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.

Cleaning Hardwood Floors Guide 2018

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.

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 upright vacuum for hardwood floors and carpet

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 Vacuum for Hardwood Floors

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 vacuum for carpet and hardwood floors

Best Vacuum for Hardwood Floors and Carpet

Not all homes are exclusively covered in hardwoods. Carpet is still a popular flooring choice, especially for bedrooms, nurseries and rec rooms. Plus, the cost of installing hardwoods in every room of a house can be astronomical. If you have hardwood floors and carpeting, you likely want a vacuum that cleans both without damaging your hardwoods and leaving debris behind, especially if have high-pile carpet. Versatility is key here.

Whether the vacuum cleaner has two different brush rolls or multiple types of bristles on a single brush roll, the rotating brush setup should be designed to deep clean carpets and swiftly sweep debris from hard floors. Unwavering suction is also a must for both floor types.

A vacuum that can maintain suction as it transitions from one floor to the next will ensure that debris doesn’t get strewn across your hardwood floors. Since carpet is a hotbed for allergens, the vacuum should also have a HEPA filter. A sealed filtration system will keep collected dust from being released.

3) Dyson Ball Animal 2 Upright Vacuum, Iron/Purple

Brush roll versatility. Strong suction. A sealed HEPA filtration system. The Dyson Ball Animal 2 has the three major components that make for a great hardwood-carpet vacuum. Powered by 270 air watts, the upright vacuum cleaner’s radial root cyclonic system moves the flow of air straight through the middle of its core to provide steady suction.

This vacuum also has a floor head that adjusts itself according to the type of floor it’s cleaning, so the motorized brush roll stays in contact with your carpeted floor. However, you can turn off the brush roll when you’re cleaning hardwoods.

Dyson Ball Animal 2 Upright Vacuum Review

Talk about cleaning reach. The 17.4-pound vacuum has a 35-foot power cord, so you won’t have to change outlets frequently. When you combine the cord with the hose and quick-release wand, you get 50 feet of reach for no-hassle staircase and ceiling cleaning.

With attachments like the no-tangle turbine tool, furniture vacuuming is super easy. Thanks to that ball technology that Dyson is known for, maneuvering the vacuum is an effortless task.

For clean hardwood floors and even cleaner air, the Animal Ball 2 contains a 100-percent sealed HEPA filtration system. This system is so efficient that the vacuum carries the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America‘s seal of approval.

Therefore, bacteria, dust and allergens are not only captured by the filter but also kept inside the vacuum cleaner. Plus, the push-button hinged lid on the bottom of the 0.55-gallon dust bin means your hands stay clean when you empty the container.

2) Bissell 1819 Cleanview Rewind Deluxe Upright Bagless Vacuum

With the Bissell 1819 Cleanview Rewind Deluxe Upright Bagless Vacuum, you can cover more ground and wrap up your cleaning session faster than with standard uprights. The rotating brush on this vacuum cleaner is equipped with one set of bristles that loosens stubborn dirt from hardwoods and digs deep into your carpet.

It also has a second set of bristles for lifting small and large particles and a third set for picking up clingy pet hair. Since the 13.5-inch floor head is designed to vacuum from edge to edge of its width, it is efficient at touching up baseboards and getting into corners.

Bissell 1819 Cleanview Rewind Deluxe Upright Bagless Vacuum

Although the fact that the 15.4-pound upright vacuum allows you to adjust its height to one of five settings, its multi-surface cleaning ability doesn’t stop there. The 8-amp motor powers the vacuum’s multi-cyclonic suction that prevents the escape of dust and dirt from the washable allergen-reducing filter and 1-liter dust bin, so debris and dust don’t blow across your hardwood floors.

The wheels on the Bissell 1819 Cleanview Rewind Deluxe Upright are smooth, which means they won’t put scratches on your hardwoods, yet they are large enough to let the vacuum maneuver on carpet with ease. For non-floor vacuuming, you can detach the 8-foot hose and handle and use one of the vacuum’s accessories such as the motorized TurboBrush, which is helpful for vacuuming fabric and carpeted stairs.

When you add the 1-foot extension wand to the handle, you can further your reach to 36 feet. Once you’re done vacuuming, simply push the cord-rewind lever down to neatly store the 27-foot power cord.

1) Shark APEX DuoClean Powered Lift-Away Upright Vacuum (AX951)

Shark made the APEX to remove fine particles and large debris from all floors. Equipped with DuoClean technology, the Shark AX951 APEX DuoClean Powered Lift-Away Upright Vacuum contains two brush rolls.

The hard-bristle brush roll gets below the top of your carpet’s fibers to lift buried dirt, and the soft brush roll is able to sweep large particles into the suction outlet. Additionally, the softer brush puts a nice polish on hardwood floors. To customize the vacuum’s brush roll and suction speed, there are settings for low-pile carpet, high-pile carpet and hard floors.

Shark APEX DuoClean Powered Lift-Away Upright Vacuum (AX951)

When the 16-pound upright smoothly moves from one floor to the next, it maintains its suction by creating a tight seal while it transitions. With its set of bright LED headlights, no mess will escape your attention, and the swiveling head gives you superb maneuverability.

Thanks to its sealed HEPA filtration system, virtually all the hair, dust, dander, pollen and other allergens stay inside the vacuum and the 1.5-quart dust cup, so you don’t get a fine layer of dust on your hardwoods a few hours after vacuuming.

As a convenient bonus, the Shark APEX vacuum’s canister detaches, letting you clean other areas of your house, like the staircase and furniture. With its 30-foot power cord, you get plenty of cleaning reach from one electrical outlet.

It comes with a bendable wand for under-appliance cleaning, a duster-crevice tool, a motorized pet brush and an allergen-reducing dusting brush, all of which you can toss in the handy accessory bag after finishing your vacuuming chores.

Best Vacuum for Hardwood Floors and Pet Hair

Fur is the bane of a pet owner’s existence. Even short-haired cats and dogs can shed. If you have a long-haired pet, it doesn’t take long for your entire house to be covered in tufts of fur. There is also the issue of what hair does to a hardwood floor. Like dust and fine debris, hair is a threat to hardwoods, etching the floor whenever someone walks across it.

To prevent marring your gorgeous hardwood floor, you need a cleaning tool that effectively lifts pet hair without damaging it in the process.

Most importantly, you want to avoid any vacuum cleaner with tough bristles. Instead, opt for a model that has an adjustable floor nozzle, soft rotating brush or an on-off switch for the beater bar. There are even vacuums designed with no-tangle brush rolls, which will save you time on maintenance.

Also look for a vacuum with a high-efficiency filtration system to prevent the hair from clogging the suction inlet.

3) Dibea C01 Cordless Upright Vacuum Cleaner

Although it’s technically an upright vacuum, the Dibea C01 Cordless Upright Vacuum Cleaner gives you get the lightweight maneuverability of a stick vacuum, the unmatched portability of a cordless handheld vacuum and the amazing suction strength of an upright.

This 6.5-pound vacuum has a 9.5-inch brush roll outfitted with soft carbon-fiber bristles that gently clean dust and hair from hardwood floors. You can also change the suction speed from 4 kilopascals to 7 kilopascals for carpet cleaning.

Dibea C01 Cordless Upright Vacuum Cleaner

Since this upright is a battery-powered vacuum, you get unlimited reach. Its 22.2-volt lithium-ion battery lasts up to 40 minutes on low speed without losing suction power, allowing you to vacuum all your floors on a single battery charge. The vacuum self-stands while the battery recharges, and you only have to wait 4 hours to use it again.

While the 120-watt motor sucks up hair and other debris, the upright’s cyclonic filtration moves dust into the 0.4-liter dirt cup, maintaining the motor’s integrity for years of reliable use. To remove the dust cup, simply pull the slider switch, and the entire container separates from the floor head.

The maneuverability is fantastic, letting you clean everywhere your pet goes. It swivels 120 degrees from side to side, so you can glide around tables and chair legs while you hold it by the ergonomic D-shaped handle. It also pivots 90 degrees backward, which means the Dibea C01 Cordless Upright Vacuum Cleaner can lay flat for vacuuming under the sofa and beds.

With a row of headlights, you can spot every wad of fur. Features like soft rubber wheels and a thick wrap-around bumper protect your hardwoods, baseboards and furniture from dings and scuffs. When you use the upright in handheld mode, you can vacuum upholstery and stairs with the crevice-brush attachment.

2) Bissell 9595A CleanView Bagless Vacuum with OnePass

The Bissell 9595A CleanView Bagless Vacuum boasts the manufacturer’s exclusive OnePass technology. With a 13.5-inch cleaning path, the floor head’s side brushes and suction inlets collect dirt, dust and hair from all directions. In order to clean any floor from hardwoods to thick carpets, there are three brush roll height settings that you can choose via the nozzle’s turn dial.

When cleaning carpets on the appropriate settings, the tightly gathered bristles rotate to collect debris from carpeting. Since these bristles are relatively soft, you can still safely vacuum your hardwoods.

Bissell 9595A CleanView Bagless Vacuum with OnePass

Weighing 15 pounds and containing a convenient carrying handle, the CleanView Bagless Vacuum is easily manageable on staircases. Plus, it has a motorized TurboBrush for lifting pet hair from furniture. It also comes with the customary crevice tool and dusting brush for other above-floor cleaning jobs, and the vacuum can almost lay flat for under-furniture vacuuming.

Combined, the power cord and bendable hose provide 31 feet of reach. Therefore, you can use the vacuum for whole-house cleaning beyond your hardwood floors.

Its 12-amp motor generates powerful suction that’s delivered through an innovative multi-cyclonic system. This system separates debris from dust, prolonging the washable filter’s lifespan. When the extra-large 2.2-liter dust bin gets full, it only takes one push of a button to pop open the bottom hatch to cleanly empty the collected dirt and debris.

3) Bissell 1650A Pet Hair Eraser Vacuum

The Bissell 1650A Pet Hair Eraser Vacuum features a unique brush roll for vacuuming pet hair. Designed not to tangle, you won’t ever find yourself pulling out a pair of scissors to cut tightly wrapped hair from it. With a five-height adjustable pivoting floor head and the ability to turn off the brush roll, you can safely use this 18-pound vacuum on your hardwoods and carpets.

Bissell 1650A Pet Hair Eraser Vacuum

You aren’t limited to just floor vacuuming. The Pet Hair Eraser comes with three ingenious attachments to remove fur from upholstery and other above-floor surfaces. The crevice tool is equipped with an LED light, so you can see pet hair and dirt in narrow spaces, and the TurboEraser’s motorized brush roll is ideal for upholstery cleaning.

These attachments and a dual-purpose brush tool lock into place on the quick-release extension wand or directly to the handle on the 8-inch flexible hose. Thanks to its 30-inch power cord, you can enjoy a wide cleaning radius.

Bissell did not disappoint in regards to the vacuum’s filtration system. The 8.5-amp upright vacuum contains a SmartSeal Allergen System, which catches hair, dander and other allergens. It even separates hair from dirt with its cyclonic spooling action, rapidly spinning the hair into a tight ball. Therefore, when you open the 1.5-liter dust bin’s bottom-release hatch, you can dump its contents quickly and efficiently.

Best Robot Vacuum for Hardwood Floors

Hardwood floors are a magnet for dust and hair, which not only dull a wood floor’s shine but also ruin its finish. To keep dust from settling on a hardwood floor, you have to clean it every day. However, if you’re like many people, you don’t have that kind of time. Where does that leave you in terms of vacuum cleaners? A robot vacuum is the answer. With a robot cleaner, you don’t have to put forth a daily effort to make your hardwoods look immaculate.

Of course, there are certain hardwood-specific features you should look for when buying a robotic vacuum. While a brush roll is nice for carpets, it isn’t necessary for hardwoods; strong suction and efficient filtration are more important. However, if you find a robo vac you like that does have a bristled brush roll, make sure it’s designed to be used on multiple surfaces or interchanged with a softer one.

To make sure the vacuum collects dust buildup in corners and along baseboards, look for a robotic vacuum with a side brush, an edge-cleaning mode or a straight side. Convenience features like wet mopping and programmed scheduling can make hardwood maintenance much easier.

3) ILIFE V5s Pro Robot Vacuum Mop Cleaner

With the ILIFE V5s Pro Robot Vacuum Mop Cleaner, you never have to worry about the toughness of its bristle brush because it doesn’t have one. This vacuum relies on straight suction and two side sweeping brushes to remove dirt, dust and debris from your hardwood floors, and its HEPA filter keeps allergens from being released into the air.

When you have a large mess or pet hair to clean, you can set the robo vac to max mode for additional suction. If you take out the dust bin and put the water tank and microfiber pad in its place, the V5s Pro wet mops your hardwoods, leaving them fresh and polished.

ILIFE V5s Pro Robot Vacuum Mop Cleaner

It’s extra slim too. Standing at a mere 3 inches tall, it has no problem gliding under low-sitting furniture. The robo vac can even adjust to the precise height of each floor in your house. Plus, it contains two rubber wheels that won’t scratch your floor.

These wheels also help the vacuum remain steady as it crosses 10-millimeter barriers at a maximum incline of 15 degrees. Since it’s equipped with object and drop sensors, you don’t have to worry about tumbles down the stairs or accidental collisions.

To give you an impressive 140 minutes’ worth of working time, the robot vacuum contains a powerful lithium-ion battery, which charges in 4 to 5 hours. When it’s time to recharge, the vacuum auto docks, saving you the hassle of manually placing it on the charger.

You also have the ability to set a cleaning schedule and choose from among edge-cleaning mode, random-pattern mode and spot-cleaning mode by using the digital-display remote control. If you prefer, you can control the vacuum’s every movement with the remote’s directional arrows.

2) Neato Botvac D80 Robot Vacuum for Pets and Allergies

Instead of a single multi-surface brush, the Neato Botvac D80 Robot Vacuum allows you to switch between one of two pop-out brush rolls. The spiral brush can clean all floors; however, the combo brush is suitable for removing pet hair while gently cleaning hardwood floors.

There is also a spinning side brush to help pull debris away from corners and wall edges and into the powerful suction inlet. From there, the dirt, hair and dust make their way to the wide filter and 0.7-liter dust bin.

Neato Botvac D80 Robot Vacuum for Pets and Allergies

Thanks to its D-shaped body, the robo vac can get as close as 0.4-inches away from your walls to remove the most dust possible. The vacuum moves in a logical up to down and left to right pattern, ensuring no square footage goes untouched except for areas you mark off with the included boundary runner. Using LaserSmart technology, the 3.9-inch tall robot vacuum can quickly learn each room’s layout, avoiding falls and bumps.

From the robotic vac’s top panel, you can start a vacuuming session on the fly or set a programmed schedule. After approximately 90 minutes of working time, the vacuum auto docks to recharge its nickel-cadmium battery. Once it completely charges in 2 to 3 hours, the vacuum resumes cleaning exactly where it left off – no fuss, no muss.

1) iRobot Roomba 890 Robot Vacuum

The iRobot Roomba 890 Robot Vacuum‘s impressive suction is produced by iRobot’s proprietary AeroForce technology, which creates five times more suction than some of the manufacturer’s previous 800 models. It does have a central brush roll.

However, this brush adjusts its height to the specific surface, so it won’t scratch your hardwoods. It’s also less likely to tangle, making it ideal for cleaning up the hair your pets’ shed. Other features that contribute to the robo vac’s cleaning prowess include a 27-degree side brush for corner and edge sweeping, a high-efficiency anti-allergen filter built into the 0.2-gallon dust bin and acoustic sensors that tell the robot vacuum to apply extra cleaning power to small piles of dirt and dust.

iRobot Roomba 890 Robot Vacuum

Since it only measures 3.6-inch tall, it can reach under your furniture with ease. To keep it out of specific areas, you can use the virtual wall barrier that comes with the Roomba 890. As it moves in a random pattern, the robo vac’s cliff and collision sensors detect drops and objects. To set a schedule for daily cleaning, you can take advantage of its Wi-Fi connectivity and download iRobot’s HOME app on your smartphone.

iRobot also gave this robo vac the ability to dock and recharge itself when the lithium-ion battery’s charge is too low. Once on the dock, it needs about 2 hours to recharge, and a full battery provides you with 1 hour of run time. However, if you have Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant, you can instruct the robotic vacuum to start, stop and dock via voice commands.

Overall: Best Vacuum for Hardwood Floors

If you could custom build a vacuum that’s specifically designed to clean hardwood floors, what features would be necessities? Above all else, you definitely need high-powered suction because there is no point in using a vacuum that leaves a trail of dirt and debris in its wake. A variable-speed motor can help you tailor the suction speed.

While you certainly wouldn’t add an abrasive brush roll, a soft one is great for removing hair. To keep dirt, dust and allergens from escaping, the vacuum should have an outstanding filtration system.

The lighter the vacuum cleaner, the less pressure it puts on delicate wood surfaces. The vacuum also needs wheels, which should be rubberized to prevent marking the floor. In addition, features like lay-flat handles and low-profile nozzles keep your hardwoods intact because your furniture can stay put.

Don’t forget to factor in convenience – fingertip controls, an automatic cord-rewind mechanism and a large dirt container make vacuuming easier. This hypothetical vacuum already exists. There are actually several vacuum cleaners made just for cleaning hardwood floors.

3) Hoover Hardwood Floor Cleaner FloorMate SpinScrub

Hoover has eliminated the need for a separate mopping tool. By turning the side dial to one of three settings, the Hoover Hardwood Floor Cleaner FloorMate SpinScrub can either vacuum, mop or dry your hardwood floors until they shine. Engage the vacuuming stage to suck up hair and other particles. Then, put it in wash mode to wet mop your floors and remove stubborn grime.

After you mop, set it to dry, and the under-nozzle squeegee will remove moisture to prevent slips and falls as well as buckling and swelling. The upright vacuum’s 6-amp motor gently spins the floor head’s row of counter-rotating brushes to carefully clean your hardwoods and other hard floors when in mop mode.

Hoover Hardwood Floor Cleaner FloorMate SpinScrub

Weighing around 16 pounds, the vacuum cleaner rolls with ease on its soft-tread wheels while its 13-inch wide cleaning path covers a lot of ground at one time. Thanks to its ergonomic handle, your hands won’t get tired. Plus, the vacuum has a quick-release function that gives you instant access to the long 27-foot power cord.

When your hardwoods gleam and you’re ready to put the FloorMate away, fold the handle all the way backward for compact storage.

Inside the vacuum, there is a 32-ounce split tank, preventing dirty and clean water from mixing. When you are vacuuming, all the collected debris go into the dirty-water compartment. Thanks to its screened, washable filter, you don’t have to worry about clogs reducing the vacuum cleaner’s suction.

Every control you need to operate this hardwood-cleaning wonder is at your fingertips, including the on-off switch and solution-release trigger. As a bonus, you get 16 ounces of Hoover’s hard-floor cleaning liquid. Also included are 30 wipes to make quick work of cleaning woodwork like doors and baseboards.

2) Miele Compact C2 Quartz Canister Vacuum

With 1,200 watts of quiet yet powerful suction force, there is no particle too large for the Miele Compact C2 Quartz Canister Vacuum to lift. Even though this canister vacuum is mainly meant for use on hardwood floors, Miele understands that you may want to clean other surfaces with this vacuum.

Therefore, it’s fitted with a six-speed dial knob. When going back and forth between carpet and hardwoods, simply press the foot switch on the AllTeQ combo floor brush to seamlessly transition.

Miele Compact C2 Quartz Canister Vacuum

This compact canister also has the maneuverability you need to make your vacuuming chores easy. Weighing under 15 pounds, you won’t find it difficult to tote the vacuum by its curved carrying handle. It also comes with a crevice nozzle, upholstery tool and dusting brush that you can attach to the telescopic wand and 21-foot power cord giving you 33 feet of reach. When not in use, these accessories snap onto the vacuum’s on-board VarioClip.

Since the 360-degree rotating wheels are encased in a smooth coating, the vacuum won’t put minute marks in your hardwoods. For convenient storage, you can activate the canister vac’s auto cord-rewind feature with a one-touch button.

The 3.7-quart dust bag is spring loaded; therefore, it only takes seconds to change, and its tight-fitting collar prevents dust emissions. However, dust rarely makes it to the bag because most of it gets trapped by the pre-motor electrostatic filter.

1) Bissell 1161 Hard Floor Expert Deluxe Canister Vacuum

Strong suction? You bet. The canister vacuum’s 7-amp variable-speed motor not only produces a mighty force of cyclonic suction but also allows you to change the suction speed, so you can clean hardwood floors and upholstery.

The Bissell 1161 Hard Floor Expert Deluxe Canister Vacuum also comes with a specialized hard-floor tool that’s equipped with no-scratch super-soft bristles. With its multiple-step filtration system, dust and hair stay inside the vacuum and off your floor.

Bissell 1161 Hard Floor Expert Deluxe Canister Vacuum

At just 9.1 pounds, the Hard Floor Expert Deluxe is lightweight. Thanks to its compact design, telescopic wand and integrated carry handle, you can even use it to clean hardwood stairs. The swivel-head makes maneuvering the canister under and around furniture vac a breeze. It also has an 8-foot flexible hose and three attachments like a low-pile carpet tool for vacuuming versatility.

Its massive wheels may look like trouble for your hardwood floors, but they are actually made of rubber and covered in felt tread. To change the suction speed, the digital controls are within a fingertip’s reach on the looped handle. This vacuum cleaner also has a bottom-release dust cup that can hold 1 liter of dry debris as well as an automatic cord-rewind feature.

The total cost involved with the installation of hardwood floors is three times as much as carpet or vinyl. When you spend $12 per square foot or more on flooring, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that your floor will require specialized care.

Like most people, you probably own a general-purpose upright or lightweight stick for vacuuming as well as a whisk broom and string mop for hard-floor cleaning. Unfortunately, none of these tools are enough to maintain your hardwood floors and bring out their rich finish.

best robot vacuum for hardwood floors

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

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.

best vacuums 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.

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