This is a really tough question as it really depends on what you want to clean. Lets just concentrate on mops that will clean floors, in particular residential floors such as wood, laminate, vinyl and ceramic. Whether you look in hardware stores, department stores or on-line you’ll find a variety of mops. The mops themselves are made of:
• Cotton blend
• Rayon blend
There are also different types:
• Cotton blend strings
• Other blend strings
• String/small strips mix
• Small fiber strips
• Wide throw away fiber cloths
• Washable microfiber pads
• Various sponge shapes
to list just a few.
Most of the mops and handles are made of plastic with a few made of metal such as steel or aluminum.
The ones that I’ve learned are not worth the money are the cheap plastic mops. I’ve broken several handles over the years and if they have a metal connection between the handle and the mop head, it just rusts and falls off after a while. My favourite is the aluminum/plastic combination with only a bit of plastic where the manufacturer had no choice when using the plastic and it’s well made. This type of mop is light weight, won’t rust, won’t break when I use it for tough jobs and is durable.
I’ve used string mops, but I’m not pleased with the final look it gives to a floor. It leaves it streaky. The mop head also gets stinky if left wet for a while or if you use it to clean something really dirty like urine or stagnant water. I’ve used the strip mops for cleaning urine etc. and after a while when it gets really disgusting I throw it out but that’s not good for the environment. I’ve also used the wide throw away cloths that you dust and throw out. They work ok but again, I was just throwing cloths into the garbage which is bad for the environment. I’ve used the sponge mops (yes, I’ve used a lot of different mops over the years) and the better-quality ones have nice solid metal handles but for some reason the sponge doesn’t give a smug free surface. It also doesn’t absorb spills easily or wash especially dirty floors well.
Of all the mops I’ve tried, my favourite is the Silver Mop Pro from the creators of the Flexi-Felt. It has a lightweight mop handle and mop plate made of aluminum and just a bit of plastic. The pads are a washable microfiber pad that I just throw in with my regular laundry and wash. If I clean something really stinky, I soak the mop pad in a bucket with bleach or some other product. It comes out fine and I just keep reusing it. I can dust floors, walls, ceilings and any other flat surfaces I can think of. It can also wash all those surfaces including the outside of the house, deck, pool, RV….