Best Vacuums for Hardwood

Best Vacuums for Hardwood Floors

We’ve zoned in on the six best hardwood floor vacuums. These are designed to easily eliminate dust and debris while never, ever scratching the surface.

Soft rollers, suction settings, and a combination of corded and battery-powered cordless vacs, some of which are enjoying an independent robotic existence, line up to assist in eliminating the evidence of pets, mobile snacking sessions, and the aftermath of left-on shoes.

When the piles of carpet meet the miles of wood, not all suction is the same. The task of clearing the clutter that accumulates on the once pristine hard surfaces comes down to details.

Those details include soft bristles and less resistance. The rigid and often vast open expanse of a hard floor demands a more free-flowing form of suction.

Versatility is key when it comes to finding the best vacuum for hardwood floors. A vacuum’s ability to quickly traverse tedious and tight spaces can go a long way in making a user’s experience efficient and at times, enjoyable.

6 Best Vacuums for Hardwood Flooring

Best Overall: Shark Rocket Ultra-Light Hand Vacuum HV320

best overall shark rocket ultra light vacuum HV320
  • Weight: 8.6 lbs.
  • Style: Stick/Corded
  • The Good: Price, Versatile, Easy to store, Multi-stage filtration
  • The Bad: Top heavy, can tip, Inconsistency in attachments included in box, Cord can be tedious to manage, Needs regular maintenance to maintain suction

The Shark Rocket Ultra-Light HV320 Vacuum is super lightweight. It sports a sleek body style. That allows it to bob and weave in and out of tight spots and under low-lying furniture. You can convert it to a hand vac and just about anything in between.

The adjustable roller speed control allows users to slow the brush rotation when operating on hard floors. You can also increase the speed to better handle carpeted or upholstered surfaces.

This means transitioning to an area rug or two can be done with the flick of a switch. You won’t need to make any other necessary adjustments. Bright LED headlights illuminate the path of both the floor head of the vacuum and, when in operation, the handheld variation.

The option to convert the Shark Rocket Ultra-Light to a super versatile hand vacuum adds to the value packed into this little floor-cleaning powerhouse.

The extendable wand can reach ceilings and stay tight to baseboards. It attacks the debris that has convened under the oven. Car upholstery and furniture are also no match for this portable hand vac.

What Reviewers Say

A few users report that the Rocket Ultra-Light Vacuum’s filters are easy to remove and clean. Some owners recommend purchasing additional filters. That way, you can still use the vacuum while the other filters are being washed and air dried.

Some frustration can be found in dealing with the rollers when excess hair gets wrapped around them. There are reports of users spending quite some time cutting tangled hair from the tight confines of the roller and its bristles.

This Shark vacuum gets mostly rave reviews when it comes to handling pet hair and messes. The suction seems to be so powerful at times that it compacts the dirt and debris in the dustbin. That allows users to extend dumping sessions.

Multiple reports cite the swivel function of the vac to be almost intuitive. It anticipates the next move of the user. Then, it slides right into the best position to keep the cleaning session flowing.

Features & Considerations

Things can get a bit tippy when it comes to standing the Shark Rocket Ultra-Light Vacuum up, if even for a second. The placement of the controls and most other operational parts and pieces at the top of the vac can create an unbalanced center of gravity. That causes the vac to hit the floor anytime it’s left to stand on its own.

There are a wide variety of tools and attachments for the Shark Rocket Ultra-Light Vacuum. Some are included with the vac and others are available as add-ons.

The microfiber hard floor attachment may just be worth the purchase if it’s not already included with this snappy, sucky machine. The pad attached to the floor head is washable. It grabs fine dust and dander during the vacuuming process. It provides a “buffed” effect when you are done.

The vacuum’s power cord measures at a lengthy 30 feet. This can be extremely convenient when bopping around the house while doing some serious dirt sucking. However, it can also be a bit difficult to manage when it comes time to reign everything back in when the job is complete. When not fully extended, the cord can also add some added bulk to the vacuum.

The vac’s soft roller brush can do a great job of capturing all types of tiny tidbits of crumbs and debris. However, it can also get itself into quite a bind when encountering long hairs or large clumps of fur. To help expedite a remedy to the situation, the brush roll indicator light turns red if a jam is detected.

Best Mid-Range Option: Bissell Hard Floor Expert Multi-Cyclonic Bagless Canister Vacuum

best mid range option bissell hard floor expert multi cyclonic bagless canister vacuum
  • Weight: 13 lbs.
  • Style: Canister / Corded
  • The Good: Wide cleaning path, Price, Quiet, Lightweight and compact
  • The Bad: Short power cord, Can require extra space from storage, Attachments could be better, Wheels can be hard to move at times

The Bissell Hard Floor Expert Canister Vacuum is extremely lightweight, especially for a vacuum of its type. It can be transported relatively easily. The brush roll adjustment switch makes it simple to transition from hard floors to carpeted surfaces.

The specially designed turbine hard floor tool is gentle on hardwood floors. It doesn’t leave scratches or scuffs behind. The low-profile floor head and swivel handle can allow operators to have easy access to areas under beds and other furniture.

The vacuum’s canister body style provides users with featherlight operation. In addition, the rubber wheels on the canister are designed to slowly roll along during a cleaning session.

It is compact in size. However, the Bissell Hard Floor Expert Canister Vacuum still sports many of the heavy-duty features of vacs twice its size. The dustbin is quite large. It is capable of containing the debris collected over the course of at least one average cleaning session.

What Reviewers Say

Reviewers mention the lightweight nature of the vac in quite a few reviews for the Bissell Hard Floor Expert Canister Vacuum. However, this feathery nature can also cause some tipping issues. That can happen if you pull the vacuum too hard during operation. Some users also report having trouble with wheels moving freely during a cleaning job.

Various users rave about the Bissell Hard Floor Expert Canister Vacuum’s ability to grab just about any type of debris. Those range from pet hair to sand and varying levels of grit and grime.

The compact and portable style of the canister and its durable handle makes it simple to move the vacuum up and down stairs, according to a few reports. And while you can transport it with ease because of them, users say that vacuuming stairs can be quite tedious with the Hard Floor Expert Canister Vacuum.

Features & Considerations

The power cord length comes up a little short. It has a somewhat short length of just 18 feet. That can strain the range of the vac. The cord rewind feature makes for easy cleanup when the work is done.

The dustbin is emptied from the bottom of the container. You can dump it with relative ease. Minimal contact with collected dirt is needed to get the bin back to an empty status.

Users can also enjoy hands-free operation when it comes to using some of the controls. The power button and automatic cord rewind switch are on the canister. They allow users to make adjustments with the tap of a foot.

The Bissell Hard Floor Expert Canister Vacuum comes with a multi-stage filtration system. It does a great job of cleaning the air as it’s cleaning the floor. The bagless design will require some maintenance. Filters should be rinsed and air-dried monthly.

Best Budget-Friendly Pick: Bissell PowerEdge Pet Hardwood Floor Stick Vacuum Cleaner

best budget friendly bissell poweredge pet hardwood floor bagless vacuum cleaner
  • Weight: 7.5 lbs.
  • Style: Stick / Corded
  • The Good: Easy to assemble, Compact, A budget vacuum price, Washable filter Easy to store
  • The Bad: Short power cord, Can have some clogging issues, Loud, Small cleaning path

The non-conventional shape of the Bissell PowerEdge Pet Hardwood Floor Stick Vacuum is designed to allow the vacuum head to fit into tight corners and around chair legs. The V-shaped head helps to funnel debris to the vacuum.

Rubber squeegees on the floor head attract fine dirt, debris, and dander. There aren’t any brushes to clean and no worries to be had about scratched floors.

The Bissell PowerEdge Pet Hardwood Floor Stick Vacuum was engineered to clean hard floor surfaces. Therefore, no additional suction settings have been incorporated. The vac will have little to no success on most types of carpeted floor coverings.

It has an extremely competitive price point. So the Bissell PowerEdge Pet Hardwood Floor Stick Vacuum can be easy to add to the cleaning tool arsenal. However, while the price may be right, the product may not be as durable or have the lasting power of other hardwood floor vacuums on the market.

What Reviewers Say

Lots of users report the Bissell PowerEdge Pet’s ability to aggressively vacuum pet hair. They find most pet-related messes to be easy and efficient to remove. They note that there is minimal need to revisit a spot more than once to entirely eliminate debris.

A few owners enjoy the vacuum’s swivel function. They claim that it seems to help cut cleaning times down and ease the entire vacuuming process.

The V-shaped vacuum head has required some users to adapt their angles and plans of attack in certain applications. Some report struggling along baseboards. They find it necessary to sweep dust and debris from along walls before vacuuming. That saves time and frustration when maneuvering.

Some reviewers recommend purchasing additional foam filters. The vacuum requires regular filter maintenance and the foam material can take a few days to air-dry thoroughly.

Features & Considerations

The power cord is pretty short at 20 feet and can be a bit confining. The shorter than average cord is easier to manage, though. That can be helpful since the vacuum doesn’t offer an automatic cord rewind feature.

Dirty filters can quickly compromise the suction power of the Bissell PowerEdge Pet Hardwood Floor Stick Vacuum. It may be necessary to remove and clean all filters after every few cleaning sessions. That can help it to maintain maintain full suction function.

The dustbin is decently sized in proportion to the vacuum’s compact stature. It’s easy to remove and dump. However, some interaction with the debris may be involved during the process.

This uniquely styled stick vacuum is easy to assemble. It can be up and running in a matter of minutes.

The small, compact body style makes it comfortable for almost any user to operate. Its simple but adequate functionality makes it the ideal replacement for a traditional broom and dustpan.

Most Versatile: Dyson V8 Absolute Stick Vacuum

most versatile dyson v8 absolute stick vacuum
  • Weight: 5.75 lbs.
  • Style: Stick / Cordless
  • The Good: HEPA filtration, Converts to hand vacuum, Easy to store, compact, Super lightweight
  • The Bad: Price, Power button has to be held during operation, Issues with service, repairs, and customer service, Battery longevity

The Dyson V8 Absolute Cordless Vacuum is exceptionally lightweight and easy to operate in just about any application. The vac converts to a hand vacuum. You can use it in tandem with one of the attachments to easily clean tough to clean spots like stairs, ceilings, and under beds.

On a full charge, the Dyson V8 Absolute can typically run for about 30 minutes on a battery with a full charge, though that time drops down to about eight minutes when operating in the MAX mode. This turbo suction mode is specifically for use on carpeted surfaces, so if a user is primarily utilizing the V8 Absolute on a hard floor, you will probably rarely need to use this mode.

The dustbin is a reasonable size and it includes a dumping system with a great design, keeping most of the particles intact and greatly eliminating the chance of users coming in contact with the dirt they are dumping. The vac’s bagless design means that it’s very susceptible to lack of maintenance, so you should clean and/or replace filters often.

What Reviewers Say

Reviewers rave about the Dyson Vacuum’s sleek shape and size. Storing it is easy, and most owners utilize the wall-mounted docking station to keep the vac up and out of the way during idle times. A few users mentioned that the only downside to the docking station is its inability to contain all of the additional tools and attachments that come with with the vac.

While the battery’s 30-minute run time may seem a bit low, some owners claim that due to the small and mobile nature of the vac, cleaning session times are dramatically reduced. Users report being able to cover more ground in substantially less time than they could with a traditional upright vacuum.

Lots of V8 Absolute Vacuum reviews reference the soft roller and its ability to achieve a shiny and smooth-looking floor once the suction task has been completed. Even the finest of dust particles are lifted, leaving a glass-like feel to the floor. Pet owners seem to be big fans of their versatile vacs; cat litter granules and pet hair of all shapes and tangles are reported to be easily conquered by the powerful suction.

Features & Considerations

The wall-mounted docking station doubles as a charging station, simplifying the stowing and charging process. In most situations, the battery takes about 3-4 hours to fully charge from a drained status.

The mini motorized tool that is included with the V8 Absolute Vacuum is useful for carpet and upholstery applications, and the crevice tool can be helpful when attacking tight spots. A soft roller head also comes with the vacuum and is designed for hard surfaces. Its soft but clingy makeup draws fine dust and dander particles into the vac while also capturing larger dirt and debris.

To conserve battery life, the power switch needs to be held to maintain operation. Not surprisingly, this ongoing holding position can get to be quite uncomfortable and can cause blisters and skin abrasions. A buffer material may help to alleviate this situation.

Best For Pet Hair: Miele Complete C2 Canister Vacuum

best for pet hair miele complete c2 canister vacuum
  • Weight: 19.5 lbs.
  • Style: Canister / Corded
  • The Good: Six suction settings, Retractable power cord, Super suction, Relatively quiet
  • The Bad: Price, Can be bulky to move, Can be a bit difficult to store

The Miele Complete C2 Canister Vacuum is equipped to handle a variety of floor covering materials. With six suction settings and an added foot control on the floor head to further customize the power, this vac is user-friendly and even utilizes pictures to help operators zone in the best setting for their current situation.

The canister carries the bulk of the vacuum’s weight and has wheels that allow it to “follow along” as the cleaning session ensues. This design also lets users appreciate nearly weightless operation during the bulk of the vacuuming time.

The extra large floor head spans a large floor surface area which can help cut down on cleaning times. The low-profile design makes it simple to navigate under couches, dressers, and base cabinets.

What Reviewers Say

Many users report needing to dial back the suction setting by at least one notch due to the vac’s powerful suction supply, and quite a few owners appreciate the ability to vary the levels. There have been a couple of reports of struggles when cleaning certain types of area rugs; this might be due to an issue users reported separately that the vacuum has such powerful suction that it could hold a bowling ball.

Even though most Miele Complete C2 owners purchased the vac to primarily use on hardwood floors, they reported that the optional power nozzle attachment makes the vacuum extra versatile and can easily convert the vacuum over to efficiently cleaning carpeted floors and stairs.

A few owners rave about the attachments and tools that come with the Miele Complete C2 Hard Floor Vacuum. They seem to be functional and useful, and operators report being able to reach into tight corners with ease.

Features & Considerations

Attachments that come with the vacuum include a crevice tool, dusting brush, and upholstery tool. The onboard tool storage makes it easy to access the right tool for the job at hand.

The Twister floor brush is extremely flexible and rotates a full 180°, allowing almost fluid functionality when in use. To add to the versatility of the system, the vacuum’s handle is made of durable but lightweight stainless steel and is telescopic. This allows the vac to reach far under furniture and to capture debris from the floor to the ceiling.

There are replacement bags available for purchase, in various quantities and types. A HEPA filter is available for this Miele Hard Floor Vacuum, though it doesn’t come as a standard option.

The power switch and the cord rewind button are located on the canister body and can be operated by a foot tap. Being able to automatically draw the cord back into the vac when the job is complete is convenient and makes the long power cord much more manageable.

Best Robot Vacuum: Pure Clean Robot Vacuum PUCRC25

best robot vac pure clean robot vacuum PUCRC25
  • Weight: 3.53 lbs.
  • Style: Robot / Cordless
  • The Good: HEPA filter, Low profile, Price, Quiet operation
  • The Bad: Small dustbin capacity, No docking port, Needs help with its navigation at times

We’ve moved on to the bot vac portion of the rankings. The Pure Clean Robot Vacuum PUCRC25 is a super compact cleaner, measuring in at less than 3” tall and less than 12” in diameter. This little bot can sneak into just about anywhere and can easily scoot under most low-lying furniture.

The Pure Clean PUCRC25 Robot Vacuum is more manual and doesn’t offer as many bells and whistles as other models on the market. However, it is still one of the most well-reviewed robot vacs in terms of its ability to clean a hardwood floor.

There are three cleaning pattern modes, including auto/random, spiral, and edge. This allows users to customize the plan based on the task at hand. There aren’t any elaborate programming features offered with PUCRC25 Robot Vacuum; it’s more of a push-the-button-and-go type of functionality with this slim and simple debris destroyer.

While the vac is designed to handle hard surface applications, it can also have success on low-pile carpets and area rugs. This little bot struggles in a plush carpet scenario, and it will probably spend more time spitting out particles than it will clearing them from the floor.

What Reviewers Say

One reviewer reports that the Pure Clean PUCRC25 Robot Vacuum is great for barefoot walkers who like to feel the smooth, dirt-free floor below their feet. The vac captures all of the little grimy and gritty debris while this happy owner sleeps. Various reports express satisfaction over the vacuum’s ability to grab pet hair of all shapes and sizes, even in the hardest-to-reach places.

Fringy rugs can cause trouble for the Pure Clean PUCRC25. These stringy-edged floor coverings may need to be part of the bot-proofing regimen that most reviewers report performing before unleashing the bot beast.

The vacuum seems to be quieter than most traditional vacuums, though one reviewer reports having to turn the TV up from time to time while the vac is doing its thing…oh, the struggles.

Features & Considerations

The robot vacuum’s side sweeper brushes grab debris from beyond the vacuum’s reach, drawing it close enough to fall into the path of the vacuum’s ferocious suction stream.

While the PUCRC25 Robot Vac doesn’t have as many features as some of the other flashy vacs on the market, it does have anti-fall sensors built in that allow the vac to live on the edge, without going over it. The vac does not have object sensors, though, which means it will forever bump into the same chair without diverting from its path. The vac will adjust upon impact and usually doesn’t get stuck.

There are not any remote or wireless control capabilities; all controls are located on the vacuum. And the vac doesn’t have a docking station or the programming to tell it to return to a location when the battery gets low, so users may need to go on a little bot hunt if the vacuum was out during the overnight or working hours.

The vacuum operates for up to 55 minutes on a full charge, and when nearing a low-battery status, the vac will beep so a user knows where to find it.

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The Complete Hardwood Vacuums Buyer’s Guide

The Hard Facts About Solid Surface Suction

You have ripped up the carpets and exposed the hard floors. Now what can be done when the debris piles start to grow?

Chances are that the trusty traditional vacuum that resides in the hall closet won’t be the best candidate for the job. It’s time for some new talent, a vac that’s been tailored to deliver superb suction without scratching or scuffing the handsome grooves and grains of the solid floor.

In order to zero in on the best hardwood vacuum for the job, it’s important to consider the features and functions that may be important and even vital to achieving smooth and shiny flooring bliss.

Are there additional floor covering materials to be cleaned in addition to hardwood?

Most of the vacuums in our rankings are designed specifically for hardwood floors and have features that are geared towards efficiently removing all types of debris from a hard surface.

If a floor cleaning application has additional floor coverings that will also require attention, such as area rugs or a nearby carpeted room, it may be important to focus on the vacuums that offer adjustable suction and roller speed settings, and automatic level adjustments. These features can help users customize the vac’s functionality to cater to the different variables that apply to different surfaces.

Lower levels of suction tend to help in creating air movement on flat and solid surfaces, drawing dirt and dust to the source while high powered suction settings combined with rotating brushes allow for effective deep-down debris removal from carpet fibers (note: consider investing in a carpet steam cleaner after deep-vac’ing to get a true clean). Using the wrong suction settings or brush speeds can heavily impact the performance capabilities of a vacuum, and at times, create more damage.

What is the vacuum’s primary purpose?

To clean the floor. While this answer seems obvious, it’s important to dig a bit deeper into the true function desired when considering the different hardwood floor vacuum options.

Many hardwood floor vacuums are lightweight and versatile, with features like hand-vac convertibility, and extendable handles to allow users to reach in tight spaces with targeted suction. You can usually easily store these vacs and even mount them on a wall to allow for quick and easy access.

People often refer to these as stick vacuums. These sleek systems can replace a standard household broom. Their footprint is similar and their functionality can far exceed the old wooden stick.

Canister vacuums can help take some weight off, too, allowing users to spend the bulk of the cleaning session utilizing the typically featherlight handle and floor attachment while the heavy motor and dirt containment system is housed with the canister. This style can be a bit tedious to manage at times, especially when transporting up or down stairs. However, it can provide the same heavy-duty performance of a traditional upright vacuum while minimizing physical exertion during active vacuuming times.

Robot vacuums have whirled their way into the modern household cleaning market and can really take the pressure off busy or low-home-maintenance-motivated individuals who’d prefer to leave the dirt decimation to a friendly and faithful automated assistant. These zippy little bots can take a big bite out of the cleaning needs of an average dirt-laden residence; however, they may not quite cut it as the sole suction system.

What types of features might be beneficial?

Companies have incorporated some pretty nice features into many of the hardwood floor vacuums on the market. While suction power is the primary goal, some of the add-ons can really aid in the debris removal process.

Flashy LED headlights can expose fine debris and pet hair. They are great for spying elusive particles under furniture, beds, and other places where the sun doesn’t shine.

Subtle but significant tweaks to brushes and roller materials can help protect floor surfaces. They cut down on the maintenance and general headaches associated with nylon brush bristles combined with fluffy puffs of pet hair.

In some of the hardwood vacuum models, the brushes have been completely eliminated. Companies have devised other techniques to assist in drawing debris into the sucky section of the vacuum.

Handy features like foot-pedal power switches and cord rewind systems can provide a bit of added convenience. They cut down on some of the minor but often mentioned headaches that come with operating a vacuum.

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How We Ranked the Best Vacuums for Hardwood Floors

We focused on a few variables when determining the rankings for the six best hardwood vacuums. Suction power and ease of use carried the bulk of the rankings’ weights, but other factors definitely come into play.

Price is always a top consideration, especially when comparing the features and functions gained with an uptick in a product’s price tag. Consumer reviews are also a factor in the process, and often, there can be recurring rants and raves unearthed when comparing reports from various sites and sources.

Upgraded options and general product design ingenuity also play a role, along with added versatility features that can come in the form of attachments and tools or convertible vacuum capabilities.

Stick-style bagless vacuums dominate the list primarily due to their light weight and versatile nature. However, other more traditionally styled vacs can hold their own on the rankings. You can’t overlook their dirt containment capacities and superior cleaning capabilities.

Mobility and Versatility

Hauling a hulking vacuum around to do the dirty work is less than ideal. It almost goes unsaid. Almost.

There’s even a real possibility that, due to the daunting task of wrestling a massive vacuum out into circulation, debris may have a fighting chance to take up long-term residency.  The ability to whip out a lightweight vac for a quick pick-up job or wheel out the ever-ready canister for a heavy-duty situation can help to increase cleaning frequency and support a rapid decline in accumulating particles.

Sometimes the straight-up floor suction function just isn’t enough. The corners, the baseboards, the ceiling where the cobwebs like to live — they all need attention, too. A vacuum’s ability to reach these tight and tough spots with the simple attachment of a tool and the release of an extension wand can turn an often dreaded task into a quick and simple cleaning session.

Vacuum Weight Accessories/ Attachments Included?
Shark Rocket Ultra Light Hand Vac 8.6 lbs. Yes – wand and attachments
Bissell Hard Floor Expert Canister Vac 13 lbs. Yes – wand and attachments
Bissell PowerEdge Pet Hardwood Floor Stick Vac 7.5 lbs. None
Dyson V8 Absolute Stick Vac 5.75 lbs. Yes – wand and attachments
Miele Complete C2 Canister Vac 19.5 lbs. Yes – hose, wand, and attachments
Pure Clean PUCRC25 Robot Vac 3.53 lbs. None

Storage and Maintenance

An often overlooked consideration when scoping out a vacuum, or really any other household maintenance tool, is where the item will reside when it’s not actively pursuing the demise of dirty, dusty debris. Tools, hoses, and other accessories can pile up fast, and suddenly you may need an extra room to contain all of the devices.

You can usually mount stick vacs and other low-profile vacs to a wall. They are small enough to take up about the same amount of space as a broom and dustpan.

Canister vacuums can result in the opposite effect, and while they can provide some serious results in the debris demolition realm, they may require two to three times more storage space than a smaller (less heavy-duty) vacuum.

The overall maintenance required to keep a vacuum up and sucking can vary from vac to vac, though most generally involve keeping filters clean and dirt containment bags and bins free from overload and blockage.

A bagged vacuum system usually incorporates the primary filter into the disposable bag. That means that every time you replace the bag, you are also replacing the filter.

This means you will need to do minimal maintenance to keep these vacs up and running. However, replacement bags will be a recurring cost through the life of the vacuum.

Bagless systems, while cost-saving when it comes to replacement bags, will require some user interaction at every step of the particle-removing process. Dust or dirt bins capture the debris the vacuum suctioned, and you will need to empty them often.

There are usually multiple filters within a bagless vacuum. Their ability to breathe freely directly impacts the vacuum’s ability to provide superior suction levels.

Most filters are washable. You should rinse and air dry them at least once per month.

Power Source

Until the vacuum industry releases a power supply source fueled by the friction of Cheerios and cat hair meeting a vacuum’s rapidly rotating rollers, vac users will continue to have the option to pick between their power source tethers.

A battery-powered vacuum can enable an operator to move freely and without restraint…until the juice runs out. So while there are not physical cords limiting mobility, the cleaning clock is ticking from the first suck.

Battery life is a key factor when comparing cordless vacuums for hardwood floors. Most cordless vacuums should be able to supply enough power to get through a reasonable amount of cleaning, and the lack of a cord can help shave minutes of a vacuum session.

When it comes to corded vacuum cleaners, there is a delicate balance to be found in power cord lengths. The longest cords can provide the most freedom while cleaning, however, with this convenience comes added cord bulk and weight when not fully extended. It seems that a length of 25’-30’ tends to blend a comfortable level of extended reach while keeping weight within a manageable status.

Vacuum Power Source Cord Length / Average Battery Life
Shark Rocket Ultra Light Hand Vac Corded 30’ cord
Bissell Hard Floor Expert Canister Vac Corded 18’ cord
Bissell PowerEdge Pet Hardwood Floor Stick Vac Corded 20’ cord
Dyson V8 Absolute Stick Vac Battery 30 minutes (8 minutes in MAX mode)
Miele Complete C2 Canister Vac Corded 21’ cord
Pure Clean PUCRC25 Robot Vac Battery 55 minutes

Consumer Reviews

The valuable and sometimes volatile world of consumer reviews and reports can help to paint a picture of what real-life vacu-lationships are all about. Helpful tidbits, interesting insight into product design, and recurring issues can really assist in the ranking process, especially when it comes to assessing a vacuum’s true worth in various applications.

As always, consumer reports and reviews can be a bit of a jungle when it comes to sorting through the vapid and vague reviews that are among the true, real-world reports of what it’s like to live with the vacuum.

However, you can rest easy knowing that we picked through the reviews with precision, and the results have been factored into these hardwood vacuum rankings.

Price

The price tag of a hardwood vacuum is a pretty large factor in determining its rank. When considering all the above factors and applying the final factor of cost, it becomes clear which vacuums rise to the top of the value category.

Finding the balance of both upfront and long-term costs of ownership with features, functions, and add-on accessories can be a bit challenging, but we’ve attempted to sort through these key factors to establish a sort of…suction order within the hardwood floor vacuum market.

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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Why can’t I use the same vacuum that I use to clean my carpet?

It’s clear that carpet coverings and hardwood floors are two completely different animals. The techniques and velocity that a vacuum needs to successfully extract debris from the tiny fibers of cotton or synthetic material are far different from the method a vacuum needs to catch surface-level particles and rolling and recurring balls of fluff.

Beater bars and rollers are necessities in waging an effective war on carpet debris. Combined with targeted, nearly air-tight super-powered suction, allow a vacuum to separate and suck up the microscopic particles trapped in the depths of the floor.

This specifically tailored system, however, can have the opposite effect when it comes to grabbing the gritty grime that accumulates on the planes of a vast span of hardwood flooring. Like a tornado rolling across an open field, a hard surface suction system requires some room to flow to create an adequate vacuum effect. Too much power can draw the vac tight to the smooth and solid surface, sealing it and eliminating its ability to maintain its suction.

Adjustable suction settings can allow users to adapt to their changing terrains, increasing suction and roller speeds for maximum extraction power on carpeted surfaces and then dialing back the power a bit when running over the hardwood floors.

The sometimes complex beaters bars and bristles found on a traditional upright vacuum can become a serious detriment in a hardwood vacuuming application. Their high-speed rotations combined with their somewhat abrasive materials can cause serious scratches on delicate hard surfaces and at the same time, tend to muck up the suck situation by spreading debris rather than crisply capturing it.

What is the difference between a bagged system versus a bagless?

A bagged vacuum system is designed around containing collected particles in a disposable bag that can be removed and replaced when it becomes full. Airflow is funneled through the bag, which basically acts as a big filter, allowing air to flow through it while keeping the dirt within its confines.

Maintenance on a bagged vacuum is typically limited to replacing the bag when it fills up with dirt. Because of the dual functionality that the bag serves as a filter and a dirt collector, when you replace the bag, you are also essentially replacing the filter.

Due to the simplistic and sealed nature of a bagged vacuum system, this form of particle wrangling can be essential when it comes to allergy sufferers and pet owners, as there is almost always zero contact with the dirt once it’s been corralled.

A bagless vacuum system relies on filters, sometimes a few, to assist with creating suction power for adequate dirt collection. These filters are imperative to the function of the system, and some maintenance will be required to keep them at their best dirt-capturing capacities. As microscopic particles flow through, many will be caught in the filter’s tiny webs of fibers, trapping them and keeping them for eternity (or until the user pops the filters out and rinses them in the sink).

Bagless systems can be a bit messy to maintain, and while the advantage of never needing to replace a bag is a big one, users shouldn’t go into the ownership expecting just to hit the switch and walk away when the debris has met its demise. Even the act of dumping the dirt collection bin can be daunting and sometimes requires a multi-stage method to keep the dust and dirt contained during the emptying process.

Which features or upgrades could be useful in a hardwood floor vacuum?

Soft rollers and microfiber pads are a couple of the nice upgrades that are available with some of the hardwood vacuums out there. These cushiony cohorts can aid in grabbing microscopic particles while also doubling as floor buffers in the process.

Headlights are always helpful in exposing hidden piles of pet hair or fine dust that blends right in. These lights can also come in handy when ducking into low-lying areas and tight corners.

With hardwood floor surfaces come corners, cracks, and crevices. Attachments like crevice tools and dusting brushes can get into these almost impossible-to-reach spots to provide targeted suction where it’s needed most.

What are additional considerations for those cleaning up after pets?

Kitty litter, crushed chunks of kibble, and discouraging amounts of wonderfully insulating but excessive undercoat sheds are all recurring remnants that require removal from a hardwood pet-friendly floor. Adjustable suction levels may be necessary when it comes to sucking the varying sizes of litter and food pieces, while soft rollers may come in handy when capturing dander and hair.

HEPA filtration may also be worth prioritizing when maintaining a space occupied by our favorite fluffy companions, as the micro-filtration system has the ability to contain some of the smallest allergy-inducing particles. This means filtering the air while removing pet-based debris, keeping rooms, ductwork, and, of course, floors, much cleaner than before.

What to Expect When Spending More?

Vacuums come in all shapes, sizes, and price ranges. You can literally spend anywhere from $50 to over $1000 on a vacuum for your hardwood floors.

With such a varied price range, how do you choose? And is a $1000 really worth it?

There are a few things to consider. Are you looking for something to really deep clean your floors or do you need a vacuum for everyday quick cleaning?

If you don’t need a lot of power and you don’t mind replacing it every few years, then a vacuum on the less expensive side is fine.

However, if you want one that really cleans and doesn’t blow dirt and dust back into your home, then you may want to look at a pricier model.

In this review, you will find that there are some great, hard-working vacuums that also provide great value for the money.

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Lindsay Lenser

About Lindsay Lenser

Lindsay is a freelance writer with an affinity for fireplace selling. She enjoys free time spent with family, friends, plants, pets and the frequent home renovation.

2 thoughts on “Best Vacuums for Hardwood Floors”

  1. Avatar

    I purchased the Shark NV752 in May 2016. It retails for close to $400, and claims to have a 7-year limited warranty. The warranty information states that it covers defects in workmanship and non-wearable parts. In the exclusion section, it lists several of the “wearable” parts.

    After 2.5 years, a section of hose that is almost fully encased at the bottom of the vacuum suddenly developed slits, and therefore the vacuum would not suction properly. It is not a “wearable” portion, as it is at the bar of the unit, protected by plastic housing, and not the portion of hose that is handled with use. It appears as though the plastic used in that portion of the hose became hardened and brittle, causing the cracking.

    I called Shark, and was told that the only thing “possibly” covered by the warranty is motor failure. If that is the case, it should clearly state that in the warranty information that consumers rely on when evaluating and comparing for purchase. I paid more for this brand and unit trusting that it would function fully, without repairs, for a reasonable period of time. 2.5 years falls short of that expectation by several years. Every other brand of vacuum that I have ever purchased, at a much lower price point, has lasted a minimum of 5 years without requiring repairs or replacement parts.

    The part of my vacuum that is defective is not accessible to be replaced on its own, so I have to purchase an entire bottom half (which happens to include the motor). This defect should absolutely be covered by warranty. Their customer service almost seems to be “sales” driven, in pushing for the purchase of the part. So disappointed and frustrated! Definitely feel cheated by this company.

    1. Avatar

      And this shocks you why? I could’ve told you exactly what your post would read like before I even read it, it’s a Shark for goodness sake, not Hoover. Pay more get less.

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