut down the service life of the finish and sealing of hardwood floors.
A regular mop is pretty lightweight. You can’t get the same nominal weights in steam mops and cleaners. However, it is still important to pick a steam cleaner that is comparatively lightweight (in comparison to upright vacuum cleaners). A unit weighing within 10 pounds is considered good for convenient home use. Nearly every model on our list fulfills this requirement.
The water capacity of a steam cleaner unit determines its running time. If you are looking to mop clean large hardwood floor plans in a single go then go for steamer units fitted with reservoirs 300-ml or above. But keep in mind that large water reservoirs add more weight to the unit and sometimes also limit its movement. So, also factor in those “side effects” of extra-large water reservoirs.
Like vacuum cleaners, maneuverability is also a good yardstick to determine the quality of a steam cleaner. You can’t call steam mop top-of-the-line if it doesn’t offer good maneuverability. We are listing down the features that collectively improve the maneuverability of any steam cleaning unit.
Swiveling configuration of handle and cleaning handle
Adjustable telescopic handle
Smartly designed mopping head
Cleaning accessories just sweeten the package of any steam cleaning unit. If you are looking to use your steam mop in more than one capacity, then go with options that come with different attachment accessories. We have also discussed a couple of models that include everything from crevice nozzles to window squeegees. But with more accessories come a hefty price. So, there is that.
Before we wrap up the piece, it is important to address some frequently made queries regarding steam cleaners.
Why Steam Cleaners Are Not Suitable for Unsealed Hardwood Floors?
Water is intrinsically detrimental for timber. When a hardwood floor is unsealed, it doesn’t have a protective layer of varnish or polyurethane thus making it susceptible to water damages. Steaming an unsealed floor means putting the dampness in it that eventually led to swelling, cracking and mold growth.
You can’t blame a steam cleaner to damage your hardwood floor if it is unsealed—practice due diligence in cleaning those delicate timber finishes.
What Is the Difference Between High-End and Budget Steam Cleaner Units?
An expensive steam cleaner comes with accessories, features digital steam control and also has both upright and handheld adjustments. On the other hand, budget models have all the basic features required to get the job done.
If you are okay with a simple mop construction that offers superheated steam with microfiber pad, then we would suggest that you stick with budget options. We have covered many reasonably-priced models here that will give you the cleaning performance of any high-end steam cleaner unit.