Compared to most other floor types, hardwood is pretty low maintenance in cleaning requirements, with little room for debris to get worked into cracks and crevices. That said, you'll still need to give them a thorough cleaning now and then to ensure that there's no significant buildup of dirt and debris, which can abrade the surface if you leave it to get dragged around. A cordless vacuum is a great way to keep these surfaces clean, especially those with a soft roller brush, which won't leave behind the kind of micro-scratches that can accumulate over time when using a floorhead with stiff bristles.
We've tested over 135 vacuum cleaners, and below are our recommendations for the best cordless vacuum cleaners for hardwood floors. These picks are selected not only based on their performance on bare floors but also their feature set, design, and price. For more options, look at our lists of the best cordless vacuums and the best vacuums for hardwood floors. If you prefer a more hands-off approach to cleaning, check out our recommendations for the best robot vacuums for hardwood floors.
The best cordless vacuum for hardwood floors we've tested is the Dyson V15 Detect. This vacuum comes with two floorheads, one with a multi-surface bristled roller and the other with a soft roller to avoid creating micro-scratches on delicate, easily scratched surfaces like hardwood. Its headlining feature is its automatic power adjustment feature; the V15 will increase its suction power without any outside intervention when passing onto a carpeted surface, which is great if you have any area rugs on your hardwood floors. The vacuum can run for more than an hour on a charge, which is good for a cordless vacuum, though its runtime does drop dramatically if you run it continuously in its high-power 'Boost' mode.
Thanks to its powerful motor, it does a fantastic job of handling pet hair and solid debris on hard floors. Maneuverability is good, although its strong suction force can cause it to get caught on rug tassels or other loose obstructions. If you're looking for something a little more portable, the Dyson V12 Detect Slim is another good option with a similar range of features but in a smaller, lighter package. However, note that the V12 has a less powerful motor than the V15 and a smaller dustbin that must be emptied often.
Check out the Shark Stratos Cordless if you want something more affordable than the Dyson V15 Detect. It's less powerful than the Dyson and weighs noticeably more. That said, it's as effective at sucking up debris on hard floors and provides many convenience features. Chief among them is its Clean Sense IQ system, which works slightly differently from the Dyson vacuum's surface-sensitive system. The Shark automatically adjusts its suction power in real time depending on how much debris is sucked up. Its odor-neutralization feature uses a replaceable cartridge that emits a pleasant detergent-like scent as you clean. However, it can become somewhat overwhelming if you leave it at its maximum intensity and clean your home multiple times per week.
While it weighs more than the Dyson and has a bulkier twin-roller floorhead, its flexible wand makes it easy to clean under the furniture. Build quality is also quite sturdy, and the vacuum isn't especially difficult to clean. The sole exception to the latter is its non-removable primary brushroll, which, despite its self-cleaning billing, can still get tangled with pet hair. Check out the Miele Triflex HX1 if you're looking for a sturdily-built cordless vacuum with a strong performance on bare floors and a removable brushroll, but note that the Miele has a smaller dustbin and a much shorter battery life.
The best mid-range cordless vacuum for hardwood floors we've tested is the Shark Cordless Pro. This mid-range vacuum shares a lot with the pricier Shark Stratos Cordless, as it has the same odor-neutralizing cartridge and Clean Sense IQ system that allows it to increase its suction power when passing over an area with a lot of debris. However, there are a few concessions to justify its lower purchase price. These include a smaller-capacity battery that can only run the vacuum for about 40 minutes. It also uses a single roller floorhead and a less powerful suction motor.
Thankfully, neither of the last two cost-cutting measures seriously impacts performance, as it delivers superb debris pickup on hard surfaces like hardwood. Its primary brushroll has a fluffy texture to avoid creating micro-scratches on hard floors. Unlike the Stratos and almost every other Shark vacuum, this brushroll can be easily removed from its floorhead, so you can quickly cut away any tangled hair or stuck-on debris.
If you're on a budget and can do without convenience features like automatic power adjustment, the best cordless vacuum for hardwood floors we've tested is the Shark Pet Cordless (IX141). Despite its outwardly similar appearance to the other Shark models on this list, like the Shark Cordless Pro and Shark Stratos Cordless, this highly affordable stick vacuum has a considerably less sturdy-feeling body and lacks a HEPA filter, resulting in poor air filtration performance. It also has a less powerful suction motor than either, so it can struggle with clearing away debris in deeper cracks and crevices. That said, it still does a fantastic job of handling most kinds of household debris on bare surfaces like hardwood floors.
Unlike the Cordless Pro's fluffy roller, this cheaper vacuum uses a more conventional multi-surface brushroll with bristles: they aren't stiff enough to create micro-scratches on wood floors and provide a greater degree of surface agitation on any rugs you might have in your living room, but the roller itself tends to collect a lot of pet hair and isn't designed to be removed, making it a hassle to clean.
The Dyson Omni-glide is a solid option if you want to buy a cordless vacuum that weighs very little and is well-suited to cleaning hardwood floors. At a little over four pounds, this cordless stick weighs much less than other cordless stick vacuums like the Shark Pet/Rocket Pro Cordless, making it a cinch to carry around. Its unique twin roller floorhead can pivot in almost any direction, making it a breeze to maneuver in tight spaces, and features soft rollers that won't create scratches on hardwood floors. However, its highly compact design comes at the cost of a tiny dirt compartment that'll need emptying at the end of every cleaning session and a weak suction motor that struggles with lifting debris from crevices.
Unfortunately, it's also completely useless for cleaning the occasional rug, as its twin nylon rollers provide almost no surface agitation on carpets. It also has a harder time dealing with bulkier debris, which can clog its narrow suction inlet, and has a short battery life of only about half an hour in its default power setting.
Check out the BISSELL CrossWave Cordless Max if you're looking for an all-in-one machine for all kinds of messes on hardwood floors. This vacuum uses an absorbent fluffy roller and a detergent-dispersal function to scrub away dried-on stains. The BISSELL is also fully capable of sucking up liquid spills. That said, it doesn't exert as much in the way of raw suction power compared to a conventional cordless model. Battery life is unremarkable, with a runtime of about 40 minutes.
Unfortunately, maneuvering in tight spaces can be a hassle due to its heavy weight. It feels decently well-built but does have a few parts that need periodic washing. Thankfully, you can keep track of its maintenance schedule with the vacuum's smartphone companion app.
Aug 31, 2023: Replaced Samsung Jet 90 Complete with Dyson V15 Detect as 'Best Cordless Vacuum For Hardwood Floors' pick due to current availability. Replaced Xiaomi Mi Vacuum Cleaner Light with Dyson Omni-Glide as 'Best Lightweight Cordless Vacuum For Hardwood Floors' due to current availability.
Jul 06, 2023: Replaced JASHEN V16 with Shark Rocket Cordless (IX140H) as 'Best Budget Cordless Vacuum For Hardwood Floors' pick due to current availability. Replaced Tineco PURE ONE S11 with Shark Cordless Pro as 'Best Mid-Range Cordless Vacuum For Hardwood Floors' due to current availability.
Apr 25, 2023: Replaced Wyze Cordless Vacuum with JASHEN V16 as 'Best Budget Cordless Vacuum For Hardwood Floors' due to current replacement part shortages. Added the Wyze Cordless Vacuum to Notable Mentions.
Our recommendations are based on what we think are currently the best cordless vacuum cleaners for hardwood floors. We don't just base our results on overall performance, but also on factors like availability, price, and reader feedback.
If you would like to do the work of choosing yourself, here is the list of all our cordless vacuum reviews, ranked by their performance on bare floors. Be careful not to get too caught up in the details. While no vacuum is perfect for every use, most are good enough to please almost everyone, and the differences are often not noticeable unless you really look for them.