Floor steam cleaners are your best friend for cleaning your floors when a steam mop just won’t cut it. Floor steam cleaners pack more power, and have versatile features that clean carpets, wood, and tiles with ease. As you’ll see, there are lots of crossover options that combine vacuums, carpet cleaners, steam mops, and more.
There’s a huge variety of machines on the market, and they all have their own strengths and weaknesses. A lot of them appear to be great, but how do you separate the good ones from the gimmicks?
No worries–we’re here to help! We looked at lots of steam floor cleaners to find the ones that are really worth your money.
We found three great machines that will help you clean all your floors with the power of heat and water! Our choices are all hybrids, and are all built to handle multiple surfaces.
We looked for versatility, durability, user-friendliness and most importantly, cleaning power!
Here are our favorite floor steam cleaners at a glance:
Best For Carpets
Best for Wood Floors
Best For Everything
Best Floor Steam Cleaner Reviews
This machine finds the middle ground between a carpet cleaner and a steam mop for hot water cleaning on any hard or carpeted floor! Price at around $230 at the time of writing, it’s recommended by Consumer Reports, and is very popular with online buyers. We love it for its scrubbing power, as well as its handy onboard heater.
There’s an onboard heater to make sure your water stays hot. While this isn’t a steam cleaner per se, it uses very hot water to have much the same effect. It dissolves sticky spots, and blasts grime out of crevices.
Because the machine uses hot water and not steam, it deep cleans carpet more effectively, getting hot soapy water right down to the base of the carpet fibers. And it still packs enough heat to dissolve dirt and stains on hard floors.
The brush head uses many circular brushes instead of a large brush roll. They scrub in many directions, rather than just one. That means they do a better job on carpet fibers, and provide more friction and scrubbing power to really work detergent into your carpets. They’re also great for working into tile grout.
The auto-rinse feature makes sure any soap is sucked up on the return pass. There’s a handy switch which changes from soapy water to hot rinse, so you can clean as needed.
The suction system channels soapy water, rinse water, and hot air across the whole nozzle. It’s designed to clean, rinse and dry right to the edges of your floors.
The wheels are outfitted with little rubber tires, to protect your hardwood floors. In addition, the spray nozzle cover pops up for adjustments or untangling stray carpet fibers or pet hair.
With an 8-foot attachment hose and a 20-foot power cord, you have plenty of range.
There are two attachment heads. One is a Spin Scrub brush which can be used in the bathroom, on windows, or other flat surfaces. We love it for cleaning wall grout, as well as shower soap scum.
The other is an upholstery brush, for furniture and carpeted stairs. It’s also very effective for tough stain spots, as you can zero in on the problem without getting the rest of your carpet too wet.
It’s prone to leakage, especially when you’re changing the tanks. You’ll want to do a leak test when you get it, to make sure your unit doesn’t have any problems. We also found that a lot of leak problems can be easily solved by making sure everything’s aligned before you start cleaning.
One annoying design flaw is that the squeegee isn’t held in place. It slides into a slot in the plastic body, but there’s no catch or latch to keep it in. Some reviewers found that it slipped loose while they were cleaning.
You’ll have to wipe up a bit of water on hard floors. While the Hoover does a pretty good job cleaning up after itself, there’s usually a bit of sludge left behind. It’s a good idea to have a towel handy. This might seem like a lot of work, but remember that it takes care of all the scrubbing for you!
Hoover’s customer service has a poor reputation. We’d recommend double-checking everything in the return window with the vendor, before dealing with Hoover.
2. Bissell Symphony
The Symphony is a vacuum/steam mop hybrid. It’s a quick, simple way to get your prep work and deep cleaning done in one swoop! Plus, at around $180, it doesn’t cost much more than a regular steam mop.
Not only does it double as a steam mop and vacuum cleaner, but it can do double duty at the same time! This machine uses a combined cleaning head with a vacuum in front, and a steam mop in back.
Having the vacuum in front is an advantage for a few reasons. It preserves the mop cloths, since they don’t have to deal with any loose dirt. You’ll get longer life out of them, and longer cleaning time with each use, maximizing your dollars spent.
Plus, it cuts out a step in the cleaning process. What’s not to like about that? You don’t have to haul out a bulky full-size vacuum to prep your floors before retracing your steps all over again with the mop.
You can just vacuum, just mop, or turn on both for full cleaning power!
You can control the cleaning settings straight from the handle, and switch over immediately. The Symphony keeps a reserve of steam at the ready, for whenever you need it.
The tanks are separate, so you won’t have to worry about moisture getting involved in the vacuum system. Likewise, the mop goes behind the vacuum, so it’s free of any loose dirt or debris.
Both tanks detach for emptying and refilling. The dust cup empties with the touch of a button, so you never have to touch the dirt inside. It also includes a filling cup for the water tank, so things don’t overflow and make a mess.
It comes with two types of mop pads–soft and cushioned, and scrubbing. And you get two of each, so you can cycle them through the laundry. All of the mop pads are treated with Microban anti-bacterial coatings. This prevents any residual germs or other nasties from growing on the pads before and in the wash.
The mop pads switch out with a really neat system. By hitting a footswitch, you release a tray which drops out of the machine. Then you just slide the new pad over the tray, without having to fiddle with the vacuum parts. And there aren’t any fiddly clips or holders to break (which is one of our pet peeves on other mops!).
Lots of convenient features like this really set the Symphony apart for us. Its adjustable handle, easy-empty dust cup, and separate cleaning settings make it easy to use, and take a lot of the hassle out of cleaning floors.
There are two steam settings, high and low. This allows you to handle different floors as well as different levels of mess.
It comes with a 2-year limited warranty.
It’s not good at edge cleaning, since the vacuum portion is only along the front. You’ll still have to use a traditional vacuum with a wand for cleaning baseboards and corners. The vacuum isn’t super powerful, so it can’t draw things in over much distance.
It doesn’t work on carpets or rugs.
The steam mop isn’t really equipped for deep grout. While there’s a high steam setting, it doesn’t have a scrubber brush for getting down into crevices. We recommend the Symphony if your home has wood floors, linoleum, or fairly level tile.
3. McCullough Deluxe Canister
This Deluxe Canister set is the top of the line offering from McCullough, priced at about $200. It combines a super powerful steam engine with a full set of attachments for dealing with all your floors, from hardwoods to concrete. We love it because it not only steam mops with incredible power, but is also versatile enough to clean the rest of your house.
The floor head is incredibly versatile. It’s equipped with heavy-duty scrubber brushes, which you can cover with extra-large mop cloths for use as a steam mop on pretty much any flooring. The brushes are great for concrete, whether in the garage or on the walk. The mop pads are ideal for hardwood floors and more delicate tiles.
At 13” x 8.5”, the floor head provides more coverage than traditional steam mops. The 64 oz. water tank provides up to 2 hours of steam power, and the steam is pressurized at 48 psi. The Deluxe set comes with an incredible 23 different attachments and accessories–more than any set we looked at. We also love that they can all be stored onboard. This makes up for the bulk of the canister.
The narrow “pen” wand is one of the best attachments. Previous buyers said it works on just about everything, producing a narrow, intense jet of steam. It’s great for blasting grout without having to scrub as hard. It also cleans very well in corners and around bathroom fittings for cleaning hard water deposits and other gunk.
For floor cleaning, you can use any one of the wand attachments to spot-treat carpet stains. After a minute of steaming, you can wipe stains up with an ordinary towel.
The window attachment is wider than the attachments that come with handhelds and other steam cleaners, and comes with a squeegee. There’s also a scraper attachment, and users said it works wonders on old wallpaper. It’s also great for getting dried paint off walls and floors, if you need to clean up after painting or remodeling.
Unlike weaker steam cleaners, this one has the power to blast old paper off the walls. It’s one of very few home steam cleaners with the power to really use the attachments to their fullest extent.
Even though it’s powerful, it’s user-friendly. The handle is adjustable and ergonomic. Steam power is adjustable right from the handle. That’s a big step up over its little brother, the McCullough 1275. Adjustable steam makes this machine a lot safer for your hardwoods.
The power cord is 18 feet, so you’ll have plenty of reach, even without a long attachment.
Customer support is based in Kansas, not overseas. That’s a big plus for us, since steam cleaners can be very temperamental. You want to be well taken care of!
It’s pretty bulky. Since it takes awhile to set up and take down, it’s pretty inconvenient for small jobs.
The warranty is only for 1 year. For such a large, expensive steam cleaner, we think that’s pretty short. You’ll find longer warranties on many steam mops.
The power switch is a weak point. Several online reviewers said theirs gave out rather quickly. That’s obviously a fatal flaw. While it’s covered under the warranty, we would urge extra caution with this part.
Which steam cleaner is right for your floors?
The Bissell Symphony is your best bet for dealing with most hard floors. It’s gentle enough to preserve and enhance the finish on your wood floors, and has enough steam and scrubbing power to handle most tile floors. However, it’s not ideal for deeper grout. (Read more on this Guide to Hardwood Flooring)
If you have deep grout, the McCullough has the power to blast down deep into cracks, and more than enough attachments for dealing with whatever cracks and crevices are in your way.
The McCullough is also more versatile than our other two choices, as it comes with lots of attachments for cleaning various surfaces. We’d recommend it if you have a lot of grout to clean, or if you want a one-stop solution for cleaning your house.
If you have a lot of carpet, the Hoover is beyond capable. It’s a step above many other carpet cleaners, since it has an onboard heating system. Plus, it’s versatile enough to use on your other floors. While it’s a bit of a hassle to set it up just for regular cleaning, it’s an easy way to get all your floors deep cleaned at once when you need to do so.
Think about your floors:
Do you have mostly tile, wood, or carpeted floors? Are you looking to clean all of them with one device? Are you looking to supplement your steam mop, vacuum or carpet cleaner? These are questions you’ll want to answer. Thinking about what floors you’ll be cleaning will narrow down your search.
Think about the rest of your house:
For this page, we chose dedicated floor cleaners. However, a floor cleaner can clean more than your floors, as you’ve seen from the McCullough and the Hoover. If you want a versatile machine, look for appropriate attachments and adjustable steam.
Consider your budget:
Floor steam cleaners generally cost between $100-$200, depending on whether you’re looking at a carpet cleaner, steam mop, or canister steam cleaner. The best floor steam cleaners are some combination of the three. Thankfully, these hybrids don’t cost much more than an ordinary steam mop or canister steam cleaner.
Steam mops are a bit cheaper than a full steam cleaner. However, a canister steam cleaning system like the McCullough can cover lots of cleaning needs for the price of one machine. That can be a smart investment, if you’re going to make good use of it!
To have a look at steam cleaners for your whole house, check out our guide to the best steam mops!
If you’re looking to add steam to your light cleaning arsenal, try a handheld steamer! We’ve reviewed the options and brought you the best models here.