Best Vacuum For Hardwood Floors
Hardwood floors are deceptively thought to clean.
While it looks clean at the surface, try looking at it on ground zero with a bright light source like an LED then you’ll notice that there are a lot of dust mites and dust bunnies on it.
What makes it tougher is some types of wood are more prone to scratches when you use the wrong tool on it – e.g. vacuums with motorized brushes are a no-no on hardwood.
Without further ado here’s the list of our picks as the best vacuums for hardwood floors…
Eureka AirExcel Compact 990A
Shark Navigator Powered Lift Away NV752
Eureka 3670G Mighty Mite
Bissell PowerGlide Cordless Upright
|Hard Floor Genie with one microfiber pad|
TruePet Mini Motorized Brush
11" Crevice Tool
Pet Upholstery Tool
|1 1/2" diameter curved aluminum wand|
bare floor tool
|Combination crevice and brush tool|
|Cord Length||16 feet||30 feet||20 feet||20 feet||Uses a 36 volt Li-Ion battery|
|Auto Cord Rewind|
|Brush on/off switch|
|Full bin indicator|
|Net weight||8 pounds||15.7 pounds||8.6 pounds||10 pounds||11 pounds|
|Hose length||6 feet||15.4 feet||N/A||7 feet||N/A|
|Cleaning Path||11"||11.5"||Approx. 10"||10"||13.5"|
|Power||9 amps||1,200 Watts||12 amps||10 amps||N/A|
|Warranty||1 year||VIP Lifetime Warranty||1 year||2 years||2 years|
What makes a good hardwood vacuum?
First off, you’ll need a vacuum that has good enough suction to pick up small debris like dust bunnies and larger debris like crushed biscuits or cheerios.
Second, it has to be light enough to carry around the house. Hardwood does not require any deep cleaning like carpet so you don’t need a hulking upright vacuum that weighs over 20 pounds. In fact a cordless stick vacuum may be enough to fill your need if your home is small enough.
Third, it has to be versatile enough to be able to reach nooks and crannies and be capable of cleaning above the floor areas like ceiling vents, air conditioning vents, upholstery and such.
Our Pick: Eureka AirExcel Compact 990A
This compact canister is on top of this list because it passes all 3 points that I’ve set for a good hardwood cleaner with flying colors. First it has power and more than enough from the 9 amp motor and the cyclonic filtration system that ensures it will not lose suction even as the dirt bin fills up.
Second, it only weighs 8 pounds and with the 6 foot hose and telescopic wand, reach is not a problem. You can clean not just floors but also upholster and even vents high up on the walls or ceiling.
Third, it comes with a brush and crevice tool both of which you can attach to the end of the wand to clean hard to reach places around and underneath furniture.
In short for cleaning hardwood, this machine has it all and it has cord rewind so after cleaning, you don’t need to spend a few minutes wrapping up a long cord on hooks before storing it away. It saves you time as well.
Now that we’ve talked all about the good points, let’s go to the not so good points.
This vacuum has a short 16 foot cord, which may be enough if you live in a small apartment or medium sized home but if you live in a large 3,000 square foot home, this may not be enough.
Since most of this vacuum is made from plastic, there will be some quality control issues like cracks or parts falling off. Remember to be careful and not bang this around, it will not hold up very well.
But let’s not forget this machine won’t set you back an arm or a leg, you can buy this in Amazon for less than 85 bucks and if it holds up for 2 to 3 years, you’ve got yourselves a bargain.
Bottom line: This compact vacuum is a beast in terms of cleaning performance and versatility but there are some concerns with the build quality.
For Large Homes: Shark Navigator NV752
The Eureka I featured on top of this list is a very good performer that is better suited for small to medium sized homes but if you’re looking for something with a longer power cord that may be able to reach more areas and also clean carpet (just in case your home has a mix of carpet and hardwood), the Navigator NV752 is a great option.
At first glance this vacuum looks like an upright but it has a neat feature that allows you to detach the body from the handle and main floor cleaning tool.
Shark calls this the “lift away” feature that they first introduced with the Shark NV352.
What make this a great option for large homes is its long 30 foot power cord. Unfortunately there is no cord rewind but none of the full sized uprights in the market that has a 30 foot cord has this feature (yet).
This machine weighs just 15.7 pounds and it takes up some space, definitely not for small homes but if you have a medium sized home with a mix of hardwood and carpet, this is a no-brainer choice.
It gives you great bare floor cleaning coupled with the deep cleaning capabilities on carpet. It also is capable of above the floor cleaning with the 11” crevice tool, dusting genie and a turbo mini pet brush which is a great tool to have on upholstery.
Bottom line: This tool is great for medium to large sized homes with a mix of carpet and hardwood. It is capable of cleaning pet hair on upholstery thanks to its mini turbo pet brush. One of the more versatile machines in this list.
Light & Versatile: Eureka 3670G Mighty Mite
This lightweight canister may not be able to deep clean carpet but what it lacks deep cleaning it makes up for in nimbleness and versatility. Let’s look at features and see how it may help you cleaning all your hardwood.
If you think this sucker lacks power, think again, powering this little beast is a 12-amp motor that has more than enough suction to clean up every nook and cranny of your home. It comes with a long flexible plastic hose with two extensions wands.
Based on the photos, these wands are long enough to reach the ceiling of your home, unless your home has ridiculously high ceilings. In that case you would be living in a mansion where you should be able to afford a maid and not read this review (just kidding).
It is light at just under 9 pounds but the power cord is short – only 20 feet which could be an issue if you live in a large home but for small to medium sized homes, this shouldn’t be a problem.
In terms of reach and versatility, this machine has it in spades. In addition to the flexible hose and two extension wands, it comes with a floor tool, crevice tool, a brush tool and a dusting brush. All of it will allow you to clean almost every part of your home.
It does not have any tool with a motorized brush so this will not be able to clean fabric upholstery very effectively that the brush tool should be adequate to remove surface dirt and dust.
The downside though is these tools are only held together by friction. That’s the price you pay for buying a cheaper vacuum, unlike more expensive brands like a Dyson were the attachments lock in place.
In the long run the plastic on this vacuum may crack you push too hard and since it comes with a short warranty, you won’t be able to replace these parts but will have to buy them separately or use duct tape.
Oh one last note this is a bagged vacuum so there will be some additional expense as far as operating costs is concerned but that cost is minimal. If you suffer from allergies, this is a good thing.
But when you look at the features, you will get a lot for the 60 bucks you pay for – a strong motor, enough attachments to clean your whole home and a lightweight vacuum that will not strain your back.
Bottom line: If you suffer from allergies, this is a great option to have because it is bagged so you are not exposed to allergens when you empty it.
Commercial Quality: Sanitaire SC3683A
Like the Eureka Mighty Mite, the Sanitaire SC3683A is a versatile and lightweight vacuum that uses a sealed bagged system which is great for people who suffers from allergies because they are not exposed to the dirt and gunk collected by the vacuum when they empty it.
Unlike the Eureka, the Sanitaire has an optional HEPA filter (that can be purchased separately) that filters out really fine allergens from coming back out of the motor.
This machine is also advertised as a commercial grade vacuum so you can use this to clean hardwood floors inside commercial establishments.
This lightweight canister only weighs 10 pounds (a couple of pounds heavier than the Eureka) and has a generous dry dirt capacity of 2.6 quarts (close to 2.5 liters) which is bigger than the dirt capacity of Eureka which probably explains why it is heavier.
Power wise it has a slightly lower power output than the Eureka – 10 amps versus 12 amps but in terms of efficiency in cleaning bare floor surfaces like hardwood the different really is negligible.
It comes with a flexible 7 foot plastic hose, telescopic wand, crevice tool, brush tool, floor tool and an upholstery tool so this has more attachments. With those additions this machine will cost around $40 more than the Eureka which is a pretty good deal if you ask me. The warranty is also longer at 2 years.
Compared to the Eureka, this machine is a tad more versatile because of the addition of the upholstery tool that will allow you to clean fabric upholstery more efficiently.
The larger dirt capacity allows you to clean longer before having to replace the bag and it also comes with a shoulder strap to free up your hands. It still has the same 20 foot cord and non-locking attachments so long term durability could be an issue.
Bottom line: The large 2.5 dirt capacity will allow you to clean more before needing to empty the bag. It also has an optional HEPA filtration just in case you don’t want allergens coming back out. It is marketed as a commercial grade vacuum so use this in your office with confidence.
Cordless Option: Bissell PowerGlide Cordless Upright
Gone are the days when cordless vacuums would only run for 10 minutes and take a whole day to charge. Improvements in lithium battery technology have allowed manufacturers to increase run time while also decreasing charge time.
The Bissell PowerGlide gives consumers an option to purchase a cordless vacuum that will run for around 45 minutes and only take 2 hours to fully charge. Now 45 minutes is a pretty long time especially when cleaning bare floor surfaces because it is generally quicker to clean up on these surfaces because you don’t need to go back and forth to deep clean.
This machine is great for people who live in mobile homes or small condominium units with hardwood flooring. It has no cords which means you are not limited by the length of the cord, you can literally go anywhere inside your home and clean any part of it using it in upright mode for floors or as a canister vacuum in lift mode.
Yes you heard that right, this vacuum converts from an upright to a canister vacuum. It followed in the steps of the Shark Navigator and Hoover Air Cordless Lift and added a “lift” feature to its product that looks like this.
Unfortunately, in terms of reach this vacuum is lacking as the wand included cannot be extended so you won’t be able to clean the ceiling vents unless your home has a low ceiling.
It also comes with one attachment, a brush tool that will work in most cleaning applications except cleaning pet hair off fabric upholstery. The floor tool has a motorized brush that can be turned on or off just in case you need to clean some carpet or rugs at home.
Bottom line: If you are tired of dealing with cords this is one of the best options available. It has a 45 minute run time and will only take 2 hours to recharge. Great for hardwood floors and above the floor dusting.
Budget Option: VonHaus 2-in-1
In most of my guides, I like to give consumers a budget option just in case they are a bit strapped for cash so I’ll continue with that here in this list and recommend the VonHaus 2-in-1 stick and hand vacuum will only cost $40.
Take note while this vacuum looks like a cordless cleaner, it isn’t. It actually has a 16 foot cord. This vacuum comes with a telescopic wand that you can attach when you want to clean floors or detach if you need to clean upholstery.
The telescopic want is adjustable which make this a great option for cleaning bare floor stairs. It does not have any motorized brush which is why I added this to the list. The 600 watt motor will provide more than enough suction for bare floor.
When you detach the wand, this converts into a hand vacuum and it comes with a bevy of tools that make this one of the more versatile machines in the market.
It comes with a flexible hose, combination crevice/brush tool and a brush tool. The downside to these attachments is these are prone to cracking because it doesn’t have any lock to hold it in place. It only relies on friction so if you attach one of these too tight, cracks will develop.
But it’s hard to argue with the price. Even with the short warranty and sub-standard plastics, this machine still performs and will do the job at a discount if you don’t mind the limitations.
Bottom line: Despite being the cheapest of the bunch, this vacuum still performs. On bare floor surfaces like hardwood, its 600 watt motor has enough suction to pick up dust and other debris off this surface. Just don’t expect Dyson type quality because the plastics used here aren’t high quality.