A Common Sense Guide to help you select the Best Vacuum for your Hardwood Floors! (Updated for 2018)
A well-cared for Hardwood Floor adds such beauty and warmth to any home. But taking care of it requires a commitment of time, effort, and a Vacuum Cleaner that is designed to work best on Hardwood Floors.
Until recently most vacuums were designed for cleaning carpet, with wood floors only as a secondary consideration. But finally, the floor care products industry has refreshed its focus. They are now offering products endowed with unique features specifically suited for cleaning hardwood and smooth floors.
Innovation and Competition to the Rescue!
Because of the huge popularity of hardwood flooring and the tremendous competition between manufactures, new innovations are being introduced on a growing number of vacuum models that deliver top performance on hardwood flooring.
Specialized tools and accessories, even floor nozzles with dual powered brushrolls have taken hardwood floor care to a whole new level.
Why Hardwood Floors Require a Vacuum with Special Features!
The Three Types of Dirt Challenge!
Although the same kinds of dirt ends up on hardwood flooring as it does on carpeted floors, a different set of dynamics come into play when it comes to removing dirt. This presents a challenge for engineers to think outside the box for solutions.
Generally speaking, there are three varieties of dirt that accumulate on any type of floor surface.
- Clingy Dust – Fine dust particles tend to cling to hard floor surfaces because of spilled juices, oils that get tracked in, and even static electricity. Clingy Dust requires a degree of mechanical agitation from a stationary or a rotating brush to break it loose so it can be sucked into the vacuum.
- Loose Dirt – The most common offender is small granules of loose dirt, typically tracked in by our shoes. Almost any vacuum cleaner with strong enough suction can lift and remove it.
- Large Debris – The greatest challenge is Large Debris such as cereal, kitty litter, and dry pelletized pet food that tends to end up on wood floors, especially in the kitchen. Whether you are using a canister vacuum with a smooth floor brush, or an upright vacuum, the large debris tends to get pushed along in front of the vacuum (Plowing). So this means you must rock the Floor Brush back in order to make enough clearance for it to pass under. This technique works OK with a conventional canister or upright vacuum that incorporates a motorized floor brush although it will fling a large percentage of the Debris out the back of the machine instead of sucking it up.
Note: On some uprights, you can disengage the brushroll when you transition from carpet to hardwood floors. This arrangement works OK for the large Debris but compromises the cleaning performance of Clingy Dust and Loose Dirt.
A Health Issue to Consider!
One of the reasons hardwood flooring has become so popular is the presumption that it is more Asthma and Allergy-Friendly than Carpet. The truth is studies have shown that allergy-causing particulates accumulate on both hardwood floors and on carpet.
The difference is that carpet tends to act as a giant filter actually trapping and immobilizing dust mites, dust mite feces, pet dander, pollen, mold spores, and other allergy-triggering particulates until they are removed or disturbed.
Hardwood floors, on the other hand accumulate those same fine dust particles on the surface where they are easily stirred up into the air we breathe creating a health issue for many homeowners.
So, selecting a vacuum cleaner with sufficient filtration is just as important as choosing one that’s effective for cleaning wood floors, especially if you are allergy prone.
Why you Should Choose a Vacuum Cleaner with a Sealed HEPA Filtration System!
Don’t be misled by some manufacture’s claims that their product is 99% effective at removing allergens. It may be true that the air that actually passes through the filter removes that percentage, but they fail to mention the dust-laden air that leaks around the filter that gets blown back into the room.
No matter how large a HEPA Filter is, it’s only marginally beneficial if the dirty air its designed to trap escapes around it.
Economy vacuum cleaners tend to have filter compartments that don’t seal around the filter allowing leakage. Mid-range to high end models tend to have better fitting injection molded parts and filter compartments that utilize a gasketing system to prevent leakage.
Some top-rated vacuums can actually trap up to 99.9% of all the fine particulates it sucks up so the exhaust air is cleaner than the air in the room.
NOTE: All of the products recommended in this guide have their level of filtration noted below each listing so you can make the best choice.
Choose a Vacuum that fits your Unique Flooring Combination and Lifestyle!
Obviously, a large home with a family of 5 plus 2 pets that shed fur is going to require an appliance with a different level of multiplicity than a smaller home with only one or two people.
Everyone’s home is unique! Most homes have other floor surfaces besides just Hardwood – including Carpet, Area and Throw Rugs, Tile, Vinyl, and Laminate flooring. And no one wants to stop and switch vacuum cleaners each time they transition from one to the other.
So it’s important to purchase a model that will perform well on each floor surface in your home, and not just on your wood floors.
The products recommended in this guide are some of the Best Vacuums for Hardwood Floors currently available. Each one has been carefully researched and reviewed to assure you the best experience possible.
To keep this guide simple, I have listed each item based on the type of floor surface or surfaces it is designed to clean.
Please Select the OPTION BELOW that best describes your home’s Flooring!
Option #1 I need a Vacuum for Hardwood Floors ONLY (SEE BELOW)
Option #2 My house has Hardwood Floors and Carpet GO HERE
Option #4 I have a Pet in my Home GO HERE
Option #5 I Prefer a Cord-Free Solution for my Hardwood Floors GO HERE
Best Vacuums for Hardwood Floors, ONLY!
CORDED STICK Vacuums
If you’re home has all hardwood flooring a Corded Stick Vacuum may be your best option.
They offer good cleaning performance in a small, easy-to-handle package.
Below you will find the most current top-rated Corded Stick Vacuums.
Not only will these models perform well on hardwood flooring and other smooth floor surfaces, they can also be used for area rugs, mats, low pile carpet and some models offer whole-house cleaning capability.
MAINTENANCE TIP – Stick vacuums are light-weight and slender. They do not have the larger vacuum channels as found in full-size uprights. Also, the filters are smaller. This means they are more prone to clogging which diminishes suction performance. These handy floor care vacuums need to be cleaned more often to maintain maximum performance. Be sure and read the Owner’s Manual before using.
NOTE: The Stick Vacuums listed BELOW have Good filtration but probably not adequate if you are an allergy sufferer.
The Hoover Corded Cyclonic Stick Vacuum, SH20030 is a very popular CORDED stick vacuum for hardwood floors.
Although its not new it has an established track record of satisfied customers.
The Hoover Corded Stick SH20030 DOES HAVE a beater brush so it will work on low carpet and area rugs. You can raise or lower the brushroll to eliminate the possibility of damaging your wood floor.
The Hoover SH20030 is a lightweight option that will serve well as a hardwood floor vacuum, but its not a substitute for a full-size upright vacuum when it comes to cleaning large areas of carpeting.
If your house has mostly Hardwood Flooring the Hoover SH20030 would be an excellent choice! This is a well-built and classy looking product!
Take a Look at this Brief VIDEO!
Shark Rocket Complete with DuoClean (HV382) Corded Stick Vacuum by SharkClean Euro-Pro!
The Shark (HV382) is designed to offer the versatility of the trendy but efficient motorhead design cocept.
Its light weight for easy handling and maneuverability on floors. Snap off the DuoClean Motorized Floor Brush and use it for reaching areas high up like cobwebs or dusty ceiling fan blades. Or use it as a powerful handheld vacuum for stairs or upholstery.
The distinguishing feature of SharkNinga’s latest engineering triumph is the DuoClean Technology. This clever concept has changed the way hardwood floors should be cleaned.
SharkNinja’s DuoClean technology easily handles all types of dirt found on hardwood floors, including large debris.
Shark’s DuoClean Technology utilizes two spinning rollers. The front roller is composed of soft thick bristles that grab the large chunks and hold them until they are sucked up into the vacuum nozzle. At the same time the soft bristles remove any fine stubborn clingy dust.
The rear roller is like a standard brushroll. It has the longer stiffer bristles that dig out the small dirt and debris stuck in cracks or in carpet pile.
The cleaning performance on hardwood floors and on carpet is very impressive! It is equally adept at cleaning area rugs, low pile to plush carpet, and all floor surfaces.
Watch this Cool Shark Vacuum Demonstration VIDEO!
- Swivel Steering
- No-Loss Suction
- LED Headlights
- Converts to a powerful Handheld Vacuum
- Easy-to-empty Dirt Cup
- DuoClean Multi Floor Cleaning Technology
- Washable Lifetime Filters
- XL Dust Cup
- 30 ft. Long cord
- Won’t stand up by itself. You must lay it down or against a piece of furniture, or return to dock
- Somewhat heavy for a stick vac @ 9.9 lbs
The Shark Rocket Complete with DuoClean (HV382) is currently one of the best Corded Stick Vacuums for hardwood floors, as well as whole-house cleaning. Although the Dust Cup capacity has been increased from previous Shark Rocket models it does limit its use as a Primary Vacuum if you have a large house – especially if you have pets.
If this type of stick vacuum makes sense for your needs but you don’t like the idea of the cord and prefer a lighter weight you should check out the Shark IONFlex DuoClean Cord Free Ultra-Light Vacuum (IF201).
The Dirt Devil SD20000RED Simpli-Stik Bagless Stick Vacuum (Corded) may be the answer to your hardwood floor needs!
If you’re shopping for an inexpensive lightweight vacuum for your hardwood floors the Dirt Devil SD20000RED Simpli-Stik is an outstanding option.
This is a 120 Volt Corded Bagless vacuum that actually serves as 3-in-1 vacuum. Use it as a Stick vacuum for your hardwood floors, mats, and throw rugs. Use it as a handy Hand-Held vacuum for a quick clean-up, or as a Detail vacuum for cleaning difficult to clean areas.
The Dirt Devil Simpli-Stik is just right for cleaning the kitchen or any room with smooth or hard flooring. It isn’t as powerful as the Bissell 81L2T or the Hoover Corded Cyclonic Stick Vacuum, SH20030 which are more of an intermediate vacuum.
It features an On-board Crevice Tool, a 16 foot long cord, and it comes with a 1 Year Warranty.
Not only does it do a good job of sweeping up dirt and debris from hardwood, tile, Vinyl, and Laminate flooring it works great for a quick maintenance cleaning on low pile rugs and carpeting.
It works fine for picking up surface dirt and debris like cereal off of carpet. It DOES NOT have a beater brush like the Hoover Linx or a powerful enough suction to deep clean medium to deep pile carpet. It’s not a substitute for a full-size 120v corded upright or canister vacuum.
It has become a Best Seller on Amazon and one of the reasons is its incredibly LOW PRICE!
Oh yea, I forgot to mention it comes in THREE Designer Colors!