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A quality sponge mop is affordable, lightweight, and super absorbent. Designed with a flat or roller-style head, made from a naturally-derived or synthetic sponge, this type of mop typically features a handle that wrings out excess water.
We tested and researched various sponge mops in The Lab and at home to rate their effectiveness, maneuverability, and value. With a durable design, absorbent sponge, and comfortable handle, the Casabella Painted Steel Original Mop stood out as the clear winner.
Scroll to see the best sponge mops for making your floors sparkle.
Best Overall: Casabella Painted Steel Original Mop
Handle is long and comfortable
Easy to store
Backed by a lifetime guarantee
Replacement heads not included
On the expensive side
The retro-style Casabella Painted Steel Original Mop is versatile, durable, and, dare we say, chic. This rust-resistant painted steel mop is built to last, with a 48-inch handle that makes it easy to get into all those hard-to-reach places without straining your back. Our tester was so impressed to find that the lever and wringing mechanism didn't stiffen or stick, even after repeated use. This makes us believe it has a lengthy lifespan, and wouldn't break in the face of tough, continuous messes. (Plus, it also makes us believe it'd be worth spending your money on.)
The 10-inch cellulose sponge is also super-absorbent and works quickly to clear up liquid and grime on hard floors. While it's not machine-washable, it is otherwise very user-friendly and is a particularly great option if you have hardwood floors, since you won't leave a ton of excess water behind. Plus, the mop's compact and slim design makes for easy storage when your chores are complete, as well. Our tester noted there's a hang hole on the handle for any household that wants to mount it on a wall in between uses, and also grips along the handle that make the mop comfortable to hold and use.
Just be sure to add a couple of replacement heads to your cart before clicking the "buy now" button. That's really the only downside of this product that's our best overall pick and backed by a lifetime guarantee.
Dimensions: 52.5 x 10 x 3.5 inches | Handle Length: 48 inches | Weight: 2.1 pounds | Head Type: Round | Head Material: Cellulose sponge
"I’m happy to have this mop in my cleaning arsenal. It picked up dirt and dust in places that my upright vacuum couldn’t reach."—Sage McHugh, Product Tester
Best Overall, Runner-Up: OXO Good Grips Butterfly Mop
Thoughtful wringing tool
Machine-washable microfiber pad
Head doesn't pivot
Handle isn't adjustable
The OXO Good Grips Butterfly Mop makes short work of cleaning up both wet and dry messes. With a flat sponge head that absorbs liquid spills, and a machine-washable, microfiber pad to trap dust and dirt, this product is another one of our top picks for a sponge mop because it's easy to carry and prepare for a fresh use.
Weighing just one pound, this slim model scored high marks from our tester from the very start. The mop required almost zero setup, according to our tester, and received a 5-star rating for its ability to clean up wet messes and be wrung out as often as you need. The sturdy, steel handle isn't retractable, but a built-in lever folds the mop head in half to wring it out in a single pull. The mop head doesn't pivot, so it took a little elbow grease to maneuver it under furniture, into corners, and along baseboards. In addition, to pick up dry paprika that we spilled on a tile floor, our tester had to use fast, strong motions, and the mop still left a little streak behind.
However, plastic feet keep the mop head off the floor to promote airflow for a faster drying time, so you can stash it in your storage closet sooner after you've finished your chore. OXO backs this dependable tool with a lifetime warranty and it comes at a decent price, too, that makes it well-worth adding to your cleaning tool collection. Add a refill sponge to your cart for when it's time to freshen up your cleaning tool.
Dimensions: 50 x 11 x 2.5 inches | Handle Length: 50 inches | Weight: 1 pound | Head Type: Flat | Head Material: Sponge and microfiber
Best Budget: Quickie Super Cell Self-Wringing Sponge Mop
Easy to store
Not very durable
Handle isn't adjustable
If you're on a budget, we recommend the Quickie Super Cell Sponge Mop, which offers all the basic attributes of a sponge mop and a few clever features. The double-layered sponge absorbs more liquid in fewer passes—which is quite notable—and the front-mounted scrubbing pad can be used to tackle stains, dried-on messes, and scuff marks on your floors. While the handle isn't adjustable, the 48-inch steel pole has a squeeze-action trigger to wring out the mop head, which users with grip or mobility issues may find easier to operate than the standard pull lever design found on most sponge mops.
Now, the trade-off with this budget-friendly mop is that it's not very durable and may not last as long as you'd like it to. However, it is backed by a five-year warranty that'll cover you for a decent amount of time. Storage is also a breeze, thanks to a hole on the handle that allows you to hang the mop in your cleaning closet. Just be sure to add refill sponges to your cart for this pick, as well.
Dimensions: 52 x 9.03 x 3.25 inches | Handle Length: 48 inches | Weight: 1.25 pounds | Head Type: Flat | Head Material: Cellulose sponge
Best Heavy-Duty: The Super Standard 11-inch Double Roller PVA Sponge Mop Set
Good for picking up pet hair
Comes with an extra sponge
Could use a scraper accessory
Cleaning up tough messes or large surfaces areas? Look no further than The Super Standard 11-inch Double Roller PVA Sponge Mop Set. This pick doesn't come with a bucket for wringing out water, but does come with an extra PVA sponge, which is a step-up from other picks on the market. The sponge is also durable and can withstand long cleaning tasks. While we do wish the mop came with a scraper accessory for picking up sticky or caked-on spills with more ease, this pick is particularly great at picking up pet hair.
Not to mention, the telescopic handle is also adjustable, so every member of your household can enjoy their mopping experience, and reach under furniture and around table legs. Just make sure that, before using this mop, you soak the sponge fully in water and let it soften. When the mop is saturated, it is quite heavy, but the product is backed by a full, one-year warranty if you experience any issues. The warranty covers the product minus the PVA sponge.
Dimensions: 20 x 12 x 3 inches | Handle Length: Up to 55 inches | Weight: 3 pounds | Head Type: Roller | Head Material: PVA sponge
Best for Hardwood: Libman Wood Floor Sponge Mop
Releases minimal water
Sponge falls apart quickly
Design isn't very durable
The Libman Wood Floor Mop is one of the pricier models you can buy, but it's a good option if have hardwood floors and are determined to use a sponge mop on them. (Sponge mops, since they often hold a lot of water, are not the best option for water-sensitive, hardwood floors.) The roller-style mop head is made of an extra-dry, oceanic sponge that holds onto liquids instead of leaving them behind. The handle features an easy-pull wringer lever that, after cleaning, then allows you to wring out the sponge over a bucket. You'll likely enjoy the convenience of the lever and the 51-inch steel handle that offers excellent reach.
However, you should know that this mop does leave some things to be desired. To start, the oceanic sponge does fall apart quite quickly. The design of the mop is also not suitable for heavy-duty jobs, since it's not as durable as we'd like it to be, especially at the higher price point. You can easily store this mop, thanks to the hole on the top of the handle for hanging, but you'll want to stock up on replacement sponge heads and be ready to swap them out fairly regularly.
Dimensions: 54.63 x 10 x 4.63 inches | Handle Length: Not listed | Weight: 1.6 pounds | Head Type: Roller | Head Material: Oceanic sponge
Best Set: JFB Home Products Poly Mop PVA Sponge Mop and Bucket
Easy to store
Heavier than other picks
Doesn't always glide smoothly
Whether you're mopping a large surface area or a small one, you should consider springing for a complete set, like this bundle from JFB Home. The mop comes with a telescoping handle that extends up to 45 inches, plus three roller-style PVA mop heads that can absorb up to 12 times their weight in water. The set also features a rectangular bucket that is the perfect size for storing the mop and preparing it for a new use, and doesn't get too heavy when filled with water. Plus, the mop doesn't require much water to begin with, so you don't usually need to fill it completely. In fact, the PVA sponge will agitate the water and your favorite cleaning solution, so you also only need a little bit of solution to clean a large surface area, too.
The all-in-one bucket also wrings, washes, and dries the sponge mop, which is quite impressive. When you're finished, just insert the pole into the storage groove on the bucket, and stash the compact set in your laundry room or cleaning closet. The overall slim design will make it easy to store this set in small and large spaces. At 4.3 pounds, it is quite heavy compared to other picks on the market and can have trouble gliding smoothly. It ultimately is a wonderful cleaning companion, though.
Dimensions: 13.5 x 12 x 5 inches | Handle Length: Up to 45 inches | Weight: 4.3 pounds | Head Type: Roller | Head Material: PVA sponge
Our number one pick is the Casabella Painted Steel Original Mop: a lightweight, compact, and effective cleaning tool that's easy to store and backed by a lifetime guarantee. The OXO Good Grips Butterfly Mop is another great pick with a thoughtful wringing mechanism and machine-washable microfiber pad.
What to Look for in a Sponge Mop
Mop Head Type
When shopping for a sponge mop, the first thing you want to take into consideration is the mop head type. Sponge mops can have a flat or roller-style head. Flat mop heads are usually more durable, and don't fall off as easily during regular use. They may also be accompanied by a microfiber pad, and you will likely wring them out by folding the pad in half or squeezing it with the help of a wringing tool. On the contrary, roller-style heads can be easier to maneuver. The type that's best for you is a matter of personal preference.
In addition to the mop head type, consider the head material. A sponge mop can feature an oceanic, PVA, foam, or cellulose sponge. Some sponges are naturally-derived (cellulose sponge), while others are synthetic (PVA sponge). The sponge's material will decide how absorbent it is, how smoothly it'll glide on your surface, and whether it's durable. Cellulose sponges are often very absorbent, while a PVA sponge is often more durable.
Some mops come with accessories that'll add to your cleaning routine. These extra accessories may include a bucket, replacement sponge heads, or a scraper or brush tool. If your mop includes one (or many) of these accessories, it may be more expensive upfront. However, you'll be prepared for tough spills and stains on your floors. In addition, you won't have to add an additional sponge head to your cart, or a bucket that doesn't necessarily fit with your sponge mop.
You'll want to tuck your sponge mop in a cleaning closet or another storage area of your home once your cleaning task is done and the mop is completely dry. Storing a mop is easier if it features a hole on the handle for hanging it up on a wall, or a bucket that'll keep the sponge from leaking any excess water onto your floor. Consider these storage options when you're shopping, and the spot where you'd like to store your mop.
How do you use a sponge mop?
Before you use a sponge mop, you'll need to mix together some warm water and your preferred cleaning solution in a bucket, if the cleaning solution is concentrated. According to Katie Berry, The Spruce's Cleaning Review Board member, you'll otherwise want to follow the manufacturer's instructions.
Once this is done, you'll dip your sponge mop into the water, and then take it out, still holding it above the bucket. Next, you'll press down on the bar or lever near the handle, which will wring out excess water from the sponge. To mop, move the mop back and forth. Pause to "wring it out to extract soil," says Berry, before wetting it again. You may need to replace your bucket of water and cleaning solution with a fresh mixture during the mopping session, depending on how dirty your floor is.
How do you clean a sponge mop?
It's important to keep sponge mops clean so they don't spread more dirt than they do soap! You'll need to clean your mop head after each use. The best way to do this is to combine one part hot water with one part vinegar, and let the mop head soak in the mixture for a half-hour. Then, rinse the mop and let it dry before putting it away.
How do you change a sponge mop head?
Even with regular cleaning, you'll still need to replace your sponge mop head every three to six months, depending on use. Thankfully, new sponges can be affordable and easy to apply. The exact way you change out a sponge mop head will depend on the mop you're using. However, as a general rule, you'll normally press a button or lever on the mop to release its existing sponge head. Once it's out, you'll press the new sponge onto the mop.
What types of floors can you use a sponge mop on?
Sponge mops work best on textured and uneven surfaces, like tile or stone, but can damage other surfaces over time. "Some floors, such as linoleum or travertine, can warp if they get too damp," cautions cleaning expert Angela Bell of Grove Collaborative. For that reason, a sponge mop is not a great option for cleaning hardwood.
Why Trust The Spruce?
Theresa Holland is a seasoned commerce writer specializing in lifestyle and home improvement. For this roundup, she spoke with cleaning expert Angela Bell of Grove Collaborative and compiled insight on mop styles, flooring material considerations, and cleaning tips. She also consulted testing reports from The Lab and home testers. After considering dozens of sponge mops, she chose mops that are easy to assemble, effective, user-friendly, convenient, and reasonably priced.
Theresa has been writing for The Spruce since 2019, where she covers cleaning supplies, appliances, and housewares. You can find more of her bylines on Byrdie, Verywell Family, and MyDomaine.