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Virtually every household needs a mop, and flat ones are the most popular due to their user-friendly and compact design that doesn't necessarily call for a bucket of water—or even cleaning solution. To find the right option for you, we tested several mops in The Lab and at home. We evaluated the ease of setup, effectiveness, maneuverability, and required maintenance of each mop, while cleaning up spills that mimic your household's everyday messes: fruit punch, barbecue sauce, damp potting soil, and dry paprika.
The BOSHENG Mop and Bucket was the clear winner. It has a two-compartment bucket that cleans the microfiber mop head, and was easy to swivel around obstacles.
Scroll for the best flat mops, backed by our testing.
Best Overall: BOSHENG Mop and Bucket with Wringer Set
Bucket wrings out head for you
Reusable microfiber pads
Bucket needs to be filled and emptied
What do buyers say? 90% of 500+ Amazon reviewers rated this 4 stars or above.
The BOSHENG Mop and Bucket Set is our top choice for a flat mop. While our tester gave it a 3-star rating for setup, citing vague instructions, it was given a 5-star rating for effectiveness, maneuverability, and its value. The mop delivered when we tasked it with picking up a variety of wet and dry messes on three surfaces, and our tester noted that they were able to soak up the messes without putting in much effort. The mop features a swivel connection between the handle and mop head that makes it particularly easy to navigate. However, the real standout feature of this mop is its bucket.
The two-compartment bucket will wring out the mop head for you when you're done cleaning up a spill. This makes this mop very user-friendly and easy to prepare for a fresh use. In addition, the bucket has a compact design that makes it easier to store—it's really only as big as you absolutely need it to be. While you'll have to empty it and wash it after each use, it's an intuitive product in itself that you'll enjoy having by your side. Do keep in mind: the compact nature of the bucket means it does need to be filled up more often. However, our tester notes that it is essential nonetheless.
"This mop was pretty close to perfect," they said, adding that it was the best mop they tested during our 16-hour test at The Lab. It comes with three microfiber pads that can be machine-washed, and is ultimately a suitable choice for a variety of households and surfaces.
Best Budget: Swiffer 2-in-1 Sweeper Dry and Wet Sweeping Starter Kit
Easy to prepare for use
Not very durable
Need to buy replacement pads
The Swiffer Sweeper scored high across the board during our test in The Lab. To start, our tester gave it a 5-star rating for setup and ease of cleaning. To set up the mop, you just have to attach the disposable pad with the help of four connection points on the mop head. The kit comes with seven dry pads and three wet ones—so, you can tailor your experience to the type of mess you're hoping to clean up. After cleaning up a variety of messes, our tester changed the disposable pad and prepared the mop for a fresh use in just five seconds.
The wet-dry functionality is one of the best things about this kit, though, and allows you to quickly dust your floors or give them a deeper scrub. While the mop likely isn't the best choice for tackling heavy-duty tasks, as it's not the most durable, it does have really good range that makes it suitable for a variety of households and living spaces. Plus, this range is paired with a lightweight design that makes it easy to carry up the stairs and from one room to the next. You can't beat this convenience, and the fact that it can be easily stashed away.
Now, you will need to buy replacement pads when the ones included in the kit run out, so the cost of the mop isn't exactly what you see on the price tag. The mop also left some streaks of paprika behind when we tested its dry mopping capabilities. However, it's overall a great product at a great price.
Best Microfiber: Microfiber Wholesale 18" Professional Microfiber Mop
Wide cleaning path
Comes with two cleaning pads
Not ideal for dry messes
Locking can be finicky
Our home tester gave this mop pretty decent scores, noting that the extra-wide, 18-inch cleaning path and high-quality, telescoping handle are particularly helpful features. In The Lab, we found that it was hard to get the head-locking mechanism just right, but generally the mop was effective at picking up wet spills. While it wasn't as good at picking up dry materials we put in its path, the entire product felt really durable. You could probably run this mop into a piece of furniture and it wouldn't break on impact. The microfiber mop head can also be put in the washing machine, making this a very cost-effective option.
"Microfiber mops are great for hardwood floors, linoleum, or travertine floors that should not be soaked with water," says cleaning expert Angela Bell of Grove Collaborative. This mop comes with two mop heads, which makes cleaning even more streamlined. The handle is also adjustable and can be extended up to 70 inches, making cleaning a comfortable task for many members of your household. However, be prepared: there's no way to wring out the mop pad while cleaning. You'll need to be a little strategic. Our tester ran it with water in the sink and noted that it wasn't very effective at getting the sticky, messy spills out, so the washing machine is definitely the best option when it comes to preparing the mop pad for a new use.
Best Spray: Swiffer WetJet PowerMop Starter Kit
Not very durable
Cleaning solution runs out fast
The Swiffer WetJet PowerMop Starter Kit is your best option if you're looking for a spray mop that's also very affordable. This beloved product earned almost perfect scores from our at-home tester, who appreciated its lightweight, user-friendly, and versatile design. This spray mop runs on four AA batteries. It features a dual-nozzle sprayer and a swiveling head. To set it up, attach the included disposable cloth pads—much like you'd do when using other Swiffer products—to the mop head and add the cleaning solution to the tank.
Suitable for most hard flooring materials, including finished hardwoods, the bucket-free system makes wet-mopping a breeze, because you only need to lug around the mop itself. A button located on the handle allows you to spray the solution on a section of your floor, while a curved handle makes it comfortable to glide across your floors. Now, the lightweight design of the product makes it very easy to carry around, but not great in the face of tough stains and spills. Some parts of the product might even feel a bit flimsy, so you'll want to handle the WetJet with care. However, our tester noted that it's easy to swap out the pads whenever needed, and the different available cleaning solutions let you customize your experience a bit more. The trial size bottle will be dried up before you know it, so definitely look into those solutions sooner rather than later.
Best Steam: Bissell PowerFresh 3-in-1 Mop and Steam Cleaner
Easy to store
Lots of included attachments
Looking for a steam mop to help reset your space on the weekend? The Bissell PowerFresh 3-in-1 Mop and Steam Cleaner does it all. It has a multi-use design thanks to its attachments, so you can use it on floors or fabrics if you'd like. At the same time, it's very effective at tackling messes. Reminiscent of a stick vacuum, the flat-head steam mop has a 12-ounce water tank, three steam modes, and two washable microfiber pads (one scrubber and one soft).
While it's definitely on the pricier end for a mop, our tester liked that it was easy to set up and store, and said it's a great option for someone who dislikes mopping as much as they do. Although it's not cordless, limiting you to cleaning areas that are somewhat close to an outlet, we also appreciate the extra-long, 25-foot power cord that gives you good reach. Attachments include a grout tool, angle tool, flat scraper, bristle scrub brush, and clothing steamer. All in all, it's hard to beat this mop's top-notch functionality. Just be wary of the lack of temperature control settings.
Best Combo: Shark VacMop Pro Cordless Wet/Dry Stick Vacuum
Lights on the floor head
Need to buy replacement pads
Short battery life
Having a cleaning tool that does more than one thing is a game-changer. The Shark VACMOP is one of these tools, boasting the capabilities of a cordless stick vacuum and a spray mop. Our tester gave it a 5-star rating for setup, noting how everything intuitively clicks into place. This impressive mop-vacuum hybrid also earned perfect scores for effectiveness, maneuverability, ease of cleaning, and noise level, as it operates very quietly. (It's quiet enough to have a conversation over.) Though our tester wished the canister, which is attached to a disposable cloth pad, was a bit larger, the VACMOP is an all-around excellent product.
It runs on a rechargeable battery and boasts powerful suction, a spraying function, LED headlights, and easy-to-remove disposable pads. You just need to press a button on the floor head to remove the pad, making this product much less messy to maintain as well. While you will need to buy replacement pads and plug it in after vacuuming and mopping your entire house, you'll enjoy that the lightweight design and swiveling floor head are also very flexible and easy to tote around. It's worth its "steeper than a simple mop" price tag.
Our clear winner for a flat mop is the BOSHENG Mop and Bucket that picked up a variety of spills in The Lab with total ease, and comes with a two-compartment bucket that wrings out the mop pad for you. If you're looking for a more affordable option, the Swiffer Sweeper 2-in-1 Starter Kit is also a great addition to any household. At a low price tag, this mop is super user-friendly, and features a compact, lightweight design that's easy to store in large homes and dorm rooms alike.
How We Tested the Flat Mops
We purchased and tested 15 mops at The Lab—eight of which were flat mops—and several others at home, to decide which one is the best for cleaning up messes around your home. At The Lab, testers completed the setup of each mop first, and noted whether it came ready to use or needed to be put together. Then, they evaluated effectiveness by spilling sticky messes of fruit punch and barbecue sauce on tile, laminate, and hardwood. Using just warm water, they tried cleaning up the spill, noting whether it required a lot of effort to do so and if anything was left on the surface. They repeated the process with damp potting soil and dry paprika, and followed up each test with the swipe of a paper towel to see if the mop was as effective (or not) as it appeared.
Throughout the test, testers also took note of a mop's maneuverability and portability. They noted whether it was easy to navigate around obstacles like the leg of a chair and into tight areas, and how heavy the mop was when it was dry and soaking wet. After, they evaluated the ease of cleaning the mop: wringing it out, replacing the cloth, or following other required maintenance guidelines. Finally, after 16 hours of testing in The Lab, they rated each product's overall value given their experience.
At home, several other mops were put to the test, as testers used them to pick up real-world messes and in real-world scenarios. We boiled down all of our thorough testing insights to this list of the best flat mops for your money and picking up a variety of messes in your home.
What to Look for in a Flat Mop
Mop Head Material
The first thing you want to consider when picking out a flat mop is the mop head (also called the mop pad) material. Flat mops typically have a cloth or microfiber mop head, and this directly relates to the maintenance of the mop and how effective it can be at cleaning up different types of messes.
For example, a cloth mop pad is typically disposable, and needs to be replaced after every use. While it can be effective at targeting both wet and dry spills, it's not always the most cost-effective option. You'll have to restock your mop pads frequently in order to continue using the mop. On the contrary, microfiber mop pads are not always the best at picking up a variety of messes. However, they usually can be tossed in the washing machine after each use.
The type of floors you have in your home can also determine the type of mop pad material you need. Microfiber mop pads tend to be very soft, gentle, and easy to wring out. They're often a great option for hardwood that's prone to scratches and sensitive to moisture, while cloth pads are more suitable for a tile floor.
Flat mops are in general the easiest type of mop to store, because their design is compact. However, it is still important to consider storage options when shopping—especially if you live in a small space, like a dorm room. Some mops have a hole on the top of their handle. This tiny feature makes it much easier to hang your mop up in a closet in between tasks. Others come with a bucket you can put the mop in, but will take up more real estate on the floor of a closet.
In addition to the tool itself, you may need to store accessories like extra pads or a cleaning solution. It may be easiest to store these items together on a shelf or in a basket. If your storage space is very limited, though, you may want to skip out on a mop with a lot of extras all together.
Depending on features, the price of mops can vary widely. How much you should spend will depend on your floors’ needs and your budget. For example, if you just mop spills once in a while in between visits from your cleaning service, then a fairly basic model will do. If this mop is the only mop to ever touch your floors, you may want to invest in a higher-quality one to get the job done right.
You might also want to consider a mop with extra features and accessories, if you plan on cleaning a lot or want your chores to be more streamlined. There are products that come with a bucket or extra mop pads. "Consider the floors in your largest or most heavily trafficked rooms," says Bell. These areas will pose the greatest cleaning challenge and, when doing so, you'll be able to decide whether it's worth splurging on these accessories.
How do you use a flat mop?
How you use a flat mop depends on its overall design. If the mop has a reusable pad, soak it in warm, soapy water (or a cleaning solution that is compatible with your flooring) and wring out any excess moisture. Then, gently but firmly, glide it across your hard floor. When you're done, remove the pad and shake off any loose dirt and particles into the trash, before throwing the pad in the wash.
If the mop has a disposable pad, there’s no need to soak it, as they're ready for you to use. Just attach a new one onto the mop before mopping the floor, and toss it into the trash afterward.
How do you replace a flat mop head?
Most flat mops have tabs or buttons on their head that releases the pad. After you have discarded the old, dirty pad, attach a new one using the same tabs to hold it in place. Some mops may also use velcro to secure the pad. Consult your user manual if you're ever unsure of the process for your specific mop.
How often should you replace a flat mop head?
You should replace a flat mop head after every use. If you don't, you'll probably inadvertently spread dirt and debris onto your floors the next time you use it.
Why Trust The Spruce?
Theresa Holland is a seasoned commerce writer specializing in home improvement and lifestyle topics. For this roundup, she interviewed Angela Bell, cleaning expert of Grove Collaborative, for insight on flooring considerations and usage tips. The final flat mop selections were chosen after reviewing dozens of products and analyzing insights from The Lab and home testers. Each of the selected mops stood out for their effectiveness, maneuverability, setup, and ease of cleaning.
Theresa has been writing for The Spruce since 2019, covering cleaning supplies, appliances, and housewares. You can find more of her bylines on Byrdie, Verywell Family, and MyDomaine.