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Best Vacuums for Hardwood Floors Updated November 2018
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Looking for a low-maintenance solution to clean your beautiful hardwood floors? This is it.
This robot vacuum does all of the work for you. Program it to run quietly for 100 minutes at a time. It has 3 sensors and 4 brushes to clean carpet and hard floors.
All robot vacuums are susceptible to miss a spot or two. If you’re particular about your floors, this is a solid sidekick to a standard vacuum used for deep cleaning.
Navigator Lift-Away Professional Upright Vacuum Cleaner
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All of the Shark vacuums passed our test, but this one’s a real pro on hardwoods.
Turn off the brushroll to pick up cereal, pet food, and crumbs without leaving so much as a scuff on hardwoods. Use the Lift-Away mode to clean baseboards.
The extension hose is stiff. If you pull too hard, you can tip the whole vacuum over.
Linx Cordless Stick Vacuum Cleaner
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A lightweight vacuum for spot cleaning.
Store this slender upright vacuum in the pantry to pick up crumbs as soon as you spot them.
Don’t expect a smooth transition from hardwood to carpet. It doesn’t do well on high-pile carpet.
PowerEdge Pet Hardwood Floor Bagless Stick Vacuum Cleaner
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This V-shaped vacuum is designed to cover all corners and crevices.
Vacuum around furniture and appliances and pick up fine particles from baseboards and cabinet toe kicks.
This vacuum is not intended for use on carpet.
2 in 1 Corded Bagless Lightweight Stick Vacuum Cleaner and Handheld Vacuum
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A 2-in-1 vacuum for spot cleaning small messes.
This works exceptionally well around a highchair and pet beds.
As with all cordless vacuums, you’ll be limited on runtime. This sucker only runs for 15 minutes before needing to recharge.
We know pushing and pulling a big, plastic machine over your precious hardwood floors is a scary thought. That’s why we turned to verified customers to lead the way in our search for the best vacuum for hardwood floors. We considered multiple vacuums and read thousands of reviews to find the top five vacuums in this category. Our top picks range from handheld vacuums to traditional uprights and come in at different price points because we know what works for one person might not work for another. If you need more information before making a purchase, continue reading our vacuum guide below.
Hardwood Vacuum Reviews Guide
Many people hesitate to clean hardwood floors with a vacuum because of the possibility that it could scratch and damage the floor. However, we’re here to inform you that there are vacuums that are specifically designed for hardwood floors, and we found the best ones on the market.
We wanted to see the evidence of scratchproof vacuums ourselves, so we tuned into conversations that real customers have about each product. We read consumer testimonies, compared before and after pictures, and conducted research on each vacuum to bring you five of the best vacuums for hardwood floors.
Below, you’ll find the advantages and disadvantages of each type of vacuum as well as important factors to consider before you buy. We’ve also called out a couple of excellent products and shared some cleaning tips, so you can walk away feeling just as confident as we felt when we chose the best vacuum cleaner for hardwood floors.
Pros—Uprights are the most powerful, and popular, vacuums on the market. This is the standard when you think of a traditional vacuum.
Cons—They’re heavy and can be difficult to maneuver. Find one with an adjustable cleaner head that swivels for better maneuverability.
Best stick vacuum for hardwood floors: The cordless HooverLinx has a space-saving design with a wide cleaning path, so you can cover more ground than most stick vacuums. It also has edge-cleaning bristles that remove dirt, dust, and pet hair from hard-to-reach spaces and easily transitions from carpet to hard floors.
Pros—Sticks are considerably lighter than upright vacuums and have similar suction power.
Cons—Cordless sticks may have a limited battery life.
Best handheld vacuum for hardwood floors: The VonHaus 2-in-1 converts from a stick vacuum to a handheld and easily glides over hardwood floors, capturing dirt, debris, and other microscopic particles. It also comes with a washable HEPA filtration system that locks in small particles that other vacuums would simply re-circulate back into the air in your home.
Pros—Handheld vacuums allow you to spot clean messes as soon as they happen.
Cons—These have a short battery life and a small dust cup, so you probably won’t be able to clean the whole house in one go-around.
Pros: Canisters can clean hard-to-reach spaces with an assortment of attachments for a more thorough job.
Cons—Wheeled canister models—as opposed to handheld canisters—might affect your maneuverability as you clean. The vacuum sort of acts as an anchor to the cleaning wand.
Best robotic vacuum for hardwood floors: Theeufy BoostIQ RoboVac does the vacuuming for you. It quietly runs for over an hour across hard floors and carpet.
Pros—These high-tech vacuums automate a household chore. You can program them to run while you’re out of the house.
Cons–They’re the most expensive type of vacuum and they may get stuck without supervision.
Best robot vacuum for hardwood floorsEUFY BOOSTIQ ROBOVAC
Vacuuming is a total time suck, but not with Eufy. It’s designed for hard floors and carpet and runs for 100 minutes while you work, cook, or run errands. It’s even quiet enough to run while the baby sleeps. The Eufy has a sleek, scratchproof glass top that shines and is one of the most high-tech vacuums on the market. The price tag is also something worth marveling at, as most robot vacuums are $500 and up.
5 Features we tested
Crumbs and dirt can get stuck deep in between wood plank, and coffee grounds, cereal, pet hair, and dog food can collect in toe kick recesses and along baseboards. You’ll need a vacuum with serious suction power to lift the debris from these cracks and crevices.
Delicate floors require a lightweight vacuum, which is why so many heavy-duty vacuums designed for high-pile carpet aren’t going to perform well on hardwood floors. Three of the five vacuums we picked are under 10 pounds. The other two are heavier but have incredible suction features that make them worth the purchase.
The Shark Navigator Lift-Away Professional weighs 13.7 pounds, but it has a Lift-Away function that removes stubborn dirt and debris. The Hoover Linx weighs 12 pounds but features WindTunnel Technology that lifts and removes surface debris and deeply embedded dirt.
Most vacuums have a built-in brushroll, which could be the biggest threat to hardwood floors. Rough brushes can scratch floors, so look for a vacuum with a brushroll shut-off option or a detachable brush. You should also look for a vacuum that comes with attachments that aid in whole-house cleaning. An extension wand with a flexible hose and a crevice tool are great for covering the perimeter of the room without the user having to bend or crouch.
Vacuums are loud and they’re even louder on hard floors. In general, battery-operated vacuums tend to be quieter than their corded counterparts, which is why we love the eufy—it ranks as one of the quietest vacuums we’ve tested.
Storage is usually an issue with vacuums, but with the compact vacuums we reviewed, you’ll be able to stow almost all of them in a kitchen pantry or a hall closet.
Best pet vacuum for hardwood floorsBISSELL POWEREDGE PET HARDWOOD FLOOR BAGLESS STICK VACUUM CLEANER
Hardwood floors and pets don’t typically go together—claws and paws wreak havoc on hardwoods while hard floors act as a sort of slip-and-slide for aging animals. Fortunately, our friends at Bissell thought otherwise and created a vacuum for our beautiful floors and our furry friends. The V-shaped cleaner head vacuums around edges and is great at maneuvering around furniture or smaller items like dog bowls. It also draws dander and pet food into the vacuum rather than pushing it around like most stick vacuums do.
The Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America (AAFA) says hardwood floors are hypoallergenic, unlike carpet. Use a vacuum with HEPA filtration to capture fine particles like pollen and dust.”
How to clean hardwood floors
Move furniture out of the way—Put furniture pads on table legs and chairs so they don’t scuff the floor when you slide them across the room.
Vacuum surface-level debris—Suction is important, which is why we tested how well vacuums picked up Cheerios, kitty litter, and coffee grounds. Before vacuuming hardwoods, turn the brushroll off or remove it altogether.
Clean hard-to-reach spaces—Use a crevice tool to clean under toe kicks, along baseboards, and around appliances.
Mop the floor occasionally—Mopping your hardwoods can reduce allergies, prevent scratches, and sanitize your floors. Identify what type of hardwood finish you have so you can find the right wood cleaner and follow the instructions on the label to dilute the cleaning solution. Use a mop designed for hardwood floors to deep clean your flooring a few times a year. Be sure to wring the mop out well before using it on the floor—too much moisture can damage the floorboards.
Soak up excess moisture—Use a dry, microfiber cloth to wipe up standing water. You can also use a soft cloth to gently buff scuff marks.
Air it out—To ensure your floor dries completely, turn on ceiling fans, open windows, and cycle a dehumidifier.
Frequently asked questions
Which vacuum cleaner is best for hardwood floors?
The eufyBoostIQ RoboVac is the best vacuum cleaner for hardwood floors because it’s simple to use and removes dust and debris without damaging the flooring. The Eufy RoboVac runs for 100 minutes (an hour is a benchmark for robot vacuums) while you tend to other business. It’s quick, quiet, and efficient. Another bonus: the BoostIQ works on carpet.
Can the Shark Navigator be used on hardwood floors?
Yes, the Shark Navigator Lift-Away Professional has a brushroll shut-off feature that protects hard floors and a Lift-Away mode that converts it from a powerful upright vacuum to a portable canister.
What’s the best cordless vacuum for hardwood floors?
The Hoover Linx is the best cordless vacuum for hardwood floors because it has a wide cleaning path and edge cleaning bristles that remove dust, dirt, and pet hair. Even though the Linx is a battery-powered vacuum, it has interchangeable batteries that allow you to clean without interruption.
What is the best vacuum for pet hair on hardwood floors?
The Bissell PowerEdge Pet is the best vacuum for pet hair on hardwood floors because of its unique V-shaped cleaner head. The head vacuums around corners, furniture, dog bowls, and pet beds—hence the name PowerEdge Pet. The suction is powerful enough to draw pet hair out from hiding and keep your floors looking spotless.
Is it better to sweep or vacuum hardwood floors?
Vacuums are better at picking up dirt from hardwood floors than brooms. They also do a better job at lifting debris off the floor, rather than pushing it around the room. If you sweep on hardwood floors, you risk scratching the floor with the rough bristles found on the broom.
What is the best way to clean wood floors?
To clean and maintain hardwood floors, vacuum surface-level debris on a biweekly basis, damp-mop floors occasionally, and wipe spills and standing water immediately after they occur with a soft, microfiber cloth.
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