Here's a comparison of steam mops vs. regular mops.
Are you looking to buy a mop but can't choose between getting a steam mop or a regular mop?
Luckily for you, there are countless brands and types of mops that you can pick and choose from.
However, how do you know whether you should buy a steam mop, or a traditional mop?
We're here to help make choosing between one easy.
Here’s a full comparison of steam mops vs. regular mops.
Many people have debated between which is better a traditional mop or a steam mop, and we are here to provide you with the knowledge to help you make the best decision for your individual cleaning needs.
Let's get started!
What is better, steam mops or regular mops?
Answering this question definitively can be difficult to do because both of these types of mops are utilized for the same thing, floor cleaning.
However, some differences can make these types of mops better than the others in certain circumstances.
In this article, we have taken on the task of comparing and contrasting regular mops and steam mops to see which one is better in different areas.
Quick Summary Of Steam Mop and Regular Mop Pros and Cons
You really can't go wrong with either of these types of mops because, in the end, they can both clean your floors adequately.
However, they do have their pros and cons that make them better than the others in different situations or scenarios. Here are the pros and cons for each type of mop that you will find.
Traditional Mop Pros
If your household is on a budget, then the traditional mop might be the best choice for your needs. Traditional mops are usually more affordable than steam mops because they take less to produce.
Plus, they are the go-to mop for households that have different textures on their floors.
Unlike steam mops, traditional mops do not need any sort of power source, like batteries.
They are designed to be easy to care for, and they are generally safe for most floor types, which means that you don't have to worry about your traditional mop messing up your floors or being difficult to take care of because traditional mops tend to be low maintenance compared to steam mop models.
- More affordable
- Do not need any sort of power source
- Easy to care for
- Safe for most floor types
Steam Mop Pros
One of the best things about steam mops is the fact that they are safe for pets and kids.
Unlike traditional mops, most steam mops do not require any sort of cleaning solution, which often has different chemicals in them.
The chemicals are what allow the cleaning solutions to effectively clean floors and get rid of stains and grime.
That being said, steam mops also provide more sanitary cleaning situations because they are capable of disinfecting floors faster and more efficiently than traditional mops.
Steam mops are excellent for people who don't have a lot of strength because they require less physical effort to use.
Finally, steam mops are better at cleaning tough grime than traditional mops because the steam mop uses water vapor, which loosens the grime easier.
- Safe for pets and kids
- Provides more sanitary cleaning situations
- Require less physical effort
- Better at cleaning tough grime
Traditional Mop Cons
Regardless of the type of cleaning solution you choose to use with your traditional mop, it won't sanitize floors as effectively as a steam mop.
It will kill some bacteria and viruses, but it isn't capable of killing the ones that are deep down in the crevices of your floor. That being said, traditional mops require the use of detergents to clean effectively.
However, detergents can be harmful to you and the people in your home.
They are filled with different fragrances and chemical components that have been linked to a few different types of health issues.
Finally, traditional mops require a lot of labor exertion in order to function.
Between bending and standing to mop the floor, wringing out the mop can also be difficult and time-consuming compared to using a steam mop.
- Won't sanitize floors as effectively
- Required detergents can be harmful
- Requires a lot of labor exertion
Steam Mop Cons
Although steam mops are excellent in some situations, that does not mean that they do not have their own set of cons that go with them.
Compared to traditional mops, steam mops tend to cost more. You can find a traditional mop for as little as $10, but some steam mops can reach up to $200 or even more.
Steam mops can be used on various types of flooring, but they can damage flooring, like hardwood.
If you have hardwood floors in your home, you should know that using a steam mop on them could cause you to lose the warranty on the flooring even if it doesn't directly damage the floors.
Therefore, it could be dangerous to use on certain types of flooring materials. Finally, unlike with a traditional mop, most steam mops do require some sort of power supply to operate.
- Cost more
- Dangerous to use on certain types of flooring materials
- Requires some sort of power supply
How The 2 Types Of Mops Work
To choose which type of mop will be best for your home, you first need to understand how steam mops and traditional mops work. They both clean floors, but they have their unique techniques for doing so. This could make a huge difference in your choice. Let's get started!
Using a Traditional Mop
When choosing to use a traditional mop, there are two things that you must first be ok with.
You have to realize that using a traditional mop is more time-consuming than a steam mop, and it is also more labor-intensive than cleaning with a steam mop.
That being said, there are the steps you should take to get the best all-around cleaning experience with a traditional mop.
First, you should choose the type of cleaning solution that you prefer to use and mix it with warm water into a mop bucket.
You should look at the detergent container to see how much water per solution you should use to be effective.
Once the solution is properly prepared, you will insert the mop into the solution and begin scrubbing the floors with the mop head.
You will want to make sure that during this phase of cleaning you do not leave any surface untouched.
This means corners and under any area that might not be too visible normally to the naked eye.
Then, you will want to put the mop back into the water solution bring it out, and make sure the wring out any excess water that is in the mop.
This helps to ensure that the mop isn't overly wet when mopping, and it also helps to get as much dirt out of the mop from the first round of mopping as possible.
Once you are satisfied, you will repeat the initial steps. Finally, you will want to let the floor dry for some time after finishing the second mopping session.
You will also want to hang the mop-up in an area where the mop head can dry thoroughly to avoid any sort of residue setting into the fibers permanently.
Using a Steam Mop
Now that we have discussed how to use a traditional mop, it is time to go over how a steam mop works and the steps that you go through to properly mop your floors with a steam mop.
Unlike the traditional mop that needs a bucket, the steam mop comes with an attached water reservoir.
So, the first step to getting ready for a cleaning session is filling the reservoir with clean water.
It is important to pay attention to the recommended water capacity because if you exceed the capacity it could cause the water to boil out of the reservoir, which adds headaches that you will not need.
Next, you will plug your steam mop into a power source or connect it to the battery source and turn it on to allow the machine to start to boil the water in the reservoir.
Once the water is through boiling, you will unplug it from the power source. Usually, a steam mop will have some sort of "boiling complete" indicator light to let you know for sure that it is ready.
Once this happens, it is time to start your cleaning session. You will want to run the mop over the floor, but you shouldn't move it too fast or too slow because it can overheat the spot, which is not ideal, especially for certain types of flooring.
When you are mopping, you want to make sure that you don't miss any spots.
The best way to do this is by mopping in straight rows.
Finally, once you have done this, you are through with your mopping session. Unlike with traditional mops, the floors dry rather quickly when using a steam mop, and the overall process takes less time than when you go and use a traditional mop.
Now that we have gone over how to use the two types of mops, we are going to talk about the differences in their pricing.
If you are on a budget, then hands down you will want to stick to traditional mops.
These types of mops can run as low as $10, and even if you choose one of the more expensive mop models, they still might only run around $50, on the high-end.
However, if you want to invest in a mop that will better sanitize your home overall, it might be beneficial for you to invest in a steam mop.
There are some steam mops that you can get for $50 to $75, but the higher-end steam mops can cost anywhere from $200 or higher.
Steam mops are something that most people need to plan for, but they are by far superior in many ways.
They are easy to use, which is perfect for people who have issues bending or standing for long periods. However, with a traditional mop, you can use them on more types of flooring in your home.
So, when it comes to the price between these two types of mops, it is an important thing to consider because there is a significant difference between their price.
Just remember that it is something that should be considered, especially if you think you might want to go with the steam mop because it is not classified as an everyday purchase.
Size & Weight
In general, steam mops tend to be heavier and a bit larger than a traditional mop, but this doesn't mean that traditional mops are always better.
Although steam mops tend to weigh more, they are considered to be easier to use.
Plus, they don't take as long to clean as a traditional mop does.
With traditional mops, the actual mop generally doesn't weigh that much, but it does require you to pick up and move buckets of water from place to place.
They also usually require people to bend and stand during the cleaning process, which makes it harder for people to use than with a steam mop.
So, when it comes to the size and weight of the different mops, you can expect the steam mop to weigh more generally compared to traditional mops, but this doesn't always mean that will be the case.
However, the steam mop does have good points that can outweigh the fact that they usually weigh a little more and might take up slightly more space.
When it comes to performance, there is a lot of differences between steam mops and traditional mops.
However, both types of mops are capable of adequately cleaning floors, and they both can work.
It mainly depends on how your personal preference, but there are some situations where one will outshine another.
For instance, if you have hardwood floors, you would never want to use a steam mop on them.
Although they can clean and sanitize the floors, using a steam mop on a hardwood floor could permanently damage the wood.
However, what happens if it doesn't? Would it be worth it? Still, the answer would be no. Do not use your steam mop on the hardwood floor. Why?
Whenever you use a steam mop on hardwood floors, if they are still under warranty, it will usually negate the warranty even if it doesn't mess up the floor when using on it.
In the long run, it isn't worth the risk of either of these things happening.
You should just always use a traditional mop on your hardwood floors.
However, if you have any other type of hard flooring, many people prefer using the steam mop of a traditional mop because not only are they easier to use, but they do not require as much physical labor as the traditional mop.
Plus, they are capable of sanitizing your floors of germs and viruses almost to 100%, which is significantly higher than when using a traditional mop.
Also, with traditional mops, you have to worry about the fragrances and other chemicals that are used in regular cleaning solutions. However, with a steam mop, all you use is regular water, which means that this will not be an issue.
This is particularly important for households that have people with allergies that might flare up due to the cleaning solution fragrances.
Whenever you are looking at something, it is always a good idea to go with something that has a warranty.
However, it is important to note that most traditional mops do not come with a warranty because due to their usage versus the price, it is likely that you will get your worth with a traditional mop without one.
However, when you start looking at purchasing a steam mop, it is important to know that warranties should be considered.
Steam mops are machines, which means they have many working parts that could potentially mess up.
If this does happen, you don't want to be out of the money you spent on your steam mop, because it is probably a substantial amount compared to purchasing a traditional mop.
If your model does come with a warranty, there are some common things you should do to make sure that it is a quality warranty.
Just because a product comes with a warranty, you should always make sure that the company that offers the warranty has a good standing in holding up their end on their warranties.
After all, it would be horrible if you got a product with a warranty, and then something happens and the company doesn't honor or makes you jump through hoops to claim the rights on the warranty.
Common Customer Complaints
Regardless of how good a product might be, there will always be complaints from customers that have used the products.
These complaints could be minor and only limited to their personal preference, but they could be a serious concern about the actual product that they specifically used.
When looking at steam mops and traditional mops, here are a few complaints that customers have had about each of these types.
Traditional Mop Customer Complaints
One of the top complaints about traditional mops is having to replace them often due to the mop head retaining water and not being able to be cleaned.
Some traditional mop brands provide a removable mop head with their product to help with this, but it doesn't always work.
Next, many people complain about the length of time that it takes for their floors to dry after mopping with a traditional mop.
It might not seem like a big issue, but when you are mopping in a high-traffic area, like the kitchen or bathroom, this can become a huge issue.
Steam Mop Customer Complaints
Now, let's talk about some customer complaints about steam mops. One of the biggest complaints about people that like steam mops is that they can't use them on their hardwood floors.
This is something that is not often advertised on steam mops, which means people with hardwood floors purchase them only to find out later that they can't or aren't supposed to use them on this type of flooring.
Finally, another complaint that people have had about steam mops is that they can leak water if they are not properly filled or tightened.
This can cause an excess amount of water to get on the floor or even on furniture while you are mopping, which can be problematic.
Coming up with a final verdict for which type of mop is more effective is still a difficult thing to do.
Steam mops are capable of cleaning deeper into your floors, but they can be an issue for hardwood floors. However, traditional mops are capable of cleaning hardwood floors, but they do not sanitize as well as steam mops.
Therefore, it is important to think about a variety of things before deciding on your mop type. It is recommended to make a checklist of things that you want and is most important to your personal cleaning needs.
After doing this, you should weigh them against the pros and cons of the traditional mop and the steam mop to see which one will give you the best outcome.
This should always be done before looking at any mops, and it is important to note that it might not be either-or. It is entirely feasible to have both in your home for different cleaning situations.
Keep all of this in mind to ensure that you make the best purchasing decision for your individual needs.