Cleaning your floors can be a sticky situation if you don't have a quality mop. Luckily, we purchased dozens of mops and put them to the test on different surfaces in The Lab and at home, scrubbing fruit punch, barbecue sauce, damp potting soil, and dry paprika to evaluate their effectiveness, maneuverability, and ease of setup and maintenance. The best cleaning companion doesn't leave messes behind for you to step in later, and it checks off a few additional boxes, too.
"When deciding which mop to invest in, there are several features to look for that will ensure you are happy with the performance and benefits for years to come," says Noell Jett, the creator of Jett Set Farmhouse and author of From the Ground Up. "While individual preference can play a role in which qualities are most important to you, some are universally applicable." Jett says to consider finding a mop that is lightweight, so it's easy to transport between rooms and floors. Your mop should also be easily maneuverable for cleaning under furniture and around corners. Plus, it's a huge bonus if it's adjustable, too, especially if household members of varying heights will be using it and for mopping hard-to-reach places.
Our favorite, the BOSHENG Mop and Bucket, was easy to navigate around obstacles in testing, which checks off one of Jett's considerations. It also has a two-compartment bucket to clean and dry the mop head. It comes with three washable pads, and it tackles various wet and dry messes easily.
Here are the best mops, backed by our testing.
Best Overall: BOSHENG Mop and Bucket with Wringer Set
Microfiber pads perform well on a variety of surfaces and messes
Bucket wrings out mop's head
Easy to navigate around obstacles
Longer cleanup time
What do buyers say? 89% of 400+ Amazon reviewers rated this product 4 stars or above.
The BOSHENG Mop is everything a cleaning tool should be. It excels on almost all types of flooring, cleaning up both wet and dry messes with ease, and it comes with an intuitive bucket that wrings out the head for you. Our testers couldn’t say enough good things about the top-notch design and performance of this helpful set, and they gave it a 5-star rating for effectiveness, maneuverability, and value. They noted that the flat mop was able to clean up fruit punch, barbecue sauce, damp soil, and dry paprika thoroughly and all "without requiring too much effort." They also found that the swivel connection between the handle and the mop head made it very easy to navigate around obstacles and into tight areas.
This mop comes with three washable, microfiber pads that can be used wet or dry. The unique bucket has two compartments: one for your water and soap, and one for wringing it out. The microfiber pads attach via Velcro, and our testers loved that it was easy to set up and extremely low-maintenance. The only real "downside" we could find was that the mop takes longer than others to break down. The bucket, while absolutely essential to its functionality, according to our tester, needs to be emptied and washed, and the mop pad also needs to be wrung out. It needs to be refilled a bit more often, but it is ultimately great for storing the mop in your home.
All in all, this mop is a stellar addition to any cleaning closet, and our tester's favorite that they tested in The Lab by far. "This mop was pretty close to perfect," they said, adding, "I would buy this mop, which says a lot, because I don't think I've ever purchased a mop in my life." You can count on it be a great option for all floors in any home, thanks to its versatile and gentle cleaning pad.
Price at time of publish: $40
Best Budget: Swiffer 2-in-1 Sweeper Dry and Wet Sweeping Starter Kit
Disposable cloth pads
Good for small living spaces
Not ideal for large messes
Need to buy replacement pads
The Swiffer Sweeper is a very popular option for both wet and dry mopping, and it lived up to the hype during our testing. This lightweight mop is a breeze to set up, and you can’t beat the convenience of simply throwing away the disposable cleaning cloths when you’re done. (It took our testing team just five seconds to remove a cloth and throw it away.) Our testers rated it 5 stars for almost every attribute. Overall, we think you’ll be hard-pressed to find a better mop at such a budget-friendly price.
The Swiffer Sweeper Starter Kit comes with 10 disposable pads—seven dry pads and three wet ones—and you can buy more at any big-name retailer. While buying replacement pads does add to the lifetime cost of the flat mop, the product is safe to use on all floor types and cleans tight areas easily. We found that it’s best for smaller messes because the design isn't heavy-duty. It wasn’t a top performer during our dry-mopping tests, leaving behind a small pile of dust after several strokes. However, the mop swivels well and is generally just as great as you've heard it to be.
Price at time of publish: $15
Best Spray: Swiffer WetJet PowerMop Starter Kit
Easy to attach and remove pads
Works on most hard floors
Cleaning solutions available
Need to apply pressure to tough stains
Some parts feel flimsy
The Swiffer WetJet boasts the same convenience as the beloved Swiffer Sweeper, but it offers more cleaning power, thanks to its on-board cleaning solution. You can spray the solution using a button on the handle, and then use the disposable cleaning pads to trap dirt and grime on your floor. While you'll need to apply pressure for tough stains, the starter kit does come with a variety of mopping pads for targeting different spills, stains, and messes.
The Swiffer WetJet Starter Kit is packed with six heavy-duty mopping pads, four original mopping pads, a bottle of cleaning solution, and batteries, which is key since the spray mop requires four AA batteries to operate. All in all, setting up this product is a breeze, despite needing batteries. "I particularly liked the curved handle of the WetJet, as it makes it more comfortable to hold and steer around the floor—no awkwardly turning your arms to get into corners," our product tester said. "It’s a small detail but one that’s often overlooked with other mops."
Testers also found that the spray mop was able to remove most stains and scuffs in their home with just a few passes, but tougher stains required a little more elbow grease. When it comes to freshening up the mop, they noted that it's "as easy as it gets." Just know: this pick isn't as budget-friendly as it may appear. "I put a significant dent in the cleaning solution that was included," our home tester said. "You’ll probably find yourself needing more within a few uses."
Price at time of publish: $25
Best Steam: PurSteam 10-in-1 Steam Mop Cleaner
Signals when tank runs out of water
Easy to maneuver
Detachable handheld steamer with 7 attachments
Mop head flips up when passing over sticky stains
While we were not expecting the PurSteam Steam Mop 10-in-1 to be a top contender, as many mops and vacuums with detachable handheld units do not perform well in a larger appliance form, our testers were thoroughly impressed and convinced of this steam mop's effectiveness. It heats up in just 17 seconds after you fill the 12.8-ounce tank and can run for up to 25 minutes, when filled completely. Along with having intuitive set up instructions, this steam mop is also very easy to use since it has an adjustable dial that controls steam output. The water tank will also signal—via a vibration and beeping sound—when it has run out of water.
In terms of maneuverability, our tester said this mop was not only easy to move around, but also easy to fill and remove the handheld steamer from the base. The handheld steamer has 7 attachments that make it a true all-in-one cleaning tool for garments, windows, shower tiles, and furniture. It also easily tackled a variety of stains on both tile and concrete, but the mop head did seem to get stuck and flipped up when passing over sticky stains like chocolate milk and syrup.
While this mop head is quite large, making it difficult to do detailed cleaning on floors, its multiple attachments and handheld feature makeup for the size of the main head. Overall, our tester said this mop's performance, paired with its affordable price, made it a strong rival against many of the other name brand steam mops we tested from popular brands Shark and Bissell.
Price at time of publish: $53
Best Robot: Ecovacs Deebot N8+
Powerful vacuum and mop combination
Washable mop pad and disposable pads included
Brushes need to be cleaned after mopping
The ECOVACS DEEBOT N8+ Robot Vacuum and Mop did not disappoint when our testers put it through an extensive test at The Lab. Our testers were surprised by this robot mop's effectiveness at mopping up coffee and syrup spills while only leaving a little bit of residue behind. Usually robot mops are not always built to handle tough spills. That wasn't the case here!
Our at-home tester reported the corresponding smart phone app was easy to set up and use, and a quick QR code scan led her to step-by-step instructions on how to smart map her home. This mapping allows the robot to avoid any unnecessary bumps into walls and furniture, and it also optimizes its cleaning path. Even without using the smart app during our lab testing, the robot easily navigated through the chairs and furniture we had set up.
Along with its stellar mopping abilities, you can also expect consistent vacuuming without having to fight hair wrap on this vacuum's tiny brushes. After a month of long-term testing, our at-home tester was thrilled with this vacuum's performance and said it always accurately identified her home's surfaces—mopping when necessary and vacuuming when needed. And while this robot is almost entire hands-off when operating, take note that you will have to clean the brushes after mopping to avoid dragging residue during future cleans.
Price at time of publish: $299
Dimensions: 16.6 x 11.9 x 16.16 inches (with charging station) | Weight: 26.4 pounds | Handle Length: Not applicable | Mop Type: Mop and vacuum combo | Mop Head Material: Not listed
Best Sponge: Casabella Painted Steel Original Mop
Easy to store
Backed by a lifetime guarantee
Doesn't come with any accessories
Not a great fit for hardwood floors
As the name implies, a sponge mop has a sponge-style head for scrubbing your floors. Due to its absorbent nature, it's not the best option for moisture-sensitive floors like hardwood. However, surfaces like tile will be easy to clean with the Casabella Painted Steel Original Mop. We didn't test it in The Lab, but our home tester put it through its paces and found the lever and wringing mechanism to be very impressive. They didn't get stuck, even after many uses, which made preparing this mop for a new use fairly simple. The sponge was also absorbent enough to not leave too much water behind.
You'll want to toss a couple replacement sponges into your cart before checking out, as they aren't included, and they'll be necessary down the line. Katie Berry, The Spruce's Cleaning Review Board member, stresses that you can't throw the sponge of a sponge mop in the washer, like you would with a microfiber mop pad. Instead, you need to clean and disinfect it by hand after use. That can be an annoying step, but having a replacement sponge can ensure that your cleaning won't be totally interrupted.
Our tester also noted that the handle was comfortable to grip. It has rubber grips at the top and center, so you can easily move the product back and forth on your floors. The top of the handle also features a hole for when it's time to store this mop in your cleaning closet. "The painted stainless steel handle is smooth to the touch and easy to clean," our home tester said. "I love that the handle reclines horizontally—almost to a flat position—so it can go under low furniture." You will need to provide your own bucket for water, but you will enjoy that the mop feels sturdy and durable, and can reach into tight areas.
Price at time of publish: $17
Best Spin: O-Cedar EasyWring Spin Mop and Bucket System
Bucket with pedal-powered compartment
Materials aren’t the most durable
Mop head is tricky to clean
The O-Cedar EasyWring Spin Mop and Bucket System is a smart twist on a traditional string mop. It comes with a special bucket with a pedal-powered compartment that quickly and easily spins water out of your mop, which also removes dirt. In our testing, we found the mop works quickly and efficiently on large spills, readily soaking up any liquids. With its microfiber strands, it performed equally well when used to pick up dry paprika, and it earned a 5-star rating for effectiveness.
While many mop heads are rectangular, the O-Cedar Mop has a triangular head that fits into corners easily. Our testers liked that it was easy to maneuver around obstacles, like a chair leg, and said they actually much preferred it over the traditional, rectangular-style mop head. "The shape of the mop head can make a difference in the mop's ability to clean," says Noell Jett, Creator of Jett Set Farmhouse and Author of From the Ground Up. "Triangle-shaped heads are great for getting into corners and all the nooks and crannies."
Our biggest complaint with this mop is that grit and grime collected on the head, making it hard to clean once you’re done mopping. However, the heads are machine-washable, so you can let your washing machine take care of the hard part, if needed. Our testers gave this mop a 4.5-star rating for overall value, because they weren't sure how long it was made to last. Berry notes that the O-Cedar mop is quite bulky to store and may not be the best option for someone who lives in an apartment or small space. Still, the price point is great for what you'll get, including an adjustable handle that can be extended up to 51 inches.
Price at time of publish: $35
Best Microfiber: Microfiber Wholesale 18" Professional Microfiber Mop
Large pad is ideal for big spaces
Heavy-duty, telescoping handle
No way to wring it out
Hard to tighten handle
This oversized mop from Microfiber Wholesale is ideal if you have a lot of floor to clean. Its rectangular mop head is 18 inches wide and comes with both wet and dry microfiber mopping pads, allowing you to soak up spills or pick up dust bunnies. In our testing, we found that it does a good job soaking up messes, but is not as effective cleaning up dry materials. Our tester noted that the mop seemed less useful because there's no way to wring it out. "The pad absorbs liquids well," they said, "but without a capacity to rinse and wring it out, it still feels very limiting in its cleaning capacity."
One of the standout factors of this mop is its telescoping metal handle, which felt substantially more heavy-duty than most of the other options we tested. We also loved that it can extend up to 70 inches, making it an amazing option for a household with several members who want to help with chores. Just know: You'll want to put the microfiber pad in the washing machine to clean it in between uses. Our tester tried running it with water in the sink, which they noted wasn't very effective at removing sticky, messy spills. According to our in-lab tester, "This feels like a high-quality, durable product, though I find myself having to really work at tightening the shaft to keep it from collapsing."
Price at time of publish: $40
Best Heavy-Duty: Rubbermaid Self-Wringing Ratchet Twist Mop with Blended Yarn Head
Easy to clean
Heavy when wet
Not the most absorbent
There’s no mess you can’t tackle with the Rubbermaid Self-Wringing Twist Mop. In testing, we were impressed by this mop’s heavy-duty design, which features thick strings that offer superior scrubbing power. The head has double tail bands and looped ends that prevent the strings from getting tangled. We did note that its microfiber strings aren’t the most absorbent, but our tester didn't mind, as the mop excelled in other areas, like being easy to push and move around. In fact, it earned a 3-star rating for maneuverability because the threads can dangle a bit. If they were the right length, the threads could most likely cover a great deal of surface area.
You'll have no issues getting into crevices with ease, with this mop in your cleaning closet, or preparing it for a fresh use. Our testing team liked that you can wring the mop out by pulling it taut and then twisting it against a ratcheting mechanism on the handle. The mop is quite heavy when wet, but it's ultimately a durable product that's built to last. For small homes or rentals, our tester recommends looking for another option.
Price at time of publish: $32
Best for Tile Floors: Hoover Steam Complete Pet Steam Mop
10 attachments included for whole home cleaning
2 clean water tanks
Heats up and cools down almost instantly
Mop head stretches when maneuvering around furniture
When it comes to cleaning tile floors, a powerful steam mop can be not only a timesaving tool but also a must for stubborn grout stains. The Hoover Steam Complete Pet Steam Mop comes with a suite of attachments designed to tackle everything from hard flooring like tile, grout, and sealed hardwood floors to carpets, upholstery, and windows. This steam mop is equipped with not one but two water tanks—a 7.6-ounce main tank and a 3.7-ounce backup tank—so you can easily tackle all of your home's steam needs in one go.
This mop heats up almost instantly, so you also won't have to wait around for it to be effective at cleaning your floors. We recommend taking extra precaution when cleaning around furniture, as our tester found that this mop's microfiber cloth head did stretch when it pushed around chair legs. However, it easily slid under the chair thanks to the triangular mop head and swivel joint. It easily removed stains on both tile and concrete, requiring the most passes on the syrup stain. Our tester found the steam function was most effective on grout when using the handheld steamer with the grout brush attachment.
There was virtually no mess leftover on the mop heads and our tester could easily pull them off without burning her fingers because this unit cools down so quickly. Overall, if you're comfortable splurging on a more expensive steam mop, our tester said she would definitely recommend this model to friends and family.
Price at time of publish: $80
Best Mop and Bucket: Simpli-Magic 79229 Spin Mop Including Three Mop Heads
Includes bucket with built-in wringer
Hard to remove mop heads
Bucket is a bit big for storing
For those who like having a bucket to dunk their mop in while completing their chores, the Simpli-Magic Spin Mop includes a microfiber string mop and bucket with a convenient foot-operated wringer. In our testing, this mop was able to absorb a variety of materials with ease, barely leaving any residue behind. We liked that the built-in wringer lets you clean the mop easily during use and leaves the head damp enough to clean any surface but not overly wet. Our tester noted that the instructions for setting up the mop could have been clearer but that the mop was generally very user-friendly. They gave it a 5-star rating for effectiveness, portability, and maneuverability.
This mop and bucket set do get somewhat heavy when filled with water, but not more than you’d expect. Our only real complaints about this product: the heads are somewhat hard to remove, and the bucket is a bit big and would take up a lot of real estate in a closet. If you live in a small space, you may want to find a more compact option.
Price at time of publish: $40
Best for Hardwood Floors: Shark VacMop Pro Cordless Hard Floor Vacuum Mop
Budget-friendly price tag
Very quiet operation
Short battery life
Need to buy replacement pads
Instead of vacuuming and then mopping, you can tackle both tasks at once with the Shark VACMOP. This vacuum and spray mop combo uses powerful suction to pull dirt and debris into its disposable VACMOP pad. Once all of your loose debris is picked up, you can spray cleaning solution from the on-board container to make any hard and sealed floor shine. "How you clean your wood floors depends on whether or not they have been sealed," says Vera Peterson, President of Molly Maid. "If new, ask your installer this question. If you inherited the floors, rub your finger across the surface. If a smudge appears, the floor likely has been sealed and waxed.” In our testing, we loved that this cleaning tool is lightweight and easy to maneuver into tight areas, like under a bar cart.
A light on the floor head also allows you to see into poorly lit areas that you'd like to vacuum and mop. As an added bonus, it's cordless, making it that much more convenient. A long-term at-home tester found that the battery life is generally long enough to complete several small tasks or one big deep clean of a townhouse. They liked charging the vacuum overnight so they could wake up and use it again.
At The Lab, testers gave the VACMOP 5 stars for effectiveness and portability, noting that it's quiet, as well. Just keep in mind that the mopping pads double as a dirt chamber. While you'll receive a couple in the original package, you'll also need to purchase more refill pads to continue using the VACMOP to tidy up your space.
Price at time of publish: $68
We Still Recommend: Bissell PowerFresh 3-in-1 Mop and Steam Cleaner
Three operation modes
No dirty water to clean up
Can use as a clothes steamer
Only two included mop pads
Has a cord
The Bissell PowerFresh costs more than your average mop, but it offers a lot more functionality, as well. This mop uses hot steam to clean and sanitize hard floors without any chemicals. It boasts a large collection of attachments, so you can use it throughout the house. These include a grout tool, angle tool, flat scraper, bristle scrub brush, and clothing steamer, many of which can be stored on the bottom of the unit for convenience. "I often get overwhelmed by added accessories that come with these cleaning tools; most end up lost in my house before I ever put them to use," our at-home tester said. "I was able to store all of the tools in the included black mesh bag to keep them together, a nice feature. I could also store frequently used smaller tools in the mop unit."
You can use this mop on virtually any sealed floor, as well as tile, bathroom surfaces, appliances, and more. It has two steam settings, and while it was effective at picking up messes, our tester did wish that it came with more than three mop heads, as they can get dirty quickly while cleaning. This is also a corded pick, so you're a bit limited as to where you can clean, and assembly definitely takes longer than a standard, simple mop that's essentially ready for use out of the box. However, that comes with the territory, and our tester was ultimately thrilled to use this product in more ways than one. Because there are no temperature control settings, they just made sure to hold the handheld iteration of the steam mop away from delicate fabrics they were treating.
Price at time of publish: $165
No matter what you’re cleaning, the BOSHENG Mop and Bucket will get the job done in a flash. We loved this mop’s unique two-chamber bucket, which makes wringing out dirty water easy. It also performed extremely well, both wet and dry, on a variety of surfaces. For those who don’t mop frequently or are looking to spend less, the Swiffer Sweeper 2-in-1 Starter Kit is a more budget-friendly option. It stood out in our testing, thanks to its extremely compact and lightweight design and it's ability to maneuver around any and all obstacles easily.
Other Options We Tested
Shark S5003D Genius Hard Floor Cleaning System Pocket Steam Mop: Although our tester had many good things to say about this steam mop, we found that it didn't stand out against other models we tested that had various attachments and functions. This mop is effective at removing stains, but it's not as effective at tacking grout without specific brush attachments. It also takes around 9 minutes to cool, which may be a concern for households with curious children and pets; however, a mop head release button allows you to easily remove the mop head and store it somewhere else until you want to clean it.
Shark AV2001WD AI VACMOP 2-in-1 Robot Vacuum and Mop: Although the Shark AI VACMOP did a good job cleaning up the syrup and coffee spills, it ran straight through our chocolate pudding and smeared it all over the floor. We couldn't, in good conscience, recommend this robot vacuum-mop in our top picks, however our tester did really like its vacuum capabilities. One of our editors also tested this model at home and ended up docking the robot mop and hand-scrubbing her kitchen floor.
How We Tested the Mops
At The Lab in Industry City, Brooklyn, we cleaned up with 15 standard mops and 27 steam mops—during two separate testing periods—to decide which product was best for which job. We also sent some of the mops home with volunteer testers, who were tested their individual performance with real-world situations and spills.
At The Lab, our testers started with the setup of each mop. For steam mops, we timed the setup of each mop and made note of how long it took each mop to heat up and be ready for use. To test effectiveness, our testers spilled sticky fruit punch and barbecue sauce on three surfaces: tile, laminate, and hardwood. They tried to clean up the spills with just warm water, and they noted whether the mop could tackle the spill with total ease or whether more scrubbing and elbow grease were required. Testers then spilled damp potting soil and dry paprika on the surfaces and tried to clean up those messes, too. They followed each of these tests up with a swipe of a paper towel to see whether any residue remained on the floor. Our steam mops were put up through even more challenges tackling both tile and concrete stained with hot sauce, chocolate milk, syrup, and dirt.
While they cleaned with the standard mops, our testers also took note of how easy to use or how unwieldy each product felt, and whether it got a lot heavier when soaking wet. That led to a portability rating. Our steam mop testers noted how many passes it took to clean up a stain, working with the steam mop's various features and attachments. They considered each mop's overall ease of use, noting how clear the instructions were and how smooth the set-up process proved to be. Portability, or how easy and comfortable it was to carry the steam mop around, was also considered
Both testing groups tried to use the mops around the legs of chair and to navigate it into tight areas to test its maneuverability. Lastly, they evaluated the ease of cleaning the mop and preparing it for a fresh use, by either wringing out the wet mop, squeezing out the sponge, or replacing the cleaning cloth. They looked at the price of each product and rated its overall value, given their experience. After 16 hours of testing in The Lab, and many more hours at home, they narrowed their testing insights down to what they believe are the best mops for your money and household.
What to Look for in a Mop
When thinking about mops, you may picture traditional string mops, which feature long strands of absorbent fibers, but there are lots of different mop styles available today. String mops tend to be useful for heavy-duty jobs, and picking up both wet and dry messes on a variety of surfaces. They can sometimes come with a bucket that allows you to wring them out and prepare them for a new use, and may feature a wringing mechanism that twists and bunches up the mop head.
There are also flat mops, which use easy-to-clean microfiber or cotton pads. Some even use disposable pads. They're arguably the easiest to clean up after and can also be the easiest to store. If you're living in a college dorm room, apartment, or RV, a flat mop may be the best mop for you. They're typically good at reaching tight areas, but they might not be the best option if you deal with heavy-duty, sticky spills regularly. Our best overall pick, the BOSHENG Mop and Bucket, is a flat mop that comes with a bucket stand, which rings out excess water. Our testers loved this mop's convenient design and storage functionality.
Sponge mops, which are very absorbent, are also an option, but not typically great for use on any floor that's sensitive to moisture. You'll want to steer clear of them if your space mainly has wood floors that you're looking to spruce up on a weekly, or everyday, basis. Dust mops, on the contrary, can be a great option for picking up dry messes on wood floors, or any surface that you'd like to be gentle on.
Lastly, there are spray, steam, and robot mops, which are all a bit more advanced. Spray mops can hold and apply cleaning solution to your floor with the press of a button, so you don't have to carry your bucket of water around. Steam mops can lift tough stains, and also tend to be multi-functional tools you can use on upholstery too, with the proper attachments in tow. “As opposed to using harsh chemicals, steam mops heat water to sanitize flooring," says Vera Peterson, President of Molly Maid. "For those that are sensitive to chemicals, a steam mop makes for the perfect alternative!”
The most advanced option, robot mops, turn cleaning into a hands-free experience. Though they definitely are the most expensive option, they'll clean all your floors on their own—just like a robot vacuum—and can often be controlled through an app.
It’s important to consider the weight and portability of the mop you choose, as a heavy mop can be cumbersome to use. Aside from looking at the weight specification for a product, factor in the style of the mop when thinking about portability. String and sponge mops tend to absorb a lot of water—this can make them substantially heavier during use. They also may come with a bucket that's hard to carry up a flight of stairs or into another room. Flat mops are typically the most portable, but for the most comfortable experience you should also look for products with a grippy handle or a mop head that isn't too big in comparison to the length and durability of the handle.
Our best steam pick, the PurSteam Steam Mop Cleaner 10-in-1, is surprisingly lightweight, despite having a larger water tank. Our tester loved not only how easily this mop glided over flooring but also how convenient it was to use the detachable handheld steamer for detailed tasks throughout her home.
Ease of Cleaning
As you mop, chances are you’ll need to dispose of dirt or spills you’ve picked up along the way. This is where wringing out your mop comes into play. Many mops today have self-wringing mechanisms, so you don't have to do this work by hand. Your mop might come with a self-wringing bucket or a built-in handle mechanism, both of which make maintenance substantially easier. Others require you to switch out the cleaning pad by hand and throw it away or put it in the washing machine.
"Ensure your mop head is properly wrung out before placing it on your floor," notes Jett. "Too much water can cause damage to some types of floors, plus the more water you add, the longer it will take to dry, which can lead to streaking." Jett also stresses the importance of switching out your water to ensure the best type of clean: "As soon as your mop water begins looking murky, change it out! Scrubbing your floors with dirty water will do you no good."
Be sure to check how often the manufacturer recommends replacing the mop head and the cost of replacement parts. A reusable cleaning pad may not be the easiest to swap out, but it will be a cost-effective option in the long run. A self-wringing bucket might be the easiest option for cleaning your mop, but it will be heavier to carry and use, and it might be especially inconvenient when you need to change out the water. What you choose ultimately comes down to personal preference.
Mops with a multiple attachments can be more expensive than simple, flat mops. However, it may be worth investing in a mop with attachments if you want to tackle more tasks with just one cleaning tool. Several of the mops in this roundup come with helpful attachments—or have detachable handheld pieces—that make cleaning other surfaces in your home such as kitchen backsplashes, upholstery, and carpets much easier.
Aside from packing a lot of cleaning power into a single tool, these multipurpose attachments are helpful when it comes to budgeting for and storing your cleaning supplies. That way, you won't need to buy and find homes for many separate tools.
Mop Head Release Mechanism
While the whole task of mopping is not enjoyable, one of the worst parts is having to remove the mop head cloth and rinse it after each use. Some of the latest mop designs come with mop head release buttons, which allow you to avoid touching whatever debris and hair the wet pad may have picked up. Our best for hardwood floors pick, the Shark VacMop Pro Cordless Hard Floor Vacuum Mop, uses disposable pads and has a release button that you can push to drop dirty pads directly into your trash can.
A wall mount makes storing your mop a total breeze. It saves you space by giving your cleaning tool a designated spot in your cleaning closet, separate from the precious real estate on the floor. Once it's set up, a wall mount helps all members of your household know exactly where to find your mop, and where to put it away.
Some steam cleaners and cordless mop-vacuum combos also have charging stations that double as wall mounts. This ensures that the unit is always powering up when not in use and gives you a designated space to store the tool and all its attachments.
Can you mop all types of floors?
Generally speaking, all types of hard floors can be mopped. Just be sure to pick a mop type that's compatible with your surfaces. In most cases, moisture-sensitive floors, such as hardwood, shouldn't be paired with a water-absorbent sponge mop.
You'll also want to pay attention to the solution you use, as some formulas can affect the finish, dull the surface, or scratch it. Be sure to check which type of liquid cleaners are recommended for your specific material. When in doubt, use a mild, neutral solution.
How can you keep your mop clean and sanitary after use?
To keep your mop sanitary, clean the pad regularly, preferably after each use. Many of today's mop heads are machine-washable, which makes it easier to keep them clean.
"To properly clean and sanitize your microfiber mop heads, as well as ensure they last as long as possible, only wash [them] with other microfiber when possible," says Jett, adding that she'll save her microfiber cleaning products in a bucket as she cleans. "Once it's full, I run a load." If that isn't practical for your household, she recommends making sure there are no cotton items in your load with your microfiber pad. It's also best to air-dry the pad when possible because dryers are typically loaded down with lint, which can affect the absorbency of a mop head, she adds.
Another option is to get a mop with disposable pads, which you'll throw away after each use. Katie Berry, The Spruce's Cleaning Review Board member, notes that disposable wet pads are designed for use in one room before it's time for a new one.
For spray mops, clean out the water tank after every few uses (if not every use). A mild solution containing distilled white vinegar and water should do the trick, but be sure to read your user manual for any specific care instructions before cleaning out the tank.
How often should your mop head be replaced?
String mop heads with traditional bucket systems should be replaced every two or three months with weekly use. After several uses, the material will get worn and dirty and won't clean as effectively. However, Berry notes that if you can launder your string mop head, it can last for much longer. "A better rule of thumb is to replace it when it still looks dirty despite laundering," she says.
Machine-washable cleaning pads don't need to be replaced as frequently. Many of them last for 50 or more uses, though durability varies among brands and designs.
How long do mops last?
If you purchase a steam mop, it will last as long as you take care of the water reservoir and ensure the cord does not experience any electrical damage. As mentioned above, most machine-washable cleaning pads can last for up to 50 uses or more. Sponge mop heads tend to show signs of wear sooner and can last up to 3 months, if properly rinsed and allowed to fully dry between uses.
What are the different sizes of mops?
While the actual size of a mop's head may vary from one product to another, there are a few shapes of mop heads that you can expect with certain types of mops. The size of your mop head will also affect its absorbency. Flat mops, spray mops, dust mops, and steam mops all tend to have rectangular mop heads that can range in size from 8 inches to 24 inches. Some steam mops and spray mops may have triangular heads, which make it easier to maneuver around furniture. Robot mops have much smaller pads because of their size, but can still absorb plenty of liquid before needing to be replaced.
Why Trust The Spruce?
Camryn Rabideau is a freelance writer and product tester for The Spruce. She has ample experience testing cleaning products. Camryn helped test several of the mops we recommend on this list, including the Swiffer WetJet and Microfiber Wholesale 18-inch Professional Microfiber Mop. For this piece, she also consulted testing insights from The Lab, where our product testers put 15 mops through a variety of head-to-head tests.
Camryn also interviewed Vera Peterson, President of Molly Maid, for more insights on how to select the best mop for your home. Katie Berry, The Spruce's Cleaning Review Board member, also weighed in on the best practices for using and cleaning a mop. Camryn has been writing for The Spruce since August 2017 and has also contributed to Forbes, USA Today, and Food52.
Emma Phelps, an updates writer for The Spruce, added new picks to this roundup based on our latest testing insight from steam mops. She also provided additional updates to this roundup after her interview with Noell Jett, creator of Jett Set Farmhouse and author of From the Ground Up. For even more expert insight into selecting and using the best mops, she chatted with Jett about how to care for a microfiber mop head, how to decide on which mop to invest in, and more. Emma owns the Shark VacMop and loves how easy it is to use on her sealed hardwood floors. It easily sucks up hair and other debris and makes cleaning her floors a one-machine job.