Hardwood floors are no doubt an essential element of any home. They not only add natural beauty and character to a living space but also enhance the quality and value of a home.
However, if at all you want to maintain that natural glow of your hardwood floor as well as its durability then proper care must be taken when cleaning it.
This means investing in the best vacuum for hardwood floors, one that’s powerful enough to take care of all kinds of dirt without scratching or damaging the surface of your floor.
In this article, we’ll try to help you find the appropriate vacuum for your home by providing in-depth reviews of 5 top models that are precisely designed for cleaning hardwood floors.
You’ll also learn which features to consider when evaluating various options so that you are able to pick a unit that will meet your exact needs and budget. So, read on to find out more.
Best vacuums for hardwood floors in 2020
Hardwood floor vacuum reviews
Miele Complete C2 – Best hard floor canister vacuum cleaner
The Miele Complete C2 is by far one of the best hard floor canister vacuum cleaners out there. If you want a durable, versatile vacuum that has the power and capability to handle any cleaning task with mush ease, then this is certainly an option to consider.
Quality and design
The first impressive thing about this Miele vacuum is that it’s really well built. The body is made of thick, quality plastic that makes the whole machine feel quite sturdy. The wand is made of stainless steel while the hose is crushproof.
According to Miele, the unit has an estimated lifespan of around 20 years if properly cared for, so you can expect excellent durability from it.
The three wheels that carry the vacuum around are made of rubber. They roll smoothly and are gentle on the floor hence will not cause any scratches or damage your hardwood floor.
While it may look compact, the Miele C2 offers a safe and efficient cleaning performance. The 1200 watt motor under its hood produces a powerful suction that will fully clean out debris and dust from any hard floor.
The main brush is a parquet floor head. It’s very soft with an almost felt-like brush that glides flat against the floor while dislodging and picking up the dirt stuck on the surface. It’s a brush that will go a long way in protecting your beautiful hardwood floor while cleaning it.
You will easily access just about anywhere with this brush too as it’s designed with a 90° swiveling capability and it has a low profile. It can go around obstacles and easily reach under furniture allowing you to thoroughly clean every spot in your home.
Combined together, the length of the wand, hose, and cord comes to 33 feet. That’s enough length to allow you to cover large rooms without having to change outlets. The brush offers a 12-inch cleaning path which is fairly large and will enable you to finish tasks quickly.
The best part is that you can adjust the suction power to suit a particular surface. The unit features 6 different speed settings that let you raise or lower the power which is essential especially when cleaning sensitive areas like the drapes.
Miele has incorporated a Super Air Clean filtration system consisting of a HEPA filter in this C2 vacuum to capture dust and allergens from the air that goes into the unit.
In addition, the unit is fully sealed which means no dust, dirt or other allergens will escape back into the air. It’s a safe unit that even those that suffer from allergies can still use it.
The dust bag has a relatively large capacity of holding up to 4.76 quarts of dust and debris. That’s enough capacity to allow you to clean for a couple of days before the bag fills up.
Alongside its wonderful performance, the Miele Complete C2 is easy to use. It has a simple control panel that allows you to change the suction power without much hassle.
Moving the vacuum around is easy too. The three caster wheels can rotate 360°, so you can maneuver the unit in all directions.
Weighing 19.5 pounds, the C2 is slightly heavy, but it features a carry handle that makes it easy to carry it up and down stairs without straining much. The hose is lightweight and has a comfortable handle. It won’t tire out your hand when you vacuum for extended hours.
Noise level and installation
When operating, this model produces minimal noise. The motor is well insulated and it even features a quiet setting which turns back the power to facilitate a quiet and peaceful operation while you vacuum.
Putting it together won’t present any challenge either There are only a few parts to fit together. One person can do it and the whole process won’t take long.
To sum it all, the Miele Complete C2 is a durable and effective hardwood floor vacuum with an impressive suction power and gentle brush head that won’t cause any damages.
There’s very little to dislike about it and it’s an option we would highly recommend to anyone looking to invest in a canister vacuum for cleaning hardwood floors.
Shark Rocket Ultra-Light (HV302) – Best stick vacuum for hardwood floors
With regards to upright stick vacuums, the Shark HV302 is simply the best model out there. It’s one handy tool that offers great value for money and can guarantee you an easy and efficient way of keeping your hardwood floors clean.
Quality and design
The HV302 has a solid compact build which makes it strong enough to withstand regular usage for many years. All the other parts and accessories are also well built.
The rubberized handle feels comfortable to hold and doesn’t slip. It’s particularly designed to give you a firm grip on the machine which is essential since the motor is located next to the handle.
As its name suggests, this is an ultra-light unit weighing just 7.5 pounds. It’s one of the lightest models on our list, very easy to carry and move around.
Powering the Shark HV302 is a 4.2 amp motor that uses 500 watts of power. It’s not a high power motor but it will provide sufficient suction to pick up every bit of dirt and dust on the floor.
It comes with a dust away attachment which is an ideal tool for cleaning the delicate surface of hardwood floors. It’s wide with a soft reusable microfiber cleaning pad attached to it. It’s gentle yet effective at dislodging and collecting debris and dust from the floor.
It will efficiently clean your hardwood floor without damaging it. Furthermore, it’s wide and when used alongside the suction function, you won’t spend much time going over surfaces in order to truly get them clean. It will get the job done in a single pass.
Cleans multiple areas/surfaces
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Aside from the dust away tool, the Shark Rocket HV302 comes with several other useful attachments that allow you to clean multiple surfaces. The main one is the motor-driven brush roll.
It’s a powerful brush roll that gives you the ability to select between two suction speeds. Low for hard floors, tiles, and other delicate surfaces, and high for rugs and carpets. The high speed is really powerful and does a great job of performing deep carpet cleaning.
Other useful tools include a pet upholstery, a 12-inch crevice tool as well as a car detail kit. It’s really a versatile unit and you can even convert it into a handheld vacuum to clean up walls and ceilings.
The power cord is 30 feet long, so you will have a lot of freedom to move around and reach every part without much restriction.
The filtration mechanism utilizes a big foam filter that’s located within the latch. It’s not the most efficient filter but will do well to keep your air clean. Unfortunately, it’s not a HEPA grade filter, so it may not be an ideal option for someone with allergies.
The good thing though is that it’s washable which will help cut on the cost of maintenance. You will need to wash it once a month. The dust cup is quite small. It can only hold 0.472 quarts of dirt which means you will have to replace it after every cleaning session.
Using the machine is a breeze as the controls are a fingertip away with easy-to-press buttons. Most importantly, it’s ultra-light with comfy rubber handgrip, so even the elderly will have an easier time using it.
Furthermore, the swivel steering wheels give you total control over the vacuum when maneuvering around furniture and tight spaces.
The whole unit comes already assembled. You just need to plug in the power plug, attach the cleaning tool you want and you are good to go.
The only downside is that it can be quite noisy while it’s running. Plus the brush roll does not turn off unless you switch off the unit.
In general, when it comes to stick vacuums for hardwood floors, this Shark Rocket HV302 model does not disappoint. It works flawlessly and can make your cleaning sessions much easier.
Dyson Cyclone V10 Motorhead – Best cordless hardwood floor vacuum
The Dyson Cylone V10 cordless hardwood floor vacuum is a perfect definition of bigger isn’t always better. It’s very compact yet outshines most other similar models when it comes to convenience, usability and cleaning performance. If you are after a cordless hardwood floor vacuum, then this might just be right option for you.
Quality and design
With a thin and lightweight stick design, the V10 is a highly portable vacuum. You can easily move with it anywhere in the house and use it for long hours without straining at all. It’s also quite flexible.
You can use the whole unit or detach the stick and use it as a handheld vacuum for cleaning hard-to-reach areas. The whole unit weighs only 5.9 pounds, it’s the lightest on our list.
The suction power of the V10 is surprisingly strong considering that it’s a stick vacuum. It’s small but can pick up large debris and fine dust alike.
The unit utilizes an advanced motor that spins at an incredible 125,000 rpm to deliver a powerful suction that’s sufficient enough to ensure optimum cleaning on any surface.
The roller head consists of a soft rolling pad that can glide smoothly on any hardwood surface without scratching it.
It’s the most effective tool for cleaning hardwood floor on this V10 model and will do a great job at removing dirt that often sticks down to the floor and resist normal brushes.
The Dyson Cyclone V10 comes with a number of other important tools that allows you to clean a different kind of surfaces other than just hardwood flooring. It has a motorized brush roll for carpets as well as a stiffer bristle brush which is ideal for those thick carpets.
The V10 is equipped with a two-tier filtration system consisting of two filters that can remove all kinds of particles in the air down to 0.3 microns. It’s a very effective system and one of the filters is HEPA certified which means those suffering from allergies can use it.
The dirt cup has a very small capacity. It can only hold 0.56 quarts of dirt. You will have to empty it more often. It’s a good size for quick dirt pick-ups or smaller floor areas.
Although it’s a cordless model, this vacuum will give you strong continuous suction long enough for you to finish your cleaning chore.
It uses a lithium-ion battery that can last up to 1 hour on a single charge provided you don’t use the motorized tools. Charging the battery doesn’t take long, it takes about 3 to 4 hours to get fully charged.
Using this Dyson vacuum for hardwood floors is easy and stress-free. The controls are a fingertip away and the pistol-grip style handle is quite comfortable to hold and provides excellent control over the machine both with the stick on and in handheld mode.
The unit comes with a wall mount docking system which is quite a convenient feature. It allows you to easily store the vacuum and charge it without it being on the way or falling over.
While it’s not equipped with wheels, maneuvering the V10 is pretty easy. The soft rolling brush glides smoothly on the surface allowing you to move the unit around effortlessly.
Noise level and installation
The Dyson V10 is not the quietest vacuum but the noise it produces is much lower compared to most other models out there.
It has a noise level of about 70 dB when operating on the highest setting. It runs more quietly in medium and lower settings.
The unit needs some assembling but it’s not a difficult task as everything snaps together without requiring too much effort or thinking.
Generally, there’s very little to hate about this Dyson Cyclone V10 Motorhead vacuum. It’s certainly one of the best stick vacuum for hardwood floors anyone can ask for. If you want a complete hassle-free vacuuming experience, then this is the machine to buy.
Kenmore Elite 31150 – Best vacuum for hardwood and carpet
The Kenmore Elite 31150 is a reliable, high-performing cleaner designed to deliver excellent results on both wood and carpet floors. It comes with some very interesting features that will certainly allow you to achieve optimal cleaning of any type of floor with every session.
Quality and design
While every part of it is solidly build to great quality, the Elite 31150 is a bit heavier than any other unit on our list and this is majorly due to the inclusion of additional motor system in the unit.
It’s a very robust system that comes to offer you years of service plus it has 5 height adjustments which make it flexible enough to allow various kinds of people to use it.
One of the things that makes this Kenmore the best vacuum for wood floors and carpets is that it has a very powerful suction. It uses a 2-motor system which gives it that extra power necessary to deliver a strong suction that can facilitate thorough cleaning.
It’s really efficient at removing embedded dirt whether it’s on the floor or carpet and it will even effectively separate those stubborn pet hair that gets stuck on furniture.
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The machine is designed to ensure that you don’t miss a spot when cleaning. If there is dirt or dust left on the floor, it will detect it using an infrared dirt sensor and activate the LED headlights so that you can see where you exactly need to clean.
It comes with a nice soft dust brush for dusting hardwood floors and a number of other useful attachments for performing various cleaning functions. The most important one being the motorized brush.
It has stiff bristles that go deep into the fibers of the carpet to dislodge dirt. Combined with the powerful suction, it will be able to produce excellent agitation on any thick carpet and thoroughly clean it. The brush quits spinning when it’s switched to hardwood floor setting.
The triple HEPA filtration system is another strong feature of this Kenmore vacuum cleaner. It’s an effective system that will remove all types of contaminants from the air.
If you have several pets or have someone that’s severely allergic to airborne dander, this will make your home quite friendly to them.
However, it will cost you a little more in maintenance as it’s a bagged unit. Every time a bag gets filled you will have to get a new one.
The Elite 31150 is a machine with fewer controls. It’s a breeze to operate. However, it does not offer the most outstanding maneuverability.
This is partly due to the weight and the fact that it lacks a swiveling head and doesn’t have a low profile, so moving around tight areas or getting underneath furniture might be a bit challenging.
Nonetheless, the power cord is super long, coming in at 35 ft long and the telescoping wand can adjust up to 10 ft. This means you will have wider coverage and be able to finish your vacuuming without having to change outlets.
The only major setback with this unit aside from maneuverability is that it’s somewhat loud. If you are a midnight vacuumer, it might be a nuisance to the people in the house.
Other than that, the Kenmore Elite 31150 is a versatile machine with a strong suction and necessary brush heads that will enable you to thoroughly clean hardwood surfaces and high-pile carpets alike.
It’s a unit we would highly recommend for use in homes where maintaining clean spaces and air is required to prevent breathing issues for those suffering from allergies.
Shark Apex AZ1002 – Best vacuum for hardwood floors from Shark
The APEX AZ1002 DuoClean is one the most powerful and effective unit in Shark’s line of upright hardwood floor vacuums. If you are a fan of Shark products and the Rocket HV302 stick model didn’t win you over, then this might just do.
Quality and design
The Shark APEX AZ1002 is a durable, quality vacuum designed to handle heavy vacuuming tasks. The body is made from a solid plastic material that can withstand great abuse and all the other parts feel sturdy and well-built too.
Besides just increasing the power from the previous shark version, Shark has equipped this unit with super sturdy rubber wheels.
These rubber wheels are not prone to wear and tear and roll smoothly on the surface. Additionally, the canister is designed in such a way you can detach it from the body to reach difficult places.
Shark APEX DuoClean is powered by a 1350-watt motor which delivers sufficient suction power to pick up all kinds of dirt with a single pass.
A more thorough cleaning can be achieved with this unit thanks to its dual brush roll technology. It consists of a soft brush that dislodges dirt on hardwood floors and a stiff-bristle brush which is ideal for removing stubborn dirt from carpets.
However, the biggest bonus is the Zero-M system, a self-cleaning mechanism that allows you to vacuum continuously without the trouble of removing stuck hair on the brush.
The lift-away canister is another incredible feature of this Shark hardwood floor vacuum. You can detach it from the body to allow for easier cleaning of stairs, under furniture and areas where using the upright mode might be difficult.
It’s a feature that will allow you to clean every inch of your house, and with the 30 ft. cord, you can cover large areas without changing the plug.
This Shark Apex unit is also safe to use by those that may be affected by allergy-causing particulates. It’s completely sealed and features a HEPA filtration system that can remove allergens and other contaminants.
It will leave clean, filtered air after each vacuuming session and the seal will help keep all dirt from escaping back into the air. Plus, the unit is a bag-less model, with a fairly large dust cup that doesn’t need to be emptied frequently.
When it comes to operating it, the Shark Apex is pretty easy to use. The controls are straightforward and switching from the hardwood to carpet mode is simple and fast.
The incorporation of a detachable lift-away canister also makes accessing and cleaning hard-to-reach areas much easier. The unit is equipped with powerful LED headlights to help you easily see where dirt is and where you’ve cleaned.
However, considering that it weighs around 16 pounds, it might require a bit effort to carry it should you want to move it to another room.
Noise level and installation
The vacuum operates at lower dB levels emitting minimal noise, so you can expect a more peaceful vacuuming experience. Setting it up won’t pose any challenge since it comes already assembled. The only thing required is attaching the canister and connecting the machine to the power outlet.
To sum it all, the APEX AZ1002 DuoClean is certainly the best Shark vacuum for hardwood floors out there. It has its own shortcomings but it’s a perfect option for anyone looking for a versatile unit that can be used to perform various cleaning functions.
Things to consider when looking for the best vacuum for hardwood floors
Selecting the best vacuum for hard floors requires careful evaluation of the features and capabilities of the various models you are considering.
There are some key things you should be aware of so as to ensure you pick the right unit that will suit all your cleaning needs. The most important ones to consider include:
The type of vacuum cleaner
The first important thing to consider is the type of vacuum cleaner to get and this will mainly be dictated by the extent of the wood floors in your house and your own personal preference.
There are three main types of vacuum to choose from which include, canister, upright and stick vacuums.
Canister vacuums have a canister that sits on the floor and often cannot be continually moved across the floor. They are the best option if your wooden floors cover a sizeable part of the house and you don’t require much moving around to clean.
Upright vacuums on the hand tend to be quite robust and need to be moved around when cleaning. However, they come with wheels to facilitate easy maneuverability.
If the wooden floor covers a large part of your house, then these are the ideal models to consider. They are also perfect if you have both carpet and wood flooring in your house.
The stick vacuums, on the other hand, are designed to be highly portable. They are typically very lightweight and easy to maneuver making them ideal for quick clean-ups or if your hardwood floor isn’t too large.
Corded or cordless vacuum?
When you know the type of vacuum you want, the next biggest concern should be whether to go for the cordless or corded model.
Cordless models run on a rechargeable battery and are extremely convenient since they are not restricted by proximity to power sockets or length of the cord.
They are lightweight and easy to maneuver about the house. If you have a small floor area, then a cordless hardwood floor vacuum might be a nice option. A good example is the Dyson Cyclone V10 which we’ve reviewed above.
Corded vacuums may not offer great convenience but they guarantee a steady power stream and are likely to have more power and capacity than the cordless models. They are the best choice for large floor areas or if you need to clean up a lot of debris and dust more often.
Hardwood floors compatibility
Wood floors are quite delicate and you certainly don’t want to get a unit that’s going to scratch or damage your floor.
Therefore, to be on the safe side, ensure that the model you choose comes with a soft brush that’s going to glide gently on the surface of the floor without damaging it. The best cleaning head here is either an attachable microfiber pad or a parquet brush.
If it has a brush roll, then make sure that it can be turned off completely since most brush rolls have stiff bristles that can end causing some serious damage to your beautiful floor.
If it’s an upright model or has wheels, then ensure that they are rubberized wheels with felt protectors so that no damage occurs when moving the unit moves over the floor.
If it’s a canister model, then it should be equipped with rubber bumpers or floor paddings that will help prevent scratches or dents.
A good and effective filtration system is highly important too especially if you suffer from allergies or you have visitors or someone in the family that’s allergic to airborne dander.
In this case, the best unit to go for is one that has HEPA certified filters. They will help clean the air and reduce the amount of allergy-causing particulates.
Keep an eye out for these Key features because investing in the best vacuum for hardwood floors will go a long way in preserving and protecting the beauty and quality of your wood floors.
Keeping hardwood floors clean and always looking good is easy when you use the right vacuum cleaner. All the models we’ve reviewed above are specifically designed for cleaning any type of hardwood floor.
They are feature-rich, durable and will definitely deliver notable results without the frills. Some are even more versatile and can be used on both carpet and wood flooring. The Kenmore Elite 31150 and the Shark APEX AZ1002 DuoClean are good examples.
The bottom line here is going for a vacuum cleaner that’s in line with the type of cleaning you need and is within your budget.
However, price shouldn’t be a deterrent. You’d rather spend a little bit more on quality and effective unit than getting something cheap and flimsy that will only end up costing you more in the long run.