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 your floor.
We've tested over 115 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 on their feature set, design, and price. For more options, 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 we've tested is the Miele Complete C3 Alize PowerLine. This premium bagged canister delivers exceptional overall performance on bare floors. It has a seven-level suction power adjustment feature that lets you adapt to different surface types, which is handy for cleaning rugs and carpets on hardwood floors. It feels amazingly well-built, with dense plastic construction and rubber-like wheels that let it roll smoothly over obstructions like power cables. It's fairly compact, making it easy to maneuver in tight spaces, and is remarkably easy to maintain. However, it does incur somewhat high ownership costs, as you'll need to replace its relatively small 2.5L dirtbag and filters somewhat regularly.
If you're looking for a similarly-performing canister vacuum that incurs lower ownership costs, the SEBO Airbelt D4 is worth a look. It uses larger dirtbags and has filters that should last for years. It also has a longer operating range of roughly 50 feet, allowing you to easily clean larger areas without swapping power outlets. However, its bulkier size and heavier weight make it more of a hassle to maneuver.
If you don't want to deal with the hassle of a power cord while vacuuming hardwood floors, the Samsung Jet 90 Complete is a good choice. This cordless stick vacuum can easily handle a wide variety of debris on bare surfaces like hardwood floors, with no significant loss in suction performance as its dustbin fills up. It comes with two floorheads, one with a bristled brushroll for carpets and the other using a soft roller for improved debris pickup on flat surfaces and in cracks and crevices. Its lightweight construction makes it easy to maneuver in tight spaces, though it does feel a little plasticky in some places. If you're looking for something a little more robust, the Miele Triflex HX1 could be worth a look, but it has a shorter battery life and a smaller dustbin.
The Jet 90's battery performance is decent overall, as you can expect a maximum of one hour of cleaning time when used in its energy-efficient 'LOW' mode. However, you'll need to work fast when using the vacuum's MAX power setting, which can drain its battery in as little as 10 minutes.
The Roborock S7 is the best robot vacuum for hardwood floors that we've tested. This high-end robot vacuum does a fantastic job clearing away small and bulky debris on hard, flat surfaces like hardwood floors. It also does a great job dealing with stains, thanks to its ultrasonic mopping feature that uses vibrating mop pads to scrub away dried-on dirt and debris. Its surface detection system also enables it to raise its mopping pad on carpets. Its LIDAR mapping system allows it to navigate in the dark and creates a precise map of its coverage area. You can then access this coverage map via its companion app to send it to specific rooms, set up no-go zones the vacuum won't enter, or schedule cleaning sessions in advance. However, while it does have a HEPA filter, fine particles can still escape from its exhaust port.
If you're looking for a robot vacuum that performs very well on hardwood floors but costs substantially less, the Wyze Robot Vacuum is worth a look. It has a rare-for-its-price LIDAR mapping system and does a better job of sealing in fine particles. However, it doesn't have any mopping capability, so you can't use it to clear away dried-on stains.
If you're looking to spend less on a vacuum for cleaning hardwood floors, the Eureka Whirlwind Bagless Canister is a very good choice. Despite its budget-friendly price point, it does a fantastic job dealing with pet hair as well as small and bulky debris on flat surfaces like hardwood floors. Suction performance remains consistent as its dustbin fills up, which is good if you have several large messes to clean. This vacuum's primary floorhead has bristles that you can extend or retract if you want to clear debris from the occasional rug or small carpet. Its compact size also makes it easy to store, while its lightweight construction enables you to pick it up and carry it wherever you may need it without much effort. However, its power cord is on the short side, limiting its overall range.
If you're looking for a budget-friendly vacuum with a longer operating range, the Eureka Mighty Mite is also a great option. It delivers similar overall performance but has a longer power cord and hose, giving you a bit of added reach. Its bagged design also allows you to dispose of debris faster and more hygienically but results in higher recurring costs.
The best handheld vacuum for hardwood floors we've tested is the Black+Decker dustbuster CHV1410L. This handheld vacuum easily clears away pet hair and various kinds of solid debris on flat, even surfaces like hardwood floors or shelves. Unfortunately, it has a very short battery life of roughly 10 minutes and takes quite a while to recharge. It also lacks a HEPA filter and does a terrible job of sealing in fine particles. If HEPA filtration is what you're after in a handheld vacuum, you could consider the Wyze Handheld Vacuum, which has longer battery life. However, it has a much harder time dealing with larger debris due to its very narrow suction inlet.
This vacuum's lightweight construction makes it easy to pick up and carry wherever you might need it, and it's small enough to be stored in most cupboards or closets. The built-in extendable crevice tool lets you clear away debris in hard-to-reach corners, while the flip-out hard-bristle brush is handy for dislodging stuck-on debris.
Jun 30, 2022: Ensured that all main picks are still available and represent the best option for user needs and expectations. Removed Miele Classic C1, Shark Rocket Ultra-Light, Shark Vertex Lightweight Cordless, Shark APEX UpLight, Shark APEX Upright Vacuum, Shark UltraCyclone Pet Pro+, Dyson Micro 1.5kg, Wyze Cordless Vacuum, iRobot Roomba 981, and Samsung Jet 70 Pet from Notable Mentions. Added Airsign HEPA Vacuum to Notable Mentions.
May 27, 2022: Recategorized Samsung Jet 90 Complete as 'Best Cordless Vacuum For Hardwood Floors' pick. Replaced Hoover ONEPWR Cordless Hand Vacuum with Black+Decker dustbuster CHV140L as 'Best Handheld Vacuum For Hardwood Floors' pick. Added Eureka Mighty Mite, SEBO Airbelt D4, Miele Triflex HX1, Samsung Jet 70 Pet, and Samsung Bespoke Jet to Notable Mentions.
May 06, 2022: Replaced iRobot Roomba 981 with Roborock S7 as 'Best Robot Vacuum For Hardwood Floors'. Recategorized SEBO Airbelt D4 as 'Best Vacuum For Hardwood Floors With Low Recurring Costs' pick. Recategorized Miele Triflex HX1 as 'Best Cordless Vacuum For Hardwood Floors With Good Build Quality' pick. Removed Roborock S6 MaxV from recommendations due to current availability. Added iRobot Roomba 981 to Notable Mentions.
Apr 13, 2022: Replaced Shark Rocket Pet Pro with MultiFlex IZ163H with Samsung Jet 90 Complete as 'Best Stick/Handheld Vacuum For Hardwood Floors' pick. Added SEBO Airbelt D4 as new 'Alternative With Lower Recurring Costs' pick. Added Shark Cordless Vertex Pro Powered Lift-Away and Shark APEX Upright Vacuum to Notable Mentions.
Mar 18, 2022: Added Roborock S6 MaxV as new 'Alternative With More Advanced Automation Capabilities' pick. Re-categorized Miele Triflex HX1 as 'Better-Built Alternative' to maintain consistency with other recommendation articles.
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.