The best hard floor cleaner is a relatively new category, but a fast-growing one. Fashions change all the time but there's no doubt that overall there has been a move away from carpets and towards hard floors in homes around the world.
There’s no shortage of standard vacuum cleaners around, both corded and cordless, and they will expertly sweep a hard floor as well as a swathe of carpet. However, one thing they can’t do is remove stains, discolourations, spills and unsightly marks from your prized wood, tile, linoleum, concrete or York stone flooring. Vacs are also incapable of restoring your floor to how you remembered it before you had kids and got a St Bernard. All they do is sweep the surface of loose debris.
What you need for a properly clean hard floor is a mop – but not just any old mop. Head back to just a decade or so ago and you would have needed a bucket of water, an ugly pile of rags on a stick and a good dose of elbow grease for the unenviable task of cleaning a hard floor. And if you were dealing with a large spill of thick liquid – well that was another whole world of pain.
But this is 2022 and the world of hard floor mopping has advanced to such a level that there are now machines that will not only mop a hard floor very effectively, they’ll even collect a pile of baby sick if necessary and then clean themselves afterwards. In fact, today’s mopping systems are so advanced you can even have a robot do it all for you – which you can read about in our dandy guide to the best robot mops.
In this guide we’re looking at the best corded and cordless mopping machines that don’t require much effort to use. Some are adept at collecting even large spills like porridge, soup and, dear I say, puke and liquified doggy mess. Others will simply wash a hard floor for you rather like a mop and bucket, but without the hard graft, while some will use the power of steam to perform much the same task, only with a more intense cleaning action that kills all germs dead.
Which is the best hard floor cleaner in our opinion? Read on to find out.
The best hard floor cleaners you can buy
Straight to the #1 spot with a silver bullet, the Bissell CrossWave Cordless Max takes hard floor mopping to a higher echelon with excellent suction power that swallows everything from spilt liquids to porridge and most gunk in between.
The Bissell CrossWave Cordless Max not only wet mops the floor with its single rotating nine-inch wool-cum-nylon brush roller, it also sucks up any offending liquid spills at the same time, depositing it into an extra-large 550ml dirty water tank. The biggest issue you might expect with any mop of this nature is the hassle of having to clean most of the parts under a tap after it’s been used to collect the results of what you just put in the baby. But, like some of its competitors, the CrossWave Cordless Max performs a self-cleaning regime when you place it on the admittedly clunky charging cradle. All you need to do after it’s cleaned itself up is empty and rinse the filthy water tank under a tap.
This writer initially selected the wooden floor setting and tried it out on some muddy pine boards. It removed all traces of muck in a thrice. Better still, it left far less water on the floor than other models on test and that makes it a shoo-in for anyone with lots of wooden floors who may be concerned about long-term water damage. If you have stone, tile or linoleum flooring, choose the relevant option and more water is applied to the roller for an even more thorough clean. The CrossWave Max's battery provides about 30 minutes of operation time which isn’t too shabby.
There are many reasons why this model wins the contest: it performs exceptionally well on all floor materials; it sucks like a limpet; its self-cleaning system is one of the best we’ve seen; it’s relatively light and easy to manoeuvre; it comes with two larger-than-average water tanks; it can stand up on its own; and it’s readily available from numerous online stores. If you have a lot of hard flooring – particularly of the wooden kind – then make this model your first port of call. Read my full Bissell Crosswave Cordless Max review, if you’re still not convinced.
Tineco is a class leader in the arena of hard floor mopping and this new cordless flagship model is an excellent contender for the number two spot. It works on the same mop-and-vac principles as the winning Bissell and the Roborock Dyad, reviewed below.
For our tests we used porridge, tomato sauce and spaghetti hoops and the Tineco Floor One S3 pretty much sailed through them all with only a bit of manual cleaning required with the sticky porridge. When it came to general use of clean sweeping linoleum and tiles, it performed exceptionally well, leaving a fine film of water on the surface that evaporated in minutes. However, it didn’t appear to suck up as much excess water as the Bissell CrossWave Max so I would go easy on any wooden floors that haven’t been pre treated.
The Auto mode is a handy feature, too, and it’s not too sensitive which means it will only hit full bore when it detects something of thicker viscosity. The battery is said to last for 35 minutes but I never got anywhere near that mark. In fact, after all my tests – plus two full cleans of three different rooms – I still had 25% battery left.
Granted, the single roller doesn’t go right to the edge so it’s not as thorough as the Roborock Dyad in that respect, but I loved the fact that, like the Bissell, it can stand up on its own out of the stand. I also like the visually pretty interface and the extra two filters it comes with.
The Tineco Floor One S3 isn’t as heavy in the hand as the Roborock Dyad and that’s a godsend when you have to carry it upstairs. It’s also attractively designed and is a cinch to use.
For sheer practicality and convenience, this is the best cordless mop-and-bucket alternative on the market for simple mopping. For most of its life it sits in an upright position on a plastic dock. But when it comes time to give the floor a quick whizz, the Kärcher EWM 2 is as convenient to use as the Gtech AirRam vacuum cleaner. Since it’s cordless and exceedingly light to carry, you simply pick it up, turn it on and mop.
The EWM 2 doesn’t have a vacuum system on board like the Tineco or Roborock so it’s not really designed for collecting the remnants of a major breakfast spillage though it can handle light liquid collection. Instead it uses two side-by-side motorised towel rollers, a 360ml clean water reservoir that soaks them after about 60 seconds of use and a small twin 140ml container that collects the dirty water. The clever bit is that the rollers are powered by an onboard motor that pulls the whole unit forwards as if it were on wheels. All you do is hold it steady in your hand and let the motorised rollers do all the hard graft. You should get about 20 minutes of use from a full charge.
This one is arguably the most effortless mopping system I’ve ever used because a) it’s fairly light in the hand and b) it moves forward under it’s own power. When I reach a tough stain I simply hold it back in a static position and the spinning rollers scrub away until that section is clean. That said, on occasions I’ve had to press down on the body to get a bit more traction on the grubbiest stains.
Granted, you will need to awkwardly remove and rinse the clip-on dirty water containers under a tap after a few spins and it can’t stand up on its own. But on the plus side, the Kärcher EWM 2 does a grand job of cleaning all styles of hard flooring with the most minimal of effort. If you’ve been looking for a keenly-priced electronic alternative to a basic mop and bucket that doesn’t require any energy to use, then this is the machine for you.
Coming in at number four, the Vax Glide is arguably the cheapest self-cleaning vac mop on the market and its performance isn’t too shabby, either. Granted, it doesn’t have the raw suction power of the winning Bissell so it leaves more water in its wake – a thin film it has to be said – and you have to manually press the trigger when it’s on the self-cleaning plinth. But it performed as well in most of our tests as the majority of its competitors.
At a snip under five kilos, the Vax Glide is easy enough to push around and carry upstairs and it stands up on its own, too. Yes, the water tanks are quite small – the dirty one more so – but for the lower price, this is still a highly efficient alternative to using a mop and bucket. Find out more by perusing my full Vax ONEPWR Glide review now, why don'cha?
In some respects, this Dyson-priced model is the ultimate all-round hybrid solution for people with a mixture of hard and soft flooring. Unlike the Tineco and Roborock which are essentially vacuum mops designed only for hard flooring, the Roidmi RS70 is a bona fide cordless vacuum cleaner for carpets and hard floors that can be easily converted into a twin-pad industrial-style wet mop simply by removing the vacuuming head and replacing it with the mop head.
I’ll be writing more about the app-connected RS70’s excellent vacuuming abilities in our guide to the Best Cordless Vacs in due course, though I will add right now that it is a sterling operator that gives even Dyson’s wondrous V11 Absolute a run for its substantial money. In the meantime we’ll look at this vacs mopping ability because that’s what this page is about.
Aside from all the usual vac accessories – including a hand-held motorised mattress brush – the RS70 also comes with a twin rotating mop head that appears to be modelled on the type of mop a janitor might use to clean and shine the floor of the school sports hall. To use, simply fill the 550ml water tank, clip the mop head on the end of the suction tube, tap the same button you’d use for vacuuming and the two mop heads start revolving. Now head down to the mop head itself, and you’ll see a rocker switch which selects between dry mopping and two levels of wet mopping – mild for wooden floors and not-so-mild for lino, tiles, stone, what have you.
The RS70 also ships with a head-cleaning bucket that needs to be filled with fresh water. When you’ve finished wet mopping, simply place the dirty mop head into the interface with the motor/handle assembly either resting against a wall or attached to the supplied magnetic holder, and press the start button. The mop starts spinning in the bucket whereupon it’s given a thoroughly good clean. And by clean I mean remarkably clean.
Normally I can’t stand products that come with a slew of bolt-on accessories that I will inevitably lose and I did wonder in this instance why anyone would want to deal with the hassle of finding somewhere to permanently store a bucket of water – my partner is still unconvinced. But then I tried it out as a general cleaning mop on both treated wooden flooring and the dodgy-looking linoleum we inherited in our bathroom, and I must say I was surprised by how well it performed the tasks. In fact it mopped as well as any of the other models here. What’s more, it even has an LED headlamp that switches on in dark areas so you can see what you’re doing.
Rather cleverly, the RS70 can also vacuum up spills to a degree without the offending liquid ending up in the dry bagless vacuum chamber. Hence I poured some milk and a small handful of Coco Pops (yes, I like Coco Pops, so shoot me) on the floor, engaged the vacuum button on the handle and, lo and behold, it soaked up the liquid pretty well and dispensed the damp cereal pieces in the dust chamber. It also pulled some wayward cereal pieces away from the skirting and into its maw. Granted, it wasn’t as affective a vacuum mop as the Roborock or Tineco – I had to make a few passes over the liquid – and, no, I didn’t dare try the porridge collection test because it’s clearly not designed for that level of waste disposal. But for mild liquid accidents including the odd puppy wee, the Roidmi RS70 did the trick.
On the design front, the RS70 comes with one of the most comfortable handles in the business and it doesn’t feel too long and unwieldy in the hand like some Dysons. Its battery, meanwhile, packs an 80-minute running time. However you do have to hold the start button down for a couple of seconds before it starts up which is a bit annoying.
I can definitely see a market for a dual purpose product like this – someone with a variety of flooring who doesn’t mop that often but would rather not have to reach for an old-fashioned mop when little accidents occur. In that respect, the Roidmi RS70 is a very worthwhile contender with just one caveat – a whopping Dyson-like price of £599.
The Roborock Dyad is, like the Bissell CrossWave Max and Tineco Floor One S3, a hybrid mop and hard floor vac in one. However, where the Bissell and Tineco are equipped with a single roller, this one has three – one long one up front and two full-width short ones behind it. This means the Dyad is capable of cleaning right to the very edge – a major plus for liquid spills straight off the kitchen worktop. It also comes with bigger water tanks – a substantial 850ml for the clean water and 620ml for the dirty water. And it runs for a bit longer on a full charge, too – about 40 minutes.
The Dyad has two power settings – Auto and Max. Auto is the mode you’ll use the most since it increases both the water and suction when required. Max mode is handy for tougher stains but it’s pretty noisy on the ears. Like the Tineco, this one also self cleans itself from within when back on the charging plinth and it does a sterling job of it, even after it’s cleaned something as colourful as tomato sauce. There will be times, however, when the user may need to interject with a spot of rinsing, but it’s easy enough to reach all the parts.
On the niggling side of things, the Dyad feels a bit cumbersome and it’s not as easy to push as I’d have liked. However, the biggest disappointment is that it can’t stand up on its own, though there is a pull-out stand at the back so you can leave it resting at a 45˚ angle.
Like the Tineco, this hybrid model makes short work of all mopping disciplines but, while it gains a point for edge cleaning, it loses a point or two for being cumbersome and not being able to stand up on its own. These weaknesses aside, the Dyad is still a cracking auto mopper that’s well worth consideration.
This one’s a steam mop so it won’t pick up a spill. You’ll also have to plug it in. However, it will deep clean any hard floor using the power of steam to loosen grime, most old stains and discolouration due to years of neglect.
The lightweight Shark Klik n’ Flip is perfect for linoleum, tiles and stone but you will need to be more careful if using it on wood, especially if there are spaces between the boards. This is because steam blasts into any crack where it doesn’t dry as well and this can lead to expansion and warping of the wood which is the last thing you need. Luckily this model has three steam pressure levels, including a mild setting that can be used on most treated woods as long as not too much time is spent moving the hot and steamy floor pad back and forth.
However, when it comes to lino, tiles, stone and polished concrete, this model is a sterling operator. One cool facet is that the mopping pad is also reversible to some degree and, rather cleverly, it can be attached to and removed from the floor plate without touching it. Furthermore, in reverse mode, if you lean the handle backwards it exposes a nozzle that automatically blasts deeper stains off the floor.
Aside from the disappointingly small 350ml water tank, for general mopping duties with the extra power of steam, this sub-£100 model is just about all you need. You can check out my full Shark Klik n’ Flip Automatic Steam Mop review for even more details.
To get the best price, make sure you check our Shark discount codes before you buy.
The Kärcher SC3 Upright Premium is another sterling electric steam cleaner with a decent-sized 500ml water tank for fewer trips to the tap. This Teutonic model weighs 3.1kgs so it will feel quite heavy if you have to lug it all the way to the upstairs bathroom. Also, its 13-inch (33cm) wet pad feels quite stiff when pushing and pulling across the floor. However, it’s such an epic performer when it comes to general cleaning or restoring a tired hard floor that those negatives pale into insignificance.
The Kärcher SC3 EasyFix Premium is suitable for a variety of sealed hard floors such as PVC, linoleum, stone, tile, parquet, laminate and cork, as well as very short pile carpets. It features three predefined floor settings – tiles/stone, carpet and wood. The wood setting provides an almost indiscernible puff of occasional steam to prevent over saturating treated wooden flooring while the high-powered tile/stone setting ramps the steam pressure up to full bore for maximum cleaning power.
To be honest, both the Kärcher and Shark performed on a par but the Shark just clinches a higher spot by dint of its lower price, lower weight and extra steam jet. Otherwise, take your pick – when it comes to steam mops, these two truly excel, and are excellent.
See my Kärcher SC3 Upright Premium review for what today’s modern young people call ‘full deets’.
- Would you like a sidekick for your new, futuristic mecha-mop? Here's our guide to the best robot vacs on the market. Some of them even have mopping functions, so could potentially replace your futuristic mecha-mop.