We independently research, test, review, and recommend the best
products—learn more about
our process. If you buy something through our links, we may earn a commission.
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 up 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 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, for easy transport between rooms and floors. Your mop should also be easily maneuverable for cleaning under furniture and around corners, and be adjustable. This is especially important if household members of different heights will be using it, but also 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. Additionally, it has a two-compartment bucket to clean and dry the mop head, comes with three washable pads, and tackles various wet and dry messes easily.
Here are the best mops, backed by our testing.
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. Plus, it 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 ability to maneuver around any and all obstacles easily.
At The Lab in Industry City, Brooklyn, we cleaned up with 15 mops to decide which product was best for which job. We cleaned with additional products at home, tasking them with real-world situations and spills.
At The Lab, our testers started with the setup of each mop. To test effectiveness, they then 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 noted whether the mop could tackle the spill with total ease or if 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. We followed each of these tests up with a swipe of a paper towel to see if any residue remained on the floor.
While they cleaned, our testers also took note of how easy to use or unwieldy each product felt, and whether it got a lot heavier when soaking wet. This led to a portability rating. They tried to use the mop around the legs of chair and navigate it into tight areas to test its maneuverability. Lastly, we 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. We looked at the price of each product and rated its overall value, given our experience. After 16 hours of testing in The Lab, and many more hours at home, we narrowed our testing insights down to what we believe are the best mops for your money and household.
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 feature a wringing mechanism that twists and bunches up the mop head.
However, 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 also may not be the best option if you deal with heavy-duty, sticky spills regularly.
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 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 for the most comfortable experience.
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 built-in handle mechanism, both of which make maintenance substantially easier. Other mops 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.” In addition, Jett 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, as well. A reusable cleaning pad may not be the easiest to swap out, but will be a cost-effective option in the long run. A self-wringing bucket might be the easiest option for cleaning your mop, but will be heavier to carry and use, and might be especially inconvenient when you need to change out the water. What you choose ultimately comes down to personal preference.
Mops with a multipurpose design are significantly more expensive than a simple, flat mop. However, it may be worth investing in this type of mop if you want to tackle more cleaning tasks with just one cleaning tool. There are robot mops that double as robot vacuums, steam mops that double as nifty upholstery cleaners with the proper attachment applied, and upright mop-vacuum combos that will have the same look and feel as a cordless stick vacuum.
Aside from packing a lot of cleaning power into a single tool, these multipurpose models are helpful when it comes to budgeting for and storing your cleaning supplies, since you don’t need to buy and find homes for many separate tools.
The beauty of robot mops is that they often have smart sensor technology that not only navigates independently, but also learns the layout of your home. What’s more, they can usually find their way back to their charging and self-cleaning station without you lifting a finger. In addition, many robot mops can detect both wet and dry messes and adjust accordingly. This feature is worth splurging on if you want a true, hands-free experience.
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 put it away.
Some steam cleaners and cordless mop-vacuum combos also have charging stations that double as wall mounts. This ensures it’s always powering up when not in use and gives you a designated space to store the tool and all its attachments.
Generally speaking, all types of hard floors can be mopped. However, 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.
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 this 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.
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. Though, 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.
Having said that, machine-washable cleaning pads don’t need to be replaced as frequently. Many of them last for 50 or more uses, though it varies among brands and designs.
Camryn Rabideau is a freelance writer and product tester for The Spruce, who has ample experience testing cleaning products. She 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, 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 your microfiber mop head, decide on which mop to invest in, and more.
Disclaimer: Curated and re-published here. We do not claim anything as we translated and re-published using google translator. All images and Tattoo Design ideas shared only for information purpose.