Curious as to how well steam mops actually work? Are the inexpensive ones a bust?
Modern Castle is here to help find out. This week we’re completing our Shark Steam Pocket mop review and test.
Is this Shark strong enough to grab your attention? There’s only one way to find out.
Continue reading below to discover if the Shark pocket is the right steam mop for you.
- Cleaning Tests 95%
- Usability 90%
- Value 95%
- Maintenance 98%
- Maneuverability 93%
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- The Shark Pocket steam mop has a flippable head so you don’t need to replace the cleaning pad as often
- This Shark’s cleaning performance was impressive, especially considering the price
- This steam mop requires manual pumping and it can be difficult to tell how much steam it’s creating
- The Shark Pocket only has only one cleaning mode
The Bottom Line
The Shark Pocket is a low-cost steam mop that does a fine job when it comes to sweeping and sanitizing floors. As a lightweight, easy-to-use steam mop, this Shark could be a good choice for the user who needs quick fix cleanings, but it may not be the most appropriate choice for those that need a powerful clean on their floors.
The Shark Pocket steam mop has one of the most simplistic, minimalist designs we have seen from a steam mop thus far.
DESIGN | This Shark contains a flat, rectangular head that allows cleaning pads to wrap around it and be secured by velcro. As you move up the unit, the body has a cap on the front of it, which can be removed for adding water into the water tank.
The top of the handle offers a circular design for an easy hold and a small flap on the back that can be lifted to allow users to adjust the height of the wand.
CLEANING PADS | The cleaning pads are microfiber and contain an envelope style design. One end of the pad is open, allowing users to slide the cleaning head into the cleaning pad. The ends of the pad can then be pinched together to ensure a tight wrap, held together by the velcro strips.
AESTHETIC | Once again, the aesthetic of this Shark steam mop is nothing out of the ordinary. The colors are what seem to be Shark’s go-to colors; purple and gray. The minimalist design of this steam mop means there is not too much going on in terms of aesthetics.
How Shark Pocket Cleans
The Shark Pocket steam mop cleans through one main method; steam being pressed out through the cleaning pad.
The cleaning process is quite simple:
- Fill water tank with distilled water
- Plug the unit in and give it 30 seconds to heat up
- Pump the handle up and down to produce steam
- Push the mop around and steam will continue to flow through the cleaning pad
With only one cleaning mode, there is no extensive process when cleaning with the Shark Pocket steam mop. The steam will loosen the residue off of the floor, allowing the microfiber pad to clean floors.
How big is the Shark Pocket?
The Shark Pocket totals 52.1″ in height, 12″ in width, and 5.9″ in depth. Additionally, this steam mop weighs 4.87 pounds.
- Length – 52.1″
- Width – 12″
- Depth – 5.9″
- Weight – 4.87 pounds
This Shark steam mop only includes two microfiber cleaning pads and one water tank filling flask.
Cleaning Pad: Two standard microfiber cleaning pads are included with this Shark steam mop. Both of these are washable and can be reused. However, you’ll eventually need to replace them. Fortunately, they are fairly inexpensive.
Water Flask: The water filling flask is essentially a small cup that can be used to transport water into the tank located on the unit itself. This tool can be used instead of carrying the entire mop over to a sink to fill up the reservoir.
As the second lowest unit in the Shark steam mop line, the Pocket steam mop does not include the dirt scrubbing cleaning pads, like some of the higher end models in this line (including the Shark Genius).
That said, having two washable cleaning pads is beneficial, as you may be washing one and still be able to clean with the remaining pad.
RELATED | If you’d prefer more accessories for added versatility you may want to see our Bissell Crosswave review.
The following tests are designed to show how the Shark Pocket performs as both a mop and a sweeper.
We tested this Shark steam mop as a mop on tile flooring, spreading three different debris types across the floor and attempted to mop the debris up over three separate passes.
Next, we tested the Shark Pocket steam mop as a sweeper, making several sweeping passes across a dusty hardwood floor. After doing so, we took a look at the floors and made our assessment of this Shark’s cleaning performance.
- Dirt / Mud 100%
- Honey 99%
- Water 95%
- Sweeping 100%
For starters, the mop test contains three debris types:
- Dirt / mud
- Water (dyed green)
Each of these debris types offers a different level of stickiness and consistency, allowing us to test the Shark Pocket steam mop against a light, heavy, and liquid substance. All three debris types are spread across our testing lane in three separate sections.
Throughout our mopping tests, we try to give real-life examples and be as consistent and fair as possible. The mopping test procedure goes as follows:
- Measure out 3 oz of water (dyed green) and spread the water across the back of the testing lane.
- Squirt honey in the middle of the testing lane, covering a majority of the width of the lane.
- Create a muddy substance from dirt and water then spread the mud with a shoe.
- Make a pass across the testing lane and compare the amount of each debris type mopped up on pass one to the untouched debris.
- Make pass number two across the lane and analyze the amount of each debris type mopped up.
- Make a third pass, if necessary.
The Shark Pocket steam mop handled our cleaning tests well.
WATER CLEANING | The water (dyed green for visibility) test is usually where the less expensive mops will start to show some flaws with regard to cleaning performance. This Shark was not amazing during this test, but it was able to hold its own.
The cleaning pad soaked up a decent amount of the liquid in the passes we made across the lane. Eventually, over 95% of the water was cleaned up. The remaining water was pushed up against the baseboards of our testing lane.
The biggest issue with the Shark Pocket during this test was the spreading of liquid. Although the cleaning pad was able to soak up a good amount of the liquid, it also had a tendency to spread some of it across our testing lane.
This was somewhat expected (we experienced similar issues with Dirt Devil’s budget steam mop), but it would have been nice to see the Shark’s cleaning pad do a slightly better job of holding the water.
MUD CLEANING | The mud and honey tests were successes. For starters, the mud test. After making a single pass across half of the mud, the steam mop was not able to fully remove all of the debris. Yet, after making a second and third pass, there was no mud to be found.
This was due to more steam being produced as I continued to push the mop back and forth.
HONEY CLEANING | The honey test was a bit different than the mud test. As a sticky substance, the honey really grabbed the microfiber cleaning pad. It took the Shark a second to get across the honey with the steam, but once it did, there was hardly any remaining honey residue.
We did go over the honey again and were able to remove 99% of the honey, but at the end of the test we found that this mop was not strong enough to completely remove 100% the honey from our testing lane, with just a few passes.
After a few extra passes, the honey was cleaned up fully, but it took more back and forth passes through the debris to completely remove the stickiness that the honey creates from our lane.
All in all, this Shark steam mop performed well during our cleaning tests, but it is not the best we have seen to date. To see the best of the best, you can find our full list of mop reviews here.
The sweeping tests were more successful than our standard mopping tests for this Shark steam mop. After making several passes across a relatively dirty hardwood floor, we found the floor to be much cleaner than before. The steam created by pushing the mop across the floor helped to polish and sanitize the hardwood floor, making a notable difference overall.
If mopping sweeper combos are important to you, you may want to also check out the following reviews:
The Shark Pocket steam mop is among the easiest mops to use that we have tested to date.
SETUP | Once you have removed the parts from the box, you’ll have to take them out of their plastic wrap. Next up, all that’s left to do is snap the handle into the body of the unit. A cleaning pad is already on the cleaning head, so you do not have to worry about adding one before using this Shark steam mop for the first time.
FILL TANK | As you get ready to use the Shark Pocket, the water tank will need to be filled. This can be completed by removing the cap on the front of the water tank and using the water flask included with the unit, or by holding the mop directly below the sink and filling it up by using the faucet.
CLEANING PAD | Next up, adding the cleaning pad. Initially, a cleaning pad is on the unit. But there will come a time where you need to change the pad and undo the velcro from the cleaning pad, pull it off of the plastic cleaning head, and replace it with a fresh one.
At this point, you’re ready to plug the steam mop in, wait about 30 seconds for the water to heat up, pump the handle to create steam, and begin cleaning.
STEAM PRODUCTION | Unlike most steam mops we have tested, the Shark Pocket requires manual steam production. Users must let the water heat up and then pump the handle up and down to produce steam. The labor of creating the steam is not difficult by any means, but it is part of the process required if you’re looking to steam clean.
Shark recommends pumping the mop’s handle 10-12 times to get the ball rolling with the steam creation. However, I found that if you continue to pump while cleaning, the steam tends to be a bit more powerful, helping make your cleaning session easier.
TURNING | The handle rotates well, but the head of the unit does not turn as sharply as I would have liked to see. Users will still be able to work around furniture and other obstacles in the home, but it may take a few extra passes to make a full lap around these obstacles.
FLAT LAY | On the upside, the Shark Pocket does have the ability to lie virtually flat on the ground, which can be a major benefit when trying to reach underneath furniture or other tight spots around your home.
MOVEMENT EASE | Moving this Shark steam mop is relatively easy. Once the steam is produced, the unit is light enough (4.87 pounds) to be easily pushed around for a longer cleaning cycle.
The following table indicates the frequency at which you will likely want to replace the various parts and components of the mop. However, your individual experiences may vary
|Accessory / Part||Replacement Frequency||Replacement Cost|
|Cleaning pad||As needed||Check Price|
Maintaining this Shark steam mop is extremely easy. Change the cleaning pad when necessary and fill the water tank before each use. That’s it.
- Replace cleaning pad – The cleaning pad should be removed and washed every few cleaning cycles and will need to be replaced when wear and tear becomes visibly present.
- Fill water tank – The water tank should always be filled before use, just to be sure that there is enough water for the mop to produce steam.
Maintaining the Shark Pocket steam mop will cost around $9 annually. This includes replacing the cleaning pad twice a year.
The Shark owner’s manual recommends replacing the cleaning pad every 3-4 months. This feels like overkill to me. I think most users could replace the cleaning pad once or twice a year and be perfectly happy with the performance.
Overall, the Shark Pocket steam mop offers a good value. The simplicity of this unit is right in line with the cost, and the performance is above average for the price you’re paying.
Throughout our cleaning tests, this Shark steam mop was able to handle honey and mud / dirt well, in addition to the liquid test for the most part. At a certain point, the volume of liquid was too much for the cleaning pad to soak up, which is understandable for an inexpensive steam mop.
Maneuverability was good, but could’ve been better. I like that this unit can lie virtually flat on the ground without having the head lift up, but I would have liked to see a better turning radius.
Maintaining this Steam mop is easy and affordable. The only major task to complete is replacing the cleaning pad as needed.
With regard to warranty and returns, Shark offers a 1-year limited warranty with this steam mop, in addition to a 30-day return period, via Amazon.
Below is a complete list of important specifications and features included on the Shark Pocket:
|Model||Steam Pocket S3501|
|Floor Type||All hard floor (indoor)|
|Water Tank Capacity||0.45 L|
|Cordless||No - 25' cord|
|Returns||30 days via Amazon. Varies by retailer|
The Shark Pocket steam mop is an inexpensive, yet well-performing steam mop. Users who don’t need all the extra bells and whistles with their steam mop could find this to be a good fit in their home.
I would recommend the Shark Pocket if you’re looking for the following features in a steam mop:
- Want a basic steam mop – This Shark is not a fancy steam mop by any means. Users are required to manually produce the steam by pumping the handle of the mop once the water is heated up. That said, the performance of this Shark steam mop was above average for the price you pay.
- Want an inexpensive steam mop – If you’re looking to avoid spending a ton of money on a new steam mop, the Shark Pocket could be a great choice. Solid performance and a good value overall make this mop worthwhile for those who are on a budget.
For more information on the Shark Pocket visit Amazon.com.
Solid Performance, Good Value
The Shark Pocket steam mop is an inexpensive steam mop designed to make steam cleaning your floors a quick and easy process. The performance is above average, helping to create a good value overall. This mop is built more for sanitizing your floors, so if you are in the market for a deep cleaning mop, this may not be the right choice for you. On the other hand, if you like the idea of an easy-to-use steam mop with a strong cleaning performance, then the Shark Pocket could be a good choice for you.
Derek Hales is the Editor-in-Chief and Founder of ModernCastle.com. He is a passionate perfectionist when it comes to testing and reviewing products for the home. When he is not testing new products, Derek enjoys golf, tennis, and PC gaming. Derek lives in Phoenix, Arizona, with his wife, Samantha, and poodle, Tibbers.