The right mop can make getting a clean floor less of a chore
A good floor mop will be
your best friend when it comes to keeping your floors sparkling. The best mops
are easy to push, are maneuverable enough to get into corners and under
cupboards, and won't buckle under when you need to lean in and use a bit of
muscle to scrub. The one feature a floor mop really needs (with the exception
of spray mops or mops for hardwood floors, which don't get as wet) is an
effective way to wring out the mop head. Otherwise, the mop will be heavy and
excess water will pool on the floor. All of the floor mops and spin mops in
this report have some type of integral wringer, or can be paired with a wringer
Before you can wet mop,
start with a dry cleaning to remove bigger debris. That means either sweeping
with a broom, dusting with a dust mop, or using a good vacuum cleaner designed
for hard floors. We cover vacuums in separate reports on upright vacuums, canister vacuums, stick vacuums and robotic vacuums. Also,
if you really need a deep cleaning, we recommend some steam mops for
that task as well.
floor mops are affordable, effective and easy to use
A floor mop is a necessity for frequent touch-ups or quickly cleaning up
spills. Floor mops have either a set of
strings, strips of cloth or a sponge for cleaning and absorbing spills. They
can be used with a bucket, or you can just wet them in the sink, wring and mop.
Some have systems for wringing, while others need to be wrung out manually, or
you can use a bucket with a wringer. Owners like that these mops can be used
with any cleaning solution they choose.
Fans of the (Est. $9) say this mop is the one
to beat for absorbency and ease of use, especially when they pair it with the
equally well-reviewed O-Cedar Quick Wring Bucket (Est. $9). Users say the mop head soaks up messes effectively and
does an excellent job of cleaning floors without leaving streaks. The bucket is
easy to use with this floor mop. Just put the mop head into the wringer and
push down; the wringer collapses around the mop head, squeezing out excess
liquid. It's not as efficient as heavier, traditional wringers, owners say, but
is great for casual home use. Plenty of people also use the O-Cedar Microfiber
Cloth Mop without the bucket, wringing it out manually. Most say that's easy to
do, and some prefer it, saying that bucket wringers are flimsy or they like to
control how much moisture to leave in the mop head. One tip: Wearing rubber
gloves may make manual wringing easier.
The mop head on the O-Cedar is washable, and uses the (Est. $7). Testers with
TheSweethome.com particularly like that the microfiber fabric is looped, which
prevents tangles during use. They also praise the extendable handle, but
several reviewers report issues getting it to extend properly and stay locked
during use, and generally say that the handle feels flimsy. Otherwise, most
love their O-Cedar mop and say they can't believe how much cleaner it gets
their floors compared with other mops they have owned.
The (Est. $15) gets high marks for
a floor mop that's also very affordable. It's long been a favorite mop of
users, and it still earns a top spot in our roundup. Reviewers praise the
Wonder Mop for its microfiber strips, which are lightweight and less
susceptible to mildew than standard cotton string mops. Testers with The
Sweethome say the metal handle is "strong, light and nimble," and users say
they can bear down to scrub stubborn stains without the head folding over, or
feeling as if the handle is going to bend or break. However, a few say it does
not scrub well enough to deep clean tile that has visible grout, such as some
ceramic tile floors, and others complain the mop head is a bit too small.
The Libman Wonder Mop has an integrated wringer sleeve so you can wring
out excess water without having to touch the mop head or use a separate wringer
or bucket. As The Sweethome notes, that makes it particularly ideal for smaller
spaces. Most users say the wringer is easy to use, although some say it can be
tricky to get the hang of at first. Users say the mop is very easy to maneuver
and can get into tight corners and tough spots like the sides of toilets. Like
all string mops, the Wonder Mop is great for absorbing liquid spills. The mop
heads, the (Est. $13 for 2), hold
up for about 50 trips through the washer.
While most people seem to prefer a microfiber mop such as the Libman and
O-Cedar mops for heavy-duty cleaning, a basic sponge mop may still be on your
list because it's not as cumbersome for quick jobs. If so, the (Est. $30) is among the best-rated
sponge mops out there. Though pricier than other sponge mops, reviewers say
this commercial-grade option is more durable than the competition, with a
sturdier handle and a PVA mop head that stands up to heavy-duty scrubbing.
This Rubbermaid sponge mop uses the (Est. $10).
Reviewers caution that these PVA mop heads must be thoroughly soaked before use
so that they don't tear, a step that some owners do find annoying. Some others
also say the mop's telescoping handle often doesn't stay put once lengthened, a
common complaint that plagues many mops.
If you like the convenience of a sponge mop but want the performance of
a microfiber mop, the (Est. $40) may offer the best of
both worlds. Users love how its pivoting design slips under counters and other
narrow spaces, and say the microfiber pad is highly absorbent. It also has
cleaning "zones" for light cleaning or for scrubbing. The pad is washable and
reusable. New mop pads are available as the (Est. $9).
The bucket included with the EasyWring has a built-in
wringer that users say is effective and easy to use: Just pull up on the mop
handle to fold the mop head, put the folded mop head into the wringer, and push
a pedal to wring out excess water. Many say they use the EasyWring for cleaning
walls and other vertical surfaces, something a flat mop head is better for than
a round string mop.
offer all-in-one, hands free convenience
Spin mops are regular
floor mops that include a system for wringing out excess water. This is usually
a bucket with a wringer that is operated either by a foot pedal or by placing
the mop in the wringer, causing it to spin. Some actually squeeze and wring the
mop out, while others just use centrifugal force to spin the mop dry. The
latter is superior because it does a better job of squeezing out excess
moisture. Spin mop heads are round and the strings or strips are made from
lightweight, absorbent materials. Thanks to a swiveling head and lay-flat
handle, they maneuver well, even in narrow spaces. They can be used with any
type of floor cleaner.
The spin mop that gets some of the best overall reviews from owners is
the (Est. $40). It receives stellar feedback for its great
performance on a variety of floor types, and for the ability of the handle to
lay flat and the mop head to rotate to reach into tight corners. It excels in
absorbing spills, even large ones.
Where the Twist & Shout really shines is in its wringer technology.
Most spin mop bucket systems have a foot-operated pedal that you have to push
down to get the wringer to spin. However, this system can still leave the mop
head quite wet, and foot pedals get poor reviews for long-term durability. The
Twist & Shout, on the other hand, has the spin action integrated into the
wringer itself. You just lock the mop handle, stick it in the wringer and it
twists and spins to wring out the excess water. Reviewers say the wringer does
a great job of squeezing out almost every bit of excess liquid, so the final
go-over leaves floors damp, not wet, speeding the drying process.
The Twist & Shout includes two microfiber mop heads that can be
replaced easily with the (Est. $15 for 2). The handle on the Twist & Shout has been updated
and can now be adjusted up to 56 inches. Some users say the mop seems flimsy;
however, that complaint is one we see about virtually every mop in this report.
Most reviewers who've dealt with customer service rave about their experience.
A well-reviewed alternative to the Twist & Shout, the (Est. $35) has attracted
plenty of fans of its own. The main difference between the O-Cedar EasyWring
Spin Mop and the Twist & Shout is the wringing mechanism. While you simply
push down on the handle of the Twist & Shout to activate the wringer, the
O-Cedar EasyWring requires you to pump a pedal on the side of the bucket.
Reviewers say this works well for the most part, but it may require some trial
and error to leave the mop damp, not overly wet. A splash guard helps keep
water in the bucket instead of all over the floor.
While the Twist & Shout has a traditional round microfiber mop head,
the O-Cedar EasyWring uses a triangular microfiber mop head that reviewers say
is great for cleaning tight corners. The (Est. $8) can be washed up to 10 times. The mop head also pivots
and, like the Twist & Shout, the handle can lie nearly flat to clean under
furniture. The handle can adjust from 33 to 51 inches -- note that if you're
tall, you'll get an extra 5 inches with the Twist & Shout. Again, some
reviewers say the product is flimsy, and some complain that the handle doesn't
stay locked during use.
If you're concerned about the durability of plastic wringers found on
floor mops such as the Twist & Shout and O-Cedar EasyWring, the (Est. $60) features a stainless-steel
wringing basket. The premium price also gets you an included scrub brush
attachment, built-in soap dispenser, spin agitator and a wheeled bucket.
The Mopnado's wringing mechanism is similar to the one on the Twist
& Shout. Instead of using a pedal to operate the mechanism, you simply push
down on the handle. But the Mopnado also has a spin agitator, meaning you
actually spin the mop head on the wet side of the bucket to remove dirt and
grime, and then move it to the wringer to spin it dry. Reviewers like this
feature, saying it does a better job of keeping grime off their mop head, and
accordingly, off their floors.
Mopnado comes with two round microfiber mop heads, but refills are
available as the (Est. $17 for two). Like the Twist & Shout and O-Cedar EasyWring, the mop head
pivots and the handle can lie nearly flat to clean under furniture and in other
tight spots. The handle extends up to 56 inches for taller users. While few
reviewers call the Mopnado flimsy, some still say they've had problems with the
bucket handle falling off or the wringer breaking. Others say the bucket is
just too heavy when it's full.
hardwood floors grab dust, grime without doing damage
Hardwood floors will never go out of style, but how to properly clean
them causes some confusion. Major concerns with hardwood include how to leave
it spotless without using too much liquid – this can cause wood flooring
to swell and crack – and finding a cleaner that won't damage the finish. Common
cleaners, even something innocuous like vinegar, can eat away at the floor's
finish. For those reasons, experts recommend simple microfiber dust mops for
day-to-day cleaning. Wet mops may leave too much moisture if not thoroughly
wrung out, and steam mops may leave heat marks or cause warping.
Buyers who want to clean their hardwood floors without causing any
damage will be well-served by the (Est. $30), which
reviewers say does a good job keeping floors shiny and clean without leaving
excess moisture or a damaging, dulling residue. The system includes a mop with
a detachable microfiber mopping pad and dusting pad, as well as a 32-ounce
spray bottle of Bona Hardwood Floor Cleaner. If spraying a bottle of cleaner as
you go sounds inconvenient, Bona also offers a (Est. $40).
Reviewers like the Bona mop heads because they glide easily across their
floors, and they're particularly complimentary of the cleaner, which most say dries
quickly and doesn't leave behind annoying streaks. Bona mop pads can be
machine-washed and dried, though Bona cautions against using any dryer sheets, bleach
or fabric softener while doing so. Replacements are available in the (Est. $14), which includes a
dusting pad, cleaning pad and deep-clean pad meant for more heavily soiled
floors. Some reviewers caution that the four-section mop handle is flimsy,
sometimes disconnecting from the mop head or coming apart at connection points.
If you already have a preferred hardwood-friendly cleaner and just want
a sturdy mop for your hardwood flooring, the (Est. $40) gets enthusiastic
feedback from buyers who say it's worth a splurge since it's built for the long
haul. The 18-inch microfiber mop pad also has a larger surface area than most
other dust mops, allowing for speedier cleaning.
Reviewers say what really sets this Microfiber Wholesale mop apart is
higher-quality construction. It has a stainless-steel handle that can telescope
from 4 to 6 feet long, and unlike many competing mops, it won't collapse in the
process, most owners say. It also lies almost flat against the mop pads to
clean under furniture, beds, cabinets or other dusty areas. The included wet
mop and dust mop pads reportedly stay put on the mop handle and can be cleaned
in the washer. A handful of owners say the mop head is too big to get into
tighter spaces, however.
For a cheaper alternative to both the Bona system and the Microfiber
Wholesale mop, the (Est. $20)
can make quick work clearing hardwood floors of dust, pet hair or light dirt, owners
say. Its mop head is a generous size – about 18 inches, like the
Microfiber Wholesale mop – and reviewers love being able to flip the mop
pad for twice the cleaning surface, or keep one side damp and one side dry for
Like most microfiber mop pads, these O-Cedar pads are machine-washable,
and the manufacturer says they should withstand about 100 trips through the
washer before being replaced with an (Est. $9). Though O-Cedar touts the mop pads' scrubbing
strips, a handful of reviewers say the mop head is not built for heavy-duty
scrubbing since it can't withstand a lot of pressure on the split pads. Some
also say the mop head comes loose from the handle too easily.
mops are the ultimate in ease of use
Spray mops aim to be the most convenient floor mop
you can own. They include a container
for cleaning solution that's attached to the mop handle and disposable pads
that attach to the base. Just spray, mop and discard the pad when it's too
dirty. There's a cost to this convenience, of course: Pads and cleaner refills
can be expensive, and the mops operate on battery power, so batteries have to
be replaced. Some also worry about the environmental impact of disposable
accessories, although some mops have refillable containers that can use any
type of cleaning solution and washable, reusable pads. Also, spray mops are
just for light cleaning and will not absorb water like a traditional floor mop.
The granddaddy of all spray mops, the (Est. $25), has managed
to retain its popularity over the years. Reviewers say it's extremely easy to
use: When empty, the solution dispenser pops out with the push of a button, and
the disposable pads have Velcro-type attachments so you don't have to bend to
attach them. Just make sure the Velcro side is face up, place the mop head on
the pad and push down lightly.
The Swiffer WetJet is best suited to clean daily dirt from your hard
floor. It does not absorb liquid spills and doesn't pick up chunks of grime,
but those who use it just for wet mopping are pleased with its performance. The
textured pads pick up a lot of dirt, according to users, and you can even lean
in and give a stubborn spot a good scrubbing -- although some suggest
pretreating dried stains first by squirting the spot with the mop's cleaning
solution and letting it sit, or using a separate cleaner to pretreat it. Many
reviewers say the WetJet works well at picking up pet hair, too.
The cleaning solution used with the WetJet, (Est. $25 for a pack of 3) gets good feedback for its effectiveness, pleasant scent and
quick-drying abilities. In fact, that quick drying time, a result of both the
cleaner and the (Est. $12 for 20), is one of the most raved-about features of the Swiffer WetJet.
Many reviewers say the first section of the floor they mop is dry before they
get to the end of the job, and they love the convenience of not having to deal
with a damp floor for long.
While the Swiffer WetJet is convenient, it does have its detractors. The
initial cost of this floor mop is low, but some complain that the cleaning
solution and pad refill costs add up. And the WetJet can't be used with any
cleaning solution other than its own; special tabs on the containers keep them
from being reused. The Swiffer also requires four AA batteries that are not
included and need to be replaced when the trigger stops working. Critics are
also concerned that the cleaning solution dispensers, pads and batteries clog
landfills, though in some communities the pads or containers may qualify for
Those who would like the convenience of the
Swiffer WetJet without the ongoing costs or environmental impact should look at
the (Est. $45). It has a higher initial cost than the Swiffer,
but the microfiber pads are washable and reusable, and the included cleaning
solution bottles accept any cleaner you like to use. The kit includes two
bottles and three pads. Many users say they use two different solutions in the
two bottles depending upon what type of floor they're cleaning. Additional pads
are available as the (Est. $6).
The Reveal was edged out of the top spot because some
reviewers say it doesn't have the overall cleaning performance or durability of
the Swiffer WetJet. Although most say it cleans quite well, others say it's
best for very light cleaning jobs such as homes without a lot of traffic. There
are also reports of the spray trigger giving out after a short period of time.
In addition, Rubbermaid gets mixed reviews for customer service, while Swiffer
is reportedly more responsive to complaints.
Another alternative to the Swiffer WetJet, just in case it's sold out, is the (Est. $25).
It also features a refillable bottle that can be used with any cleaning
solution. While the mop comes with a washable, reusable microfiber pad, (Est. $7 for 10) are also available;
they can be washed up to five times before discarding.
For the most part, reviewers are happy with the ProMist's cleaning performance,
though the reusable pads' included "scrub zones" get mixed reviews for
effectiveness. Most say the one-touch bottle release works well, and the
trigger that releases cleaning solution is easy to squeeze. Unfortunately,
several reviewers say they've had problems with cleaner leaking from the
bottle, no matter how carefully they attached it. Others say the spray
mechanism clogs too easily.
Expert & User Review Sources
There is just one recent hands-on expert review of floor mops, from The Sweethome. Accordingly, we also turned to thousands of owner reviews to
evaluate mops' cleaning performance, ease of use and durability. The best site
by far is Amazon.com, which has the largest and most detailed collection
of mop reviews. We also analyzed owner feedback from Walmart.com and Target.com,
which stock the most popular mops, as well as home-improvement retailers HomeDepot.com and Lowes.com.