Best Cordless Steam Mops: Cordless vs. Corded Mops
Cordless mops and vacuum cleaners are powered using the energy stored in the onboard battery, giving them independence regarding wall power sockets but limiting their operating time.
Steam mops are devices that clean and sanitize floors and elevated surfaces by combining the power of steam and steam mop pads.
Thus, cordless steam mops would be battery-operated steam mops, but real life is slightly more complicated than that.
Published: February 5, 2024.
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Cordless vs. Corded Steam Mops
Corded steam mops operate using mains power provided via a power cord, usually 20-25 feet (6.1 - 7.6 m) long. The power cord provides energy for a water heater which is usually in the 1000-1600 watts range, commonly around 1500 W.
Even such 1500 watts water heater requires, on average, 20-30 seconds to start to produce steam for cleaning.
Other electrical subsystems of the steam mop (not always present) are the spray pump, LED lights, scrubbing mechanism, and similar. Although these subsystems also require electrical energy, their energy requirements are far less than the energy requirements of the water heater.
Although lithium-ion batteries are much stronger and lighter than older lead-acid, Nickel Cadmium (NiCd), and Nickel Metal Hydride (NiMH), they are not yet able to provide 1500 watts for at least 15-20 minutes, at least not for any reasonable price.
Example: Dyson Cyclone V10 Cordless is one of the best cordless vacuums on the market, and in the maximum suction mode, its 525 watts motor creates 150 Air Watts of suction, and thanks to its high-capacity lithium-ion battery, it can operate for about 8 minutes at maximum power on the single battery charge.
Thus, a 1500 W water heater would operate slightly less than 3 minutes using the same battery - and 3 minutes are far too short for steam mops to clean any larger surface. Also, one should not forget 20-30 seconds which are initially required for the unit to start to produce steam.
For short: at the moment, there are no true cordless steam mops on the market - there are no cleaning devices on the market that are battery-powered and that clean using steam and steam mop pads simultaneously.
If You Google "cordless steam mops," there is a great chance that You will open a list of cleaning tools claiming to be the "cordless steam mop list," but the models are corded, or they are not true steam mops.
Cordless Steam Mops - Similar Devices
If you are looking for devices similar to "cordless steam mops," consider one of the following cleaning tools:
- Cordless Spray Mops,
- Cordless Spray Mop/Vac Combos,
- Steam and Spray Mop Combos,
- Corded Steam Mops,
- Corded Steam Mop/Vac Combos,
- Robot Mop/Vac Combos.
Cordless Spray Mops
Cordless hard floor mops clean the floors using hard floor mop pads, often combined with cleaning detergent/cleaning solution, which is sprayed over the cleaned surface by the user manually or automatically by the unit itself - thus, these are cordless spray mops, and they don't require power cord for operation.
To improve cleaning and shorten the cleaning time, cordless hard floor mops use a spinning or scrubbing mechanism, allowing the unit to scrub and clean the surface while the unit is being gently pushed-pulled across the floor surface by the user.
Cordless hard floor mops don't have water heaters but can operate using warm cleaning solutions to improve cleaning.
Their operating time on a single battery charge is usually around 15-20 minutes, allowing the users to clean a large area without recharging the battery.
A typical example of such a hard floor cleaning mop is Bissell 2307 SpinWave Cordless Hard Floor Mop, but there are many other models on the market, too.
Bissell 23157 SpinWave Cordless PET Hard Floor Spin Mop
Bissell 23157 SpinWave Cordless PET Hard Floor Spin Mop features an 18V onboard battery, ensuring a runtime of up to 20 minutes on a single battery charge.
Bissell 23157 hard floor mop cleans using the combination of cleaning solution sprayed by the user when required and two spinning mop pads, ensuring thorough cleaning of various floor types.
Bissell 23157 comes with 2 soft-touch pads, 2 scrubby pads, and two 8 oz (~240 ml) trial-size PET Multi-Surface cleaning formulas.
Soft-touch pads are intended for sensitive sealed surfaces and for everyday cleaning.
Scrubby pads are used for cleaning tough, stubborn dirt and mess from tiles and similar surfaces that tolerate such cleaning.
Bissell offers a long list of cleaning formulas intended for various floors and types of dirt. Some of the most popular formulas include:
- Multi-Surface Formula
- Multi-Surface Pet Formula
- Sanitize Formula
- All Natural Formula
When choosing the best cleaning formula, consider your own needs and requirements.
Bissell 23157 SpinWave is one of the best-buy hard floor mops thanks to its ease of use, affordable price, and thorough cleaning.
For more reviews and recommendations, feel free to check the Bissell 23157 SpinWave Cordless PET Hard Floor Spin Mop Amazon link (the link opens in the new window).
O-Cedar ProMist Max Spray Mop
O-Cedar ProMist Max Spray Mop is a lightweight and very popular manual spray mop - it features no power cords and no batteries.
O-Cedar ProMist Max Spray Mop features double-sided mop pads, practically doubling the area that can be cleaned before the mop pads have to be replaced.
Microfiber mop pads feature deep cleaning scrub zones, ensuring thorough cleaning with just water. Also, mop pads are machine washable up to 100 times, keeping the operating costs low.
However, to increase the cleaning effect, the users are advised to add a little bit of cleaning solution/detergent to the water bottle, especially when cleaning stubborn and sticky dirt and spots.
Thanks to its simplicity, microfiber pads, and manual water/cleaning solution spray pump, O-Cedar ProMist Max Spray Mop is an affordable spray mop that is suitable for both everyday cleaning and for cleaning in emergencies.
On the other hand, it doesn't feature any scrubbing mechanism, leaving the user to clean the floors using gentle but constant push/pull motion.
For more reviews and recommendations, feel free to check the O-Cedar ProMist Max Spray Mop Amazon link (the link opens in the new window).
Hard floor spray mops are very popular cleaning aids, with or without any scrubbing mechanism - with so many units on the market, it should be easy to pick the right one for anybody's needs.
Cordless Spray Mop/Vac Combos
Cordless spray mop and vacuum combos combine two units in one - a spray mop and a vacuum cleaner, saving both time and effort when cleaning bare floors.
Cordless spray mop and vacuum combos are especially suitable for bare floors that are soiled often and require vacuuming before mopping - microfiber mop pads may collect a large amount of dirt, but not as much as vacuum cleaner dirt bins.
Shark VM252 VACMOP Pro Cordless Hard Floor Vacuum Mop
Shark VM252 VACMOP Pro Cordless Hard Floor Vacuum Mop is a 2-in-1 unit combining a cordless hard floor mop and a vacuum cleaner in one unit.
One of the very interesting features of the Shark VM252 VACMOP Pro is the use of disposable mop pads that are used for mopping but also for collecting dirt when the unit is used as a vacuum cleaner - Shark VM252 VACMOP Pro does NOT feature a classic dirt cup for dirt storage.
Shark VM252 VACMOP Pro is designed so that the user never has to touch the dirty mop pad.
The physical dimensions of Shark VM252 VACMOP Pro are (L x W x H) 5.38 x 9.5 x 47.86 (13.7 x 24.1 x 121.6 cm), and it weighs only 3.34 pounds (~1.51 kg) with water tank empty.
With a cleaning path of 9.81 inches (~25 cm), Shark VM252 VACMOP Pro allows the user to clean large areas rather quickly.
Shark VM252 VACMOP Pro is rated at 85 Watts and is recharged using a magnetic battery charger.
Automatic LED headlights, swivel neck, lightweight design, thorough cleaning, acceptable price, etc., make Shark VM252 VACMOP Pro one of the most popular units in its class.
For more reviews and recommendations, feel free to check the Shark VM252 VACMOP Pro Cordless Hard Floor Vacuum Mop Amazon link (link opens in the new window).
Tineco Floor ONE S5 Smart Cordless Wet Dry Vacuum Cleaner and Mop for Hard Floors
Tineco Floor ONE S5 is an excellent and rather versatile cleaning system, but it also costs more than a typical hard floor mop.
The unit features a 2500 mAh battery, ensuring 20 minutes of continuous operation.
But, this is a rather advanced unit, and as such, it comes with an iLoop Smart Sense set of sensors that monitor the amount of cleaned dirt and automatically adjust clean water flow and suction, extending the runtime up to 35 minutes on a single battery charge.
Maximum suction is 22 Air Watts which is enough for thorough cleaning in combination with a very soft brushroll and the cleaning solution.
Tineco Floor ONE S5 features two tank design with a clean water tank capacity of 0.5 liters and a dirty liquids tank capacity of 0.45 liters.
To help with the maintenance, Tineco Floor ONE S5 features a brushroll self-cleaning mode, allowing the user to clean the brushroll after each cleaning very easily - with the press of a button...
For more reviews and recommendations, feel free to check the Tineco Floor ONE S5 Amazon link (the link opens in the new window).
Steam and Spray Mop Combos
Steam and spray mop combos operate as corded steam mops and as corded/cordless spray mops. Energy stored in the onboard battery is used only for the spray mop pump and for the scrubbing mechanism if present.
When being used as steam mops, such units are powered via a detachable power cord, and basically, they operate as classic corded steam mops.
A typical example of such a steam and spray mop is Shark SK460 Professional Steam & Spray Mop.
Shark SK460 Professional Steam & Spray Mop
Shark SK460 Professional Steam & Spray Mop is a versatile corded/cordless steam/spray mop featuring three cleaning modes, both disposable and reusable mop pads, a large water tank, a separate hard floor cleaner, etc.
Shark SK460 is designed for cleaning practically all sealed and glazed surfaces commonly found at homes and apartments that tolerate steam and spray mop cleaning.
Shark SK460 features 1050 watts (slightly less than 9 Amps) water heater, which requires some 30 seconds to start to produce steam.
The unit is powered via 22 feet (~6.7 m) long detachable power cord, while its spray pump is powered by 4 AA onboard batteries.
Shark SK460 has three cleaning modes:
- Steam Mode: Shark SK460 is used as a classic steam mop and is powered via a power cord. The unit uses hot steam and steam mop pads to clean and even sanitize the floors by killing up to 99.9% of bacteria and other germs.
- Spray Mode: Shark SK460 is used as a cordless spray mop, cleaning the surfaces with its mop pads and cleaning solution sprayed via a spray pump. This mode is rather gentle and commonly used for cleaning sensitive surfaces.
- Steam and Spray Mode: in this mode, Shark SK460 cleans the floors using the combination of hot steam, hard floor cleaner, and the scrubbing effect of steam mop pads. This cleaning mode is highly effective in cleaning even the most stubborn stains, dirt and messes, just be sure that the floors tolerate such cleaning.
Shark SK460 features all controls positioned conveniently on the handle, including the "Spray button" and "Intelligent Steam Controls," which provide the unit with 3 levels of continuous steam, including SaniFiber of Low Setting, Mop or Medium Setting and Scrub or High Setting.
Shark SK460 is a rather versatile unit, able to clean and sanitize large areas of sealed and glazed surfaces rather quickly, saving time and effort.
For more reviews and recommendations, check the Shark SK460 Steam and Spray Mop Amazon link (link opens in the new window).
Corded Steam Mops
Corded steam mops are cheap and reliable devices that operate using mains power. Steam mops combine hot steam and steam mop pads to clean and sanitize floors, often killing up to 99.9% of bacteria and germs without using chemicals.
Steam mops are able to clean large areas of bare floors, as long as those floors are certified for such cleaning - wooden floors must have a finish that is without cracks, and that tolerates hot steam, and tiles should have glazed surfaces, to prevent the steam from entering into the tiles.
A typical example of a corded steam mop is a very popular and affordable Bissell 1940 PowerFresh Steam Mop, but there are many more very popular units on the market, too.
Bissell 1940 PowerFresh Steam Mop
Bissell 1940 PowerFresh Steam Mop is designed for cleaning and sanitizing bare floors and for refreshing and reviving carpets and rugs.
It is a very simple and reliable steam mop that is available at a very affordable price. For all these reasons, it has been one of the most popular steam mops on the market for a long period of time.
Bissell 1940 features 23 feet (~7 m) long power cord and 1500 watts water heater. It weighs 6 pounds (~2.7 kg) and is a highly maneuverable unit with a cleaning path of 12 inches (~30.5 cm).
The water tank capacity is 0.47 liters, which is more than enough for most cleaning tasks.
Bissell 1940 comes with two microfiber cleaning pads (fine microfiber pad for everyday cleaning and scrubbing microfiber pad for tough, stubborn messes) and two Spring Breeze scent discs.
To help users with various floors, Bissell 1940 comes with three steam settings: Low setting, Medium setting, and High setting.
Bissell 1940 is a lightweight and affordable unit that does its job well and is one of the most popular steam mops on the market.
For more reviews and recommendations, feel free to check the BISSELL 1940 PowerFresh Steam Mop Amazon link (link opens in the new window).
PurSteam 10-in-1 Steam Mop Cleaner
PurSteam 10-in-1 Steam Mop Cleaner is a rather versatile all-around steam cleaning system, consisting of a detachable handheld steamer, window squeegee, straight steam nozzle, steam mop cleaning pads, bent nozzle, and three nozzles with nylon brushes.
PurSteam 10-in-1 Steam Mop Cleaner is designed not only as a floor steam mop but also for steam cleaning of glass and mirrors, carpets, furniture, clothes, and fabrics in general, for tile grout, etc.
The steam cleaner features an 11.5 oz (340 ml) water tank, which is good for 20-25 minutes of steaming on the lowest steam setting or 10-12 minutes on the maximum steam setting.
PurSteam Steam Mop Cleaner 10-in-1 comes with a 2-year limited warranty, which is an acceptable warranty for steam cleaners in this price class.
For more reviews and recommendations, feel free to check the PurSteam 10-in-1 Steam Mop Cleaner Amazon link (the link opens in the new window).
Corded Steam Mop/Vac Combos
Corded steam mop/vac combos are units that combine a corded steam mop and a small vacuum cleaner in a single unit.
Such units are highly recommended for areas that are often very soiled and require vacuuming with a regular vacuum before steaming with a classic corded steam mop.
Although corded steam mop/vac combos cost slightly more than classic steam mops, additional features often more than justify their higher price.
One such unit is Bissell 1543A Symphony Pet Steam Mop and Steam Vacuum Cleaner.
Bissell 1543A Symphony Pet Steam Mop and Steam Vacuum Cleaner
Bissell 1543A Symphony combines a steam mop and vacuum cleaner in one unit, saving time and effort.
While a vacuum cleaner removes the pet hair, dust, and other debris off the floors, a steam mop cleans the floors by removing stuck-on messes and sanitizing the surface by killing 99.9% of germs and bacteria.
Bissell 1543A Symphony comes with 25 feet (~7.6 m) long power cord and features a 400 W (3.3 Amps) suction motor and an 1100 W (9.2 Amps) water heater.
Bissell 1543A Symphony comes with two microfiber pads optimized for various cleaning tasks. Also, it features an additional detachable SteamBoost tray and disposable Swiffer SteamBoost cleaning pads.
Controls are on the handle, and they include:
- Hi Steam Setting for cleaning stubborn messes and dirt,
- Lo Steam Setting for everyday cleaning, especially the cleaning of sensitive, sealed floors.
- Vac On/Off turns the vacuum (suction) On and Off.
Bissell 1543A Symphony weighs 9.74 pounds (~4.4 kg) which is rather lightweight for a 2-in-1 unit. Also, it comes with a 12.8 oz (380 ml) water tank, which is, on average, enough for 15 minutes of steam cleaning.
Bissell 1543A Symphony uses washable steam mop pads (fine microfiber pad and scrubby microfiber pad), but it also features a detachable SteamBoost tray and disposable Swiffer SteamBoost pads. From time to time, it is better to clean the floors with disposable steam mop pads, especially when cleaning pets' and kids' messes and stains.
Since Bissell 1543A Symphony does two cleaning tasks at the same time, it is recommended cleaning tool for soiled bare floors that require both vacuuming and steam cleaning.
For more reviews and recommendations, feel free to check the Bissell 1543A Symphony Amazon link (link opens in the new window).
Robot Mops and Mop/Vac Combos
Robot mops and mop/vac combos are advanced cleaning systems that allow the user to clean large surfaces without much effort. However, for robot mops and vacuums to operate properly, they must be used and maintained properly.
So, when your new robot cleaner arrives, be sure to read the manual thoroughly.
Samsung VR20T6001MW Jetbot Mop
Samsung VR20T6001MW Jetbot Mop is a cordless robot floor cleaner featuring dual spinning pads.
The unit is intended to clean tile, laminate, vinyl, hardwood, and other similar floors.
Obviously, the unit is not suitable for cleaning carpets, but the mops generally are not even intended for such surfaces.
Samsung VR20T6001MW Jetbot Mop comes with a remote control, allowing the user to control the unit during cleaning easily.
Cleaning itself can be done in two modes, automatic and hand mode.
Samsung VR20T6001MW Jetbot Mop features two spinning pads that ensure wall-to-wall cleaning and provide propulsion to the unit.
The onboard battery provides up to 90 minutes of operation, and it takes ~2.5h to recharge it again.
Samsung offers two types of pads, microfiber pads and mother yarn pads - both types are machine washable.
For more reviews and recommendations, feel free to check the Samsung VR20T6001MW Jetbot Mop Amazon link (the link opens in the new window).
iRobot Braava Jet M6 (6110) Ultimate Robot Mop
iRobot Braava Jet M6 (6110) is an advanced robot floor mop supporting smart mapping, WiFi connectivity, smartphone App, Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, Recharge and Resume feature, etc.
Thanks to the intelligent navigation system, iRobot Braava Jet M6 can be used for mopping multiple rooms and large spaces. When possible, the unit traverses in rows and cleans as large surfaces as quickly as possible.
iRobot Braava Jet M6 supports the use of both washable and disposable mop pads.
Using a single battery charge, the unit can clean between 400 and 1000 sq. ft., after which the unit returns to the charging station, recharges itself, and resumes the cleaning task - Recharge and Resume feature.
Another very interesting option is teaming with a select iRobot Roomba vacuums - while Roomba vacuums the area, Braava mops it afterward, improving overall cleaning.
The physical dimensions of the unit are 10 x 10.6 x 3.5 inches (~25.4 x 27 x 9 cm), and it weighs 4.85 pounds (~2.2 kg).
For more reviews and recommendations, feel free to check the iRobot Braava Jet M6 (6110) Ultimate Robot Mop Amazon link (link opens in the new window).
Today, many brands offer robot vacuums and robot vacuum/mop combos, helping their users to keep homes cleaner and more pleasant to live in.
Steam Mops FAQ - Frequently Asked Questions
Here are several Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) about steam mops and similar units that we get from time to time.
How big is the cord for a steam mop?
Corded steam mops usually feature 20-25 feet (6.1 - 7.6 m) long power cords, although there are models with even longer power cords.
If longer cleaning reach is required, one can use a thick enough extension cord - just note that most corded steam mops require at least 13-14 Amps (~1500 Watts) constantly.
Is there such a thing as a cordless mop? Can a steam mop be cordless?
With the current level of development of lithium batteries, no, there are no "true" cordless steam mops on the market.
Best Lithium-Ion batteries weigh ~250 Wh/kg, while Lithium Iron Phosphate (LiFePO4) batteries weigh ~160 Wh/kg. For a 1500W cordless steam mop that has to operate for at least 20 minutes, one would need a lithium battery that is able to store 500Wh, and that battery would weigh at least 2 kg and be very pricy - probably 4 digit price...
Do steam mops actually work?
Yes, steam mops actually do their work very well - they sanitize floors and remove stubborn and sticky messes very well. But, since not all floors tolerate hot steam cleaning, one may not and should not use steam mops in the same way on the glazed tiles and on sealed but sensitive hardwood and similar floors.
Tap water or distilled/demineralized water?
While tap water is cheap, it may leave streaks and marks on the floors, especially in areas with hard tap water.
Demineralized/distilled water costs more but leaves floors shiny and clean. If the steam cleaner is used for window cleaning, demineralized/distilled water is a must-have.
Since tap water may leave residue on the internal parts of the steam mops, such water may also shorten the lifetime of the steam mop.
Scented demineralized water leaves no residue on the floors and leaves a pleasant fragrance in the air, increasing the feeling of freshness and cleanness.
Do steam mops also vacuum?
No, steam mops generally don't vacuum - steam mops use microfiber and similar mop pads to capture dirt and lift it off the floors.
Steam mop/vac combos combine the power of hot steam and vacuum suction to clean more thoroughly heavily soiled bare floors.
What should I look for in a steam mop?
When looking for a steam mop, check the length of the power cord, whether the steam level is adjustable, the water tank capacity, is there a scrubbing mechanism, types of mop pads, the weight of the unit, heating time, heater wattage, and similar.
Which is the best cordless steam mop for hard floors?
Again, there are no "true" cordless steam mops on the market yet.
When choosing "the best" steam mop or any other cleaning tool, choose according to your own needs and preferences.
Where does the dirt go when you steam clean?
When steam cleaning, the dirt is collected in steam mop pads which are then, in most cases, machine-washed.
Some mop/vac combos collect the dirt in the mop pads, while some units feature dirt cups.
Can you put disinfectant in a steam mop?
When steam cleaning, it is possible to put various cleaning solutions/detergents in the water tank, but ONLY ones that are recommended by the steam mop manufacturer.
Since steam mops clean using hot steam, which kills at least 99.9% of bacteria, viruses, germs, and similar, without ANY chemicals (just water), why add disinfectants?
Do steam mops damage vinyl floors?
If the vinyl floors are cleaned as recommended by their manufacturer, then no, steam mops cannot damage vinyl floors.
However, if the super hot steam is applied for a longer period of time, then yes, vinyl and similar sensitive floors may be damaged by steam mops.
Is it worth it to get a steam mop?
Yes, it is.
Is a steam mop good for tile floors?
Yes, glazed tiles can be steam cleaned.
Is mopping or steam mopping better?
Mopping is a great way of cleaning bare floors, but steam mopping is even better, thanks to hot steam, which cleans and disinfects the cleaned surface.
What are the disadvantages of steam cleaning?
Few Final Words
If you ever see an ad about cordless steam mops, first check the cable and the battery. If the battery is small or at least smallish, then that battery is used for powering the spray mop pump, lights, controls, scrubbing mechanism, and other electric parts on the mops.
For example, Shark SK460 features a 4xAA battery pack used for operating the unit's steam mop pump, regardless if the unit is used as a corded (steam mop) or as a cordless (spray mop) unit.
If you need a steam mop, go for a good corded steam mop - it will help you keep your floors and home in general cleaner, safer, and more pleasant to live in.
Steam vacuum may be very helpful and can potentially save plenty of time by vacuuming and steam cleaning at the same time.
Cordless and/or corded hard floor spray mops are used for cleaning bare floors with the cleaning solution and mop pads and may be used even for cleaning sensitive hardwood floors.
Note: when the new unit arrives, be sure to use them according to their manual/instructions. Better safe than sorry ...