Best Vacuums for Hardwood Floors in 2021

Hardwood floors are a beautiful upgrade that can raise a house’s market value. Like any home investment, you want to maintain your hardwood floor’s appearance and integrity. This means keeping it’s free of dust, hair and dirt that can create micro-scratches over time.

Best Hardwood Vacuums
Best Hardwood Vacuums

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Due to wood’s sensitive nature, you must choose your cleaning tools wisely because even solid hardwood floors with a high Janka hardness rating, like Brazilian walnut, can sustain damage. Vacuums do a great job of keeping hardwood floors clean; however, you can’t just use any old vacuum cleaner.

Our Recommended Vacuums for Hardwood Floors

Canister Option

Miele Electro+ Canister Vacuum

For a good canister vacuum that works very well on hardwood floors, you can’t go wrong with the Miele Electro Canister Vacuum. With this canister vacuum, you have access to a fantastic Miele Vortex Motor as well as two excellent floor cleaning tools.

The Miele Vortex Motor produces an exceptional amount of suction power. To use this suction power in the manner that you choose, there is a six-setting suction speed dial that you can use.

By using the Electro Brush and Parquet Hard Floor Nozzle, you can thoroughly clean your hard floors. Both of those devices offer excellent brushing that is thorough and effective.

Miele Electro+ Canister Vacuum
Miele Electro+ Canister Vacuum

Upright Vacuum Option

Shark Navigator Upright Vacuum (ZU561)

The Shark Navigator Upright Vacuum weighs just 17.4-pounds and offers a mobile vacuuming experience. Moving this vacuum around is easy, and it offers both an Upright Mode and a Lift-Away Mode for mobility and versatility.

What makes this upright vacuum so excellent is the excellent suction power it offers. By having this suction power, you can vacuum up thick messes of dirt, dust, hair, and debris.

The Zero-M Brushroll is the brushroll this vacuum uses. It loosens and sweeps up all kinds of dirt, dust, hair, and debris. Plus, it cleans itself, making for a very convenient vacuuming experience.

Shark Navigator Upright Vacuum (ZU561)
Shark ZU561

Stick Vacuum Option

Dyson V11 Torque Drive

With an exceptionally clean design and a weight of just under 6.7-pounds, the Dyson V11 Torque Drive is easily one of the best stick vacuums available. If you are looking to clean your facts in the most convenient and mobile fashion possible, this is an excellent vacuum to purchase.

As you move the stick vacuum across your floors, the Dynamic Load System detects what is being vacuumed. Automatically, this system adjusts the suction power and speed of the brushes, making the vacuuming process very easy.

Through the use of the excellent High-Torque Cleaner Head, dirt, dust, hair, and debris comes off of your hard floors with ease.

Dyson V11 Torque Drive
Dyson V11 Torque Drive

Robot Vacuum Option

Roborock E4

The Roborock E4 isn’t just one of the best vacuums for hard floors, it’s also one of the best robot vacuums that money can buy. It offers a tremendous amount of suction power, an elaborate set of smart features, and 2.5-hours of battery-life.

As this robot vacuum moves across your hard floors, all of the dirt, dust, hair, and debris will fly right off. This is due to the 2000Pa of suction the motor generates and the powerful brushing system.

To use this robot vacuum, you’ll be using the Mi Home App, for your smartphone. By using this app, you can see a map of your entire home, create a schedule for the vacuum, change the cleaning mode; and more!

Roborock E4
Roborock E4

FAQ

Canister or Upright – What Style Is Better for Hardwood Floors?

Uprights and canisters both have their merits. Upright vacuums are known for their overall strong suction power because these vacuum cleaners have the size to support a large motor and subsequently, provide suction that is unrivaled by other vacuums.

Plus, a lot of uprights are equipped with brush rolls.

Unless the brush roll is made from a soft, smooth material, and there are a few upright vacuums out there that do have a soft brush roll, you’ll risk marring your hardwood floors.

Canister vacuums are another viable option for cleaning hardwood floors. Unlike the upright that you must push, you can easily pull a canister vac by its hose as you vacuum. If it’s lightweight enough, you can even carry it.

Although virtually every vacuum comes with an attachment or two, canisters typically have more tools than uprights to complete specific cleaning jobs.

However, canisters as well as uprights have wheels, and some of those wheels can scratch your hardwood floors. Since canister vacuums usually weigh less than their upright counterparts, a canister vac puts less pressure on the floor; therefore, the wheels are less likely to dig into the floor’s finish.

Still, the general style of vacuum you choose should be the one with which you feel the most comfortable operating.

Best Vacuums for Hardwood Floors
Best Hardwood Vacuums

How Does the Wood Floor’s Construction Come Into Play?

Hardwood floors come in a variety of ways, including solid, engineered and laminate. Before you run out and purchase that shiny, new vacuum you have your eye on, it’s crucial you familiarize yourself with the type of hardwood floor in your home.

Solid wood flooring is the type of wood floor most homeowners dream of having, and it is the priciest of all three varieties.

The thicker and harder the solid hardwood floor, the more times you can refinish it, so you don’t have to worry as much about the materials used to make the vacuum’s wheels and undercarriage, especially if the wood is purposely distressed.

If you have smooth hardwoods and you opt for a vacuum with a soft brush roll, that brush can give it a light buff to help maintain its polish.

On the other hand, engineered wood is not hardwood through and through. This type of wood floor consists of a hardwood top layer and a plywood core. While engineered wood floors can be refinished, they can’t withstand as many rounds with a sander as solid hardwoods can.

Therefore, canisters that you can lift and vacuums with soft rubber wheels are better choices. Then, there are laminate wood floors.

Even though laminate is not truly wood, it is made to look similar, and it’s the least expensive of all three wood floors, which also makes it the most common wood floor in contemporary ones.

Laminate hardwood floors are the easiest to scratch, and you can’t refinish their protective coat, so extra care is needed when choosing a vacuum cleaner for these floors.

What About Other Flooring Beside Hardwoods?

If your home has hardwoods as well as carpet, tile or vinyl, you probably want a vacuum cleaner that can effectively clean every floor in your house. Let’s face it. Nobody wants to lug around and maintain multiple vacuums. Who really has that kind of storage space anyway?

Thankfully, there are vacuum cleaners that can adjust to the type of floor they are cleaning. If you have carpet, you absolutely must get a vacuum with a brush roll. Look for a vacuum that lets you adjust the brush roll’s height, turn the beater bar on and off or interchange a hard-bristled brush roll for a soft brush.

Best Vacuums for Hardwood Floors to Buy
Best Hardwood Vacuums

How Large Is Your Home?

The size that gives the upright the ability to offer a great deal of suction strength is also the upright’s downfall if you own a multiple-story house. At first, carrying a heavy upright up and down the stairs doesn’t seem like a big deal. After all, it only takes a few seconds to walk up and down the stairs.

However, give it a few weeks, and you will regret that decision. If you don’t have a lot of square footage or any carpets, you may be able to get by with a lightweight stick vacuum.

However, you’ll need the portability of a canister vac to clean the staircase itself, so it’s best to steer clear of stick vacs. Cordless vacuums are excellent in terms of mobility. On the contrary, if you have a spacious home, you don’t want to be restricted by a limited amount of working time between battery charges, which makes the corded variety a more suitable choice.

Plus, vacuums with a power cord generally offer stronger suction than battery-operated vacuums.

Are You a Parent, Pet Owner or Busy Host/Hostess?

Finally, you need to consider your unique lifestyle. Do you have dogs or cats? If so, you probably have to clean up animal fur on a regular basis. To remove this clingy hair, you need a powerful vacuum with a brush roll.

In addition, a motorized upholstery tool can help keep your furniture looking its best because this attachment contains a mini rotating brush that attracts hair.

Maybe you are also a parent. Whether you have a toddler who makes scattering crumbs a full-time hobby or a rough-and-tumble preteen who constantly tracks dirt throughout your house, a brush roll vacuum will clean these messes more efficiently than a brushless one.

If you throw a lot of parties, you’ll appreciate the quick pick-up-and-go of a cordless canister vacuum that lets you vacuum faster and recoup sooner after your guests have gone home. Perhaps you spend a lot of time outside your home working or socializing, and your house is more of a place to crash and grab a shower between excursions. If so, you don’t have to be as concerned as to whether the vacuum has a rotating brush.

Best Vacuums That Won't Scratch Your Hardwood Floors
Best Hardwood Vacuums

Why Are General-Purpose Vacuum Cleaners Unsuitable for Hardwoods?

At first thought, a vacuum cleaner designed for all floors seems like the ideal choice. Unless this vacuum has features that are mainly made for hardwoods, it won’t give your hardwood floor a gentle clean.

General-purpose vacuums are equipped with a powerful beater bar that rotates at a high speed.

Spinning brush rolls are phenomenal at digging below the surface of carpet fibers; however, these brushes whisk away at hardwoods floors’ finish, leaving hairline scratches that eventually must be buffed.

Since a standard vacuum’s brush roll is highly adept at lifting and removing debris, manufacturers don’t need to use a strong motor to power the vacuum’s suction, which means a lot of the dust, debris and hair on your hardwood floor gets scattered instead of suctioned.

Standard vacuums can mar hardwoods in other ways. Although general-purpose vacuum cleaners can be used on multiple surfaces, most people use them on carpets more than any other surface. Therefore, manufacturers equip them with heavy-duty wheels that damage hardwoods.

A popular alternative for hardwood cleaning is a broom and mop. Like the beater-bar vacuum, a whisk broom can also scratch hardwoods.

Although mop water starts out clean, it quickly becomes dirty, and that dirty water is spread out over the floor every time the mop is dipped into the bucket. Plus, dust resettles during the long drying time, working its way into the grain and creating – you guessed it – scratches.

best vacuum for hardwood floors and pet hair

Hardwood Vacuum Cleaner

What do Hardwood Vacuums Have That Regular Ones Don’t?

First, hardwood-specific vacuum cleaners usually don’t have a tough-bristled beater bar. As previously mentioned, beater bars damage hardwoods, and they aren’t necessary because there are no dense, thick fibers to work through on the floor.

Whether the vacuum cleaner is a canister, upright or robot hardwood vac, it will have extra-strong airflow for powerful suction that lifts instead of scatters debris.

However, there are some hardwood vacuums with brush rolls, but these brushes are soft and designed to attract dust and hair, not reach deep into carpet.

These vacuums also have rubber wheels, which don’t make marks on hardwoods. Another bonus to rubber-coated wheels is their ability to grip to smooth surfaces, which gives you excellent stability and control.

Also, hardwood vacs tend to come with a floor nozzle that has a rubber bumper. This bumper usually surrounds the edges of the nozzle and wraps beneath its undercarriage to protect the hardwood floor’s surface.

Today, virtually every vacuum contains a filter. However, hardwood vacuum cleaners have a multi-layer or HEPA filter as opposed to a standard vacuum’s one-ply filter. A HEPA-type filter is able to trap 99 percent of suctioned particles, including micro-particles.

The best hardwood vacs have a closed-off filtration system, which means dust isn’t released out the vacuum’s vent. Plus, sealed systems and multi-layered filters keep dust away from the motor and reduce the likelihood of suction-reducing clogs. To further its filtration ability, a hardwood vacuum will also have a self-sealing dust bag or bottom-lid dirt bin.

Are Their Features That Make Vacuuming Hardwoods Convenient?

Absolutely. Features that extend your cleaning reach and expand your vacuuming ability are great to have in a hardwood vacuum. Cordless vacuums can go anywhere you want to use them. However, they should have an adequate working time of at least 20 minutes.

On the other hand, corded vacuums need a long power cord. If the cord automatically rewinds, that’s also a bonus.

In addition, features such as a telescopic wand, flexible hose and an assortment of attachments help you clean the corners and baseboards that surround your hardwood floors. At a minimum, the vacuum should come with a crevice tool for narrow spaces. Angled dusting brushes are excellent for corner cleaning.

If the vacuum gives you a way to store these tools on board, even better. Pivoting floor nozzles and lightweight casing also help you vacuum by getting under low-sitting furniture and around objects in your home.

Vacuum for Hardwood Floors

Do Hardwood Vacuums Require a Lot of Maintenance?

Just as with any appliance, you have to maintain a hardwood vacuum cleaner. Clogs and dirty filters will negatively impact the vacuum’s performance, weakening its suction. However, hardwood vacuum maintenance isn’t an arduous task.

Make it a point to check the suction inlet and hose periodically for built-up dust and hair, especially if you notice any strange noises or changes in suction. If the vacuum has a brush, look for wound hair.

Also, read the owner’s manual to determine what care the filters need. Some can be rinsed, dried and reused while others are disposable. Of course, never vacuum when the dust bag or dirt bin is full because this can create clogs too.

Depending on the vacuum cleaner, there may be LED indicator lights that streamline the maintenance process by lighting up when it’s time to change the filter, empty the dust collector, clean the brush or check the suction inlet.

Best of the Best
Budget Option
Also Great
Shark APEX AZ1002 DuoClean with Self-Cleaning...
BISSELL Cleanview Swivel Rewind Pet Upright...
Shark NV356E S2 Navigator Lift-Away Professional...
Shark APEX AZ1002
Bissell 2254
Shark NV356E
17.1 lbs.
Lift-Away
30 ft. Cord
16 lbs.
27 ft. Cord
13.6 lbs.
Lift-Away
25 ft. Cord
Shark's most powerful vacuum. DuoClean dual brushrolls on floors and carpets pair with the Zero-M self-cleaning brushroll for nonstop hair removal.
The Bissell Cleanview Swivel Rewind Pet gives you the outstanding performance you’d expect from an expert floor care company at a great price.
Equipped with dynamic swivel steering, the Shark NV356E Navigator provides excellent control when maneuvering around furniture and other obstacles.
Best of the Best
Shark APEX AZ1002 DuoClean with Self-Cleaning...
Shark APEX AZ1002
17.1 lbs.
Lift-Away
30 ft. Cord
Shark's most powerful vacuum. DuoClean dual brushrolls on floors and carpets pair with the Zero-M self-cleaning brushroll for nonstop hair removal.
Budget Option
BISSELL Cleanview Swivel Rewind Pet Upright...
Bissell 2254
16 lbs.
27 ft. Cord
The Bissell Cleanview Swivel Rewind Pet gives you the outstanding performance you’d expect from an expert floor care company at a great price.
Also Great
Shark NV356E S2 Navigator Lift-Away Professional...
Shark NV356E
13.6 lbs.
Lift-Away
25 ft. Cord
Equipped with dynamic swivel steering, the Shark NV356E Navigator provides excellent control when maneuvering around furniture and other obstacles.

Last update on 2021-10-18 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API


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About the author

Hi I’m Alexander, founder of HouseholdMe.com and I’d like to say thank you for dropping by. Like most of you, the first thing I look at before buying something online is reviews or buying guides. By reading what other people say will help me gauge whether or not a product is good or not.  I am trying to help people find answers, solve problems, and get inspired.

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