If you have a hardwood floor, you’ll want to keep it looking great – but not all vacuum cleaners are suitable. If you want a vac to keep your floor spotless but don’t know which model to buy, here are our picks for the best vacuum for hardwood floors on the market to help you make the right decision.
Best Hardwood Floor Vacuum Comparison Chart 2021
Shark nv352 Vacuum for Hardwood Floors
Bissell 1785a Upright Vacuum for Hardwood Floors
Dyson V11 Stick Vacuum for Hardwood Floors
Shark Nv356E Vacuum For Hardwood Floors
Miele Compact C1 Vacuum for Hardwood Floors
Hoover UH70120 Vacuum for Hardwood Floors
iRobot Roomba 690 Robot Vacuum
The Best Vacuum for Hardwood Floors On the Market of 2021
1. Best Overall: Shark Nv352 Vacuum For Hardwood Floors
This upright vacuum from a well-known brand Shark is designed to be suitable for hardwood floors as well as other surfaces including carpets. It weighs 12.5lbs and includes a 25ft cord.
One of the first things you will notice when using this vacuum is the suction it generates. It gives you plenty of power to pick up all dirt and debris, whether vacuuming on hard floors or anything else.
It features an anti-allergen seal and HEPA filters that work to pick up and trap all dust, microparticles, and allergens. This is great news if you are an allergy sufferer or have pets in the home that can set off allergic reactions.
One thing we love is the Lift-Away capability. This is primarily an upright vacuum, but when you need extra mobility, the canister lifts off and you can carry it with you wherever you need to work. This is ideal for vacuuming stairs or other difficult-to-reach locations.
We also like the swivel steering system. In upright mode, this gives you excellent mobility to work your way around furniture and other obstacles, ensuring you can do a thorough job without missing anywhere.
If you have hardwood floors, one important feature this vacuum has is the ability to switch off the brush roll. This means you can vacuum hard floors or use the pet accessory without damaging delicate surfaces with the spinning brush.
One slight design flaw is that it is a bit top-heavy – it can topple over too easily, especially when using the hose attachment. We also find that the dust canister is on the small side, and you may need to empty it frequently if you need to clean larger areas.
Scour the market for a vacuum cleaner, there’s a lot to like about this vacuum. It is a powerful and reliable unit that is ideal for hardwood floors but is also a great option if you have mixed hard surfaces and carpets. If that sounds like what you need, this could be an excellent choice, especially at this price point.
What We Like
- Lift-Away design – converts from upright to portable vacuum
- Anti-allergen seal and HEPA filter – traps allergens inside
- Powerful vacuum – delivers impressive suction
- Brush roll shutoff – important for protecting delicate hard surfaces
- Swivel steering – makes it easy to maneuver
What We Don’t Like
- Top-top heavy – can topple over easily
- Small dust canister – may need to be emptied frequently
2. Best Cordless: Dyson V11 Vacuum For Hardwood Floors
When it comes to innovative high-end vacuums, Dyson is one of the leading brands in the market, and this cordless V11 Torque Drive is one of the company’s most advanced models.
As with all Dyson vacuums, one of the main selling points is the suction power it delivers. It is highly impressive for a cordless unit, and Dyson claims it produces around twice as much suction as any rival cordless vac.
It features an LCD screen that gives a readout in real-time, and it also intelligently detects the floor type, making the necessary adjustments automatically. This is one of the features that makes it suitable for hardwood floors as well as many other surface types.
It incorporates a whole-machine filter that is designed to trap in any microparticles and allergens, improving air quality.
It also boasts very reasonable battery life. Dyson claims it can give up to an hour – in reality, it could be anything between 40 and 60 minutes, but even at the lower end of this range, it’s still better than most other cordless vacuums on the market– including other Dysons.
One of the drawbacks is that the dust canister is small, and you need to empty frequently if you have a larger home.
The other issue is the price since this is inarguably a very expensive piece of equipment. However, you have to expect to pay more for top-end items.
Overall, a high-quality, powerful vacuum that works well on hardwood floors. A recommended option – if you are willing to pay this much to get your hands on it.
What We Like
- Lots of power – much more than most other cordless models
- Adapts to floor type automatically – effortless transitions
- Whole-machine filter – designed to trap almost all dust and allergens
- LCD screen – gives intelligent reports in real-time
- Very reasonable battery life – can be used for relatively long periods
What We Don’t Like
- Small dust canister – needs frequent emptying
- Expensive option – one of the most expensive cordless vacs around
3. Best Budget: BISSELL 1785a Vacuum For Hardwood Floors
If you are looking for an innovative solution for keeping your hard surfaces clean and free of dirt, this wet-dry vacuum from Bissell is well worth a look.
It works by mopping the floor at the same time as sucking up dirt, dust, and debris, leaving your surfaces visibly cleaner than if you just vacuum alone.
It features a two-tank system, ensuring that only clean water is used on the floor while dirty water is sucked up and stored inside for later disposal.
It can also be used for area rugs – and there is a separate mode for this. The controls are easy to understand and are conveniently located on the handle, making this simple for anybody to use.
There is also a “solution-on-demand” feature that allows you to deliver more of the cleaning fluid as required when you are dealing with particularly dirty spots.
The main downside is that this isn’t really an effective tool when used only as a dry vacuum. This means you are spending quite a lot on a vacuum that only has one function – you won’t get any use out of it as a general vacuum and may need to buy something else for that.
Also, it tends to go through the cleaning product quite quickly, and you are only supposed to use the official solution from the company that makes the vacuum – which may soon add up.
Despite this, if you are looking for a tool that will keep hardwood floors shiny and in great condition, this option is worth investigating in the market.
If you don’t want to do mopping by yourself, you can read our post: Best Robot Vacuum And Mop
What We Like
- Dual-action cleaning – mops and sucks up debris at the same time
- Suitable for hard floors or area rugs – different setting for each
- 2-tank system – one for clean water and one for dirty
- Easy controls located on handle – for ease of use
- Solution on-demand feature – you can control how much cleaning product is used
What We Don’t Like
- Not effective as a dry vacuum – not a versatile tool
- Uses up cleaning solution quickly – need to buy approved product
4. Best canister: Miele Compact C1 Vacuum For Hardwood Floors
If you prefer canister vacuums and you have a hardwood floor, this unit from well-established German brand Miele could be worth checking out.
It delivers a very impressive amount of suction – yet despite the power levels, it still runs relatively quietly, making it a good pick if you don’t enjoy using noisy appliances.
It also has six different power settings, so if the maximum power level is too strong, you can choose one that’s better suited to the surface you are working on. This makes it especially well-suited to hardwood floors but also for vacuuming upholstery and other delicate surfaces.
One plus is the integrated filtration system that sucks in and traps dust and microparticles. This vacuum actually purifies the air as you work.
It comes with a range of useful attachments that give it an extra level of versatility. For example, there’s a pure suction floor head for when you need high power, a dusting brush, an upholstery tool and more.
However, one complaint we have is that the dedicated hardwood brush is not part of the package and needs to be bought separately.
Another issue we found is that it is a little unwieldy and not the easiest model to drag around. It’s not a huge problem, but you just need to be careful that it doesn’t mark your delicate floors as you clean.
All in all, this is an excellent option for people with hard floors and who prefer canister-style vacuums. It sells for a reasonable price on the market and comes with a seven-year warranty, all of which means with this vacuum, you can hardly go wrong.
What We Like
- Very powerful unit – gives an impressive level of suction
- Quiet operation – not as noisy as some other comparable models
- Filtration system – works to trap in dust and purify air
- Includes several useful tools – upholstery tool, dusting brush and more
- 7-year warranty – long warranty for extra peace of mind
What We Don’t Like
- A little difficult to pull around – not amazing mobility
- No hardwood brush included – needs to be bought separately
5. Best Upright: Hoover UH70120 Vacuum For Hardwood Floors
This upright vacuum from Hoover is designed for use on just about any surface. It features five different height settings, which means you can use it on everything from deep carpet to hard surfaces – including hardwood floors.
like all Hoover vacuums on the market, it incorporates Hoover’s WindTunnel technology that dislodges encrusted dirt and dust and funnels it into the suction channel for more effective cleaning.
It also boasts a HEPA filter system that traps dust, microparticles, and allergens inside, improving the quality of your air. This is especially useful if you suffer from dust-related allergies or live in a household with pets.
We like the fact that it comes with a range of accessories, including an upholstery/dusting brush, a crevice tool, and a powered hand tool. There’s also an extension wand, all of which gives you plenty of scope to clean in a range of different situations.
The biggest negative here for people with hardwood surfaces is that you can’t deactivate the brush. This isn’t a deal-breaker, but you need to be careful to put it on the highest height setting while using the hose if you leave it standing on a hardwood floor.
Another minor gripe is that the dust canister opens very easily, and it’s possible to hit the button by mistake.
In sum, this is a good option for anyone who needs a versatile vacuum that is good on any type of floor – including hardwood surfaces. It’s an inexpensive, reliable vacuum that comes highly recommended.
What We Like
- Hoover WindTunnel tech – dislodges dirt and funnels it into suction channel
- HEPA filter – traps dust, microparticles, and allergens safely away inside
- High suction levels – delivers good power for its class
- 5 height settings – suitable for everything from deep carpet to hard floors
What We Don’t Like
- Can’t stop spinning brush – need to be careful on hardwood floors
- Canister opens very easily – can do it accidentally
6. Best Convenient: Shark Nv356E Vacuum For Hardwood Floors
If you like the sound of the Shark model above but are thinking you could do with something slightly bigger and with a bit more power, this unit could be the solution. It shares all the same great features with the vacuum we just looked at – but just offers slightly more of everything.
It has a bigger dust canister, meaning you won’t have to empty it quite as often – this makes it a good pick if you have a larger home or perhaps if you regularly have to vacuum up large quantities of animal hair.
It has the same swivel steering system that makes it easy to maneuver around furniture and other obstacles – and when you need even more mobility, you can lift off the canister part and carry it with you to wherever you need to clean.
It also has a slightly longer cord. At 30ft, you get an extra 5ft of length, giving you slightly more range.
As with the smaller version, it also includes the important brush shutoff capability. When cleaning hardwood floors, you need to deactivate the brush to prevent it from damaging the delicate surface and leaving marks on your floor.
The same feature is also useful when the vacuum is standing on carpet while you use the hose – by shutting off the brush, you can ensure it won’t burn a hole in your carpet.
Unfortunately, it suffers from the same design flaw as the smaller version – this model is also top-heavy, and you need to be careful that it doesn’t topple over, especially when using the hose.
As regards the hose itself, we found that it was a little shorter than you might like, reducing your ability to reach more inaccessible spots.
However, despite these minor flaws, this is another great option for hardwood and other surfaces. If you need something slightly larger and with more power, this could be the one to go for in the market.
What We Like
- Larger model – larger dust canister
- Even more power – great for sucking up the most stubborn messes
- Brush roll shutoff – vital for protecting hardwood floors
- Swivel steering system – for navigating furniture and other obstacles
- 30ft cable – gives you extra reach
What We Don’t Like
- Short hose – a longer one would have given more flexibility
- Easy to tip over – especially when using the wand
7. Best Robot: IRobot Roomba 690 Vacuum For Hardwood Floors
If you want a clean and dust-free hardwood floor but don’t have the time to take care of it yourself, this robot vacuum could be an option that’s worth investigating in the market. Instead of doing the housework yourself, delegate it – to a robot.
The Roomba is compatible with Google Assistant and Alexa, so you can control it from your smartphone or via voice command. Once it’s programmed, you just forget about it, and it follows the routine, cleaning your floor and returning to its dock when low on battery.
The battery life is good – it will run for around 90 minutes per charge, after which, it automatically returns “home” to recharge.
It incorporates three-stage cleaning to ensure your floors are kept spotless, and it also features Dirt Detector technology to boost cleaning power on particularly dirty areas.
On the downside, it doesn’t have a virtual mapping capability – instead, it cleans in a random pattern. This means it may miss spots on any particular day.
Robot vacs in general also need regular emptying due to their size – but this takes far less time than vacuuming yourself, so it’s something that most people are willing to accept.
Robot vacs are no longer the gimmicks that maybe they once were, so if you want something that will look after your hardwood floor for you and will save you some time, this could be an obvious solution.
What We Like
- Takes care of cleaning for you – no need to worry about doing it yourself
- Compatible with Google Assistant and Alexa – control via app or voice command
- Good battery life – cleans for 90 minutes on one charge
- Dirt Detectors – works harder in dirtier areas
- Low profile – easily cleans underneath furniture
What We Don’t Like
- No intelligent mapping – cleans in a random pattern
- Needs frequent emptying – common in robot vacuums due to compact size
Best Vacuum For Hardwood Floors Buying Guide
If you are looking for the right vacuum for your hardwood surfaces from the market, you will want to know which factors to consider when choosing. Let’s think about this now.
Suitability for hardwood
The first thing you should look at when choosing a vacuum for hardwood floors is whether it is suitable for this kind of surface.
You have two options – you can choose a specialist vacuum for hard surfaces or you can choose a vacuum that works on all surfaces and has special settings for hard floors.
Specialist units are ideal if you only have hardwood floors. They are optimized for cleaning this kind of surface and won’t damage your delicate wood.
However, if you have carpets to vacuum or you want to use the vac for furniture or other applications, a more versatile unit is preferable.
If you choose a vacuum that works on multiple surfaces, you should be able to adjust the height for hardwood floors and it should also be possible to shut off the brush roll to prevent it from damaging your floor.
While you should never choose a vacuum cleaner for power alone, it is still a key consideration. Make sure that any vacuum you buy has sufficient power for the kind of jobs you need it for.
Many vacuums on the market come with a range of accessories – like crevice tools, extensions wands, pet hair brushes and similar. If you only need to clean floors, you might not need these, but for more versatility, check which accessories a vacuum includes.
If you want a vacuum especially for pet hair, you can read our post: Best Vacuum For Pet Hair
Cord or battery?
One decision you need to make is choosing between corded and battery-powered models. If you opt for corded, you will be able to vacuum for as long as you like but you will always have to work within a range of a power outlet.
A battery-powered vacuum, on the other hand, gives you unlimited range, but when the battery runs out, you will need to stop and recharge.
If you choose corded, make sure the cord is long enough for your needs. If you go for battery power, check that the battery life is long enough – and also pay attention to the charging time.
carpets to vacuum can trap over 99.95% of dust, microparticles, and allergens, improving the quality of the air you breathe. This is especially important if you suffer from dust-related allergies. If you have pets, this can be useful too since pet hair often causes allergic reactions.
Maneuverability and ease of use
Pay attention to how easy it is to use the vacuum. Is it light and mobile or heavy and unwieldy? Does it have a swivel steering system to help navigate furniture and obstacles? Does it have a hose to help you reach more inaccessible spots?
Many vacuums on the market are noisy. While this is just a fact of life, some models make less noise than others, so if you are sensitive to loud noise, you should make sure the vacuum you choose is among the quieter models available.
Plenty of options at all price points
As you can see, there are plenty of solid options available at a range of price points. If you need a vacuum to keep your hardwood floor looking spotless but don’t know which one to go for, any of our top picks would be a great place to start looking.