Cleaning hard floors can be tedious, but the best mops have been designed with ease and efficiency in mind. Most use microfibre cloths that pick up and grip onto a lot of dirt, meaning you can get the job done faster.
Some are self-wringing, others are designed for both wet and dry mopping, and many have telescopic handles that can be extended or shortened to suit your height. Spray mops, which do away with the need for a bucket, can come in handy too.
If you want squeaky clean floors on any budget, we've tested and selected the best mops available to shop now.
What is the most effective mop?
There’s an overwhelming number of mops on the market, but we’ve found the best to suit all needs and budgets. You'll find our brief guide to the different types of mop below, but here are our top picks at a glance:
Best flat mopSpontex Full Action System Spin Mop and Bucket Read More
Runner-up flat mopE-Cloth Deep Clean Mop Read More
Best flat mop for bathrooms and easy storageE-Cloth Mini Deep Clean Mop Read More
Best flat mop for wooden floorsVileda Ultramax Complete Mop & Bucket Set Read More
Best flat mop for small spacesSpontex Express System+ Compact Mop & Bucket Read More
Mops have come a long way from your old-school stick and rag contraption. Let’s run through your options:
Flat mops come with a rectangular or circular head that’s, unsurprisingly, flat, and great at getting into corners. Their reusable or disposable cloths are usually made of microfibre, a polyester and nylon mix that produces static to attract and hold onto grime. Flat mops aren’t the best at removing stubborn marks, but they’re usually easy to store.
Spray mops are just like flat mops, only they have a spray trigger on the handle, doing away with the need for a bucket. They’re worth considering if you’re short on cupboard space.
These mops have a spongy head, making them highly absorbent. They also boast a wringing mechanism, which squeezes out as much liquid as possible so that your floors dry quickly. The sponge can harbour bacteria and start to smell if not cared for properly, so be sure to clean and store it according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
Otherwise known as a string mop, these are great for heavy-duty cleaning as their cotton fibres are super durable. You’ll need to invest in a wringing bucket if it doesn’t come with one already.
What floors can’t be mopped?
Most hard floors can be mopped but a few require special treatment. Water can damage waxed wooden floors and unsealed wooden floors. Chemicals can damage stone tiles, so only use a microfibre mop and water on those.
Why are my floors still dirty after mopping?
Before you dive straight into a mopping session, take note of our top tips for sparkling results:
- Clear everything out of the way so you can access every part of your floor.
- Sweep or vacuum. This may feel excessive, but cleaning up any superficial dust and dirt first will mean you don’t end up pushing it around!
- Use warm water, as it loosens grime more effectively than cold water, but note that very hot or boiling water can damage flooring.
- Wring your mop out as much as you can before cleaning, as soaked floors take forever to dry. Rinse out your bucket once the water starts looking muddy.
How often should I replace my mop?
Replace your mop head every three months, or sooner if it’s stained or fraying. To help increase its lifespan, let it air dry fully after use and store it in a cool, dry place. Most brands sell replacement mop heads and some mops come with a spare.
How we test
The GHI team put a range of mops through their paces across vinyl, ceramic tiles and wood laminate. Our rigorous testers dirtied each floor with mud, tea and cooking oil and left the stains to set. They then recorded how many sweeps each mop took to clean the floor fully. They also judged how comfortable each one was to hold and manoeuvre.