Cordless Steam Mops - How to Pick the Best One?
Cordless mops and vacuum cleaners are powered using the energy stored in 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 combining the power of steam and steam mop pads.
Thus, cordless steam mops would be battery operated steam mops, but the real life is slightly complicated than that.
Published: March 1, 2019.
Corded Steam Mops - Quick Overview
Corded steam mops operate using mains power, provided via power cord usually 20-25 feet (6.1 - 7.6 m) long. Power cord provide energy for water heater which is usually in the 1000-1600 watts range, commonly around 1500 W.
Such 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 spray pump, LED lights, scrubbing mechanism and similar. Although these subsystems also require electrical energy, their energy requirements are far less than 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, for reasonable price.
Example: Dyson Cyclone V10 Cordless is one of the best cordless vacuums on the market and in the maximum suction mode its motor (525W) operate for about 8 minutes on a single battery charge.
Thus, 1500 W water heater would operate slightly less than 3 minutes using the same battery - and 3 minutes are far too little in this case (not to mention 20-30 seconds required for the unit to start to produce steam).
For short: at the moment, there are not true cordless steam mops on the market - there are no cleaning devices that are battery operated and clean using steam and steam mop pads at the same time.
If You Google 'cordless steam mops', there is a great chance that You will open a list claiming to be the 'cordless steam mop list', but models are corded, or they are not true steam mops.
Cordless Steam Mops - Similar Devices
If you are looking for similar devices, consider one of the following:
- Cordless Hard Floor Mops clean the floors using hard floor mop pads, often combined with cleaning detergent/cleaning solution - cordless spray mops.
In order to improve cleaning and shorten the cleaning time, cordless hard floor mops use 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.
Cordless hard floor mops usually don't have water heaters, but can operate using warm cleaning solutions.
Their operating time on the single battery charge is usually around 15-20 minutes, allowing the users to clean large area, without recharging the battery.
Typical example of such hard floor cleaning mop is Bissell 2307 SpinWave Cordless Hard Floor Mop.
- 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 spray mop pump and for scrubbing mechanism if present.
When being used as steam mops, such units are powered via detachable power cord and basically they operate as classic corded steam mops.
Typical example of such steam and spray mop is Shark SK460 Professional Steam & Spray Mop.
- Corded Steam Mops are cheap and reliable devices that operate using mains power. They combine hot steam and steam mop pads to clean and sanitize floors, killing often up to 99.9% of bacteria and germs without the use of chemicals.
Typical example of corded steam mop is very popular and affordable Bissell 1940 PowerFresh Steam Mop.
- Corded Steam Mop/Vac Combos are units that combine corded steam mop and small vacuum cleaner in a single unit.
Such units are highly recommended for areas that are often very soiled and require vacuuming with regular vacuum before steaming with classic corded steam mop.
Although corded steam mop/vac combos cost slightly more than classic steam mops, additional features often more than justify higher price.
One of such units is Bissell 1543A Symphony Pet Steam Mop and Steam Vacuum Cleaner.
Of course, there are other possible combinations, like corded steam mop and cordless vacuum cleaner in one unit, like Nugeni Steva+ All In One Upright Cordless Handheld Vacuum with Handheld Steamer and Steam Mop and similar units.
But, 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 than battery is used for powering spay mop pump, lights, controls, scrubbing mechanism and other electric parts on the mops.
For example, Shark SK460 features 4xAA battery pack, used for operating the unit's steam mop pump, regardless if the unit is used as corded (steam mop) or as cordless (spray mop) unit.
If you need steam mop, go for a good corded unit - it will help you keep your floors and home in general cleaner, safer and more pleasant to live. Just be sure to use it according to the manual/instructions.