This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

Shark S5003 Genius Pocket Mop vs. Shark S3501 Pocket Mop

Hard floors are both functional and beautiful, so it’s no surprise they’re popular. They also aren’t difficult to clean. However, the right tool can simplify this task further. A steam mop is a must for anyone who has hard floors in their home.

There are several top brands to consider when shopping for a steam mop, including Shark. The S5003D Genius Steam Pocket Mop and Shark S3501 Steam Pocket Mop are two of the company’s top-selling models. 

To analyze their designs, features and capabilities, we had our tester use the mops on hard floors. They assessed how easy the mops are to set up, fill and maneuver. They also analyzed how well both models clean. 

Key features to consider when shopping for a steam mop

If you have hard floors, the goal when it comes to cleaning them is to remove dirt and debris. Steam mops can make this happen, but they aren’t all equally effective. Considering top features and capabilities as you shop can help you pick the right one.


Whether you’re using a vacuum, carpet cleaner or steam mop, the ability to move it easily and smoothly over floors is arguably one of the most important considerations. Most steam mops feature streamlined designs and lightweight builds that make them simple to maneuver. Well-made steam mops have heads that swivel and glide over floor surfaces and around objects with ease. 

Heating the water

When it’s time to clean your hard floors, the quicker you can begin the task, the better. Fortunately, most steam mops heat and produce steam in a few minutes. However, some models accomplish both goals in just 30 seconds. 

Water tank

It’s the water tank of a steam mop that holds the water for heating and steam distribution. A tank with a generous capacity allows for more cleaning time before it needs to be refilled. Some steam mops have tanks that can be removed from the units to simplify the refill process. Although a fixed tank isn’t necessarily a deal-breaker, it does make refilling a bit awkward. 

Mop heads and pads

Most steam mops have rectangular heads that clean wide swathes of flooring with each pass. Models with triangular heads are also available. These are best for cleaning corners and other tight spaces. 

Regardless of the shape of the head, steam mops work with cleaning pads that are typically reusable and washable. Quality mops have release buttons that make it easy to remove and replace the pads as needed. 


Manual steam release, variable steam settings and pad release are some of the controls you’ll find on a steam mop. Adjustable steam settings are useful for customizable cleaning for light to heavy-duty cleanup jobs. Whether the model you choose is basic or has multiple controls, ideally they will be self-explanatory to operate. 


The cord of a steam mop gives you the range necessary to clean hard floors. Cord length varies from model to model, ranging from as few as 18 feet to as many as 30 feet. You may not need a lengthy cord if your living space is small. On the other hand, a cord that’s about 25 feet or longer is best if you have a large home with lots of square footage of hard flooring. 

Steam mops worth considering

Our experience with the Shark S5003D Genius Steam Pocket Mop System

Best Shark S5003D Genius Steam Pocket Mop

The Shark S5003D Genius Steam Pocket Mop offers features and a build that put it at the top of the pack. It has a large water tank, long cord, lightweight construction and three intelligent settings for precise steam control. The head swivels for maneuverability. A scent disc tray and touchless pad release add to its user-friendly design. 

Sold by Amazon

Why we recommend the Shark S5003D Genius Steam Pocket Mop

If you’re looking for a steam mop that can tackle tough dirt and grime, Shark’s S5003D Genius has you covered. We found it simple to set up, thanks in part to the detailed instructions. While we wished the tank was removable, it wasn’t too difficult to fill. Although it lacks a power button, it makes up for this minor inconvenience by heating quickly and being ready to use in about 40 seconds. 

The 25-foot long cord, lightweight design and swivel head make the Shark S5003D easy to move over floors and around objects. With powerful suction and automatic steam in a choice of three settings, it whisks away messes in seconds and cleans effectively.

This Shark steam mop cleans for about 15 minutes on the highest setting before requiring a refill. A no-touch button releases the mop head pads for laundering. The pads wash up nicely in a warm washing machine cycle and can be reused time and again. 

What is the Shark S3501 Steam Pocket Mop?

Best Shark S3501 Steam Pocket Mop

Shark’s S3501 Steam Pocket Mop is a smart choice for anyone who wants a model for light to moderate cleaning tasks. It’s an affordable steam mop that boasts an extremely lightweight design that’s a breeze to maneuver. A swivel dual-sided head and washable pads are also highlights of its feature set. 

Sold by Amazon

Why we recommend the Shark S3501 Steam Pocket Mop 

Considering the affordable price, we were impressed with the Shark S3501 Steam Pocket Mop’s features, which include a lightweight design and swivel head. Like the S5003D, it heats up in seconds and works with washable pads. Although the cord is only 18 feet in length, it works well for most cleaning purposes. 

We were also impressed with this model’s generous water tank, which allows for up to 15 minutes of cleaning time per fill. While it produces adequate steam, we wish you didn’t have to pump a button to produce it. Although it isn’t quite as powerful as its pricier counterpart, it’s a nice basic model by a top brand. 

Should I get the Shark S5003D Genius Steam Mop or S3501 Steam Pocket Mop?

Both the Shark S5003D and Shark S3501 steam mops are effective cleaning tools that are simple to set up and use. Their lightweight builds and swivel heads make them a breeze to maneuver. In our testing, we found that the S5003D model edges out the S3501 by offering three steam settings and more powerful performance. Although a bit pricier, it’s worth the cost. The S3501 is fairly basic and requires some extra effort when cleaning stubborn dirt. However, if you have a small place with minimal areas to clean, the S3501 is the one to get.


Want to shop the best products at the best prices? Check out Daily Deals from BestReviews.

Sign up here to receive the BestReviews weekly newsletter for useful advice on new products and noteworthy deals.

Jennifer Manfrin writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

Copyright 2022 BestReviews, a Nexstar company. All rights reserved.