The Best Mops for All Floors, According to Cleaning Experts
The most effective type of mop is the one that works best for your specific floor — there isn’t a one size fits all solution, and each type of mop on the market has its own advantages.
✔️ Steam mop: If you’re looking to kill germs on your floors without the use of cleaning solutions, a steam mop is the answer. It can reach high enough temperatures to kill bacteria on hard floors in areas that may need more attention like bathroom floors and pet areas. They are also very effective at loosening sticky messes like jelly or muddy footprints without the scrubbing regular mops require. The one downside: We don’t recommend steam mops for hardwood floors. Few hardwood floors are in perfectly sealed condition and if steam seeps under the finish, it can damage them.
✔️ Spray mop: Spray mops are a great way to wash away grime and clean sticky stains from floors without the mess of a water-filled bucket. Plus, because you control how much cleaner is dispensed, they are a safe and easy way to prevent over-wetting and damaging wood floors. Simply pop on a pre-filled canister of cleaning solution or fill the onboard bottle with your own water and cleaner mix. Then, just spray and mop. Spray mops use disposable or washable microfiber pads.
✔️ Dust mop: A dust mop is an excellent option for picking up dirt and debris. It’s lightweight and easy to maneuver, especially if you don’t feel like lugging out the vacuum. Since most dust mops are made with microfiber materials they are also a good option for floors that may scuff easily with a vacuum. They take either disposable or washable microfiber pads and because they are so slim and flat, they can slip into tight spaces and under low furniture where a vacuum often can’t go. Dust mops can also be used to clean baseboards, crown moldings and walls.
✔️ Sponge mop: These mops come in handy when cleaning up a big spill since sponges absorb a lot of liquid fast. Most sponge mops are also slim and lightweight making them a good option for someone who finds other types of mops too heavy or cumbersome to use or doesn’t want to deal with disposable or washable pads. They come with either a roller or butterfly wringing design, and it can require a fair bit of strength to thoroughly squeeze out the sponge. Be sure to rinse them well before storing them to control germ growth and odors. Once the sponge mop head gets too dirty to use or it falls apart, it’s time to replace it.
✔️ Vacuum mop: The newest category of floor cleaning appliance, vacuum mops can pick up dry dirt, wet messes and wet-clean floors all at the same time. They are revolutionizing the way we wash floors. Most are rechargeable, have separate clean and dirty water tanks and mop floors by dispensing a cleaning solution onto the floor via a spinning microfiber brush roll. Self-cleaning models are the easiest to maintain and most have app connections, multiple cleaning modes and voice prompts to guide you. They are convenient, easy to use and always ready when you need them.
✔️ Spin mop: Spin mops come two ways. They can be manual or electric. They either have round heads with microfiber strings that clean in all directions or they are electric appliances with spinning microfiber pads.
- Electric spin mops, like our recommended Bissell, use two rotating microfiber pads to scrub floors with either plain water or a cleaning formula that you dispense from the appliance. The pads are machine washable and reusable and can even be used dry for buffing floors to a shine.
- Manual spin mops are more like regular string mops. They have round heads with microfiber strings and many come with a bucket and a spinning mechanism to make wringing easier and more thorough than you can achieve by hand. Manual spin mops provide 360º of floor cleaning and are easy to maneuver into tight spaces and corners. We haven’t recommended any here because most buckets don’t separate the washing solution from the dirty rinse water and we think there are more convenient and less complicated mop choices available that are also easier to store.