There was a time when the vacuum cleaner was first invented that they were seen as a luxury cleaning tool. For a time carpeting was for the wealthy but then there came a change and almost every home had carpeting and used a vacuum cleaner to clean them. However things have changed today. A lot more homes now are diversifying, some have carpeting in certain rooms and then hardwood flooring and tiling, some have laminate floors.
However, cleaning hardwood floors can be much more complicated and can require much more effort and attention to detail than any other floor.
Sweeping a hardwood floor is an option, but sweeping a hardwood floor will not remove the amounts of dust and other materials that might not be able to be picked up as effectively as sweeping does.
If you own a hardwood floor, and it receives a lot of traffic, you will need a vacuum for it.
Editor’s Pick: Top 3 Hardwood Floor Vacuums Compared
Features to look for in a hardwood vacuum
Today people need to know what the right vacuum cleaner on a hardwood floor might be. One that does not scratch the surface and picks up the dirt rather than scattering it. Here is a list of five vacuums that are effective on floors that are hardwood. There is a mix of size, style and makes as well as a range in prices. This way you do not have to sweep or get out a dustpan and brush. Your vacuum can work for you on hard surfaces too.
While the concept of a hardwood vacuum seems simple enough and cleaning hardwood floors may not seem complicated, there is a lot more to it than that.
A hardwood floor is not the same as any other floor, and in order to clean a hardwood floor properly with a vacuum that specializes in hardwood floor cleaning, you’ll need to know what features to look for.
Most importantly, you’ll want to look for a vacuum that is brushless. Brushless vacuums may prove very effective when it comes to cleaning carpets, but they will scrape a hardwood floor. When you look for vacuums for your hardwood floor, you’ll want to make sure that the vacuum is either brushless or contains brushes that do not affect the flooring.
Padding and Wheels
You’ll also want to look for padding and wheels that are also more accustomed to a hardwood floor more than a carpet. Of all the solid flooring options that are available, hardwood floors are really sensitive and can scratch easily. Make sure that the padding and wheels of your vacuum are designed such that they do not scrape the hardwood floor.
Another thing you want to look for is a vacuum that is more compact than most common vacuums. For hardwood floors, you’ll want to be able to maneuver your vacuum to get into even the smallest spaces.
Although a hardwood floor does not require the kind of suction that their carpet counterparts do, you’ll still want the suction power to be fairly strong when looking for a hardwood floor vacuum. This is especially true if there are cracks in the hardwood floor. A vacuum with strong suction power will remove anything that is inside even the smallest cracks in your hardwood floor.
Top 12 Hardwood Floor Vacuum Reviews
#1 Hard floor expert multi cyclonic bagless canister vacuum by Bissell
Something that continues to be left desired in hardwood floor vacuums is one that is able to clean a hardwood floor of a large area. Most hardwood vacuums are useful for cleaning a small room that happens to have a hardwood floor, but Bissell’s vacuum is capable of cleaning much larger areas of hardwood floors.
Why is this? Bissell’s hardwood vacuum is of the canister variety. It keeps anything that it cleans in the canister, which has the same kind of capacity that most vacuums designed for cleaning carpets contain.
Moving the canister of Bissell’s hardwood vacuum is very easy, as well. The canister’s wheels are made of rubber, which is perfect for gliding across your hardwood floor without any risk of scratching the floor. The head of the vacuum does contain a brush, but the brush will not reach the floor, making it safe for wood floors.
Bissell’s hard floor vacuum can be a little difficult to move around. Because it is a canister vacuum, it will take some time to move both the canister and the vacuum device. It is also bound by a cord, which can also make moving it around pretty troublesome.
#2 Hoover LiNX Cordless Stick Vacuum BH50010
If you prefer an upright cordless stick cleaner you might want to take a look at the Hoover LiNX Cordless Stick Vacuum. It is good for hardwood flooring, or any hard surface like your tiled kitchen floor. It uses wind tunnel technology to create three different tunnels to suck dirt and debris from the floor. The LiNX also moves from hard flooring to carpeted with just the press of a button plus its bristles for edge cleaning will keep those corners clean.
The LiNX also has an 18V lithium battery that means it maintains full power and suction until it is really drained. There is a level indicator so you know when the power is about to run out. This cleaner has a dirt cup that is easy to empty and a filter that is easy to reach. When it is time to put it away it stores easily in an upright position. The one thing to be aware of though is this is not an easy vacuum cleaner to use for cleaning stairs.
#3 Navigator “Lift away” professional canister vacuum by Shark
Sometimes it’s better to be in possession of a vacuum that can not only clean hardwood floors, but other kinds of floors as well. Possessing an “all purpose” type of vacuum can be much more useful than possessing a vacuum that can only clean hardwood floors, and that is exactly what Shark’s vacuum does.
Versatility is what Shark’s vacuum is all about. It can connect together to form an upright design, but if you need to clean the stairs, a bed, a couch, or something else that would require something like a hand vacuum, it can detach from the canister and be used as a hand vacuum of sorts.
In the realm hardwood floor cleaners, the Shark is perfect for anybody who is struggling to clean hardwood stairs and other hardwood areas that may be more difficult to reach with a traditional upright vacuum, even if the upright vacuum is designed for hardwood floors.
Shark’s vacuum also has an option where you can retract the brushes in its head, this way you can clean hardwood areas safely.
However, turning off the brushroll of Shark’s vacuum will compromise its suction ability. The Shark’s suction power is all in the brushroll, and using without the brushroll may not provide you with the suction power that you might need when cleaning your hardwood floors.
#4 Roomba 690 robot vacuum by iRobot
With iRobot’s Roomba, this is completely possible. Possessing wi-fi connectivity and being compatible with Alexa, the Roomba is your solution if you just do not have the time to vacuum any floor, hardwood ones included.
The Roomba works by being connected to either Alexa or a mobile device of your choosing. You simply schedule it to clean any area of the house that you need, then it will go over the places you assign it to clean. This frees up all of the time involved in cleaning a room.
There are a couple of things you’ll need to be aware of with the Roomba. First, because it is automated, it contains very few of the nice features that many hardwood floor vacuums possess. The suction power of the Roomba is not nearly as powerful as many other vacuums that specialize in cleaning hardwood floors.
Another thing about the Roomba is that it only runs for 90 minutes before going back to its charging station. If you want to replace your hardwood vacuum with this but have a large area to clean that may take a little longer than 90 minutes, you might want to use a traditional hardwood vacuum instead of the Roomba.
#5 “Featherweight” stick lightweight bagless vacuum by Bissell
Anybody who struggles with cleaning multiple hardwood floors including stairs and floors with smaller spaces will get a lot out of the Featherweight, by Bissell. It is a classic upright vacuum, but certain parts of it can be detached to form a hand vacuum and most importantly, a stair vacuum.
If the stairs of your home are made of hardwood or something like it, this is invaluable, as not many other vacuums contain parts that can detach and form into a stair vacuum. The Featherweight can also form into a hand vacuum, which is also a very good quality that you don’t typically see in vacuums that specialize in hardwood.
The Featherweight’s capacity does leave a bit to be desired, however. With a capacity of only .67 liters, prepare to refill it a lot if you intend to use it to clean every floor of the house.
Another thing that the Featherweight could certainly improve in is its cord length. In an industry where more and more vacuums are converting to being cordless, it is disappointing that the Featherweight’s cord only extends to 15 feet. If you intend to use the Featherweight to clean very large rooms, have extension cords ready.
#6 Deluxe canister vacuum by Bissell
Something that isn’t very common in any vacuum is the ability to control the power of the suction of the vacuum’s head. If you have floors that are both hardwood and carpet, this can be troublesome as you’ll likely be using different vacuums for different floor surfaces.
Bissell’s deluxe vacuum solves this problem by having controls at the top of the vacuum that will allow you to adjust the power of the suction. This is very useful when cleaning hardwood floors, because if the brushes of the vacuum move too fast on a hardwood floor, they will scratch the floor. This power setting is nice for those who want to use just one vacuum for both carpet and hardwood floors.
The canister’s wheels of Bissell’s deluxe vacuum are made of rubber and felt, which typically do not leave markings when rolling it across a hardwood floor. The tank of the canister itself also opens from the bottom, making it very easy to empty compared to lift away vacuums where you need to pull the tank away then empty it.
Bissell’s deluxe vacuum contains a cord, and this cord could stand to be a little longer. It only extends to about 20 feet, and this can be troublesome if you want to use it to clean a very large room.
Another thing that Bissell’s deluxe vacuum can improve on is the arm’s length. Being 2.5 feet from the handle to the bottom, you’ll need to bend over quite a bit while vacuuming with it if you are very tall.
#7 Rocket DeluxePro ultra-light vacuum by SharkNinja
Something that is not very common in any vacuum is quality lighting. While most vacuums have some semblance of lighting on their vacuum head, usually this light is very dim and not as effective as it should be.
This is especially true when vacuuming a hardwood floor, where it is advantageous to have concentrated lighting so you can see things in detail. SharkNinja’s vacuum has very impressive lighting on the head that is much brighter than most other vacuums. This is fantastic when using it on a hardwood floor, as you’ll be able to see everything you need to see.
Another good thing about SharkNinja’s vacuum is its capacity. Having a capacity of .91 dry quarts, you’ll be able to clean for a very long time with it. The dust cup is located conveniently at the handle and is very easy to remove as well.
The only thing that could be improved about SharkNinja’s vacuum is that it only has two speeds and it only transitions to a hand vacuum and nothing else. Canister vacuums are much more mobile in comparison. The wheels of SharkNinja’s vacuum are also very thin and made of plastic. If you intend to use it on a hardwood floor, you’ll need to take your time this way the wheels do not scratch the floor.
#8 “Mighty Mite” corded canister vacuum cleaner by Eureka
The Mighty Mite is all about two things: Simplicity and convenience. It stands out among other vacuums that are either too complicated to use or not really optimized for a hardwood floor by having a very long cord length of 20 feet as well as an extremely long hose length that can be extended with an extension wand.
If you possess a hardwood floor with a significant area, you will get a lot out of the Mighty Mite. The long power cord length, the extension wands, and the fact that the canister can be carried around very easily attributes to this level of convenience. The wheels of the Mighty Mite are also made of reinforced rubber, making it very easy to roll across any floor.
Something else that the Mighty Mite contains is a blower port. This is very useful if you want to use it to clean a garage, balcony, or any other outdoor area where you would need a vacuum as well as a blower.
The Mighty Mite only has two flaws: First, it has an auto-off feature. This can be a decent feature, but it can be troublesome if you want to use the Mighty Mite for a long time as it will shut off and need to cool down.
Another thing is that the Mighty Mite is almost too simple in its design and features. The switch to turn it on and off is on the canister itself, and this takes away from its convenient features a bit.
#9 “V7 Animal” cordless stick vacuum by Dyson
Cordless capabilities are one thing that is very rare and in high demand for a lot of vacuums, no matter what kind of floors they are able to clean. The benefits of a cordless vacuum are plenty; you can take it anywhere you need to, and you can usually clean surfaces other than floors with it.
The fact that the V7 Animal is cordless makes it extremely versatile. It is light as well, and it is possible to clean any kind of surface in any location with it. It is possible to pick up dirt even from walls and ceilings with the V7 Animal.
This does not take away from its power as well. It can pick up ground in dirt and dust from both carpets and hardwood flooring just as easily as any corded vacuums can. The V7 Animal also has two different modes to control the kind of power it puts out as well as how powerful the suction is. This is useful if you need a multi purpose vacuum for carpets as well as hardwood carpets.
The battery life of the V7 Animal is not as long as it should be. It lasts only 6 minutes on its highest setting, and 15 minutes on its power saving setting. If you are not able to get vacuum cleaning jobs very quickly, you will face a little bit of inconvenience when using the V7 Animal.
#10 V6 animal handheld vacuum by Dyson
Fortunately, Dyson’s handheld vacuum solves this issue by being cordless. It is also very easy to carry and does not contain a massive container or bag that most other vacuums contain. If you need to clean other things around your hardwood floor, you’ll want Dyson’s handheld vacuum.
Another nice thing about Dyson’s handheld vacuum is that it is very powerful. It is called the “animal” for a reason, and that reason is because it can easily pick up ground in dirt. If your hardwood floor has ground in dirt that you just cannot get out with any other vacuum, you’ll be able to with Dyson’s handheld vacuum.
You are going to want to be careful with the suction power of Dyson’s handheld vacuum, however. It does contain brushes inside of the suction base, and these can scrape and cut up hardwood floors if you are not careful.
Cleaning for long periods can also be a challenge with Dyson’s handheld vacuum as well. It only allows 20 minutes of continuous suction, and then it needs to be charged. Look elsewhere if you are looking for a vacuum that will clean a larger area hardwood floor.
#11 Hoover Corded Cyclonic Stick Vacuum SH20030
For a Stick Vacuum that has swivel steering to make maneuverability effortless and smooth you might be drawn to the Hoover Corded Cyclonic Stick Vacuum SH20030. Move around furniture, underneath it and enjoy the reclining handle that means you can reach further back than you ever have before. It has cyclonic technology for improved cleaning, a brush roll that is powered and can be swapped from carpeting, rugs and hard flooring as needed. It comes with a good length power cord too and you will not have problems with it tangling thanks to the cord release.
When the dirt cup is full it is positioned so that it is simple to remove and empty, and quick too. Your dustpan and brush can be put to the back of the cupboard as this vacuum also has cyclonic filtration also making it great for taking care of pet hair. This stick vacuum is a great option for people who find uprights too heavy to push around and carry.
#12 BISSELL PowerEdge Pet HardFloor Vacuum 81L2A
For people who are pet owners and have hard flooring the BISSELL PowerEdge Pet Hard Floor Vacuum 81L2A is a good option. Sometimes it gets mixed up with the Power Edge because it has the same V shaped suction, but this one is good for dirt, debris and pet hair too. It glides easily around the floor, your furniture and makes cleaning up after your pet so much more effective. Instead of the usual brush bristles it has a squeegee strip so it doesn’t miss anything. There are no attachments with this model but comes with great suction so it can still clean up even heavy messes.
Frequently asked questions about hardwood floor vacuums
Q: Is it better to sweep or vacuum hardwood floors?
A: In most cases, both are necessary. It really depends on how dirty the hardwood floor is and what this dirt consists of. Sweeping is better if there are a lot of trash on the floor, such as paper, food particles, or other things that may not get picked up so well with a vacuum. If there is a lot of dust on the hardwood floor, use a vacuum.
Q: Do vacuums work on hardwood floors?
A: Vacuums do indeed work on hardwood floors, but there are a couple of precautions you need to take. First, you need to understand that vacuuming a hardwood floor is much different than vacuuming a carpet. The brushes and wheels that a vacuum possess can scratch the floor. Second, the suction power of most vacuums that are designed for carpets might be too strong for hardwood floors.
Q: Should I sweep or vacuum first?
A: It is best to sweep before vacuuming. Although vacuuming a hardwood floor is much easier and faster than sweeping, it is better to sweep first because you’ll be able to pick up most of the trash and dirt on the floor by sweeping. After sweeping, you can then vacuum the floor to put on a finishing touch
Q: Can a Swiffer-type cleaning device be used on hardwood floors?
A: Although a swiffer cleaner can be used on hardwood floors, there is a good chance that they will streak if you are too intense in your cleaning methods. If you use too much solution or the wrong kind of solution, the floor will streak. If you are going to use a swiffer cleaner on your hardwood floor, you’ll want to make sure that you clean the floor a little differently than you would a tile floor.
Q: Is vinegar safe for hardwood floors?
A: Vinegar is safe for hardwood floors, and in fact, it is necessary. Be sure that you use white vinegar, however. Any other form of vinegar will cause streaks. Also, make sure you do not use too much vinegar. Because vinegar is an acid, too much of it will cause your hardwood floor to not only streak, but it will also break down the finish of the hardwood floor.
Q: How do I keep my hardwood floors looking new?
A: The first thing you need to think about when keeping hardwood floors looking new is consistent cleaning and maintenance. Although it seems negligible, you’ll need to make sure that your floor is free of dust and dirt most of the time. If too much dirt and dust develops, it will work its way into the floor and break the finish down. You also need to mop the floor just like you would a tile floor, only make sure not to use too much solution or use a mop that is too wet.
Q: What is the best thing to use to clean wood floors?
Among the things that are available that can clean wood floors, probably the best thing to use is a combination of water, vinegar, and solution that is a little less powerful than the solution that is used to clean tile floors. Mix all of these and make sure that the mop you are using is as dry as you can get it. The reason why you need a very dry mop is because if the mop is too wet, it will streak with the possibility of breaking the finish down.
Q: How do you clean hardwood floors naturally?
A: If you do not have any cleaner on hand or do not want to use any, the best thing you can use to clean hardwood floors naturally is water and vinegar. As mentioned previously, you need to be careful with vinegar. Use too much and with a mop that is too wet, and you’ll not only streak the floor but the finish will also break down from the acid content in the vinegar.
Q: How do you clean really dirty hardwood floors?
A: Hardwood floors that get really dirty can be very troublesome to clean. In order to clean very dirty hardwood floors, you’ll need to spend extra time sweeping, vacuuming, and mopping the floor, in that order. When you sweep, make sure you sweep everything in the corners of your room. After sweeping, vacuum. Again, make sure all of the dirt that can get picked up from your vacuum does. Then mop the floor carefully. You may also need to repeat this process.