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 130 vacuum cleaners, and below are our recommendations for the best vacuum cleaners 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 options, look at our lists of the best vacuums, the best vacuums for high-pile carpet, and the best cordless vacuums.
The Samsung Jet 90 Complete is the best vacuum for hardwood floors that 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 using a soft roller for improved debris pickup on flat surfaces and in cracks and crevices. Using the soft roller also reduces the chances of scratching up delicate wooden floors. It's even compatible with Samsung's Spinning Sweeper attachment, a specially-designed floorhead with rotating pads that are impressively effective in scrubbing away stains. The vacuum's lightweight construction makes it easy to maneuver in tight spaces, though it does feel a little plasticky in some places.
If you aren't convinced by cordless models, consider the Miele Complete C3. You might not clean far-away areas as easily, but you also won't have to worry about running out of charge part way through a cleaning session. It also feels better built than the Samsung vacuum and delivers exceptional cleaning performance thanks to its powerful suction motor.
If you don't want to spend quite as much on a cordless vacuum for cleaning hardwood, the Tineco PURE ONE S11 is a great choice. It feels less robust than the Samsung Jet 90 Complete and has a shorter maximum runtime of about 40 minutes. However, it's also notably cheaper and just as effective when clearing away debris on hardwood floors. While there's no compatible mopping floorhead, it still comes with a pretty wide variety of attachments. These include a soft-bristle dusting brush for cleaning delicate surfaces and a miniature turbo brush that does a good job clearing away pet hair on upholstered surfaces. There's also a dedicated soft-roller floorhead for hard surfaces, so you don't have to worry about the micro-scratches that can occur on delicate surfaces when using a bristled brushroll. Unlike the Samsung, it also has a dirt sensor, allowing it to automatically ramp up suction in areas with a lot of debris.
Still, if you don't mind exchanging go-anywhere range in favor of the virtually indefinite runtime of a corded vacuum, the Miele Classic C1 is an excellent option. The two vacuums aren't competitors; the Miele is a bagged canister vacuum that isn't as maneuverable and slower to deploy, but it's substantially better built, easier to maintain, and is a better fit for cleaning bigger areas thanks to its unrestricted runtime.
The Tineco PURE ONE X is the best cordless vacuum for hardwood floors at a mid-range price point that we've tested. This cordless vacuum is cheaper than the Tineco PURE ONE S11 but still offers exceptional performance on flat, hard surfaces like wood floors when used with the provided soft roller floorhead. Its built-in dirt sensor, another rarity at this price point, is similar to that of the S11 and allows it to increase its suction power when passing over an area with a high concentration of debris. However, it doesn't feel particularly sturdy compared to pricier models, with a body made mainly from fragile-feeling lightweight plastic. Its maximum battery life of over 70 minutes is pretty long, but the battery isn't designed to be removable, so you can't install a new one if the current pack's charge performance degrades over time.
If you need a vacuum for longer cleaning sessions and don't mind the limited range of a corded vacuum, the Shark Rotator Lift-Away ADV is a good alternative. It's more of a hassle to deploy and maneuver than the Tineco due to its bulkier upright design. However, it does an exceptional job of handling debris on hard, flat surfaces and comes with a pretty wide variety of attachments.
If you're looking to spend as little as possible on a new vacuum for cleaning hardwood floors, the Eureka Mighty Mite is a very good choice. Its short power cord makes it a little trickier to clean faraway areas compared to a cordless model like the Tineco PURE ONE X Tango. However, it delivers fantastic performance hardwood floors at a budget-friendly price point. Suction performance remains consistent as its large-capacity dirtbag 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, this vacuum doesn't have a telescopic wand, instead using a pair of tubes that can fall apart easily if they aren't wedged together tightly enough. Some versions of the Mighty Mite also have vents behind the rear wheels, which bypass any post-motor filtration, negating the benefit of using an aftermarket HEPA filter if you want to improve its air filtration performance.
If you find yourself having to deal with stains on hardwood floors and want an all-in-one appliance for vacuuming and mopping, the BISSELL CrossWave Cordless Max could be worth a look. While it has a less powerful suction motor than the comparably-priced Tineco PURE ONE S11 and isn't as well-suited to deep-cleaning the occasional rug, it can still handle most kinds of lightweight household debris on bare floors pretty easily. Its fluffy brushroll, combined with its detergent dispersal function, allows for good stain-cleaning performance. Unlike the Samsung Jet 90 Complete, even with its Spinning Sweeper attachment, the BISSELL can suck up liquid spills. It feels decently well-built but does have 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 to recharge, so if you find that you'll need more time to clean your home, you could also consider the BISSELL CrossWave Pet Pro, effectively a corded version of this vacuum. It features a slightly more powerful suction motor, leading to improved deep-cleaning performance, but its mopping function isn't any different.
Nov 28, 2022: Ensured all main picks are still available and represent the best choice for user needs.
Nov 04, 2022: Replaced Dyson V8 Animal with Tineco PURE ONE S11 as 'Best Upper Mid-Range Vacuum For Hardwood Floors' pick. Added Dyson V8 Animal to Notable Mentions.
Sep 22, 2022: Removed less relevant product categories. Added Samsung Jet 90 Complete as 'Best Vacuum For Hardwood Floors' pick. Added Dyson V8 Animal as new 'Best Upper Mid-Range Vacuum For Hardwood Floors' pick. Added Tineco PURE ONE X Tango as new 'Best Mid-Range Vacuum For Hardwood Floors' pick. Added Eureka Mighty Mite as 'Best Budget Vacuum For Hardwood Floors' pick. Removed irrelevant Notable Mentions picks. Added SEBO Airbelt D4 to Notable Mentions.
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.
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 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.