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The Best Spray Mops

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.

See Everything We Tested

What You Need To Know

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.   

What You Need to Know 

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. 

What to Look For

  • Large, Absorbent Microfiber Pads: The mops’ effectiveness came down to their pads. The best pads were made completely of microfiber, an ultra-absorbent fabric made of millions of microscopic polyester or nylon fibers. We preferred microfiber pads that were at least 15 inches wide, which helped cover more ground with each pass. Our favorite pads were also thick and double-sided, making them twice as absorbent as those of other models. Plushier pads also clung more effectively to dirt particles, grime, and pet hair. 
  • Machine-Washable Pads: Pads that could be cleaned in the washing machine were the most convenient. Our favorites emerged nearly dry from the washer and were ready for the next cleaning session after a brief air dry. A few models’ pads were also safe to dry in the dryer. 
  • Lightweight yet Sturdy Construction: Our favorite mops were light enough to easily...

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.