Steam mopping wood floors can remove more than just surface dirt. You’ll steam away footprints, stains, smears, and even the most persistent, caked-on dirt from your wood floors.
With the right product, you’ll brighten the finish of your wood floors, restoring them to their original luster without using potentially harmful chemical cleaners.
Like with my favorite the Reliable Steamboy steam mop, which uses its ingenious “dry” steam to clean and sanitize wood floors.
After being haunted by the fear of warped floorboards, the intuitiveness of the Reliable Steamboy’s dry steam absolutely astounded me.
But if you want something a bit more popular, you’ll find full reviews of our top four choices for the best steam mops for wood floors. We’ve laid out all their important features, and broken down exactly why they’re our favorites.
Below the reviews, we’ve provided a handy buying guide and expert cleaning tips.
Our Top Steam Mop Recommendations for Hardwood Floor
There are lots of steam mops out there, but don’t pull the trigger without reading this guide!
With the wrong one, you’ll risk damaging your wood floors. Some have scraper features, which can damage your finish.
Many have poorly designed mop heads which can scratch your floor molding and trim. Others don’t have adjustable steam settings–only a trigger. These will blast your wood floors with too much steam, which can warp them and void the warranty.
To be safe and make the right choice, the clear winners here are:
Now let’s see which one is best for you.
Best Steam Mops for Hardwood Floors 2022 – Reviews
We’ve done lots of research to find the best options out there and now we’ll talk you through all the features which make these the best for cleaning hardwood safely and effectively.
We can help you accommodate for other flooring types, pets, and all sorts of factors that are specific to your lifestyle.
1. Reliable Steamboy — Best Overall Steam Mop for Hardwood Floors
Reliable’s Steamboy 300CU is our favorite steam mop on the market right now. It does an excellent job on all flooring types, but it’s particularly good for hardwoods!
Its super-hot, “dry” steam leaves very little moisture behind and helps keep streaks at bay when you clean. We’re big fans of its sturdy build and ergonomic design too!
While the Reliable is a bit less popular than the heavily-marketed Bissell’s or Shark’s, it’s unquestionably a stronger performer.
We recommend it to anyone who wants the highest-quality option available.
- ✓READY IN 2 MINUTES - Fast heat up steam mop that is ready to work in 2 minutes
- ✓POWERFUL TILE SCRUBBER - Heavy-duty scrubber brush makes floor tiles and grout lines like new again
- ✓FOOT RELEASE - This Reliable steam mop features easy press foot release button to switch between scrubber and steamer effortlessly
- ✓ERGONOMIC HANDLE - Comfortable grip and light touch steam release button
- ✓REMOVABLE WATER TANK - This steam mop features a removable water tank for quick refill during use. Ant-scale cartridge can be replaced as needed
Compact & Ergonomic design
As with the popular O-Cedar, the Reliable has a compact, triangular cleaning head. It fits easily into tight spaces and is adept at cleaning corners.
While it doesn’t cover ground quite as fast as the Bissell or the Shark, we actually prefer the Reliable’s floor tool.
The steam reaches right to the edges, and you’re rarely going to need a second pass. That makes up for the lost inch in our book!
In terms of ergonomics, the Reliable’s design is definitely superior to those of our other picks.
All the steam mops we recommend have swivel steering, but the Steamboy turns smoothest of all, without feeling rickety. The whole thing is nicely balanced and easy on your wrists.
It’s as powerful as you could want.
The Reliable heats up faster than anything else in this guide and produces the driest steam.
With underpowered steam mops, you end up with very wet (less hot) steam that leaves a lot of moisture behind.
The Reliable’s steam output is at an extremely high temperature, so you don’t have nearly as much residual moisture after you’ve cleaned.
Having hotter steam also makes the Reliable a more effective sanitizer. And it does a better job on tough spots, simply because it’s putting out more power.
This is where you see Reliable’s expertise with full-size steam cleaners shine!
As impressed as we are with the Reliable’s cleaning performance, we think one of its best features is under the hood.
It’s not touted as a big selling point, but we think it ought to be! The Steamboy is the only steam mop we’ve come across to have a replaceable water filter onboard.
Others, like every other model in this guide, need distilled water or they’ll eventually clog.
Having a water filter means you can go ahead and use tap water in your mop, rather than having to buy distilled. That’s going to add up substantially in saved time and money as you go along!
It’s also extremely sturdy.
Our other picks are a lot better than the average offering in today’s market, but the Reliable easily outshines them all. It’s made with nice, thick plastic, as well as a metal shaft.
Everything feels very well-made, with an excellent degree of quality control. You get a 1-year warranty out of the box.
As you’d expect, the Reliable includes two washable microfiber pads for cleaning your floors.
They’re fairly thick, so they do a good job keeping hardwood finishes safe without impeding steam. They capture quite a lot of dirt, too!
Most of us have a mix of flooring types, even if most of our home is hardwood. Thankfully, the Reliable handles your tile and linoleum floors as easily as the wooden variety!
It’s actually the only steam mop we’ve come across to date that does as well as a full-size canister unit. Like the Bissell, it’s equipped with an integrated scrubber for dealing with grout.
It’s quite versatile, even if it doesn’t have the Shark’s reversible mop head or any flashy features.
The Reliable works on all your hard floors, as we’ve said, and it also features an additional carpet glider attachment. This lets you freshen, deodorize, and sanitize spots on your carpet!
Could be more durable
While there aren’t any noticeable downsides, there have been a few remarks made about the mechanical durability of this machine.
Buyers mentioned after a few months that the steam mop would stop working, however, that could easily be due to a manufacturing mishap that’s covered by the one-year warranty.
2. O-Cedar Microfiber Steam Mop — Great High-Quality Hardwood Floor Steam Mop
Our top-quality pick comes from O-Cedar.
It’s perfect for your wood floors, with a cushioned, microfiber pad and a special triangular mop head.
It’s also got an attachment for spot cleaning carpets. We love it for its sturdy build quality, long warranty, and versatility. It’s light and very easy to use.
Best of all, it’s one of the cheapest in its class!
Convenience at every turn
It heats up very quickly. This one heats water from room temperature to steam in 20 seconds! No waiting around for steam with the O-Cedar!
It’s extremely lightweight. The whole thing weighs only 5 pounds. The lightweight frame means it can hold more water without being bulky.
The O-Cedar’s tank holds 400 ml, and comes with a special filling cup so you can measure out water beforehand.
This is a handy little feature that prevents spilling and messes. That can happen pretty easily when you have to gauge the water level by eyeballing it, especially when the tank isn’t clear.
Instead of a trigger, there’s a simple on/off switch for steam.
Initially, we thought that might be a bad mark from reviewers, since there’s no instant off-switch.
However, most users actually found the constant steam more convenient! It saves your fingers from cramping and means you’ll always have enough steam for it to glide without sticking to the floor.
Instead of using a traditional trigger, which can dispense too much steam and leave puddles, you can simply hover over tricky spots, and then wipe them away.
It’s very inexpensive, but still comes with a 2-year warranty! This extended coverage is one of our favorite features. Even some options retailing for $50 more than the O-Cedar have less impressive warranties.
You can adjust the steam level to suit your flooring.
There are three settings, from low steam for sanitizing and quick cleaning, to full blast for removing stuck-on spots and grime.
You can adjust it on the go, so there’s no need to stop and start.
Because it doesn’t work in bursts of steam, it cleans more consistently and leaves less moisture when it’s done.
We’re very impressed by how little water it leaves behind.
With its consistent steam production, the O-Cedar is tested to kill 99.9% of bacteria on contact with no added chemicals.
The triangular mop head fits into corners better than many rectangular options. It also has a large ground print, so it covers space quickly.
It swivels 360 degrees, for maximum maneuverability. You can fit it under and around all your furniture.
Accessories, Accessories, Accessories!
It includes a special snap-on carpet attachment.
This plastic insert gives it runners like a sled, letting it glide along carpets. You can use this to “refresh” your carpet.
If the steam is set to full, it’ll remove stains and spots just like a carpet cleaner! It’s not for full-room carpet cleaning, but we love this feature for quick cleanups.
The pads are cushioned microfiber, to protect and polish your hardwood floors.
They use lots of smaller individual threads to imitate a traditional rag mop head. The microfiber has enough surface traction to remove dirt, stains, and smears from your wood floors.
The rag fibers can also reach into grout, so you can use the O-Cedar on your tile floors as well.
With its consistent steam production, the O-Cedar is tested to kill 99.9% of bacteria on contact with no added chemicals.
Not the most user-friendly
It’s hard to tell when the tank is empty.
There’s only one “on” light, and no obvious alert for when the tank is getting low. Because there’s no auto-shutoff, this can pose a bit of a problem.
You’ll have to keep an eye on the water level, so you don’t damage the steam system by running it on empty. Previous buyers said it makes a different noise when running on empty, but that they didn’t notice any damage.
All the same, you’ll want to be careful.
The cleaning pads tend to get stained while you’re mopping, and some buyers found that the stains didn’t completely come out in the washer.
This doesn’t affect function at all, but it’s a bit of an aesthetic downer.
The O-Cedar is all plastic. Some buyers said it felt a bit flimsy. They didn’t have any issues with quality, but they said the lightness wasn’t reassuring.
3. Best Steam Mop for Multiple Floor Types – Bissell PowerFresh
This Bissell PowerFresh is Amazon’s #1-selling steam mop.
Why’s it so popular? It’s inexpensive, versatile, and intelligently designed. We especially love the convenient mop pads, with their all-around fit and stretch attachment.
- Clean and sanitize sealed hard floors without the use of harsh chemicals; Eliminates 99.9 percent of germs and bacteria with the natural power of steam
- Power through tough, sticky messes with the flip down easy scrubber
- Choose from high, medium, or low steam based on your cleaning needs with the smart set digital steam control
- Features swivel steering and a 23 foot power cord. Ready to use in 30 seconds
- Includes: (1) microfiber soft pad, (1) microfiber scrubby pad, (2) spring breeze fragrance discs, and a carpet glider. Power rating: 1500 watts. Power Source: Corded
The water tank is removable, so you can fill it over the sink.
It’ll last about 20 minutes on regular settings, and around 15 minutes at full blast. Most reviewers said it lasted long enough to get through their cleaning on one tank.
Plus, the power cord is a lengthy 23 feet, so you’ll have plenty of cleaning range.
We really love the Bissell pads, as they stretch to fit over the mop head without any clips or clasps!
They’re also treated with Microban anti-microbial chemicals, to prevent any bacteria growth on the pads themselves. They’re smart and easy to use.
The mop pad cloth also reaches all the way around the head, forming a bumper so you don’t scratch molding as you mop around the edges of a room.
We love this cushioning for hardwood floors. It won’t scratch the floors, the furniture legs, or the walls! You can mop as hard as you like without worrying about damage.
There are three levels of steam control, from light spot cleaning to intense steam blasting for hardened gunk.
The PowerFresh also includes a flip-down Easy-Scrubber brush for tough spots, like hardened gum or paint.
It uses bristles to loosen tough grime, while steam dissolves any persistent stickiness. You simply press the foot-switch to lock it into place.
There are two mop pads in the box.
Both are machine-washable and made from soft microfiber. One is a padded, soft pad for most everyday cleaning, and the other is designed for intense dirt and stain removal.
It’s equipped with rubber scrubbing pads for added power.
The PowerFresh also comes with included fragrance discs. You have the option of inserting one under the mop pad to freshen your floors as you clean.
It’ll eliminate odors, and leave your house smelling clean.
It’s versatile. With the Easy Scrubber and scrubbing mop pad, the PowerFresh is perfectly capable of handling tile floors, too.
And the Easy Scrubber bristles can reach into grout. It makes the PowerFresh a great steam mop if your home has multiple floor types.
Previous buyers said it didn’t leave a haze on hardwoods, which is a big plus over some other models.
It’s all covered by a 2-year warranty.
Users found that the deep-cleaning mode does produce quite a bit of water, which means your floors will take longer to dry.
This could pose a problem for some floors with questionable sealing. We wouldn’t suggest using the deep-cleaning mode regularly.
Remember to check your floor’s warranty before buying a steam mop!
It has some problems with durability. Recent revisions have improved its score, but we wanted to look into some of the problems mentioned in older reviews.
The key flaw we found is the cap on the water tank.
A number of reviewers wrote about the same problem, which was that the cap had burst or split in half.
This made their mops unusable, and in some cases posed a safety risk, as there was steam leaking out.
Bissell has since issued new caps and inserts for the water tanks. We’re not sure what the verdict will be from new buyers, but the company seems confident that they’ve solved the issue.
4. Best High End Steam Mop for Wooden Floors – Shark S3501 Professional Steam Pocket Mop
Our top value pick includes a whole lot of bang for your buck.
It comes with an extra-large mop head, a super-sized boiler tank, two double-sided mop pads, and a whole lot of smart features.
It’ll cover all your basic mopping needs without breaking the bank!
- Intelligent Steam Control gives you super cleaning and sanitation for all of your hard floor surfaces
- 3 settings of variable steam to suit your floor surfaces and sanitize with no harsh chemicals
- Includes 2 washable microfiber pads and steam head attachment
- 180-degree maneuverability with swivel mop head
- Extra-large water tank capacity
This Shark steam mop might not seem drastically different from other models at first glance, but try flipping it over! That’s right – you can clean on both sides!
It seemed like a gimmick to us at first, but you’d be surprised how satisfying it is to get twice as much mileage out of a single pad.
It comes with a nice, wide mop head.
It takes the shape of a large, 12” rectangle for wide coverage. It attaches with a quick-release switch and uses a swivel joint for better maneuverability.
It sanitizes floors quickly, with 15 seconds on normal steam, and almost instantly on full blast.
It has an extra-large water tank, 500ml. Users we surveyed said it holds enough water to last for several rooms and still heats up very quickly.
Steam is ready in 30 seconds after you turn it on. The Shark produces constant steam with no need for holding down a trigger. Plus, it’s smart steam.
The heater has three settings: Dust, Mop, and Scrub.
“Dust” produces a light amount of steam, which can get most surface dirt off your floors. “Mop” is great for most normal cleaning, when you know there’s a mess. And “Scrub” will remove even the toughest stains and smears.
The mopping pads are plush, cushioned, and highly absorbent. They’re meant to last for 20 wash cycles. You get two in the box.
The mop shaft is made of metal. That’s a big step up over some other steam mops, whose shafts are built from plastic. And since it’s aluminum, it’s not any heavier than other mops!
You can also use the adjustable settings to handle different types of wood floors in your house.
You can change the steam to suit the floor’s warranty instructions, as well as the level of dirt.
The lowest setting is perfect for refreshing the shine of your wood floors without giving them an intense scrubbing. It’s a great way to give them a polished look without spending all day buffing them up.
This updated version of the Professional has noticeably better reliability ratings than the previous generations. We think it’s a far better long-term investment than the older Shark’s.
Past Issues with Durability
The older incarnations of this mop had some durability issues. Make sure you check it thoroughly and test it upon arrival. There seem to be a few lemons still out there.
The latch connecting the handle to the steam unit is a weak point mentioned in a fair number of reviews.
You’ll have to be extra careful with delicate little parts like this.
The cleaning pads tend to stain, and you’re not supposed to bleach them. This means they’ll start to look a bit dirty after a few cleanings.
You might try pre-treating them with detergent. Other reviewers suggested spraying them with vinegar before putting them through the wash.
While the models above have likely wowed you by now, there are a few extras steps to consider before purchasing one of the steam mops above.
Before you even start, double-check that your floors are completely sealed! Steam mops are absolutely not supposed to be used on unsealed flooring.
The steam can cause some major mold issues or even structural damage, depending on your specific flooring type. These are specifically for newer, sealed flooring types.
Look for adjustable steam. This helps you adapt your steam mop to different types of wood floors, as well as different levels of mess.
As a general rule, steam mops with spray functions and tile scrubbers aren’t a good choice for wood floors.
Likewise, having a few different steam levels can help you cater to different flooring types. For example, you can crank things up to blast into tile grout, or turn things down to gently buff hardwoods.
Look for cushioned, soft pads.
Ideally, they’ll be made from microfiber or other modern fabrics. Microfiber is the same material used in touchscreen cleaning cloths, so you know it’s soft.
The gaps in the fabric still give it traction on dirt, though. It’ll clean your floors thoroughly without damaging wood varnish.
Look for a steam mop that doesn’t leave too much residual moisture. This can damage wood floors, and leave dirty sludge behind.
Also, some non-microfiber mop pads don’t absorb water well. They can leave streaks and smudges on your floors. Look for plush, absorbent cloths and mops with good steam control.
Nothing’s worse than getting into a cleaning groove only to reach a corner you can’t access or an item you can’t get under.
Consider how moveable the steam mop is before deciding on one.
If your home has an open-plan design, you’re in luck! Most if not all mop heads will suit your environment and clean all those tricky nooks and crannies.
However, if you live in an older build or a home that’s faced many renovations (like me), you’re better off with a triangular mop head – like on the Reliable – for that extra bit of reachability.
And many many accessories.
Save the workout for the gym and opt for a lightweight build.
With the advancements in technology and manufacturing, there’s no reason why your steam mop should cause any bodily discomfort when lifting and using the machine.
And don’t worry, light weight doesn’t mean light quality. A portable steam mop will deliver just as intense cleaning as bigger bulkier models.
Those of you with bigger homes or larger floor space will want to pay attention to the tank capacity.
You’ll get the most benefit out of the Shark’s ex-large 500ml water tank, as this will be more than enough to cover most of your home in one go, depending on the soil level.
For those with smaller dwellings, bigger isn’t best as you’ll often finish the job with leftover water that you’ll have to empty out after it’s cooled down.
This just adds an unnecessary step to your cleaning day and is easily avoidable with a smaller tank.
Warm up time
Are you the kind of person who spot cleans on the go, or do you set aside a day to get all your cleaning done?
If you like to rush and get it done, many steam mops offer insanely fast heat-up times of less than a minute and will blend well into your cleaning style.
If you’re more methodical in your approach, the quick heat-up time is still nice, but there’s no need to prioritize the feature over others like accessories or versatility.
Do you need a steam mop that’ll work on other floors, like tile or linoleum? If so, you’ll want to make sure you find a versatile steam mop with an attachment or mop cloths for cleaning tiles and grout.
If you have carpet, you might want to look into steam mops with spot-cleaning attachments for doing light carpet work. Steam mops like the O-Cedar we reviewed have “glider” attachments that let them slide along carpets.
You can power up the steam to remove stains and freshen patches. This is also a great way to sanitize pet messes and neutralize odors.
Which steam mop is right for you and your wood floors?
If you have a combination of wood floors and tile or linoleum, the Bissell PowerFresh is certainly the most versatile of our recommendations, aside from the pricier Reliable Steamboy.
The PowerFresh’s Easy Scrubber brush can reach into tile grout for mopping in your bathroom. The O-Cedar and Shark have rag-style mop heads, which can handle tile grout, but they aren’t ideal for it.
The O-Cedar is our top budget pick for people with mostly wood floors. It can handle some tile, but it’s not ideally suited to grout.
However, when it comes to wood, the O-Cedar is remarkably good for the price. The deeply padded microfiber cloths polish and clean hardwoods without taking off their finish. It has a big water tank, and a fast heating time.
The O-Cedar will leave your hardwood floors shining and bright for a very low price and very little elbow grease.
The Shark gives you a little bit of both in one package. It has the mop head from both the Bissell and the O-Cedar, plus the carpet cleaning ability of the O-Cedar.
More than anything, we love the value for money with the Pocket Mop. It gives you two mop heads, the equivalent of 4 cloths, and a sturdy mop handle for a reasonable price. Still, it can’t compete with the Reliable for power or build quality.
Finally, the Reliable Steamboy is our ultimate mop pick for any and all flooring. It’s easily the best-made thing on the market, and ought to last for years.
It does as good a job on hardwoods as the O-Cedar, and has a scrubber brush like the Bissell. The ultra-hot, “dry” steam is ideal for cleaning floorboards without leaving moisture behind. We don’t think you can do better.
Although every model we’ve recommended here is a great choice for your home, overall, we would recommend the Bissell PowerFresh as the best steam mop for hardwood floors. It’s our number one best seller.
To see more of our recommendations for the best steam mops of 2022, check out our list of the best steam mops for tile floors! We also have plenty of guides for your other household cleaning needs. Check out our favorite carpet cleaners, handheld steamers, and more!
Steam Mopping Hardwood Floors FAQ:
Some other articles you may be interested in: