Though they may look delicate, hardwood floors are actually surprisingly easy to clean. All they need is regular vacuuming with a good vacuum cleaner to remove gritty dirt that can scratch the finish and an occasional wet cleaning to remove stuck-on grime. And one of the quickest and easiest ways to dry dust and wet clean them is with a good floor mop. Hardwood floor mops can be manual, battery-operated or electric but the one thing they all have in common is that they help you get the job done fast.
When the Good Housekeeping Institute’s Cleaning Lab tests mops for hardwood floors, we assess how easy they are to assemble, how comfortable they are to use and hold for consumers of all heights, and how well they pick up dry dust and clean away wet messes, scuff marks and sticky stains. We apply stain-causing messes like chocolate syrup, wine, and jelly to the bare floor test panels installed in our Lab, let them dry and test how long it takes each mop to remove them. If a mop comes with a cleaning solution, we use it; if not, we’ll test it with one of our recommended hardwood floor cleaners.
We’ve tested hundreds of floor-cleaning soaps, sprays, vacuums, steamers and mops through the years and while most are recommended for any type of bare flooring (we test them on tile, vinyl, laminate and wood), here we’ve rounded up those that we consider to be safe and effective on hardwood floors. The wet mops won’t deposit too much water on moisture-sensitive hardwoods and the dry mops are gentle enough that they won’t scratch delicate finishes. After hours of testing, our experts have narrowed the field down to these top hardwood floor mops.
Our top picks:
After reading about all the mops we recommend, you’ll find more details about how we test mops along with tips about how to find the best mops, whether it’s safe to wet mop or steam mop hardwood floors and why you can trust Good Housekeeping’s recommendations.
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Best Overall Mop for Hardwood Floors
Premium Microfiber Floor Mop
|Type||Dry and wet microfiber mop|
|Dimensions||29.25 x 5.63 x 2 inches|
Best Disposable Mop for Hardwood Floors
|Type||Dry or wet disposable cloth mop|
|Dimensions||23.03 x 5 x 2.01 inches|
Best Disposable Spray Mop for Hardwood Floors
WetJet Mop Starter Kit
|Type||Disposable wet spray mop|
|Dimensions||4.37 x 5.51 x 27.34 Inches|
Best Microfiber Spray Mop for Hardwood Floors
Hardwood Floor Premium Spray Mop
|Type||Microfiber wet spray mop|
|Dimensions||28.44 x 5.75 x 4.5 inches|
Best Vacuum Mop for Hardwood Floors
W100 Cordless Wet Dry Vacuum Cleaner
|Type||Wet and dry vacuum mop|
|Dimensions||11 x 9.8 x 46 inches|
|Battery Runtime||30 minutes|
Best Robot Mop for Hardwood Floors
DEEBOT X1 OMNI Robot Vacuum and Mop Combo
|Dimensions||Robot: 14.2 (diameter) x 4 (high) inches Base: ~17 x 17.6 x 23 inches|
|Battery Runtime||Up to 260 minutes|
Best Electric Mop for Hardwood Floors
SpinWave Expert Hard Floor Spin Mop
|Type||Electric microfiber spin mop|
|Dimensions||26.55 x 16 x 7.5 inches|
How we test hardwood floor mops
To test the cleaning performance of mops, including steam mops, regular mops and mops for hardwood floors, the Good Housekeeping Institute Cleaning Lab applies a pre-measured amount of staining materials like chocolate syrup, wine, cola, coffee and jelly to wood, laminate, tile and vinyl test flooring installed in the Lab. We let it dry on, then we pass the mops across the floors to determine and score how much soil they pick up in one forward and one backward pass and how many strokes they need to completely clean up the messes.
We also evaluate how easily they remove scuff marks and how well dry mops pick up and hold onto dust and pet hair. Plus, we note additional attributes like ease of assembly, attaching and removing the pads, storage and drying time. Washable pads are laundered multiple times to see how well they hold up. We’ve spent hundreds of hours testing all kinds of floor-cleaning tools and appliances to be able to narrow the field down to select the best mops for cleaning hardwood floors.
What to look for when shopping for the best hardwood floor mops
✔️ Type: When you think of a mop, you might think of the traditional dunk and wring, but today there are so many more convenient options that use less water — important for the health of your wood floors. When browsing hardwood floor cleaning tools, you’ll find all kinds of options, including mops for dry dusting, microfiber mops for wet cleaning, mops that do both, spray mops, two-in-one mop/vacuum combinations and even robot mops. In general, our Cleaning Lab experts say spray mops are the easiest to use because they have an onboard cleaner that can be sprayed directly on hardwood floors, they don’t require any diluting and they allow you to control how much cleaning fluid you put down. Think about what tasks you want the mop to do, what kind of features you want to pay for and if you want reusable or disposable convenience.
✔️ Maneuverability: While a two-in-one mop/vacuum may offer the convenience of storing fewer cleaning tools, they tend to be bulkier and have heads that can be hard to sneak into crevices and corners. For this reason, swivel-head mops, like the Swiffer, earn top marks in Cleaning Lab tests in both performance and ease of use.
✔️ Cleaning Solution: Some mops have built-in spray canisters so you don’t have to mix a separate solution or spray the floor prior to mopping. You simply spray as you go for maximum convenience. Just note: Some of these devices can only be used with the brand’s own solution, so you may end up having to buy very specific replacements. (The same goes for any cleaning pads you may need for wet and dry mops.)
Is it ok to mop hardwood floors?
Yes, it’s safe to mop hardwood floors as long as you use a minimal amount of water or a safe cleaning solution designed for hardwood.
It’s never a good idea to use a really wet mop to clean hardwood floors. In fact, if you have hardwood floors, one of the worst things you can do is let water puddle on them. “Many people have the idea that using a regular mop with a bucket full of water is a good approach, but applying high volumes of water in any form (liquid or vapor) to a wood floor can also cause permanent damage to the wood and the finish,” says Brett Miller, vice president of technical standards, training, and certification for the National Wood Flooring Association (NWFA).
When you do wet mop a hardwood floor use a spray cleaner made for wood floors and follow these steps for safety:
- Work in small three-foot square sections
- Lightly mist or sparingly apply cleaner to the floor
- Mop the floor promptly
- Watch to see that the floor dries quickly before moving on to the next section. If not, buff it dry with a clean cloth.
Can you use a steam mop to clean wood floors?
Though you may see steam cleaners marketed as safe for use on hardwood floors, flooring experts as well as our Cleaning Lab experts caution against using these devices in this manner. “Never use a steam mop on any real wood floor,” says Miller. “Steam is the vapor form of water, which means it can travel deeper and faster into and between the cracks and cells of the wood itself.” This can permanently damage the wood and the floor’s finish.
How often should wood floors be mopped?
Not every hardwood floor needs the same level of care, which includes cleaning frequency. Think about how much foot traffic your floors get, then establish a cleaning schedule to match. In general, hardwood floors should be vacuumed at least weekly, spot cleaned as needed and wet cleaned every one to two months. For very busy areas or families with kids and pets, you’ll like have to clean your floors more frequently than this. Conversely, a single individual who works outside of the house or a family with a no-shoes policy may be able to get away with less frequent deep cleans.
Why trust Good Housekeeping?
Carolyn Forté has over 40 years of experience testing and writing about all kinds of vacuums, mops and other floor-cleaning products. She meets regularly with floor care industry experts to develop testing standards for appliances like steam mops, robot mops and more. As Executive Director of the Home Care and Cleaning Lab, she personally tests dozens of home appliances and cleaning products each year and oversees all of the testing done by our team of product review analysts.
Brigitt Earley is a writer, editor and content creator with over 15 years of experience in the home, cleaning, health spaces and more. She worked under Carolyn’s guidance to research and write about the hardwood floor mops and hardwood floor cleaning tips in this story.
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