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Note: I have updated this review in March of 2013 comparing this mop to Eureka's new mop called "Two in One" I do not like Eureka's new steam mop model 150A as much as this one (I actually don't like Eureka's model 150 at all) but I"ve added the notes to my review as well as a few other new mops we've gotten to try out. We have a second home now and I'm in the market for a new steam mop. In trying out new ones, even the new Eureka one, I still like this old model 313A the best.

Know going in If you get the Envirosteamer, know that, though it cleans the best, the first two times you use it the water goes through holes faster than it will in subsequent uses, so it will go through steam faster and your floors will be wetter than normal. Enough people wrote me to know this happened the first one or two times as it did my first time of use, then after that the mop was normal, our floors are great and it lasts waaaah longer. We don't know why. Just know that going in. After the first two initializing uses it steams perfect! Also obviously the steam lasts longest if you don't hold the mop above the floor to walk to another area since the steam pours out as it will with any steam mop if you do.

Also note: the reason some mops aren't 212 degrees is the tank is on the handle rather than the base so the steam cools prior to it reaching the floor. It becomes steam at 212. But doesn't stay there.

Note: This review has been updated a few times through the years as I got to try out new mops.

Original review:

I live in a neighborhood where EVERY home is "green built certified" this means that, to have that certification, the builder built no homes with carpet. All the main floors are polished concrete and the upper floors wood. The bathrooms all have tile and/or slate in every home.

Because of this, as you could imagine, steam mops are quite the neccessity...not only because they get the hard surfaces better than anything else, but because they are also "green" and clean chemical free. I'll be honest, for us...that's a bonus but we weren't cleaning chemical free before. We like chemical free for our pet's paws but I'll confess I was mopping with chemicals before I got my steamer and just kept the pets out of the room while doing it because, up until then, I couldn't get it clean any other way.

Okay, so that said...we decided to have a steamer show down to compare 7 different steamers because my friends and I knew as long as we are in these homes we are gonna have to have a steamer to get all these hard floors clean...we may as well figure out which one to buy next go round. Because my own home is graced with 2 cats, 3 dogs, and two gregarious cooks, my kitchen floor (which had not ever been cleaned by a steamer since my steamer had just arrived) was the testing spot.

Mind you, I vaccuum twice per week and do a mega mop twice a week. I THOUGHT I had pretty clean floors in spite of my pet capacity.

I thought wrong. These picked up dirt so well it's scary

So here's the results:

1. steam mops are the mac daddys of clean floors. What these things picked up was tremendous and no comparison to my vigorous prior constant major mopping.

2. So now I'll break down the elements of each mop we used and then go into more detail about each at the end.

We tried out:
"S": The shark by Europro
"E" The Envirosteamer 313A by Eureka
"H" the haan steamer
"M" the Monster
"B" The Bissell Green Tea
"SF" The SteamFast SF-140 by SteamFast
"SB" The SteamBoy T1
E2 Eureka's new 2013 mop called "Two In One" or the 150 Series
"BD" Bissell Steam Mop Deluxe 2013 Model

CORD LENGTH: so you don't have to stop and unplug and replug in somewhere else:
Shark ( will be referred to as S):20 feet
Envirosteamer (will be referred to as E): 25 feet *Note* The Envirosteamer has a clip at the top of the handle to keep the cord out of the way. When it's plugged in and you need more cord length, a light tug undoes this cord on the clip so that you have the full 25' of cord. Otherwise it's only around 20 feet. It's made to do this.
Haan: (will be referred to as H)19'8"
Monster (will be referred to as M): 25 feet
Bissell (will be referred to as B) 17 feet
SteamFast (will be referred to as SF): 18.7 ft.
SteamBoy (will be referred to as SB): 16 ft.
Eureka Model 150 Two In One; 20 feet
Bissell Steam Mop Deluxe (Will be referred to as BD) 20 feet

STEAM TEMPERATURE: this is a primary element. The hotter the steam, the more dirt picked up and hot steam will also kill parasites, mold and mildew and loosen more dirt:
S 110 degrees. lame
E 220 degrees. very hot
H 212 degrees. very hot
M 266 degrees. hottest...although the envirosteamer and haan seemed plenty hot enough. The shark didn't clean nearly as well and this was one reason. 110 degrees just isn't going to melt off stuck on grime.
B 125 degrees. Note that, because of this low steam temperature the manual said that if I wanted to sanitize the floor or pick up caked on spills, I had to hold the steamer on the spot for 15 seconds but no more than 20 because that could damage some floors. Now I don't know about you, but if I can sanitize with one swipe of the other steamers because of their sanitizing temps my floor will be done WAY faster but I don't have a timer to worry about the extra 5 secons where my wood floors could get damaged. My sink water is hotter than this so it would take less time to use a regular mop if I have to hold the steamer on every spot of my floor for 15 seconds to santize. Just sayin
SF: 137 degrees. Not hot enough to clean well nor sanitize.
SB: 120 degrees. Not hot enough to clean well nor sanitize
E2: 208 degrees. Very hot but this one allows you to adjust the steam for low or high steam, unlike the 313A.
BD: 136 degrees

BUILD:
We found how it was made corresponded with issues with the steamer. The Shark, for example, was quite flimsy and they actually sell replacement handle kits because so many people have issues with the handle breaking! We know this because my neighbor's shark broke and the store had a replacement handle kit on the shelf because he said "it happens often". That's an extra cost.
Envirosteamer: Was 5.4 lbs which made it lightweight but strong enough that you didn't have to press down to clean. Very well made and strong parts
Haan: not made as well as the envirosteamer but it's more expensive so this was a surprise. A bit flimsy and you need to press down on it more to clean at 3.15 lbs.
Monster: hefty and well made at 9 lbs but a bit too heavy unless you want a good workout. (Note: They have changed the Monster handles on the mops now and they are all plastic and people are having breakage issues)
Bissell: It's 8.4 pounds but that includes a water filter that you have to get for this one (see notes below)
SteamFast: very flimsy plastic all over, but it's also more affordable than the other mops so it's a bit of a trade off. 7 lbs.
SteamBoy: They didn't even ship this preassembled like the other mops. We had to assemble it! Pretty flimsy plastic. 9 lbs but that includes the water filter you have to get with this one (see notes below)
Eureka's New mop Model 150 Two In One: They went cheap on the new mop. The metal is gone and it's as flimsy as can be. Their new mop is just like the Shark.Cheap.
BD: 7 lbs. comfortable but too many plastic parts.

WATER CAPACITY: Very important because having to stop and add more water just adds on to the time you have to spend cleaning, especially if you are cleaning a hallway or livingroom or some other area that has no sink:
S: only holds up to 10 oz of water. Lasted for 10 miinutes of cleaning
E: holds up to 20 oz. of water. Lasted for over 20 minutes of cleaning (we stopped at 20 and it was still going)
H: holds up to 11.83 oz of water. Lasted for 13 minutes of cleaning
M: holds up to 17 oz. of water. Lasted for 15 minutes of cleaning
B: holds up to 13 oz of water, lasted for 12.5 minutes of cleaning AND you have to undo and remove the tank from the machine every time you fill it up then hook it back on and the steam tank is on the handle rather than the base so the steam doesn't flow directly out after heating up which may explain why it's not as hot once it leaves the machine. The way this mop is made the water flows past heating elements which can, according to Bissell, develop calcium deposits on it so this is the only mop where, because of this, you also have to use a water filter with it and replace the water filter when there is build up which means and extra 12 bucks every few months. The better mops are made to heat the water in a metal tank so this is not an issue and you pour the water directly into the tank.
SF: Holds the least amount of water and I had to stop and fill up and get the water reheated often in trying to clean the floor. Only holds 8 oz of water and if you use 8 oz it gets your floor too wet so we wound up filling it with just up to 7.5 oz of water for best results and it only lasted 7 minutes when we did that before we had to refill again.
SB: up to 24 oz BUT it only lasted for 12 minutes of cleaning. I think because of the build. This one also is made so that the water has to flow past heating elements down the handle, rather than flowing directly from a hot tank to the floor at the base. Because of this it can develop calcium deposits inside the mop so you have to also buy a water filter for this mop and replace it every few months when there is build up which means extra cost and, quite possibly, more repairs. Because this does not flow directly out of a hot tank it cools on the way down and possibly with this one evaporates somehow because we tried it twice and the steam simply didn't last as long as it should.
E2: Holds 16 oz of water and lasted for 12 minutes of cleaning on high setting. I know Eureka says it holds 10 oz of water and lasts 15 minutes but I measured the water to the fill line and my results were different.
BD: Holds 17 oz of water but it's VERY difficult and slow to pump and sometimes no steam seemed to be coming out. Therefore, I'm not rating how long it lasted because it kept lasting but not based on working well.

STEAM HOLES: We found a difference although you'd think they'd all be the same. The shark only had one hole that the steam came out of so it wasn't cleaning things on the edges, just in one spot. All the others had steam coming from bottom and sides. Steamboy also didn't have holes near the edge. Update: I hate the holes on the new Eureka called Eureka Two In One. It has a triangle at the bottom that holds the now cheap pads on and the steam only comes out the middle. Just like the Shark I hated. Stick with the Eureka 313A.

SIZE: The taller it is the less stooping, the wider the mop head, the more it covers
S: 40"Hx12"Wx7"D
E: 50"Hx13.25"Wx6.75"D (the fact that this depth was smaller made it reach under applicances better...it fit better under things)
H: 50.5x11.5x7.5
M: 48x12.7.5
B: 45.25H (this was uncomfortably short) x11 x8.4 (even though this didn't fit under cabinets because of the depth it did swivel the best)
SF:49x11.8x7
SB: 28.2x6.9x7.9
E2:47.5x11x6.5
BD: 45x10x7

Conclusion of comparison: First it must be pointed out that, in order to use the shark and the Bissell and the SteamBoy, you had to keep pumping the water. This was the most annoying feature of anything...the others just steamed on their own and didn't wear out your fingers. Hated this feature of the shark and Bissell and SteamBoy. We liked that the Monster, the Shark, the Envirosteamer, the SteamFast and the Bissell came with 2 cleaning pads rather than one. The Haan only came with one at the time of the review (I double checked since when she bought hers it was also only one and as of today, that hasn't changed) so that ups the price even more because I can't imagine only wanting one to clean. All worked well on sanitizing mattresses and showers. too.

But the winner picked by all of us unanimously as the mop we want to have for our next steam mop order?
The Eureka Envirosteamer 313A. It picked up the most dirt, was made as well as the Monster but was less expensive, held the most water, emitted the most very hot steam so it sanitized as well, lasted 3 times as long with one water resevor fillup as the others, and had a cord as long as the monster. BUT if you have carpets than I would recommend the Monster because it has a carpet attachment that allows you to steam clean your carpets and it picked up pretty close to the same amount of dirt as the Eureka Envirosteamer, and had close to the same features...a bit heavier though but that may make it last even longer. It is costlier, but to clean 2 surfaces I would think that might make it worth it.

UPDATE: The Haan just started including 2 pads with the mop according to the product description page. Not that this changes our opinion since it didn't work as well and the parts were flimsier, but it should be noted that this issue of not having enough cleaning pads has now been resolved and is equal to the other mops.

ANOTHER UPDATE: 1. The Shark came out with a new machine that holds more water and has a longer cord BUT it still only heats the water to 110 degrees so it won't sanitize or get rid of trapped grime at this "bathwater" temperature.

Also: Don't spend money buying extra pads for the Eureka. I was in a pinch and used a kitchen dish towel...the rectangular kind...just clip on both ends. It worked just as good or better...because they are thinner so the steam penetrates faster and therefore reaches the floor hotter. However, I would recommend still only using the thick pads that come with it for your wood floors just to be safe. But the super hot steam penetrating the dish towel worked excellent on tile and hard floors. Also, you can flip both the towel and the pads that come with it on the Eureka to double the usage...when it gets dirty, just flip it over and use the other side. I use several old dish towels with this but I like best the kind that just have a bit of texture but no squares sewn on them...but they all work great. So do the pads.

Also we noticed that a reviewer above us on the page flattered us by adding all of our information you read in our review about cord length, all the mops, steam temperatures we measured etc into her older review that is first on the page that originally contained none of this information. However, now that she edited her review to include our 6 hrs of research we apologize that it makes reading these two reviews very redundant. We promise when we first posted this review that no other review on this page contained any of the information on temperatures etc in our review until we posted our findings and they were copied into an older review higher on the page via editing. It's pretty boring now for the reader to read the same thing twice. But we are flattered someone felt it good enough research to want to copy into their review so we hold no grudge...I just didn't want anyone to think we were being redundant. :-) )

WHY YOU WANT THE TANK ON THE BOTTOM/MOP HEAD: All steam starts out at 212 degrees. Some mops increase the heat from there. Some mops heat the water up, then it has to travel down tubes and get to the base, and then leave the holes, which results in a cooling process. This can also result in calcium deposits along that piping which eventually clogs the waterflow or makes you buy and store filtered water to use in the mop. On mops like the Envirosteamer, the water is heated in a stainless steel tank at the base of the mop and flows directly out onto the floor instantly with no traveling through the mop so it leaves the mop steaming hot. Put your hand over a cup of coffee directly at the top of the coffee. That's hot steam. Now move your hand waaaay up above the coffee cup where there is still steam but it is further from the heat source due to traveling. It's cooler steam. The mops are no different. Plus putting the weight at the head of the mop puts the preasure on the pad, not the handle you have to push.

CLOTHS: I like 100 percent cotton better than microfiber. Microfiber streaks. Although some complain about the Envirosteamer's pads shrinking they are meant to. I wash em in hot water. They'll fit perfect after they shrink so don't even be concerned. (they are cotton and quite absorbant.) The new Envirosteamer model 150 has horrible pads, This model 313A has great ones.
375375 comments6,278 of 6,326 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
I cook often and my kitchen floor seems to collect it's own share of whatever I'm making. I always mop but conventional mops and buckets just never made much sense to me as the water and detergent gets dirty in no time and then you have to keep using it or change the water every 5 minutes. However, I had never heard of a steam mop until I read a review from Amazon's #1 Reviewer who had gone to the trouble of testing over a half a dozen different brands. I took her recommendation (thanks Alana!) and added the Eureka to my Amazon wish list. Luckily for me, my downstairs neighbor (and friend) bought it for me for Christmas.

I decided to do a video review because I thought that it would be helpful for other folks to see what it looks like and how it works. A couple of things that I forgot to mention:

* My mop came with two cleaning pads
* The instructions warn that if you machine wash and dry the pads they might shrink a little (they were right)
* If you have very hard water you might want to use distilled water (which I do)
* You should not use any cleaner or detergent inside of the steamer
* Next to the green power light is a red light that warns you when the water tanks needs refilling

I thought that my video review was going pretty well until the steamer scared my neighbor's toy Yorkie (she had brought the dog along with her) and the puppy started to bark at it. Oh well... I hope that it is helpful to you anyway.

IMPORTANT NOTE: I want to mention that the first time that I used the Enviro Steamer it didn't work correctly. The water came out quickly (it was empty in 5 minutes) and wasn't very hot. It got my floors really wet and not very clean. I refilled it, let it warm up longer than before (8 minutes) and the steam just poured out. I was able to get my floor really clean and the water lasted for about 20 minutes. I have now heard from several people that had the same experience so I thought that I would add this note. If you are having this problem you might want to give your unit a couple of tries before sending it back.
6969 comments1,427 of 1,462 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on June 9, 2009
I spent days and days reading reviews for the perfect steam mop and I felt that the Eureka Enviro Steamer was the best choice. I'll sum up what I LOVE about my Eureka Enviro Steam Mop.
Eureka Euro Features:
1. Swivel head (a must, can get around objects)
2. tall and removable handle (yes you can take the handle off and steam your counters to sterilize them)
3. Eureka has been making steam mops for over a decade and this is the 2nd version of their VERY POPULAR steam mop.
4. Long cord.
5.Weight is on the floor where the water tank is, this makes it easier to use and makes for less scrubbing (tanks on the handle make you scrub and push down more to remove grim)
6. NO PUSH TRIGGER! This means CONSTANT steam. Who wants to hold down a button the whole time you're mopping?
7. The steam vents are from SIDE to SIDE..not one hole in the middle like some.
8. THICK and tough waffle cone pads. Picks up plenty.
9. HIGH heat (220 degrees)
10. About 3 minutes to heat water.
11. Leaves very little water on floor, dries quickly.
12. TOTALLY GREEN! Okay, I'm not a green fanatic (I don't recycle, sorry guys) but this product makes me feel like I'm making a difference! No wasteful trash (i.e. disposable pads) and it uses JUSTS water. No chemicals!
OKAY NOW SOME THINGS YOU SHOULD HEAR OTHERS HAVE SAID ABOUT OTHER MOST POPULAR MODELS:

MONSTER STEAM MOP:
1. BAD HANDLE (complaint after complaint about flimsy handle and it breaks when pushing too hard).
2. takes 5+ min to heat up.
3. does not have a swivel head.
(compared to Eureka: does heat up more- 266 degrees and does have extra burst of steam in front, more expensive)
SHARK STEAM MOP:
1. very flimsy handle and plastic tank (both break easily)
2. you have to "pump' the handle to get steam.
3. hard to push because the weight of the water is half way up the handle on the tank)
4. tends to "sleep" in the middle of the job as it takes a break to re-heat the water for the next pumping action.
5. heats to about 110 degrees.
BISSELL STEAM MOP:
1. Again, top/plastic water tank-very flimsy.
2. leaves very wet floors.
3. uses a "trigger" again to get steam.
4. thin pads, get soaked easily.
5. not hot enough (110 degrees)heats pad, but not more than hot water from your sink.
6. One steam hole in the middle, not all the way across like Monster or Euro or HAAN.
HAAN STEAM MOP:
1. cost more money
2. handle breaks again and not tall enough
3. does have attachments and removable handle
4. water has leaked from tank and burns hands when lifting up to steam object (like counters, beds, etc).
H20 steam mop:
1. 130 degrees temp
2. tends to leak from the tank and the tank is flimsy.
OKAY THESE ARE THE IMPORTANT THINS TO CONSIDER FOR ALL STEAM MOPS.
1. They aren't going to clean your grout. If you steam it and then get in there with a brush or rag I'm sure it will come up, but ALL fiber pads don't have "fingers" deep enought to get in the grout (neither will any product likely except a good ole fashioned brush) But they will be sterilized!
2. You need to take in consideration what type of water you have. All hard water will clog up your steamer over time. Use soft/distilled water (we installed a water softener in our house because we had VERY hard water)You could clean it with a de-calcification product (like CLR) or vinager occasionally.
3. You should NOT use a steam mop on unsealed wood or waxed floors. We are talking HIGH HEAT here and you're going to ruin wood if it isn't sealed, or melt that wax and make a mess.
4. Water should be at least 155 up to 212 degrees to kill germs (depending on the type of bateria). Steam is nice, but not if it isn't hot enough to kill bateria.
5. These are not ALL IN ONE floor cleaners. You are STILL going to have to vacuum. Heck-do what I did-invest in a Iroomba robot vacuum (HSN has Flex Pays) AND a steam mop. You'll have floors you can eat off of every day for very little effort.
6. My opinion is that ANYTHING that is rechargeable ins't going to last as long as something with a cord. Batteries have weird electronic memory to them (yeah I'm obviously not a tech pro) and they are luckly to last 6m! Don't waste ANY money on those rechareable products. They are a waste.
All in all this is the BEST product I've found for the cost, unless you want to invest a fortune in commercial grade steamers. I'm THRILLED with this purchase!!!

Update: After 10 months, I'm still thrilled. However, many complain that the first couple of uses the mop tends to leak a lot and leave the floors very wet. Although I never did experience this, many have and the solution they have found is that it requires a couple of uses to "season" the product and then the appropriate amount of steam and heat becomes reliable.
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on February 26, 2010
Okay, first my disclaimer. I'm not paid or influenced by anyone to write this. Second, I'm a 5'11", 220lb. single 45 year old guy and yes, I love to clean house! Third, I'm no expert as this is my foray into steam mops. Fourth, you'll see that this review of the Eureka Enviro Steamer is done in comparison with another steam mop I have. Anyway, I'm definitely sold on the idea of cleaning my floors without chemicals, dipping into a sink or bucket and wringing mop heads, etc.

I did a LOT of research on the different steam mops out there and decided to try a couple that interested me the most. First, I bought the Euro-Pro Shark Pocket Steam Mop (the new one, model S3501, that costs around $100) and have been rather impressed with it. I still have it.

I decided to try the Eureka Enviro Steamer because 1) of the rave reviews and high ratings it's gotten, 2) the higher steam temperature, 3) the constant flow of steam as opposed to manually triggered steam and 4) the price.

For $65.99 I got the steamer, two big, thick reusable cleaning pads, a styrofoam composite resting tray, a little fill cup and a little funnel. Okay, simple enough. Good price. The Shark, even though a bit more expensive, came with TWO differently shaped/sized steam heads, two pads for each head and special "dusting" pad for the larger head plus a "carpet cleaning tray" for steaming the carpet (useless, really).

Here are my observations:

1) Right off the bat, I noticed the handle on the Eureka to be nothing more than a straight pole with a hard plastic grip that really didn't make for good ergonomic handling, particularly considering the wrist angle while holding it. Part of the problem is that, when fully extended, it isn't all that long, so you can't really hold it like a regular mop unless you're short. The Shark's grip is circular, making it more comfortable to hold, even with one hand, while pushing and pulling. One nice thing about the Eureka is its handle stays locked in place when not in use. The Shark's handle, due to the true pivoting steam head, will fall down to the floor if not leaned up against something.

2) The cord on the Shark is definitely longer than the Eureka's. Not a big issue to me as I have a modest sized kitchen/dining area and one bathroom with linoleum to clean. However, I know cord length is an issue with other folks. The cord wrap hooks are fine on each mop and their cords stow away without any issues.

3a) The Eureka's cleaning pads are cotton, rather thick and have a bit of a waffle design to them. Certainly good for absorbing stuff. The Shark's cleaning pads are of a mixed microfiber material and there's nothing special about their design. I think the choice of materials is a personal one. Some say the microfiber cleans better while some say the cotton lasts longer. I've found that replacement pads for the Shark are much cheaper. They do last a while if you wash them without bleach and let them dry on their own.

3b) The Eureka's cleaning pads stay in place by a couple of grip clips, one on each side of the steamer. They seem to hold the pad securely mostly at its ends. However, I noticed how the leading (front) and trailing (back) edges of the cleaning pad seemed to sag and curl a bit away from the steam head. As a result, the cleaning pad tends to shift back and forth. I also found putting on the Eureka's cleaning pad EVENLY (so each grip clip had plenty of pad to bite) and taking it off, involving those grip clips, took a bit of time and effort. This is compounded by the fact that the Eureka's steam head is big and heavy so I had to put it up on the counter or kneel to the floor for the job of putting on/taking off the pad. I snapped my fingers in the grip clips (they have teeth!) a couple of times. Conversely, the Shark's steam heads are very light plus they're very easy to take off and put on. So are its cleaning pads. They slip on and fit neatly like a glove (but not too snugly, so there's some room for shrinkage). There's no sagging, they close up with Velcro at the openings and they stay on the steam head without shifting around much.

4) An interesting feature of the Shark which makes it better than the Eureka is the fact that you can simply FLIP the steam head over while using the mop to use the other side of the cleaning pad on-the-fly. To use the other side of the Eureka's cleaning pad, you have to unplug the unit, wait for it to cool down a bit, set it on its resting tray, pull the ends of the thick, WET and dirty cleaning pad out of the grip clips, pick up the steam head, pull out the wet and dirty cleaning pad, flip the thing over, pick up the steam head again and put the cleaning pad under it, set down the steam head-centering it so you have plenty of pad on each end for the grip clips to grab- and re-insert the ends of the pad into the grip clips and then turn the unit back on. Whew. At first, when I saw the photos of the cleaning pad attached to the mop, I thought "that looks easy, even if there are a few steps." Wrong. I really found it to be a bulky, time consuming chore.

5) In order to fill the Eureka's water reservoir, I HAD to use the little funnel and cup because the filler opening was so small. I do agree that it's a good thing the water reservoir and steam unit are at the base of the cleaner for maximum steam heat, which is somewhat of an advantage over the Shark. The Shark, however, is easier to fill. With or without the steam head attached, you can just put its tank filler hole, which is larger, right under a faucet and fill the reservoir that way. Or just get a measuring cup and pour water directly into the filler hole without the need for a funnel. Apparently, the Shark's water reservoir is bigger. The Eureka has a dummy light that comes on when the reservoir is out of water. On the Shark, you can SEE how much water is in it. Either way works for me, although the "empty" light does get attention easily.

6) The one thing I do like about the Eureka is that it has an on/off switch. There is none on the Shark therefore you have to plug in/remove the power cord at the AC socket for that function. For some people that may be an inconvenience, so the on/off switch is an advantage. Anyway, I noticed that it takes quite a while for steam to build up in the Eureka. With the Shark, it's rather quick...like 30 seconds to a minute. However, it's also noisier but that's not an issue for me. It's actually kind of nice to know the Shark is actually giving me an audible signal that it's working and heating up. Once it's done heating the water/steamer, it quiets down a bit.

7) The Eureka constantly steams, which is kind of nice. That means one doesn't need to pump the handle or press a trigger to get steam. Some people may really like this. The Shark steams whenever the handle goes downward/inward as you push the mop forward, causing a single pump action the handle to trigger the steam. Not a bad concept, really, but generally effective only if you're going forward with the mop. You can also build up steam on-demand by pumping the handle a few times for tougher spots. The Eureka's constant steam makes it good for going backward while mopping. HOWEVER...one BIG drawback I noticed is, since the steam is constantly coming out, I can't just park it somewhere for any period of time. I have to put it on its resting tray so that over-steaming or water build-up happens there and not on the floor. This doesn't happen with the Shark because it only steams when you push it along. So you can set it anywhere and walk away for a moment. For this reason, the Shark doesn't require a resting tray.

8) I read that some people were dissatisfied with the fact that the Eureka's steam head was too big to fit under counters and toe kick spaces. I found this to be true. As for edging and corners, it sucks. The Shark beats it hands-down in this department. Additionally, I found it easier to manipulate under chairs, table, etc. due to the steam head's low profile, light weight and pivot flexibility. Yes, the Eureka has some pivot flexibility, but with the Shark-I kid you not-you can literally flick your wrist with ease to the left or the right and the steam head will literally make a nice sharp turn in that direction. How cool is that?

9) Weight-wise, the Eureka is certainly heavier to push around. I did struggle with it a few times while pushing and pulling it back and forth. The Shark is lighter and easier to manipulate.

My first use of the Eureka was not impressive. It took a long time to start steaming. Then I saw that when picked up the mop from its resting pad/tray, there was a lot of water standing in the resting tray. I proceeded to mop away. I noticed immediately that the mop was leaving a LOT of standing water on the floor. I mean, it looked a bit like my dishwasher had peed rinse water all over the place. Puzzled, I brought the steam head close to me and tipped it to one side to check the cleaning pad itself. Right then, a bunch of water poured out of the steam head and onto the floor. I confirmed the filler hole cap was on properly. Thinking perhaps that I hadn't let the mop get hot enough, I returned it to its resting tray and let it sit there for a while longer as I got a towel to sop up all the standing water. Then I tried the mop again. Same result...a lot of standing water on the floor. I also noticed that the steam wasn't really all that hot, either. In fact, I found the steam on my Shark to be hotter.

I then remembered reading several comments in user reviews regarding similar issues during other people's first-time use of the Eureka. Apparently, it performs this way for the first 1-3 times before it actually starts working as advertised. A bit of a "break-in" period, of sorts. Okay, I suppose I can buy into that. But, really? Is that a bug or a feature? I mean, my Shark worked fine right out of the box and has worked the same way consistently since. So, I gave the Eureka another shot. And a third. And a fourth. Same results. Lots of standing water on my floor, steam not very hot and the cleaning pad got soppy and loose. Of course, with all that water, the floor took forever to dry.

Okay, so I'm thinking it's the PADS that are causing the issue. So, taking a suggestion from one reviewer, I used an older kitchen towel instead. This time I got warmer steam BUT the towel, because it was only secured to the steam head by its ends, just flopped around at the middle. I tried different towels. Same result. And I mean I really made sure I put them on as snugly as possible. Again, fastening the cleaning pads and towels evenly at each end (so there's plenty for the grip clips to grab) was not easy. I washed the one cleaning pad I used and set it out to dry. Some folks had written that the cleaning pads work better after they've been washed at least once, so I figured this could be the solution. When I started to put it onto the mop, I noticed right away that it had shrunk considerably (I cold wash everything and I hang a lot of stuff to prevent shrinking) and was a little more difficult to evenly mount onto the steam head. Again, same result: lots of standing water on the floor. Maybe not as much as the first uses before it was washed. But still too much water on the floor. Really. It was like I'd used a regular mop. When I use my Shark, I can see the floor is shiny because it's wet but when I run my fingers along the floor they're NOT wading through a lot of standing water AND the floor dries quickly. I mean within just a few minutes.

I also tried it out as a hand-held unit for the counter tops and shower walls to see if it will give me that as a cleaning feature. Yes, the overall unit without the handle is smaller than the Shark without its handle, but the steam head is so big, heavy and ungainly that it felt like I was hoisting a curling stone and moving it along the counter tops and up along the shower walls. I didn't bother doing the steam part because I didn't want all that water all over my counter tops. I did the same experiment with my Shark and found that, while it was bigger (mostly in terms of length, thereby a two-handed hold), it was lighter and easier to manipulate along the flat surfaces horizontally and vertically. Plus-again-I could just flip the mop over on the spot and use the other side of the cleaning pad (while I still had to stop with the Eureka, pull off the pad, flip it over and fasten it back on, etc. as described above). And the Shark's smaller triangle-shaped steam head I can snap on is great for the corners.

I REALLY wanted the Eureka to work out because of all the great reviews I'd read regarding it here at Amazon and other web sites where reviews were done. So, I set it out to completely dry, washed the other pad FIRST before using it, let it dry on its own, followed all the instructions and the recommendations of other reviewers and so forth to get the best results. Nope. While it DID seem to perform better in terms of steam heat, it STILL had the sopping pad sagging along the front and back of the steam head and STILL left too much water all over my floor, which in turn took too long to dry. But even if THAT problem was solved, I just didn't like the fact that I couldn't efficiently and easily use the other side of the cleaning pad.

So, I sent the Eureka back and got a refund. It has a few features I like, but overall it's not well executed. I came away from that product thinking "HOW in the world did it get all these great rave reviews??" Even if I'd gotten a dud, I found that, operationally, several features were too cumbersome for my liking, which I'd mentioned earlier.

I'm happy with my Shark S3501 Pocket Steam Mop (they call it "Pocket" because the cleaning pads are, really, like pockets you put the steam heads into). I recommend you give it a try. Do NOT get the cheaper, smaller, earlier model of the Shark steam mop. Friends I know who have used it say it's not so good and that's accurately reflected in its reviews here at Amazon.com. Apparently, Euro-Pro listened to users and made some significant improvements in their product as evidenced in this new model. However, I am also aware of the issues people have had with the DURABILITY of Shark products (both my mother and sister have had Shark cleaning devices and they broke rather quickly), so I'm going to keep an eye on this new model and see how it goes. But I can tell you right now, I honestly find it easier, more flexible and simpler to use than the Eureka Enviro Steamer, even if its steam doesn't get nearly as hot. But it gets hot enough to clean my floor nicely and I think it does a good job.

If you've gotten this far in my review, I want to thank you for taking the time to read it. I hope it helps you.
4949 comments818 of 840 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on December 23, 2008
Very happy to see the Enviro Steamer return !!! I have had the 311A enviro steamer for 2 years. I had to pay an arm & a leg for it on ebay because Eureka discontinued this product several years ago. Mopping was my least favorite chore, it almost brought me to tears I hated it so much. I have over 1200 sq.ft. of tile in my house & keeping it clean used to be a daunting task. UNTIL........the enviro steamer.

One of the best purchases I have ever made. No more bucket & mop, no more over perfumed wet jet that leaves you with a sticky floor & expensive replacement pads & fluids. Now it is just water, the enviro steamer, a washable & reusable magic pad & me. I actually consider cleaning my floors FUN now. By the way.....men love using the enviro steamer, you may even find your husband cleaning the floors more often.

Hint: Get a few extra Magic pads, 1 or 2 is not enough unless you have only 1 small area to clean. After I finish with 1 room, I just slap a new pad on, refill the water, give the enviro steamer a few minutes to heat back up & I'm on to the next room. The first room is dry in minutes & clean.
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on February 14, 2009
This is a well built product. It's structure and tank are similar to my professional garment steamer. I have no doubt that this product will last a long time due to the simplicity of construction. I have 1800 sq ft of hardwood, tile and laminate. It does great on all 3. My floors haven't been this clean since they were installed. I have a 3 year old boy and here is a list of things the steamer has gotten off my floor easily. I don't know what this says about our cleanliness, but here goes:
* dried soda pop
* partially eaten candy peppermint dried to the floor in a puddle of what must have been saliva, that previously would only have come off with a scraper or hours of soaking in standing water (not good for hardwood)
* smashed and dried brownies
* smashed and dried Reese's peanut butter cups
* overspray from acrylic airbrush paint that has been there for at least 5 years
* dripped candle wax, a total surprise, it took about 10 seconds
* a host of various other unidentified sticky and gooey spots
Things it took more effort to remove:
* glue residue from items such as bandaids, duct tape and double sided foam sticky tape
Things it will not remove no matter how much you try:
* hot glue
* dried paint, it will get thin swipes, but not drips

PRO's: light weight, all of the weight is on the floor, pads are thick and clean larger area than Swiffer products and do a better job of it, which makes it more economical and environmentally friendly, EASY to use, less scrubbing, will fit underneath bed, work on/off switch with your foot, stands by itself,

CON's: only 15 minutes of steam per fill up, head is too big to fit under toe kick of cabinets or sofa, but I had to move it before so no loss there

If I had known these things were this easy, I would have gotten one years ago. The only thing that would make it more perfect would be if someone else would do it for me.
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on January 23, 2009
I LOVE my Enviro Steamer. I bought my first one 10 years ago. Last fall, it gave up the ghost because of a design issue that has been solved in the new incarnation. In fact, the three minor things I did not like about my earlier model are solved in the new model. Way to go Eureka!

I made the mistake of trying a couple of other designs (Shark killed my back! and another one that was definitely made in China...both of the ones shipped to me never worked right). I was so happy when I went back to the internet and saw the Enviro Steamer was available again.

I told my husband I actually felt like dancing I was so happy to be steam mopping with my Enviro Steamer. I have about 800 sf of tile, I just fill and go, it covers the whole area. To move into another room, I simply unplug it, move, plug it back in and keep going. The weight is where it should be, on top of the pad. It cleans so well, for tougher stains just keep it steaming on that spot. In fact, it's cleaning the spots up that the others couldn't get! The pads are thick and easily tossed in the wash. The floor is clean, not wet which is great since I have two dogs. My white tile floor just sparkles and I know its clean because of the steam. I also like that fact that there are no chemicals.

Just vacuum, then use the Enviro Steamer. You'll never buy any other type of mop again, EVER! I promise! This is the best product for steam cleaning floors at a great price. (I paid $100 ten years ago for this.)
TRY IT, YOU'LL LOVE IT!
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on April 30, 2009
I purchase the Eureka about a month about in order to better clean my laminated floors. I had been using the Swifter Mop but I would get lots of streaks and the floor would feel sticky to me. I research other similar steam mops like the Shark but I felt for the price the Eureka did its job very well. The handle is strong and can swivel in tons of directions. At first use I wasn't sure if it was working because I didn't see a flood of steam. But it released the perfect amount. My floors were not wet and did not dry with streaks. I was able to do my kitchen, living room and entry way on one tank. The reason I didn't give it more than three stars was because I felt cloths that it came with could have been thicker and made of better material. I'm not crazy about the way you clip on the cloths on the side either. And it didn't do much to help clean my gout (but then again I wasn't expecting it too either). But considering that it was one of the lesser price steam mops I found, I think it overall does a great job for the price. I don't think most households need to spend more then 70$ on an item like this, unless your looking for commercial quality stuff. For someone that wants to really clean their floors without chemicals this is the steam mop for you. I'm happy with my purchase so far.
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on February 3, 2009
I've thought about getting a steam mop for awhile but whenever I read up on them, there were more complaints than raves. Read about this one on several sites and it seemed univerally loved. I can see why: it does a great job and does it quickly. The floors get really clean; you can see it on the pad. This is prob. the best feature: large,heavy duty, thick, waffle weave pads. It came with two and I ordered an extra. I have about 1000 sq. feet of wood floors and 3 tiled baths/laundry room. With three kids and three pets, my floors get really dirty. A great product.
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on March 7, 2012
I am so disappointed by this piece of... equipment, that I had to give my very first product review. The design of the most simple and essential elements prevent it from being usable. There is no need to look further at the convenience factors such as cord length, tank capacity, nor even the temperature of the steam for satisfactory sanitizing.

Before purchasing the Eureka, my first steam mop was a small early model Shark, Shark S3250 Quick and Easy Steam Mop (I think this is the right one) that came as a bonus to a little Shark vacuum I purchased quickly when we installed some carpet. It was small, so mopping took some time and the pads had to be replaced halfway through the house, but it was so much more clean than anything I'd used previously. We have tile, hardwood floors, linoleum, and even polished concrete in our home. That little Shark did a fabulous job throughout and was so lightweight that even the supervised 6 year old had no problems using it. After months of *daily* use, one of us overfilled it and the steam burst the seals of the tank. Regular mops and hand washing didn't compare after being spoiled by the steamer.

I wish I had blindly upgraded to one of the bigger, newer Shark models, but instead I diligently researched coming across the thorough reviews here and in several blogs each and every one touting how amazingly wonderful this Eureka was including comparisons that all pointed to specific reasons it was superior. All I can say is that they are either being paid or are very misleading about their frequency of use before writing such glowing reviews. Take note as you are researching how similar many of the particular factoids seem to be. I did not notice. I just read 'fantastic', 'fantastic', 'fantastic'.

Here is my detailed experience. As the good reviews implied, when I mopped the first time, there was excess water. Fine. I was warned. I took the dirty pad off to launder, replacing it with the spare.

The second time I mopped, it functioned beautifully (less so on the linoleum than the other flooring) and I was completely thrilled except for having to get several nooks by hand where the Eureka did not maneuver as well as the shark had previously. Inconvenient, but I could live with that.

The third and fourth time, back to back, the laundered pads did not fit, they both rolled under as I attempted to mop. The steam did not get to the floor, but drifted out from under the base through the gap left by the deformed pads. Again, I guess I had been warned.

Okay, the fifth attempt immediately behind the third and fourth, just use a towel as others had mentioned. Supposedly a couple of the other reviewers were even more pleased with the towel results. I used a terry dishtowel. The clips on the side did not secure it well, I had to readjust it every couple of minutes before I gave up for the day. With the dishtowel, the water poured onto the floor wet mopping much more than steaming. I determined the thickness of the provided pads must have been designed to hold the moisture as part of the steaming process, but when I tried the next day (6th attempt) using a thicker towel, then (7th) a thick towel wrapped in a chamois cloth, they both again rolled under as the mop was pushed forward and back, releasing the steam to the air, and the water still was excessive.

I then took the two original pads, removed the outer edging, sewed them together, replacing the edging around the single piece. Now I couldn't in good conscious return it, but I was so sure this would work. What did I have to lose? 8th attempt, it still rolled under, releasing steam, poorly wet mopping the floor, quickly emptying the tank.

I added elastic around the now single pad so that it very snugly fit the base, thinking that would stop the rolling. (9th attempt) The push and pull of the base pulled the cover down after half a dozen strokes so that I had to pause and adjust it, still excessive water, less effective than any other wet mop.

Having other priorities in my budget than replacing this steamer, I went back to hand washing the floors. I do not like feeling as if I've been bested by a machine nor as if I was hoodwinked by a salesman. I do not give up easily. Every two or three weeks for many months, I would try another type or configuration of the pad. Or I would try to strap it on differently. Even when I was partially successful, the water continued to pour through and the floor was barely better than before.

I do not know which steam mop to recommend instead. I do know I would whole heartedly, without any doubt or reservation advise against this one.
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