The Best Mops for Cleaning Any Surface, Tested by HGTV Editors

We share the best microfiber mops, steam mops and spray mops for hardwood, tile and more.

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March 08, 2021
By: HGTV

Our Top Picks for Mops

It's no secret that we're fanatical about cleaning and tidying, so much so that our editors have tested nearly every kind of vacuum on the market. But vacuums only go so far in removing stuck-on, and, oftentimes invisible, dirt and grime — for that, you need a mop. Mops do a better job of agitating build-up so they can easily wipe it away with either a cleaning solution or water. Depending on the type of cleaner that you use, mops can also remove 99.9 percent of bacteria and common household germs; steam mops accomplish this with water alone. So how do you know which mop to buy? Your lifestyle and the type of flooring in your home will help determine which mop is right for you.

Here's everything you need to know about mops and mopping before making a purchase. Plus, read our editors' reviews of our favorite mops that we tested.

Why do you need a mop?

While vacuums suck up hair, crumbs and other loose debris, mops clean up everything left behind, like tracked-in mud or dirt from pets and shoes, coffee spills, stubborn stains and imperceptible bacteria. If you have a crawling baby, kids, pets or a messy household member, mops are an essential tool to keep floors clean and nearly germ-free.

Steam Mop vs. Spray Mop

The biggest difference between spray mops and steam mops is that spray mops do not use heat. Instead, water or a cleaning solution is added to a refillable tank on the spray mop which is then released by a trigger or button on the handle. Steam mops heat a reservoir of water past the boiling point that then releases through the mop head as steam. You shouldn't add cleaning solutions to steam mop water tanks, but you can spray a cleaning solution on the floor before mopping. While most steam mop manufacturers claim that their mops are gentle enough to use on hardwood floors, it's not recommended by flooring experts or flooring manufacturers. Heated moisture can damage hardwood floors over time, so it's best to only use steam on sealed surfaces, like ceramic or tile. While steam mops are great for killing germs, a spray or microfiber mop is a better choice for multipurpose and multisurface cleaning.

When to Use a Dust Mop

Dust mops are more gentle on hardwood floors as they can be used dry or damp. It's important not to use a pad that's soaking wet, though, or the moisture will cause wood floors to warp over time. To use a dust mop, first, glide it over the floor dry to pick up dust, hair and crumbs. Then, if desired, lightly wet the mop and clean floors by spraying a neutral cleaning solution.

What's the best mop for hardwood floors?

Soft microfiber mops work best on hardwood floors. You can spray a sanitizing cleaning solution or hardwood-friendly cleaner on before dusting for a deeper clean, but a mop with a gentle microfiber pad is the best option for engineered wood or hardwood floors.

What's the best mop for laminate floors?

While laminate flooring can tolerate more moisture than hardwood, it's still recommended to use steam mops sparingly, as heat can cause the planks to warp and delaminate over time. If you use a steam mop, make sure it's on the lowest steam setting and move it quickly across the floor so that steam doesn't sit in one spot for longer than a few seconds. Dry mopping or using a damp microfiber pad is ideal.

$33.99

Affordable, eco-friendly and lightweight, the O-Cedar Spray Mop allows you to efficiently clean hardwood or tile floors without the mess of pre-moistened disposable pads. The ProMist Max features a dual-sided microfiber pad that velcros securely to the mop head and can be washed up to 100 times. A water bottle-like removable tank allows for endless refills of water or your favorite floor cleaner, saving money and plastic waste. Our tester liked that the tank was large enough to hold water or cleaner for a few weeks before needing to refill it. We found that using a cleaning solution makes a big difference in how clean the floors feel and results in a streak-free finish. A hand-triggered sprayer means no hassle with cords or batteries and leaves you in control of how much moisture hits the floor. One downside to the mop relying solely on manual power, though, is that, during testing, we found that some scrubbing and pressure helps remove especially stubborn spots that a simple once-over just can't get. This mop is a great option for families, pet parents and hardwood-, vinyl-, laminate- or tile-floor homeowners who want a simple, budget-friendly, natural cleaning solution.

Our Editor's Review: "I like that the mop pad is dual-sided and that the microfiber head flips 180 degrees so I get twice the coverage."

Buy It
$89

Weighing just six pounds, the BISSELL PowerFresh Steam Mop glides like a dream across every type of surface. Our tester was really impressed with the effortless maneuverability, making it easy to reach tight spots (like next to the toilet) and fit under chairs and counters. Three different steam settings allow you to choose between low, medium or high moisture content, depending on the type of floors you have and/or the amount of dirt present. A drop-down scrub brush on the back of the mop provides extra power when cleaning stubborn stuck-on messes on grout and tile. Removing the satisfyingly dirty white cotton pad for washing was more awkward compared to other mops we tested, but the pad's sturdiness and stability outweighed this downside. The removable water tank was the easiest to fill out of all the mops tested. Our tester only had to refill the 16-ounce tank once while cleaning her entire home. The biggest pro of this steam mop is the sanitizing feature; the steam dried quickly, and you don't need anything but water to (mostly) eliminate bacteria. While it's not the most agile on stairs and may be challenging to store in a home without much storage space, overall, this steam mop left our tester's floors feeling squeaky clean.

Our Editor's Review: "I don't have to scrub or put in really any effort at all to clean, and I love the cord length! I was able to mop my entire kitchen, dining room, stairs and living area without unplugging and moving the mop."

Buy It
$38.99

This isn't like any traditional mop-and-bucket situation you've tried before. The O-Cedar EasyWring features a refillable, machine-washable microfiber pad that effortlessly glides across any floor surface, picking up dirt, dust and grime in its path. Our tester noted that no pressure or scrubbing was needed to get up even the stickest, oldest stains. A foot pedal-powered bucket system quickly wrings out the dirty mop head so that you never have to touch it. Because microfiber dries faster than cotton, the mop head doesn't leave floors soaking wet. Microfiber also does a better job of picking up and holding anything the vacuum leaves behind, resulting in a deeper clean. Our tester appreciated the adjustable mop handle height, allowing the mop to reach farther under furniture and in corners. When filled with water, the bucket was heavy and a bit cumbersome, which is something to consider if you have a large surface area to clean. You'll also need to keep refilling the bucket with water and carrying it with you as you clean, which may not be ideal for all users. Also, because the system is larger than others we tested, storage could be an issue for those living in smaller spaces.

Our Editor's Review: "Thanks to the bucket with a built-in pedal, having to wash out the mop head was … dare I say … fun? There's no arm strength necessary, no getting splashed by dirty water, nothing other than some pressure to the pedal, and the job is done for you."

Buy It
$39.95

Slim, sturdy and super lightweight, the Turbo Dust Mop won over our tester for its sleek design and powerful cleaning action. Reusable microfiber pads can be washed up to 100 times before replacing and are gentle enough to use on hardwood, laminate and vinyl flooring when lightly dampened for wet cleaning. A set of scrub pads give this mop versatility to tackle heavier messes on tile and grout. Our tester raved about Turbo's maneuverability, allowing for quick and easy dusting. While this mop won't replace regular vacuuming, it did a great job of picking up hair and dust that the vacuum missed.

Our Editor's Review: "I did notice that if I got too much water or cleaner, it made it difficult to push and it wouldn't glide as easily, so making sure to spray just a little bit of water and especially a little bit of cleaner is important. It's nice you can also run this on baseboards or flat furniture if you want, too."

Buy It
$26.98

With a dual-sided pad for dusting and waxing, and a budget-friendly price, this MR.SIGA Dust Mop is a great choice if your home has mostly hardwood floors. An initial clean with the duster side of the pad will pick up any loose debris that can easily be scraped off with the included comb before flipping the pad over to finish polishing with the plush waxing pad. Three mop pads are included, each capable of withstanding up to 100 washes, meaning you won't need to replace them very often and making this mop a very eco-friendly option. Our tester found that using a gentle homemade cleaning solution of castile soap and water helped tremendously in scrubbing up dried dirt and scuff marks. Thanks to two sturdy clamps, the mop pad stayed put, even when extra pressure was applied.

Our Editor's Review: "I think it's a great value for the price and really all I need in a mop since I have hardwood floors throughout my home. It definitely picks up scuffs and mud debris that my vacuum wouldn't get."

Buy It

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