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, 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 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 135 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.
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 using a soft roller for improved debris pickup on flat surfaces and in cracks and crevices. Using the soft roller reduces the chances of scratching up 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.
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 lineup of cordless stick vacuums and is loaded with various convenience features. This includes its Clean Sense IQ automatic power adjustment system, which allows it to raise its suction power when passing over an area with a high concentration of debris, which differs slightly from the Dyson V15 Detect's surface-sensitive system. A removable cartridge in its floorhead masks unpleasant odors as you clean by emitting a detergent-like scent; it isn't too cloying if you vacuum two or three times per week, but it can be overwhelming if you use it more than that. Its twin roller head thankfully results in a superb performance on bare floors.
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 that isn't as maneuverable and slower to set up. However, it's substantially better built, easier to maintain, and is a better fit for cleaning bigger areas thanks to its unrestricted runtime.
If you want to spend less, the Shark Cordless Pro is among the best cordless vacuums for hardwood floors we've tested. This vacuum is essentially a stripped-down version of the pricier Shark Stratos Cordless, with the same Clean Sense IQ automatic power adjustment system and odor-neutralizing cartridge but with a smaller capacity battery that yields a maximum runtime of about 40 minutes and a less powerful suction motor. Its floorhead also has a single fluffy brushroll instead of the Stratos Cordless' twin roller arrangement. If none of those cost-cutting measures are drastic downsides for you, you'll have your hands on a vacuum that delivers a similar user experience at a much cheaper price point.
Unlike the Stratos and almost every other Shark vacuum, you can easily remove the Cordless Pro's fluffy brushroll from its floorhead. This might not seem like much, but it does make a significant difference in maintaining your vacuum, as it's a lot easier to clear away any tangled hair or stuck-on debris.
The JASHEN V16 is the best cordless vacuum for hardwood floors in the lower mid-range price point we've tested. It doesn't perform as well as the Shark Cordless Pro when clearing away bulky material, which can clog the entry to its dustbin, but it has no trouble at all dealing with pet hair and smaller debris. It comes with a pair of interchangeable brushrolls for its floorhead, one suited for carpets and the other having a fluffy texture to prevent scratches on delicate surfaces like hardwood floors. The vacuum also comes with a miniature turbo brush that's fairly effective for dealing with pet hair on fabric-lined furniture, not to mention a crevice tool and a combination upholstery nozzle/dusting brush.
Unfortunately, the JASHEN's max battery life of about 40 minutes isn't all that spectacular, and you're likely to run out of juice when cleaning larger areas. Thankfully, the battery itself is removable and replaceable, so you can buy and swap in a new one if you notice that the old pack isn't holding a charge as well as it used to.
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 JASHEN V16. However, it delivers fantastic performance hardwood floors at a remarkably affordable price point. Suction performance remains consistent as its large-capacity dirtbag fills up, so you won't have to swap bags often. Its primary floorhead has retractable bristles for cleaning low-pile area rugs. 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 have vents behind the rear wheels that bypass any post-motor filtration. It negates any benefit you'd get when using an aftermarket HEPA filter if you wanted to improve its air filtration performance.
If you want an all-in-one appliance for vacuuming and mopping, the BISSELL CrossWave Cordless Max is a solid choice. There are some inherent compromises when it comes to a two-in-one machine. For one, it's pretty bulky. Secondly, it falls short of a comparably-priced conventional cordless model like the Shark Cordless Pro in suction power and is consequently much less effective when cleaning the occasional rug. The BISSELL can easily handle most lightweight household debris on hardwood floors. Its fluffy brushroll and detergent dispersal function result in good stain-cleaning performance, and it's also capable of sucking up liquid spills. However, a small amount of residual moisture might be left behind. 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 a recharge, so if you need more time to clean your home, 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.
Jul 06, 2023: Replaced JASHEN V16 with Shark Rocket Cordless (IX140H) as 'Best Lower Mid-Range Vacuum For Hardwood Floors' pick due to current availability. Replaced Samsung Jet 75 Pet with Shark Cordless Pro as 'Best Mid-Range Vacuum For Hardwood Floors' due to current pricing. Added Samsung Jet 75 to Notable Mentions.
May 02, 2023: Replaced Wyze Cordless Vacuum with JASHEN V16 as 'Best Lower Mid-Range Vacuum For Hardwood Floors' due to the current limited availability of certain parts. Added Wyze Cordless Vacuum to Notable Mentions.
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.