Hardwood floors are a coveted classic for their diverse graining and beautiful colors that add richness and dimension to so many decor schemes. But in homes with children, pets, and/or heavy traffic, wood floors are prone to showing dirt and dust quickly. If maintained properly—and that means having the right tool—wood floors can hold their finish for years without damage or cracking. Some brooms, for instance, can be too abrasive, whereas mops designed to clean wood floors are ideal for these surfaces.
It can be tricky to pick a mop that suits your cleaning style and budget, as well as the degree of dirt and stains on your flooring. To help you find the best mop for your situation, we put a host of different products through their paces in a home with plenty of dust, dirt, and pet hair. While some excellent products came from familiar, trusted brands, we were surprised to learn that a few top contenders failed to perform as expected. This goes to show the importance of real user testing to separate hype from quality. Read on to get a handle on what to look for in the best mops for wood floors, as well as our reviews of products we deem superior in today’s crowded market.
- BEST OVERALL: Mr.Siga Professional Microfiber Mop
- BEST BANG FOR THE BUCK: Swiffer Sweeper 2-in-1 Sweeping and Mopping Kit
- UPGRADE PICK: Bissell Spinwave Powered Hardwood Floor Mop
- BEST SPRAY MOP: Bona Hardwood Floor Premium Spray Mop
- BEST STEAM MOP: Bissell Power Fresh Steam Mop
O-Cedar EasyWring Spin Mop & Bucket
PurSteam Steam Mop Cleaner
O-Cedar ProMist MAX Microfiber Spray Mop
How We Tested the Best Mops for Wood Floors
We put a series of mops, both cordless and corded, through their paces in a typical home that accumulated dust, dirt, pet hair, and muddy paw prints. We used the mops with their provided cleaners or distilled water, as recommended by the manufacturers. We noted how easy or difficult the mops were to assemble, and considered the practicality of storing them. Finally, we used each in a controlled test of dried mud and ketchup smeared on hardwood floors and noted how much each mop left behind.
Our Top Picks
Armed with an understanding of the features to look for in a quality floor mop, you’re ready for some real-life reviews. Check out the following models, all of which met our criteria for quality, ease of use, and overall performance to find the best mops for hardwood floors.
Though Mr. Siga wasn’t an immediately recognizable brand, we were delightfully surprised by the excellent job its Professional Microfiber Mop did in testing. We found that this tall mop with an adjustable stainless steel telescoping handle had great reach under dusty couches and around table legs. The very wide rectangular mophead with a 360-degree swivel action meant less work on large floors, since with fewer swipes and greater maneuverability, we got our dusting and wet mopping jobs done quickly.
At first, we were stumped on how to moisten the cleaning cloth, but a bit of online research taught us a few tricks for microfiber mops. Simply wet the cloth, roll it up to wring it out, then attach it to the mophead base. The cloths are reusable—just toss in the washing machine to launder. A handy dirt scrubber attachment is included, and the mop can be used on a variety of surfaces, including marble, tile, and laminate, as well as hardwood.
- Type of mop: Flat
- Reusable or disposable mophead: Reusable
- Type of cleaner needed: Water or user’s choice
- Comes with three reusable microfiber mopheads
- Telescoping handle stores easily; great for smaller spaces
- Attractive price point compared to similar options
- Reaches under and into tight spaces easily
- No automatic wringing function can leave the mop excessively wet
Get the Mr.Siga microfiber mop on Amazon.
When quick, convenient floor cleaning is the order of the day, a disposable mop cloth may be the best solution. Swiffer offers this kit with the necessary pieces to get floors clean fast: the mop itself, four dry heavy-duty refills, three wet heavy-duty refills, 10 dry sweeping cloths, and two wet mopping pads. For the most part, we were impressed by this inexpensive, lightweight, and complete floor cleaning system.
Swiffer’s 360-degree swivel action made hard-to-reach places easier to access, and its easy-grip handle kept the unit from slipping away while mopping. During tests, we found that the heavy-duty wet pad captured a lot of tough grime on our wood floors. (Note: that these pads should not be used on unsealed wood floors.) On the downside, however, was the strong and somewhat lingering proprietary scent. Also, occasionally the pad popped out of the mophead for no apparent reason. Keep in mind that the wet refills should only be used to maintain sealed wood floors.
- Type of mop: Flat
- Reusable or disposable mophead: Disposable (wet and dry)
- Type of cleaner needed: None (wet pads come pre-moistened)
- Lightweight and easy to store; ideal for homes with limited space
- Fresh pads for every use; no need to clean old dirty pads
- Dry pads capture all manner of dust and debris
- Replacement pads are somewhat expensive
- Mop handle can bend from heavy use
- Strong scent to wet pads may not be to everyone’s liking
This corded electric model from Bissell uses a pair of rotating mop pads that power through dust and most dirt, so users needn’t apply much elbow grease. Its generous 22-foot cord is long enough to let us reach the corners of even our largest rooms. The included soft-touch and scrub pads are machine washable. An on-demand spray feature delivers the cleaning solution from its 28-ounce tank at the touch of a button. Also included are samples of Bissell’s own brand of hardwood cleaner, which mixes with water to fuel the mop.
While the swivel steering gives access to those hard-to-reach corners, we found that the dual set of round mopheads don’t fit well into tight spaces. Also, while our testing found this mop to have plenty of zip to move around the floor and gather surface dirt, it couldn’t effectively battle dried mud and ketchup; in fact, the Spinwave spread rather than banished this tough dirt. The Spinwave mop is safe for cleaning sealed hardwood floors as well as tile, vinyl, and linoleum.
- Type of mop: Flat spinning
- Reusable or disposable mophead: Reusable
- Type of cleaner needed: Water with Bissell’s hardwood cleaner (recommended)
- Powerful cleaner works on tougher stains and spills
- Long power cord ideal for larger areas
- Suitable for multiple surfaces including tile, hardwood, vinyl, and linoleum
- Spray button to dispense cleaning solution is simple to use
- Can leave streaks on the floor
- Poor performance on dried mud and ketchup
We found this point-and-spray microfiber floor mop to be a hard-working weapon in the war on dirty hardwood floors. It comes prefilled with a full bottle of cleaner from Bona—a well-known brand in wood care—and a wide mophead designed to reduce the time spent cleaning. It’s a manual model, no cord or batteries are required, but it proved lightweight and maneuverable for easy mopping.
Used dry, the microfiber cleaning pad did an excellent job of picking up dust and pet hair. To tackle stubborn dried messes, just pull the trigger to apply spray cleaner right where it’s needed. The clever built-in bumpers on the wide, long, rectangular mophead help prevent scratches on chair legs and baseboard molding. The reservoir for the cleaning solution is simple to refill, and the microfiber cloths are removable for machine washing.
- Type of mop: Flat
- Reusable or disposable mophead: Reusable
- Type of cleaner needed: Bona brand hardwood cleaner
- No electricity required; can be used anywhere
- Long-lasting and washable pads helps keep costs low
- Spray is easy to use and fill
- Spray trigger can be tiring to use
- Bona cleaner is somewhat pricey
Steam mopping offers a floor-cleaning solution that eliminates 99.9 percent of germs and bacteria without leaving behind any toxic residue. Recommended for hard, sealed floors, the Bissell Power Fresh model has three steam settings and swivel steering for hard-to-reach spaces. The mop is safe for sealed hardwood and other flooring surfaces, and it comes with one microfiber soft pad, one microfiber scrubby pad, two fragrance discs, and a carpet glider.
In user testing, this steam mop was a real champ, capable of removing dried mud and ketchup. The fact that this tool creates steam to sanitize using water may be a boon to those with sensitivities to chemical cleaners. This steam mop has three steam settings for users to select from depending on the degree of stubborn dirt and stains, and the ample 23-foot power cord is a plus when cleaning large areas.
- Type of mop: Steam
- Reusable or disposable mophead: Reusable
- Type of cleaner needed: Water (distilled preferred)
- Steam cleaner removes 99.9 percent of bacteria
- 3 steam settings to choose from depending on the task at hand
- Excellent for cleaning grout
- Lightweight and easy to maneuver; great for extended use
- Pricier compared to similar options
- Power cord can be tiring to wind up
Get the Bissell Power Fresh mop on Amazon.
While we appreciated the light weight and convenient folding design of the foldable PurSteam Steam Mop, it could not compare with the Bissell Power Fresh Steam Mop when it came to cleaning dried food and mud from our testing surfaces. Plus, its water reservoir didn’t empty completely (a potential for mold buildup), and its bundle of handheld steamer attachments came with no storage options.
Although O-Cedar is a well-known brand in mopping, we found two of the company’s products rather disappointing in tests. The O-Cedar EasyWring Spin Mop & Bucket failed to absorb liquid well, leaving very wet floors for a long time after we mopped, and the handle didn’t expand beyond a small degree, which made for awkward swab strokes. Then, while following instructions to swap out a used mophead, the bottom of the O-Cedar broke from the base.
Another O-Cedar product, the ProMist MAX Microfiber Spray Mop, seemed promising with its unique wrap-around flat mophead (akin to a mitten on the base of the mop). But in practice, it too absorbed liquid (including its own cleaning fluid) poorly, and merely smeared dirt and dried ketchup around. We wanted to like its lightweight design, but it felt cheap and flimsy, especially the trigger-spray handle.
What to Consider When Choosing the Best Mop for Wood Floors
Before purchasing a mop for wood flooring, think about its ease of use, any cleaning solutions it dispenses, and the price. In addition to the tool itself, factor in the size of the area that needs mopping.
There are different types of mops available to suit various floor maintenance preferences: flat mops, string mops, steam mops, and dust mops. Some are used exclusively for dusting floors, while other kinds function as both wet and dry mops.
Old-fashioned dunk-in-a-bucket mops require hand-wringing, but there are more convenient, less messy options today. These mops may feature electric or mechanical components for wringing, as well as either reusable or disposable parts, so look for the type and system that suits user cleaning preference, floor type, and floor size.
The business end of a floor mop is typically either disposable or reusable. Disposable options are convenient for quick touch-ups and smaller floors, while reusable ones often prove more budget-friendly and can tackle larger surfaces.
Both types of mopheads impact sustainability, but in different ways. Reusable mopheads require water and chemicals to launder after use, while disposable versions head straight to the landfill. For larger areas, a reusable mophead is probably more efficient and eco-friendly than using multiple disposable mopheads per cleaning session. Those who prefer a reusable option might consider microfiber mopheads, which will catch and hold dirt and liquids better than materials such as cotton or sponge.
Corded vs. Cordless
If pushing a manual mop around seems laborious and inefficient, consider an electric model. These products typically have a variety of cleaning modes and processes (including one specifically for wood floors), and may feature the use of steam and/or cleaning solutions, and often come with swiveling heads for easier maneuverability.
Electric mops may be corded or cordless—and both types require access to an outlet. Corded mops must be plugged in during use while the battery charger of cordless models must be plugged in as well. The portability of cordless models tends to appeal to folks who don’t want to be tied down to the length of a cord, typically because they have a large area to clean on different levels.
When stubborn dirt and stains occur, wood floors may require more vigorous cleaning than just dry mopping, but only with a product specifically formulated for hardwood flooring. While hardwood floors are usually finished and sealed, some versions may be unsealed—it’s important to avoid using water on unsealed hardwood floors, as well as harsh cleansers on any wood floor. An all-purpose floor cleaner, for instance, may dull or, worse, strip the finish.
Though there are different types of cleaning solutions, those that can be used straight from the container without diluting tend to be safer, since any excess water from mixing a concentrated formula can seep into the wood and damage it. Some mops employ steam to clean and sanitize flooring, which should be safe for sealed hardwood—but to be safe, consult and follow all directions to avoid damage.
When it comes to mopping around furniture, under beds/sofas, and into hard-to-reach areas, maneuverability matters. A swivel-head mop is ideal for getting around obstacles. The shape of the mophead (circular, triangular, or rectangular) also impacts how easily it can access corners and tight spots.
Mops may also include ergonomic features, some of which affect maneuvering, like telescoping handles to adjust length, and thereby extend reach. A poorly designed handle can also lead to arm and hand fatigue, so users should look for a model with a grip that feels good.
Those who still want more information on cleaning hardwood flooring with a quality mop may find it here, in the answers to some of the most common questions about this household chore.
Q. Is mopping good for wood-floor surfaces?
Mopping correctly can be a great way to maintain hardwood flooring, but using the wrong cleaning products can actually damage these expensive surfaces. A damp mop is often all that’s required to clean a hardwood floor; if the mop is too wet (with water or cleaning solution), excess liquid can seep into the cracks, causing the wood to warp.
Q. What is the best way to mop a floor?
Cleaning a floor starts with removing dust and debris by sweeping, vacuuming, or dry-mopping. For stubborn dirt and stains, use a cleaner designed for the specific floor material, using a “less is more” approach according to the manufacturer’s directions. To mop a floor correctly, dip string or sponge mops in the cleaning fluid, wring it out, and then swab with the damp mop. Use plain water to do a final rinse if desired. Start mopping in a far corner of the room, moving in the direction of the grain on hardwood floors, and work your way to the door. When finished, rinse the mop and let it air dry or wash any reusable pads.
Q. Will a Swiffer pad ruin hardwood floors?
Swiffer’s heavy-duty pads are considered safe for linoleum, vinyl, laminate, and ceramic tile, as well as sealed wood, marble, and stone. They should not be used on unsealed wood floors. As with all floor cleaners, be cautious using any fluid on unfinished, damaged, or especially delicate materials.
Q. How often should wood floors be mopped?
The National Wood Flooring Association recommends mopping wood floors monthly with a wood-flooring cleaner. However, it is safe to dry mop daily.
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