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.
We've tested over 75 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, 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 to deal with.
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. It can be used in a semi-handheld configuration with its included tools and accessories, including an upholstery tool and a soft-bristle brush, which makes 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, which can make it tricky to carry around when not in use. It also has fairly high recurring costs, as quite a few parts need to be regularly replaced. However, regular maintenance is an exceptionally 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 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, fairly lightweight design and easily-accessible controls. There are a few tools and brushes included that 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's equipped with 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, but it has fewer parts that you need to remove and clean on a regular basis. 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 different cleaning jobs, like a crevice tool for getting into tight corners. However, it's not equipped with 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, as 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 is used, 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, with several parts that 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 affordable canister model is incredibly good at cleaning bare surfaces like hardwood. It easily clears pet hair as well as debris like sand and cereal without losing suction as its spacious dirt compartment fills up.
It's not very heavy for a canister vacuum and feels light in your hand. You can use it in a semi-handheld configuration by detaching the wand from the main head. There's a built-in soft bristle brush you can slide down if you want to dust shelves or clean delicate objects like lampshades. Since it uses washable filters and a bagless design, it incurs virtually no recurring costs, and it's also easy to maintain.
Unfortunately, it has a short power cord, so you may need to swap outlets while cleaning a big room. It also takes a lot of space to store and doesn't have any onboard storage for its tools. Otherwise, its budget-friendly price and outstanding performance make it a great choice for hardwood floors and also one of the best cheap vacuums we've tested.
If you want a budget-friendly handheld vacuum, you may prefer the HoLife HM036E. It's cordless, so its limited battery life makes it less suitable for long cleaning sessions than the Eureka Whirlwind Bagless Canister, but it's much more portable. It delivers a superb performance on bare surfaces like hardwood flooring, where it has no trouble clearing pet hair and debris. It even comes with a liquid nozzle meant for sucking up spills and other wet messes, although we don't test it currently, and the vacuum has to be allowed to dry thoroughly afterward. The battery provides just over 20 minutes of continuous use, which is decent for a handheld vacuum. However, it has a tiny dirt compartment with an opening that debris can spill out of if you're not careful.
If you have a lot of hardwood floors to keep clean or don't want to worry about battery life, go for the Eureka. Consider the HoLife instead if you want something more portable and better-suited for quick clean-ups.
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.
Dec 21, 2020: Added Shark Vertex Lightweight Cordless to Notable Mentions.
Dec 01, 2020: Replaced Eureka Mighty Mite with Eureka Whirlwind Bagless Canister. Added Eureka Mighty Mite to Notable Mentions.
Nov 10, 2020: Replaced the Eureka Whirlwind Bagless Canister with the Eureka Mighty Mite as the pick for 'Best Budget Vacuum For Hardwood Floors'.
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.