This older-style Tineco is presumably less efficient because it lacks the advanced iLoop technology, but for what it needs to do (clean the floors) it’s smart enough and efficient enough. In its default power mode, it has powerful suction to clean up everyday messes on the first pass, and the 25-minute run time is sufficient for cleaning all the common areas of my home. The iFloor 3 does leave the floor just a tiny bit wetter than the more expensive S5, but not nearly as wet as many of the other mop vacs I tested—and I was repeatedly amazed at how little water and solution this machine required to clean a very dirty kitchen floor. This model also has a HEPA filter and self-cleans with the push of a button when put back on the included charging dock.
What I didn’t like about the Tineco iFloor 3
The iFloor 3 may not be Tineco’s premier offering, but the only thing it’s really missing is the ability to clean edge to edge—or at least to one edge like the Floor One S5 does. Without edge cleaning, there’s always a little strip of floor along the walls, cabinets, or appliances that doesn’t get properly cleaned. If you don’t have pets or messy housemates, that may not be an issue, but the edges of the room are often where pet hair and random kitchen debris (in my house it’s usually wayward kosher salt crystals) accumulate the most.
While picking out an iFloor 3 isn’t quite as confusing as selecting a Floor One S5, you might still want a little guidance. The iFloor 3 should not be confused with the smarter Floor One S3, which does have Tineco’s iLoop technology and costs $100 more. (However, if you see the iFloor 3 Complete, it’s the same mop vac, but packaged with extra accessories.)
How I tested joke vacs
After obsessively researching popular and highly-rated mop vacs at various price points, I narrowed down my list to nine promising models. I assembled each according to the manual (or quick start guide if included) and fully charged the batteries as instructed.
Because I have small kids and a big, hairy rescue mutt—and because my house is 116 years old and seems to manufacture dust—it’s made a wonderfully messy canvas on which to test. I used each multiple times to clean various floor types: my textured black kitchen floor, my old hardwood floors, and my tiled bathroom floor. And even though only a few of the devices were indicated for use on area rugs, I passed over my rugs with each model, too.
What I looked for
Mopping and suction power
Does the mop vac clean everyday kitchen messes on the first pass? Does it leave water on the floor? Does it clean to the edge of the floor? While I wasn’t expecting the powerful suction of a traditional Dyson or Shark vacuum cleaner, I still looked for enough suction power to pick up dirt, debris, and dog hair from the floor.
Ease of use
Is the mop vac easy to put together and use out of the box? Is it easy to fill the clean water tank and add a solution? Is it easy to switch between modes and identify errors like a misaligned water tank or clogs? Is there a cord that makes quick cleaning not-so-quick? (I found cordless models to be much easier to use than corded models since the draw of these machines is the ability to vacuum and mop the whole house in a matter of minutes.)
Is the mop vac easy to push? Can it handle tight spaces and corners? Does the handle recline enough to get under furniture and raised appliances? (Both of my top picks have motorheads that are about 2.5 inches tall and the handles on both recline to about a 30º angle.)
Battery life and charging
Does the battery last long enough to clean the floors in the common areas of my home? Does the mop vac automatically charge when I put it on the dock or do I need to plug it in?
Size and storage
Do the water tanks hold enough water to last an entire cleaning session? Does the motorhead fit under cabinets and raised appliances? Is it easy to carry up and down stairs? Does it come with a storage/charging dock?
Cleaning and maintenance
If the mop vac requires a cleaning solution, is that included with the purchase of the machine? Is it expensive to refill? Does the mop vac have a self-cleaning cycle? How easy/hard/gross is it to clean the dirty water tank and debris trap/dust bin? Does it come with any cleaning tools like a long-handled brush?
Other mop vacs I tested
Inse Cordless Wet Dry Vacuum Cleaner
the INSE Cordless Wet Dry Vacuum Cleaner is similar to my runner up, the Tineco iFloor 3, in both form and function, but it’s the only mop vac I tested that had the water tank built into the motorhead. It’s also the only one that came with dissolvable solution strips instead of liquid. It felt aggressively motorized, which wasn’t necessarily a bad thing, and if the exceptionally dark water that I dumped out of the dirty water tank multiple times was any indication, it did a very good job of cleaning my floors. After multiple rounds of testing, I decided I liked it just as much as the iFloor 3, but I didn’t like it $100 more.
Roborock Dyad Cordless Wet Dry Vacuum
I was very excited to try the Roborock Dyad Cordless Wet Dry Vacuum and not just because this promo video makes it look like a real party starter. This was the only mop vac I tested that’s supposed to clean sufficiently with just water (the product description indicates that a cleaning solution is only needed for deep cleaning) and it’s the only one that offers true-edge-to-edge cleaning on both sides of the motorhead. Unfortunately, it took me about 40 minutes to get it working for the first time because the sensor couldn’t recognize that the clean water tank actually had water in it. I eventually figured out it’s a known issue that only happens out of the box, and I eventually got it going by adding salt and cleaning solution from a different machine. Once operational, it did a great job of cleaning but because the motorhead is so bulky, it wouldn’t fit in the area where my lower cabinets jut out—which is where I needed the edge cleaning the most. It was also very loud on my textured kitchen floor and emptying the debris filter seemed more complicated than it should have been.
Hizero Bionic Hard Floor Cleaner
There’s a lot to love about Hizero Bionic Hard Floor Cleaner, starting with the fact that it was, by far, the easiest to clean. It’s also super quiet, even on max cleaning mode, because it doesn’t use suction to collect debris. Instead of a brush roll, the Hizero has a soft polymer roller that’s supposed to mimic the way a dog licks things off the floor. It’s pretty cool technology but it wasn’t great at cleaning my textured kitchen floor (to be fair, the product description does state that it performs best on “leveled” floors). If you have the benefit of perfectly flat floors this could be a good option—especially if you’re in an apartment and worry about noise. But if your floors have seen smoother days or you have an old house with kids and pets, you’re probably better off with something that actually sucks (in the good way).
Bissell Crosswave Series
I tested two models of what is perhaps the most well-known product in this category, the Bissell Crosswave. The big selling point of the Crosswave is versatility: It can be a vacuum cleaner and a mop vac. But in order to make the water flow, you have to keep your finger on a trigger. If you just want a decent vacuum that can suck up wet and dry messes and also occasionally work as a mop, or if you prefer to do a vacuum-only pass before mopping, this might not be an issue. But if you want something that will continuously mop and vacuum, you may find the trigger annoying. Another selling point of the Crosswave is that unlike the other devices, which are marketed as “hard floor cleaners,” the Crosswave’s mop vac function is indicated for area rugs, too. But it’s not a true carpet cleaner and I wasn’t impressed with the rug-cleaning power of either model. In fact, I tested all nine mop vacs on my rugs and they were all underwhelming. (For big spills or pet accidents on area rugs and high-pile carpets, you’ll still need a true carpet cleaner, like Bissell’s Little Green.)