Laminate flooring is aesthetically pleasing, low maintenance, and strong. Regular vacuuming lifts dust, dirt, crumbs, pet hair, and other debris from the surface with ease. However, a vacuum with a stiff rotating brush can leave scratches and scars on laminate floors.
Some vacuums feature an on-off switch for the rotating brush, while others use soft brushes designed for use on hard floors. The best vacuums will help keep your laminate floors in top condition for years.
- BEST OVERALL: Shark NV356E S2 Navigator Lift-Away Upright Vacuum
- BEST BANG FOR THE BUCK: Bissell Featherweight Stick Bagless Vacuum
- BEST BAGLESS CANISTER: Eureka WhirlWind Bagless Canister Vacuum Cleaner
- BEST CORDLESS UPRIGHT: Eureka RapidClean Pro Lightweight Cordless Vacuum
- BEST ROBOTIC VACUUM: eufy by Anker, BoostIQ RoboVac 15C MAX Robot Vacuum
- BEST FOR PET HAIR: BISSELL Pet Hair Eraser Turbo Plus Upright Vacuum
- BEST FOR ALLERGIES: Shark AZ2002 Vertex DuoClean PowerFins Upright
What to Consider When Choosing the Best Vacuum for Laminate Floors
Manufacturers offer numerous competing choices in vacuums for laminate floors, including corded or rechargeable, upright or canister designs, and bagged or bagless units. People with allergies may prefer vacuums with completely sealed HEPA filtration systems. If automation is a goal, you can activate robotic vacuums via smartphones or voice-controlled assistants, such as Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant. Read on for more information about these important considerations.
Several types of vacuums are available on the market today, each with different advantages.
- Upright vacuums are designed for users to push in front of themselves. They incorporate all parts in one unit, including the dust cup or dustbin. Some models include additional attachments, such as hoses and crevice-cleaning tools, to enhance functionality. Many upright vacuums have a detachable top section that functions as a handheld vacuum.
- Canister vacuums are designed for users to pull. The dustbin is in the canister unit that rolls on the floor. The machine picks up dirt and dust through the hose attachment and wand-shaped handle. This design may be easier for many users to handle as the weight is pulled rather than pushed.
- Robotic vacuums offer effortless cleaning. Users can activate them through smartphones, remote controls, or voice-controlled home assistants. With built-in sensors and agile maneuvering, robotic vacuums traverse laminate floors and suck dirt and dust into an interior dustbin, then dock in an included charging base.
Corded vs. Cordless
Both corded and cordless vacuums perform useful functions and offer distinct advantages. For powerful suction, corded vacuums operate on 15-amp, 120-volt electricity from standard home electrical outlets. Cords vary in length, with some reaching as long as 20 to 30 feet. Although manipulating the electrical cord while vacuuming might present an unwanted hassle, these vacuums offer the strongest cleaning power.
Cordless vacuums, including stick vacuums, are convenient and lightweight. They operate on rechargeable batteries—generally, lithium-ion batteries that run for approximately 30 to 60 minutes on a charge. These vacuums do not have the suction power of corded vacuums, but they’re handy for tidying up. Due to their slender profile and minimal weight, stick vacuums are convenient and easy to grab and go. The downside is remembering to recharge the battery so it’s ready for a quick cleanup without any notice.
Bagged vs. Bagless
In some vacuums, dirt and dust go into a disposable bag. When the bag is full, you remove and replace it. The downside is that as bags fill, the motor efficiency and suction power of the vacuum may decrease. Additionally, it’s necessary to purchase bags regularly and keep them on hand so that cleaning day goes off without a hitch.
In recent years, bagless vacuums have become increasingly popular. Many of these units feature dustbins with a push-button release so that the contents drop directly into a trashcan. The downside is that they do require some maintenance to keep the removable filters and dustbins clean for the next use. Some also hold far less dust than traditional bags do.
A vacuum’s effectiveness is a direct result of its suction power. Greater pressure created by the vacuum translates into greater suction power. This capacity is measured in Pa (pascal) units. A typical corded vacuum can create approximately 20,000 Pa of suction, enough to suction dust, hair, crumbs, and small particles of debris from the floor. A vacuum that produces 8,000 Pa of suction pressure can pick up dust and hairs from the floor’s surface.
Corded vacuums have greater suction power than cordless and robotic ones. For reference, robotic vacuums produce up to about 2,000 Pa of suction, which facilitates vacuuming on both carpeted and hard surfaces.
A vacuum with an efficient air-filtration system won’t send allergens or other potentially harmful particles back into the air after sucking them up. The air filter traps those particles inside the vacuum.
High Efficiency Particulate Air (HEPA) filtration systems offer top-level cleaning. The American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) certifies the efficiency of HEPA filtration systems in some vacuums. To get that certification, a HEPA filter must trap at least 99.97 percent of particles that measure 0.3 microns or more (a micron is 1-millionth of an inch). With a certified HEPA filter and a fully sealed filtration system, a vacuum may provide peace of mind for users who seek an allergen-free home environment.
Add-on accessories contribute to the functionality of vacuums. Whether they’re corded or cordless, upright or canister, vacuums perform a greater variety of cleaning tasks with the help of attachments.
A crevice tool, for example, helps clean between cushions or reach the narrow spaces between the furniture and the wall. This narrow, plastic tube with a tapering tip attaches to the end of a vacuum hose. Extension hoses and extension wands attach to vacuums to clean stairs, vacuum behind large pieces of furniture, and reach up high to clean drapery, walls, and corners.
The best vacuums for laminate floors should offer ample cleaning power for carpets and rugs, too. The primary consideration is to prevent scratching the surface of the laminate with a stiff rotating brush. For this purpose, many vacuums offer an on-off switch for the brush. With the switch conveniently located on the handle, users may activate the rotating brush for carpets and rugs and then turn it off for laminate flooring.
As an alternative, some vacuums feature a soft brush for use on laminate and other hard-surface flooring as well as a stiff brush for carpet. These vacuums simultaneously suction dirt and treat the floor to a soft, nonabrasive brushing for a polished look.
Our Top Picks
Considering a variety of designs, power options, and cleaning purposes, this list of top picks for the best vacuum for laminate floors represents corded, cordless, and robotic vacuums; bagged and bagless varieties; upright and canister designs; vacuums intended to rid the home of allergens and pet hair; and overall value.
This corded, 120-volt, upright vacuum from Shark cleans multiple surfaces with or without the rotating brush. Turn on the brush for carpets, and turn it off for laminate and other hard surfaces. The advanced swivel steering design helps this 13.7-pound vacuum maneuver around furniture and corners with ease. With the push of a button, the canister lifts away to become a handheld unit for hard-to-reach places.
The Shark Navigator traps and holds 99.9 percent of dust and allergens inside a completely sealed HEPA air-filtration system. This helps rid the home of pollen, dust, mold spores, pet dander, and other invisible irritants. The extra-large dust cup in this bagless vacuum holds 2.2 quarts of dust and dirt. The vacuum measures 14.96 inches by 11.4 inches by 45.5 inches.
Breeze through quick cleanups on laminate floors with this economical and convenient 2.6-pound stick vacuum. This three-way unit converts quickly from a full-length upright stick into handheld and stair-cleaning configurations. At full length, it measures 8.3 inches by 9.5 inches by 44.25 inches.
The Bissell Featherweight Stick is well suited for laminate and other hard flooring, but it also picks up dirt from carpet and area rugs. A drawback to keep in mind is that the dust cup in this bagless vacuum is relatively small and may require frequent emptying. Choose from several bright colors or classic black.
Eureka’s corded, bagless canister vacuum cleans laminate floors and other surfaces throughout the home. An integrated airflow control located on the handle toggles through hard-surface, carpet, and upholstery settings. The Eureka WhirlWind employs 240 volts of electricity to produce powerful suction and rid the home of dust, dirt, pet hair, spills, and messes. The 8-pound device includes smooth oversize wheels for easy maneuvering.
No need for vacuum bags, as the filtration system features a dust cup, dust separator, and a washable filter to avoid any loss of suction as the dust cup fills to its 2.27-quart capacity. When it’s full, push one button to instantly release the dust cup and empty the debris. Rinse the filter, and the vacuum is ready for the next use.
Powered by a rechargeable 25.2-volt lithium-ion battery, this convenient cordless vacuum from Eureka runs at full power for up to 40 minutes. Use the fingertip-controlled settings to switch from carpets and rugs to hard floors.
The 150-watt DC motor provides ample suction power. It features LED headlights to illuminate the dust and dirt within its 9.8-inch cleaning path. Additionally, it flattens to allow cleaning under beds, sofas, and other large furniture pieces. Measuring 9.8 inches by 6.3 inches by 43.3 inches at full length, the Eureka RapidClean also converts to a handheld device for cleaning small areas or hard-to-reach places. A wall mount is included for storage.
The RoboVac runs for up to 100 minutes with no more noise than the hum of a microwave oven. A lithium-ion battery powers the 2,000 Pa pressure to loosen and remove dirt from laminate and other floors. A rolling brush and two side brushes (for tight corners) whisk dirt and dust into its 0.54-quart dustbin.
Users can run the vacuum remotely through voice-controlled home assistants, such as Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant, or the EufyHome app on a smartphone. Ten built-in infrared sensors lead this little robot safely around the house. With its slim design—12.8 inches in diameter and just 2.85 inches high—this little robot can shimmy under beds and other furniture with ease. The package includes a remote control, charging base, AC power adapter, four side brushes, and an extra set of filters.
Pet hair rolls and collects on laminate floors like tumbleweeds in the desert. Bissell’s Pet Hair Eraser clears it away with powerful suction. The fingertip-controlled brush setting makes it a great choice for both laminate floors and carpeting.
Bissell’s cyclonic spooling system moves pet hair through the machine rather than create a tangled mess on the brush. The quick-release wand gets into hard-to-reach places. Hair, dirt, and dust go to a dustbin where they’re trapped in the smart-seal allergen system. From there, users can empty the dustbin contents with the press of a button—without touching the mess.
Keep in mind, at 13 inches by 15.75 inches by 44.5 inches and weighing 19.3 pounds, this electric vacuum is not particularly portable.
The anti-allergen technology in this corded upright vacuum from Shark includes a HEPA filter that traps 99.9 percent of dust and allergens inside a completely sealed dustbin. A soft brush roller pulls in both large particles and fine dust from laminate and hard floors, leaving behind a polished appearance rather than scratches and scuffs. The PowerFin roller, when activated, digs deep into carpet to lift out hidden dirt. Bright LED lights illuminate tiny dust particles in this machine’s path.
Weighing in at 22.9 pounds and measuring 31.6 inches by 13.1 inches by 12.1 inches, this vacuum is neither compact nor lightweight. But its lightweight lift-away pod facilitates handheld use for high places and under furniture.
FAQs About Vacuums for Laminate Floors
While choosing the best vacuum for laminate floors, some common questions may remain.
Q. Is it OK to vacuum laminate floors?
Yes, it is OK to vacuum laminate floors. Avoid vacuuming with a stiff rotating brush, though, as it will scratch laminate floors and mar their appearance. Choose the soft-brush feature or take off the stiff rotating brush.
Q. What is the best vacuum for all floor types?
For all floor types, look for a vacuum that features an on-off switch for the rotating brush. Turn on the brush for carpet or rugs, then turn it off for laminate and other hard-surface flooring.
Q. What is good suction for a vacuum?
Vacuum suction is measured in pascal units (Pa). A measurement of 20,000 Pa in a corded vacuum is considered strong suction, which is more power than a cordless model can produce.
Q. How long does a vacuum cleaner last?
On average, a vacuum cleaner should last around 8 years. The longevity of a vacuum cleaner depends on its original quality, frequency of use, size of the home, maintenance of the vacuum cleaner, and the type of dirt and debris it picks up.