Hardwood floors lend an aura of classic elegance to a home, adding to its real estate value. However, the job of keeping hardwood floors clean and sanitized while preserving their attractiveness can present challenges.
For maximum effectiveness, many hardwood floor cleaner machines offer vacuum-suction action to remove dust, dirt, and debris from floors, along with wet-mopping action to clean sticky messes and produce a shine. Ahead, learn about the optional features and attributes that comprise the best hardwood floor cleaner machine for your timeless and tasteful floors.
- BEST OVERALL: Bissell Crosswave All in One Wet Dry Vacuum and Mop
- BEST BANG FOR THE BUCK: Bissell Power Fresh Steam Mop Hard Wood Floor Cleaner
- UPGRADE PICK: Bissell, 2554A CrossWave Cordless Max Wet-Dry Vacuum
- BEST LIGHTWEIGHT: Shark VM252 VACMOP Pro Cordless Hard Floor Vacuum Mop
- BEST SPIN MOP: Bissell SpinWave Expert Hard Floor Spin Mop
- BEST VACUUM: Shark NV352 Navigator Lift Away Upright Vacuum
- BEST ROBOTIC: Coredy R750 Robot Vacuum Cleaner Mopping System
What to Consider When Choosing the Best Hardwood Floor Cleaner Machine
Manufacturers offer an abundance of viable options for machines that clean and preserve hardwood floors. Some models provide wet-mopping as well as vacuum-suctioning actions to produce spotless results. Others use only dry suction vacuuming. Some utilize rotating mopheads that perform a scrubbing action. Of course, robot floor-cleaning machines offer cutting-edge technology to automate household chores and allow users to clean their floors remotely. Read on for information regarding the various types, sizes, weights, power sources, and cleaning functions of high-quality hardwood floor cleaner machines available on today’s market.
Hardwood floors exude a feeling of natural warmth in a home. Diverse types of hardwood floor cleaner machines function in various ways to keep them clean and lustrous. Here is an overview of several types.
- Standard vacuums employ suction to lift soil and debris from floor surfaces, but they do not use water or cleaning solutions.
- Wet/dry vacuums dispense cleaning solution dissolved in water followed by suctioning action to lift the soil and the dirty water from the floor.
- Robotic vacuums and mops move automatically throughout the home, performing both wet-mopping actions and vacuuming in response to remote controls, apps, or voice commands.
- Steam mops contain heating elements that heat water to produce pressurized steam, eliminating the need for cleaning solutions or chemicals.
- Spin mops dispense cleaning solution onto floors and scrub the surface with rotating pads on dual spinning mopheads.
Corded vs. Cordless
Although most hardwood floor cleaner machines operate on corded electricity from household outlets, the cordless models offer convenience and easy maneuvering. Cordless machines operate on power from rechargeable lithium-ion batteries. Robotic floor cleaner machines and some cordless upright models include recharging docks for storing the units and recharging the batteries.
Many corded hardwood floor cleaner machines feature cords measuring 20 to 25 feet long. The long cords allow users to navigate around furniture and access hard-to-reach corners.
Both types of floor cleaner machines perform well and display specific advantages. Corded models provide greater suction power; cordless ones tend to be lighter in weight and more portable. Users of corded machines never need to worry about recharging times and runtimes; a cordless unit can reach places far from any power outlet.
Power and Runtime
The power that runs corded floor cleaner machines derives from regular 110-volt household electricity. Cordless machines typically run on lithium-ion batteries, and they include specialized recharging docks designed to safely recharge them without mishap.
Runtimes for fully charged batteries vary from one machine to another. Typically, a 36-volt lithium-ion battery produces 30 minutes of runtime for an upright floor cleaner machine. Alternatively, a 2,600mAh lithium-ion battery in a robotic floor cleaner machine delivers 120 minutes of runtime.
Lithium-ion batteries are environmentally safe, and they are quick to recharge. However, over time deterioration results in a quicker discharge of power causing decreased runtime.
Many of the floor cleaner machines that work well for hardwood floors also function on carpets and rugs. Users can adjust the settings for carpeted or hardwood surfaces.
Brush rollers perform a vital role in cleaning carpets, but they may scratch hardwood flooring. With diverse surfaces in mind, engineers design switching systems to activate or deactivate the rotating brushes. With the flip of a switch, users can change from the hard floor setting to the carpet setting, activating the brushes for carpet and rugs and then retracting them when moving to hardwood floors.
A steam mop employs steam from heated water to provide natural cleaning with zero chemicals from cleaning solutions. This type of floor cleaner machine offers low, medium, and high settings to regulate the amount of steam pressure released onto the floor surface.
The effectiveness of many hardwood floor cleaner machines derives from their ability to perform a wet-mopping function while simultaneously removing the dirty water (along with soil and debris) via a vacuum-suctioning action. For the wet-mopping portion of the job, floor cleaner machines include mopheads with removable pads. Some mop pads are smooth and soft, while others provide texture for scrubbing action. The disposable pads can be replaced when they become fully saturated with dirt and debris.
As an alternative to mop pads, some machines feature nylon and microfiber brushes for the wet-mopping function. Users should avoid using metal brush heads on hardwood floors as they may scratch the surface.
For a scrubbing action, some machines offer dual spinning mopheads with pads. Due to their rapid rotations, the mopheads scrub hardwood floors, removing sticky messes and leaving behind a shiny surface appearance.
Hardwood floor cleaner machines that perform wet-mopping functions include water tanks. Liquid cleaning solution mixed with water goes into the clean-water tank. The machines dispense the clean water onto the floor and, in most cases, suction it up with the vacuuming function.
The used, dirty water is funneled into a separate tank to keep it from contaminating the clean water. Users must empty the dirty-water tank when it becomes full. Water tanks in wet-mopping machines typically hold up to 28 ounces of water.
Some machines utilize disposable mop pads to absorb the dirty water, rather than empty it into a dirty-water tank. Other machines forgo water altogether, spraying undiluted liquid cleaning solution onto the floor and absorbing it in the mop pads. Standard vacuum cleaners rely on air filters for trapping dirt and debris, rather than water tanks or pads.
Weight and Maneuverability
Lightweight floor cleaning machines offer convenience, portability, and easy maneuvering. Typically, cordless machines weigh less than corded ones. In a survey of available options, corded electric hardwood floor cleaner machines range in weight from 9 to 14 pounds while cordless models weigh from 5 to 11.5 pounds.
In addition to the lighter weight, floor cleaner machines powered by rechargeable batteries offer enhanced maneuverability because they don’t have cords. Many users prefer to eliminate the hassle of tethering to an electrical outlet and manipulating a cord while cleaning. However, some corded machines provide increased maneuverability by offering long cords of 20 to 25 feet, allowing users to reach areas far away from electrical outlets.
Several available hardwood floor cleaner machines feature swivel steering systems. This feature facilitates maneuvering the machines around and under furniture, reaching into corners and along baseboards for thorough cleaning results.
An essential shopping consideration involves the number and types of accessories and attachments included with various hardwood floor cleaner machines. These add-ons contribute to the functionality and versatility of the machines.
Some models include liquid cleaning solution along with replacement mop pads in both smooth and textured varieties. Disposable pads accompany some machines, while others utilize washable mop pads. Additionally, some models include nylon and microfiber brushes for cleaning hardwood floors.
A high-quality vacuum cleaner includes a crevice tool for cleaning narrow places as well as an extension wand for reaching ceilings, walls, and light fixtures. It also features a portable, detachable-pod design that facilitates cleaning stairs and other above-floor surfaces.
Our Top Picks
Based on an investigation of several types of hardwood floor cleaner machines, the following list of top picks represents high-quality products from reputable manufacturers. The recommendations consist of both corded and cordless options for wet-dry mopping and vacuuming as well as a vacuum-only model. A robotic, wet-dry floor cleaning machine is included, demonstrating how technology facilitates convenient, automated cleaning.
Vacuum and wash sealed hardwood floors in one easy step with this dual-action wet-dry vacuum mop from Bissell. There’s no need to vacuum floors for loose-dirt removal before launching into the task of wet-mopping. The multisurface brush roll employs a microfiber and nylon brush to mop floors while simultaneously picking up dry debris.
Meanwhile, a dual-tank system keeps the cleaning solution separate from the dirty water to ensure optimal efficiency. This vacuum mop is intended for use on both hard floors and area rugs, and the smart touch controls on the handle allow users to switch the cleaning action for varying floor surfaces. Additionally, a trigger activates on-demand release of the cleaning solution, so the user is always in control of the process.
The CrossWave floor cleaning machine measures 10.5 inches long by 12 inches wide by 46 inches tall and weighs 11.2 pounds. It safely and effectively cleans sealed hardwood floors as well as laminate, tile, rubber floor mats, linoleum, and area rugs.
Combine the money-saving value of a modestly priced floor cleaning machine with the environmentally friendly option of using steam power to lift away dirt and messes. The Power Fresh Steam Mop from Bissell does not require a cleaning solution, so there are no chemicals involved in the cleaning process. As a bonus feature, the steam eliminates 99.9 percent of germs and bacteria found on floor surfaces.
This machine is power rated at 1,500 watts, so water in the 12-ounce-capacity tank heats quickly to produce steam in only 30 seconds. The smart digital settings allow users to select low, medium, and high steam flow for diverse cleaning tasks. Additionally, the steam mop includes a washable microfiber soft pad, a washable microfiber scrubby pad, two spring breeze fragrance discs, and a carpet glider.
Maneuvering is easy with the swivel steering system and the 23-foot power cord. This floor cleaning machine measures 11.6 inches by 7.1 inches, stands 28.6 inches tall, and weighs 9 pounds.
Forget the hassle of manipulating a power cord while cleaning floors. The rechargeable 36-volt lithium-ion battery in this wet-dry vacuum from Bissell delivers 30 minutes of cordless cleaning power. As an added bonus, it provides efficient performance on both carpet and sealed hardwood floors. Laminate flooring, rubber mats, tile floors, rugs, and linoleum also benefit from the cleaning power of this cordless machine.
The Bissell CrossWave unit employs advanced technology to deliver convenient and effective cleaning results. It performs wet-mop floor washing along with simultaneous vacuum suction to pick up dry debris. With two tanks, the cleaning solution mixed with clean water remains separate from the dirty water. A self-cleaning cycle maintains the machine’s cleaning efficiency.
The three-in-one docking station stores the machine, recharges the battery, and runs the self-cleaning cycle all at the same time. An app provides user support, cleaning tips, and a dashboard for reordering brushes, filters, and formula.
For ultimate ease in cleaning hardwood floors, Shark’s VacMop is both lightweight and cordless. Powered by a rechargeable lithium-ion battery, it performs both wet-mopping and vacuuming actions at the same time.
The vacuum mop sprays cleaning solution onto the floor and suctions up dirt simultaneously. A disposable pad traps the dirt and debris. Then, the no-touch disposal system allows users to release the soiled pad into a trash receptacle without touching it. The refillable Shark VacMop includes multisurface cleaning solution in spring clean scent and hardwood cleaning solution in citrus clean scent. Extra disposable mop pads are also included.
This lightweight and cordless machine measures a slender 5.3 inches by 9.5 inches and stands 47.87 inches tall. The unit includes a rechargeable lithium-ion battery.
Bissell’s SpinWave corded, electric floor mop features two spinning mopheads that perform a scrubbing action to keep sealed hardwood floors and tile floors in spotless condition. It safely brings out an attractive shine on hard floors as the spinning pads scrub away soils and spills.
Bissell’s on-demand spray system gives users precise control over the quantity of cleaning solution released onto the floor. The included Hard Floor Sanitize Formula and the Wood Floor Formula provide cleaning and sanitizing action with the help of the also-included soft-touch pads and scrubby pads. As the spinning pads do the work for the user, dirt, grime, and stuck-on messes disappear from hardwood and other sealed flooring materials.
This electric floor mop can scrub and shine hardwood floors without scratching or gouging the surfaces, and it features a low profile and swivel steering system to facilitate cleaning under furniture, in corners, and along baseboards. The unit measures 26.8 inches by 16.1 inches by 7.5 inches and weighs 13.82 pounds.
Remove dust, dirt, and allergens from hardwood floors, laminate, tile, carpet, and rugs with this powerful vacuum from Shark. The completely sealed anti-allergen system features a high efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filter that traps dust mites, pollen, mold spores, and other dirt and debris inside the vacuum. It is certified by ASTM to meet Standard F1977 for air-filtration efficiency, trapping particles as small as 0.3 microns (a micron is less than one-millionth of a meter).
This vacuum cleans efficiently on both hard flooring and carpeted surfaces, adapting with a quick flip of the brush roller shut-off switch. Additionally, the lift-away, detachable pod allows users to easily clean stairs, furniture, and other above-floor surfaces. Use the included crevice tools, extension wand, and upholstery tool to clean furniture, light fixtures, walls, ceilings, and other hard-to-reach places.
Weighing in at only 12.5 pounds and operating on a swivel steering system, this vacuum cleaner is lightweight and maneuverable. It measures 15 inches by 11.4 inches and stands 45.5 inches tall.
This robotic vacuum and mopping machine from Coredy supports boost-intellect technology to schedule and automate cleaning routines for hardwood floors. Custom-automated cleaning actions include wet mopping along with vacuum suctioning. The machine automatically increases suction power when carpet is detected and returns to normal suction when it moves to a hard floor surface.
Using the latest intelligent mopping technology, the Coredy R750 robot controls the water pump and water level via an automated monitor that prevents spillage. Additionally, the built-in sensors detect boundary strips, so the robot stays in the areas that need cleaning.
The HEPA filtration system traps tiny particles and allergens, maintaining a fresh home environment. Users may program either Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant voice commands to start and stop the robot vacuum cleaner, or they may use the smart app. The machine operates on a rechargeable 2,600mAh lithium-ion battery and includes a charging dock. It delivers up to 120 minutes of runtime per charge.
FAQs About Hardwood Floor Cleaner Machines
Cleaning, sanitizing, and bringing out the luster of hardwood floors can pay off in preserving the value these floors add to a home. The answers to the following common questions might be helpful when beginning to use a new hardwood floor cleaner machine.
Q. Does my hardwood floor require a specific cleaner?
Yes. Use a pH-neutral cleaner formulated for sealed hardwood floors. Do not use a cleaner made for vinyl or tile floors.
Q. Can a vacuum scratch hardwood floors?
It is possible for stiff rotating brushes to scratch hardwood floors. In many machines, the brushes that work well on carpet can be retracted or shut off by flipping a switch when the machine moves to hardwood flooring.
Q. How often should I vacuum hardwood floors?
The answer to this question depends on traffic volume and usage. In general, hardwood floors should be vacuumed at least once each week.
Q. How often should I clean my hardwood floors?
Wet-mop hardwood floors with appropriate cleaning solution every 1 to 2 months. Increase or decrease frequency depending on traffic and usage.