The Best Mops for Your Home, According to Hours of Real-Life Testing
Mopping—it's probably not your favorite chore, but it is one of the most important, especially if you have kids or pets at home. Owning the right mop to get the job done will help make cleaning go a little faster and keep you from damaging your floor in the process.
Picking the best mop for you depends on what type of floor you're cleaning, how much time and money you're willing to spend keeping your mop clean, and what kind of messes you'll be cleaning up the most. We spoke to Kathy Cohoon, director of franchise operations at Two Maids & A Mop, who also noted one big concern when looking for mops: "Be mindful of mops with plastic scrubbing nubs. These are ideal for scrubbing grout or loosening dirt on more rugged stone floors but can scratch hardwood and other more delicate floors if not used properly."
We tested 15 mops over 16 hours, cleaning up spilled spices, dried barbecue sauce, and dried juice to see which mops were the best at cleaning up messes. We also rated them on how easy they were to set up and to clean so we understood how long the entire process of cleaning your home might take. After looking at the results, we think the Bosheng Mop and Bucket With Wringer Set is the best mop for most households.
Here are the best mops, based on our testing.
- Best Flat Mop: Bosheng Mop and Bucket With Wringer Set
- Best String Mop: O-Cedar EasyWring Spin Mop and Bucket System
- Best Disposable: Swiffer Sweeper 2-in-1 Sweeping and Mopping Starter Kit
Our Top Picks
More Mops to Consider
OXO Good Grips Butterfly Mop: Our testers loved the effectiveness of this sponge mop when wet mopping but found that it wasn't as maneuverable or capable of getting into corners as other options. It also did a poor job with dry messes.
Rubbermaid Self-Wringing Ratchet Twist Mop with Blended Yarn Head: This more traditional string mop has great scrubbing power and doesn't absorb too much excess water, but testers felt it took a few too many passes to clean up tough, dried-on spills.
After thorough testing, we think the Bosheng Mop and Bucket With Wringer Set is the best flat mop, since the mop's flat microfiber pad is effective at scrubbing floor and its design means you won't need much room for storage between cleaning days. For larger homes with lots of hard floors to mop, we recommend our pick for the best string mop instead, the O-Cedar EasyWring Spin Mop and Bucket System.
How to Shop for a Mop
When you picture a mop, what first comes to mind is probably a string mop, which uses individual strands to spread cleaning solution across the floor and gently dislodge spills and grime. However, string mops aren't always great for getting into tight corners, and they don't control the amount of liquid that gets transferred to the floor as well as some other types. Some modern versions of string mops, like our pick, have shorter strands coming off of a larger head to solve those issues.
A flat mop uses a pad (disposable or microfiber, usually) to attract dust and dirt or to gently scrub your floors. Many can be used wet or dry, making them a versatile choice if you have limited space for cleaning tools or don't have a large area you'll need to keep clean. They often require you to have a separate spray bottle for misting the floor, which can be tedious if you have large sections of floor to clean, but some—including the ones on this list—do come with buckets or pre-moistened pads.
Sponge mops are just that—sponges! They need to be wrung out like string mops but make targeted cleaning somewhat easier. "Great for scrubbing and super absorbent, these mops are great for those with small kids or pets looking for quick cleanings," said Kathy Cohoon, director of franchise operations at Two Maids & A Mop. "The sponge typically has ridges and texture to help pick up stubborn grime."
Some mops have removable heads that can be thrown in the washing machine, others have disposable pads that can be swapped out for every cleaning, and some require handwashing. Whichever option you choose, make sure at minimum you're rinsing your mop head with plenty of clean water after cleaning and letting it dry completely between washing to prevent bacteria or mold build up between cleanings.
Do you need to buy a special spray to go with your flat mop? Does your mop come with a bucket or will you need to buy one separately? How often should you replace your mop head, and how expensive are the replacements? The answers to some of these questions may or may not be deal-breakers, depending on your cleaning needs, so think about what you need out of your mop and what you're willing to compromise on before you shop.
Questions You Might Ask
How do you clean a mop?
Yes, once you've cleaned your floors, you need to clean your mop, too. According to Cohoon, you should be washing yours after every cleaning session. "If possible, make sure to remove your mophead and toss into the washer or do a quick bleach rinse after each use to ensure that it is fully sanitized," Coohoon said. "Once a month, soak the mophead in hot water and a small amount of bleach or another sanitizing agent and allow it to air dry."
How do I mop my floors?
Mopping your floors incorrectly can actually do more harm than good. Some floors are very moisture sensitive and require a lot of control over the amount of liquid you introduce while mopping. When it comes to cleaning most floors, including sealed hardwood, laminate, linoleum, vinyl, and tile flooring, you can generally use a damp mop of any type. Make sure whatever mop you're using can be wrung out enough so that the area you're mopping can quickly dry.
Waxed wood floors should only be dry mopped to prevent water from damaging the wood. Stick with a dry microfiber cloth or a vacuum with no brushroll to clean up dirt and dust.
What should I use to mop my floors?
While you can use a specific floor cleaner if you'd like, we're fans of a simple mixture of vinegar, dish soap, and water to get your floor clean. This mixture is fine for most floors, but note that vinegar can cause natural stone to degrade over time, so don't use this solution on marble or stone tile floors.
Our Testing Process
No matter what, you'll want to find a mop that's going to be easy to use, can grab wet and dry messes, and can be cleaned between uses. We tested 15 popular mops over two days, mopping up dried on barbecue sauce, damp potting soil, and dry paprika to see how they performed on a variety of messes. We also rated how easy they were to set up, whether they were convenient to clean and store, and how they maneuvered into tight corners. After considering all of those factors, three picks stood out as the best mops for most homes.
Take Our Word for It
This article was written by Kate Geraghty, an editorial director for home commerce content who has been covering home content for over two years at Dotdash Meredith. In order to create this list, we tested 15 mops over two days in our product testing lab. We also spoke to Kathy Cohoon, director of franchise operations at Two Maids & A Mop for her advice on how to choose the right mop for your home—and how to use it correctly.