Hardwood floors tend to be easier for vacuums to clean than carpets, as they don't have small crevices or shaggy surfaces to trap debris. Still, some do a better job of cleaning on this surface than others, with the best excelling at sucking up all kinds of debris, whether pet hair or stray pieces of cereal. That said, cleaning performance isn't the only important thing. The best vacuum for wood floors should be fairly maneuverable, configurable, and come with at least a few attachments to help you clean underneath, around, or on top of furniture and shelving. A retractable bristle brush is a nice bonus to keep you from scratching up your floor.
We've tested over 90 vacuum cleaners, and below are our recommendations for the best vacuums for hardwood floors to buy. These picks are selected not only based on their performance on bare floors but also their feature set, design, and price. For more buying recommendations, look at our lists of the best vacuums, the best vacuums for high-pile carpet, and the best cordless vacuums.
The best vacuum for hardwood floors that we've tested is the Miele Complete C3 Alize PowerLine. This corded canister model delivers exceptional performance on bare surfaces like hardwood floors, as it sucks up pet hair, small debris like rice, and bulky material like cereal without any issue. Performance remains consistent as its spacious dirtbag fills up, so you shouldn't have to change it too often.
The vacuum itself is incredibly simple to maintain, with the very few parts that need to be periodically cleaned being easy to access. It's very well-built, courtesy of its high-grade plastic construction and dense rubber wheels, which enable it to roll over obstructions like electrical cords or high-pile rugs. It's also equipped with a seven-level surface adjustment feature that makes it easier to clean up messes on varying floor types on the fly.
Conversely, this vacuum's dense construction makes it quite heavy, so it can be difficult to pick up and carry it up or down staircases or to a faraway room. Also, while it doesn't have many components that need to be cleaned regularly, there are quite a few parts that need to be frequently replaced, so recurring costs are high. Otherwise, its excellent build quality, easy-to-maintain design, and versatile overall cleaning performance help make it one of the best canister vacuums that we've tested.
The Shark Rocket Pet Pro with MultiFlex IZ163H is the best stick/handheld vacuum for hardwood floors that we've tested. It delivers exceptional overall performance on bare surfaces like hardwood floors, where it clears pet hair as well as small and bulky debris like rice or cereal with virtually no difficulty. Suction performance remains consistent as its dirt compartment fills up, which is good when dealing with several big messes.
It's very easy to maneuver, courtesy of its lightweight construction and easily reconfigurable design. It can be quickly reconfigured into a handheld vacuum for cleaning messes on top of furniture and shelves and comes with a crevice tool for tackling messes in tight corners, a dedicated upholstery tool, and a hard bristle brush for dislodging stuck-on dirt. Its bagless design and washable allergen-trapping HEPA filter also result in very low recurring costs too.
Unfortunately, you can drain its battery in a little over 10 minutes when running it continuously in its high-suction 'MAX (BOOST)' mode, so you need to work quickly when dealing with stubborn messes. Thankfully, it provides upwards of 40 minutes of runtime when used in its most energy-efficient configuration, though this can vary in the real world. Overall, its exceptional performance on bare floors and excellent maneuverability makes it one of the best multi-surface vacuums that we've tested.
If you want a vacuum that doesn't need as much regular maintenance, try the Miele Triflex HX1. This reconfigurable cordless vacuum has a smaller dirt compartment and a shorter maximum battery life than the Shark Rocket Pet Pro with MultiFlex IZ163H, but it has fewer parts that you need to remove and clean regularly. It's a bit heavier than the Shark but delivers a similar, fantastic performance on bare surfaces like hardwood, easily clearing pet hair and debris like rice and cereal. You can reconfigure it as a handheld or upright vacuum, and it comes with a few different tools that can help with cleaning jobs, like a crevice tool for getting into tight corners. However, it doesn't have an allergen-trapping HEPA filter.
If you want a somewhat lighter vacuum with longer maximum battery life, go for the Shark. Consider the Miele instead if you want something better-built with less demanding maintenance needs.
The Roborock S6 is the best robot vacuum for hardwood floors that we've tested. It does a superb job of clearing various kinds of debris on bare floors, ranging from pet hair to bulky debris like cereal, not to mention small debris like rice. It can also automatically adjust its brushroll speed to suit different surface types, and the vacuum itself has four different suction power modes. It does an excellent job of maneuvering under and around obstructions too.
This vacuum comes with a mopping attachment that can be used to deal with sticky messes on hardwood floors, though it should be noted that we don't currently test that feature. Battery performance is fantastic overall, as this vacuum can provide roughly anywhere between 110 and 190 minutes of runtime on a single charge depending on your choice of settings and usage habits, though this can vary in the real world. You can use its companion app to set up no-go zones that the vacuum won't enter or schedule cleaning sessions for individual rooms.
However, it's worth noting that this vacuum incurs many recurring costs since quite a few parts need to be periodically replaced. Thankfully, you can monitor the estimated status of most replaceable components by checking the 'Maintenance' tab of its companion app. In addition, this vacuums brushroll can occasionally get caught on rug tassels. Still, its wide feature set, amazing build quality, and fantastic performance on bare floors help make it one of the best vacuums for tile floors that we've tested.
The Eureka Whirlwind Bagless Canister is the best vacuum for hardwood floors in the budget category that we've tested. This bagless canister vacuum delivers superb cleaning performance on flat, even surfaces like hardwood floors, easily clearing pet hair as well as small and bulky debris like rice or cereal. You can also retract the bristles on its main vacuum head in case you need to clean any small rugs.
The vacuum's lack of a dirtbag and washable, reusable filters results in a near-total lack of recurring costs. There aren't that many parts that need to be cleaned regularly either, so user maintenance is simple. Its plastic dirt compartment is decently large and shouldn't need to be emptied very often, while its compact size and lightweight construction make it highly portable and quite easy to maneuver.
Unfortunately, this vacuum's power cord is very short, so you may need to swap outlets when cleaning bigger areas or longer staircases. Its short vacuum hose can also make it tricky to clean shelves that are mounted high up. It lacks a HEPA filter too, which could be a significant annoyance if you have a pet that sheds heavily. Otherwise, its maneuverable design, affordable price, and exceptional bare floor performance make it one of the best cheap vacuum cleaners that we've tested.
If you want a handheld vacuum instead that still comes at an affordable price, consider the HoLife HM036E instead. Due to its small size, it's not as suitable for cleaning large areas as the Eureka Whirlwind Bagless Canister, but it's portable and uses a battery, so it's meant for spot-cleaning smaller messes. It still delivers a fantastic performance on bare surfaces like hardwood floors, and it even comes with a liquid nozzle attachment for cleaning spills, though we don't currently test this feature. It also comes with a HEPA filter that traps allergens, which is useful if you have a pet that sheds. Its battery lasts over 20 minutes, which should be enough for vacuuming smaller areas. However, its dirt compartment is small, and debris can even fall out since it doesn't have a seal.
If you have a larger area to clean and prefer a corded canister model, go for the Eureka. If you want a smaller, more portable vacuum for spot cleaning, consider the HoLife instead.
Jul 16, 2021: Added Shark Rotator Lift-Away ADV to Notable Mentions.
Jun 18, 2021: Ensured that all main picks are still in stock and represent the best choice for their given category.
May 21, 2021: Verified that all main picks are still in stock and represent the best choice for their given category. Added Dyson V15 Detect and Wyze Robot Vacuum to Notable Mentions.
Apr 23, 2021: Confirmed all picks are in stock and still the best recommendations for our users.
Mar 26, 2021: Confirmed that all the picks are in stock and still the best recommendations for our users.
Our recommendations are based on what we think are currently the best vacuums for hardwood floors. We don't just base our results on overall performance, but also 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 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.