If you have hardwood floors in your home they are, no doubt, a source of pride. This is a unique and beautiful feature of any home. Because of this, you want to take care of your hardwood floors in the best possible way. You may think that all vacuum cleaners are equal but this certainly is not true.
Most vacuums are general purpose machines and do a good job of cleaning your floors but may be limited when it comes to specific floor types. The truth is, your hardwood floors require a specific type of cleaning and, for this, you need a specialized vacuum that’s designed to give you the best cleaning for your hardwood floors, without damaging them.
The most important consideration when looking for a good vacuum for hardwood floors is to find one that doesn’t scratch the surface but still gives you the cleaning power that you need. You may also require a higher level of suction if there are grooves or indents in the floor surface. Knowing that your hardwood floor is a big part of your home and contributes to the investment value of your home, we’ve compiled a comprehensive list of the top rated vacuum cleaners for hardwood floors.
Top Vacuums Suitable for Wooden Floors
1. Shark Navigator
Shark vacuum cleaners have earned a worthy reputation as being among the best and the Shark Navigator Lift-Away Professional seems like a fitting machine to start off with.
The Dust-Away hard floor attachment is designed to provide the gentle cleaning that you want for your hardwood floors. It uses two washable microfiber pads that will not scratch your hardwood floors whilst removing large debris and fine dust, leaving a clean and glossy surface that you can be proud of. You’ll get the job done effortlessly with a cleaning width of 9.5″ and the swivel cleaning head makes things even easier.
An upright vacuum can be difficult, especially when cleaning stairs and hard to reach places. The Shark Navigator NV356e has a removable canister that weighs only 8 LBS, so it can function as an easy to use hand-held vacuum. It also has an amazing hose that compresses to 5 FT and the machine’s 30 FT cord gives you a lot of reach.
You’ll be able to work for longer, without emptying the dust cup too often, it holds 2.2 dry quarts of debris. The excellent cleaning power is matched with equally impressive filtration, the HEPA air filter removes 99.9% of all particles and allergens from the air, making this one of the best vacuums for people with allergies. It’s also great for pet owners and comes with a Pet Power Brush attachment.
If you need a vacuum that’s the best for hardwood floors that’s also designed with pets in mind and controls allergens, the Shark Navigator Lift-Away Professional NV356e is certainly worth considering. It provides excellent cleaning for most carpet types and the Dust-Away hard floor attachment converts it instantly to the best vacuum for hardwood floors, as well as tile and other hard floor surfaces.
You also get a standard dusting brush and crevice tool as part of the package and all the attachments pack away into a storage bag. The Shark Navigator comes with a 1-year limited warranty.
2. BISSELL Zing
This is a very compact and light canister vacuum and the price beats even that of the little Hoover stick vacuum. It’s a pretty basic machine with the biggest advantage being its small design that makes it perfect for cleaning steps and moving effortlessly around your home.
The cleaning head adjusts easily when moving from a carpeted floor to a hard surface. You simply use your foot to change the setting on the cleaner head. Weighing only 11.2 LBS with a convenient carry handle, it’s one of the best vacuums for portability.
The cyclonic action gives you very good suction for such a small machine and it cleans exceptionally well – though it’s better suited for hard floors and thinner carpets. The Bissel Zing is bagless and has triple stage filtration system that cleans the air well, the fact that there’s no specification for the filtration means that it’s probably not HEPA. So it may not be perfect for people with allergies.
You get a crevice tool and dusting brush with the vacuum. It’s a basic vacuum cleaner at a fantastic price. Don’t let this low price fool you into thinking that it’s a low quality machine. The Bissel name is associated with quality machines and a good service network. The Bissel Zing vacuum comes with a 1-year warranty.
3. Tineco A11Hero
I know there are many people who would prefer not to pay extra for all the bells and whistles, preferring something that will clean hardwood floors properly and not cost a fortune, but then you should also be willing to settle for a product that does not work as you expect it to. Well, the Tineco A11 is NOT that type of product.
It is not the most expensive of vacuum cleaners but still offers you a high level of build quality. The price has not compromised on the build of the machine that you would expect to see in the high end brand names.
It’s quite powerful, with a 450 Watt digital motor and 120 Air Watts suction power. Because of this, it’s suitable to be used not only for hard floors but carpets too. You can expect this little machine to do the same job on thick carpets as the more powerful models. It comes with a special soft roller power brush to clean wooden flooring.
It has a serious weight advantage over all the others, weighing only 5.5 LBS. Being a stick vacuum, it’s really easy to use everywhere and is very versatile. From floors to ceilings, there is no place that this powerful vacuum won't clean. The handle has a quick release mechanism, without the handle it’s perfect for cleaning steps and other difficult areas. It’s perfect for cleaning the interior of your car.
It’s a great little machine to have around the home. Even if you use a larger, more powerful vacuum for deep cleaning your carpets, this machine will make for a very handy, lightweight vacuum for other purposes and is perfect for your hardwood floors.
4. Hoover Linx
Stick vacuum cleaners are great if you’re looking for something that is light and easy to handle. This Hoover model is not only a fantastic little machine for hard floor surfaces, but also comes at a very reasonable price.
It weighs 9.5 LBS. It’s designed for maneuverability and easy use. The handle tilts right down, so that it can reach under low furniture and it has swivel steering.
The power brush uses cyclonic technology to deep clean without being too harsh on your floors. It adapts automatically from carpeted flooring to hard floors and has side brushes for cleaning against walls. This vacuum is designed to be the best for hardwood and other hard floor types, though it’s not the best for deep pile carpets. It can handle a certain level pet hair but is not designed specifically for pet owners. It has an excellent cleaning width of 11″ and the cord length of 20 FT is pretty good too.
If you have mostly hard flooring and a few loose rugs, this is a fantastic vacuum for these floors. It’s very affordable, so it can make a great addition to your cleaning equipment, even if you use a separate machine for cleaning soft carpets and removing pet hair from furniture. As with all Hoover products, you can expect a high degree of quality and the motor warranty is for 2-years.
5. Eureka Mighty Mite
Being a small and convenient canister vacuum that weighs only 9 LBS, the Eureka Mighty Mite Canister vacuum is perfect for moving around and carrying up stairs.
The 20FT power cord and easy to use extendable wand add to the versatility of this little powerhouse. Don’t be fooled by its small size and low weight, the Eureka Mighty Might has great suction thanks to a 12A motor. It will clean hardwood floors as easily as it does carpets.
There’s another great advantage to this machine that you won’t find on many vacuum cleaners. It has a blower function which makes it ideal for blowing out dust and debris from the garage or cleaning the patio of fallen leaves.
For a compact and versatile vacuum with heaps of power, the Eureka Mighty Might can proudly hold its own among the best vacuums for hardwood floors.
6. Dyson Ball Multi Floor 2
The Dyson Ball Multi Floor 2 is designed to be both practical and beautiful. The unique ball design makes it one of the easiest upright vacuums to maneuver, it’s really easy to move around corners and in between furniture.
It has exceptional suction power and will automatically adjust to any floor type. This means that as you move from a hardwood floor to a carpet, the cleaning head will adjust to clean every surface with the greatest efficiency.
Many bagless vacuums aren’t so great when it comes to emptying the dust cup. You often end up releasing all the dust that you’ve captured back into the air. Dyson has overcome this by sealing the bottom end, keeping the dust cup completely sealed until you release a latch with one finger, dropping the debris straight into the garbage can.
Radial root cyclonic technology acts to remove most of the dust and allergens before they even reach the dust cup. This means that the filters remain clean for a very long time, reducing your maintenance. Added to this great feature, it also has HEPA filters and is certified by the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America.
The versatile wand that releases instantly and effortlessly makes light work of cleaning ceilings, furniture and other places where it’s not so easy to reach with an upright vacuum. While it doesn’t come with any specialized attachments for cleaning pet hair, it is very effective at removing hair from your hard floors and carpets.
7. Dirt Devil Razor
For a high level of specification and versatility, the Dirt Devil Pet vacuum is a fantastic offering at a very reasonable price. You get a lot for your money.
Powerful suction with no power loss, combined with a spin4pro roller brush, this vacuum is perfect for all floor types – moving effortlessly from hardwood floors to carpets. The really long 10 FT hose and removable wand, give you the reach that you need to clean ceilings and under furniture with very little effort. Among the range of accessories, you get the Turboclaw Pet tool, making it ideal for removing pet hair.
At a very reasonable weight for an upright vacuum (10.8 LBS) and a number of fantastic features, the Dirt Devil Pet vacuum offers incredible value for money. It’s easy to use and cleans like a dream on all floor surfaces.
8. Shark Rocket
This is quite arguably the best of the best when it comes to dual purpose vacuum cleaners, offering perfect cleaning hard floors and carpets. You are going to pay extra for the incredible features of the Shark DuoClean Rocket vacuum, but I’m sure many will agree that it’s worth the extra cash.
It has two cleaning heads. The bristle brush is designed to deep clean carpets and a soft brush roll gives you the perfect tool to gently polish your hardwood floor and tiles whilst removing fine dust and large debris.
So you don’t get the convenience of a cleaning head that adjusts automatically to different surfaces but, at the same time, there’s no compromise when it comes to cleaning perfection. Each of specifically designed cleaning heads provide you with the best tool for the job at hand.
Though the Shark DuoClean Rocket is as powerful as the best of them, it weighs only 9.9 LBS and has a 30 FT power cord. Cleaning every corner of your home couldn’t be easier. It also converts to a hand-held vacuum easily, making it even more versatile.
This vacuum cleaner ticks all the boxes, it has a Pet Multi-tool for cleaning pet hair and you get a variety of filter options that will provide just about the cleanest air from any vacuum. Shark offers an amazing array of extras that includes a handy wand extension to fit under very low furniture. The standard accessories that come with the machine are pretty impressive on their own and include the Pet Multi-too, duster crevice tool, upholstery tool and a convenient storage hook.
The list of advanced features seem to be endless and it also has powerful LED lights on the cleaning head so you can see clearly, even when cleaning in dark corners. The Shark DuoClean Rocket is for people who see the sense in paying a little extra for superior quality. It’s definitely worth investing in and, to this end, Shark offers a VIP lifetime warranty for this product. Ten out of ten for quality, versatility and excellent features.
9. Oreck Commercial
Good old-fashioned durability is rare these days and this makes the Oreck Commercial XL2100RHS so refreshing. It doesn’t have modern styling, instead, it’s a strong, commercial grade machine.
This is a standard upright vacuum with a powerful roller brush that spins at 6500 RPM to effectively clean carpets and hard floors with incredible power. With a 12” cleaning path (it also has side brushes), it covers a large area in less time and the cleaning head adjusts to any floor type.
Even though this is a powerful commercial machine, it weighs only 8 LBS. So it’s easy to move about. In addition to this, the “Helping Hand” handle makes it really easy and comfortable to use. This handle design has received a commendation from the Arthritis Foundation.
So for the type of quality that people expected in a bygone era with some innovative modern design features, the Oreck Commercial XL2100RHS is certainly one of a kind. The extra-large bags and 1-year commercial warranty, place this vacuum in a league that compares with much more expensive industrial grade machines.
10. Fuller Brush Spiffy Maid
If you’re wondering if it’s possible to get a vacuum at the lower end of the price range that also gives you allergen-free air filtration, the Fuller Brush Spiffy Maid is the answer that you’ve been looking for.
It’s a light, easy to use upright vacuum with high-quality HEPA air filters that remove 99.9% of dust and allergens from the air in your home. The low weight of 9.8 LBS and a versatile 30 FT power cord make it ideal for cleaning everywhere, it’s the perfect vacuum for cleaning your car’s upholstery and carpets. The crevice tool also stores neatly into the wand, meaning that it’s instantly accessible at all times.
It’s fairly powerful, with a 9A motor but is probably not the best for thick carpets. This vacuum is one of the best for hard floors and is quite capable of cleaning thin carpets and loose rugs. Though not the best for pets, it does a reasonable job of cleaning pet hair from your hard floors and carpets.
Having taken all these factors into account, we’ve managed to find a multitude of vacuums that are not only the best for hardwood floors but also provide features that meet your specific needs. All these vacuums are rated very highly and have made the grade in terms of quality and performance.
They will differ in many ways, some may be better for pets, while others may be better for allergies or be versatile, in that they can adapt to many different floor types. Taking the time to read through this review will help you decide which model meets all your requirements. So, it’s worth spending this time before spending your hard-earned cash. Choosing the best vacuum for hardwood floors that will also meet all of your other requirements, is something that you should consider carefully.
Choosing the Best Vacuums for Hardwood Floors
This is a guide to choosing a good vacuum for hardwood floors. What should you look for in a vacuum when you have most hardwood floors instead of carpets?
Each home is different and so are the people that live in them. We know that not all vacuum cleaners designed for hardwood floors are the best for your individual needs. Some people may require a vacuum that is capable of cleaning multiple floor types with the same level of efficiency.
Your home may not have hardwood floors throughout, in which case, you’ll want a vacuum that will adapt to different cleaning situations. If pets are a big part of your life, you’ll want the best vacuum for hardwood floors (and possibly other floors), as well as handling the specific conditions that come with having pets in your home. Allergies plague many people and this may be an important factor when choosing the best vacuum for your needs.
Canister Vs. Upright Vacuum Cleaners – Does It Make a Difference?
Canister vacuums are in general better for hardwood floors than upright vacuums, since the rotating bristles of the brush on the upright vacuum cleaner that pulls in debris can scratch up your hardwood floors. However, you can consider an upright vacuum cleaner if it allows you to turn off the rotating bristles. This is an essential feature if your upright vacuum cleaner is designed with heavy duty brushes to pull pet fur and heavy debris out of thick carpet.
Either buy a canister vacuum that lacks these rolling brushes or take care to only get a vacuum cleaner that lets you turn off these brushes. And don’t purchase a vacuum cleaner that is supposed to turn off the beater brush automatically after height adjustments or you’ll risk scratching up floors when you transition between rooms or come up the stairs.
If you use a canister vacuum, choose one that has a long oval floor brush to pick up all the debris instead of scattering some of it while trying to pick up the rest. The standard narrow vacuum head on most canister vacuums will work but isn’t as good.
When your vacuum cleaner is primarily used on hardwood floors, one of the first things you need are wheels that won’t ruin the floor. Plastic wheels readily scratch up hardwood floors. You want rubber wheels at a minimum.
Some vacuum cleaners intended for a hardwood floor have padding on the bottom so that you don’t accidentally dent or scratch the hardwood floors as you set it down and then move it around. The most common types of padding are felt stripes or rubber padding on the bottom of the vacuum cleaner.
The padding matters more than whether or not the vacuum cleaner is lightweight. That said, if you have to lug the vacuum cleaner around a two story house and around furniture, the lightweight canister is the easiest to use.
In the rush to find a vacuum cleaner safe for a hardwood floor, many people forget to research the suction of the vacuum cleaner. Does it pick up all the debris on the floor? Is it powerful enough to suck up crumbs and dirt from between the floorboards?
Too many vacuum cleaners pick up the debris right in front of it but blow anything at a 45 degree angle farther away. This is a greater problem on hardwood floors than carpeted ones. When researching a vacuum cleaner, make sure it doesn’t blow away half of what you’re trying to vacuum up. Then verify that when it picks up pet hair off the floor or heavy crumbs that it doesn’t spray behind it a fine mist of dander and dirt to be swept up later.
Less Important Factors
When you’re shopping for a vacuum cleaner for hardwood floors, having a vacuum that can properly clean the floors without damaging them is the top consideration.
Less important are factors like capacity of the dirt cup, though if you live in a large home, you’ll want to have a vacuum cleaner with either high capacity or is easy to empty without making a mess.
1. A home full of hard floors tends to echo more than one with carpeting. A quieter vacuum cleaner is a luxury. Note though that a quiet vacuum cleaner will be around 67 decibels instead of the standard 70 to 73 decibels, and that may only be on the lower power setting. Up the power to clean up that nasty mess, and it is as loud as its rivals or takes more passes to get the job done.
2. If the vacuum cleaner has pads on the bottom so it doesn’t scratch up your floors, the unit’s weight only matters if you would otherwise have trouble pushing it around the house or carrying it up stairs. Handhelds work if you have a small home or use the vacuum for spot cleaning, but otherwise are not practical for whole house cleaning whether you have hardwood floors or carpets. They’ll simply last longer on a single charge for hardwood floors because not as much power is needed to clean them.
3. Features like a removable hand vacuum cleaner, upholstery tools and retractable cord are luxuries that are far less important when you’re shopping for a vacuum that won’t damage hardwood floors. The only tool that may become important is a crevice tool if you have older wood floors and need to clean the debris or gunk that may accumulate deep in the cracks between floorboards or the gaps along the wall.
4. The idea of finding a suitable vacuum for a hardwood floor may sound like a simple task at first but the comparisons and pros and cons listed above show that there is more to consider when making the choice than you imagined. The fact that there are two #1 rated models from completely different styles of vacuums shows that even though one specific design may be raved about by its users for its clever design, that doesn’t automatically mean that it is the best choice for you. The important thing to remember is to think about the different criteria of a top hardwood floor vacuum and your personal preferences.
5. Style is clearly an important place to start because the positive reviews show that both canister and stick vacuums can be effective tools on hardwood floors and there are as many corded models to choose from as well as cordless. Here the decision ultimately depends on which style you find the easiest to use. From there, you can then think about this separation between those machines that are best designed for quick jobs on hardwood alone and those that are “multi-surface” vacuums with a little more to offer.
6. The former has its limitations but is fine if you just want a simple, effective addition to your cleaning arsenal while the latter offers more versatility for a more efficient clean of the home. Eventually you will find yourself comparing all the other details like the use of brush rolls, the number of attachments, the battery life of the cordless models, maneuverability of the corded and other little features like the removal of the dirt receptacle and the inclusion of lights and filters.
When these features are listed in this way, the job of finding a good vacuum for your hardwood floor does become a little bit more daunting. As long as you are careful to filter out the most important features from the secondary ones and understand exactly what it is you want from your purchase, you are sure to find a vacuum that effectively cleans the hard surfaces and offers the blend of convenience, power and clever features that you are looking for.