Top 5 Best Upright Vacuums for Hardwood Floors in 2019: Buyer’s Guide

Whether yellow pine, Brazilian walnut, maple or hickory, hardwood floors are gorgeous. Many varieties can last decades, even a lifetime, if cared for properly and refinished about once a decade.

Best Upright Vacuum for Hardwood Floors

As you probably know, the word “hard” in hardwood is a misnomer. Hardwood floors are delicate, especially if they have a low rating on the Janka Hardwood Scale. Scratches and gouges can happen if you aren’t careful. Plus, dust and hair show easily.

Vacuuming is the most efficient way to keep your hardwoods clean, especially if you have a lot of square footage to cover. Many people use an upright vacuum for this task, but what features make an upright suitable for vacuuming hardwood floors? Here’s what to look for.

Our Upright Vacuum Recommendations

Dirt Devil Razor Pet Bagless Multi Floor Corded Upright Vacuum

The time is now to experience the confidence of a powerful clean without having to constantly manage your filter. This patented three-stage filtration… More

Dyson Ball Multi Floor 2 Upright Vacuum Cleaner Yellow
Dyson Ball Multi Floor 2 Upright Vacuum

The Dyson Ball Multi Floor 2 has unrivaled Dyson Suction*, and is light to maneuver. A slimmer design allows the Multi Floor 2 to turn on a dime, steering… More

Eureka NEU182A PowerSpeed Lightweight Bagless Upright Vacuum

We want cleaning to suck less for you. The Eureka power speed all floor vacuum with attachments lets you give your house the clean it deserves without breaking… More

Hoover WindTunnel 3 High Performance Pet Bagless Corded Upright Vacuum UH72630PC

We all want the very best for our families and getting the very best clean is no different. Hoover TTI Floorcare delivers that and more with our best cleaning… More

Hoover FloorMate Deluxe Hard Floor Cleaner Moondust

Discover the ultimate hard floor cleaner that gets the dirt mopping leaves behind, with the Hoover FloorMate Deluxe. SpinScrub Brushes do the scrubbing for you, while… More


Brushroll Control

All upright vacuum cleaners are equipped with a brushroll. The brushroll’s ability to reach the to the backing of a carpet is one reason uprights are so popular. However, a brushroll is a hardwood floor’s worst nightmare. The bristles can scratch the floor, and the spinning motion will scatter debris.

We suggest an upright vac that lets you turn the brushroll off. You can turn it back on when vacuuming area rugs and carpeted rooms.

6 Best Hardwood Vacuums

Height Adjustment

An adjustable floor head has become a standard for upright vacuums. This feature is crucial if the vacuum you choose lacks a brushroll control. Although the knob may say bare floor, put the head on a higher setting to prevent the brushroll from grazing the floor.

If the vacuum cleaner does have a brushroll control, choose the bare floor setting for the nozzle’s height. Doing so will allow the suction inlet to get close to the floor, so it can efficiently lift debris. Some models automatically adjust to the height of a floor with the use of sensors.

Powerful Suction

Powerful suction may seem like an obvious necessity, but the suction can make a huge difference as to how well an upright cleans without the brushroll in motion. The air watts and the airflow, which is measured in cubic feet per minute, of a vacuum cleaner, are good indicators as to its suction performance. The higher these figures, the better since you can’t rely on the brushroll for extra dirt-lifting power.

Best Vacuums for Hardwood Floors

Allergen Filtration

Dust and debris leave micro-abrasions on hardwood floors that dull the finish after time. To make sure the dust, hair and other allergens don’t escape the vacuum, you need a HEPA filter. A HEPA, or high-efficiency particulate air, filter captures 99.97 percent of particles as small as 0.3 microns.

At best, non-HEPA filters only trap 99 percent of 2-micron particles. Since a single speck of dust can range from 0.3 to 6 microns, only a HEPA filter will do.

Dirt Collection

Uprights are either bagless or bagged. Bagless upright vacuums with a top-opening cup are becoming a thing of the past and for a good reason. These cups release a lot of dust into the air. Cups with a bottom-opening door are much better. Upright vacs with a bag do an excellent job of keeping dust from becoming airborne as long as you’re careful not to overfill the bag.

Soft Wheels

Wheels on an upright vacuum cleaner are either made of plastic or rubber. Plastic wheels are too hard and will scratch your hardwoods – we cannot stress this enough. Instead of an upright with plastic wheels, look for one with rubber wheels, which are soft enough to prevent scratches.

Upright Vacuum Cleaners for Hardwood Floors

Vacuum Weight

There are heavy upright vacuums out there. Some models weigh as much as 20 pounds. These vacuum cleaners are not for you. Stick with one that ranges from 12 to 15 pounds. Lightweight uprights are better suited for hardwood floors. The lighter the weight, the less pressure put on the floor. In turn, there will be a decreased likelihood of the wheels leaving scratches and marks.

Cushy Padding

Manufacturers are finally taking notice of the unique needs of those who use uprights on hardwood floors. We are starting to see more upright vacuums with padding under and around the head. Bumper strips have been around for a while to keep people from dinging their baseboards.

Now, some uprights have padding on the bottom of the floor head to keep the housing from scratching delicate floors. If you do end up with a heavy upright, you’ll need one with this kind of padding.

LED Headlights

The grain pattern and the rich color of hardwood floors are a major part of their appeal. However, these features tend to conceal dust and dirt. This debris is harder to spot if the hardwoods are dark or the room had dim lighting. The solution? Get an upright with headlights. The LED bulbs in the headlights will help you spot hidden dirt.

Best Vacuums for Hardwood Floors

Brush Attachment

Wood expands when it’s humid and shrinks when it isn’t. Dust and dirt can build up in the expansion gaps even if they’re covered by shoe molding. A brush attachment comes in handy for coaxing out these particles. Most uprights come with a selection of attachments, including a brush. The brush should have soft bristles so as not to scratch your hardwoods.

Hose/Wand

A hose or a wand will help you vacuum between the planks of your hardwood floors and along the baseboards. It’s almost unheard of for newer upright vacuums not to have a hose. The hose should be flexible and long – at least 6 feet when fully stretched. Some models also have a detachable wand. With a wand, you can vacuum your baseboards without bending your back.

Smooth Handling

Every time you struggle to turn the vacuum cleaner, you risk damaging your hardwood floors. Several features can make moving an upright easier. A swiveling head lets you turn without pushing and pulling back and forth. A looped handle with a palm grip helps you maintain control over the vacuum, and a wide head provides greater stability.

Best Uprights For Hardwood Floors

Cord Length

Cord length applies to all corded vacuum cleaners no matter where they are used. Due to its universal importance, we felt the cord length was worth mentioning here. It’s inconvenient to switch to a different electrical outlet while vacuuming. Many uprights have cords that are 25 feet or longer because manufacturers understand the length can make or break a sale.

Our Upright Vacuum Recommendations

Dirt Devil Razor Pet Bagless Multi Floor Corded Upright Vacuum

The time is now to experience the confidence of a powerful clean without having to constantly manage your filter. This patented three-stage filtration… More

Dyson Ball Multi Floor 2 Upright Vacuum Cleaner Yellow
Dyson Ball Multi Floor 2 Upright Vacuum

The Dyson Ball Multi Floor 2 has unrivaled Dyson Suction*, and is light to maneuver. A slimmer design allows the Multi Floor 2 to turn on a dime, steering… More

Eureka NEU182A PowerSpeed Lightweight Bagless Upright Vacuum

We want cleaning to suck less for you. The Eureka power speed all floor vacuum with attachments lets you give your house the clean it deserves without breaking… More

Hoover WindTunnel 3 High Performance Pet Bagless Corded Upright Vacuum UH72630PC

We all want the very best for our families and getting the very best clean is no different. Hoover TTI Floorcare delivers that and more with our best cleaning… More

Hoover FloorMate Deluxe Hard Floor Cleaner Moondust

Discover the ultimate hard floor cleaner that gets the dirt mopping leaves behind, with the Hoover FloorMate Deluxe. SpinScrub Brushes do the scrubbing for you, while… More