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A vacuum that's designed for use on hardwood floors will clean without creating scuff marks, nicks, or scratches. We purchased the top models and put them through a series of tests in The Lab, evaluating suction strength, maneuverability, noise levels, and overall value.
After hours of testing, the Shark IZ462H Vertex DuoClean Cordless Stick Vacuum is our top pick. It's lightweight, has a long battery life, and folds up for easy storage.
Here are the best hardwood vacuums.
Our Top Picks
Shark Vertex DuoClean PowerFins Cordless Stick VacuumBuy at Amazon
This cordless model earned top ratings in our tests for its effectiveness and maneuverability, slipping right under low furniture.
Eureka Flash Stick Vacuum CleanerBuy at Amazon
A lightweight profile and swivel steering make this affordable vacuum particularly maneuverable, plus the floor head has a light.
Shark Navigator Swivel Pro Complete Upright VacuumBuy at Amazon
With plenty of suction power and multiple settings, this vacuum is ideal for cleaning wood floors and proved to be easy to empty.
Best Overall: 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
What do buyers say? 89% of 2,600+ Amazon reviewers rated this 4 stars or above.
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.
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
Best Budget: Eureka NES510 Flash Lightweight Stick Vacuum Cleaner
Quick and easy assembly
Floor head features a light
Easily swivels around obstacles
Cord is heavy and bulky
Emptying is a multi-step process
The Eureka Flash Lightweight Stick Vacuum is a frills-free but effective choice. Our tester gave it 4.5 stars for its super simple assembly but wished there was a spot to store the attachments on the vacuum itself. This is a corded model, and the 30-foot cord certainly adds some bulk and weight when you're moving the vacuum from one room to the next. However, the vacuum was still worthy of a 4-star rating for maneuverability.
This vacuum works great on hardwood floors and carpet alike, earning 4.5 stars for effectiveness. And as a convertible vacuum, it offers you the flexibility to use it in an upright position or detach it for handheld vacuuming.
When it comes to emptying the dust bin, expect a multi-step process. It makes this vacuum a little more of a nuisance compared to other bagless hardwood vacuums. We gave it 3.5-stars for ease of emptying. In general, though, we were impressed with the suction power and maneuverability of the vacuum, especially for the bargain price.
Dimensions: 45 x 11 x 7.9 inches | Weight: 7.4 pounds | Cord Length: 30 feet | Battery Life: Not applicable | Bin Volume: 1 quart | Cleaning Path Width: 11 inches | Bag Type: Bagless
Best Upright: Shark NV151 Navigator Swivel Pro Complete Upright Vacuum
Relatively quiet noise levels
Difficult to reach under furniture
Lacks a self-cleaning brush roll
The Shark NV151 Navigator Swivel Pro stands out as the best option for an upright vacuum on hardwood floors. In The Lab, our tester found that this vacuum glides across hardwood floors with one-handed operation, describing it as “effortless” and giving it a 5-star rating when used on hard surface areas. However, on medium or high-pile carpet, it might take an extra pass or two to completely clean the area.
Maneuverability was a mixed bag for our tester. The Shark NV151 is heavier than some other vacuum cleaners for hardwood floors, but it does roll easily, earning a 3-star rating. However, as part of the Navigator series, it's equipped with Shark's swivel steering system to help you make tighter turns and reach around chair legs and floor lamps. In addition, the accessory package includes a motorized brush tool, upholstery tool, and crevice nozzle.
This vacuum earned a 5-star rating for its easy-to-empty dust bin in our testing. Plus, those with allergies will be pleased to know that a HEPA filter traps dander and allergens. We considered this model to be relatively quiet given its power and gave it 4 stars for its noise level. It’s noticeable, but we don’t believe it would wake a sleeping baby.
Dimensions: 12 x 9.6 x 45.6 inches | Weight: 15 pounds | Cord Length: 25 feet | Battery Life: Not applicable | Bin Volume: 0.9 quarts | Cleaning Path Width: 10 inches | Bag Type: Bagless
Best Cordless Stick: Dyson v11 Animal Cordless Stick Vacuum Cleaner
Has a boost mode
Very quiet operation
Easy to turn and maneuver
Trigger is sensitive
No spot for attachments
In our testing, the Dyson v11 Animal was crowned the very best stick vacuum. It proved to work well on all surfaces, except for high-pile carpet, where it took more than just one or two passes to pick up the scattered debris. Our tester gave it a 4-star rating for effectiveness and noted that while hair can get caught in the brush roll, it's otherwise smooth and makes cleaning effortless.
It took our testing team just three minutes to put the vacuum together. In our "living room" obstacle course, the vacuum turned with total ease and was able to navigate obstacles like a pro. It was only docked for how it struggled on high-pile carpet and earned a 4.5-star rating for maneuverability. If your space primarily has hard surface floors and low-pile carpets, you're sure to benefit from this vacuum.
Most notably, this stick vacuum was one of the quietest that we tested. It earned a 5-star rating for noise, as it provided great suction power but wasn't a nuisance in the process. The trigger for the dust bin can be very sensitive, so make sure you don't hit it before you can make it to the trash can.
Dimensions: 10.3 x 49.6 x 9.8 inches | Weight: 6.6 pounds | Cord Length: Not applicable | Battery Life: 60 minutes | Bin Volume: 0.8 quarts | Cleaning Path Width: 9.8 inches | Bag Type: Bagless
"When looking for a vacuum cleaner, be sure to inquire about the technology employed. Cyclonic technology (popularized by Dyson) is among the most popular technologies used in vacuums today. This technique ensures uniform suctioning for thorough cleaning." —Nicholas Burks, CEO of Neet Home
Best Canister: 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. This resulted in an overall effectiveness rating of 4 stars.
Replacement vacuum bags are part of the commitment when choosing 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 and earned 4.5 stars for maneuverability. It is an excellent choice for ensuring that every inch of your hardwood floors receives a thorough cleaning.
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
Best Compact: NEQUARE S180 Corded Lightweight Vacuum with Self-Standing
Flexible and fluid movement
Has an adjustable handle
Struggled on high-pile carpet
Need to empty it often
If you’re searching for a hardwood vacuum that also will stow easily in a closet or corner of your home, the NEQUARE S180 Corded Lightweight Vacuum is for you. This vacuum earned its first 5-star rating for ease of assembly and intuitive design. It was easy to assemble, taking our tester just two minutes. More impressively, this stick vacuum stands up on its own and gives you the ability to adjust the handle height.
Our tester noted it was “very fluid” as it moved across hardwood floors and could easily be directed with just a turn of the wrist. The vacuum earned a solid 5-star rating for use on hardwood floors and an overall effectiveness score of 4 stars. (It was harder to push on the medium and high-pile carpets and required more passes.)
You’ll appreciate the light on the floor head to illuminate dust or dirt that might go unseen on your hardwood floors. As mentioned, the vacuum required more effort to push on carpeting, so it earned a 4-star rating for maneuverability.
Emptying it was super simple, so the vacuum still earned 5 stars in this category, but it had to be done more frequently than our testing team would have liked.
Dimensions: 17.5 x 13.5 x 7.3 inches | Weight: 2.4 pounds | Cord Length: Not listed | Battery Life: Not applicable | Bin Volume: Not listed | Cleaning Path Width: Not listed | Bag Type: Bagless
Best Wet-Dry: Shark VacMop Pro Cordless Wet/Dry Stick Vacuum
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 button, earning it another 5-star rating in our testing report.
Our tester 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, and there’s no reason not to buy the Shark VACMOP as your dual approach to mopping and vacuuming your hardwood floors.
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: BISSELL CleanView Swivel Pet Rewind Upright Vacuum 2256
Tank makes it easy to see when it’s time to empty
Lightweight and easy to maneuver
On-board accessory storage
Limited reach under furniture
Power switch placement
Pet hair, tracked-in dirt, kibble, and other debris can quickly make your floors look and feel less-than-clean. We tested the Bissell CleanView Swivel Pet Rewind in The Lab and at home and were very pleased with its performance and features.
However, prepare to spend more time than you'd expect to assemble this vacuum. Have a screwdriver handy, too. Our tester felt there were lots of parts and the instructions lacked clarity. It took more than 10 minutes to get the vacuum put together correctly, resulting in a 3-star rating for assembly.
On hardwood floors, we were impressed with how well the vacuum picks up debris. It was a 5-star performance and should give you confidence in this vacuum’s suction power. If you do plan to use this vacuum on carpeting, it works well but does need more elbow grease on dense carpeting or area rugs. It was given 4-stars for cleaning effectiveness.
The super-sized dust bin measures 2.2 quarts and is easy to empty according to our testers, adding another 5-star rating to this vacuum’s testing report.
Dimensions: 13 x 14 x 46 inches | Weight: 13.6 pounds | Cord Length: 27 feet | Battery Life: Not applicable | Bin Volume: 1 liter | Cleaning Path Width: 13.5 inches | Bag Type: Bagless
Best Smart: 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. 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. We only gave the vacuum a 3-star rating for maneuverability as it has the most trouble with medium and high-pile carpets.
The quiet operation of this vacuum is a bonus. It was easy to carry a conversation while using it, making it worthy of a 5-star rating for noise level.
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 (view at Amazon) is our best overall pick for a hardwood vacuum. We recommend this model for its long battery life and compact storage options. If you want to spend less, the Eureka Flash Lightweight Stick Vacuum Cleaner (view at Amazon) is nimble and effective. On hardwood floors, it picked up most debris in a pass or two during our testing and converted from a stick vacuum to a handheld vacuum quickly.
How We Tested the Hardwood Floor Vacuums
We tested 28 vacuums side-by-side in The Lab in Industry City, Brooklyn, for 16 hours during our test. To start, 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. 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 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 and increase cleaning efficiency.
Corded vs. Cordless
The decision on whether to purchase a cordless hardwood vacuum depends on how you plan to use your vacuum. If you have a large home or enjoy extended cleaning sessions, then a corded pick 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. 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.
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. Most hardwood floor vacuums have a floor head designed for use on hard surface floors, 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.
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 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.
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 in-home 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 a senior commerce editor for The Spruce and was in The Lab for the entirety of our vacuum test. 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.