Your hardwood floors are an investment, and you want to take care of them. Using the proper cleaning tools will go a long way toward keeping your floors beautiful for years to come. The best vacuum for hardwood floors can help you do that.
A number of vacuums for hardwood floors are on the market today, and they were narrowed down based on a variety of factors we personally tested, such as maneuverability, whether they’re corded or cordless vacuums, the type of dustbin, and more. This list includes the best vacuums for hardwood floors, one of which we rigorously tested, so you’re sure to find one that suits your needs and budget.
- BEST OVERALL: Shark NV352 Navigator Lift Away Upright Vacuum
- BEST BANG FOR THE BUCK: Bissell Featherweight Stick Bagless Vacuum
- BEST WET/DRY: Bissell Symphony Vac and Steam 2 in 1
- BEST CANISTER: Miele Complete C2 Hard Floor Canister Vacuum Cleaner
- BEST CORDLESS: Dyson Cyclone V10 Absolute Cordless Vacuum Cleaner
- BEST ROBOT: iRobot Roomba i7+ Robot Vacuum
How We Chose the Best Vacuums for Hardwood Floors
We researched the most sought-after vacuum cleaners for hardwood floors in their respective categories and discovered that the best models are determined by their type, suction power, maneuverability, included attachments and tools and other special features included by top brands.
After extensive product research, we included options in our list of top picks with upright, stick, canister, and robot constructions to suit a variety of preferences and powerful suctions of 1,200 to 2,033 watts for trapping dust, debris, pet hair, and allergens. As for ease of use and maneuverability, many of these vacuum cleaners for hardwood floors come with swivel steering for angling into tight spaces as well as crevice tools, dusting brushes, scrubbing pads, and steam cleaners for any cleaning job or tough stain.
Finally, many of these vacuum cleaners for hardwood floors come equipped with multiple cleaning modes to clean hardwood, laminate, tile, and other hard surfaces, but also carpeting, upholstery, and draperies.
Our Top Picks
We gave consideration and time to the product we tested hands-on, in addition to our other top picks, to ensure they have desirable features, such as a variety of attachments, the filtration system, corded versus cordless, and more. The following are the top picks.
At only 14 pounds, this vacuum from Shark is an ideal upright model for cleaning hardwood floors. We used the powerful brush roller that we shut off with a single touch, protecting our hardwood floors when moving from a carpeted area. Swivel steering also helped move this Shark around furniture and tight spaces, and we also removed the top pod with ease to focus on stairs and upholstery.
The anti-allergen technology and a HEPA filter also helped trap dust and allergens inside the vacuum where it belongs and emptying it was a snap with the push of a button. The vacuum also comes with a 5.5-inch crevice tool, a long-reach 24-inch crevice tool, and a dusting brush/upholstery tool which we used to clean in small crevices and spaces.
- Type: Upright
- Suction power: 1,200 watts
- Additional attachments:HEPA filter, 2 crevice tools, and dusting brush/upholstery tool
- Lightweight, maneuverable construction; 14 pounds
- Easy-to-empty dustbin; hands-free emptying removes dust, debris, and pet hair easily
- Anti-allergen technology removes dust and allergen particles in the air
- Suitable for hardwood floors, carpets, upholstery, and more
- Relatively short vacuum hose compared to similar options
Get the Shark Navigator upright vacuum at Amazon or Wayfair.
This versatile machine offers three vacuums in one: a stick vacuum, a handle vacuum, and a stair vacuum. Convert the vacuum easily with the touch of a button. The dirt cup is small but gets the job done when cleaning smaller rooms. Efficient on any hardwood or tile floor, this budget model weighs under 3 pounds, which is light enough to be lifted up and used on countertops.
There is no roller brush on this stick vacuum, so no worries about scratching a hardwood finish. The crevice tool works well for furniture when users have finished with the floors and want to get the rest of the house sparkling clean. The 15-foot cord might make it tough to get into the middle of a large room, but works well for smaller spaces; speaking of space, the compact size makes it easy to store.
- Type: Stick
- Suction power: 2,033 watts
- Additional attachments: N/A
- At 2.6-pounds, it’s easy to maneuver and carry up stairs
- 3 configurations: full length, handheld, and stair cleaning
- Compact size; easy to store and cleans hard-to-reach places
- May require frequent emptying
- Limited durability compared to similar options
- No additional attachments included
Get the Bissell Featherweight stick vacuum at Amazon or Wayfair.
With a cleaning path of 11 inches, this powerful wet/dry vacuum from Bissell allows users to pull up debris and steam the floor at the same time, rolling two jobs into one and saving time and effort. Steaming with just water in the 12.8-ounce tank is enough to destroy 99.9 percent of germs and bacteria found lurking on hardwood floors. Easy-touch digital controls and a quick-release mop tray make the job faster, while the five-way adjustable handle aids in maneuverability.
Plug in the 25-foot power cord and expect the heater to warm up in a mere 30 seconds. There is no easy-scrubber feature, so users might have to do some hand cleaning on tough spots. There are four mop pads included with the purchase of this model.
- Type: Upright
- Suction power: 1,500 watts
- Additional attachments: Microfiber soft pad, microfiber scrubby pad, and detachable mop spray pad
- 12.8-ounce water tank for ample steam cleaning
- Easy-touch digital controls for adjusting the cleaning settings
- Steam cleaning on demand for effortlessly clean floors
- Great for apartments and smaller spaces
- Can’t be used on carpet
- Water tank is small and may require frequent refilling
Get the Bissell Symphony vacuum mop at Amazon.
Thanks to six different suction settings, the Miele Complete C2 Hard Floor Canister Vacuum will make short work of tidying up hardwood, tile, or laminate floors—and it’s no slouch on carpets, furniture, and curtains either. There’s even a low-volume setting for when the kids are sleeping. It uses ample 4.75-quart bags (available here), giving users plenty of onboard dirt storage before they need to change a bag.
It also has onboard storage for its tools, which include a furniture brush, a crevice tool, and a hard-surface head. At nearly 20 pounds it’s pretty heavy, but that’s because it uses Miele’s 9.5 amp Vortex Motor, has plenty of storage, and uses a massive bag.
- Type: Canister
- Suction power: 1,200 watts
- Additional attachments: Furniture brush, crevice tool, and hard-surface head
- 6 different suction settings included for multiple cleaning jobs
- Suitable for cleaning multiple floor types
- Low-volume setting to avoid disturbing the household
- Large bag capacity for big cleaning jobs
- Very heavy compared to similar options
Get the Miele Complete C2 hard floor vacuum at Amazon.
Dyson’s patented cyclone technology goes to work with this vacuum to keep homes clean while users enjoy the ease of a lightweight, cordless model. It’s necessary to charge the battery on this Dyson vacuum for 3.5 hours before first use; then users will find it keeps a charge for 60 minutes of runtime with no motorized tools, 40 minutes of use with the soft roller cleaner head, and 20 minutes with the more powerful torque drive cleaner head for carpets.
The instant-release trigger on this Dyson vacuum cuts battery power the moment users stop using the machine, conserving energy. The digital motor V10 model uses 14 concentric cyclones and transforms instantly into a handheld vacuum for use in a vehicle, on furniture, and anywhere else users need to remove dust and fine debris.
- Type: Stick
- Suction power: 151 air watts
- Additional attachments: Mini motorized tool, crevice tool, 2 brush attachments, and a combination tool
- Charging station/holder included; convenient charger and storage solution
- Powerhead converts into a handheld unit, plus a mini tool for cleaning multiple small surfaces
- Point-and-shoot bin for waste disposal
- Advanced filtration system captures debris as small as 0.3 microns
- Pricey compared to similar options
- Limited number of accessories compared to similar options
Get the Dyson Cyclone cordless vacuum at Amazon or Dyson.
This is one of the latest iterations of the popular Roomba by iRobot. Ideal for hardwood floors, this also works well on carpets. It uses Wi-Fi to keep moving, works with Alexa and Google Assistant, offers smart mapping to help ensure the entire surface is cleaned, and even empties itself with automatic debris disposal.
This “set it and forget it” machine will recharge itself when the battery runs low, respond to a command to quickly clean one spot, and even suggest cleaning schedules. It works great on pet hair and has a high-efficiency filter that traps 99 percent of allergens.
- Type: Robot
- Suction power: 1,800 Pa
- Additional attachments: N/A
- Self-cleaning function keeps suction power strong
- Well-designed charging station
- Great smart features; compatible with Alexa and Google Assistant
- Suitable for homes with a lot of pet hair and dander
- Charging station is higher than most
Get the iRobot Roomba i7+ robot vacuum at Best Buy.
What to Consider When Choosing the Best Vacuum for Hardwood Floors
Before searching for the best vacuum for hardwood floors, users will want to consider the options that matter most. Start by determining the type of vacuum desired, then look at the features, such as dustbin, filtration options, attachments, and more.
Choosing the right type of vacuum for hardwood floors can be tough. The most common types are stick vacuums and upright vacuums, which stand up straight when not in use and tilt back when users press a button or switch on the handle, allowing for easy movement across the floor. Another common type are canister vacuums, which have a long hose that attaches to the head, and canister vacuums move along the floor beside or behind a given user as they move across the room.
Other options include handheld vacuums, which are smaller and often better for tough-to-reach areas or tight corners, and robot vacuums, which do all the work after proper programming. There are also wet/dry vacuums for hardwood floors that use water or a cleaning solution to get the tougher spots but can also be used as a simple dry vacuum. Within these types are options such as corded or cordless, different styles of dustbins, and more.
Corded vs. Cordless
If users have a lot of floor space or fewer outlets than desired, going with a cordless vacuum for hardwood floors might be the best bet. Simply put the vacuum on the charger and use it when needed. Many vacuums offer at least 30 minutes of runtime per charge. The lack of a cord means a much higher level of maneuverability, but it might mean more weight, thanks to the battery.
Corded vacuums have their place as well. Users don’t have to worry about issues with batteries, such as replacing one when it wears out (certain batteries can be hard to find). Though users sacrifice easy maneuvering and might have to plug the cord into different outlets along the way to get full coverage for floors, they never have to worry about runtime.
If a vacuum is cordless, it will have a battery to keep it going. Users will store the vacuum on the charger; most chargers are compact and can work with any typical wall outlet. Users can expect at least 30 minutes of full runtime per battery charge for most models on the market.
The battery life over the long term matters as well, especially when it comes to price. If users want a vacuum with a reputation for carrying a long-lasting battery. Some manufacturers offer warranties on their batteries, while others simply offer warranties on the machine itself. Look over the fine print carefully when choosing any vacuum, but especially when choosing a battery-reliant model.
The difference in maneuverability between corded and cordless models of the best vacuums for hardwood floors has already been discussed. But there are other factors to consider as well.
The handle plays a big part in helping a given user maneuver; a handle that is too long can make the machine feel cumbersome, but one that’s too short means users are not using a good posture to clean, and that can lead to other problems. How much does the vacuum weigh? That’s a consideration if users are going to be lifting the vacuum over thresholds or lugging it up and down stairs.
A movable head can be helpful, as can wheels that roll in any direction. An overall ergonomic design matters when users are emptying the dustbin, using attachments, or simply moving the vacuum across hardwood floors.
Most vacuums today have a dustbin that can be easily removed, opened up, and dumped straight into the trash without worrying about bags. Simply shake the debris out of the dustbin into the appropriate trash container and close it back up before putting it back on the vacuum. But that dustbin can also come with options, such as a top button to open the bottom, or a top that must be lifted up or off to empty—the choice depends upon how much ease of use matters.
Some vacuums still use the bag system, where debris is collected in a bag over time. Once that bag is full, simply remove it from the vacuum and drop it into the trash with no fuss. Attach another bag and users are ready for more cleaning. The bags do add on ongoing expense, but they might work better for those who want ultimate convenience.
Filtration matters for those who suffer from allergies and other ailments that are exacerbated by dust and fine particles. HEPA filters are standard on many vacuums these days, and user-friendly models allow for easy changing of the filter regularly. Some might be permanent filters that users have to remove to clean now and then.
Look at the manufacturer specifications on filters to determine if a particular model is desirable for a given home. Keep in mind that while filtration is important, it matters much more for carpeted areas, where dust and debris cling; some of the top picks have simple filters that don’t clear the air but still do a great job of keeping hardwood floors clean as a whistle.
The attachments desired will depend on the home and which ones will be required on a regular basis. Standard attachments include crevice tools and dust brushes, which can be used on a variety of surfaces in the home. Small beater brushes can work well on upholstery. Those with pets might want a vacuum that includes a dedicated tool to handle pet hair. Telescoping tools, like a telescoping duster, can help reach otherwise hard-to-reach places, such as light fixtures or the blades of a ceiling fan.
If you need more help choosing a vacuum for hardwood floors, these questions and answers can help. If you already have the perfect vacuum from the list of top picks, this additional information can still be quite useful.
Q. Can a vacuum scratch hardwood floors?
If you have a vacuum with a brush to tackle carpet, that brush might scratch your hardwood. Make sure to choose a vacuum that allows you to turn the brush off, saving your floor from unsightly scratches.
Q. How often should I vacuum hardwood floors?
A good rule of thumb is to vacuum the floors weekly. If you have pets or heavy foot traffic, consider vacuuming them more often. Expect to wet clean the floors every month or so.
Q. What is the difference between a bagged and bagless vacuum system?
A bagged system has a bag that attaches to the intake of the vacuum, which can be removed and thrown away when it becomes full. A bagless vacuum deposits lint, dirt, and other debris into a canister, which you empty when full and reuse again and again.
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