Best Vacuums for Hardwood Floors of 2023, According to Cleaning Pros
You can trust your home to the best vacuums for hardwood floors, which are specially designed to clean thoroughly yet gently.
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Hardwood floors have unparalleled beauty and come in a variety of patterns and materials ranging from solid wood to engineered wood. But their uniqueness isn’t limited to aesthetics. Hardwood floors also need a different type of vacuum cleaner compared to carpeted flooring. According to our experts, the best vacuums for hardwood floors avoid causing damage to the hardwood finish.
“I recommend vacuums with hard floor settings and brush rolls that can be turned off or adjusted,” says Adam Moore, owner and operator at Paradise Home Cleaning. He recommends Shark, Bissell and Dyson. “In addition to a hard floor setting and an adjustable or turn-off brush roll, look for strong suction power, and a low weight—which means less likelihood of damaging the finish.”
As a general rule, we chose vacuum cleaners with soft or padded brush heads. “This is an important feature to ensure no scratching or scuffing will occur on the floors,” advises Kathy Cohoon, operations manager at Two Maids. Based on their advice, we chose a variety of dependable vacuum cleaners in various categories, to easily select the best hardwood floor vacuum for each individual’s needs.
Best vacuums for hardwood floors
LG CordZero Kompressor
The LG CordZero Kompressor Cordless Stick Vacuum is simply the best hardwood floor vacuum. The included hard floor nozzle has a fluffy roller for use on hardwoods and other types of hard floors and is soft enough to allay any concerns of scratches. There’s also a separate, easily-swappable power carpet nozzle for use on carpets. The vacuum has a suction power of 160W, and three power modes: normal, power and turbo, to help select the right mode for the floor.
The telescopic wand adjusts up to 9.5 inches, which makes it a good choice for users of various heights. Easily vacuum drapes and other high places with the telescopic wand. And it transforms into a handheld vacuum—and includes a crevice for corners and tight spaces, a 2-in-1 combination tool that works as either a brush or hard nozzle and a power mini tool for use in the car or on furniture.
Another useful feature is the Kompressor lever. By simply pressing it, all the debris in the dustbin compresses to make room for more dirt. The five-step filtration system consists of a pre-filter, fine dust filter, two cyclones and a metal dust filter. Battery life is another notable feature. The vacuum cleaner comes with two swappable batteries, each lasting 60 minutes, for a total of 120 minutes, which is an exceptionally long time for a stick vacuum.
- Dedicated hard floor nozzle
- Telescopic wand
- Converts to handheld
- Two nozzles and three tools
- Two swappable batteries
- Convenient self-standing storage
- No LED floor lights
Black+Decker PowerSeries+ 20V Max
For budget-conscious consumers, the Black+Decker Cordless Vacuum Cleaner does an excellent job for the price. The multisurface floorhead works on both hardwood and carpet, and the anti-tangle brush bar keeps hair from getting wrapped around it. Also, the auto-sense feature detects the type of floor and automatically adjusts suction as needed. Using cyclonic filtration, the vacuum keeps from clogging the filter, so the vacuum continues to work properly.
It’s easy to see into dark areas with the LED floorhead lights, so no dirt escapes the view. The vacuum has a 44-minute runtime before it needs to recharge, and it stands upright to store it out of the way. Also, the dustbin empties with the touch of a button, and the washable filter is easy to maintain. In addition, the vacuum cleaner converts to a handheld version with a crevice tool to vacuum tight spaces and on stairs and furniture.
- LED floorhead lights
- Anti-tangle brush bar
- Over 2,100 five-star ratings on Amazon
- Doesn’t have a dedicated hard floor nozzle
Dyson Ball Animal 3
The Dyson Ball Animal 3 looks like a heavy (albeit, stylish) upright vacuum cleaner. However, the futuristic-looking ball provides ergonomic steering that maneuvers the best hardwood floor vacuum cleaner—even when reaching forgotten corners. There are three different types of suction modes (up to 290AW), and the third one works best for hardwood floors and ground-in dirt.
Also, the motor bar cleaning head includes hair removal vanes to prevent tangles, and the convenient control on the top turns off the brush bar when vacuuming hard floors. The wand and combination tool (brush and wide nozzle) clean high places, like ceiling fans, while the 15-ft of hose stretch keeps the vacuum in one place while using the wand to clean farther away. There’s also a stair tool for convenient carpet cleaning on the stairs.
Avoid allergens being released back into the air with the whole-machine filtration system that traps particles inside, and the dust bin (which includes a washable filter) that ejects dust with the touch of a button.
- Detangling vanes on the cleaner head
- Wand/long-reach hose
- Three suction modes
- Cleans every floor type
- On the heavier side with a weight of 38 pounds
Psst! Not sure if you should go for a Dyson or a Shark vacuum? Here’s everything you need to know.
Roborock S8 Pro Ultra
If you’d prefer to have a robot vacuum clean the hardwood floors, the Roborock S8 Pro Ultra is the king of set-it-and-forget-it. It uses two rubber brushes to eliminate tangles and 6000PA suction power on both hard floors and carpets. However, the Roborock S8 Pro Ultra does more than just vacuum floors.
It also has a dual sonic mopping system that scrubs hard floors 3,000 times every minute, but the pads are gentle enough that they won’t harm hardwoods. After mapping the home, the robot vacuum cleaner recognizes and avoids obstacles and places where it might get stuck. And there’s no need to empty the robot’s dust bin since it does this itself—and holds seven weeks of debris.
It returns to the dock to refill with water when mopping floors, and when finished, the vacuum both washes and dries the mop. Control the robot vacuum using the app and a smartphone, but it also works with Alexa, Google Home and Siri Shortcuts.
- Vacuums and mops
- Control via smartphone or voice
- Self-empty, self-clean, self-dry
- Almost 4,000 ratings, averaging 4.5 stars on Amazon
- Very expensive
Bissell Crosswave HydroSteam
Vacuum, mop, and steam hardwood floors at the same time with the Bissell Crosswave HydroSteam. The multi-surface brush roll cleans hardwoods, tile and laminate. It also has LED headlights to clean dark spaces and under furniture. In addition, there are three cleaning modes: hard floor, steam wash and area rug.
The best hardwood floor vacuum like this one comes with cleaning formula, pet formula and also a hard floor sanitizing formula. The sanitizer feature is designed to remove 99.9% of bacteria and provide a more thorough cleaning on sticky and built-in messes. The vacuum has two tanks: one for clean water and another one for dirty water/debris.
- Vacuums, washes and steam cleans
- Tangle-free brush roll
- LED headlights
- Doesn’t have a dedicated hard floor nozzle
Tineco Pure One S15 Pet EX
The Tineco Pure One S15 Pet EX is our choice for the best hardwood floor vacuum cleaner sans the pesky cord. The anti-tangle brush keeps hair from wrapping around it, while the LED headlight brush shines while cleaning under furniture and in dark places. The vacuum filters airborne allergens with a five-stage filtration system that includes two cyclones, a pre-filter, a HEPA filter and a washable mesh filter.
The LCD screen provides icons and a color-coded ring to distinguish between detected debris and clean debris. This is also where the user selects manual, auto or max mode on the vacuum, which has two 40-minute swappable batteries for a total 80-minute runtime. By connecting to the Tineco App, easily view the cleaning progress and battery levels, and adjust any settings.
Accessories include a 2-in-1 dusting brush, mini power brush and crevice tool, which provide more functionality to reach areas up high and also clean in tight spaces. Also, easily store the vacuum with the self-standing charging base.
- Anti-tangle brush
- Hair cleaning tool
- Over 700 Amazon ratings with a 4.2-star average
- No dedicated hard floor nozzle
Best for pets
Shark Rotator Lift-Away
If you have a combination of pets and hardwood floors, then the best hardwood floor vacuum is the Shark Rotator Powered Lift-Away which works well with both. It uses a soft roller that won’t harm hardwood floors and also includes flexible silicone power fins to ensure no debris is left behind. With the suction control slider on this Amazon vacuum, alternate between suction levels for hard floors and carpets.
The Shark Rotator Lift Away uses an anti-allergen complete seal system that traps 99.9% of dust and allergens, which keeps the air cleaner. Accessories include a self-cleaning pet power brush that also cleans upholstery and carpeted stairs and a pet multitool that removes stubborn pet hair and large messes. There’s also a crevice tool for cleaning tight spaces, and the lightweight pod lifts off to make it easier to clean above the floor.
- Soft roller
- Self-cleaning brushroll
- Various pet tools
- Over 3,800 Amazon ratings with a 4.5-star average
- LED lights expose hard-to-see dirt and dust
- Only two suction levels
What to consider when buying the best hardwood floor vacuum?
Often, the best hardwood floor vacuum is based on the user’s particular needs and preferences. Choosing an upright, cordless stick, wet-dry or robot vacuum depends on the home’s floor plan.
Our experts state that hardwood floor settings and brush rollers that turn off are important factors to consider. Strong suction power is also important to prevent vacuuming the same area over and over. The ability to convert the vacuum to a handheld or use other attachments like a crevice tool comes in handy and provides a more thorough clean.
Storage is another factor. Place a self-standing vacuum almost anywhere. However, if the vacuum is not self-standing, mounting it on the wall requires drilling holes.
Types of hardwood floor vacuums
Upright vacuums: These are a popular option for large homes since they’re corded—no need to worry about stopping to recharge the battery. The ability to lift off the canister is also convenient for cleaning stairs.
Cordless stick vacuums: They are lightweight and easy to maneuver around things one should never vacuum. And since cordless vacuums run on batteries, they eliminate the need for cords, which provides more freedom.
Wet-dry vacuums: These vacuum and mop hardwood floors and some vacuum-mop combos even steam clean floors.
Robot vacuums: They do all of the work even avoid obstacles on the floor. Many robot vacuums operate via a smartphone or voice command and also have the option to schedule days and times to clean and create no-go zones.
How we found the best hardwood floor vacuum
As shopping experts, our only job is to help you find a winning product. We start with the research and reporting basics—what products are made of, what they look like and how much they cost—to ensure that we’re only recommending the buys that are worth your time and money. Then, we research the features that speak to the product’s quality, taking advice from industry insiders and subject matter experts on what makes a product a smart value (or worthy of a splurge). Finally, we do the work of combing through user reviews to see how real people interact with the product, and if it stands up to the test.
Can you vacuum hardwood floors?
Yes, you can certainly vacuum hardwood floors. “However, it’s important to use the right vacuum with a hard floor setting and an adjustable or turn-off brush roll to avoid scratches or damage to the floor,” says Moore.
And Scott Johnston, owner/operator of Carpet Care of the Carolinas, warns, “Never use a brush or beater bar when vacuuming hardwood floors because the spinning action damages the finish on the floors and shortens the lifespan of the vacuum.” We were careful not to include vacuum cleaners with bristled brushes or beater bars on our list.
Is it better to sweep or vacuum hardwood floors?
According to Moore, it’s better to vacuum hardwood floors than to sweep them. “Sweeping pushes dirt and debris into the crevices of the floor,” he explains. “A vacuum with a hard floor setting and adjustable or turn-off brush roll effectively picks up dust, dirt and debris without causing any damage to the floor.”
However, Johnston notes that sometimes, a vacuum may miss a few spots. “Sweeping will pick up large debris that a vacuum may not suck up,” he says. “Sweeping is also best for edges and corners.”
Can you use a robot vacuum on hardwood floors?
According to Cohoon, robot vacuums are usually more effective on hardwood floors than on carpets or rugs. And Johnson adds that you can use robot vacuums, but says, “They have very little suction, so they are not effective at covering large, full areas.” However, the robot vacuum we chose, the Roborock S8 Pro Ultra, has 6000Pa suction power, which at the time of publication is the most powerful among robot vacuums.
In addition, Moore notes that the robot vacuum should have a hard floor setting and adjustable or turn-off brush roll to avoid scratches or damage to the floor. The Roborock has rubber brushes and microfiber mop pads, competing with other robot mops.
Do vacuums scratch hardwood floors?
If you choose the right type of vacuum cleaner, Johnston says they should not scratch the floors. And that’s why it’s best to avoid rough bristles. “Also, if the vacuum is heavy or has sharp edges or wheels, it also causes scratches or damage to the floor,” says Moore.
How often should you vacuum hardwood floors?
Moore and Johnston both recommend vacuuming hardwood floors at least once a week. However, like the rest of the home, the frequency of vacuuming will depend on the amount of foot traffic and dirt in the house—and if there are pets or kids, you may need to vacuum more often,” Moore advises.
And here’s something else to consider. “Dry soils left on the hardwoods cause damage/scratching over time so it’s best to keep the hardwood floors clean in order to extend their life as much as possible,” says Johnston.
- Kathy Cohoon, operations manager at Two Maids
- Adam Moore, owner and operator at Paradise Home Cleaning
- Scott Johnston, owner and operator of Carpet Care of the Carolinas
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