Bust the dust on bare floors with these top vacs
Hardwood floors look amazing and will last a lifetime with some proper care and cleaning. But what should you do to avoid a scratch or scuff on hard surface floors?
Well, a hardwood floor vacuum is a great place to start. With a soft brush roll, soft rubber wheels, bumpers, or different floor settings, they pick up fine dust, dirt, and pet hair while protecting the surface.
In our homes, we decided to put our top picks through a series of tests. From effectiveness, maneuverability to design, we identified the top vacuums to keep your wooden floors in top shape conditions.
Here is our review of the best vacuum for hardwood floors.
Our Top PicksThe HouseWire earns a commission through the following independently chosen links at no additional cost to you.
Best Overall - Miele Classic C1 Pure Suction
Read Full Review: Miele Classic C1 Vacuum Cleaner Review
Every home needs a vacuum to handle the dirt and mess of everyday life. Especially on hardwood floors. And this super effective Miele canister vacuum does exactly that.
With a range of suction power settings, there’s something to suit every kind of hardwood flooring. From laminate to more delicate surfaces, just click the dial to select the cleaning power you need.
And the retractable brushes are simple to flick up or down, so you can cover your whole home with ease. There are even pivoting castors that are gentle on every surface.
When you’re finished, just tap the comfort cord rewind and the cable tidies itself away. A clean and fresh home couldn’t be easier with this powerful vac.
- It’s well-designed and durable thanks to the quality materials
- The dust bags are large and easy to throw out and replace
- It has strong suction for stubborn stains and you can also lower it for everyday mess
- Some users found the power cord too short, so they had to swap sockets a lot
- Not everyone likes a bagged emptying system
|Bin Capacity||4.5 liters|
|Cord Length||29.5 feet|
|Accessories Included||Dusting brush, upholstery tool crevice tool.|
Best Budget Vacuum - Bissell Featherweight Lightweight Stick Vacuum
You don’t need to pay a fortune to get a stick vacuum cleaner that performs well. And this Bissell model is one of the best corded vacuums for hardwood floors if you’re on a budget.
It’s lightweight and easy to move across all kinds of hard floors. It can even tackle area rugs if you’ve got some dotted around.
And you can convert it into a handheld vacuum, so you can use it on more than just floors. It’s ideal for areas like stairs and upholstery, too.
When you’re finished, this streamlined vac is simple to store away out of sight. But it’s easy to grab and go when you need some powerful cleaning for those inevitable spills.
- It sucks up larger debris, like cat litter and cereal, rather than pushing it around
- It’s light enough for people of all ages to use
- The crevice tool attachment is ideal for cleaning between couch cushions
- The dirt compartment isn’t very big
- It’s hard to find replacement filters
|Bin Capacity||0.67 liters|
|Cord Length||15 feet|
|Accessories Included||Crevice tool|
Best Cordless - Dyson V11 Animal Cordless Vacuum
Cordless vacuums are convenient to grab for quick cleaning. And this cordless stick vacuum cleaner from Dyson brings a whole load of power to the party.
It’s ideal for sucking fine dust out from the gaps in between hardwood floorboards. But it picks up larger pieces without any problems, too.
And it can handle any kind of wood floor in your home with ease thanks to the floorhead automatically adjusting the suction to suit the surface type. So you can glide across bare floors and onto thick carpet without having to make any changes at all.
The digital display shows what you’ve cleaned and how much battery is left. But with a whopping 60-minute run time, you can relax knowing that the Dyson vacuum is ready to go whenever you need it.
- The intelligent cleaning modes extend the run time
- It’s easy to move across different surfaces
- The suction is powerful enough to manage all kinds of debris, including pet hair
- The battery takes a long time to charge from empty
- Some users don’t like having to hold down the trigger button
“The plastic construction of the V11 doesn’t feel as sturdy as I’d hoped for from a premium vacuum. […] I’m not a fan of Dyson’s trigger system, either.[…] [But] I can’t knock the V11’s ability to tackle a range of dirt on all kinds of floor types, from hardwood to area rugs. […] I found it easy to keep the vacuum in tip-top shape with some simple regular maintenance.” — Jeneva Aaron, Product Tester
|Types||Cordless stick vacuum|
|Bin Capacity||0.76 liters|
|Accessories Included||Combination tool, crevice tool, mini motorized tool, stiff bristle brush, soft brush, wand storage clip|
Best Upright - Hoover React Powered Reach Plus
The swivel steering means you can nip around objects with a flick of your wrist. And you can even take the bulky canister section off to lie the vacuum flat and get under furniture.
The vacuum cleaner automatically changes the brush roll speed to suit the floor you’re cleaning. So you can move from one surface to another without needing to stop and adjust the settings.
It’s ideal for pet hair thanks to the powerful suction and effective filtration. It traps allergens rather than releasing them back into the room, so you can enjoy clean floors and clean air!
- The filters don’t need much maintenance, even after picking up pet hair
- It comes with a handy range of accessories
- The long power cord makes it easy to cover large areas
- The swivel steering can take some getting used to
- It’s quite a heavy vacuum cleaner
|Bin Capacity||1.5 liters|
|Cord Length||30 feet|
|Accessories Included||Crevice tool, dusting brushes, powered stair tool|
Best Canister - Bissell Hard Floor Expert Canister Vacuum
The floor nozzle is designed to protect your wood flooring while tackling tough dirt. It also has a convenient footswitch to move from bare floors onto area rugs or carpets with ease.
The telescopic wand is adjustable for user comfort, as well as giving you extra reach for high areas or getting under furniture. And when it’s time to empty the bin, the door opens at the bottom for minimal mess.
And when you’re done, rewind the cord at the touch of a button. It keeps the vacuum tidy for storage as well as reducing any trip hazards, which is ideal if you have young children running about.
- The soft rollers in the brush head pick up fine dust
- It’s quiet, so you can use it at any time of day
- The high capacity dust cup doesn’t need emptying very often
- It’s not the best vacuum cleaner for carpet
- Some users found it tricky to clean stairs
|Bin Capacity||2 liters|
|Cord Length||18 feet|
|Accessories Included||Dusting brush|
Best Robot - iRobot Roomba 675 Robot Vacuum
Robot vacuums are the ultimate way to clean your hardwood floors without lifting a finger. And this Roomba is packed with features to make life even easier.
It has Wi-Fi connectivity and works with Alexa/Google, so you can set up a schedule and leave the vacuum to do its thing. Or use the voice controls to get it running when a spill happens.
The multi-surface brushes adapt to the floor type, meaning it works its way across your wood floors and carpets alike. It picks up fine dirt and bigger bits thanks to the two different brush rolls.
With up to 90 minutes of battery life, the Roomba can cover a lot of ground in one go. And the sensors stop it from bumping into furniture, so you can sit back and relax.
- It returns to the docking station when it’s finished cleaning
- The Roomba moves around furniture without getting stuck very often
- It manages both bare floors and carpets
- You have to move obstacles out of the way, which takes a bit of time
- It doesn’t always clean every part of the room
|Bin Capacity||0.6 liters|
|Accessories Included||Charging station|
Best Compact Stick - Dyson Omni-glide
Dragging a bulky vacuum around a busy wooden room is a nightmare. And that’s why the Dyson Omni-glide is the ideal cleaning solution if you’re tight on space.
The narrow floorhead fits into gaps as compact as 8.15 inches, so it’s great for getting around furniture and hard-to-reach areas in a small apartment. And it swivels in all directions, so you can clean bare floors with any movement you like.
There’s a soft brush roller on either side of the floor nozzle to ensure the vacuum picks up small and large debris, no matter which way you move it. You can also choose between different modes to suit the floor type.
You can even change this nimble vacuum into a handheld cleaner for more versatility. Get ready for spotless hardwood floors, no matter how tight the space.
- The castors on the floorhead make it feel even lighter than it is
- Very easy to push around and vacuum hardwood floors
- It buffs bare floors at the same time as vacuuming them
- The battery doesn’t last very long
- There isn’t space for the accessories on the charging dock
|Types||Cordless stick vacuum|
|Bin Capacity||0.2 liters|
|Accessories Included||Combi crevice tool/ brush, docking station|
Best Cordless 2-in-1 - Black + Decker PowerSeries Pro 2-in-1 Cordless Vacuum
Mess happens everywhere, so why not choose a cleaner that handles more than just vacuuming hardwood floors? This Black + Decker covers a whole home from floor to ceiling.
You can detach the portable canister when you need above-floor cleaning. It’s lightweight and has a flexible hose, making it painless to get into all the awkward nooks and crannies.
And if you’re always cleaning up after your furry friends, there’s a dust compactor to squeeze all the debris to the bottom. So you can pick up more pet hair and dander without needing to stop and empty it.
Plus the effective HEPA filtration system traps allergens inside, so it’s ideal if you suffer from allergies. This versatile vacuum is ideal for any busy home.
- Automatically adjusts the suction to suit different surfaces
- Quick and easy to grab and go for spills
- Picks up lots of pet hair in just a few passes
- Some users found it clogged up after cleaning thick rugs
- Long hair tends to wrap around the brush rolls
|Types||2-in-1 cordless vacuum|
|Bin Capacity||1 liter|
|Accessories Included||3-in-1 too, long brush|
Best Floor Washing - Swiffer Sweep and Vacuum Cleaner
Hardwood floors make a home look elegant and stylish, but they can take some serious upkeep. Well, not anymore with this handy Swiffer combo set.
It combines the suction of a vacuum cleaner with the classic Swiffer dry cloths. So you can easily sweep away finer dirt from crevices, then suck out large debris with the vacuum.
It helps to stop any fine particles from acting like sandpaper and scuffing your floors. So not only does it save you time, but it saves you from any potential damage.
This handy kit contains everything you need to get started. And the cordless design means you can take this anywhere, so it’s ideal for a weekend away in the RV.
- Cleans edges and corners well
- It’s a lightweight vacuum that’s easy to move around on bare floors
- The suction-only cleaning head is gentle on delicate hard floors
- It takes a long time to charge the battery for a short run time
- Pet hair fills the dust cup very quickly
|Types||Cordless hardwood floor vacuum|
|Accessories Included||8 dry sweeping refills, replaceable filter|
Hardwood Floor Vacuums Comparison Chart
|Product||Type||Weight||Bin Capacity||Cord Length||Our Rating|
|Miele Classic C1 Pure Suction||Canister||11.4 pounds||4.5 liters||29.5 feet|
|Bissell Featherweight Lightweight Stick Vacuum||Stick||3 pounds||0.67 liters||15 feet|
|Dyson V11 Animal Vacuum||Cordless stick||6.7 pounds||0.76 liters||Cordless|
|Hoover React Powered Reach Plus||Upright||18 pounds||1.5 liters||30 feet||(Testing Now)|
|Bissell Hard Floor Expert Canister Vacuum||Canister||8.3 pounds||2 liters||18 feet||(Testing Now)|
|iRobot Roomba 675 Robot Vacuum||Robot||6.77 pounds||0.6 liters||Cordless||(Testing Now)|
|Dyson Omni-glide||Cordless stick||4.18 pounds||0.2 liters||Cordless||(Testing Now)|
|Black + Decker Pro 2-in-1 Cordless Vacuum||Cordless||8 pounds||1 liter||Cordless||(Testing Now)|
|Swiffer Sweep and Vacuum Cleaner||Cordless||3.1 pounds||N/A||Cordless||(Testing Now)|
What to Look for in a Hardwood Floor Vacuum
Canister vacuums have a separate main body that’s connected to the wand by a hose. This makes them feel lighter to use and maneuver around.
Rubber wheels are the best choice for a canister vacuum. Metal or plastic wheels could scratch or damage your floors.
Upright vacuums have all the components in one unit, so they tend to feel heavier. But they are known for their powerful suction.
Try to find one with soft bristles on the brush roll instead of a stiff nylon version, which could cause damage.
This BISSELL Crosswave is an example of an upright model.
Stick vacuums are light and streamlined, and sometimes convertible into portable handheld vacuums, making them ideal for compact spaces. But they’re often suited just to hard floors, so they’re not ideal if your home has a variety of surfaces.
Like this BISSELL ICON pet cordless stick vac.
Robotic vacuums are often designed for bare floors rather than carpets. Also, robot vacuums designed for hardwood floors will come with features such as rubber wheels rather than plastic or metal.
That being said, keep an eye on robot vacuums, as debris can catch in the wheels and scratch your floor.
This Roborock is an example of a robot vacuum.
So a vacuum with adjustable power is a great way to avoid this. You want to be able to turn powerful suction down when needed.
For example, this BISSELL Deluxe is a canister vac with settings to suit carpets and bare floors.
Some modern vacs automatically detect the surface type and adjust the settings, so you don’t have to. It’s a helpful feature that saves you the hassle of working it out yourself.
Like this fluffy head on the Dyson V7 Fluffy.
Otherwise, look for an adjustable brush roll. On some models, you can turn the rotating brushes off altogether and this is perfect for hardwood floors.
There’s less chance of scratches and scuffs if the brush roll isn’t spinning.
For example, you can turn the brush roll off on both the Hoover ONEPWR Evolve and the Shark Navigator Lift-Away NV352.
Either way, always make sure the brush isn’t made of coarse materials.
A lightweight vac is easier to move around, so avoid anything heavy if you can. Stick vacuums are often the lightest type.
For example, this Toppin stick vac weighs just 3 pounds.
So keep an eye out for any models with these extra levels of protection.
Tips to Keep Hardwood Floors Clean
It’s a good idea to develop a cleaning schedule for looking after your hardwood floors. The recommended time frames are:
- Sweep, dust, or dry mop once a day
- Use your vacuum once a week
- Use a damp mop twice a month on high-footfall areas
- When mopping, always use a suitable cleaner for hardwood floors, like this Bona Floor Cleaner
For long-term maintenance, you should refinish your wooden floors every three to five years. And give them a sand down every ten years.
When Is It Better to Vacuum or Sweep Hardwood Floors?
There are times when sweeping is better than vacuuming and vice versa.
So when should you sweep?
Brooms tend to handle large debris better than a vacuum cleaner, as the latter often struggles with big pieces. It’s easier to sweep large items away.
Sweeping is also a great way to remove dirt that’s stuck on the floor. You could use the brush attachment on your vacuum if it has one, but be careful not to damage the surface if the bristles are too stiff.
And what about vacuuming?
A vacuum is ideal for removing fine dirt and dust. Brooms won’t pick up tiny pieces, but a vac sucks them up and out of the way.
A HEPA filter removes and traps 99/97% of microparticles, like mold and bacteria (1). So, unlike brooms, they’re a great choice if you suffer from allergies.