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Your Questions About the 12 Best Vacuums for Hardwood Floors Answered

Your Questions About the 12 Best Vacuums for Hardwood Floors Answered

Hardwood floors make a space feel open and elegant, and they can add value to your home. In order to keep your hardwood floors looking great, you need to take care of them, and that includes having a vacuum that will clean your hardwood floors while protecting them.

Here are the 12 best vacuums for hardwood floors:

The type of vacuum cleaner that you buy for your hardwood floors does matter. Vacuum cleaners that are made for carpets may scratch your floor and will not do the best job of keeping your hardwood floors free of dirt, hair, and dust. We’ll discuss each type and best models in greater detail below.

What’s the Best Vacuum for Hardwood Floors?

If you have hardwood floors and want to keep them looking their best, you cannot use just any vacuum.  You need to be sure that the model you choose has settings that allow you to clean your hardwood floors without damaging them.

The best options if you only need to clean hardwood floors are:

  Pros Cons
Bissel Hard Floor Expert Multi-Cyclonic Bagless Canister Vacuum – Corded Lightweight at only 13 lbs.Easy to move around Comes with a turbine designed specifically for hardwood floors, so it will not leave scratchesReaches hard-to-reach areas like under furniture large dustbin (2.1 quarts) An easy-empty dirt tank opens from the bottom for no-mess disposal May tip over easily 18-inch cord is a bit short Wheels sometimes hard to maneuver
Hoover React Powered Reach Plus Upright Vacuum Cleaner Has micro-sensors that are perfect for different floor types and will automatically detect changing floor types and adjust the brush roll speed. Comes with several useful toolsThe 30-inch cord is good if you have a large area to clean At 18.6 pounds, this is a heavier model One of the smaller dustbins at only 1.5 quarts Wheels are sometimes hard to maneuver
Black+Decker Ultra-Light Weight Black & Decker BDASP103 Very lightweight at only 8.8lbsComes with accessories for multifunctional cleaning including a crevice tool and pet hair tools large dustbin that should last about one average cleaning (2.1 quarts)25-foot cord good for larger spacesBudget-friendly Easy to tip over Not as powerful as some heavier duty upright vacuums    

These Hardwood Floor Vacuums Also Tackle Pet Hair

Keeping up with cleaning your pet’s hair can be a full-time job. Having the right vacuum will save time and make sure that pet hair gets gone. These are the best vacuum cleaners for hardwood floors and pet hair:

  Pros Cons
Shark Rotator Professional Upright Corded Bagless Vacuum Reasonably sized, weighing 15.5lb Converts at a push of a button to a handheld canister weighing just 8.4lbs. It comes with a turbine designed specifically for hardwood floors, so it will not leave scratches Swivel steering for easy navigating.  A good-sized dustbin (1.3 quarts). HEPA filtration for allergen-free air. Comes with several useful attachments, including a premium pet tool 5-year warranty Top-heavy, so tipping may occur Cord is not retractable cord is in an inconvenient spot    
Miele Complete C2 Hard Floor Canister Vacuum Six suction settings An extra-large cleaning head A 33-foot cord Bags hold a lot (4.76 quarts) It comes with several useful attachments. 7-year warranty on the motor and casing1-year warranty on all other parts The Miele is heavy for a canister, weighing 19.5lbs. Not budget-friendly A HEPA filter is not included but can be purchased separately
Bissell PowerEdge Pet Harwood Floor Bagless Cleaner This Bissell is lightweight, weighing 7.5lbs. V-shaped design for deep cleaning edges, along baseboards and crevices and Swivel steering for easy navigating  This vacuum cleaner is budget-friendly. No hose attachment, which limits functionality 20 feet long power cord is on the short side  

Best Vacuums Hardwood Floors Work Well With Area Rugs?

If you have area rugs and hardwood floors, you need a vacuum that is powerful enough to deep clean the area rugs, but not damage your hardwood floors.

The best choices for a space with both hardwoods and area rugs are:

  Pros Cons
Bissell Deluxe Canister Vacuum The Bissell is lightweight, weighing only 9.1lbs Adjustable power option for dusting and vacuuming A good-sized dustbin (1 quart). Come with several useful attachments, including one for area rugs that has two different height settings   Has a pre-motor foam filter instead of the industry-standard HEPA filter 16-inch cord is a bit short      
Dyson Upright Vacuum Cleaner, Ball Multi Floor 2 A manageable weight at 15 lbs. uses a spiral bristle style roll that self-adjusts to varying floor types and carpet lengths. A good-sized dustbin (1.6 quarts)31-inch cord Comes with useful attachments, including a crevice tool and a stair tool No lift-away canister, so not as versatile as smaller models        
Dirt Devil Razor Pet Bagless Multi-Floor Corded Upright Vacuum Cleaner Lightweight at only 13lbs.  Automatic Floor Height adjusts for different types of surfaces A good-sized dustbin (1.6 quarts) Endura filter is a high-performance, microbe-trapping filter Budget-friendly This model only has a 10-foot reach        

Which Are the Best Vacuums for Hardwood Floors and Carpet?

Most homes have more than one type of flooring. The kitchen, bathrooms, entryway, and halls may have hardwoods, laminate or tile, and there will be carpets or area rugs in the living room and bedrooms.

Finding a vacuum that can get carpets clean and protect your hardwood floors can be challenging. There are several factors to consider when picking the right vacuum that will get all your floors clean.

Here are the best vacuum cleaners if you have both hardwoods and carpets:

  Pros Cons
10. Shark Navigator Lift-Away Deluxe NV360 An upright that converts into a canister vacuum comes with several accessories including a pet power brush and a crevice tool design allows access to hard-to-reach areas like under furniture large dustbin (2.1 quarts)The power cord is 25 feet long Tipping may occur A small cleaning head Wheels sometimes hard to maneuver
Eufy BoostIQ RoboVac 11S Vacuum  Wi-fi enabled, controllable from your smartphone up to 100 minutes of constant, powerful suction no cord. It comes with a remote control will transition smoothly between carpet and hardwood floors  0.6-quart dustbin (while bigger than other robotic vacuums) will need to be emptied more often than traditional vacuum cleaners. No attachments for other cleaning like couches and stairs It may get hung up on larger items left on the floor  
Eureka PowerSpeed Bagless Upright Vacuum Cleaner It has 5 height adjustments, so it works well on carpets, shag rug, hard floors, etc. This vacuum comes with several accessories including an upholstery tool, and a crevice tool Extra-large dustbin (4.1 quarts) Lightweight, at only 10lbs Budget-friendly The bulky head may not fit in tight spaces some users complain this model is loud

What’s the Best Sweeper for Hardwood Floors?

You may find it helpful to have a sweeper for your hardwood floors to use in between deeper cleanings, in addition to a vacuum cleaner. These lightweight cleaning tools are good for picking up spills after breakfast or if your kids or pets track in dirt during the day.

When choosing a sweeper, you want to consider size for how much it can clean in one sweep as well as how easy it will be to store it. Lighter models will be easier to maneuver, especially if you use it daily.

Here are the best sweepers for your hardwood floors:

  Pros Cons
Fuller Brush Electrostatic Carpet & Floor Sweeper The natural bristle rotor brush has a good pick up for pet hair, crumbs, dust, debris, paper clips, glass, and more. Reversible cleaning power, lets you pick up dirt rolling forwards and backward This model is small and may be harder to use if you are taller you may have to go over areas multiple times
Shark 10″ Rechargeable Floor and Carpet Sweeper (V2930) Folding handle for cleaning under furniture Battery-powered can be inconvenient when you forget to charge
Ontel Swivel Sweeper Max Removable, cleanable, reusable bristlesSwivels 360 degrees Battery-powered. The unique battery makes replacement less convenient and more costly

What to Look for in a Vacuum Cleaner for Hardwood Floors

Not all vacuums are created equal. If you have hardwood floors, there are certain features that your vacuum cleaner should have.

  • No Rollers or Soft Bristles on the Rollers– If your vacuum has rollers, make sure that either the bristles on the rollers are soft or you can turn the rollers off.  Rollers are best for carpet, but, if the bristles are too hard, they may scratch your hardwood floors.

Choosing the Right Vacuum For Your Space and Schedule

Considering you’ll be using your vacuum very regularly, you’ll need to consider both your cleaning schedule and what you are cleaning. Before you purchase, there are some other things to consider as you check out different models:

How Often Do You Vacuum?

Lugging a giant upright vacuum or bulky canister out of the closet can be a chore. If you like to vacuum daily:

  • You may want to consider a more lightweight option like a cordless stick vacuum. Something you can pull out quickly, zip around with and store in s snap.
  • A robotic vacuum might be best if you want this to happen while you are doing something else. If you are busy during the day, you can set this to go while you are away.
  • Also, if you forget to turn it on, many remote-controlled models allow you to set timers or activate the vacuum from your smartphone.
  • If areas like your kitchen or entryway need vacuuming more often, you may want to consider getting a sweeper or easy-to-maneuver stick vacuum in addition to your regular vacuum.

Do You Need to Clean More than Just Floors?

If you want to be able to vacuum your stairs, furniture, and curtains in addition to the floors in your home, you may choose to have more than one vacuum. Or you might want to find one that is versatile enough to take care of it all. Options include:

  • A vacuum with attachments like a hose or crevice tool will be helpful.
  • Canister vacuums or handhelds are often best for vacuuming multiple surfaces.
  • Cordless vacuums may also be a good option, so you are not limited in your reach.

How Many Levels Do You Have in Your Home?

The size of your home and the number of stairs may be a determining factor in what type of vacuum to buy.  Consider these options:

  • A lightweight canister or cordless model will be easier to carry up and down stairs.
  • Something with a long handle is going to be very inconvenient and hard to maneuver.
  • You may need more than one model. Maybe a robotic vacuum will work well on the lower floor, and an upright for carpet would work best upstairs.

If you have a home with many levels or different floor types, you might want to consider purchasing more than one vacuum to make life a little easier. Consider what your main uses are – and where you will store these vacuums – before you make your choices.

Controlling Allergens- Is it Important?

Absolutely You spend a lot of time in your home. The quality of air in your home is important. Especially if someone in your family has asthma or allergies, or if you have pets. Fortunately, today’s vacuums have options to help:

  • Many vacuums these days have HEPA filtration systems that can help reduce the number of allergens in the air.
  • Some vacuum cleaners also have other types of filtration systems that better control pet and other odors.

When purchasing a vacuum with filtration systems, it is a good idea to check out the price and availability of replacement filters. It also wouldn’t hurt to buy a few back-ups right away to have on-hand when you need them.

Pros and Cons of Different Types of Vacuums

Many vacuums on the market will work well on your hardwood floors. In order to determine the best vacuum for the type of cleaning you do, you need to know the pros and cons of the different types of vacuum cleaners.

  • Upright vacuums work well if you have large flat areas in your home.
  • A canister vacuum may be the best for you if you have a lot of stairs because canister vacuums are easier to maneuver.
  • Handheld models and stick vacuums work best for quick clean-ups.
  • Robotic vacuums are a good pick if you do not want to spend your time vacuuming your floor,

Here is a closer look at each type of vacuum cleaner.  

Upright Vacuums

Upright vacuum cleaners are generally better for carpets. Upright models that have bags often hold more than other models of vacuum cleaners. These vacuums store easily since they stand up.

Upright vacuums are often heavier than other models like canisters and handhelds.  They also are harder to maneuver under and around furniture and narrow spaces.  

Canister Vacuums

Canisters work well on hardwood floors because many models come with no rollers or soft bristle rollers. Canisters are good for stairs and cleaning upholstery on couches and drapes hanging from windows. These are often lighter than upright vacuums and can perform just as well.

Even though these types of vacuums may be lighter, they are often bulkier and more awkward to store.  

Handheld Vacuums

Handheld vacuums work best on small jobs like spills and dirt tracked into the house. These work well on hardwood floors and area rugs. The portability of these models makes them good for cleaning cars and pet hair off couches. 

While handheld models are convenient, they are usually not as powerful as the upright models or canisters. 

Stick Vacuums

Stick vacuums look like upright vacuums, with tall bodies and handles, but these models are often battery-powered and much lighter. Stick vacuums, like handhelds, are good for smaller clean-ups and are easier to maneuver.

These types of vacuums work better on hardwood floors and are not powerful enough to take the pace of an upright or canister model.

Robotic Vacuums

If you want a vacuum that will operate itself, robotic vacuums are the way to go. You can schedule the vacuum to run while you are at work. Robotic vacuums work best on hardwood floors and short pile carpets.

This type of model will not work well in a multi-level home and will not clean as well upright and canister vacuums.

Bagged vs. Bagless Vacuums

Deciding whether to get a bagged or bagless vacuum is a determination you will need to make when deciding on the best model for your needs. Each type of vacuum has its own set of advantages and disadvantages.

Bagged Vacuum Cleaners

These are traditionally what most people have used. Bagged vacuum cleaners have a place for the vacuum bag to sit, and it must be replaced whenever it becomes full. Here are the most comment benefits and drawbacks of bagged vacuums:


  • Hygienic- when you use bagged vacuum cleaners, dust and debris get trapped in bags that then get thrown away. This helps keep allergens from getting back into the air when disposing of the bags. Also, with many bagged models, you do not have to chain filters as often as the bagless models.  

  • Larger Capacity for Dirt– Bagged vacuums can often hold up to two times as much dirt and debris as bagless models.


  • The Cost of Bags– Bagged vacuum cleaners require the purchase of bags to operate them. This cost should be factored in when looking at the price of the vacuum cleaner. If your vacuum is an older model, you may have trouble finding bags.

  • Reduced Performance when Bag is Full- As a bag in your vacuum cleaner becomes full, the performance of the vacuum will decrease. If your model does not have a light to indicate when a bag becomes full, it can be hard to tell when the bag must be changed.

Bagless Vacuum Cleaners

These are a newer technology that many people find easier to maintain. Many people choose bagless vacuums because they eliminate the need to buy bags for the vacuum.  Here are the most comment benefits and drawbacks of bagged vacuums:


  • No Bags to Buy– Once you have purchased a bagless vacuum, the only thing that may need replacing is the HEPA filter. There is no additional cost to purchase bags.

  • You’ll Know when to Empty it– Bagless vacuums have clear dustbins that allow you to see when the chamber is full, so you will know when to empty it. Like bagged vacuums, bagless vacuums perform better when the dustbin is not full, so it will be easy to ensure you are getting the best performance.
  • Good for the Environment– With bagless vacuums, you will not be throwing away hundreds of bags over the life of the vacuum. Sometimes you may even be able to throw the contents of the dustbin into your compost.


  • More Allergens in the Air– Debris in bags is contained in the bag when emptying it. With bagless vacuums, when the container is emptied, allergens and other particles get back into the air.  You can empty the container outside to minimize the impact of this debris in the air.

Both bagged and bagless models come with various accessories and features, so no matter which model you choose, you should be able to find the right model for you.

Other Handy Features Available for Vacuums

Suction is the most important feature of a vacuum. While this article has mentioned other features like filters and attachments that vacuums have, there are other features that companies have incorporated into their models that can help make cleaning your floors easier.

  • Lights – Some vacuum models come with lights on the front to help you see fine dust, debris, and pet hair. Lights are helpful when vacuuming under furniture and in corners of your home that are not well lit.
  • Foot Activated switches– many models have power and mode switches on the lower part of the vacuum, so you can control those features with your feet. This allows you to have both hands free to maneuver the vacuum.
  • Automatic Cord Rewind– A nice feature that often gets overlooked is the automatic rewind of the power cord. When you are done vacuuming, just push a button and the cord retracts back into the vacuum.  This feature helps keep the cord free from damage and tangles and makes the vacuum easier to store.
  • Cordless– Many stick vacuums and handhelds are battery-powered. Robotic vacuums are also cordless, but the charging bases must be plugged in. These models are convenient to transport around the house. The downside is that you need to make sure your battery is charged before you use it.
  • Wi-fi Connectivity- Robotic vacuum cleaner models often have apps and can be controlled via wi-fi. This feature will appeal to tech-savvy folks who like to do things at the tap of a button.
  • Vacuums that Mop– These vacuum mops vacuum, mop, and sometimes steam your floors at the same time. You need to make sure the model you buy works well on all floor types if you have a multi-surface home.

Tips for Keeping Your Hardwood Floors Looking Like New

Vacuuming is just one step in taking care of your hardwood floors. Here are other things you can do to ensure your floors stay looking brand new.

  • Floor Mats- Place floor mats in high traffic areas or areas where people often stand like in front of the stove and kitchen sink will help prevent your floors from wearing out in those areas. 
  • Furniture protectors– When chairs, couches, and other pieces of furniture slide across hardwoods, scratching can occur. You can prevent scratching by putting felt or plastic furniture protectors on the bottom of your furniture. Also, instead of dragging furniture across your floors, lift the furniture when moving it.
  • Exterior Doormats– Much of the dirt we track on our floors comes from outside.  To prevent dirt and other debris from being tracked onto your floors, place doormats at exterior entrances to your house.  Asking friends and family to remove their shoes when they enter will also help keep your floors in tip-top shape.

Mopping– Vacuums will pick up loose dirt, but you will need to mop your floors too if you want to pick up spills and grime that are caked into your floor.  You should not use a steam mop on hardwood floors as it can cause warping and discoloration.