Tile floors are low maintenance, durable, and easily customized to your personal style. However, they can show dust and dirt, making finding the best vacuum for tile floors a vital step in long-term tile floor maintenance.
Vacuums come in several types, from cordless to canister and upright to wet/dry. The right one for you will depend on your home’s flooring types, how much of the flooring is tile, and the amount and type of daily foot traffic. Pets and children, for example, create more messes than a house of adults.
This shopping guide includes recommendations for some of the best vacuums for tile floors along with information to narrow down the options. The range of vacuum types included can accommodate varying home, family, and cleaning types and situations.
- BEST OVERALL: Shark APEX DuoClean Upright Vacuum
- BEST CANISTER: Miele Compact C1 Powerline Canister Vacuum
- BEST CORDLESS: Eureka RapidClean Pro Cordless Vacuum Cleaner
- BEST WET/DRY: Hoover FH40160PC FloorMate Deluxe Hard Floor Cleaner
- BEST ROBOTIC: eufy by Anker RoboVac 30C Robot Vacuum Cleaner
What to Consider When Choosing Between the Best Vacuums for Tile Floors
Every home is different; likewise, users have different likes and dislikes when it comes to vacuum cleaners. All of these personal preferences come into play when deciding on the right vacuum. We’ve listed some of the top considerations to factor in as you choose a vacuum.
A home’s size acts as a starting point for vacuum size and power—the larger the house, the larger the vacuum. A stick or cordless vacuum may be enough to clean a small home or apartment. However, it could run out of battery power cleaning a space larger than 1,000 square feet.
The vacuum size will also determine how often you empty it. A small stick vacuum could fill up every time it’s used in a spacious home, whereas a large, bagged upright may only fill every few weeks. It’s a balancing act between the vacuum size and power along with the available storage space.
It comes down to this—the vacuum size and power should complement the home size.
Corded vs. Cordless
Corded vs. cordless—the ongoing debate about which is better isn’t likely to end soon. That’s because one or the other is better in certain situations and for different users. The choice comes down to what kind of user you are and how you want to use the vacuum.
Corded vacuums never run out of power, meaning you get full suction no matter how long you run the vacuum. However, the cord’s length affects how you clean. Once you reach the end of the cord, you’ll have to stop vacuuming and move to a different outlet. Some people dislike maneuvering around a cord.
Larger vacuums, like full-size uprights and canister vacuums, have the longest cords, with some reaching nearly 30 feet. Stick vacuums have shorter cords in the range of 15 to 20 feet. Retractable cords add convenience. Otherwise, most corded models have an on-board cord storage system built into the vacuum’s body.
Cordless vacuums aren’t limited by cord length. You can carry them for use almost anywhere in your house without tripping over a cord. In the past, cordless vacuums could be heavy due to the weight of their lead-acid batteries. However, most modern models now have relatively lightweight lithium-ion or lithium-ion polymer batteries.
These two types of batteries don’t have issues with memory effect, wherein the battery loses its ability to hold a full charge if it’s not completely discharged with each use. They’re also more eco-friendly than past lead-acid, nickel-cadmium, or nickel-metal hydride batteries, which you may find on older cordless vacuums.
Vacuum cleaners have a universal motor that operates on both direct current and alternating currents. A good indication of motor power is amps, although this can be somewhat deceiving in that a vacuum’s total amps include power used in other parts of the vacuum. But in general, vacuums with higher amps have more power and, consequently, more suction power.
Keep in mind that high suction power uses more electricity. If you’re cleaning a small home or apartment, you may not need a high power vacuum. Usually, a stronger suction power is needed in a house with a larger square footage.
Airflow and Filtration
Vacuum airflow is measured in cubic feet per minute (cfm), with the best vacuums having an airflow of over 125 cfm. However, airflow should be balanced with the vacuum’s suction, also called the water lift or static pressure. A vacuum can have good airflow but low suction, leaving you with a model that underperforms for its power. Good suction power—measured in inches of water lift, or how many inches the motor will lift 1 inch of water vertically—starts at 80 inches. Balanced vacuum specs should have more than 125 cfm and over 80 inches of suction.
All that airflow also needs good filtration. High-efficiency air particulate (HEPA) filters remove particles as small as .3 microns. Allergy sufferers benefit from this filtration level, removing pet dander, dust mites, pollen, and other common allergens.
Lugging around a clunky vacuum builds extra work into cleaning. That’s where maneuverability comes into play. Stick and cordless vacuums offer the best maneuverability, especially if they have a swivel head that pivots around furniture and everyday household obstacles.
As far as full-size models go, uprights have a leg up on canister vacuums, which can be cumbersome to drag. However, canisters tend to perform better on tile floors due to the vacuum head design. These designs make them one of the best vacuums for tile floors.
The average vacuum cleaner produces 75 decibels (dB) of noise. To give you an idea of how loud that is, the average home’s noise levels stay around 40 dB. Vacuums that run at 71 to 75 dB will sound fairly loud. A quiet vacuum runs between 65 to 70 dB.
Vacuum capacities vary widely, from robot vacuums and stick models accommodating around .5 liters (L) to full-size uprights and canister models holding around 4.5 liters. More considerable volumes allow you to empty the bag, dust bin, or canister less often. Make sure the vacuum’s capacity fits your home’s size. If you have a large household, more than 1,000 square feet, you may need to empty a small bin before you’ve finished vacuuming the house. Small containers work best for small spill clean up rather than whole-house vacuuming.
Accessories expand a vacuum’s usefulness. Standard accessories typically include a crevice tool, upholstery brush, and extension wands. However, a few other extras worth considering are additional hoses (for canister vacuums), motorized brush heads, and pet brush heads.
Onboard storage keeps accessories at your fingertips. However, it also adds weight. Other designs have a storage bag or a case for extra accessories, which keep the vacuum’s weight to a minimum. A downside to this is that a separate bag or a case can also be misplaced.
Our Top Picks
The following vacuums offer features tailored to tile floors. Canister vacuums with powerful automatic suction adjustment, cordless models, and wet/dry vacs that pull double duty made the list. Your unique circumstances and preferences will help you decide which is the right choice for you.
An easily maneuvered swivel head helps the vacuum glide over low-pile carpets and hard floors. However, it has a detachable cleaner head for stairs, windowsills, and other hard-to-reach places so that it can do far more than tile. With a dirt cup capacity of 1.58 liters, this vacuum weighs 17.1 pounds and has a 30-foot cord.
Shark also incorporates noise reduction technology that cuts decibels and softens the vacuum’s overall pitch. A HEPA filter removes common allergens. This pick also features LED lights on the floor nozzle and the vacuum’s handle, helping to reveal hidden debris in dark areas.
- Easily glides over low-pile carpets and tile
- Detachable cleaner head squeezes into tight spots
- 30-foot cord increases cleaning time between adjustments
- Noise reduction technology keeps the Shark quiet
- HEPA filter removes common allergens and dirt
- Dirt cup capacity is small, requiring more frequent emptying
- Slightly heavy at 17.8 pounds when using the fully assembled unit
With a dirt cup capacity of 3.5 liters, this model is compact but does not lack for suction power. Its 1200-watt vortex motor and thoughtfully designed vacuum head combine to create uninterrupted suction that pulls in more dirt and dust while enhancing energy efficiency. This Miele also includes six suction power settings that you can manually adjust using a dial on the canister body.
The vacuum comes with three accessories—a crevice tool, a dusting brush, and an upholstery tool. It also includes a built-in HEPA filter to remove common allergens.
- Six suction settings easily switch between floor types
- 3.5-liter bag capacity for fewer pauses while vacuuming
- AirClean Sealed System prevents dust from escaping
- Auto-retracting cord keeps cord from being damaged
- Extremely quiet operation
- Uses bags instead of bagless cup collection
- HEPA filtration only available through purchase of HEPA bags
- 21-foot cord requires outlet switching in larger homes
The Eureka offers a lightweight but efficient cleaning experience on tile floors. At just over 5 pounds, this vacuum is an ideal choice for multitaskers. It has an easy rest feature if you need to temporarily prop the vacuum against a counter, a chair, or another piece of furniture. The Eureka converts into a handheld vacuum for use on stairs and other hard-to-reach places. Handy!
With the dust bin at the top of the handle, this model can reach underneath deep furniture pieces and collect debris with its .7 liter canister. Built-in LED headlights help illuminate dark spaces while cleaning. A rechargeable 25.2-volt lithium-ion battery provides excellent power with a maximum 40-minute runtime.
- Lightweight at just over 5 pounds
- Swivels flat or converts to handheld for tight spots
- 40-minute runtime on rechargeable battery
- Built-in LED headlights highlight debris underneath furniture
- .7-liter dust canister is small, even for small jobs
- Strong rechargeable battery, but can lose power with long usage
The Hoover Floormate uses water and scrub brushes to remove dirt, dust, and other messes. This model features dual tanks to keep the dirty and clean water separate, reducing the risk of dirty water coming into contact with your floors.
In wash mode, the vacuum uses both brushes and suction to pull up water and remove dirt. In dry mode, the brushes disengage so the suction can fully remove excess water. Modes are controlled with easily accessed buttons on the handle, where you can also activate a clean boost that adds extra detergent.
Like other wet/dry vacuums designed for hard floors, there’s a low percentage of these types of vacuums having sensor issues or early breakdowns. It weighs less than 14 pounds, it has a 20-foot-long cord and a dirt cup capacity of 1.58 liters.
- Combines vacuuming and mopping into one easy task
- Separates clean and dirty water into two tanks
- Includes brush to scrub the grout between the tiles
- Wet suction prevents dirt from resettling in the house
- 20-foot cord requires more frequent outlet changes
- Can develop sensor problems over time
This robotic vacuum cleaner simplifies a dreaded chore. The vacuum connects to an app through which you can set the cleaning schedule on your phone or device. Set the deice to vacuum once, twice, or three times per day, so you can do something else while the floors get clean. If you don’t want to use your smartphone, you can operate this feature with the included remote control.
To conserve energy and extend the vacuum’s battery life, a sensor automatically adjusts the suction setting to the floor surface with low-powered suction on tile floors and higher suction on carpet. However, you can also set the vacuum to run at max power, which picks up more debris from tile floors than the standard suction setting.
While this model doesn’t feature some of the higher-end settings like GPS tracking, you get highly effective cleaning at an affordable price for a robotic vacuum. Additionally, its height of 2.85 inches makes it ideal for cleaning underneath furniture easily.
- Programmable robotic vacuum makes vacuuming effortless
- Max Power setting bypasses sensor for more suction on tile
- 2.85-inch height ideal for cleaning under furniture without damage
- Works with Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant
- Default settings may not be strong enough for tile
- Battery life is shortened on Max Power setting
- .6-liter dust cup may require frequent emptying
- Only basic filtration—HEPA not available
The Shark Apex DuoClean Upright Vacuum takes the top spot. While it’s a little heavy, its strong suction, easy maneuverability, long cord, and integrated HEPA filtration make it the highest-performing and easiest-to-use model on our list. The other options are strong candidates that meet particular needs and are great options as well, but the Shark Apex checks the most boxes.
How We Chose the Best Vacuum for Tile Floors
What makes a vacuum great? In the end, the best vacuum is one that meets the needs of the user, and vacuuming a tile floor calls for some different qualities than vacuuming a deep-pile carpet. We started by examining basic features that all users could compare, including the suction and filtration of the vacuums along with the capacity of the dirt collection component. While cordless is more convenient, we found that in general corded vacuums are more powerful for longer—but a longer cord makes vacuuming an easier task than it would be with a shorter cord. We also took noise level and unique or individual features into consideration when choosing the best overall vacuum for tile floors. However, each user’s needs are different, so we evaluated multifunctional tools and special features so that each user can choose the tool that best handles their vacuuming chores.
Thankfully, vacuums that work for tile floors often work well on other types of flooring, too. Some models have automatic sensors that change the vacuum height or suction based on the flooring type. This feature allows you to seamlessly move from tile to carpet and back again. We’ve provided a few more tidbits and tips for vacuuming those tile floors.
Q. Are cordless vacuums suitable for tile floors?
Today’s cordless vacuums generally have good suction that works well on small areas (less than 1,000 square feet) of tile flooring. They’re great for spot cleaning in large homes, but the battery life could limit their use as a whole-house vacuum in homes over 1,000 square feet. However, for a tiny space or a home with a small tile area, a cordless vacuum provides maneuverability and portability to accommodate these areas of the home.
Q. Do robot vacuums work on tile floors?
Many robot vacuums work well on tile floors. Those with multiple suction settings and automatic sensors that adjust the suction setting based on the flooring type perform the best. Models with numerous suction settings let you adjust the suction based on the amount of debris in the home. For example, pet hair typically requires extra suction, so a model with a suction boost setting or mode will probably work best.
Q. How do you vacuum a tile floor?
Make sure the floor is clear of objects that could get sucked into the vacuum. If the vacuum head height is adjustable, lower it to the bare floor setting or the lowest setting available. Finally, follow a vacuuming pattern to keep track of where you’ve vacuumed.
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Stacey L. Nash is a freelance writer who covers home products, home design and decor, and general home improvement. She has written product reviews and buying guides for BestReviews.com, ChicagoTribune.com, and NewYorkDailyNews.com as well as editorial pieces and blog posts for Greatist.com and Amerisleep. She has a degree in Communication from the University of Puget Sound and enjoys an active (sometimes crazy) life with her husband and four children on 12 heavily-wooded acres in the Pacific Northwest.