The Best Hardwood Floor Vacuum

Hoover FloorMate Deluxe Hard Floor Cleaner

Our Top Pick for 2016: Hoover FloorMate Deluxe Hard Floor Cleaner
Read our full review.

See it on Amazon for $96.06*
*Price typically updated every 24 hours. Current price may be different.
Too expensive? See our budget pick.

The popularity of hardwood floors comes from their timeless and long-lasting beauty. Keeping those floors clean can be a challenge. Hardwood floors are pricey and the last thing you want to do is damage them by not using the right products and equipment on them.

A hardwood floor vacuum allows you to keep your floors clean with the peace of mind that you aren’t going to damage them. A vacuum that meets the needs of a hardwood floor has to have good suction and cleaning ability without a beater bar, as a beater can scratch the surface of the floor. There are vacuums available that can clean well and protect the surface of your hardwood floors.

Table of contents

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Captures Debris Along Edges
Spin Scrub Brushes
HEPA and Sponge Filtration
Easily Cleans Around Furniture Legs
Scrubs Hard Floors From All Angles
Small Brush Attachment
Swivel Head
Keeps Clean And Dirty Water Separate
Easily Glides Over Various Surfaces
Easy-to-empty Dirt Cup
1.5 Quart Tank Capacity
Crevice Tool
20′ Power Cord
Combined Squeegee And Suction To Quickly Dry
130 Air Watts Of Suction Power

*Price at time of publishing and may not reflect current pricing.

#1 Gold pick (Winner): Hoover FloorMate Deluxe Hard Floor Cleaner

Hoover FloorMate Deluxe Hard Floor Cleaner Gold Pick

View it on Amazon for $96.06*
*Price typically updated every 24 hours. Current price may be different.

2016-gold-winnerThe Hoover FloorMate Deluxe Hard Floor Cleaner (Hoover) uses unique technology to create a hardwood floor vacuum that scrubs, cleans, and dries floors with one machine.

A dual tank system gives you the chance to clean hardwood floors without the worry that you’ll be spreading dirty water on your floors. When using a traditional mop, unless you are changing the water out frequently, the water gets dirty and before you know it you’re spreading the dirt rather than removing it. The Hoover’s system guarantees you that you’ll always have clean water on the floor because one tank holds the clean water, while the other holds the dirty water. These clear 1.5 quart tanks let you see the water level so that you know when it’s time to refill and empty each tank.

The tanks can be easily removed for filling and emptying. However, both tanks are tall and slim, making them too tall to fit into some kitchen and bathroom sinks. You’ll have to use a utility or bath tub faucet to fill them if you have a shallow sink. You can use a little soap or Hoover’s cleaning solution in the clean water tank for some soap and disinfecting action. However, it cleans with water only just as well.

The Hoover uses four spin scrub brushes on an 11.5-inch nozzle to wash away dirt and grim. These counter-rotating brushes are gentle enough not to scratch hardwood surfaces but sturdy enough to get most dirt. The nozzle can be removed to be rinsed and cleaned after each use, prolonging the life of the scrub brushes.

It is recommended by the manufacturer that you vacuum or sweep the surface of the floor before washing with the Hoover. Picking up this extra dirt keeps the tank from filling as fast. Even with this step, if you have dirt and food stuck to the floor, it may take several passes with the Hoover to loosen and pick up the material. There is a clean boost button on the handle that puts down extra detergent for these hard to clean areas.

As you are cleaning with the Hoover, it simultaneously sucks up the water, which helps to dry the floor more quickly. Hardwood floors are easily damaged by excess water so removing the water as quickly as possible is an important consideration. You should know that the surface of your hardwood floors will still be damp after using the Hoover. Some users did report that there was some dripping onto the floor right after filling the tanks. Be conscious of where drips are so that you don’t get water damage from uncleaned spills. There is a ‘dry’ setting that provides heavier suction meant to be used after a severe spill or with flooding in the house, giving you another option to get your floors dry quickly.

You will need to learn the technique of using the Hoover to get the best results. The manual does not provide much direction about the most efficient way to clean and dry floors. Users found that when they held down the clean boost button while pushing the Hoover away from them and then released it on the pull back, they were able to get the cleaning and suction results they wanted. If there was excess water, they went over the area again without pressing the clean boost button.

The Hoover is not a lightweight machine. Some users found the weight to be a deterrent to using it on a daily or weekly basis. While they liked the cleaning power, the difficulty they had in lifting or using the vacuum on stairs caused them to use it for deep cleaning only. However, despite the heavy weight, it is still maneuverable. The head is smaller than a standard vacuum and the entire vacuum rotates well enough to allow you to clean under beds and in tight corners.

It comes with a 20-foot cord which gives you adequate reach, but many users would have liked a longer cord so they didn’t have to change outlets as often.

The Hoover does provide excellent cleaning power. The clear tanks let you see how much dirt you are picking up and it is impressive. It comes with or without a foldable handle. The model with the foldable handle is more expensive.

It also comes with a 2-year limited warranty.

#2 Silver pick (Runner-up): BISSELL PowerEdge Pet Hard Floor Corded Vacuum

BISSELL PowerEdge Pet Hard Floor Corded Vacuum

View it on Amazon for $58.99*
*Price typically updated every 24 hours. Current price may be different.

2016-silver-winnerThe BISSELL PowerEdge Pet Hard Floor Corded Vacuum (Bissell) uses design and technology to effectively and safely clean hardwood floors. It is designed specifically with pet owners in mind.

When you first see the Bissell, you can’t help but notice the unique shape of the head. It uses a V-shaped head to collect dirt, dust, and debris. The V-shape creates a funneling effect that brings heavier debris to the point of the V where there is the most suction. The outer points and arms of the head are designed to handle the smaller dust particles as all debris is moved towards the point. The shape of the head also allows you to clean around furniture legs and other objects in the room. It puts the most suction close to the object around which you are pivoting.

Pet hair often gets pushed around without getting picked up when you use a traditional vacuum head. The head of the Bissell has rubber wipers that direct the debris towards the center. Pet hair can be difficult to remove and it spreads everywhere in the home. The rubber wipers attract pet hair so that it doesn’t get blow away from the vacuum during use. Once it’s stuck to the rubber wipers it gets picked up by the powerful suction of the Bissell.

When dealing with pet hair, bristles and brushes are the first part to get clogged. Brushless, bristleless action gives the Bissell the ability to pick up pet hair without getting clogged or spreading the hair further throughout the house. This design also prevents it from scratching hardwood surfaces.

Getting good suction and cleaning power close to furniture and other objects on the floor can be difficult because getting vacuum heads to the correct angle isn’t always easy. The Bissell has a swivel head to help you get every angle as you are cleaning. Swivel action lets you rotate fully around a chair leg or slide the head under a sofa to clean those hard to reach areas.

This vacuum is lightweight. It can easily be carried up and downstairs, however the shape of the head makes using it on the stairs difficult. Lightweight vacuums, such as this, allow you to work longer without getting fatigued. You will be able to use the Bissell on a daily basis because it is simple and easy to use.

The Bissell is bagless and uses an easy to empty dirt cup. Cyclonic technology creates good suction that will pick up pesky pet hair and other debris. That powerful suction does come with a downside, noise. This is a noisy vacuum, especially for its size, but that noise results in good suction power.

While a 20-foot power cord gives you adequate reach, it means you have to change outlets often. Many users would have preferred a 25 – 30-foot cord. There are no attachments or nozzles for this vacuum, which makes it difficult to reach in cracks or crevices.

#3 Bronze pick (3rd place): VonHaus 600W 2-in-1 Corded Upright Stick Vacuum

VonHaus 600W 2-in-1 Corded Upright Stick Vacuum

View it on Amazon for $79.99*
*Price typically updated every 24 hours. Current price may be different.

2016-bronze-awardThe VonHaus 600W 2-in-1 Corded Upright Stick (VonHaus) gives you some interesting features that make it a good vacuum for hardwood floors.

The VonHaus is a little different than the other vacuums reviewed. This vacuum can transform into a handheld vac as well as an upright stick. If you are looking for a vacuum that works well on hardwood floors but can also be used on stairs and upholstery, this vacuum will do all of that. It has good suction power for such a small vacuum; however, it is loud. While it has enough suction to suck pet hair off of a hardwood floor, if noise is an issue for you this might not be the right vacuum for you.

Lightweight, compact design make this a good choice for a home that has limited space or is looking for a specialty vacuum to handle dirt, dust, and pet hair on the hardwood. Weighing in at only about 3 pounds, it’s about as lightweight as vacuums get. Users with back problems, in particular, like the VonHaus because they can clean their home without aggravating their back injuries. The telescoping handle reaches up to 48 inches and allows you to get the vacuum to the correct length so that you don’t have to bend over into an uncomfortable position. The handle can also be removed completely with the press of a button for convenience when using it as a handheld vacuum.

The VonHaus has good versatility. The included accessories give you a variety of uses, they include – crevice tool, small brush attachment for handheld use, hose adapter, and shoulder strap. Because the VonHaus can convert into a handheld vac, you can use the crevice tool to clean your car or couch. Using the crevice tool, you can also get into the hard to reach crack areas on stairs and then switch to the brush tool to get the tops of the stairs. You can do all of this with the handle extended or detach it and use it as a handheld for greater control.

The vacuum uses a HEPA and sponge filtration system. HEPA filters trap small dust particles that would otherwise be recirculated into the air. Those that suffer allergies or are susceptible to respiratory problems from dust will benefit from this kind of system. The filter and sponge will need to be replaced periodically. The sponge can be taken out and cleaned under water but it must be completely dry before it is placed back in the vacuum.

There is a notch in the handle that allows you hang the vacuum on a hook. You hang it in your pantry or out of the way in a closet but either way, the VonHaus is not going to use up precious floor space.

The head of the vacuum is small so if you have a large space to be cleaned, it may take you a long time to clean it. However, as far as lightweight and versatility, the VonHaus is the way to go.

It comes with a 12-month limited warranty.

#4 Budget pick (Best cheap): Dirt Devil SD20505 Power Air Corded Bagless Stick Vacuum for Hard Floor

Dirt Devil SD20505 Power Air Corded Bagless Stick Vacuum for Hard Floor

View it on Amazon for $25.99*
*Price typically updated every 24 hours. Current price may be different.

2016-cheap-budget-pickThe Dirt Devil SD20505 Power Air Corded Bagless Stick Vacuum for Hard Floor (Dirt Devil) is an inexpensive, reliable option to clean your hardwood floor.

Bagless vacuums, like the Dirt Devil, lose less suction as they get full. Clear dust containers also give you the ability to see when the dust cup gets full, unlike a vacuum with a bag. Once the container is full, you can empty it with the touch of one button. Easy emptying is a great feature on a vacuum. It can be frustrating to clean your floor only to dump out half the contents when you are trying to empty it. Some users had trouble replacing the dirt cup after emptying.

A 10 amp motor gives you good suction power that can pick up dirt and debris from hardwood without the help of a beater bar. The cyclonic action provides consistent suction throughout use so it maintains consistent cleaning results.

The 11-inch head is a good size for cleaning most rooms. If the vacuum has too small of a head, it can take a long time to clean even one room. On the other hand, if the head is too large you can end up running into furniture and other items in the room, making it difficult to complete your task. The head of the Dirt Devil is also low profile to get underneath furniture and cupboards.

The Dirt Devil weighs 6.7 pounds, making it a lightweight vacuum. If you have a two story home or back problems, portability is going to be a feature that will make using your vacuum easier. Having a cord cuts the weight of a battery, but does mean you may have to switch outlets to clean your house.

It can be hung for easy, out of the way storage. There are four plastic wheels that let this vacuum glide smoothly during use. Plastic wheels are nice in that they do not leave any sticky residue that can be left behind by rubber wheels.

It comes with a 2-year limited warranty.


Pre-purchase considerations

Purpose

Before you begin your search, you need to know what purpose you want the vacuum to serve. There are vacuums that use water and soap to clean hardwood floors. These act more like a steam cleaner and get deep down dirt. They clean well but are usually heavy and will take more time to clean your floors. Most people find them too time-consuming to use every week. If you are looking for something to deep clean once a month, a mop/vacuum combo might be what you need.

However, if you are looking for something to use daily, you may want a smaller lighter vacuum that only uses suction. This type of vacuum can be used in place of a broom for your daily cleaning needs. There are models that can handle pet hair well and can reach corners and under furniture.

Beaters and Brushes

Most vacuums come with a beater bar covered in coarse bristles intended to dig into the carpet to pull out the dirt and debris. The beaters, bristles, and brushes can potential scratch and damage hardwood floors. Make sure any vacuum you are considering either does not have a beater or has a beater that can be turned off.

Combo vacuums with beater bars that can turn off usually come with a higher price and are heavier. Whatever type you choose, look for a vacuum that has a rubber strip on the head. This rubber strip will prevent the head from damaging the hardwood.

Lightweight and Compact

Keep in mind the weight and size of the vacuum. Models that use water weight more and take up more storage space. They can be heavy enough to make it difficult to carry up and down stairs and they usually don’t work well on stairs.

If you have a large surface area to clean, you may want to consider a full-size vacuum that may be heavier, but will allow you to cover more surface area in less time. A model that can be used on both hardwood and carpet would be a good choice in this case.

Lightweight, compact vacuums meant for hardwood floors can save you space and money. Look for a model with a good motor for its size. A big motor may make a lot of noise, but it will provide you with good suction.

Suction Control

Because a hardwood floor vacuum relies solely on suction and not on brushes, a vacuum that offers suction control will give you the ability to adjust for your specific needs. Look for a vacuum that can adjust the height between the vacuum head and the floor. When vacuuming large debris or in a dirty area, height adjustable vacuums allow you to lower the head to get better suction. If you are vacuuming light dust and dirt, you can put the head up higher for lighter suction.

Conclusion (Wrapping it up)

There are all kinds of designs available to safely clean your hardwood floors from heavy duty wet/dry mops to lightweight handheld vacuums. Hardwood floor vacuums come in all price ranges but spending more money doesn’t necessarily mean you are getting a better vacuum. It’s important to read reviews to be sure that the vacuum you are considering has the features that you want and that they work well. When you know what you want to accomplish with the vacuum, you’ll be better able to narrow down your choices.

Discussion and comments

We want to know what you think. Do you own any of the products we discussed? Which did you buy and how did it work out for you?

Do you know of an even better product?

Comment below and help your fellow consumers make the right choice. Over to you!

Resources

  1. Chester Burke, What to Look for in Hardwood Floor Vacuums, hardwoodfloorman.com, December 25, 2015, http://hardwoodfloorman.com/guides/what-to-look-for-in-a-hardwood-floor-vacuum/
  2. Jason Roberts, Best Vacuum for Hardwood Floors Exposed – The Ultimate Buying Guide, vacuumsguide.com, December 29, 2014, http://www.vacuumsguide.com/best-vacuum-for-hardwood-floors/
  3. Patricia, The 5 Absolute Best Vacuums for Hardwood Floors, Period!, gosureviews.com, March 13, 2013, http://www.gosureviews.com/5-best-hardwood-floor-vacuum-cleaners/
  4. Picking the Best Vacuum for Hardwood Floors, hardwoodchampion.com, http://www.hardwoodchampion.com/picking-the-best-vacuum/
  5. Tom Scheve, Are Bagless Vacuums Better for People with Allergies?, health.howstuffworks.com, June 21, 2016, http://health.howstuffworks.com/diseases-conditions/allergies/indoor-allergies/bagless-vacuums-better-for-allergies2.htm

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