Robot vacuums have always been best-suited for hardwood floors since bare, even surfaces are easier to maneuver on and have fewer small crevices for dirt and debris to get trapped in. A robot vacuum can be an invaluable cleaning aid for many homeowners since they take the stress and the effort out of cleaning and shouldn't get stuck. Still, some perform better on this surface than others, as the best robot vacuums for hardwood floors should be able to clear everything from pet hair to large chunks of debris on this kind of surface with ease.
We've tested over 35 robot vacuum cleaners, and below are our recommendations for the best vacuums for hardwood floors to buy. These are based not only on their performance on bare floors but also their design and price. For more options, look at our lists of the best robot vacuums for pet hair, the best robot vacuums, and the best hardwood vacuums.
The iRobot Roomba 981 is the best robot vacuum for hardwood floors that we've tested. This robot vacuum delivers exceptional performance on bare floors, where it easily clears pet hair as well as small and bulky debris like rice or cereal. Suction performance doesn't drop noticeably as its dirt compartment fills either.
The vacuum has a HEPA filter to trap allergens as it cleans, which is good if you own a heavily shedding pet. It feels very well-built, with a hard plastic body, durable wheels, and twin rubber brushrolls that can be removed for easier removal of hair wraps and stuck-on debris. Its maximum battery life of roughly two hours isn't quite as long as some alternatives, but it charges impressively quickly. It's also highly maneuverable, with an automatic surface detection feature that enables it to adapt to different floor types on the fly.
Unfortunately, it has many parts that require regular maintenance or even periodic replacement, so recurring costs can add up over time. That said, this is normal for robot vacuums. It also lacks support for virtual boundary markers, so you can't easily keep it out of certain areas in your home. Still, thanks to its superb performance on bare floors, this is the best Roomba for hardwood floors that we've tested.
The Roborock E4 is the best budget robot vacuum for hardwood floors that we've tested. It's fantastic on bare surfaces like hardwood or linoleum flooring, where it easily cleans pet hair and debris like sand and cereal. Its performance stays consistent even as the decently-sized dirt compartment fills up, and it has an allergen-trapping HEPA filter.
It feels impressively well-built and cleans rooms in an organized, S-shape pattern. Its compact size allows it to fit under low furniture like couches. The battery performance is fantastic, as it will provide roughly two to three hours of continuous cleaning time before returning to its dock to recharge. Also, it works with a companion app that you can use to set cleaning schedules and even remote-pilot the vacuum.
Unfortunately, a few parts need to be cleaned or replaced periodically, so recurring costs are high, though this isn't unusual for robot vacuums. You also can't schedule cleaning sessions for specific rooms or set up virtual boundary markers through its companion app. Still, its strong performance on bare floors, fantastic battery life, and relatively affordable price make it one of the best robot vacuums we've tested.
If you're looking for a budget-friendly robot vacuum that has a more advanced suite of automation features, consider the Wyze Robot Vacuum. It lacks an automatic surface type adjustment feature found on the Roborock E4 and can consequently get caught on high-pile rugs, but you can set up virtual boundary makers through its companion app and schedule cleaning sessions for specific rooms in your house. It also delivers a similarly fantastic performance on bare floors since it easily cleans various kinds of debris, including pet hair and small and bulky material like rice or cereal. Depending on your choice of suction power level and usage habits, it supplies roughly anywhere between 70 to 130 minutes of runtime, less than the Roborock but still excellent overall. Unfortunately, this vacuum has a very small dustbin that needs frequent emptying. Many parts need regular cleaning, and recurring costs are high, too.
Get the Roborock if you want a robot vacuum that can better maneuver over low-lying obstructions, but consider the Wyze if you want a broader suite of navigation features.
Sep 10, 2021: Replaced Roborock S6 with iRobot Roomba 981 as 'Best Robot Vacuum For Hardwood Floors' due to current availability. Removed Roborock S4, Roborock S5, and Neato Botvac D7 from Notable Mentions due to current availability. Removed iRobot Roomba 981 from Notable Mentions.
Jul 13, 2021: Removed Neato Botvac D7 'Easier To Maintain Alternative' category pick due to current availability. Added Wyze Robot Vacuum as new 'Alternative With More Advanced Automation Features' category pick. Removed Wyze Robot Vacuum from Notable Mentions, added Roborock S7, Roborock S6 MaxV, and Neato D8 to Notable Mentions.
May 14, 2021: Verified that picks still represent the best products for our users and that they're in stock. Added the Wyze Robot Vacuum to Notable Mentions.
Mar 16, 2021: Replaced the iRobot Roomba S9 with the Neato Botvac D7 as the 'Easier to Maintain Alternative' in the 'Best for Hardwood Floors' category. Moved the iRobot Roomba S9 to Notable Mentions. Confirmed the rest of the picks are in stock and still the best recommendations for our users.
Jan 15, 2021: Verified that picks are still the best recommendations and that products are in stock; added the iRobot Roomba 981 to Notable Mentions.
Our recommendations above are what we think are currently the best robot vacuums for hardwood floors for most people. We factor in the price, feedback from our visitors, and availability.
If you would like to do the work of choosing yourself, here's the list of all our robot vacuums for hardwood floors, 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.