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The 8 Best Vacuums For Hardwood Floors

Any vacuum can work on hardwood floors, but if you want a superior clean, then you need a model with bristles specific to hardwood. Harsher brush rolls that are great for pulling up dirt from carpets tend to scatter debris on hardwood, so softer bristles are preferred—and they won’t damage your floor’s finish. If you have both carpet and hard floors, then a good compromise would be a vacuum where you can turn the brush roll on and off depending on the surface. Some models even have sensors that switch between both settings seamlessly.

Vacuum cleaners can be big investments–and frustrating when they turn out not to work well for your space. Some research into what models will work best for your home and lifestyle can go a long way to ward off buyers’ remorse.

What Vacuums Are Best For Hardwood Floors?

Other than brush roll and bristle type, learn the pros and cons of different vacuum types to ensure you get a model that meets all the needs of your household. Vacuums are getting more and more versatile and convenient, so you might not need to invest in multiple machines to get the job done throughout your home.

Upright: The most common type of vacuum cleaner, with a tilt-and-push design, upright vacuums can work great for hardwood, as long as the brush roll has soft bristles or can be turned off. Models can be bagged or bagless, and heavy or lightweight, and some can convert to use as canister vacuums with their included accessories.

Canister: This tank-and-hose design typically accommodates a ton of different attachments, so you can use them to clean just about anything. Some canister vacuums can be heavy, but they have wheels to make lugging around easier compared to some heavy uprights.

Stick: Similar to upright vacuums, stick vacs are slimmer and lighter weight often in exchange for smaller motors and lower suction power. Cordless stick vacuums are especially great for quick cleanups around the house.

Handheld: Even more lightweight and portable are handheld vacuums, perfect for cleaning the couch, car, and tight corners. We especially recommend cordless models for extra portability, but you should try to opt for a model with at least 20 volts of power. For greater versatility, look for a two-in-one stick vacuum with a removable handheld machine.

Robot: These smart, cordless robot vacuums are programmable to clean even when you aren’t home. Their power won’t replace an upright or canister vacuum, but they’re a great option to help you save time on daily cleaning. They come with a wide range of technologies from bump-and-go to advanced lidar (light detection and ranging) floor mapping, as well as wide price ranges from $200 to over a $1,000.

How We Evaluated

To select the best vacuums for hardwood floors, we started by reviewing our own previous testing of handheld and robot vacuums. We also consulted five expert sources and recommendations from the Good Housekeeping Institute’s Cleaning Lab, which are based on the ASTM standard test methods used to evaluate vacuums. All of the models below have certain features that make them excel in homes with a lot of hardwood or other hard surfaces, like vinyl and tile. Finally, we also took into account consumer reviews from retail sites like Amazon.

Most Versatile

Shark Navigator Lift-Away Professional Upright

Key Specs

  • Type: Upright, corded
  • Dirt Capacity: 1.3 L
  • Weight: 14 lbs

Shark’s Navigator Lift-Away can outperform vacuums that cost a lot more. And it’s been Wirecutter’s top pick for an upright vacuum for years. It’s one of the most versatile, affordable upright vacuums you can get, thanks to its bagless, two-in-one design, which allows the main pod to detach to use it like a canister vacuum. Plus, it comes with extendable accessories to access hard-to-reach areas. Most importantly for hardwood floors, the brush roll can be shut off. But if you have rugs or carpeted areas too, it can handle those just as well.

  • Two-in-one upright and canister vacuum design
  • Brush roll turns off

Great Value Upright

Hoover ONEPWR Evolve

Hoover
amazon.com

$149.00

Key Specs

  • Type: Upright, cordless
  • Dirt Capacity: 1 L
  • Weight: 8.6 lbs

Hoover’s Evolve has the build of a slim stick vac but holds a lot more dirt than comparable models, making it a great option for pet owners who have a lot of pet hair to clean up. The on/off brush roll will help you transition between carpet and hardwood, and the whole thing conveniently weighs less than 9 pounds. Combined with the cordless design, there’s no excuse to not take the vacuum out for a quick clean.

  • Affordable
  • Large dirt capacity

Best Canister Vacuum

Miele Classic C1 Pure Suction PowerLine

Key Specs

  • Type: Canister, corded
  • Dirt Capacity: 4.5 L
  • Weight: 12 lbs

Designed best for hardwood floors, Miele’s Classic C1 is a relatively affordable option for the company’s premium canister vacuums. The powerful 1,200-watt motor can switch between six suction settings depending on the floors. Like other canister vacuums, this model comes with plenty of accessories, including an upholstery and crevice tool and dusting brush. Although the bags do require replacing, an indicator on the canister will tell you when it’s time. And you benefit from this vacuum’s superior filtration.

  • Many accessories
  • Great filtration system
  • 7-year motor warranty

Great Value Canister

Bissell Hard Floor Expert Deluxe

Bissell
amazon.com

$145.90

Key Specs

  • Type: Canister, corded
  • Dirt Capacity: 1 L
  • Weight: 9.1 lbs

Canister vacuums often get pricey, but Bissell’s Hard Floor Expert Deluxe won’t break the bank. Yet, we appreciate its thoughtful details like non-marking rubber wheels that protect your hardwood floors, and the fingertip controls that allows you to boost the suction power. Although it is corded, it has an automatic cord rewind, and it’s fairly compact and lightweight at a hair over 9 pounds.

  • Affordable for a canister vac
  • Non-marking rubber wheels
  • Hard floor tool with soft bristles
  • Some people will prefer a cordless vacuum

Best Cordless Stick Vacuum

Dyson V7 Fluffy

Key Specs

  • Type: Stick, cordless
  • Dirt Capacity: 0.1 L
  • Weight: 5.3 lbs

Unlike Dyson’s line of Absolute cordless stick vacuums that work better for carpets, the V7 Fluffy is a great affordable option for your hardwood floors. It has a soft fabric brush roll that picks up dirt and dust better. If you have a large house or like to vacuum frequently, the 30-minute battery life might not be the best, but at least you get cordless convenience at a reasonable cost relative to many Dyson vacuums.

  • Cordless with docking station
  • Soft brush roll
  • 30-minute battery life
  • Small dirt capacity

Best Wet/Dry Vacuum

Hoover FloorMate Deluxe

Hoover
amazon.com

$109.99

Key Specs

  • Type: Upright, corded
  • Dirt Capacity: 1.5 qts
  • Weight: 13.8 lbs

Why have a vacuum and a mop for your hardwood floors when you can combine both into one machine? Hoover’s FloorMate is great for wood, vinyl, laminate, or tile (with flooring-specific brush rolls) and has settings for dry vacuum, wash, and scrub. Press the button at your finger tips to boost the cleaning power for extra dirty areas. Plus, the two water tanks, brushes, and nozzle are removable for easy cleaning.

  • Dry, wash, and scrub settings
  • Dual dirty and clean water tanks
  • Includes a brush specially designed for wood floors
  • Components might rust over time

Best Robot Vacuum

Roborock S6 MaxV

roborock
amazon.com

$699.99

Key Specs

  • Type: Robot, cordless
  • Dirt Capacity: 0.4 L
  • Weight: 12 lbs

The Roborock S6 MaxV is equipped with an impressive combination of technology, including a Reactive AI obstacle avoidance system, lidar, and vSLAM (visual Simultaneous Localization and Mapping), which all work together to locate and navigate around objects in your home and create sophisticated maps. In addition to vacuuming in efficient routes, this Roborock can also mop, making it a versatile robot vacuum option if you mainly have hardwood floors.

Read Full Review

  • Can mop floors
  • Learns floor plans and avoids obstacles

Best 2-in-1 Handheld

Black+Decker Powerseries 2-in-1 Cordless Stick Vacuum

Black+Decker
amazon.com

$102.77

Key Specs

  • Type: Stick, cordless
  • Dirt Capacity: 0.5 L
  • Weight: 5.8 lbs

For quick cleanups on hardwood, some two-in-one handheld vacuums can be all you need. This Black+Decker only has the suction power of a hand vac, but it converts to use like an upright for extra versatility. And unlike most hand vacs, it does include a brush bar to grip onto debris better.

  • LED lights to show cleaning path
  • Folding handle for compact storage
  • Less power than an upright vacuum

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