Your hardwood floors are an investment in your property, and it’s important to take care of them. Using the proper cleaning tools will go a long way toward keeping your floors beautiful for years to come. One of the best vacuums for hardwood floors can help you do that.
A number of vacuums for hardwood floors are on the market today, and we narrowed them down based on a variety of factors, 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 one of these might just be the right pick that suits your needs and budget.
- BEST OVERALL: Shark NV352 Navigator Lift Away Upright Vacuum
- BEST BANG FOR THE BUCK: Bissell Featherweight Lightweight Stick Vacuum
- BEST WET/DRY: Bissell Symphony Vacuum and Sanitizing Steam Mop
- BEST CANISTER: Miele Complete C2 Hard Floor Canister Vacuum Cleaner
- BEST CORDLESS: Dyson Cyclone V10 Cordless Vacuum Cleaner
- BEST ROBOT: iRobot Roomba i3+ Evo Self-Emptying 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, allergens, and pet hair.
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 scrubbing pads and steam cleaners for handling many kinds of cleaning jobs or removing tough stains. We were also sure to include options that had high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filtration, multiple floorheads, and even hands-free use. Finally, many of these vacuum cleaners for hardwood floors come equipped with multiple cleaning modes to clean hardwood, laminate, tile, and other hard surfaces, in addition to carpeting, upholstery, and draperies.
Our Top Picks
We gave careful consideration and time to the products we tested, 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 products that made our list.
At only 12.5 pounds, this model from Shark is an ideal upright vacuum for cleaning hardwood floors. The powerful brush roller can be shut off with a single touch, protecting hardwood floors when moving from a carpeted area. Swivel steering can also help move this Shark around furniture and tight spaces, and the canister can be easily removed to focus on stairs and upholstery.
The anti-allergen technology and a HEPA filter are also great for trapping dust and allergens inside the upright vacuum, where it belongs. Plus, emptying is designed to be a snap with the push of a button. This Shark upright vacuum also comes with a 5.5-inch crevice tool, a long-reach 24-inch crevice tool, and a dusting brush/upholstery tool, which can be helpful for cleaning small spaces.
- Type: Upright
- Suction power: 1,200 watts
- Additional attachments: HEPA filter, 2 crevice tools, and dusting brush/upholstery tool
- Lightweight, maneuverable construction at just 12.5 pounds
- Easy-to-empty dustbin; hands-free emptying removes dust, debris, and pet hair easily
- Anti-allergen technology removes dust and allergen particles from the air
- Suitable for hardwood floors, carpets, upholstery, and more
- Relatively short vacuum hose compared to similar options
Get the Shark vacuum for hardwood floors 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.
What Our Tester Says: Kristen Mosier, Bob Vila writer and product tester, notes in The Best Vacuums for Stairs Tested that “though this model is corded, at 15 feet long, it proved adequate to reach the top of our average-size stairway. The ample suction was powerful enough to lift away smaller pieces of paper and larger beads in one pass.”
- Type: Stick
- Suction power: 550 watts
- Additional attachments: N/A
- At 2.6-pounds, it’s easy to maneuver and carry up stairs
- 3 configurations: full-length vacuum, handheld vacuum, and stair cleaning tool
- Compact size; easy to store and cleans hard-to-reach places
- May require more frequent emptying than other top picks
- Limited durability compared to similar options
- No additional attachments included
Get the Bissell Featherweight vacuum for hardwood floors at Amazon.
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 two mop pads included with the purchase of this hardwood floor vacuum.
What Our Tester Says: Amanda Lauren, Bob Vila writer and product tester, notes in The Best Vacuum Mop Combos Tested that “the scrubby pad was particularly useful for our extra-dirty kitchen tile floors, removing stuck-on dirt and dog food crud pretty easily. It’s also reasonably priced given the features.”
- Type: Upright
- Suction power: 1,500 watts
- Additional attachments: Microfiber soft pad, microfiber scrubby pad, and detachable mop pad tray
- 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
- Convenient for apartments and smaller spaces
- Is not as versatile as others on the list as it can’t be used on carpeting
- Water tank is small and may require frequent refilling
Get the Bissell Symphony vacuum mop at Best Buy.
Thanks to six suction settings, the Miele Complete C2 hard floor canister vacuum can make short work of tidying up hardwood, tile, or laminate floors—and it’s no slouch on carpets, furniture, and curtains either. There is also a 16-inch Parquet Twister XL floor brush included with this hardwood floor vacuum that’s designed for more debris sucked up per pass and gentle treatment on delicate hard flooring varieties. It uses AirClean filter bags, an AirClean Plus filter, a motor protection filter, and an AirClean Exhaust filter, which results in a 99.9 percent dust retention capacity and a thorough removal of allergens in the home.
This canister vacuum also has onboard storage for its tools, which include an upholstery nozzle, crevice tool, and dusting brush, but the universal floorhead from Miele is also included with purchase. At 19.5 pounds, this canister vacuum is heavier than other top picks, but that’s because it uses Miele’s Vortex motor and has plenty of storage and accessories onboard.
- Type: Canister
- Suction power: 1,200 watts
- Additional attachments: Upholstery nozzle, crevice tool, dusting brush, a universal floorhead, and a Parquet Twister XL floor brush
- 6 suction settings included to address multiple cleaning jobs
- Suitable for cleaning multiple floor types, including hardwood and low-pile carpeting
- Comes with many accessories and 2 floorheads for ample versatility
- Its many filters and filter bags catch and keep allergens and debris out of the home
- Very heavy compared to similar options available
Get the Miele hardwood 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. 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.
It’s necessary to charge the battery life on this Dyson cordless stick 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 cordless stick vacuum cuts battery life the moment users stop using the machine, conserving energy.
- Type: Stick
- Suction power: 115 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 vacuum, 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 stick vacuum at Amazon.
For those who prefer a hands-off style of vacuuming, one of the most popular robot vacuums on the market is the iRobot Roomba i3+ Eco self-emptying robotic vacuum. This handy piece of machinery comes with a three-stage cleaning system and smart navigation that maps out the home and cleans off debris, hair, and allergens in neat rows.
Within one charge, this robot vacuum offers more than 75 minutes of runtime for both large and small spaces. The integrated Dirt Detect Technology focuses on the dirtier areas of the home first. The Sensor Technology keeps the vacuum from getting stuck on or under furniture, and the Cliff Detect keeps the unit from falling off balconies or down stairs.
For added convenience, this model also has an edge-sweeping brush for catching debris in corners and edges, dual multisurface brushes for tackling messes on hardwood and carpet, and an auto-adjust cleaning head that adapts to different flooring varieties.
Unlike some other robot vacuums, this model comes with the Clean Base Automatic Dirt Disposal, which removes dirt and debris from the dustbin automatically when charging. Plus, the iRobot OS smart technology allows the user to create personalized and automatic schedules with the iRobot Home App, which is compatible with Google Assistant or Amazon Alexa. Finally, this unit comes with two dirt disposal bags and an extra high-efficiency filter for long-term use and reliability.
- Type: Robot
- Suction power: 26
- Additional attachments: Charging base, 2 dirt disposal bags, and an extra filter
- 3-stage cleaning system catches fine hair and allergens as well as larger debris
- Comes with smart mapping, Dirt Detection, Sensor Technology, and Cliff Detect
- Charging station also works as a self-emptying system for complete hands-free use
- Can be customized to work automatically through the iRobot Home App
- No air wattage listed on manufacturer’s website; may not have the suction some users desire
Get the iRobot vacuum for hardwood floors at Amazon or Best Buy.
What to Consider When Choosing a Vacuum for Hardwood Floors
When searching for the best vacuum for hardwood floors, shoppers often want to consider the options that matter most. Buyers almost always start by determining the type of vacuum desired, but the features, such as dustbin, filtration options, attachments, and other special features are also worth considering when looking for a new model.
Vacuum and Flooring Type
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 that 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 (unless there is a power outage).
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 life, some manufacturers offer warranties on their batteries. Others simply offer warranties on the machine itself. Look over the fine print carefully when choosing any vacuum, but especially when choosing a battery-powered model.
More than just the restraints of a cord versus, there are more maneuverability considerations between corded and cordless models. 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 that many users are not able to use 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 more easily open the bottom to release the dust, or a top that must be lifted up or off to empty. The preference depends upon which is easiest for the user to operate.
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. Plus, some vacuum bags are now compostable.
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 regular easy-changing of the filter. 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 desired attachments 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 (and sometimes composted) when it becomes full. A bagless vacuum deposits lint, dirt, and other debris into a canister, which you empty when full. It can be reused again and again.
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