Nowadays, there’s not a homeowner alive who doesn’t want to have beautiful hardwood floors in his or her home. While hardwood floors are gorgeous and capable of adding warmth to almost any home environment, they’re also a pain in the neck to keep clean. In fact, most homeowners find that they need specialized vacuums that are specifically designed to deal with the dirt, grime and pet hair, which all can easily accumulate on hardwood floors.
If you’re a homeowner who’s been looking for the best vacuum for hardwood floors, then you’ve come to the right place. We’ve taken the time to survey dozens of hardwood floor vacuum cleaners on the market, attempting to determine which ones are the best, offering the most cleaning power at the very best values.
In our testing, we’ve arrived at three separate hardwood floor vacuum cleaners that are the best in three price ranges. First, we’ve identified the Bissell Hard Floor Expert Deluxe Canister Vacuum as the very best budget-priced vacuum for hardwood floors. For our ultimate luxury pick, the hardwood floor vacuum cleaner that you should buy is the futuristic and effective Dyson V6 Motor Head. When it comes to overall value, though, we determined that the best vacuum for hardwood floors is the Oreck Insight XL.
To find out how we arrived at our picks and why these three vacuums can meet all of your hardwood-floor cleaning needs, read on. In addition to providing our own assessment of these products, we also share the thoughts of other vacuum cleaner reviewers and vacuum users, as well!
Table of Contents
- Why You Should Trust Us
- Different Kinds of Hardwood Floor Vacuum Cleaners
- How We Chose the Best Vacuum for Hardwood Floors
- Our Budget Pick for the Best Vacuum for Hardwood Floors
- Our Best Overall Pick for a Hardwood Floor Vacuum Cleaner
- Our Upgrade Pick for Best Hardwood Floor Vacuum Cleaner
- Other Vacuums for Hardwood Floors to Consider
Why You Should Trust Us
If you’re in the market for a vacuum cleaner that’s tailor-made for use on hardwood floors, then you understand one thing clearly. There’s no truly cheap vacuum that’s equal to the task. Therefore, we understand that you’re willing to spend some money in order to purchase a vacuum cleaner that will take care of all your hardwood-floor cleaning needs.
With this in mind, we set out to survey a staggering number of hardwood floor vacuum cleaners on the market. We took a look at the most expensive vacuum cleaners out there, and we took a look at some of the cheapest, too. We tested each, assessing how well they function and therefore what kind of value the average consumer can get for his or her money.
In addition, we also took a look at the wealth of reviews out there for each hardwood floor vacuum cleaner that we tested. In addition to consumer reviews provided on sites like Amazon, we also took a look at reviews put together by trusted publications in the industry.
Overall, by conducting our own testing and reading over reviews provided by others, we’re confident that we’ve left no stone unturned when it comes to identifying the best vacuums for hardwood floors. Whether you’re looking to spend a pretty penny or looking to keep things on the cheap, by taking a look at our reviews, we’re confident that you’ll be able to purchase the right vacuum cleaner for your hardwood floors and your budget.
Different Kinds of Hardwood Floor Vacuum Cleaners
While the category of a hardwood floor vacuum cleaner might seem narrow, it’s actually anything but. Within just this small niche, there are three major kinds of vacuum cleaners you can choose from. These include:
- Stick Vacuums: Lightweight and with slim profiles, stick vacuums are best suited to non-carpeted rooms and can easily be employed to clean hard-to-reach places.
- Canister Vacuums: Capable of containing a higher capacity of dirt and grime, canister vacuums are best suited to larger homes and for uses that also include cleaning drapes and other “off-the-ground” surfaces.
- Upright Vacuums: These are the general workhorses of the vacuum world. They work exceptionally well on floors, but aren’t at all suited for cleaning anything else – for example moldings and drapes.
In addition to the above, there are also central vacuums, handheld vacuums and robotic vacuums. For our purposes, we excluded these kinds of machines in our survey, confining our search for the best vacuums for hardwood floors to stick, canister and upright models.
By doing so, we actually ended up making picks in each of the three different kinds of hardwood-floor vacuum cleaners. Our budget-friendly pick is a canister vacuum, our luxury pick is a stick vacuum, and our best overall pick is a traditional upright vacuum. Needless to say, no matter what kind of hardwood-floor vacuum cleaner you’re in the market for, you should find the right one for your needs and budget below.
How We Chose the Best Vacuum for Hardwood Floors
While there are a number of different vacuums out there that are built for use on hardwood floors, not all of them are created equally. In fact, there are a number of different things that you’ll want to take into account when choosing the right vacuum for your home’s hardwood floors.
In choosing our picks for the best budget, overall and luxury hardwood-floor vacuum cleaners, we took the following things into account:
- Style: It may just be a vacuum cleaner, but an expensive home appliance should be something that’s attractive. Therefore, we considered the overall design of each hardwood-floor vacuum cleaner that we tested.
- Durability: When you spend a significant amount of money on a vacuum cleaner, you want something that’s going to withstand repeated used. Therefore, we judged these vacuums by how durable they are and how well they stand up to use.
- Effectiveness: Ultimately, this is the category that really counts. In testing each of these vacuums tailored to hardwood floors, we assessed how good they were in clearing away even the most hard-to-clean-up hardwood floor messes.
- Ease of Use: In determining the ease of use for any given vacuum cleaner, we considered a number of different things. For example, we judged vacuums by their weight, as well as how they can be used to clean hard-to-reach places and spaces.
- Noise: Make no mistake; vacuum cleaners can be loud! However, some are definitely louder than others. In considering how good each vacuum cleaner was, we paid attention to how much noise each made during operation.
- Additional Features: In terms of getting the most value out of your vacuum cleaner, you want something that can accomplish different tasks. For example, we took a look into how well these vacuum cleaners could deal with pet messes and allergens.
- Warranty: Let’s face it. Vacuum cleaners can and will breakdown over time. For this reason, you want to purchase a vacuum cleaner for your hardwood floors that’s backed up by a robust warranty. We took this into consideration in arriving at our picks, too.
By taking all of the above factors into account, we were able to assess the most import factor overall: value. Simply put, as you take a look at our budget, overall and luxury picks for the best vacuum cleaner for hardwood floors, you’ll be introduced to vacuum cleaners that offer the best value at each price point. This should allow you to pick the vacuum cleaner that’s not just right for your needs; it will also be right for your budget!
Our Budget Pick for the Best Vacuum for Hardwood Floors
While there were a few cheaper options that we considered for our budget hardwood-floor vacuum cleaner, we ultimately concluded that the Bissell Hard Floor Expert Deluxe Canister Vacuum offered the best value for the price. With an MSRP of $149.99, you can actually find this excellent hardwood-floor vacuum cleaner on sale for as low as $125.00, if not lower.
In terms of appearance, there’s nothing noteworthy about this offering from Bissell. It’s not the smartest looking vacuum cleaner, nor is it the worst looking vacuum cleaner. But, when you’re looking for something that will deal with your home’s hardwood floors, will you really care that much about how the machine looks? Probably not. What you’ll really care about is how the machine performs, and this one is a true standout in that department.
Speaking specifically of the design of the canister, you’ll be sure to notice the wheels. They’re made from light rubber and felt, which means you won’t have to worry about the canister scuffing up or even scratching your hardwood floors as you move it here or there. Likewise, the brush head of the hardwood-floor attachment has been specifically designed not to cause abrasions to even the most delicate hardwood finishes.
As for the wand, you’ll find two things. First the grip is very comfortable in the hand, meaning extended vacuuming sessions won’t result in white knuckles. Further, the wand is incredibly lightweight and easy to move. Sure, it gets a little difficult to push when the suction is turned all the way up, but that’s to be expected. As we’ll discuss below, though, you’ll really appreciate the wand’s light weight when you use the included telescoping attachment.
One of the benefits of opting for a canister model like this one is that you won’t have to use bags. Instead, the canister itself is capable of containing up to 33.8 ounces of dirt, grime, pet hair and whatever else you might vacuum up off of your hardwood floors. Because of the canister’s capacity, you’ll be able to give your whole home a good vacuuming before it’s necessary to empty the canister into the garbage. And when it does come time to empty out the canister, you’ll appreciate that it opens on the bottom, meaning you won’t have to overturn the unit or hold it in an awkward position in order to empty it.
As mentioned and as the name of this unit suggests, this Bissell vacuum cleaner has been designed for use with hardwood floors. However, if you also have carpeted surfaces in your home, you’ll find that this unit is equal to that task as well. Just use the standard head attachment, and you’ll find that most carpet messes can be vacuumed up quite easily. (Note, however, that you’ll find this unit struggles with high-pile carpets and those that are more ‘plush’.)
One thing we appreciated while testing out the machine are the digital controls on the handle of the vacuum wand. These controls allowed us to easily adjust the amount of suction, making transitioning from hardwood surfaces to things like area rugs a breeze. In fact, these digital controls came in handy when turning this versatile hardwood vacuum cleaner to other tasks. For example, the vacuum comes with an attachable telescoping wand, which can be used for vacuuming things like drapery. With a few touches of the digital controls, the suction could easily be lowered, ensuring that the drapes upon which we tested this vacuum did not become damaged.
In our eyes, there’s only one tremendous drawback to this unit that’s worth considering, especially if you have a larger home. The unit, quite literally, falls short when it comes to its cord. At only 16-feet long, you’ll find that you’ll frequently have to plug the container into different outlets as you move from room to room. To be sure, this will not be an issue if you have a smaller home or if the rooms in your home are relatively small. However, this shortcoming in terms of the power cord will be particularly acute when it comes to open-concept homes.
That said, there’s one feature about the power cord that we really appreciated: it’s retractable. Rather than having to wind up a long, 30-foot cord like you might have to with other vacuum cleaner models, you can simply yank on the cord and it will retract into place. Needless to say, this makes putting this hardwood floor vacuum cleaner away between uses an absolute breeze!
Overall, you get a lot of cleaning power out of this low-cost hardwood floor vacuum. For many, in fact, the convenience and power of this model will be good enough. The only other area in which you may find this machine lacking is that it does not include a HEPA filter. (If you want this, see our best overall pick next.)
Aside from a few shortcomings, this is a great hardwood-floor vacuum cleaner especially at this low price point. Just take a look at what other expert vacuum reviewers have had to say about the Bissell Hard Floor Expert Canister Vacuum:
- Top Ten Reviews: “Between the design and capabilities, this canister vacuum safely cleans delicate surfaces such as hardwood floors, drapes and upholstery. At the same time, it is powerful enough to vacuum rugs and low-pile carpets.”
- Best Vacuum World: “The Bissell 1161 canister vacuum cleaner provides you with a precise and expert level of floor cleaning. It is portable, slim and powerful. It has an air-driven hard-floor dusting tool, which has soft bristles for safer cleaning.”
- Best Vacuum Guide: “The vacuum engineers at BISSELL certainly had hardwood floors in mind when they created this great, versatile bagless vacuum. With rubber wheels and felt threads you don’t have to worry about this BISSELL scratching up your floors.”
If you’d like to pick up the Bissell Hard Floor Expert Deluxe Canister Vacuum for yourself, you can get your hands on one from Amazon right here!
Our Best Overall Pick for a Hardwood Floor Vacuum Cleaner
When it comes to price and value, there’s one hardwood-floor vacuum cleaner that stood head and shoulders above the rest, and that’s the Oreck Insight Bagged Upright Vacuum Cleaner. In our testing, this vacuum cleaner performed just as well as many models that were more than twice its price, and it also has a look and construction that make it an absolute joy to use.
With an MSRP of $299.99, you can actually find this unit on sale for up to 30% off from a variety of different retailers. For example, Amazon is currently offering this tremendous hardwood-floor vacuum cleaner for an astounding $210.00, which really increases the overall value of this machine.
The Oreck Insight has a classic look that will fit the décor and style of most any home. But, it’s not in the looks department where this hardwood-floor vacuum cleaner really shines; it’s its overall design that really stands out. This machine is incredibly lightweight, coming in at just shy of 10 pounds overall. This means it’s incredibly easy to maneuver, whether you’re simply pushing it around or taking it out of the closet.
Speaking of maneuvering, you’ll have no problem using this hardwood-floor vacuum cleaner anywhere in the house. It comes with a 30-foot cord, meaning that searching for a convenient wall plug is never a hassle. In addition, the Oreck Insight features a “furniture-friendly” design, meaning that it can be pushed down to an incredibly low profile, allowing for it to be easily slid under furniture. This is particularly great for rooms with hardwood floors, as you won’t need to move furniture pieces for vacuuming, something that can lead to unsightly scratches.
Oreck understands that you’ll want to use this unit in a number of different areas in your home. That’s why it comes with two speed settings. There’s a high speed setting, which leads to 102 miles per hour of vacuuming force, which is perfect for use on carpet. But, where it really shines is in the low speed setting, which is ideal for use on hardwood floors. Regardless of what kind of surface you’re using this powerful vacuum on, though, you’ll find that it always operates at an acceptable volume. To be sure, it’s not quiet, however the noise level is much better than you’ll get with other similarly priced hardwood-floor vacuum cleaners.
Now, do keep in mind that this is a bagged vacuum cleaner, which does add to the overall cost of owning this unit. However, if you have pets in your home, you’ll definitely appreciate this feature. The inner bag is actually a HEPA filter, which means this unit is capturing nearly 100% of all allergens in your home, from simple pollen to things like pet dander, smoke residue and even mold spores. Needless to say, if you’re concerned about the quality of the air that you breathe, you’ll appreciate having this hardwood-floor vacuum cleaner in your closet.
One place where you may find this unit lacking is in attachments, as there are none to speak of. This is somewhat of a disappointment, as the vacuum unit itself is rather bulky. However, the machine itself is highly maneuverable (especially given the low-profile movement it’s capable of), and it comes outfitted with side brushes. These side brushes are built to clean baseboards, and in our experience, they did an excellent job of ensuring that there was no stubborn dirt and grime left along the walls of the rooms in which we tested the Oreck Insight.
In terms of durability, we have to give this vacuum cleaner top marks. While we were only able to test the unit for a limited time, other users have said that the unit holds up to even the most rigorous use. In addition, Oreck highlights the “Endurolife” belt that drives the vacuum’s engine. Unlike other similar vacuum cleaners, this belt will never need to be changed out, and it’s quite strong, ensuring that the vacuum itself never becomes jammed up, even as its cleaning the biggest messes.
It’s not just users and our opinion, though, that find this is a unit that will withstand the test of time. The Oreck Insight’s performance is certified by The Carpet and Rug Institute, and it comes standard with a 5-year limited warranty that covers almost everything. If you’d like to take a closer look at the Oreck Insight’s warranty, you can read it here.
You don’t just have to take our word for it, though, when it comes to our overall pick for the best vacuum for hardwood floors. Just check out what these other reviewers have had to say about this incredible home appliance:
- Nerd Wallet: “For a lightweight upright that can deliver a consistently strong performance all throughout your home, this model is an excellent choice.”
- Carpet Cleaner Expert: “The 13-inch wide cleaning path and premium edge brushes on this model make cleaning more efficient. It is also equipped with a HEPA inner bag to capture lung-damaging particles.”
- Prime Reviews: “This vacuum is light weight, coming in at just under ten pounds. You aren’t going to wear yourself out pushing it around unless on high suction. When the suction is on high, it takes more effort to push the vacuum around the room.”
If you’d like to purchase the Oreck Insight Bagged Upright Vacuum Cleaner, simply pay a visit to Amazon where you can find this hardwood-floor vacuum cleaner on sale for as low as $210.00!
Our Upgrade Pick for Best Hardwood Floor Vacuum Cleaner
While Oreck had once dominated the vacuum cleaner market, there’s another brand that’s taken over the top spot, especially when it comes to luxury models. We’re talking about Dyson, of course.
Therefore, when we arrived at our best upgrade pick for hardwood-floor vacuum cleaners, we paid extra attention to the number of different Dysons on the market today. In testing several of them, we concluded that the Dyson V6 Motor Head Cord-Free Vacuum was the very best upgrade pick for hardwood floor vacuums.
Naturally, the first thing that you’re going to notice about this unit is the way that it looks. Simply put, Dyson makes vacuum cleaners that look totally futuristic. But, it’s not just that the V6 Motor Head looks futuristic, it’s design features and functionalities are a futuristic revelation, too!
When you have this unit in your hands, you’ll notice how light it is. In fact, the unit itself only weights a scant 5 pounds, making it one of the easiest-to-handle hardwood vacuums that we tested. But, this lightness isn’t just a fringe feature. Instead, it’s a selling point in and of itself. Due to the incredible maneuverability of the vacuum head and its light weight, you can use this unit to clean high-up and hard-to-reach places just the same as you can use it on hardwood floors.
Of course, what really counts here is how well it can clean up messes on your hardwood floors. We’re happy to report that this unit absolutely excels in this regard. An upgrade from the previous V6 model, which you might be familiar with, this unit is light years ahead in terms of its ability to vacuum up hardwood floors. It deals incredibly well with dirt and grime, but it also works exceptionally well on things like pet hair and even mold spores. Simply put, when you’re using this vacuum to clean your home’s hardwood floors, you’ll find that you’re able to get rid of even the most stubborn allergens, leading to a much healthier home environment.
Now, this unit isn’t just great for hardwood floors; it also works incredibly well on carpeting, too. Especially compared to the V6’s previous iteration, this unit is great with carpet. This is due in no small part to the direct-drive cleaner head, which offers 75% more power (per Dyson) than the previous version of this same unit. In our testing, we found that even the most stubborn carpet messes could be vacuumed up with ease, as the cleaner head was able to penetrate deep into the carpet fibers.
One of the biggest selling features of this unit, though, is its cordless design. Once charged, you can use this unit anywhere and everywhere for a full 20 minutes of complete suction. Should you want, you can even take this incredible vacuum cleaner out to the garage, where it can be used to vacuum even the most hard-to-reach places in your automobile.
Playing devil’s advocate, though, the 20-minutes of battery life might be too little for some. While we never found ourselves working the vacuum cleaner until it ran out of juice, it’s easy to see how some might find that one or two charges might be necessary when attempting to vacuum a larger home. Still, in our estimation, the 20 minutes worth of charge should be sufficient enough for the vast majority of users.
As far as additional features are concerned, one thing we were happy to see was the mini soft dusting brush. Once attached to the end of the vacuum, this brush can be used to clear dust away from delicate items around your home, up to and including computer keyboards and things of that nature. There’s also a crevice tool that can be attached to the end of the machine, allowing for the vacuuming of incredibly tight spaces.
Unlike our best overall pick, the Oreck Insight, this vacuum cleaner is bagless. This means that you won’t have to worry about additional expenditures once purchased. Now, you might be somewhat skeptical of bagless vacuum cleaners, particularly if you’ve owned a cheap one in the past. Don’t let that impression color your opinion of this Dyson unit, though. With the push of a button, all of the dust, grime and pet hair you’ve collected can be easily expelled, leaving you with a clean vacuum that’s ready to tackle even more messes.
Despite all of the above, there are a few drawbacks to this particular Dyson model that you might wish to consider. First, it does not possess a HEPA filter, meaning it’s not going to meet all of your allergen-busting needs, should that be something you’re concerned with. Second, it doesn’t come with the additional attachment offered with more expensive models that’s targeted specifically at cleaning up ground-in dirt and stubborn pet hair. Finally, the two-year limited warranty for this model is a little underwhelming – you can check it out here.
While we could’ve chosen one of Dyson’s more expensive V6 models that offer the above features, we felt that this particular model offered the best value for a luxury hardwood vacuum cleaner. Should you be interested in the other models, though, we’ll provide links to them below.
The three shortcomings outlined above notwithstanding, we’re confident in calling the Dyson V6 Motor Head our best vacuum for hardwood floors upgrade pick. You don’t just need to take our word for it, though! Take a look at what other reviewers have had to say about this high-tech vacuum cleaner:
- Nerd Wallet: “The stick vacuum’s balanced wand makes cleaning high-up surfaces, such as moldings, a breeze and it easily converts into a handheld vacuum for smaller areas, such as car interiors.”
- CNET: “The Dyson v6 Motorhead stick vacuum cleaner performed extremely well on both pet hair and fine particles. The design makes it portable, maneuverable, and generally easy to use.”
- Good Housekeeping: “The Dyson V6 Motorhead excelled in our carpet test and was featured in our magazine as the “Pet Hair Champ” of our test. It also did very well in our bare floor test, cleaning up large and small dry particles.”
If you’re interested in getting your hands on the best Dyson vacuum cleaner for hardwood floors, then you can purchase the Dyson V6 Motor Head Cord-Free Vacuum on Amazon right here!
(Note: If you’re interested in the model that’s specifically designed for dealing with pet hair, the V6 Animal, you can pick one up from Amazon. If you want the full-featured version of this model, the V6 Absolute, which features 150% more suction power than the baseline V6 and can operate for up to 40 minutes on one charge, you can pick one up from Amazon too.)
Other Vacuums for Hardwood Floors to Consider
In our quest to determine the best vacuum for hardwood floors, we examined a number of different units. Below, you’ll find a list of several more vacuum cleaners that didn’t make out cut for a “best of” honor, but nonetheless are worthy of note and might be more suited to your particular needs and budget:
Shark Rotator Powered Lift-Away TruePet: In the market for a machine that can deal with stubborn pet hair, dander and other allergens? Then this versatile upright vacuum (that can also double as a canister vacuum) might be just the right pick for you! Capable of dealing with even the most stubborn messes on plush carpets, this vacuum comes outfitted with an attachment specifically designed for dealing with hardwood floors. This attachment has a machine-washable microfiber pad that ensures hardwood surfaces get the thorough clean they so often need, and it has a built-in HEPA filter.
Dirt Devil Accucharge 15.6V Cordless Bagless Stick Vacuum: If you’re dealing with a small home or apartment with hardwood floors, this cordless hardwood floor vacuum from Dirt Devil might be all that you need. While it’s certainly not the most powerful, it’s plenty equal to the task of cleaning up hardwood floors. The fact that it’s cordless also means it can be used in hard-to-reach places, and the brush can be turned on and off in order to move from hardwood to carpeting. There’s only one real drawback with this model, and that’s the battery life. After a six-hour charge, this machine can only be run for 10 continuous minutes before it needs another charge. Still, if you’re dealing with a small home or apartment, those 10 minutes might be all that you need!
Hoover Corded Cyclonic Stick Vacuum: Looking for something that’s extremely budget friendly but can get the job done? This might be a good choice for you, then. This stick vacuum is incredibly lightweight and performs well on hardwood floors as well as low-pile carpeted surfaces. The wheels on this unit have been designed to treat hardwood floors with care, and the machine’s swivel system ensures that furniture and other obstructions can be navigated with relative ease. The 20-foot cord is a little bit short for our tastes, but it’s hard to complain given the price when compared to other equally effective stick vacuums.
Eureka Mighty Mite Canister Vacuum: If you’re really looking to get hardwood-vacuuming power on a budget, then this offering from Eureka could be just what the doctor ordered. While this machine is definitely no thrills, it performed admirably well in our testing and has garnered positive reviews from users and critics alike. The real drawback to this model is that its container requires a bag. While it doesn’t need to be replaced overly often, you should factor in the cost of additional bags when judging this machine against other similar ones relative to price.