July 21, 2024


Making a New Home

10 Best Mops of 2021 for All Cleaning Surfaces & Floor Types

16 min read

best mops for hardwood floors


Vacuum cleaners are usually the tool of choice for removing dust bunnies, hair and large debris from hard floors. But when it comes to nabbing super-fine dust and cleaning away stuck-on messes and grime, you need a good mop.

Today’s top-rated mops have come a long way from the cotton string or butterfly sponge versions of years ago. Though those still exist on the market, the newer, more popular styles use disposable or washable microfiber pads, dispense cleaning solution directly from an on-board canister or even — as in the case of robot mops — do the mopping for you. The Good Housekeeping Institute Cleaning Lab recommends having both a wet and dry mop in your cleaning tool arsenal. They serve different purposes and you’ll likely have a need for both.

How well do mops remove bacteria and germs?

Steam mops can sanitize floors because they reach temperatures high enough to kill germs. With the exception of steam mops, other types of mops will remove dirt, debris and wash away some germs, but they don’t actually kill bacteria or viruses. In order to kill germs and bacteria, you need to use a steam mop and pass it across the floor slowly enough to give the steam time to work. Or use a floor cleaning solution that has germ-killing ingredients, following label directions. Take note though: Most steam mops are generally safe for sheet vinyl, ceramic and porcelain tile floors, however, they may damage wood or laminate floors — so be sure to check with your flooring brand to confirm if steam mops can be used. Also, be sure to check that your cleaning solution is compatible with your floor type.

How often should you replace your mop?

While there’s no exact time frame for when to replace a mop, a good rule of thumb is to check its condition regularly and — depending on how often you use it — replace the mop head or pads at least once or twice yearly. There’s usually no need to replace the pole unless it’s damaged. No matter how long you’ve had your mop, some signs it’s time to replace your mop are if the mop head material is wearing out, there are any broken pieces on the mop, if the mop is overly dirty or if the mop can no longer be cleaned or is no longer cleaning your floors well.

How we test mops

For years, we’ve been testing just about every type of mop and vacuum on the market to keep floors sparkling clean. When we test mops in the GH Cleaning Lab, our evaluations begin the minute we open the box or package. We assess how easy the mops are to assemble, giving additional points to those that don’t need any assembly at all. We evaluate how easy the pads, mop heads and bottles are to attach, remove, replace and, where appropriate, refill. The length of the handle is examined to determine if it will work equally well for tall and short users and whether or not the mop will be a challenge to store.

Then we put them to work. Dry mops are evaluated for how much test dust and hair they pick up from our lab’s wood, vinyl, laminate, ceramic tile and natural stone test floor panels. We even note whether the dirt clings to the mop or falls from it as it’s carried around. Wet mops are tested on the same flooring surfaces for how well they remove scuffs, greasy grime or dried spills like chocolate syrup or soda. For water-sensitive surfaces, like finished hardwood floors that shouldn’t get overly wet, we assess how much liquid the mop puts down on the floor and how long the floor takes to dry after cleaning. Wringing mechanisms are also tested for how much water they remove. Finally, any washable pads or mop heads are laundered multiple times and reattached to make sure they continue to perform after laundering.

Based on extensive testing, these are the best wet and dry mops you can buy for cleaning finished wood, tile, laminate and vinyl hard floors:

Our top picks

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Best Disposable Dust Mop

Sweeper Dry + Wet XL Sweeping Kit



  • Mop head: Disposable
  • Mop head type: Dry and wet disposable cloths
  • Mop head width: 15 inches
  • Suitable for: Hardwood, vinyl, tile, stone and laminate floors

A kicked-up version of the original Swiffer Sweeper that our experts like to say changed the way Americans clean more than 20 years ago, this model has an extra large head that’s one-and-a-half times larger than the original, making it easier to clean large areas quickly. Swiffer has long been a GH Seal star and favorite of the GH Cleaning Lab for how well its disposable cloths grab and trap even the finest dust, as well as how well it slips into areas even the best vacuums often can’t reach, like under low profile furniture. This Swiffer Sweeper is safe for all floor surfaces and, because the head pivots and locks at 90 degrees, it can even be used to dust vertical surfaces, like walls. The XL kit includes eight dry and two wet cloths, along with the Sweeper itself.      

  • Extra large pivoting and locking head
  • Grabs and traps the finest dust
  • Easy and neat to use, even for kids

Best Microfiber Dust Mop

Microfiber Dust Mop

  • Mop head: Washable and reusable
  • Mop head type: Microfiber pad with chenille “fingers”
  • Mop head width: 18.75 inches
  • Suitable for: Hardwood, vinyl, tile, stone and laminate floors

For those who prefer reusable over disposable mops pads, Libman’s Microfiber Dust Mop fits the bill. It’s almost 19 inches wide, so it covers a lot of ground quickly and uses a microfiber pad with chenille “fingers” which provide more surface area for grabbing onto dust and hair. The head swivels 360º  for easy steering and cleaning in any direction and in tight spaces. A little comb is also included, to remove clumps of hair and debris and help fluff and straighten the chenille fingers between washings (and it clips onto the handle so it won’t get lost). The release latch on the head makes the pad easy to remove and replace. 

  • Large cleaning area
  • Maneuvers easily
  • Pad is washable and reusable
  • Pole may be long for some users

Best Disposable Spray Mop

WetJet Wood Mopping Kit

  • Mop head: Disposable
  • Mop head type: Disposable pad 
  • Mop head width: 11 inches
  • Suitable for: Sealed wood floors only. Not for use on unfinished, oiled or waxed wooden boards,  or non-sealed tile floors

Just like the Swiffer Sweeper transformed the way we dry dust floors, the Swiffer WetJet did the same for wet mopping. This breakthrough device spawned an entirely new category of spray mops. Simply snap the cartridge of wood-safe cleaner onto the mop, attach the disposable pad, press the button on the handle to activate the battery-powered spray and go. 

In our tests of this GH Seal star, we found the cleaner to be effective and quick-drying. The mop is easy to assemble and maneuver and the disposable pads are super absorbent, picking up and locking in dirt you didn’t even know was on your floors. Afterward, simply peel off the pad and toss for mess-free storage. The mop even comes with two mini headlights to help illuminate dark corners. This complete kit includes the mop, five pads, one mini bottle of solution and four AA batteries. 

  • Easy and neat to use
  • Pads are absorbent, don’t drip and have a scrubbing strip
  • Has two spray nozzles for even application
  • Need to buy replacement pads and batteries

Best Mop for Hardwood Floors

Hardwood Floor Premium Spray Mop

  • Mop head: Washable and reusable
  • Mop head type: Microfiber pad
  • Mop head width: 16.75 inches
  • Suitable for: Unwaxed, unoiled and polyurethane finished wood floors

When it comes to caring for wood, Bona is hard to beat. This mop comes with a full cartridge of cleaning solution that’s easy to remove and refill with any Bona wood floor cleaner. In our tests, it dispensed a fine even mist when we pulled the trigger, and dried quickly after mopping. The microfiber pads are easy to attach and hold up well to washing, while the cleaning formula dissolved dirt and dried stains quickly, easily and safely. The mop head is large and has soft bumper corners to keep from marring walls and furniture. The ergonomic pole has a soft grip mid-section for more comfort while scrubbing and there’s even a pull-out loop at the top for easy hanging during storage.    

  • Large mop head for good coverage
  • Sturdy and durable
  • Includes a safe and effective cleaning formula
  • Handle may be long for some

Best Spin Mop

Spinwave Hard Floor Spin Mop

  • Mop head: Washable and reusable
  • Mop head type: Microfiber pads 
  • Mop head width: 14 inches
  • Suitable for: Sealed wood, vinyl, tile, stone and laminate floors

Electric floor scrubbers may seem like a blast from the past, but updated designs and cordless options are making them popular once again. This electric scrubbing mop from Bissell is corded for non-stop power and comes with one set of soft and one set of scrubbing washable, reusable round microfiber pads. Simply fill the tank with water and some of the included Bissell floor cleaning solution to safely clean and scrub all sealed and finished flooring materials. 

While we haven’t tested this specific model in the Lab, Bissell vacuums and carpet cleaners carry our Good Housekeeping Seal, so it’s a brand we trust — and this mop has good online reviews, so we are comfortable recommending it. We especially like that the cleaning solution only dispenses when you press the trigger, so you have better control over how wet the floor gets.  

  • Corded for continuous cleaning
  • Pads are washable and reusable
  • Easy to carry and store
  • Round pads may not get completely into corners

Most Innovative Mop

The Maker’s Mop Bundle

Maker’s Clean


  • Mop head: Washable and reusable
  • Mop head type: Microfiber pad
  • Mop head width: 12 inches
  • Suitable for: Sealed wood, vinyl, tile, stone and laminate floors

This unique mop from cleanfluencer Melissa Maker’s Maker’s Clean line is the first real innovation in traditional floor mops that we’ve seen in years. If fact, we were so impressed, we gave it a 2021 Good Housekeeping Best Cleaning Product Award. The mop head is taco-shaped, so it not only cleans flat surfaces with your favorite spray floor cleaner, but it squeezes into narrow spaces, like between the refrigerator and the wall, or around the toilet. And the bottom edge fits perfectly into the 90-degree angles of stair treads and risers.

The mop’s pole telescopes, so it works for both tall or short users, and there’s even a non-slip ring at the top to keep the mop from falling over when it’s leaning against a wall. The package includes two dry-dusting and two wet-mopping microfiber pads that were easy to attach and washed well in our tests. The head pivots and locks vertically in place for simple storage or easy cleaning of walls, shower glass or corners. 

  • Works wet or dry
  • Fits into narrow spaces
  • Uses microfiber pads or cloths
  • Small cleaning surface for larger floors

Best Robot Mop

Braava Jet M6 Ultimate Robot Mop



$356.98 (21% off)

  • Mop head: Washable, reusable and disposal options
  • Mop head type: Disposable and microfiber pad
  • Mop head width: 10 inches
  • Suitable for: Sealed wood, vinyl, tile, stone and laminate floors

If you hate mopping floors, a robot mop could be your solution. iRobot vacuums always do well in GH Cleaning Lab tests, and an early version of this model that we tested was no exception. This robot mop comes with pads for dry sweeping as well as two types of wet cleaning pads — both disposable and reusable. While some robot mops just clean with water, this one uses a mix of warm water and iRobot’s own floor cleaner to moisten grime and gunk before one of the wet pads cleans dirt from your hard floors.

To grab any pet hair and dust bunnies before wet mopping, let the Braava loose in dry-sweeping mode for the electrostatic pad to pick up the debris. Braava knows enough not to spray water when the dry pad is installed, and with its Smart Mapping technology, this mop learns the most efficient way to clean rooms in a pattern of neat rows even on multiple levels. The Braava jet m6’s mapping accuracy improves the more often it cleans. Through the app, you can select which rooms to clean, and which to skip, schedule cleanings when you are away from home and much more. 

  • Cleans up to 1,000 square feet on a single charge
  • Wet- and dry-mopping capability
  • Square shape gets into corners
  • Works with voice commands through Amazon Alexa
  • Can take longer than mopping by hand
  • More expensive than traditional mops

Best Steam Mop

Steamboy Pro 300CU Steam Floor Mop



  • Mop head: Washable and reusable
  • Mop head type: Microfiber pad 
  • Mop head width: 10.5 inches
  • Suitable for: Sheet vinyl, tile, and stone floors and carpet

In our Lab tests, our analysts love Reliable irons for billowing out lots of steam so it’s no surprise that their steam mops perform well, too. The ample amount of steam helps remove sticky stains with ease and the scrubber brush can get those last stuck-on bits as well as help clean dirty tile grout.

It has a triangular swivel head to get into corners and it comes with four reusable microfiber pads so you won’t have to worry about running out. It also has an attachment that can snap on to help freshen carpets. We like that it has a slim design and large handle, making it easy to carry up and down stairs.

  • Produces a lot of steam
  • Easy to get in corners
  • Easy to carry
  • Does not have continuous steam option
  • Can not be used on unsealed, peeling, glued or unfinished floors

Best Mop for Tile Floors

PowerFresh Deluxe Steam Mop



  • Mop head: Washable and reusable
  • Mop head type: Microfiber pad
  • Mop head width: 12 inches
  • Suitable for: Sheet vinyl, tile and stone floors

This steam mop has over 14,000 reviews and a 4.6 rating on Amazon thanks to its ability to clean tile floors with ease, especially tile grout. With its built-in spot brush, it can scrub tile and get into those dingy grout lines. It’s easy to use as well, simply push down on the foot pedal and remove the steam head and you’re ready to scrub.

It also comes with fragrance discs for added freshness which are easy to slip onto the head or microfiber pad. The slim body design makes it easy to store without sacrificing cleaning power with its compact mop head.

  • Built-in brush
  • Slim design
  • Comes with fragrance discs
  • Can not be used on unsealed, peeling, glued or unfinished floors

Best Scrubbing Sponge Mop

Nitty Gritty Roller Mop



• Mop head: Hand washable and reusable
• Mop head type: Sponge
• Mop head width: 10 inches (sponge), 8.5 inches (scrub brush)
• Suitable for: Sealed wood, vinyl, tile, stone and laminate floors

Libman has been around since 1896, so it’s no surprise its mops is one of our picks. This sponge mop has a large head to clean hard surfaces or soak up liquid spills. As an added bonus, if you flip it to the other side, there is a brush for scrubbing floors and tile grout so it’s like you’re getting two tools in one. When the sponge head is no longer useable, it can be replaced with a new one (sold separately) rather than buying an entire new mop. 

  • Built-in brush
  • Sponge head can be replaced
  • Does not come with extra sponge heads

Types of mops

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 and 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 on-board bottle with your own water and cleaner mix. Then, just spray and mop. Spray mops use disposable or washable and reusable microfiber pads.

✔️Dust Mop: Instead of using a vacuum to pick up dirt and debris, a dust mop is an excellent option that’s lightweight and easy to maneuver 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 and reusable microfiber pad 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. They come with either a roller or butterfly wringing design and can require a fair bit of strength to thoroughly squeeze out the sponge. Be sure to rinse them well before storing to control germ growth and odors. Once the sponge mop heads get too dirty to use or it falls apart, it’s time to replace it.

✔️ Spin Mop: Spin mops can help prevent having to put too much elbow grease in tough sticky messes. These mops are electric floor scrubbers that usually use two rotating microfiber pads to essentially do the scrubbing for you with one push of the button. The pads are machine washable and reusable and can even be used dry for buffing floors to a shine.

Can you mop all types of floors?

Most types of hard floors can be mopped, but you do have to take care on certain types of floors to use a mop head that won’t scuff the floor and a compatible cleaner. For floors that can scratch like wood, laminate, or natural stone tiles you’ll want to use a mop with a soft material that’s non-abrasive like microfiber. Ceramic and porcelain tile floors are not as prone to scratching or water saturation as hardwood and laminate floors, so most mops should be suitable for this type of flooring.

Beyond the mop, you’ll also want to make sure you’re using the right type of cleaning solution for your floor, some floors like hardwood require specific hardwood floor cleaners. Also, steam mops should never be used on any unsealed, peeling, glued or unfinished floors and even though mop manufacturers claim it is safe, we caution against using them on wood and laminate floors, too, even on the lowest steam settings.

What to look for when buying a mop

✔️ Dry vs. wet: A dry mop won’t replace a wet mop, but it’s a great addition to quickly nab dirt and debris before wet mopping. If storage space is a concern some mops have the option of wet and dry pads that attach to the mop and are interchangeable so you don’t need two mops.

✔️ Mop head width: Mops with a larger head can cover more ground and help cut down on cleaning time but may not be able to navigate corners and smaller spaces as easily as a more compact mop head.

✔️ Disposable vs. washable mop pads: Disposable mop cloths are convenient and take the worry out of wondering if your mop is sanitary, however, you will need to buy refills when you run out. Washable mop cloths and heads can be used over and over, simply toss the reusable cloth in the wash and air or tumble dry per the directions.

✔️ Cost of refills: Keep in mind when looking at mops, whether they need refills. Most mops with disposable cloths require getting cloth refills specific to the mop brand and some also require a cleaning solution refill as well, over time both of these can get pricey but may be a good option for someone who does not want to worry about storing a damp mop or likes the convenience of disposables.

✔️ Replacement heads: With repeated use over a long period of time, mops become dingy and may lose their effectiveness. You may want to consider a mop that has a replaceable head option so when it’s time for a new mop, you can replace the head rather than the whole mop.

✔️ Type of floor: When shopping for a mop, you’ll want to make sure the mop head material and any cleaning solution it may come with are compatible with your floor. Certain types of floors like hardwood or natural stone may not be compatible with all cleaning solutions and harsh scrubbers that are meant for more durable floors like porcelain tile. If you’re in doubt, be sure to check with the flooring brand as some types of mops, such as steam mops can void the warranty if the floor gets damaged from it.

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