A good spray mop easily tackles small messes and routine cleanings without a bulky bucket. Our favorite scrubbed away the competition.
Published May 9, 2022.
A spray mop won’t replace a regular mop for cleaning tough stains and large spaces, but the best spray mops are great for handling small spills, routine cleanings, and the messes of cooking and daily life. Our favorite model, the O-Cedar ProMist MAX Microfiber Spray Mop, has spacious, double-sided pads that are about twice as absorbent as any of the other pads we tested. It also has a comfortable handle and spraying trigger, so using it didn't tire us out. It’s lightweight but sturdy, and it performed impressively throughout our cleaning and durability tests.
If you’re looking to keep your floors sparkling but don’t have space to store a bulky mop and bucket set, a spray mop might be your best bet. Because they can't be wrung out, even the most capable spray mops can’t match the absorbency of our winning regular mops. But they still offer a portable and space-saving alternative that is great for handling touch-ups, smaller spills, moderate stains, and light routine cleaning. We think they’re perfect for apartment and dorm dwellers and others with less living and storage space.
Swiffer popularized automatic spray mops in the early 2000s, but most models today—including the majority of our lineup—are manually operated. Their trigger-style spraying levers are similar to those on spray bottles, and their attached refillable plastic bottles can be filled with any cleaning solution. Most have reusable microfiber pads that either slip over the heads or attach to the bottoms of the mops using Velcro-like strips.
We did test a Swiffer model, which was an outlier: It had a battery-powered spray mechanism that worked with the press of a button. It also employed single-use, disposable mopping pads.
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 is an associate editor for ATK Reviews. He's an epidemiologist-turned-equipment tester and biscuit enthusiast.