Like a vintage rug or upholstered chair you expertly thrifted, your hardwood floors are worth being proud of and taking care of properly. Having a top-notch vacuum that's been designed with gentle hardwood floors in mind helps, and ensures you can pick up all kinds of messes without creating a pattern of scuff marks or scratches you'll want to cover up before guests come over.
We purchased top picks and put them through a series of tests in The Lab and real world, evaluating suction strength, maneuverability, noise level, and overall value. The Shark IZ462H Vertex DuoClean Cordless Stick Vacuum is our top pick, after hours of testing. It's lightweight, has a long battery life, and folds up for easy storage.
Here are the best hardwood vacuums for gently cleaning up messes in your home.
Shark IZ462H Vertex DuoClean PowerFins Lightweight Cordless Stick Vacuum
Long battery life
Folds in half for easy storage
Vacuum basically moves itself
Dust bin could be larger
The Shark IZ462H Vertex DuoClean impressed us with its performance on hardwood floors—and every other type of surface, for that matter. Our tester raved about how quiet, powerful, and lightweight this vacuum is. While some vacuums scatter debris on hard floors, this Shark vacuum did not and earned a 5-star rating for its stellar performance. A bright LED light on the floor head ensures that you can spot dirt and crumbs, and when the rechargeable battery runs low, this LED light flashes to alert you that it’s time to recharge. However, the fact that this cordless vac operates for up to 60 minutes on a single charge is impressive.
The front roller is super soft and has long enough fibers to effectively grab debris in the vacuum’s wide 10.6-inch cleaning path. A second roller with flexible, rubbery fins ensures that any remaining debris is also channeled into the vacuum’s suction path. This model remained easy to operate and maneuver, even when reaching underneath the sofa or coffee table in The Lab, earning it a 5-star rating for maneuverability. Our tester noted that it leads you through a surface and ultimately requires the user to exert minimal effort when pushing and pulling the vacuum.
Price at time of publish: $430
Dimensions: 46.5 x 9.6 x 10.25 inches | Weight: 9 pounds | Cord Length: Cordless | Battery Life: 60 minutes | Bin Volume: 1.4 quarts | Cleaning Path Width: 10.6 inches | Bag Type: Bagless
Eureka NEC480 Cordless Vacuum Cleaner
Lightweight and easy to maneuver
Extensive battery life
Great performance on hard floors and upholstery
Didn't perform as well on carpet
Could be quieter
The Eureka Lightweight Cordless Vacuum Cleaner is an easy-to-use and effective choice for a hardwood floor vacuum, especially if you don't want to spend too much on your latest cleaning tool. Our tester gave it 5 stars for its super simple assembly and intuitive design. It also earned a 5-star rating for maneuverability, proving to be easy to handle and light at just 7.15 pounds, as its name promises. Our tester said this would be an easy unit to carry up and down stairs.
This is a battery-operated model, and it easily lasted through the 17-minute testing process, and still had half of its power remaining when all was said and done. We found that the vac works great on hardwood floors and upholstery alike, though it was less efficient on carpet, leaving some hair behind after multiple passes. When it comes to clearing out collected dust and debris, a button allows you to remove the entire dust bin for easy emptying over your trash can. When it comes to noise level, the vacuum could be quieter as well, but is not as loud as some other picks we've tested that are an absolute nuisance.
Overall, we were impressed with the ease of use and maneuverability of this Eureka vacuum. If the majority of your vacuuming includes hard flooring and upholstery, and if you're hoping to save money, you’ll want to give it a close look.
Price at time of publish: $213
Dimensions: 10.9 x 9.1 x 45.7 inches | Weight: 7.15 pounds | Cord Length: Not applicable | Battery Life: 30 minutes | Bin Volume: 1 liter | Cleaning Path Width: 11 inches | Bag Type: Bagless
Hoover Complete Performance Bagged Upright Vacuum Cleaner
Strong suction power
15-inch cleaning path
Comes with a pet hair brush
Heavy for stairs
The Hoover Complete Performance Bagged Upright Vacuum Cleaner is an easy pick for our best upright option. Its effective performance in our lab and sturdy design are standout features. Our tester found that this Hoover model did a great job on hard floors, carpet, and furniture alike, picking up debris and hair in just two passes each. The vac also features a 15-inch cleaning path and a 25-foot power cord, so you’ll likely be able to clean entire rooms without needing to change outlets.
Notably, it's also a bagged versus a bagless model. The bagged design, while not as seamless as a bagless one, is a benefit for those with allergies who don't want to be exposed to what they just suctioned up. But, if you don’t like the idea of purchasing extra bags, this design may not be for you. Another potential downside is that, while this vacuum is efficient and sturdy, it features a slightly bulky design that requires extra effort on stairs. And though it does come with handy attachments—like an extendable hose, pet hair brush, and crevice tool—there’s no additional tool for stairs. However, given its strong suction power displayed in The Lab, we’re still glad to recommend it for your hardwood floors.
Price at time of publish: $160
Dimensions: 15 x 15 x 47 inches | Weight: 9.28 pounds | Cord Length: 25 feet | Battery Life: Not applicable | Bin Volume: Not applicable | Cleaning Path Width: 15 inches | Bag Type: Bagged
eufy BoostIQ RoboVac 30C MAX
Easily picks up a variety of debris
Can set vacuuming zones
Can be controlled through a remote or with voice command
Could not navigate around smaller obstacles
Random cleaning path
It can be difficult to find a robot vacuum that's effective on hardwood floors, but the eufy BoostIQ RoboVac 30C MAX impressed our tester with its powerful and efficient performance. We put this robot vacuum to the test in the lab and at home with two testers, who found it was pretty effective as long as you have a strong Wi-Fi connection. Our original home tester did have some issues connecting this robot to Wi-Fi but our lab and long-term home testers found the process simple, thanks to illustrated instructions. Our lab tester also noted this vacuum easily handled every type of debris, from sand to Cheerios and hair.
Along with eufy's signature slim design—this model measures in at less than 3 inches tall—this vacuum is also equipped with powerful suction, has adjustable suction height for different floor types, and can run for 100 minutes on one charge. Our home tester loved how easy the Alexa pairing process is with this vacuum, so she could easily command it to spot clean in different areas of her home or run a full cleaning cycle. We did find that it struggles to transition from hard flooring to carpet in both the lab and at home, however all of our testers were impressed by its overall ability to pick up dust. Just know: this vacuum has a somewhat random cleaning path and does miss spots frequently, which can be frustrating if you're looking for a vacuum that doesn't need a ton of monitoring.
While this vacuum is equipped with object avoidance, our lab tester found that it wasn't great at avoiding smaller objects such as a sock or pudding (a substitute for unexpected pet messes), too. Instead of going around these smaller objects, it continued on its path and rolled over them. Notably, though, this robot vacuum can be programmed with cleaning zones through the magnetic strips that arrive in the packaging, which may help its overall performance. However, we were not able to test this feature in the lab and our home tester found she did not enjoy the aesthetic of them on her flooring. Overall, if you're looking for a robotic vacuum between $150 and $250, we think this model is a great option, especially for hard flooring, because it can handle any mess a household may have from pet hair to large clumps of dirt.
Price at time of publish: $166
Dimensions: 2.85 x 12.8 x 12.8 inches | Weight: 5.95 pounds | Cord Length: Not applicable | Battery Life: 100 minutes | Bin Volume: 6.34 quarts | Cleaning Path Width: Not listed | Bag Type: Not applicable
Miele Compact C1 Turbo Team Bagged Canister Vacuum
Easy to get into tight spaces
Plenty of capacity in vacuum bag
Great suction power
Requires replacement bags
Not a good fit for home with pets
The appropriately named Compact C1 Turbo Team Canister Vacuum wowed us with its super quiet operation, powerful suction, and nimble wand. On average, our testing team only had to make one or two passes over all surfaces to eliminate debris. Replacement vacuum bags are part of the commitment with this bagged canister vacuum, but it helps to know the filter bag capacity is an impressive 3.7 quarts. Plus, there’s no chance of spilling dust or dirt when emptying the canister, which is good news for those who suffer from allergies.
Due to their design, canister vacuums have a reputation for being quiet, but this Miele model will impress you with its “ridiculously quiet” operation, according to our tester. Keep in mind that the nearly 15-pound canister rolls along behind you, as you vacuum with the wand and floor head attachment. The canister was a lot heavier than we expected during assembly and might be a hassle to haul up and down stairs.
It was incredibly easy to reach under furniture and in tight spaces, though. All in all, this Miele vacuum is an excellent choice for ensuring that every inch of your hardwood floors receives a thorough cleaning.
Price at time of publish: $549
Dimensions: 16.9 x 9.1 x 9.8 inches | Weight: 15 pounds | Cord Length: 21 feet | Battery Life: Not applicable | Bin Volume: 3.75 quarts | Cleaning Path Width: Not listed | Bag Type: Bagged
Shark VacMop Pro Cordless Hard Floor Vacuum Mop
Easy to assemble
Has a light on the floor head
Requires refill pads
Must continuously hold button for vacuum to operate
For an efficient way to vacuum and mop floors, reach for the Shark VACMOP. This wet-dry stick vacuum dispenses cleaning fluid with the push of a button, before mopping it up and vacuuming any debris using a disposable cleaning pad. As a vacuum exclusively for sealed hard surface floors, including tile and vinyl, we didn’t test this model on any carpeted flooring.
In our testing, we found that the vacuum’s suction captured particles and hair in fewer than three passes, earning it a flawless, 5-star rating for cleaning effectiveness. Instead of clinging to the replaceable mop pad, the debris is locked inside of the pad’s dirt chamber. Disposing of the dirty pad and all its debris is as easy as pushing a release button on the floor head, earning it another top-notch rating from our tester.
They only wished the dirt chamber was larger, giving you more mileage out of each mopping pad. Factor in that this wet-dry vacuum was easy to assemble, extremely quiet, and easy to maneuver, though, and there’s no reason not to buy the Shark VACMOP as your dual approach to mopping and vacuuming your hardwood floors.
Price at time of publish: $80
Dimensions: 47.8 x 9.5 x 5.3 inches | Weight: 3.3 pounds | Cord Length: Not applicable | Battery Life: 20 minutes | Bin Volume: 0.03 quarts | Cleaning Path Width: 10 inches | Bag Type: Bagless
Best for Pet Hair
Shark Canister Pet Bagless Corded Vacuum
Easy to maneuver
Not the best for high-pile carpet
Small dust bin
While canister vacuums can sometimes be awkward to maneuver, our tester loved the Shark Canister Pet Bagless Corded Vacuum. The canister only weighs 9 pounds and easily glides behind you while you vacuum hard floors and carpeting. Our tester was blown away by this vacuum's performance on hard flooring, where it picked up pet kibble and large clumps of hair with ease. This vacuum could also handle low-pile carpets well, but struggled to pick up larger pieces of pet kibble on a high-pile carpet.
Our tester also noted this vacuum transferred hair on the floor head to the carpet when switching between flooring types, which created more of a mess. However, its lightweight design and multi-flex wand, which allow you to clean under larger pieces of furniture, are a major plus. The canister is also easy to empty—just press a few buttons and replace it once clean. In addition to this vacuum's suction power, you can also make use of LED lights on the floor head, which illuminate hidden dust and debris, and an anti-allergen seal that traps dust, dander, and allergens as small as 0.3 microns. Ultimately, where pet hair and dander are a concern, you can count on this Shark canister vacuum.
Price at time of publish: $400
Dimensions: 49.2 x 14.2 x 17.7 inches | Weight: 17.8 pounds | Cord Length: 25 feet | Battery Life: Not applicable | Bin Volume: 1.9 quarts | Cleaning Path Width: 10.2 inches | Bag Type: Bagless
TINECO Floor One S3 Smart Wet/Dry Vacuum
Has two water tanks
Glides smoothly on hardwood
Not compatible with medium and-high pile carpet
Narrow cleaning path width
The TINECO Floor One S3 claims to elevate your vacuum experience with user-friendly AI. We put this wet-dry vacuum to the test in The Lab and found that it does deliver an intuitive and effective clean on any hardwood floor. We gave this vacuum a 4-star rating for ease of assembling, as the process took us about three minutes.
For cleaning hardwood floors, this smart vacuum cleaner is an excellent option. A sensor calculates how dirty your floors are and automatically adjusts the power, suction, and water flow for optimal cleaning efficiency. You’ll be clued in on what is happening at the floor head with the help of the LCD screen on the top of the canister. Expect a learning curve in memorizing what each of the symbols indicates.
It glides over hardwood floors and picked up all the debris, though it did leak some dirt. Even still, it was a 5-star cleaning experience—assuming you only use it on hardwood flooring. If you pause the cleaning session, the vacuum stands upright and "idles" without powering off. We were very impressed with this feature in our testing. The quiet operation of this vacuum is a bonus—it was easy to carry a conversation while using it.
Price at time of publish: $400
Dimensions: 43.3 x 10 x 11.3 inches | Weight: 9.9 pounds | Cord Length: Not applicable | Battery Life: 35 minutes | Bin Volume: 0.4 quarts | Cleaning Path Width: 9 inches | Bag Type: Bagless
The Shark Vertex DuoClean PowerFins Cordless Stick Vacuum is our best overall pick for a hardwood floor vacuum. We recommend this model for its long battery life and compact storage options. If you want to spend less, the Eureka Lightweight Cordless Vacuum Cleaner is a great option, as well. It's very lightweight and has a long-lasting battery, so you can tackle your hard floor cleaning tasks with ease.
How We Tested the Hardwood Floor Vacuums
We've purchased and tested over 50 vacuums side-by-side in The Lab and at home in real-world situations. During our multiple vacuum tests in The Lab, we unboxed and assembled each model, timing how long the process took, noting how clear the instructions were, and rating the ease of setup. We then evaluated each vacuum's effectiveness by spilling measured amounts of hair, popcorn kernels, and Cheerios on a hardwood floor sample and a low, medium, and high-pile carpet. We rated each on its portability and how many passes were needed to clean up the spilled materials. We also noted if hair got tangled in the beater bar.
Then, we challenged the vacuums' maneuverability by navigating them through a living room–inspired obstacle course. The course included a rug, low-sitting couch, and low-sitting coffee table. We evaluated how well each vacuum transitioned from smooth floors to the carpeting, before noting the ease of emptying each and whether it had a bin or a bag. Our testers also collected insights on the noise level of each product and how long cordless models stayed charged, and rated the product's overall value based on their entire experience. To conclude, our editors took all of this consistently applied testing data and boiled it down to the best hardwood floor vacuums for your home.
What to Look for in a Hardwood Floor Vacuum
There are several styles of hardwood floor vacuums. There are full-size, upright options for whole-house cleaning, easy-to-maneuver canister vacuums, and slim stick vacuums that are suitable for quick clean-ups and tight spaces. Choose the type of hardwood vacuum that matches your home’s needs and suits your cleaning preferences.
For example, homes with limited square footage may do well with a cordless stick vacuum. A home with a lot of square footage, or a mix of rugs and hardwood, might be better suited for an upright vacuum. Since hardwood floors do benefit from damp cleaning as well, some hardwood-friendly vacuums feature a wet-dry design. Having this type of vacuum can save you time, storage space (no more mop and bucket!), and increase cleaning efficiency. Our testers were very impressed by our "best wet-dry" pick, the Shark VacMop Pro Cordless Hard Floor Vacuum Mop, because it not only effectively sucked up hair and small debris, but also left hard flooring shiny and clean with its easy-to-apply mopping solution.
While suction power is ultimately determined by the type of motor a vacuum has, there are a few other ways to determine the amount of power your vacuum will have. If you have a large home or enjoy extended cleaning sessions, then a corded vacuum gives you limitless power. In addition, some corded models boast more suction power, though advances in technology have allowed cordless vacuums to close this gap.
Cordless picks are growing in popularity, thanks to longer battery run times and increased cleaning power, too. (Note, our "best overall" pick, the Shark Vertex DuoClean PowerFins Cordless Stick Vacuum, has a battery life of 60 minutes.) Many households enjoy this type of vacuum for daily maintenance of hardwood floors and picking up smaller messes, since using and storing these models is less of a hassle.
Weight and Maneuverability
While weight and maneuverability are important when shopping for any type of vacuum, these factors are especially important for homeowners searching for the best vacuums for hardwood floors. Vacuum designs have come a long way from the days of their wheels simply skidding along slick flooring, but you still want to pay attention to the brush heads or rolls that your vacuum is equipped with. Longer bristles and rubber rollers are key to ensuring a vacuum is actually effective at sucking up debris on a slick surface.
Hardwood flooring also doesn't offer any resistance when cleaning, so we recommend looking for a lightweight vacuum that's still heavy-duty enough to effectively clean your flooring.
Accessories can amplify the cleaning power of your hardwood vacuum. Like other vacuum cleaners, most hardwood floor-friendly vacuums include a crevice tool for reaching narrow areas—like behind your sofa or next to appliances. Some also include attachments for dusting, or an upholstery tool for keeping pet hair off your furniture. Our "best for pet hair" pick, the Shark Canister Pet Bagless Corded Vacuum, has a multi-flex wand for removing debris from all the nooks and crannies in your home. This wand greatly improves the versatility and maneuverability of the vacuum.
Most hardwood floor vacuums have a floor head designed for use on hard surface floors as well, but some also include an additional floor head for use on carpeting in their box. Or, they offer adjustable settings that make it easier to deep clean rugs and carpets. If your home has a mix of flooring types, you may want to consider these additional accessories and features, so you don't need to purchase more than one vacuum for achieving different cleans.
When is it better to vacuum, rather than sweep, hardwood floors?
Sweeping is an excellent way to clean up large debris, but if your hardwood floors are particularly dusty or covered in small debris, you should opt for a vacuum instead. Thanks to its suction power, a vacuum can pick up the fine dirt and dust particles that a broom might not be able to.
Nicholas Burks, CEO of Atlanta-based cleaning company Neet Home, says that you should look for a vacuum with high suction power so that it picks up more dust and allergens around your house. "Plainly put, the more suction power a vacuum cleaner has, the better its performance," he says.
Will a robotic vacuum clean hardwood floors?
Using a robotic vacuum—like our "best robot" pick, the eufy BoostIQ RoboVac 30C MAX—is one of the least labor-intensive ways to keep your home clean. As long as your robotic vacuum can adjust its height and suction settings (Some models can do this automatically, and others may require you to change the settings remotely or via an app.), you can count on it to clean hardwood and tile as effectively as it cleans carpeted areas.
How often should you vacuum a hardwood floor?
How often you should vacuum a hardwood floor depends on how much foot traffic your home has on a daily basis. Pets, children, and the weather may also contribute to your vacuum schedule. If you have a no-shoes-in-the-house policy, you may not need to vacuum as often, because your tracking in less dirt from outside. However, if you don't take your shoes off when you enter your home, you may want to pull out your vacuum at least once a week, if not more, to ensure that the floor stays free of large clumps of dirt and dust.
Do vacuums scratch hardwood floors?
If you're using a really heavy vacuum with hard plastic wheels, you may accidentally scratch softer hardwood flooring, vinyl, or laminate flooring. Sealed and finished hardwood floors should not be damaged while vacuuming, unless you're using a vacuum with very heavy bristles and clunky wheels.
We recommend always being gentle when using appliances, as this not only helps the vacuum and its long term performance, but also ensures that you're less likely to damage whatever floor surface you're cleaning. In our experience, stick vacuums are more gentle than upright vacuums, as well. So, if you're worried about any damage to your floors, consider this more lightweight type of vacuum. Our "best overall" pick, the Shark Vertex DuoClean PowerFins Cordless Stick Vacuum, features this lighter build, in addition to great suction power.
Why Trust The Spruce?
As a product researcher specializing in large and small appliances, Erica Puisis has been providing readers of The Spruce relevant and useful advice since 2017. When researching the best hardwood vacuums on the market, she factored in testing reports from The Lab, along with observations from real-world product testers. A wide range of vacuum styles was considered, as was each vacuum's features, accessories, and cleaning modes. In addition, she spoke with Nicholas Burks, CEO of Neet Home, for additional insight.
Marisa Casciano is the senior commerce editor for appliances, cleaning, and organization for The Spruce and has been in The Lab for our vacuum tests. She has firsthand knowledge of how our tests were developed and performed, as well as where each product excelled or fell short. She considered new technology, practicality, and features when selecting the vacuums to test. At home, she uses her Shark VACMOP multiple times per week to efficiently pick up messes of all kinds on hard surfaces, like hardwood and tile.
Dena Ogden, commerce writer for The Spruce, also contributed to this roundup, updating it with the latest picks we tested and loved.
What Is Spruce Approved?
Here at The Spruce we want to ensure we fully stand behind every product we recommend, and that when we say something is the best, we mean it. You might have noticed The Spruce Approved badge next to the products on this list. Every product with this badge has been rigorously tested in person and carefully selected by our expert team of lab testers and editors. In most cases, we buy all these products ourselves, though occasionally we get samples provided to us directly by companies. No matter how we procure products, they all go through the same tests and must meet the same strict criteria to make the best-of cut. We also pride ourselves on transparency and will always let you know if we received a product for free.