The Best Cordless Steam Mop - Features, Specifications, and Recommendations
Steam mops clean and sanitize bare floors using hot steam and scrubbing effect of the steam mop pads. Using pretreat sprays and detergents can help with cleaning even the most stubborn stains and messes.
Cordless vacuums and cleaners, in general, use the onboard battery to provide the required energy for normal operation. Cordless steam mops thus, use the onboard battery to power the water heater and scrubbing mechanism (if present) to clean and sanitize the cleaned floors - at least in theory. On the other hand, in real life ...
Updated: June 16, 2021.
Cordless vs. Corded Steam Mops - Features and Specifications
Corded steam mops use a power cord to connect the steam mop and wall power socket in order to provide enough power for the onboard water heater. Most water heaters operate in the 1400-1600 W range, although there are some smaller steam mops with ~1 kW water heaters.
Also, some corded steam mops feature a scrubbing mechanism in order to clean bare floors more thoroughly - the power required by the scrubbing mechanism is almost negligible when compared with water heaters.
For short, corded steam mops require on average 1500 W to operate - this is 12.5 Amps @120 volts!
Other important features of the corded steam mops include:
- steam control allows the user to set the required amount of steam according to the type of floors and dirt,
- steam mop pads should be replaced quickly and easily, even when the dirty pads are dirty,
- water tank capacity: water tank should be large enough to allow at least 20-30 minutes of uninterrupted steaming, which is enough for most situations. In most situations, 10 oz tanks are enough, but 15 oz tanks are better, etc.
- cord length: power cord length varies from 20 to 30 feet. The longer the power cord, the larger is the cleaning range using a single wall power socket. However, due to their design, steam mops don't feature an automatic power cord rewind system and users must manually wrap the power cord around the cord wrap hooks.
- cleaning path width depends on the steam mop water heater power and is usually between 8 and 12 inches (20-30 cm).
- maneuverability depends on the main cleaner head width, steam mop weight, and swiveling main cleaner head neck. Full swivel neck in combination with lightweight design and not too wide main steam mop head ensure good maneuverability, which may be very important for homes with plenty of floor objects and obstacles.
Of course, there are other important features of the corded steam mop, but these are the most important ones. For more info about (corded) steam mops, check our The Best Steam Mop - How to Pick One? article.
Cordless Steam Mops - Energy Requirement
Cordless steam mops, in theory, must be able to do everything what corded steam mops do, but without the use of the power cord! And in order to do that, the cordless steam mops would require really expensive onboard batteries to operate properly.
For example, Dyson Cyclone V10 is one of the best cordless vacuums on the market. In the maximum suction mode, its battery is able to power its 525W motor for about 8 minutes.
Since cordless steam mop should have at least 1000 W of power and should operate for at least 15 minutes, such theoretical cordless steam mop would require 4x stronger/larger battery than Dyson Cyclone V10 which is technically possible with today's lithium ion batteries, but the actual price of such battery would be simply too much.
Thus, at the moment, THERE ARE NO true cordless steam mops on the market - if somebody offers You a cordless steam mop, be sure to check what kind of cleaner is that...
Cordless Steam Mops - Similar Units
User requiring cordless steam mops have several options:
- Get corded steam mop: corded steam mops come with 20-30 feet long power cords, allowing a long cleaning range using a single power socket. And since they are powered using mains power, they have strong water heaters, often with different steam settings and other features that help the user keep their home clean and safe for living.
- Get corded steam mop/vac combo: corded steam mop/vac combo units operate as small steam vacuums, allowing the user to vacuum the floors and clean them with hot steam in a single pass, saving time and effort.
Although such units cost slightly more than 'classic' corded steam mops, they are IMHO worth the price difference.
- Cordless hard floor spray mops: these units are true cordless mops, but they use onboard batteries to power scrubbing mechanism and cleaning solution/detergent spray pump.
Although good lithium batteries are more expensive than NiMH batteries, hard floor spray mops with lithium batteries are not very expensive units.
Since they operate at least 15-20 minutes on a single battery charge, they can clean a large area quickly, without the need to recharge or replace the battery to get the job done completely.
Cordless floor mops can't sanitize the surface using hot steam as steam mops can, but by combining a cleaning solution with the scrubbing motion of the mop pads, they can keep large areas of bare floors clean without too much effort by their users.
- Steam and spray mop combo: these units operate as corded steam mops, as cordless hard floor spray mops, and as corded steam & spray mops.
For cleaning as corded steam mops, they feature a water heater, with or without a scrubbing mechanism. As cordless spray mops, they clean the floors by combining the scrubbing effect of mop pads (manual or motorized) and cleaning solution/detergent.
In the end, as corded steam & spray mops, they clean by combining the hot steam, cleaning solution/detergent, and scrubbing effect of mop pads.
- Corded steam mop and cordless vacuum cleaner: these units operate as a corded steam mop and can be converted into cordless stick/upright/handheld vacuums. Conversion of such units can be done quickly, but in the end, they are NOT cordless steam mops.
Although such units are rather versatile, there aren't many models on the market.
Long Story Short: Of course, there are other corded/cordless (steam) mop combo units on the market, but these are the most popular ones.
Personally, if You need a good cordless steam mop, either go for a corded steam mop (or steam mop/vacuum combo) or go for a cordless hard floor spray mop.
If You Google for 'cordless steam mop' or 'best cordless steam mop', You will find many pages listing often a large number of 'cordless steam mops', but be aware that those units are again, either corded steam mops or cordless spray mops (or some similar cleaning units) - they are not cordless steam mops.