The Black & Decker steam-mop Deluxe with Steambuster is a convertible steam cleaner: you can use it as an upright or pop out the central steam generator and use it as a handheld.
It's light and manoeuvrable compared with many upright steam cleaners. But there is no onboard storage for the handheld's tools, so you'll need to keep them in the mesh bag supplied with it.
The Black & Decker is pleasantly light when you consider that it's not just a steam mop but also a handheld cleaner. It weighs in at just over 3kg, little more than most steam mops. This means that, for once, the little hole on the back of the handle for hanging it up seems realistic – you could hang this cleaner up without fear of the cleaning cupboard collapsing under its weight.
It comes with a jug for filling the water tank, plus three soft brushes, a tile and grout brush and a window squeegee, and a hose and concentrator nozzle to work with these attachments. These come in a mesh bag. It also comes with a three-month supply of lemon-scented perfume cartridges.
This all sounds fine, but the 6m power cable length is slightly disappointing – most steam cleaners have 7 or 8m – so you'll find yourself unplugging and moving to a different power point a bit more often.
Most disappointing of all, though, is the lack of onboard storage for the tools – surprising considering how well-designed the cleaner is otherwise.
Sometimes it's the little design touches that matter. We loved the intuitive way that putting the Black & Decker's handle upright automatically turns off the steam. The controls on the handle are equally easy to use: press a button to cycle between the three steam settings: wood, stone and vinyl. And when the steam is ready to use, the whole water tank glows blue.
The upright cleaner is pleasantly manoeuvrable thanks to it being so light. It slides smoothly and speedily over hard floors and glides well on rugs and carpets, slightly zigzagging when they have a deep pile.
The handheld, meanwhile, produces a good amount of hot steam (there are no controls for the level of steam on the handheld). Teamed with a brush attachment, the handheld really lifted carpet stains. But picking fluff out of the brush afterwards we discovered that the Black & Decker's hot steam made it a bit too easy to get scalded if you're not careful.
Moreover, the lack of onboard tool storage is a real annoyance – you'll either have to carry them around in the supplied mesh bag or never have the tools with you when you need them.
After use, water can be tipped out and the shaped cloth can be popped off and washed.
Probably not. The Black & Decker has some lovely design touches, but for not much more the Vax Steam Fresh Combi [INSERT LINK] offers similar cleaning features but with onboard tool storage.
It worth shopping around before deciding, however, as it’s worth considering if it comes down in price. Also worth considering is the far more affordable Polti Vaporetto GO cylinder steam cleaner or the Bissell Vac & Steam – an upright steam cleaner that vacuums at the same time.
A well-designed and versatile steam cleaner, shame about the lack of tool storage.