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Vileda variable powered steam mop review: Does the £90 appliance scrub up well or is it just hot air?

We tested the nifty tool on a range of floor types to put it through its paces

Tamara Hinson
Tuesday 17 August 2021 17:48
<p>Can it really clean carpets to shower screens, and pretty much everything in between?</p>

Can it really clean carpets to shower screens, and pretty much everything in between?

Steam cleaners are flying off the shelves right now, partly because of an increased level of enthusiasm for banishing bugs from our homes. These electrical appliances do precisely this by heating up water contained in a built-in water tank, then dispensing it via a nozzle or mop head-like attachment.

They’re especially popular with those keen to minimise their use of chemicals – steam cleaners simply use pre-heated water, relying on steam power alone to sterilise and clean without any residue or nasty niffs.

The best bit? They’re not just for hard and sealed floors. They can be used on work surfaces along with everything from carpets to shower screens which brings us to the focus of this particular review – the Vileda steam mop (£90, Argos.co.uk).

On the face of it, this mop, which like almost all steam cleaners, promises to banish 99.9 per cent of bacteria, is ideal for those keen to use steam power to deep clean their homes, but who’d rather not spend all day (or all their hard-earned cash) doing so.

Costing £90, it’s a steam mop with a wallet-friendly price tag that doesn’t pretend to be something it’s not. You won’t find the added extras you’ll find with other steam cleaners (such as descaling cartridges, digital displays or attachments to clean everything from the kitchen sink to oven doors) but do we really need them? We decided it’s time we found out.

Read more:

How we tested

We used the steam mop on a wide range of surfaces, including vinyl, carpet and sealed laminate flooring. We paid close attention to the aspects which we know are of most importance to consumers considering this type of purchase, including ease of use, running times and the speed at which it could be set up. This is a steam cleaner designed for use on flooring rather than areas such as work surfaces, which is why we concentrated on flooring.

As our photos show, we also took the time to put the individual parts through their paces, to provide an accurate assessment of not just how the complete ensemble works, but how well the individual parts performed, and to get a better understanding of the intricacies of their individual designs.

Vileda variable powered steam mop

Buy now £90, Argos

  • Weight: 2.3kg
  • Water tank capacity: 400ml
  • Cable length: 6m
  • Steam power: 1,550W

Design

Basic, is the first word which sprung to mind when we clapped eyes on this one. But we don’t mean that in a bad way. The thing is, the beauty of steam cleaning is its simplicity – the ability to deep clean a wide range of surfaces without nasty chemicals or a Popeye-worthy amount of elbow grease, so we’re firm believers that in an ideal world, this simplicity should extend to the design, too. And this is certainly the case with the Vileda steam mop, which tips the scales at just 2.3kg and comprises a mop head and a carved handle which simply clicks into place (a push of a button releases it).

The added extras are all intended to slash cleaning times even more, while enhancing its design. The best example is the carpet glider, which makes the steamer much easier to use on carpets (and at this point we should point out this is the only steam cleaner we’ve come across which has an accessory specifically designed for this use).

The glider simply clicks over the microfibre cloth to reduce friction and help the cleaner glide across softer surfaces, whether it’s an Austin Powers-worthy shagpile rug or the carpets in your front room. We also loved the inclusion of two machine-washable microfibre pads (all too often steam cleaners only come with one), as well as the way they attached in a nano-second, thanks to six Velcro patches which hold them tightly in place.

The water tank holds a pretty impressive 400ml of water, which provided more than enough steam power for a thorough clean of our kitchen, bathroom and hallway (the 6m-long cable meant it was easy to do the kitchen and hallway in one session). Our one tank-related gripe? We would have loved to see a slightly larger hole, especially as the tank isn’t removable (although we appreciated the inclusion of a scoop).

Steam power

One feature we were most excited about is the prep time – the jargon promised that this steam cleaner would be ready to go in 15 seconds. And we weren’t disappointed – it took precisely 14.9 seconds before the green light flashed on (and yes, we did use a stopwatch to verify that). We’ve raved about the extra-long cord already, but this really maximised the steam power, and allowed us to move between adjacent rooms without having to plug and unplug and waste precious cleaning time (it’s surprisingly how quickly water levels can deplete where steam cleaners are concerned).

Read more: 13 best cordless vacuum cleaners for hassle-free hoovering

One design feature which we’d seriously underestimated is the triangular shape of the head. We’d noticed this straight away but hadn’t paid too much attention, despite the fact that most heads are rectangular. However, when we moved our testing session to the bathroom, we realised just how significant this simple design tweak changes things – the head effortlessly pokes into the tightest of corners and around pipes (we’re talking about U-bends specifically).  We also loved how the head could be rotated, which made it even easier to get into the tightest of corners.

We also used it (admittedly somewhat nervously, at first) on our carpets. The plastic carpet glider ensured the steamer slides over the pile, banishing our concerns relating to somehow overheating the pile (although it turns out this isn’t even possible) and allowing us to spruce up our shagpile in a matter of seconds.

The verdict: Vileda variable powered steam mop

This is a brilliant steam cleaner free from the bells and whistles which often serve only to push up the price tag, and which are often unused. The simple controls (there’s a rubber-coated on/off switch and a dial we could use to crank up the steam power from min to max) are more than adequate, and its stripped-back design makes it easy to stash away into the smallest of spaces.

Voucher codes

For the latest discounts on steam mops and household appliance offers, try the links below:

You can also check out our Halo Capsule review to see if the ultra-light cordless vacuum cleaner is really worth its £249.99 price tag

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