There’s really no other way to say it: Sweeping is a pain. Whether you live with roommates or you’re part of a family, being the one stuck with cleanup duties is always annoying, but it’s not nearly as annoying if you have a nice vacuum cleaner. Of course, depending on your floor, you’ll want a certain type of vacuum cleaner. You’ve probably seen the satisfying way a vacuum cleaner grabs and sucks up everything off a carpet, but things may be a little tricky with a hardwood floor. Sweeping on a hardwood floor also tends to just move dust around and is sometimes a waste of energy. This is just one more reason why finding the right vacuum is crucial.
If you’re taking the time to clean your floor, we want to make sure you’re actually cleaning your floor. That’s why we made this list of the best vacuums for hardwood floors, to help you get that stylish sheen you signed up for when you decided to skip the carpet.
Carry on reading to see our full list of the best vacuum cleaners for hardwood floors, followed by a recap of what sets each vacuum apart. Or jump straight to our number #1 pick here.
Table of Contents
- What Should I Look For in a Vacuum for Hardwood Floors?
- Here’s How We’ve Determined the Best Hardwood Floor Vacuums
- Our Top Hardwood Floor Vacuums of 2021
- #1: Hoover UH73400 Upright Vacuum Cleaner (Best Value)
- #2: Dyson V11 Torque Drive 268731-01 Stick Vacuum (Best Overall)
- #3: Bissell CrossWave Floor and Carpet Cleaner (Best Wet and Dry Vacuum)
- #4: Bissell Zing Canister 2156A Vacuum (Best Low Cost)
- #5: iRobot Roomba i7+ (Best Robot Vacuum)
- #6: Shark Navigator Lift-Away Professional NV356E (Honorable Mention)
- Is It Better to Sweep or Vacuum Hardwood Floors?
- Verdict: Your Best Vacuum for Hardwood Floors
What Should I Look For in a Vacuum for Hardwood Floors?
Suction – Suction is how any vacuum cleaner gets its cleaning done. Whether you’re cleaning up pet hair, crumbs, or debris from your recent DIY home-project, you’ll need a vacuum with good suction to pull up all that dirt and leave your wood flooring looking as good as new. Things are a little tricky when you’re dealing with a hardwood floor though.
With suction that’s too strong, your vacuum may end up scuffing and scratching your hard floor, and we definitely don’t want that. With this criterion, we’ll be looking to stay in a certain Goldilocks Zone. We want a vacuum cleaner that’s strong enough to clean your hardwood floor but not too strong that the floor ends up being scratched after a few cleaning sessions. We want things to be just right.
Size – The bigger the vacuum, the bigger its dust container. The bigger the dust container, the less often you have to empty out said container. This is obviously nice and convenient, but if a vacuum cleaner is too big, it’ll be bulky and annoying to use, especially if you need to clean hard-to-reach places like corners and under pieces of furniture.
You may be sensing a pattern, but once again there is a certain middle ground we want to reach where you will find a vacuum cleaner that is big enough to save you the time and effort of constantly emptying it but small enough to be easy to use. However, unlike with our first criterion, the problem of a vacuum that’s too big – and therefore bulky – can be circumnavigated. A great canister vacuum cleaner with a flexible attachment will allow you to have the best of both worlds and clean all of those annoying corners and crevices but still enjoy a large dust tank that you can go weeks without emptying.
Noise – Your time cleaning can be a great opportunity to enjoy some music, listen to an interesting podcast, or call friends or family. That is, unless you have a roaring vacuum cleaner that you can’t hear over. We don’t want vacuuming to be a chore that doesn’t allow you to multi-task or that annoys everyone else in your home. There’s no Goldilocks Zone here. The quieter a vacuum cleaner is, the better. Of course, it’ll be hard to find a vacuum that’s completely silent, but that’s what we’re aiming for. Either way, as long as you can comfortably talk over the noise of your vacuum cleaner, it’s good enough.
Price – Everyone has a different budget for their new vacuum, and vacuum cleaners span a pretty wide price range. The best machines on the market will cost several hundreds of dollars, while anyone not interested in spending that much money will have no problem keeping things cheap and spending $100 or even less.
But more than the raw number of the price, we’re concerned about which products most live up to their price. I’ll have no problem giving a $1000 vacuum a spot on this list if I think that it’s worth $1000. Conversely, I’ll be hesitant to include a cheap $50 vacuum if it delivers a value that should be closer to $30 or even $20. No matter what your budget is, we’re looking for the best deals on the market.
Here’s How We’ve Determined the Best Hardwood Floor Vacuums
We researched the best and most popular vacuum cleaners on the market by checking their listed specifications and reading different “best vacuum cleaner for hardwood floors” blog posts and articles. Then, we checked with online customer reviews to make sure that actual real-life buyers were satisfied with their purchases and that the products on our list performed as advertised and were ideal for hardwood floors.
And without further ado, here are the best vacuum cleaners for hardwood floors.
Our Top Hardwood Floor Vacuums of 2021
#1: Hoover UH73400 Upright Vacuum Cleaner (Best Value)
The Hoover UH73400 Upright Vacuum Cleaner is the quintessential vacuum – no matter what you’re looking for. This machine is designed to be able to deal with carpet and bare floors alike, so even if some of the rooms in your home have carpeting and others don’t, this vacuum will be a great one-stop purchase for you. The Hoover H-Upright comes in at a great price and has every feature you could ask for, along with a few extras. Here are some of the standout features that make this Hoover vacuum our number one pick to clean your hardwood floor.
Remember not to neglect those windowsills or the top of the fridge. Whether you have a lot of tall hard-to-reach-spaces in your home or you have an unfortunate lack of outlets, a vacuum that gives you a long reach is crucial for the most convenient cleaning experience. The Hoover UH73400 Upright Vacuum delivers in spades here.
This product has a 25-foot cord that will allow you to vacuum all over without searching for an outlet, and it has a 15-foot stretch hose. If you’re good at math, you know that gives you 40 feet of space to work with when you’re cleaning your home with the Hoover. On top of just having a long reach, the stretch hose is perfect for cleaning everything off the floor. You won’t have to awkwardly move your vacuum cleaner. Just use the stretch hose to clean the walls, window shades, countertops, and every other elevated surface in your home. Your wood floors and carpets aren’t the only things that need to be cleaned every now and then, and the stretch hose is also great for squeezing into tighter corners.
On top of the reach, this vacuum gives you optimal maneuverability, so reaching those awkward corners is never too annoying. Part of the reason for that is the aforementioned stretch hose, but it’s also because of the flexible main body of this vacuum. This vacuum has a swiveling floor nozzle that will let you bend and turn to get a good clean in every corner of your home. No more struggling and getting your hands and knees dirty cleaning under furniture, behind the TV, or in any other blocked-off or hard-to-reach area.
No More Allergies
I suffer from seasonal allergies, and I’m allergic to cats but come from a family that has three of them. I know how awful it can be to go about your whole life sniffing, sneezing, coughing, and wheezing. It looks like Hoover does too, and their H-Upright vacuum will make all of that sneezing a distant memory. With its H13 HEPA filter designed to trap allergens and help purify the air in your home, this vacuum is a gift from heaven for allergy sufferers everywhere. While I can’t guarantee you’ll be completely allergy-free if you happen to live with pets that you’re allergic to, this vacuum should alleviate any seasonal or dust-related allergies. Who knows, you might break even on this vacuum just by saving money buying fewer boxes of tissues.
In addition to these three amazing features, the Hoover H-Upright vacuum also comes with a kit of handy attachments for the stretch hose such as a dusting brush and a crevice tool, and it has a convenient one-touch system that lets you empty the vacuum without getting your hands dirty.
Hoover is a staple when it comes to vacuum cleaners, and their products are featured on several blog posts and top ten lists. Customers were a big fan of the H-Uprights, pointing to the swivel head, the long cord, and the great suction.
And all of that comes in at a great affordable price, making this vacuum one of the best deals on the market, our number one vacuum for hardwood floors, though it’s perfect for sucking dust off of all floor types. Be warned…one customer complained about the noise from this vacuum, but other than that the Hoover H-Upright is an amazing deal that offers everything you could need in a vacuum cleaner.
#2: Dyson V11 Torque Drive 268731-01 Stick Vacuum (Best Overall)
The Hoover H-Upright may be our number one pick and the best deal, but sometimes you don’t want the best deal. You want the best product no matter how much it costs. If that’s what you’re looking for, you’ll want to look into buying the Dyson V11 Torque Drive 268731-01 Stick Vacuum. This vacuum will cost you a pretty penny, but it’s one of the best on the market. We’ve given some reasons below for why you might decide to break the bank and buy this Dyson vacuum for your hardwood floor instead of going with the Hoover vacuum.
One of the features that set apart the Hoover H-Upright was its long reach which it achieves through its long power cord and through the stretch hose. Our Dyson stick vacuum doesn’t have a stretch hose, but when it comes to cord length, it can’t be beat. It’s completely wireless. You’ll never have to worry about finding an outlet or unplugging something to make room for your vacuum ever again.
The battery lasts about an hour – long enough to get you through several cleaning sessions on one charge – and takes about 4. 5 hours to charge, so you can charge it overnight, and it’ll be ready to go in the morning. On top of that, this vacuum has an LED screen on the handle that will show you exactly how much battery power you have left, so you’ll always know when it’s time for the next charge.
Thanks to the auto mode feature, this Dyson stick vacuum is perfect for all floor types and carpet types, and you won’t have to think about a thing while you’re cleaning. Auto mode allows the high torque cleaning head to detect what type of floor you’re on and adjust accordingly. This means that your vacuum will automatically slow down or speed up and regulate its suction power so as to optimize cleaning without ruining your hardwood floor or without leaving crumbs or pet hair stuck in your carpet. This is the best cleaner available, if you have multiple floor types in your home and you don’t want to have more than one vacuum cleaner.
This upright vacuum cleaner boasts twice the suction power of any other cordless vacuum and claims to capture 99.97% of microscopic dust particles as small as 0.3 microns. Your hardwood floors will be clean enough to eat off of after the Dyson is done with them.
Just as with the Hoover upright vacuum cleaner, this stick vacuum comes with different attachments that can be placed on the cleaning head to give you the best clean, no matter what floor type or surface you’re working on. Finally, this lightweight vacuum weighs less than seven pounds. Combining the fact that it’s wireless and with its slim easy-to-hold build, this means that you could even get away with holding it sideways to clean the lower parts of the wall.
Customers are just crazy about the Dyson V11 Torque Drive 268731-01 Stick Vacuum. Users loved its battery-powered design and its strong suction power, and almost everyone agreed that it’s worth its expensive price. One reviewer recommended letting the vacuum cool down after use before charging it, so this is worth keeping in mind if you decide to purchase the Dyson.
If you do decide to go with this product, you’ll walk away with a cordless stick vacuum cleaner that’s one of the best hardwood floor cleaners money can buy. If it’s in your budget, it’s more than worth it.
#3: Bissell CrossWave Floor and Carpet Cleaner (Best Wet and Dry Vacuum)
If you have pets or children at home that are causing more stubborn messes, you’ll need the Bissell CrossWave Floor and Carpet Cleaner. This vacuum essentially doubles as a mop to give you the cleanest results possible for all of your bare floors and carpets. This vacuum stores cleaning solution inside and releases it to get your hardwood floors as clean as possible with its dual-action brush roll. It’s the perfect machine for pet owners and parents to clean up pet hair, spilled food, pet droppings, and dust and debris. It’s also great for bare floors and carpets alike.
Two easy-access buttons let you easily switch from the mop feature to the vacuum, giving you full control of how you use the cleaning solution to clean your hardwood floor. Plus, this hardwood vacuum uses swivel steering to give you good mobility and let you move seamlessly from room to room and corner to corner without too much effort.
There are some flaws in this vacuum. The main reasons it falls below our first two vacuums are its price and its size. While being much cheaper than the luxurious Dyson vacuum, this Bissell product is still more expensive than our number one pick, so it’s not exactly a budget vacuum. Plus, at 11 pounds, it’s pretty heavy. So, even with the swivel steering, you may find that it’s a bit much to lug around while cleaning.
That being said, users really loved the Bissell CrossWave Floor and Carpet Cleaner, with one customer specifically stating that it’s amazing for hardwood and tile floors and another claiming that it gives an “insane clean” and mentioning that the cleaning solution smells great.
It may be a little bulky and pricey, but the Bissell CrossWave is one of the best vacuums available if you want to quickly apply cleaning solution for that extra deep clean.
#4: Bissell Zing Canister 2156A Vacuum (Best Low Cost)
We haven’t exactly done a great job so far of keeping the vacuums on our list cheap, but don’t think that means that you’re out of luck if you want a vacuum for your hardwood floors that stays within your budget. If your main priority is keeping things affordable, then we have another Bissell vacuum for you – the Bissell Zing Canister 2156A Vacuum. Bissel knows how to keep things cheap, and this canister vacuum cleaner delivers great performance at a cheap price.
The Bissell canister vacuum has a switch that lets you change the settings and is perfectly designed to allow you to seamlessly switch from carpeted floors to hardwood floors. Like all canister vacuums, this machine gives you excellent mobility and a large dust container, by attaching the cleaning head to a movable wand and placing the tank and engine of the vacuum on a wheeled base that will easily follow you as you clean.
This vacuum has a dust tank that can hold up to 2 liters of dust and debris, and unlike other canister vacuums, it uses filters that are completely washable and reusable. This means you’ll never have to worry about going out and buying a bag ever again. The shopping ends once you pick up this cheap Bissell vacuum. The Bissell canister vacuum also has an adjustable hose and a rewindable power cord that make for easy storage.
The Bissell 2156A vacuum has a 15-foot cord, which is shorter than our number one pick but still long enough that you shouldn’t find yourself constantly testing its limits – except maybe when trying to clean that one stubborn corner far away from your outlets. Because of the canister vacuum cleaner design, you’ll have no problem using the vacuum wand to get under beds or couches or on walls, desks, and tables.
This machine also boasts a triple action nozzle that thoroughly absorbs coarse and fine dirt. Plus, the Bissell canister vacuum weighs less than 8 pounds and has a convenient handle that will help you vacuum the entire house without breaking a sweat. On top of all that, it comes with a special crevice tool specifically designed to help vacuum in annoying spots, like in between couch cushions, without having to move things around.
Customers approved of this budget vacuum cleaner and were eager to point out how cheap it is. They also mentioned how light and easy-to-use it is, and that the filter is easy to empty. One reviewer specifically mentioned how great it is for hardwood floors. Sure, it doesn’t have some of the extra features found in our other vacuum cleaners, but if you’re looking to save and still make cleaning up a little bit easier, the Bissell Zing Canister 2156A Vacuum is an amazing place to start. Split the price with a few roommates, and all of a sudden you’re paying almost nothing at all.
#5: iRobot Roomba i7+ (Best Robot Vacuum)
It’s 2021. We’re living in the future, and you might as well embrace it. With the Roomba i7+, you get your own personal robot servant, and you’ll never have to bend down and get your hands dirty vacuuming ever again. This robot vacuum is even more expensive than the Dyson V11 Torque Drive 268731-01, but it’s not difficult to understand why. You’ll never have to sweep or vacuum again if you splurge for the Roomba i7+. It even empties itself into the Clean Base Automatic Dirt Disposal! That’s 5-star service from this robot vacuum.
The Roomba can be connected to your Alexa or Google Assistant, so you can boss this machine around with your voice and watch as your living room gets cleaned while you stay put and continue watching TV, using your computer, or eating dinner. Finally, you can schedule the Roomba to clean wherever you want and whenever you want, so you can come back from work to a spotless and clean home every single day. You can even make sure the Roomba stays out of certain rooms so that it doesn’t disturb your pets or sleeping babies or cause noise during your important Zoom meeting in your home office.
As far as the actual vacuum of this robot vacuum goes, it uses a 3-Stage Cleaning System that uses Dual Multi-Surface Rubber Brushes and 10 times the power-lifting suction of its predecessors in the Roomba 600 series.
Customers love this device, and why wouldn’t they? Can you imagine how much easier your life would have to be if you never had to clean up ever again? Well, you don’t have to imagine. Buy the Roomba, and that’ll be your reality.
Reviewers specifically mentioned that the Roomba is great when it comes to handling cat hair and that the auto-emptying feature is a life changer. And don’t worry that you’re paying for a gimmick that won’t leave your home clean. Customers can confirm that you get the genuine (traditional) vacuum-clean results from this robot vacuum.
The only real issue with this machine (other than its price) is that it’s a bit slower than a conventional, manual vacuum cleaner, though as long as you schedule it properly, this shouldn’t be an issue, unless a real cleaning emergency suddenly arises. It also, of course, can’t climb stairs on its own, but you can just carry it up the stairs and let Roomba do the rest.
If you’re willing to splurge for the Roomba, you’ll never have to clean again, and you’ll have a spotless house or apartment that will impress your guests without your putting in any effort.
While it originally wasn’t a part of our list, I felt that since it’s a favorite on many other lists, I had to give a quick shoutout to the Shark Navigator Lift-Away. This affordable vacuum is perfect for hardwood floors and comes with a creative design that lets you clean those out-of-reach walls and ceilings.
As the name suggests, the Shark Navigator Lift Away Professional lets you pull the tank away from the base of the vacuum, giving you an easy-to-carry, vacuum hose that’s perfect for cleaning any surface a little higher off the ground.
The Shark Navigator Lift Away has a dust cup with a capacity of about 2 liters, and it has the same HEPA filter as our number one pick, but some customers may find it a bit clunky to constantly take apart if you’re switching to the hose a lot. In contrast, the Hoover UH73400 is much better for switching seamlessly between the main vacuum and the stretch hose. However, the lift-away design makes the Shark Navigator much easier to store. So if you’re a little short on space, this vacuum may be a good investment.
The Shark Navigator Lift-Away is reasonably priced and has a solid amount of horsepower backing up its suction. Since it comes apart, it will feel very light when you’re only using the hose, but it weighs about 13 pounds altogether. So overall, it is on the heavier side. The Shark Navigator Lift-Away Professional NV356E is a great alternative to the Hoover vacuum if you want something that offers a little more in terms of optimizing space.
Is It Better to Sweep or Vacuum Hardwood Floors?
While it’s of course a bit more annoying, the benefit of sweeping is that it’s much less likely to cause any damage to hardwood floors. That being said, and as we mentioned at the beginning of this article, sweeping on a hardwood floor is a bit more tricky, as sometimes you simply end up moving dust from one place to another without actually cleaning your hardwood floor.
This is where the huge benefit of vacuum cleaners lies. As you’re suctioning up all the dirt and debris, you don’t have to worry about it moving to a different part of your home. It’ll be stuck in your vacuum’s filter until it’s time to empty it. The main part of a vacuum that would damage your hardwood floor is called a beater bar, which is covered in bristles and quickly spins around, which obviously can catch your wood floor. When looking at vacuums for hardwood floors, it’s a good idea to double-check if a vacuum has a beater bar.
If you do decide that you don’t want to use a vacuum cleaner for your wood floors, a microfiber dust mop is much better than a regular broom, as it’ll pick up the dust and dirt and make sure it doesn’t just end up somewhere else.
Verdict: Your Best Vacuum for Hardwood Floors
There you have it. We’ve given you a list of the best vacuums for hardwood floors that’s sure to have something for everyone. Just in case you’re still not sure which vacuum you want for you home, we’re to give you a quick recap below.
If you want the best value for money, pick the Hoover H-Upright Vacuum Cleaner.
This vacuum’s long cord and stretch hose mean that you can get into every nook and cranny of your apartment without having to stretch the power cord too much, and you can even clean the higher up places in your house like windowsills, the tops of ceiling fans, and tables and countertops. Plus, it has special attachments for the stretch hose so you can find something suitable for every surface.
There’s not really much else to say. This is one of the best vacuums out there, and it comes in at a nice and affordable price, which is why it earned our number one spot as the best vacuum for hardwood floors.
If you need the automatic robot vacuum, pick the iRobot Roomba i7+.
Who didn’t want a robot servant when they were a kid? While the Roomba i7+ robot vacuum isn’t exactly the robot maid from The Jetsons, it’s a pretty good start. If you just want to never have to worry about cleaning ever again, the Roomba is exactly what you’re looking for.
You can control it manually or program a cleaning schedule for this Roomba, so it can clean while you’re out of the house, and you won’t have to worry about it getting in your way. Plus, it even empties itself. The Roomba is an investment in yourself just as much as in your home. With all that extra free time, your productivity and your overall quality of life will go through the roof.
If you want to keep the spending cheap, pick the Bissell Zing Canister Vacuum.
Whether you don’t have a lot of money, you’re saving up for something special, or you just don’t feel that a vacuum cleaner is something you’re willing to spend a lot of money on, Bissell has you covered. With its reusable filters and solid suction strength, the Bissell Zing Canister 2156A Vacuum canister vacuum cleaner delivers great quality while being amazingly cheap.
This canister vacuum has a great design that will make it easy to drag around your home while doing a deep cleaning, and you’ll have no problem cleaning under all of your furniture. This is the best vacuum for your hardwood floor if you want to keep the cost low.
If you still don’t know which vacuum is right for you, it could help to write down which features are an absolute must for you. It also might help to think about what type of vacuum cleaner you want. You may be interested in canister vacuums because of their mobility and flexibility, or you may want a lightweight stick vacuum like our Dyson. You may also go for a classic upright vacuum for your hardwood floors.
If the highlighted options above aren’t for you, you may prefer the Bissell CrossWave Floor and Carpet Cleaner for those more stubborn messes that just need some extra water and cleaning solution. Or you may want to splurge a little and get the wireless and mobile Dyson V11 Torque Drive 268731-01, which also features the amazing auto-mode that will treat all of your different floors the way they need to be treated, so you’ll have no problem going from hardwood floors to carpets and back to bare floors.
If none of our vacuum cleaners are quite what you’re looking for, you can use our criteria as a jumping-off point to do more research. Either way, we hope this article has helped you on your journey to find the perfect vacuum to keep your hardwood floor sparkling and clean.