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The Best Mops

The best mops make it easy to keep floors (and hands) clean. Which option checks all the boxes?


Published Feb. 1, 2022. Appears in America's Test Kitchen TV Season 23: Thanksgiving for a Small Group

See Everything We Tested

What You Need To Know

Whether you want to mop up a big spill, scrub a sticky stain, or just give your floors a routine cleaning, you need a wet mop that is easy to operate, absorbent, and durable. We tested several different types of mops—including some that came with buckets—and found a standout in the O-Cedar EasyWring Spin Mop & Bucket System. Our winning mop is easy to assemble and clean, impressively absorbent, and adept at tackling tough messes. Its accompanying bucket is also easy to use and wrings out water remarkably well. Additionally, we named a favorite stand-alone mop, the Rubbermaid Microfiber Twist Mop. It was particularly effective at scrubbing up tough stains, but its wringing mechanism was a bit strenuous to use.

What You Need to Know 

Some mops are made more for spot cleaning, while many others are designed for tackling big messes and deep cleaning. For this review, we decided to stick to wet mops, which are marketed as effective for both light and heavy-duty jobs and are designed to not only clean stains but also absorb liquid spills (see “What about spray mops?” below). Most of the mop heads were made of wide strips of cloth or yarn-like string, but we also included two with sponge heads. We limited the lineup to models with mechanisms that wrung out water. 

While some of the wringing mechanisms were attached to the mops themselves, several models came with special buckets that contained wringing mechanisms. Some of the bucket mechanisms spun like centrifuges; another compressed the mop head to squeeze out water. To activate these mechanisms, we either stepped on a foot pedal or pressed down on the mop after aligning it in the bucket’s centrifuge or basket.

The wringing mechanisms on the handles of stand-alone mops worked in a few different ways. Some had ratcheting devices or plastic sleeves that we twisted to squeeze out water. When using the two mops with sponge heads, we pulled levers either to fold and squeeze the sponge or to fold a perforated plastic tab over the sponge, mashing it down. 

What to Look For

  • Microfiber: Microfiber is a synthetic fabric made of millions of minuscule polyester and nylon fibers, and it’s the gold standard of cleaning materials. Microfiber mop heads consist of strips of cloth, yarn-like strings, or flat pads. The millions of tiny fibers in a microfiber mop head are essentially microscopic, so they cling to dirt, grime, and even bacteria in a way that other materials can’t and often don’t need detergents to get things squeaky clean. They’re also superabsorbent, holding on to substantial amounts of water and sopping up liquid spills with ease. One mop head contained no microfib...

Everything We Tested

Good : 3 stars out of 3.Fair : 2 stars out of 3.Poor : 1 stars out of 3.
*All products reviewed by America’s Test Kitchen are independently chosen, researched, and reviewed by our editors. We buy products for testing at retail locations and do not accept unsolicited samples for testing. We list suggested sources for recommended products as a convenience to our readers but do not endorse specific retailers. When you choose to purchase our editorial recommendations from the links we provide, we may earn an affiliate commission. Prices are subject to change.
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Reviews you can trust

Reviews you can trust

The mission of America’s Test Kitchen Reviews is to find the best equipment and ingredients for the home cook through rigorous, hands-on testing. We stand behind our winners so much that we even put our seal of approval on them.

Chase Brightwell

Chase is an associate editor for ATK Reviews. He's an epidemiologist-turned-equipment tester and biscuit enthusiast.