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The 6 Best Vacuums For Hardwood Floors - Spring 2024 Reviews

Updated
Best Vacuums For Hardwood Floors

Hardwood floors are 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, like 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 and 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 140 vacuum cleaners, and below are our recommendations for the best vacuum cleaners for hardwood floors to buy. These picks are selected based on their bare floor performance and 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.


  1. Best Vacuum For Hardwood Floors

    The Dyson V15 Detect is the best vacuum for hardwood floors we've tested. 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 with a soft roller for improved debris pickup on flat surfaces and in cracks and crevices. Using the soft roller reduces the chances of scratching delicate wooden floors. The V15 also features a particle counter to give you a rough idea of allergen quantities inside your home, not to mention a surface detection system that allows it to automatically raise its suction power on carpet, which is great if you've got any rugs on your hardwood floor. Just note that this vacuum's strong suction force can cause it to get bogged down on thicker carpeting.

    The Miele Complete C3 is a fantastic option if you prefer using a corded model. Being a bagged canister vacuum, it's completely different from the Dyson vacuum in terms of intended use and design. It doesn't have the grab-and-go convenience of the Dyson, which is great for short clean-ups, but you also won't have to worry about running out of charge part way through a cleaning session. It also feels better built and offers remarkable debris pickup thanks to its powerful suction motor. That said, the standard STB 285-3 head that comes with most C3 variants tends to push around larger debris.

    See our review

  2. Best Upper Mid-Range Vacuum For Hardwood Floors

    The Shark Stratos Cordless is the best vacuum for hardwood floors at an upper mid-range price point we've tested. This cordless stick vacuum sits at the top of Shark's cordless stick vacuum lineup. Like the Dyson V15 Detect, it has an automatic power adjustment system, with this system only raising the vacuum's suction setting depending on the amount of debris being sucked up instead of responding to changes in surface type. Performance on bare floors is excellent, as the vacuum won't have any trouble dealing with a wide range of debris types. The Shark also features a removable cartridge in its floorhead, which masks unpleasant odors as you clean by emitting a detergent-like scent; this can be overwhelming if you use your vacuum to clean more than three or four times a week.

    If you don't mind using a corded vacuum and don't need a go-anywhere range, the entry-level Pure Suction variant of the Miele Classic C1 is an excellent option. The two vacuums aren't competitors; the Miele is a bagged canister vacuum, so it's a little more cumbersome than the Shark for short cleanups. However, it's substantially better built, is easier to maintain, and is a better fit for cleaning bigger areas thanks to its unrestricted runtime.

    See our review

  3. Best Mid-Range Vacuum For Hardwood Floors

    If you want to spend less, the Tineco PURE ONE S11 is among the best cordless vacuums for hardwood floors we've tested. Like the Shark Stratos Cordless, this cordless stick vacuum has an onboard dirt sensor that lets it adjust its suction power automatically when passing over an area with a lot of debris. That said, it has a lower capacity battery than the Shark, resulting in a shorter maximum runtime of about 40 minutes. Its floorhead also has a single brushroll instead of the Stratos Cordless' more complex twin roller arrangement. Thankfully, this doesn't make much difference from a performance perspective on bare floors, where the Tineco delivers superb debris-pickup performance.

    Also, unlike the Shark, you can easily remove the Tineco's brushroll from its floorhead. This might not seem like much, but this design choice makes a huge difference in everyday maintenance since it's much easier to clear away any tangled hair or stuck-on debris. Unfortunately, the Tineco does feel noticeably less robust than the Shark, with a body made of thinner-feeling plastic.

    See our review

  4. Best Lower Mid-Range Vacuum For Hardwood Floors

    The Wyze Cordless Vacuum is the best cordless vacuum for hardwood floors in the lower mid-range price point we've tested. While it doesn't have an automatic power adjustment feature like the Tineco PURE ONE S11, it does a good job of handling fine debris on hard floors, though its brushroll can fling around larger material. It doesn't have a fluffy brushroll, but thankfully, the bristles on its roller aren't so stiff that they'd create micro scratches on hardwood floors. The Wyze's max battery life of about an hour is very good for a cordless model in this price range, especially compared to the more expensive Tineco. However, like most other cordless models, its runtime drops dramatically when running it continuously in its max-suction mode.

    The Wyze also features a HEPA filter that does a decent job of sealing in fine allergens, but be careful when emptying its dustbin, as it can release a cloud of dust and debris. Also, the gasket that seals the gap between the dustbin door and the dustbin sits in place pretty loosely and can fall out of place if you shake the vacuum around while emptying it. Its overall build quality isn't great either, with the vacuum's body being made mainly from thin, easily scratchable plastic.

    See our review

  5. Best Budget Vacuum For Hardwood Floors

    If you want to spend as little as possible on a new vacuum to clean hardwood floors, the Eureka Mighty Mite is a good choice. Its short power cord makes it trickier to clean far-away areas than a cordless model like the Wyze Cordless Vacuum. However, its powerful suction motor enables it to pick up a wide range of debris, as long as you lift up its head to clean larger debris, as it can push around bigger material like rice or whole pieces of cereal. The vacuum's compact size and lightweight construction make it easy to stow away or carry around.

    However, this vacuum doesn't have a telescopic wand and instead uses a pair of tubes that can fall apart easily if you don't wedge them together tightly enough. Some versions of the Mighty Mite also don't have the requisite mounting clips that would allow you to attach high-efficiency aftermarket filters to improve the vacuum's allergen-sealing performance.

    See our review

  6. Best Hybrid Vacuum/Mop For Hardwood Floors

    If you want an all-in-one appliance for vacuuming and mopping, the BISSELL CrossWave Cordless Max is a solid choice. Right off the bat, know there are inherent compromises regarding a two-in-one machine like this. The BISSELL is bulky, and its suction power falls short of a comparably priced conventional cordless model like the Tineco PURE ONE S11. As a result, it's much less effective for dealing with heavier debris or messes embedded in rug or carpet fibers. However, this vacuum can easily handle most lightweight household debris on hardwood floors. As is to be expected for a two-in-one vacuum/mop, it's great for clearing away stains on hard floors, and it's also capable of sucking up liquid spills. However, a small amount of residual moisture might be left behind. It also feels decently well-built but has a few parts that need periodic washing. Thankfully, you can keep track of its maintenance schedule with the vacuum's smartphone companion app.

    The appliance can run for about 40 minutes before needing a recharge, so if you need more time to clean your home, consider the BISSELL CrossWave Pet Pro, which is effectively a corded version of this vacuum. It features a slightly more powerful suction motor, leading to improved suction and airflow performance, but its mopping function isn't any different.

    See our review

Notable Mentions

  • SEBO Airbelt D4 Premium: The SEBO Airbelt D4 is a high-end canister vacuum that delivers superb performance on bare floors and, like the Miele Complete C3, is an option if you don't want a cordless model like the Dyson V15 Detect. Compared to the Miele, it incurs lower recurring costs and has a longer range, but it's also noticeably heavier and less maneuverable. See our review
  • Dyson Gen5detect/Gen5detect Absolute: The Dyson Gen5detect/Gen5detect Absolute is a newer version of the Dyson V15 Detect. It features a slightly revamped control scheme and a few minor improvements, but ultimately, the upgrades aren't sufficient to justify the substantial price premium over its predecessor. See our review
  • Dyson Gen5outsize/Gen5outsize Absolute : The Dyson Gen5outsize/Gen5outsize Absolute is effectively an enlarged version of the Gen5detect/Gen5detect Absolute. It's equally as powerful and won't have any trouble dealing with messes on hardwood. Still, it's also very expensive for a cordless model and far more cumbersome than the near-equally as powerful and much cheaper Dyson V15 Detect. See our review
  • Dyson V15s Detect Submarineโ€‹: The Dyson V15s Detect Submarine is a lightly reprogrammed version of the standard Dyson V15 Detect that's designed to work with a purpose-designed mopping floorhead that can wet and scrub away dried-on stains. Ultimately, the much cheaper BISSELL CrossWave Cordless Max is as effective in dealing with stains and has the added benefit of being able to clear away large amounts of water. See our review
  • Samsung Jet 75: The Samsung Jet 75 is a midrange cordless stick vacuum that weighs less than the Shark Stratos Cordless and delivers a similarly strong performance. Still, it lacks an automatic power adjustment feature, has a smaller dustbin, and doesn't have a hinged wand to clean small spaces. See our review
  • Shark Cordless Pro [IZ562H, UZ565H]: The Shark Cordless Pro is a mid-range cordless stick vacuum that's similarly equipped to the Shark Stratos Cordless, but it has a weaker suction power and a lower-capacity battery. See our review

Recent Updates

  1. Apr 02, 2024: Made slight in-text adjustments to further clarify product details. Removed less relevant Notable Mentions picks.

  2. Mar 01, 2024: Ensured all main picks are still available and represent the best option for user needs. Added FAQ section to provide additional information to readers.

  3. Feb 09, 2024: Added the Dyson V15s Detect Submarine to the Notable Mentions.

  4. Jan 11, 2024: Added Dyson Gen5detect/Gen5detect Absolute and Dyson Gen5outsize/Gen5outsize Absolute to Notable Mentions.

  5. Dec 08, 2023: Minor in-text adjustments to further clarify product information.

FAQ

How often should you vacuum a hardwood floor?

You should vacuum your hardwood floors at least once a week. That said, you should vacuum more than that if you have pets, have a forced air heater that circulates dust and allergens, or clean especially high-traffic areas.

Do vacuums damage hardwood floors?

It depends! A vacuum's head design largely dictates the answer to this question. Some models have heads with built-in stiff bristles that can scratch bare floors or feature motorized beater bars with stiff bristles that leave marks. In the case of a vacuum with a pure suction head, ensure it has relatively pliant bristles. If you're looking for a vacuum with a motorized head, you'll want to consider a model that comes with a separate floorhead with a soft nylon-covered roller for cleaning delicate surfaces, like the Dyson V15 Detect, or one that has a more complex universal head that incorporates a secondary soft roller, like the Shark Stratos Cordless. If you're dead-set on a vacuum with a motorized head with a conventional bristled beater bar, ensure it has a brushroll off switch. Vacuum heads that have plastic wheels without a rubber tread can also mark up delicate hardwood.

Is it better to sweep or vacuum hardwood floors?

There's a time and place for both. Some vacuums have floorheads that can push around larger debris instead of passing over it, keeping the vacuum from sucking anything up. In those cases, you'll want to use a broom to sweep away larger material into a dustpan. However, sweeping isn't as efficient a method for dealing with dust, grit, and other lightweight allergens, which can be thrown into the air. Using a vacuum, especially a bagged model with a robust filtration system, like the Miele Complete C3, will prevent these particles from being spread around as you clean.

How do professionals clean hardwood floors?

While exact methods vary from company to company, most professional cleaning services will begin by inspecting your hardwood floor for any blemishes or gouges. If necessary, they'll also remove any polish or wax residue from previous surface treatments with a chemical remover. From there, the floor can be cleaned again with a purpose-built scrubber before a thin layer of protective polish is reapplied.

If you want to keep your hardwood floors clean without resorting to professional help, a good first step would be to vacuum regularly and prevent any significant debris buildup. Also, consider buying a microfiber duster—unlike a regular broom, a microfiber duster can trap and lock in fine debris without grounding it into the surface you're cleaning. If you notice a buildup of grime, you can mop it up using a heavily diluted solution of either dishwashing detergent or soap. Just make sure not to leave any standing water behind, as this can cause your wood floors to warp.

Will a robotic vacuum clean hardwood floors?

Yes! Generally speaking, robot vacuums are ideally suited to vacuuming bare surfaces like hardwood. In contrast to cleaning carpets, they don't have to work as hard in dealing with debris embedded deep within carpet fibers and won't have to navigate uneven terrain. Some newer models also incorporate mopping systems that are quite effective in tackling stains. That said, there are a few things you should look out for in a robotic vacuum; it's best to go for a model that uses a rubber brushroll, as opposed to a more traditional bristled roller, since you won't have to worry about it creating microscratches on bare floors. In addition, while most models on the market have plastic drive wheels with rubber treads, make sure the pivoting front wheel doesn't feel too hard or brittle to the touch, as it could also damage your floors over time.

All Reviews

Our recommendations are based on what we think are currently the best vacuum cleaners for hardwood floors. We don't just base our results on overall performance but also on 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.