You might get away with not vacuuming your carpet or rug for some days, but your hardwood floor has no way to conceal debris and dust. When it comes to caring for hardwood floors, it is best to invest in a vacuum designed to tackle wood floors. A good vacuum will return your dirty floor to a state of polished elegance.
Our Top Pick
When it comes to choosing the best vacuum for hardwood floors with a wide selection of units on the market, it becomes a minefield. Of all the vacs we have reviewed, the Shark Navigator Professional NV356E picks our top spot. This 2-in-1 model delivers superior cleaning power, boasts standout features like two washable microfiber pads and a dust-away hard floor attachment, comes with a HEPA filter that traps 99% of allergens and dust, and easily maneuvers around the house. With the press of a button, you can lift the canister away to easily clean difficult-to-access areas.
The Best Vacuums For Hardwood Floors Reviews
Top Pick: Shark Navigator Professional NV356E
The Shark Navigator NV356E is an affordable cleaner that delivers incredible suction power and works well with most flooring. And while it isn’t the most effective vacuum on the market, it does a superb job of cleaning all messes and stains on your floor. This vacuum is incredibly versatile since it comes with extra tools for cleaning furniture, drapes, and other above-the-floor surfaces.
This 2-in-1 model lets you remove the canister from the base so that you can handle the crevices and cracks that are impossible to clean with your traditional vacuum. The HEPA filter also grabs all dust and allergens for better air quality.
Although there are a few durability complaints, the Shark NV356E has a powerful suction and is easy to maneuver around your home.
- The canister easily detaches for cleaning
- Fairly well constructed
- The handle is well-placed, well-configured, and comfortable to use
- HEPA filter
- Swivel base makes it easy to maneuver
- 30 foot cord
- Motorized brush head with a jam indicator light
- 5-year warranty
- Fussy design
- Questionable ergonomics
- The motorized head isn’t wide enough
- The dustbin door release means you might come into contact with dirt
Runners-Up, Top Pick:Shark DuoClean NV803
The Shark DuoClean solves most of the problems that occur when cleaning a hardwood floor with the average upright vacs. The vacuum’s DuoClean technology features a bristle brush that deep cleans carpets and an extra soft brushroll to pull in larger debris and directly engage your hardwood flooring for a more polished look.
This vacuum cleaner is also easy to control all thanks to buttons placed at fingertip reach to switch from carpet mode to hard floor. The HEPA filter and complete seal technology trap allergens and dust inside your vacuum. The powerful LED lights positioned on the nozzle help you spot all hidden debris in broad daylight.
This unit outcleaned most of its competitors and was able to get rid of all messes in an instant. Its advanced steering technology offers excellent control when maneuvering around furniture and obstacles in your house. The DuoClean NV803 is one of the larger and heavier units on this list, so if you want something lightweight, this might be more than you need.
- Steering/handling is flawless
- Comes with extra attachments (pet multi tool, crevice tool, motorized pet tool, and an under appliance tool)
- Has three floor modes
- Comes with an extra-long power cord
- Soft rotating brush is gentle and won’t damage your floors
- Roller brush is easy to clean out
- Glides over rugs well
- Creates a dust cloud when emptying
- It might feel heavy if you’re used to a stick vacuum
- The duo clean foam roller gets jam packed with long pet hair
- The motorized tool head is fixed so cannot vacuum the edges/sides of stairs
- The dirt cap is small and needs frequent emptying
Best Stick Hardwood Floor Vacuum: Dyson V8 Absolute
This hardwood floor stick vacuum from Dyson delivers superb suction and convenience of cordless cleaning, both of which are essential in maintaining your hardwood floor. The Dyson V8 represents the latest design of progression in battery and digital motor development.
This grab-and-go vacuum is perfect for your daily pick-ups and deeper cleaning and works best for small homes. Operating at a suction power of 115 air watts, this vacuum boasts up to 40 minutes run time – which is just enough for all basic chores. This model combines power and airflow to provide a cleaning system for those who prefer upright cleaning. Producing only 70 decibels, you do not have to worry about vacuuming when your kids or pets are around.
The 148-gallon dirt cup is large enough for a one-time clean and features a hygienic dirt ejector that lets you empty the bin in a single action. The machine’s HEPA filtration captures all allergens in your house making it the vacuum of choice for allergy and asthma sufferers.
- Cordless operation makes spot cleaning convenient
- Runs for 40 minutes on a single charge
- Easy to empty
- Significantly quiet
- Fantastic swivel head
- Comes with a storage/charging dock
- Comes with 6 attachment
- You must hold down the power trigger all through vacuuming
- This unit is quite expensive
- No comfort protection on the grip
- Vacuuming in low setting isn’t as effective
- It doesn’t pick up most pet hair
Best Bagless: Shark Rocket Bagless Vacuum (HV302)
Almost impeccable performance – on hardwood floors, laminate, and carpets alike – rounded the Shark Rocket to the apical of our bagless vacuum ratings. To make your cleaning hassle-free, this vacuum features a two-speed power knob on the handle to allow for seamless transition between bare and carpet floors. Weighing under 8 pounds, this unit easily converts into a hand vacuum for versatile wall-to-ceiling cleaning.
Besides being fantastic for hardwood floors, this vac is also a good choice for car cleaning. Storage of this unit has never been easier all thanks to the dual storage options that let you secure it to the wall mount or fix the hand vacuum to the bottom of the wand.
The vacuuming head is designed with swivel steering for excellent control as you maneuver around house furniture. Although this vacuum packages several impressive features in a relatively small unit, the small bin could put a few off from committing to this model.
- Powerful and compact vacuum
- Great suction
- Highly convenient since there is no bag
- The cord is long enough
- It’s easy to put together since no screwing is needed
- Easy swivel maneuver
- Ability to lay flat means less furniture move
- Comes with a car detailing kit
- The dirt cup is difficult to get off
- The small dirt cup means frequent emptying
- It doesn’t stand upright on its own
- The head is narrower and needs more passes to get the cleaning done.
Best Canister Vacuum: Eureka Mighty Mite
If you’re looking for a canister vacuum that’s compact and easy to carry around the house, then then Eureka Mighty Might makes a great option. What’s particularly impressive about this machine is that it also doubles as a blower for some shop vacuum applications. Fitted with a 12-amperes motor, this vacuum not only conveys powerful suction but also facilitates quick and efficient cleaning. Besides, it is designed with a long hose and cord so you will always cover lots of ground unimpeded.
The unit’s relatively big dust bag translates into less emptying. The Eureka Mighty Mite also features an auto shut-off mechanism that protects against cases of overheating. We were also impressed by the fact that you can turn off the vacuum brush roll to reduce the risk of damaging your floor.
Some other notable features of this unit include the Eureka’s power-touch handle comes with easy-to-use controls, bare-floor nozzle, and a deluxe floor brush. One drawback, however, is that this canister is especially noisy and one comes with a one-year warranty which is short compared to most of the vacuums on our list.
- Strong suction lets you clean up all type of debris
- The vacuum bags are easy to change
- The unit’s body is made of thick, sturdy plastic
- The hose does not kink
- Compact and light
- The unit doesn’t glide smoothly on carpet
- The vacuum is relatively loud
- Comes with a shorter warranty compared to other vacuums
- You cannot adjust suction on this unit
Best Budget: Dirt Devil SD20505 for Hard Floors
Your limited budget should not confine you to the traditional broom and dustpan. The inexpensive Dirt Devil Vacuum, optimized for quick touch-ups of hardwood floors will add some extra oomph to your house cleaning routine. And weighing only 6.7 pounds, this unit is just a breeze to carry around your home.
Although you will not get numerous features or attachments at this vacuums sub-$50 price tag, it does all the basics. The 10-amp motor easily powers through all your household messes, the canister opens with the touch of a button, and the 20-foot long cord is just enough to cover significant ground in your house. Better yet, the 11-inch cleaning path covers more floor surface with a few passes.
You will love how easy it is to grab this vacuum and use compared to heavier, upright models. However, you might not like the air this unit blows from the front since it could make it difficult for you to grab dust and pet hair.
- Incredibly affordable
- Comes with simple controls
- Easy to assemble
- Easy to empty
- Easy storage
- Stands up right on its own
- Ample length power cord
- Good for laminate floors as well
- It is loud
- So lightweight it tips over easily
- It blows around pet hair and dirt
- It rattles when you move it across the floor
Types of Vacuums for Hardwood Floors
You might think that all vacuums are similar, but there are numerous differences which make every model unique and useful in its own. And with hardwood floors, you must be careful about the type you choose since there is a wide range of vacuums to choose from.
Here are the most common types of vacuums for hardwood floors, a few facts about each type, and how they relate to your hardwood floors.
1. Upright Vacuum
The upright vacuum is quite common in most households and it stands on its own when not in use. When you’re using this machine, you will push the entire weight of the unit around your house since it’s built in one solid piece. These vacuums are typically tall and slightly heavier than other models.
Upright vacuums usually have the most powerful suction and might come with separate handheld attachments for better versatility during use.
2. Stick Vacuum
This unit is almost similar to the upright vacuum with the difference being that it has a skinny upright without attachments and strong suction power. These models can be electric (corded or battery powered) depending on the brand. Generally, these vacuums have no extra heads that you can swap out and no hose for higher up or smaller places.
These vacuums are usually lightweight and not effective for heavy-duty jobs or cleaning big homes.
3. Canister Vacuum
Canister vacuums usually have a sucking head that connects to the engine and filter via a long hose. Made up of two components, the head, and body, weight isn’t a big deal since the engine is low on the ground and easy to pull as you clean your house. They are, however, cumbersome to drag if you have a lot of stairs. If you need a vacuum for stairs, You can check our in-depth buying guide on vacuum for stairs.
Besides having a strong suction power, canister vacuums come with interchangeable heads for different cleaning purposes, making it easier to avoid brushes that could scratch or damage your floor.
4. Handheld Vacuum
These cleaners are compact, light, and small enough to carry around the house. Since most of these vacuums are battery powered, they lack a strong suction power and extra features like separate attachments or an extendable hose.
These vacuums are a good resource for cleaning smaller messes and spot cleaning as well as long staircases but are impractical for use in whole-house cleaning.
Cordless vacuums are a great resource if you want to avoid the hassle of untangling long power cords. They are typically lightweight and easy to maneuver around your home. In fact, some of the best models can slide under your furniture to clean the areas that the previous vacuum types won’t reach.
Most of these vacuums for hardwood floors come with attachments that let you clean window sills, door frames, and walls.
6. Robot Vacuums
If you’re a tech enthusiast, this is an option to consider if you want to get the job done without moving around. Besides being battery powered, these vacuums often have in-built navigation algorithms and smart sensors to detect and avoid collisions. They are the quietest on the list and incorporate a slim profile that easily fits under most furniture.
Crucial Tips For Allergy Sufferers
Vacuuming dust and debris from your hardwood floors might seem like a fantastic idea for the allergy sufferers, until you learn that it could actually make your indoor quality worse. To ensure you blow up the least debris/dust possible, follow these crucial tips:
- Go for bags. Vacuum cleaners designed with dust caps are always better at filtering out particles as you clean, but they will still create a dust cloud when you push the dust out. Bagged models usually contain the dust better when you need to empty them.
- Be selective about filters. For allergy sufferers, the trick is to have minimal dust in the air. It is, therefore, advisable that you look for HEPA filters which are certified by the Department of Energy standards for getting rid of 99.99% of dust. A HEPA filter on a bad vacuum model is obviously not the perfect solution, but will help tremendously.
- Keep up on maintenance. Be sure to empty the dust bag or cup often in addition to cleaning and replacing filters so that your vac remains in top working condition.
- Slow down. Reducing your speed in every pass gives your vacuum enough time to pick as much dust for a cleaner floor. Besides, try to get into corners as often as you could since dust hides there.
- Consider wearing a dust mask. The Asthma and Allergy Foundation recommends putting on a mask when you vacuum or dust to reduce the chances of an asthma attack.
Not every room is covered in hardwood. Your bedroom, for instance, might have a carpet so you must consider buying a vacuuming machine that handles both. In this case, buying a vacuum with multiple brush rolls would be a good idea. Besides, suction should be sufficient to handle the two floor types.
The Shark Navigator Professional NV356E performs the job without scratching or damaging your floor. This machine also cleans other surfaces without the need to alter settings when making the transition.
All in all, we are confident that the products on our list would be a good resource for cleaning your home, but the final decision needs you to consider your specific cleaning needs.
Harvey is a content marketer, traveler, fitness enthusiast with many other things. When it comes to outdoor and technology, Harvey is our go-to guy.