Best mop 2022: 9 buys that are convenient to use (and store)

For renters, flat owners, pet owners and busy households

Image of three of the best mops on graphic background
(Image credit: Future)

If you're in search of a new mop, then we can help you find the best option for your individual needs and budget, online. You needn't leave your sofa. The Real Homes team has been hard at work, this time testing the best mops money can buy. We've tested the options below in busy households, large family homes, small flats and even in homes with pets! Here's our verdict.

From spray versions to a string mop and bucket combo, there's no one size fits all. Depending on your house size, your flooring type and your budget, any one of the mops on this list could be your best fit. Just be sure to bear in mind: they're all designed to achieve the ultimate cleanliness. We've also been sure to consider how eco-friendly each one is before ranking it, with lots of the buys below having machine washable heads instead of single-use pads. Plus, we listed a pick from our best steam cleaner guide, as well as a robot mop just in case.

What are you waiting for?

What is the most effective type of mop?

There are lots of different types of mop to choose from. The more complex the design, the more you can expect to pay for it. We actually rate the string mop as the best for cleaning since it really gets into the corners, and you can refresh the bucket between rooms more efficiently than replacing mop heads. However, with this comes the need for more storage space and you need to lug around a bucket as you clean, too.

Here are all of the different types of mops:

  • Flat mops or spray mops have a spray mechanism inside. Use them with a reusable head or a one-use pad.
  • String mops tend to be made of cotton, are durable and some come in spin versions to wring out as much water as possible, but they require a bucket.
  • Sponge mops are good for getting into tiles and normally feature a wringer mechanism to ensure you don't soak your floors.
  • Steam mops are the best option if you're after something to help you deep clean, however, they do come at a higher price tag and some need to be plugged in.
  • Robot mops will do the cleaning for you, with the only thing necessary from you being the push of a button.

The best mops as rated by the experts

4 things to consider before buying a new mop

1. Head material
When you’re deciding on a floor mop, check the material of the mop head. The most popular choice is microfibre as it's soft, hygienic and fast drying. Sponge is also a good choice as it's breathable and absorbent, and works well on flat untextured flooring. Most mop heads are washing machine friendly too, giving them longevity and making them kinder on the environment, but do check first.

2. Does it require a bucket?
If you're after a quick and easy-to-use mop, it's best to steer clear of ones that require a bucket. Instead, opt for a spray mop for a faster finish; these mops-without-buckets also cut down on the amount of storage space you need to keep them – all you need to do is fill up the bottle with hot water and your chosen floor cleaner, attach it to the mop and you're away.

3. Weight
Important if you're less able or elderly, some mops can be weighty when loaded, so consider this when you're choosing. Note: spray mops might be a bit heavier than classic mops, but you won't have the weight of the bucket to lug around.

4. Extra features
Some mops come with a free bucket, some extra heads or other accessories you may reach for when cleaning your home. If they don't, then be sure to check how much replacement heads cost before you buy.

Mops, steam mops, and steam cleaners: which is better?

There's such a variety of product types out there for cleaning your floors that it can be easy to get confused between them. Steam mops are a great option for hard floors that don't get very dirty and just need a weekly refresh – and they also eliminate the need for floor cleaner products. Just don't expect a steam mop to completely replace the occasional deep clean with a regular mop. 

Steam cleaners tend to be much more advanced (and many times more expensive) than mops, and usually can tackle all kinds of surfaces, from flooring to upholstery and even kitchen appliances. They do tend to be fairly heavy, so bear that in mind. 

As you probably already know, normal mops just work with hot water and solution, they are cheaper than both of the above, though, and a lot easier to store. They're ideal for quick clean-ups but aren't the best for deep cleaning.

How often should I mop my floors?

Other sites may say you only need to mop your floors once every two weeks, but we say to do it whenever it’s needed. It’ll depend on whether you have pets, children and how many people come in and out of your house a week, after all. If you’re looking for a number, our tip is to mop your floors once a week, or after each time you vacuum. Of course, some weeks you may want to clean twice if have people coming over. If you have a mop conveniently stored in your kitchen or utility, you may manage a mop down every night after you finish in your kitchen.

How often should I replace my mop?

That'll depend on how often you use yours, and whether the mop head is replaceable or detachable and washable. If the mop head is replaceable, discard yours after about six to eight months of use – sooner if you clean very often.

After a while your mop will fray or lose the texture that makes it effective at cleaning, so replace when it stops working as well. If you have a detachable, washable head, pop it in the wash every month or so, and discard it after two to three years of use, depending on how worn it looks. 

Real Homes review process

We've pooled the favourite mops of the whole team at Real Homes to show you the items we actually use in our homes. So, rest assured we can give you our honest opinion on how they work. All of the mops we test will be used for a number of weeks inside our homes until we feel we are at a point to make a judgment. We try to test these mops on all flooring types, from lino to tiles and laminate.

Whilst testing these mops, we consider everything from size to price, manoeuvrability, ease of use, cleaning quality, and most of all: does it do the job without soaking your floors?

Here's what the team thinks below, otherwise, you can watch a short video first of Laura Crombie testing our top three mops in action.

Annie Collyer illustration
Annie Collyer

Our Deputy Ecommerce Editor Annie Collyer has tried three of these mops in her 2-bedroom flat, which she shares with her husband-to-be, her dog, and her house rabbit.

'Hands down the easiest mop I've ever used, the Beldray mop is hassle-free to use with a spray trigger, plus its water tank is plenty sizeable. It also makes an easy job of cleaning around furniture feet, the toilet and underneath my bed. I just pop the heads in the washing machine after each clean. It's that simple! I've also been using it for years, so it's built to last.'

'The brilliant OXO mop made mopping 10 times easier. It's easy to manoeuvre around and under furniture with a large microfibre head to cover more space in less time. Its water bottle is sizeable enough so that I can fill it and get 3 uses out of it, and it's generally easy to use. It has a slide-out tile scrubber that I use for more than cleaning my tiles, but also to remove anything from mud to food spillages from my floor.'

' The Vileda spray mop is undoubtedly best for those with little storage space spare. The mop's handle doubles as a water tank, and the mop heads stay on so securely which is great. The only thing is it's a fiddle to fill without spilling floor cleaner.'

Image of Molly Cleary author photo
Molly Cleary

Our Ecommerce Writer Molly Cleary has tested three of these mops in her home, including a steam mop and the robot mop.

'I like the design of the OXO Butterfly Mop for when you want to do a more thorough clean, and the fact that you can wring the mop with little to no effort is definitely a winner. If you prefer to use a thicker sponge to feel the full absorbency, then this is a great choice, though the fact you still need to use a bucket alongside it knocks it down a few pegs for me.' 

'The Shark Genius Pocket Mop is an easy-to-use steam mop that can really sanitize your floors, giving you that extra level of cleanliness that regular mopping sometimes can't get to. It has a simple, cleverly engineered design, so that you can get to the task of mopping easily. There are no modes or settings that you have to work out, and when you need an extra boost of steam, you can simply turn the mop in the opposite direction to activate the Steam Blaster function.'

'Purchasing the iRobot Bravaa Jet M6 is an investment into cleaner floors, with minimal effort needed from your side. This robot may have a steep price, but the technology involved in the mapping and navigation of this model goes a long way compared to its predecessor. I tested this out at home and found that it made our floors cleaner within the first week, and it has a sleek design with a discreet charging pad that won't look out of place in your home.'

Jenny illustration
Jenny McFarlane

Jenny is our Senior Digital Editor, and often writes cleaning content to help you to keep your home as pristine as possible. She loves using the bestselling Vileda Turbo Spin Mop in her family home.

'Vileda's Turbo spin mop has an integrated wringer powered by a foot pedal that makes it super simple to wring out and control to your required mop dampness. It cleans really well on hard floors and the microfibre mop head picks up dirt with just water so there's no need for cleaner.'

Jennifer Oksien illustration
Jennifer Oksien

Jen is our Large Appliances Editor, and knows everything there is to know about vacuums, washing machines, pizza ovens and much more. As you might expect, she's got a lot of knowledge on the cleaning front too, and uses the Bona Wood Floor mop in her home. 

'I needed to find a hard floor cleaner which was kind to our restored wooden floors, affordable and easy to use. The Bona Wood Floor Cleaner does all of this. I'm really happy with the results.'

Anna Cottrell illustration
Anna Cottrell

Anna is our Content Editor and writes practical advice and interior and garden design features and news for Real Homes. She's a fan of one of our most sustainable picks, the E-Cloth Deep Clean Mop, which has a washable head.

'Overall, it's a decent mop that has lasted a long time, and it cleans well whether you use a floor cleaner or just water. It is a little difficult to use it with a bucket because of the swivel head, and it performs better if you machine wash regularly.' 

Where to buy a mop online...

Annie Collyer
Annie Collyer

Annie is our Deputy Ecommerce Editor at Real Homes, with her particular area of expertise being home fragrance (there isn't a candle out there that she hasn't lit in her home). She's our guru when it comes to what to buy, when — and also where. She has years of experience when it comes to finding deals — Amazon Prime Day, Black Friday or not — and she particularly loves finding a bargain. With some of her favorite homeware pieces coming from Amazon, she's always looking for budget-friendly alternatives and dupes, as well as eco-friendly products to help her on her recent journey to being more sustainable at home. There's nothing she loves more than her Pug, Doug, and a bargain thrift shop find (yes, she once thrifted a brand new Le Creuset pan). Next up on her to-do list at home: DIY crittall-style doors...

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