Hardwood floors are a classic floor finishing; their different grains and colors add richness and dimension to all types of decor. If maintained properly, wood floors can hold their finish for years. Cleaning them isn’t difficult, but picking the best mop for the job can be tricky if you don’t know which kind is the best choice for your needs. Here are top mop picks for your hardwood floors, along with a primer on the features you should look for as you shop.
- BEST OVERALL: O-Cedar Easywring Spin Mop & Bucket
- BEST BANG FOR THE BUCK: MR.SIGA Professional Microfiber Mop
- UPGRADE PICK: BISSELL Spinwave Powered Hardwood Floor Mop
- BEST SPRAY MOP: O-Cedar ProMist MAX Microfiber Spray Mop
- BEST STEAM MOP: BISSELL Power Fresh Steam Mop
- BEST WITH DISPOSABLE PADS: Swiffer Sweeper Dry + Wet Floor Mopping Starter Kit
What to Consider When Choosing the Best Mop for Wood Floors
Before purchasing a mop for wood flooring, think about how easy the mop is to use, how much it costs, and what kind of solution or cleaner works best with that mop. In addition to the mop itself, consider the size of the area that needs mopping.
There are different types of mops available to suit different 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. Many familiar dunk-in-a-bucket mops require hand-wringing, but there are also handy mopping systems—with electric or mechanical components, and either reusable or disposable parts—on the market to match any cleaning preference, floor type, and floor size.
Disposable mop heads are convenient for quick touch-ups or mopping smaller floor spaces. For those who prefer reusable mop heads, microfiber mop heads are a strong option because microfiber catches and holds dirt and liquids better than mop materials like cotton or sponge.
Both types of mop heads impact sustainability, but in different ways. Reusable mop heads require water and chemicals to launder after each use, while disposable mop heads head straight to the landfill. For larger floors, using a reusable mop head is probably more efficient and eco-friendly than using multiple disposable mop heads per cleaning.
Corded vs. Cordless
Whether corded or cordless, all electric mops require access to an outlet. Corded mops have to be plugged in while in use, and cordless mops charge between uses. Electric mops usually have several cleaning modes, including one specifically for cleaning wood floors. Some come with removable swivel heads or pads that make cleaning floors quicker and easier. If plugging in the mop, charging it, and corralling the cord sounds like too much trouble, opt for a cordless mechanical mop that doesn’t require electricity.
When washing wood floors, it’s important to choose a cleaner that is specifically formulated for hardwood flooring. An all-purpose floor cleaner may leave behind a residue that dulls the floor’s finish or, worse, strips the finish. It’s also best to use a cleaner that doesn’t require diluting, because excess water can seep into the wood and damage it.
Mops come equipped with different ergonomic features, some of which affect comfort, like telescoping handles to adjust the handle’s length. The handle’s materials and design can lead to grip fatigue. The less effort it takes to grip a mop handle, the less chance there is of hand cramps and forearm fatigue after using it.
How maneuverable the mop is matters for mopping around lots of furniture and tight corners. Many mops have features to make it easier to clean around furniture and in hard-to-reach places. To get around furniture and other obstacles easiest, use a swivel-head mop. The shape of the mop’s head––circular, triangular, or rectangular––will also impact how easily it can access corners and tight spots.
Our Top Picks
After narrowing down the most important features—such as versatility, electric or manual, reusable or disposable—finding the best mop for cleaning hardwood floors is a cinch. Read on to see the top picks for the best mops for hardwood floors.
O-Cedar’s Easywring Spin Mop is a deep-cleaning powerhouse that removes 99 percent of bacteria with water alone. The machine-washable, triangular microfiber pad is usable either wet for mopping or dry for dusting. The mop’s pivoting head can maneuver around and under furniture, and its telescoping handle adjusts to 24, 36, and 48 inches.
The Easywring’s bucket has a convenient push pedal for hands-free wringing and a splash guard that keeps the water inside the bucket while wringing it out. Dirty, wet hands while washing the floor are a thing of the past with this model.
The MR.SIGA Professional Microfiber Mop may not have the bells and whistles that other mop systems have, but it’s a straightforward, dependable hardwood-floor mop. It comes with a double-sided microfiber-and-plush mop pad that’s suitable for wet or dry mopping, and an innovative clip system keeps the microfiber firmly in place while mopping. The mop’s 360-degree swivel head and locking, telescoping pole makes it easy to reach a home’s nooks and crannies. The mop set includes three microfiber pad refills and a dirt-removal implement that dislodges grime and hair from the pads before cleaning them.
This model from BISSELL provides the elbow grease for scrubbing the floor, so the user won’t have to. The electric mop has a 22-foot cord, long enough to reach the corners of even the most generously sized rooms. The Spinwave is safe for cleaning sealed hardwood floors but can also be used on tile, vinyl, and linoleum flooring. Its on-demand spray feature delivers cleaning solution from its 28-ounce tank at the touch of a button, and the swivel steering gives access to those hard-to-reach corners. Sets of machine-washable soft-touch and scrub pads are included with the mop.
The ProMist MAX’s deep-cleaning microfiber mop removes 99 percent of bacteria using water only, but it can be used dry as well. Its large, dual-sided mop head flips 180 degrees, which allows for cleaning with both sides of the mop without needing to change the pad. The mop’s refillable bottle holds a preferred wood-floor cleaner; release the cleaning solution by simply pulling the trigger on the handle.
This is a no-muss, no-fuss, no-electric, no-battery mop, suitable not just for hardwood but also for linoleum, tile, vinyl, laminate, ceramic, marble, and stone flooring, too. The mop pad is machine washable and can be washed up to 100 times.
Steam mopping offers a floor-cleaning solution that eliminates 99.9 percent of germs and bacteria without leaving behind toxic residues. Recommended for hard sealed floors, the BISSELL Power Fresh model has three steam settings and swivel steering for hard-to-reach spaces. The mop comes with one microfiber soft pad, one microfiber scrubby pad, two spring-breeze fragrance disks, and a carpet glider.
Swiffer’s 360-degree swivel head makes those hard-to-reach places a little easier to reach, and its easy-grip handle keeps the unit from slipping away while mopping. This Swiffer set comes with one handled Swiffer device, four dry heavy-duty refills, three wet heavy-duty refills, 10 dry sweeping cloths, and two wet mopping pads. The heavy-duty refills can be used with a preferred hardwood floor cleaner to remove grime while leaving a polished shine. The dry refills can be used daily to remove dust and dirt that’s tracked in from outside. While the wet refills aren’t recommended to maintain unfinished wood floors, they can be used sparingly to clean stubborn spots or spills
FAQs About Mops for Wood Floors
With a few pointers, eliminating the mystery of how to maintain wood flooring gets a lot easier. Here are some common questions and answers to get started:
Q. Is mopping good for wood-floor surfaces?
When mopping correctly, it can be beneficial, but the wrong cleaning products can actually damage wood flooring. A damp mop is all that’s required to clean a hardwood floor’s surface. A mop that’s too wet can harm the floor because excess water seeps into the cracks, causing the wood to warp.
Q. Will Swiffer ruin hardwood floors?
Swiffer’s wet refills are not recommended on hardwood floors. The water-based cleaning agent can penetrate and warp unfinished wood, and it can also damage finished wood if there are areas where the finish is worn. To use a Swiffer to clean hardwood floors, use the dry refills with the hardwood cleaner dispensed from the mop’s spray nozzle.
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 sweep or dust mop daily.