The floor steamer that outperforms all other models earns The Best rating from The Hammacher Schlemmer Institute. The Institute forwards its recommendation to Hammacher Schlemmer's buyers so they can procure the product for its catalog, web site, and retail store. The Floor Steamer that is currently The Best can be found here.
Before testing begins The Hammacher Schlemmer Institute surveys consumers to determine which product attributes are most critical to consumers' purchasing decisions. Based on responses, consumers are most concerned with a floor steamer's cleaning effectiveness, how easy it is to use, and features such as removable tanks, attachments, and the option to use detergent.
The Hammacher Schlemmer Institute then researches the marketplace and obtains floor steamers that possess these desired attributes. The Institute may eliminate a model from consideration prior to testing if it does not have a required attribute or if the quality of its construction is substandard. Conversely, if a sample offers a unique benefit that distinguishes it from other models, The Institute may include it in testing even though it may be lacking a critical feature or attribute.
Testing involves a study by Hammacher Schlemmer Institute analysts and a consumer panel survey. All floor steamers are evaluated on cleaning effectiveness, ease of use, and features.
Cleaning effectiveness is determined by rating how well each floor steamer removes dried foods from hardwood and tile floors. Analysts record the number of passes it takes to remove the debris. The steamers are also used to remove a synthetic germ powder from floors to determine how effectively they disinfect. The model that removes the debris with the fewest number of passes earns the highest score for cleaning effectiveness.
To determine how easy the floor steamers are to use, analysts evaluate them in the following categories:
In each category, the lowest score indicates that step is "very difficult" to perform, or that aspect of the design makes the steamer very difficult to use. The highest score indicates "very easy." At the end of testing, analysts calculate the average score for each model.
Analysts review each model to determine whether it has the following features, which can make the steamer more effective or more comfortable to use:
If a model has a particular feature, it's awarded points in that category; no points are given if a feature is lacking. At the end of testing, analysts calculate the average number of points for each trimmer.
The Hammacher Schlemmer Institute recommends that you consider these features when shopping for a floor steamer to ensure you will be completely satisfied with its performance:
Floor steamers clean hard-surface floors faster and more effectively than traditional wet mops. The floor steamers use ordinary water and/or detergent and they create steam to remove dried-on dirt, food, and germs from floors. Reusable (washable) pads on the base of the floor steamer help scrub surfaces while the powerful steam kills up to 99.99% of bacteria, including Salmonella, Staphylococcus, and other common household germs. Floor steamers are typically lightweight and swivel to enable cleaning of hard-to-reach areas along baseboards and under furniture.
The Hammacher Schlemmer Institute was founded in 1983 as an independent, not-for-profit corporation to provide independent testing and consulting services for Hammacher Schlemmer.
Although funded by Hammacher Schlemmer, the Institute functions independently of Hammacher Schlemmer. The Institute consults Hammacher Schlemmer and fulfills its mission statement without regard to product prices, brand names, margins, or other commercial considerations. Decisions on specific products to test, the types of test to perform and how to interpret the results lie exclusively with the Institute's research staff. In addition, the Institute's status as a separate entity from Hammacher Schlemmer prevents access to sensitive information, such as inventory levels or product cost, which might influence testing decisions. The Institute's independence assures products are researched, evaluated, and rated objectively without commercial bias.