Do Steam Mops Work? My Quest to Make Cleaning Our Home Easier…

We’re currently having an extension built on our house, and along with the extension comes a brand new open plan kitchen/dining/living room. One of my current dilemmas for our vastly increased floor space is figuring out how to make our lives easier when it comes to cleaning it, since we are going to be increasing our square footage by around 60%. This led to me wondering do steam mops work, and will owning one make cleaning this HUGE new floor space any easier??? I’ve just spent over a week researching whether or not to purchase one, and there’s a lot of conflicting reviews online, so I’ve narrowed things down as much as possible to help me decide if it’s worth it or not.


How does a steam mop work?

Steam mops are relatively new to the market compared to other household appliances, and to me it seems strange that such an invention didn’t exist 20 years ago since it is a relatively simple concept.

The way that a steam mop works, is to heat up a small reservoir of water to a high temperature (usually over 100°C), and then a fabric “mop head” is placed over the steam jets to wipe and collect the dirt and grime. Commonly, microfibre is used as the mop head fabric, as it is great at clinging onto the dirt once you’ve run the steam mop over it. The mop head fabrics are washable and can be reused, and you can purchase replacement fabrics for when they are starting to look tatty.

Some steam mops come with various attachments for the main steam jets, which you can use to create a higher pressure small jet stream. These tend to be useful for deep cleaning of small areas, for particularly dirty areas, for example the grout in between your bathroom tiles or around your cooker hob where there could be a build up of grease. Other steam mops are built only for use on flooring. The ones with attachments almost always come at a higher price tag, so it’s worth considering whether you will actually use the attachments before you make your purchase.

Pros of steam mops

  • Can be used on a variety of flooring including tiles, laminate and carpets
  • Kills a high percentage of bacteria, with most models claiming over 99% of bacteria are killed
  • Also kills dust mites, fleas, flea eggs and other household allergens due to the high temperatures involved
  • No need for detergents so safe for pets and crawling children (note that most cleaners are provided with detergent however it is not necessary to use detergent every time you clean)
  • Very quick drying time

Cons of steam mops

  • Usually only hold a small capacity of water so need refilling frequently
  • As they use boiling water, they can pose a scalding hazard
  • Most models still require your to vacuum or sweep prior to using the steam mop
  • Can be noisy

Do they work?

After reading hundreds of reviews and guides to various models of steam mop, and speaking to one of my best friend’s who has had a Vax S2S+ for a few months now, I’ve decided that we are going to take the plunge and purchase a steam mop once our extension is completed. Even the worst rated steam mops on the market do seem to clean well, with their negative reviews being based more on the fact that people had issues with the reservoir size, the fact that they seem to be of flimsy build quality, and the length of time it takes to perform the cleaning. These are obviously things I want to avoid when I make my purchase!

On face value, it seems that steam mops do work, so now I just need to choose one. I’ve narrowed my choice down to the following three products, all of which come with a 2 year manufacturer’s guarantee.

Vax S2S+ Steam Mop Upright Hard Floor Pro+

As I mentioned above, my friend has this make and model and has reliably informed me of how it has made her life easier when it comes to cleaning the floors. Her ground floor is all tiled / laminate flooring, so she hasn’t confirmed it’s performance on carpet.

I particularly like that is comes with a 500ml water capacity, meaning that you can clean for around 25 minutes without having to refill. It also heats up in only 15 seconds, which is the fastest of the steam mops I’m considering.

Vax S86-SF-CC Steam Fresh Combi Classic Multifunction Steam Mop

This one has absolutely fantastic reviews on Amazon, and I’ve read through many of them. It sounds great because of all the attachments that come in the box for your additional cleaning needs. However, I’m not sure yet whether I want to buy a multi-function steam mop, or to just go for a stand alone upright floor mop.

A pitfall of this steam mop for me, is that it only holds 0.26l of water, which is enough for 15 minutes cleaning. Given the expected size of our new kitchen / dining / living room, I’m really not sure whether this will be sufficient to cleaning the whole room from one refill, so it is putting me off slightly.

Morphy Richards 720507 Luna Plus 15-in-1 Steam Cleaner

The Morphy Richards caught my eye when reading the reviews on the Vax S2S+, as some of the negative reviews of the Vax suggest you would be better with the Luna. The original Luna (72506) also has great reviews, if you’re looking for more reassurance of a high quality product.

It’s a multi-purpose steam cleaner, and comes with a carrying strap for when you are using it as a handheld cleaner, which is something that the Vax models are missing. Simple thought, but can make a big difference to how easily you can carry the unit (especially given that I’m 6 month’s pregnant!). Extra features on the Luna is that it has a light so that you can easily see where you are cleaning, plus there is a vibrate function for hard to remove dirt.

It has a 0.43l water tank, offering 17 minutes of cleaning time, and the tank can be topped up whilst you are cleaning.


Your feedback is welcomed!

I would really welcome comments from anyone who owns one of the three cleaners I’ve mentioned above, and whether you would recommend it or not. At the moment, I’m swaying towards the Vax S2S+ since my friend already has this one and can vouch for it, but as you can see, all 3 of the models above look great.

I’ll be making my purchase in the next 2 months, and then will post my own review of the model that we go for so please let me know which one you would like to learn more about.


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