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 80 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 is a great option for hardwood floors since it does a fantastic job of clearing everything from pet hair to chunks of cereal on bare, flat surfaces. Its suction performance remains consistent as its large dirtbag fills up, which is good if you have several large messes.
It has a premium look and feels, with a primarily high-grade plastic construction and dense rubber wheels that allow it to climb over obstructions like high-pile rugs and electrical cords without difficulty. You can use it in a semi-handheld configuration with its included tools and accessories. It has an upholstery tool and a soft-bristle brush to make it easier to clean furniture or other delicate surfaces. There's even a handle-mounted LED light to help you see what you're cleaning in dark environments.
Unfortunately, it's a little heavy, so it's tricky to carry around when not in use. It also has high recurring costs, as quite a few parts need regular replacement. However, regular maintenance is a simple process. Courtesy of its sturdy construction and versatile cleaning performance, it's also one of the best 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's cordless and has an incredible performance on bare surfaces like hardwood flooring, where it easily picks up pet hair, fine material like baking soda, and bulkier debris like cereal. You can easily switch it into a handheld mode, which is useful if you want to clean stairs or shelves.
It's very maneuverable, thanks to its slim, lightweight design and easily accessible controls. The included tools and brushes can help with different cleaning jobs, like a crevice tool for getting into tight corners and a hard bristle brush for scrubbing away stubborn debris. It has a HEPA filter, which is great if you're worried about allergens. Because of its bagless design and washable filters, it incurs virtually no recurring costs.
Unfortunately, used in its most powerful mode, MAX (BOOST), it only lasts for roughly 12 minutes of continuous use. However, that stretches to more than 40 minutes if you use a less powerful setting, which should be enough to get you through cleaning a few rooms. Overall, its fantastic performance makes it a great choice for anyone with hardwood floors to keep clean, and it's even one of the best cordless vacuums 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. This robot model is impressively well-built, with smoothly-rolling rubber wheels, a decent-sized dirt compartment, and an allergen-trapping HEPA filter. It's incredibly good at cleaning bare surfaces like hardwood flooring, where it easily clears pet hair and debris like sand and cereal.
It has excellent automation features; you can use the companion app to set virtual boundaries for the vacuum, create cleaning schedules for different rooms, and change the suction power mode. Depending on what setting you use, the battery provides roughly two to three hours of continuous use, which is outstanding. There's even a mop attachment for cleaning up sticky messes and spills, although we don't currently test that feature.
However, like many robot vacuums, it requires a lot of maintenance. Several parts need to be removed and serviced regularly. It also incurs quite a few recurring costs. Still, its outstanding performance makes it a great choice if you're looking for a hands-off way to keep your hardwood floors clean. It's even one of the best robot vacuums we've tested.
The Eureka Whirlwind Bagless Canister is the best vacuum for hardwood floors in the budget category that we've tested. This canister model does an outstanding job of picking up debris from bare surfaces like hardwood floors, and it comes at a budget-friendly price. It's easy to maneuver since it feels light in your hand and can reach under most couches and tables.
It has a sturdy build, and as long as it's properly maintained, it has virtually no recurring costs, thanks to its bagless design. It picks up pet hair with no problem on all surfaces, and you can switch between bare floors and carpet easily using its surface-type adjustment. You can also use it in a semi-handheld configuration by removing the main head from the wand and attaching the soft bristle brush, which lets you reach tighter spaces.
Unfortunately, its power cord is short, so you may need to switch outlets if you're cleaning a large area. Also, it may take up a lot of space in storage since it's bulky. That said, this vacuum delivers a remarkable cleaning performance on bare floors and comes at a more affordable price point, making it one of the best cheap vacuums 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.
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.
Feb 25, 2021: Checked picks to ensure that the best products are being recommended and that they're in stock.
Feb 04, 2021: Added the Roborock E4 to Notable Mentions.
Jan 05, 2021: Added Miele Triflex HX1. Moved Shark APEX UpLight to Notable Mentions.
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.