K-Tipp puts steam cleaners to the test

K-Tipp puts steam cleaners to the test

Nina Gurt
Zurich, on 19.03.2021
For many households, the end of winter is the cue for spring cleaning. Swiss consumer magazine K-Tipp wanted to find out how thoroughly steam cleaners spruce up different floors. Only four of the steam cleaners tested managed to impress. And none of them can do it all. Read on for the test results.

A steam cleaner should enable you to remove dirt and mud just with hot steam and no chemicals in sight. K-Tipp carried out lab tests on four sled steam cleaners and eight steam mops. The devices were tested on plastic and tiled floors and in a bathroom. Steam cleaners should generally only be used on sealed floors, as the hot steam can get through gaps and cause damage.

Sled steam cleaners look like conventional vacuum cleaners and are suited to larger surfaces due to their steam mop water tanks. Steam mops, on the other hand, look like cordless vacuum cleaners. They don't need as much storage space and lend themselves to small homes.

The tests gave criteria the following weighting:

  • Practical cleaning test (65%)
  • Ease of use (15%)
  • Technical measurements (10%)
  • Finishing (5%)
  • Durability of the cleaning cloths (5%)

Sled steam cleaner results

Of all the sled steam cleaners, only the Polti Vaporetto Smart was rated «good» overall. The other models didn’t manage to impress in the test, receiving an overall rating of «adequate». In the practical test in particular, the Kärcher and Ariete models struggled to keep up and left behind dirt residue.

The top-rated sled steam cleaner is the Polti Vaporetto Smart with the only overall score of «good» in the test. According to K-Tipp, it was the only device that thoroughly cleaned both plastic and tiled floors. It even impressed in the bathroom. The only drawback was the almost four minutes it took to heat up. In contrast, the Kärcher SC 3 Easy Fix only needed 30 seconds.

And the winner is...

The Kärcher devices couldn't keep up with the top-rated device in the practical test. However, they did impress with their rapid heat-up time and durability of cleaning cloths. The Xvapor Deluxe ARI-4146 by Ariete was the test's lowest-rated cleaner. Distinct dirt residue was left on plastic floors and the device’s performance on tiled floors also failed to impress.

2nd place

Please note: the EU version of the Kärcher SC 3 Easy Fix includes an appropriate adapter.

3rd place

Please note: the EU version of the Kärcher SC5 Easy Fix includes an appropriate adapter.

4th place

Steam mop results

Steam mops are better suited to smaller homes than sled steam cleaners. They’re ready for use quickly and don’t need much space. Of all the models tested, none proved suitable for plastic or tiled floors. Of the eight steam mops in the test, five were rated «good» overall.

The top-rated model is the Kärcher SC 3 Upright Easy Fix. It cleaned tiled floors extremely thoroughly. However, its performance on plastic floors was only rated «adequate» by K-Tipp. The second-placed model scored considerably better in this area. The Polti SV205 is good value for money. It’s well suited to plastic floors, its steam function cleaned bathrooms well and it was the best at removing limescale.

And the winner is...

2nd place, not available at Galaxus

  • Vapor DR1 by Satrap

3rd place

4th place, sold out at Galaxus

  • Steam + Power Pad by Vileda

5th place

The Bissel PowerFresh Slim failed to impress on tiled or plastic floors, with K-Tipp rating its cleaning performance «inadequate». However, this cleaner received the test’s best ease of use score. The cleaning performance of the Black + Decker Steam Mop FSM1616 was also rated «inadequate».

6th place, not available at Galaxus

  • PowerFresh Slim by Bissel

7th place

8th place

Check out K-Tipp’s test here: (in German, payment required).

Careful: risk of burns

Caution is always advised when using steam cleaners. The water in the tank can reach temperatures of over 150 degrees. It can still be over 100 degrees when it reaches the nozzle. Cleaning cloths shouldn’t be changed immediately after use. The same goes for changing the nozzle. The water tank should only be refilled when the water has cooled.

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Nina Gurt
Nina Gurt
Category Development Manager, Zurich
I like to spend time outdoors, at concerts or watching my favourite series «The Office» for the umpteenth time.

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