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Cleaning hardwood floors can be a real pain. Anyone who has spent time on their hands and knees scrubbing these floors will know exactly what I’m talking about. Many traditional vacuum cleaners aren’t good at cleaning them either, as they either won’t reach low enough to pick up dirt from the floor or their brushes or other parts of the mechanism can even damage the floor. Here, we focus on the best vacuum for hardwood floors, reviewing products which are designed specifically for this purpose and to take a lot of the hassle out of the cleaning process.
Basically speaking, the problem encountered when vacuuming hardwood floors is being able to get close enough to the surface and effectively suck up even small debris, without causing any sort of scratching or damage to the surface itself. This has been considered in our reviews as well as standard vacuum features including weight and size, warranty, whether they have a cord or even which type of vacuum cleaner they are (stick, canister, etc.)
Our team have spent a lot of time researching appropriate models, reading reviews, using vacuum cleaners and watching videos of them in use to see exactly which options are best. Our information is provided in a simple table for an overview, and we also have detailed reviews and a buying guide to help you make the correct decision for your personal vacuuming needs.
It is very hard to argue with this option from Dyson as being the best stick vacuum for hardwood floors. It has clearly been designed with this type of flooring in mind, and though it isn’t the cheapest product out there, it has the features to justify its price.
The manufacturers claim this has the most power of any cordless vacuum in the stick vacuum market. It has filtration and up to an hour’s usage can be obtained from one charge.
The massive benefit of weighing less than 6 lbs. and taking up a tiny amount of space means that this is a great option even for smaller homes, and looks like a futuristic and impressive piece of technology.
This has multiple suction modes, but the first of these options, with a soft roller cleaner head, is the one which works for hardwood floors. It will pick up all kinds of debris without any chance of bristles marking the floor.
Another added benefit is the transformation this can quickly and easily perform to become a tiny handheld vacuum, this is great for cleaning the car or your furniture, but also can help get to the tough corners of your room.
A signature Dyson V10 engine ensures the power, and a clever list of features make this our top choice for hardwood flooring.
What makes it stand out?
Gentle on hardwood floors.
Exceptional suction for even small dust and debris.
Which disadvantages must you keep in mind?
Users must make sure they use the right mode or bristles can come into contact with the floor.
Bissell have a lot of options on the market which are designed primarily with pet hair in mind. This is definitely one of the vacuum cleaners with this as a key consideration and arguably the best vacuum for pet hair and hardwood floors.
The mop function means that this is effectively both mopping and vacuuming the floor all at once, and though it has a brush roll which rotates very quickly, it is made out of microfibers and other materials which won’t scratch a hardwood floor. The pet hair strainer also makes it easier to pick up the pet hair as well as any other debris that may be on your floor.
This has controls to switch between rugs and carpets and hard flooring surfaces, so you need to remember to switch when you are going around your home. It is a big positive that the Bissell can handle both of these surfaces.
Bissell’s love of pets really shines through, and for every purchase, they make a donation to the BISSELL pet foundation which helps animals in need.
What makes it special?
Great for picking up pet hair.
Soft brushes don’t damage hard floors.
Can work on carpet and rugs, too.
What cons did we find?
Needs water and formula to be replaced along with brushes periodically.
Hair can occasionally clump together when it gets wet.
Shark is a manufacturer which has become very popular in the world of vacuum cleaners, and it is inevitable that their products would make our list of the best vacuums. The SharkNinja range is called this because they are so small and lightweight, but still can pack a punch!
The Rocket Duoclean option has multiple brushes, a more robust bristle version for carpets, and a softer brush which is far more effective on hardwood floors (not to mention safer).
Being a stick vacuum, this is lightweight anyway, but it can even convert into a handheld vacuum cleaner for reaching tougher areas.
The brushroll has been designed in a way that it is very easy to get to when it comes to time to clean or change it.
Other bonus features include the fact this comes with a crevice tool, a storage hook for hanging on the wall or in cupboards and has some smart LED lights which help you to see debris you would otherwise have missed.
This is a corded vacuum which is bagless in design. When the time comes to empty the dust bin, this is extremely simple to do.
Why are we impressed?
Excellent power and picks up even small dust.
Long cord to reach lots of different areas.
Can be used on carpets and hard flooring alike.
LED lights so you can see where you will be vacuuming in detail.
What negatives must you be aware of?
The cord isn’t easily retractable so can get tangled.
The Tineco brand may not be as well-known as some of the other vacuum brands out there, but with products such as this, they are starting to grow at a rapid rate. Though it is quite expensive when compared to other options on the market, this is a very strongly recommended cleaner with some excellent features to rival Dyson and Shark models.
This has two different batteries providing 60 minutes of running time, meaning you can clean large homes without having to worry about charging. The battery can also be charged separately from the vacuum itself.
The brushes used both have LEDs so you can see in front of you, and these are specifically designed to treat different types of floor, one being perfect for hardwood floors.
The suction is impressive, and the brand advertises this as having five times the suction power of standard cordless vacuums on the ‘max’ mode. This is great for getting stubborn dust and debris out of cracks down the side of hardwood floors.
An incredible four different filters make this great for pet hair and for ensuring that allergens are filtered out. It has a hair cleaning tool, too, as well as seven accessories in total with multiple crevice tools and adapters to suit different parts of your home.
What do we love it for?
Four different filters.
Two separate brush modes.
Seven different accessories for different surfaces and crevices.
What were we disappointed with?
Weight is carried near the handle, making it awkward to carry.
The Navigator Lift-Away is a fantastic all-around vacuum. It has an attachment which makes it suitable for hardwood floors.
Shark is an outstanding brand with a vast range of products in the vacuum market, but this is one of the more affordable Shark vacuums for hardwood floors. It is very easy to use, can be simply assembled and doesn’t weigh a huge amount for an upright vacuum.
The swivel action the bottom of this vacuum has is reminiscent of the Dyson Ball movements and makes it incredibly easy to move around the home. The adjustable suction level means you can apply more or less power as required, and soft brushes make this a good choice for hardwood floors.
There isn’t much debris that this can’t pick up, and though it doesn’t have a specific pet hair tool, users have reported that it is great for picking up all kinds of hair along with dust, dirt and just about anything else you could need. Once done, you can pop open the dust compartment and empty in one smooth motion as it has an effortless release.
The lift-away design means that you can unclip and lift the canister to get to the harder to reach areas of your home, such as in between furniture or underneath household items. In lift-away mode, this is extremely light and easy to use.
Why are we impressed?
Adjustable ‘liftaway’ mode for hard to reach areas.
We wanted to include the best robot vacuum for hardwood floors on our list, and this is an exceptional option for those who want a vacuum that they can just set on its way and allow it to do the job for them.
This has thirteen sensors which mean it doesn’t collide with any other items or get stuck or jammed on its way around. It is excellent at mapping out surfaces and can be used with the ‘Mi Home App’.
The app control can allow it to be used via smart home devices as well as controlled from your phone, and you can do everything from check its status to controlling the direction it is going in and even make it go and self-charge on its dock.
The 1800 Pa of suction is very impressive and perfect for picking up dust and stubborn particles.
The Roborock also has a water tank and mopping function which is excellent for all sorts of hardwood flooring types, meaning a more thorough overall clean, and one less job for you to have to do around the home.
While some people may think that these types of vacuums are novelty products, those who have actually seen the features available and the power these robot vacuums now have, quickly realized their benefits for hardwood floors.
What are its best features?
Mop function for further cleaning.
Control via your phone or smart home device.
Works on carpets and hardwood floors
What could be improved?
Only a one year warranty.
Can accidentally grab loose cables if not kept neat.
This is the product most similar to the Shark Liftaway, which some would say was made as a competitor to Dyson’s iconic Ball range.
Being called a multi-floor cleaner is definitely justified, as the cleaner head is designed to adjust itself based on the surface you are cleaning, whether wood, carpet or even other hard floors such as tiles.
Though most of the vacuums claim that their suction power is the best on the market, it is hard to argue that the ‘radial root cyclone technology’ used by the Dyson range is impressive, especially when picking up some of the tiny dust that you may need to remove from your hardwood floors.
The instant-releasing wand is great for reaching difficult areas, and the total reach of the Dyson with cord is 40 feet, so you don’t need to unplug it from the power supply often. Just like the Lift-Away, the bin can be emptied simply, with one push of the button on the side allowing you to lift it out and dispose of the debris.
The ‘ball’ design is one of the reasons this became iconic, as it is one of the simplest upright vacuums to maneuver, so if you are looking for a smooth glide across all surfaces, this vacuum could be your answer.
The Bissell Cleanview has been listed on our site many times as one of the top options for people on a budget. This is a very versatile vacuum cleaner, and in spite of being on the cheaper end of the market, it has features to rival many of the products costing significantly more.
There is a brush design which is in place to pull up most of the surface debris on the first pass by. It has a multi-cyclone system which makes sure the dirt stays where it should be, in the dust bin!
It has a 25-foot cord and 6-foot hose which means it has a decent range, as well as over 13-inch cleaning path as you push it along the floors. It is versatile, though the suction isn’t quite as impressive as some of the Shark and Dyson models on the market.
This also has a filter, which is washable, it isn’t quite as good in terms of being anti-allergenic as some of the other options, but for the price tag, it is hard to argue with what Bissell are offering.
Excellent consumer reviews back up the fact that this represents good value for money, though some of the other models may be better for hardwood floors, you will be hard pressed to find something better at the price range.
Why is it special?
Excellent value for money.
Comes with a washable filter.
What are the flaws?
Not as powerful in terms of suction as some other vacuums on the list.
With the huge variety of models on the market, choosing the right vacuum is not easy. People have different requirements for their vacuums based on the home they live in. Some people want a cordless model, and some don’t mind the cord. Some people need a model which can handle just hardwood floors, and others need it to vacuum carpets, too.
Consumers all have different budgets and prioritize different things when it comes to purchasing their vacuum. Our buying guide is designed to help you understand how vacuum cleaners work, and which features you should prioritize.
Reasons to get a vacuum for hardwood floors
Vacuuming is not the only way to clean hardwood floors. Many people use other methods to scrub their floors clean such as mopping. So why get a vacuum cleaner? A good quality vacuum cleaner can actually incorporate the mopping into the process. Many have brushes and even specific mop modes which can provide both the dry clean of a vacuum setting and the wet cleaning of a mop.
Being able to run an upright hoover or a canister hoover for hardwood floors across your hardwood is far simpler than going through the mopping process and even waiting for it to dry afterward.
Features to consider when choosing a vacuum cleaner for hardwood floors
The following are the most important features when choosing vacuum cleaners for your hardwood floors. Making the right choice can save you a lot of hassle in the long run.
Type of vacuum
There are multiple types of vacuum cleaners on the market, all of which have their pros and cons when it comes to hardwood flooring. Some are more versatile and have the ability to work well on both hardwood floors, carpets, rugs or even tiling.
Canister vacuums don’t tend to be the best for hardwood floors, the actual canister being dragged around behind it can cause scratches or a lot of noise on the floor. The best canister vacuums for hardwood floors would be one with very soft wheels, but generally, our list has stuck to upright, stick and robot vacuums.
Upright vacuums are very simple to use, they can simply be pushed around in front of you, and many of the upright models have very clever attachments to allow you to reach crevices and corners. Ball and swivel style designs let you easily maneuver around with these types of vacuum.
Stick vacuums are popular too when it comes to hardwood floors. Sometimes these don’t have as much power, but the models we’ve listed don’t suffer from this issue, and many of them convert into handheld versions with the press of a button.
Handheld options on their own aren’t a good option for hardwood floors as they don’t cover enough surface area, but one which is attached to a stick vacuum may be suitable. This can help reach tight corners and even vacuum on furniture.
Robot vacuums are also a viable option for hardwood floors. They’ve grown immensely in their popularity in recent years as people realize they aren’t a novelty product and that they can save a lot of time! Some robot vacuums also have mop functions, perfect for these kinds of floors.
The amount of power is definitely something you should think about. Some vacuums struggle to pull up dust and other small debris from hard floors. Having multiple power options can be an advantage if you are looking to use it on different surfaces.
The weight of the vacuum should be considered in terms of storage and also in terms of pushing or pulling it around the home. Many of the products on our list are stick-style vacuum cleaners. These are excellent when it comes to weight as they tend to weigh just 5-6 lbs. Upright vacuums can also be a decent option in terms of weight, but if you aren’t able to carry it around and take it upstairs, for instance, it can render the vacuum useless.
Corded or cordless?
Corded vacuums often have between 20 and 30 feet of cord length, and those which are on our list of the best vacuums for hardwood floors all have at least a decent cord length. Corded models mean you don’t have to worry about charging, but you may have to unplug the vacuum and plug it back in in different rooms through your home.
Cordless options can be impressive. Dyson Cyclone V10 has up to one hour of use per charge, which should be more than enough to do most homes. You will need to remember to keep it fully charged, and cordless options can be more expensive due to the fact they need a battery system and charger.
Bagged vs. bagless
Bagless options mean that a dirt bin is used to collect the debris before you dispose of it.
If you are opting for this kind of option, then you should check the capacity of the bin, so you aren’t having to regularly empty it after every couple of uses.
Bagged options mean the maintenance of having to replace bags, which can be expensive and may not be good for the environment. The main benefit is the fact that disposal may be easier.
Anti-allergen filters are designed to stop allergens which can be stored in pet hair or have settled in dust on the floor from being released and causing a reaction. This is more important if you have allergies or are likely to become irritated, or if you have pet hairs around your home.
The reach ability is based on not only the cord length, but the hose length too. The hose may also have extensions and other fittings to allow it to fit into crevices or difficult areas between furniture.
Performance on other surfaces
Though we’ve focused on the performance on hardwood floors, it is great if a vacuum can be useful on other floors, too. Many people have not just hardwood floors in their home but also rugs, carpets or even tiles. Some of the options, such as the Bissell Cleanview, are great for a variety of different surfaces in the home, and not built purely for hardwood.
Type of debris
Different homes naturally will produce different types of debris. If you are just looking for a vacuum to pick up crumbs from the table or some cat litter then a standard, versatile vacuum might be fine.
If you have pet hair (or human hair) issues, then it might be worth getting a product with a brush attachment to help dislodge the hair and properly suck it into the mechanism.
The best vacuum for hardwood floors and pet hair can make your life so much easier if you’ve got a lot of animals around your house.
The warranties of electrical products can vary hugely. Some vacuums offer five years of warranty whereas others might only protect your purchase for a year. If you have a vacuum with a long warranty, it usually means that it is built to last, and the manufacturers are confident in the ability it has to last a long time.
Vacuums which work best for deep carpets often have bristles or brushes to bring up the stuck-in debris. If you are brushing as you vacuum, it is important to make sure the bristles aren’t going to damage hardwood floors! Some vacuums are good for both, but these often have two different settings for carpets or hardwood.
Robot vacuums are very good for hardwood floors in the right circumstances, plus the fact that the Roborock option and many of the other vacuum robots can self-charge as well as vacuuming and even mopping so you don’t have to.
The mop function on vacuums is often slightly different to a regular mop. For big spillages then we recommend using a regular mop, as the work may be too intense for your vacuum, but for actually vacuuming the whole floor, as long as it is done regularly, the mopping function can be just as effective.
The Dyson Cyclone V10 is the top product on our list. It is hard to argue with such a compact stick vacuum which has some wonderful features including the soft brushes which are effective but also very good for hardwood floors as they reduce the chances of any scratching. This also transforms into a handheld model as required. It is rated 9.9/10.
The BISSELL Crosswave Pet Pro All in One 2306A is the second highest rated option on our list. It represents good value for money and is designed to be exceptional for anyone with pets who needs to pick up hairs from hardwood floor. The mop function is also something you will probably find yourself using regularly!
The Shark Rocket DuoClean HV382 is a great option too, especially if you have a small apartment or are looking for something which won’t take up too much space. This is another stick vacuum, and as well as being lightweight it has multiple suction options.
Finding the right vacuum for hardwood floors is largely a case of understanding if you need any other surfaces to be vacuumed too, how much you have to spend and which type of vacuum you will be best suited to. Our detailed best vacuum for hardwood floors reviews are designed to help you make that choice with ease.