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 that be 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.
So far, we've reviewed over 30 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, take a look at our list of the best vacuums and the best vacuums for high-pile carpet.
The best vacuum for hardwood floors that we've tested is the Miele Classic C1. This canister model delivers outstanding cleaning performance on bare floors as it can clear all kinds of debris, ranging from pet hair to baking soda to larger, denser objects like sand and cereal. It has soft bristles that reduce the chance of accidentally scratching your floor and has several power adjustment settings to suit more delicate surfaces.
It has great build quality and feels premium, with smooth-rolling wheels and high-grade plastic construction. It's also incredibly simple to maintain, with an easily accessible disposable dirtbag and filters. It also comes with a short plastic wand and a couple of specialized tools and brushes that make it easier to clean tight spots, like the inside of your car or high-up shelves.
Unfortunately, it has fairly high recurring costs due to its disposable dirtbag and filters. It also has a fairly short power cord, so you may have to plan your route around the location of your outlets if you're cleaning a larger or more cluttered room. Still, this is a great pick for bare floors thanks to its impressive performance and sturdy, premium build quality.
The best stick/handheld vacuum for hardwood floors that we've tested is the Shark Rocket Pet Pro. This cordless model delivers outstanding performance on bare hardwood floors, easily picking up pet hair, fine debris like baking soda, and even larger foreign material like cereal and sand. Its readily accessible controls and lightweight cordless design make it easy to maneuver, and it can be quickly changed into a handheld configuration to clean messes on shelves and tables.
Because of its bagless design and cleanable filters, it doesn't have any recurring costs. It's also decently well-built and fairly simple to take care of, though a few parts need regular maintenance. It has a HEPA filter, which is useful if you're a pet owner and don't want to leave any allergens behind. Battery performance is decent, as it can provide just over 40 minutes of runtime in its low-power setting.
That said, if you need more power, be aware that you can completely drain this vacuum's battery in just 12 minutes if you leave it in its "MAX (BOOST)" mode. It also lacks onboard storage for the included brushes and tools, which means you'll have to find extra space for them. Overall, this is still among the best cordless vacuums for hardwood floors we've tested because of its superb bare floor performance.
If you don't want to worry about running out of charge at an inconvenient time while clearing a big mess and don't want to give up any performance on bare floors, take a look at the Shark APEX UpLight. This corded stick/handheld model doesn't offer the go-anywhere portability of the Shark Rocket Pet Pro, but it does have a larger dirt compartment, more tools and accessories, and on-board tool storage. It's decently well-built, has virtually no recurring costs, and comes with a HEPA filter to minimize the allergens left behind after your cleaning sessions, which is useful if you're a pet owner. That said, the vacuum hose is a little on the short side, which presents a bit of a nuisance while cleaning shelves and furniture.
Get the Rocket Pet Pro if you want go-anywhere maneuverability, but consider the APEX UpLight if you don't want to deal with the trouble of waiting for your appliance to charge and don't mind the corded range.
The best robot vacuum for bare floors that we've tested so far is the Roborock S6. It delivers superb cleaning performance on bare floors, picking up pet hair, fine debris like baking soda, and even larger foreign materials like stray pieces of cereal without issue. Performance stays consistent as the decently-sized dirt compartment fills up, which is useful when cleaning larger messes.
It's impressively well-built, with dense, high-grade plastic construction and smooth-rolling wheels. It has outstanding continuous battery life too, lasting over 100 minutes in its max power setting or close to 200 minutes when in its low-power mode. You can set virtual room boundaries, schedule cleaning times, see which parts need to be serviced, check cleaning session history, and change cleaning modes, all from either the Mi Home or Roborock apps. It also comes with a mop attachment with disposable mopping cloths to clean stickier messes, though we don't currently have a test to evaluate its performance.
However, this machine can be a little fussy to maintain and comes with quite a few parts that need to be serviced regularly, which can add recurring costs. Also, if you have a carpet or a rug in your hardwood-floored room, it might take a few passes to clean it fully. That said, this is among the best vacuums for hardwood floors we've tested.
The best budget vacuum for hardwood floors that we've tested is the Eureka Whirlwind Bagless Canister. Its bagless design and non-disposable filters mean that it has virtually no regular maintenance costs as long as the pre- and post-motor filters are regularly taken care of. It's also easy to take apart and put back together, with few parts that need scheduled maintenance.
It does a superb job of picking up everything from pet hair to large debris like sand and cereal on hardwood floors, not to mention finer debris like baking soda. Even better, its performance stays consistent as the dirt compartment fills. It also comes with a combination extension wand and soft bristle brush to reach high-placed shelves and hard-to-reach nooks and crannies around furniture.
Unfortunately, it has a fairly short power cord that forces you to stay close to nearby outlets. It also features a fairly plasticky build that feels a little cheap, not to mention sub-par storage capabilities due to its lack of an onboard tool storage rack. Still, if you're looking for a vacuum with remarkable bare floor performance that won't break the bank, this is a good choice.
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.
That said, if you'd like to make your own choice, here's the entire list of vacuum cleaners that we've reviewed so far, as to let you make the best choice for your current needs.