Hardwood floors make any space look nicer, but they do require special care to keep them looking shiny and new. This means a good cleaning regimen including, importantly, a great vacuum for hardwood floors is needed in order to keep your floors looking clean and new.
But what makes a vacuum great for hardwood floors? For starters, you’ll want a vacuum with soft bristles. You can even get away with a vacuum with no roller at all! Why? Well, rollers are great to clean plush carpeting but can cause unwanted scratches on hard flooring. It is important to make sure your hardwood vacuum has either multiple brush rolls for carpet vs. hardwood, or an option for turning the brush-roll off. A decent hardwood vacuum that does the job will also have strong suction so it can get into the crevices between the planks of wood, picking up all debris on your beautiful hardwood floors.
When shopping for the best lightweight vacuum for hardwood floors, these top options offer plenty of power, efficient operation, and features designed with bare floors in mind. Read on the find the best lightweight hardwood floor vacuum for all your cleaning needs.
How We Test Vacuums
Vacuums are rigorously tested to ensure they are good products. Usually, flour is used to simulate dust and dirt on the floor and a vacuum is tested to see how well it cleans up the flour. You can also crush crackers or cookies to simulate large particles to test that they fit under the vacuum head and that the suction is strong enough to pick up bigger particles. Simulated dirt and debris is placed on the floor and in corners, along the wall to fully test the ‘pick-up’ power of the vacuum.
Onboard tools are also tested to see where they are placed on the vacuum and how easy they are to reach and remove from their holders. The type and number of tools that come with the vacuum are considered as well. They are tested out to see how well they work in relation to the vacuum cleaner itself.
Vacuums with bags will have more recurring cost than bagless vacuums as you have to replace the bags. How easy it is to remove and clean the canister for bagless vacuums is also tested. For vacuums with bags, how easy it is to remove the bag and replace it is also tested for reliability and ease of use.
Lightweight Vacuum for Hardwood Floors: All Are Available on Amazon
Before we dive into the list of cleaners there are a few things to consider. Firstly the agitation brush, sometimes called a beater brush. For a standard vacuum the aim is to agitate the carpet fibers and drag out the dirt. You don’t want that level of power running over your hardwood floors. Added to that your treatments and coating can also be damaged and you want to look for something that can disable the brush, or has a softer brush for hardwood floors.
Shark NV356E S2 Navigator Lift-Away Professional Upright Vacuum with Pet Power Brush and Crevice Tool, White/Silver
- Dust cup capacity 2.2 quarts; Lift away; Press a button to lift the canister away and easily clean hard to reach areas
- Anti-allergen complete seal technology plus a HEPA filter; Traps 99.9 percent of dust and allergens inside the vacuum
- Powerful and lightweight; Portable and versatile at 13.7 pounds
- Brush roll shutoff; Deep carpet and gentle bare floor cleaning
- Hard floor hero attachment not included
The completely HEPA sealed head ensures no dust or allergens escape as you clean. Equipped with Advanced Swivel Steering, the Navigator provides excellent control when manoeuvring around furniture and other obstacles.
Bissell Cleanview Rewind Hand Vac Bundle
- Every Bissell purchase helps save pets. Bissell proudly supports the Bissell Pet Foundation and its mission to help save homeless pets
- Triple Action Brush Roll loosens, lifts and removes embedded dirt and pet hair from multiple surfaces
- Scatter-Free Technology reduces scatter on hard floors
- Automatic Cord Rewind wraps the 27’ power cord for you so you never have to wrap the cord again
- Edge-to-edge cleaning provides a powerful, clean all the way to the edge of every room in your home
Bissell Featherweight Stick Lightweight Bagless Vacuum With Crevice Tool, 2033, One Size Fits All
- Powerful, convenient, and easy to use
- Powerful suction makes it great for quick pick ups with multipurpose versatility
- Versatile cleaning three machines in one: A stick vacuum, handle vacuum, and stair vacuum
- With a crevice tool for furniture and a floor nozzle for stairs
- Clean hard floors and surface dirt on carpets and area rugs. Surface type: Counter tops, sealed hard floors, low pile carpet. Dirt cup capacity: 0.67 liter
BISSELL, 2999 MultiClean Allergen Pet Upright Vacuum with HEPA Seal System
- Every Purchase Saves Pets. BISSELL proudly supports BISSELL Pet Foundation and its mission to help save homeless pets.
- Powerful Cleaning Performance. Effectively remove pet hair and other debris across multiple surfaces with powerful suction and the Tangle-Free Brush Roll.
- HEPA Sealed System. Traps everything
- Swivel Steering & Lightweight Design. Powerful cleaning performance without the heavy lifting.
- One Touch Easy Empty. Pet hair spools around the tank, so it stays out of filters and off of your hands when you empty the tank.
Kenmore Floor Care Elite Upright Bagged Vacuum
- BAGGED UPRIGHT VACUUM: Remove pet hair, dust and more with this multifloor, multi-surface designed vacuum for use in your home, den, or kitchen with a wide sweeper path
- PET HANDIMATE: Air driven turbine spins roller brush to high RPM easily removing dander, stubborn pet hair and other debris off furniture, stairs, car and van seats and out of your vehicle
- TRIPLE HEPA FILTER SYSTEM: Enhanced HEPA filter system traps 99. 97% of debris, trapping dander and dust inside the vacuum reducing allergy-induced pollutants in the room
- POWERFUL CLEANING: 3D Inducer Motor combines power of 3 motors that give you 20% more air power than a conventional vacuum while never loosing suction. The Beltless Agitator reduces maintenance and repairs
- 3 ATTACHMENTS-EXTENDED REACH: Flexible hose and lightweight aluminum wand lengthen to reach 10'. Dusting brush, crevice tool and second bare floor tool for convenient cleaning transitions
Dirt Devil Endura Reach Upright Bagless Vacuum Cleaner for Carpet and Hard Floor, Lightweight, Corded
- NO LOSS OF SUCTION: The Endura filter is equipped for powerful upright vacuum cleaner performance – it’s also easily accessible plus rinsable for quick maintenance when you need it
- EASY-EMPTY 1.5 LITRE DIRT CUP: Fewer, quicker, and easier trips to the trash, all with the touch of a button
- LIGHT WITH A BITE: This compact upright packs some serious multi floor cleaning power in a conveniently Lightweight design
- QUICK & EASY REACH: Power through dirt and pet hair with a wave of the extension wand for 10 feet of extra reach - which stores on the vacuum when you’re done. Cord Length: 20 Feet
- WHAT'S INCLUDED: A 2-in-1 dusting brush and crevice tool stores on-board for messes at a minute’s notice
Power through dirt and pet hair with a wave of the extension wand for ten feet of extra reach – which stores on the vacuum when you’re done. The Endura Reach comes with a 2-in-1 dusting brush and crevice tool that stores on-board for messes at a minute’s notice.
BISSELL, 2554A CrossWave Cordless Max All in One Wet-Dry Vacuum Cleaner and Mop for Hard Floors and Area Rugs
- Every Bissell purchase helps save pets. Bissell proudly supports Bissell pet foundation and its mission to help save homeless pets.
- Vacuum and wash your floors at the same time with cordless freedom.
- Up to 30 minutes of cordless cleaning power with a 36V lithium ion battery.
- Improved edge cleaning to easily pick-up pet hair that gathers along baseboards and in corners of your home.
- Multi-surface cleaning means it's safe for use on tile, sealed wood floors, rugs, laminate, linoleum, rubber floor mats, pressed wood floors, and more. It even refreshes area rugs
Oreck HEPA Upright Bagged Vacuum Cleaner, Lightweight, 30 ft Power Cord
- HEPA FILTRATION: Our best HEPA filtration bags trap 99. 97% of unseen dust while SaniSeal automatically helps to lock in dirt during disposal
- TWO-SPEED CONTROL: Fingertip control settings easily allow you to adjust the brush roll speed, making it perfect for all flooring types including carpet, hardwood and tile
- LIGHTWEIGHT: Weighing less than 10 pounds, the Oreck HEPA vacuum cleaner is half the weight of most vacuums in its class
- FULL REACH: The low-profile, sleek design includes 5 LED headlights and a 30 foot long power cord, providing full visibility and reach in hard-to-access places
- 4X MORE CAPACITY: This bagged upright holds up to 4x more than a typical bagless vacuum cleaner
Shark Rocket Corded Bagless Stick Vacuum for Carpet and Hard Floor Cleaning with Swivel Steering
- Converts into a handheld vacuum for versatile floor-to-ceiling cleaning
- Extra tools allows you to reach tight spaces, tackle pet hair and much more for a whole-home clean
- Fingertip controls to easily switch from hard floor to carpet cleaning
- Hang the handheld vacuum from the hook on the bottom of the wand for convenient storage
- Swivel steering for excellent control and to maneuver around furniture. Cleaning path width (inch): 8.5
Black & Decker Stick Vacuum Cleaner Powerful Suction 3-in-1 Small Handheld Vac with Filter for Hard Floor Lightweight Upright Home Pet Hair
- 2. 75 lbs Lightweight Vacuum: Easy to maneuver and carry, this vacuum combo is perfect for quick everyday cleaning
- Powerful Suction: This corded vacuum ensures continuous and stable high power to get the job done. No need to charge, it is always ready to go
- 3-in-1 Vacuum w/ Multipurpose Attachments: It is a handheld vacuum cleaner or easily convert it to a stick vacuum cleaner by adding the pole handle and floor nozzle. Great for tackling stairs, car cleaning and hard to reach places. Crevice tool also included
- Easy to Store: Stands upright on its own and the cord wraps conveniently around hooks on the back to keep everything organized
- Low-maintenance & Easy to Assemble: This bagless vacuum keeps your maintenance cost as low as possible. Simply clean the dust cup and wash the filter regularly
iRobot Roomba i7+ Automatic Dirt Disposal – Dual Multi Surface Rubber Brushes – Learns, Maps, and Adapts – Clean by Object – Personalized Suggestions
- Empties on its own - you don’t have to think about vacuuming for months at a time. Clean Base Automatic Dirt Disposal with AllergenLock bag holds 60 days of dirt, dust and hair.
- Power-Lifting Suction delivers 10X the air power* for improved pick-up performance. Premium 3-Stage Cleaning System cleans the dirt and pet hair you see and the allergens and dust you don't. *(Compared to Roomba 600 Series)
- 3 pack of Automatic Dirt Disposal Bags
- Each bag holds 30 bins of dirt and debris
There isn’t a way to make the robot be more gentle on your hardwood floors, but the advantage is that you will get all the small particles removed before they have a chance to get walked on. Even better you can send this one to a mess that has just happened, via Alexa or Google Assistant. Strangely enough this only gets 4.4 out of 5 stars on Amazon, possibly the higher price point meaning that people expect more.
- Floorsense technology: Utilizes micro-sensors that detect changing floor types and automatically adjusts brush roll speed for the best results on any floor type
- Extended reach: Powered Reach Mode gives you greater access and further cleaning reach without having to move furniture
- Windtunnel surge: Designed to capture dirt, dust and pet hair Cleaning path is 13 inches. Hepa Secondary Filtration
- Multi cyclonic technology: Our advanced technology for No Loss of Suction ensures a continuous cleaning experience
- Tools included: Deluxe Crevice Tool, Dusting Brush, Flexible Dusting Brush, Powered Stair Tool
Swiffer Sweep and Vac
- Long lasting rechargeable battery
- 3X cleaning action on dirt, dust and hair. Dirt Cup collects dirt no bags easy to empty
- Combines powerful suction of a vacuum with a Swiffer Sweeper dry sweeping cloth
- Starter Kit contains 1 Sweep + Vic, 8 dry sweeping refills, 1 battery charger, 1 replaceable filter
- Lightweight and compact
My concerns aside it scored 4.5 of out 5 stars on Amazon, so most people thought it was well worth the very low price tag.
Dyson V11 Torque Drive, Cord-Free Vacuum.
- Dyson's most intelligent, powerful cordless vacuum. Twice the suction of any cordless vacuum.
- Dyson technology helps create a cleaner, healthier home - Our vacuums and purifiers are scientifically proven to capture particles as small as allergens and bacteria.
- Engineered for whole-home, deep cleaning. Suction power, run time and tools designed to deep clean your whole home.
- Intelligently optimizes suction and run time across all floor types. The right balance of power and run time when you need it.
- Up to 60 minutes of run time. Engineered for larger homes with pets. Actual run time will vary based on power mode, floor type and/or attachments used.
As ever this is a well-balanced lightweight machine, that also boasts intelligent adaptation to different floors, and whilst the claim to pick up 99.97% of microscopic dust is difficult to confirm or deny at home, it still leaves your floors looking clean and dust-free. At a touch under 7 lbs the Dyson Torque Drive is a real lightweight vacuum.
What to Consider When Choosing the Right Hardwood Floor Vacuum
It doesn’t matter what style of vacuum you prefer as there’s probably a version specially designed for hardwood floors. The usual options include canister vacuums, which are easy to empty, cordless vacuums, which are incredibly portable, robot vacuums, which require little effort on your part, and even more. There are benefits and disadvantages to every vacuum, so it’s a matter of which features work best with your lifestyle.
You may want to prioritize certain attachments depending on how you plan to use your vacuum. There are many popular options including dusting, upholstery, crevice, and pet attachments. All these attachments can come in handy around your house, depending on your cleaning needs.
A key factor that many people don’t think about when purchasing a new vacuum is the weight of the machine. This is a key factor that can impact whether you ultimately like your new vacuum or not. A vacuum that’s too heavy is just a burden to push around your home, while one that’s too light may get knocked over easily and therefore damaged.
Features to Look for When Choosing the Right Hardwood Floor Vacuum
You may want a vacuum with unique features or something simpler. Either way, it pays to do your research and read product reviews to determine which hardwood floor cleaner is best for your needs. Consider the cleaning head on the vacuum and attachments that come with it. Do they meet all your cleaning needs? Will you be happy with the options or do you need something more? Look for a vacuum that appeals to you, that you like and would want to use. Don’t forget to consider the weight of the machine and how it will look in your home. Is the vacuum cordless or corded? Which one better fits your needs? What is the battery life on a cordless vacuum? Does the vacuum have bags or is it a cannister? How easy is it to clean or remove and replace the bag without creating a giant mess? These are all questions you need to consider before deciding which is the best hardwood floor cleaner for your home and lifestyle.
Are vacuums safe for hardwood floors?
Hardwood floors are hard to clean and you want to make sure you don’t leave a trail of scratches on your lovely hardwood floor. Rest assured—you can clean your hardwood floors with a vacuum without running the risk of damaging them. All you need to do is make sure your vacuum has a few key features that ensure gentle and effective cleaning. You will want to look for adjustable height and suction settings, rubberized or felted wheels, and, depending on the vacuum, softer cleaning heads.
When is it better to vacuum, rather than sweep, hardwood floors?
While sweeping is an excellent way to clean up large debris, particularly dirty hardwood or floors that may be covered in small debris are better to be vacuumed to get clean. Thanks to their suction power, vacuums can pick up fine dirt and dust particles that brooms might not be able to. If you want a thoroughly cleaned floor then you will want to opt for a vacuum over sweeping.
Will a robotic vacuum clean hardwood floors?
Using a robotic vacuum is one of the least labor-intensive ways to keep your home clean. Look for a robot vacuum that gives you the ability to adjust its height and suction settings. Some vacuums do this automatically while other may require you to change the settings remotely or even via an app. You can count on hardwood floor vacuums to clean hardwood and tile as effectively as it cleans carpeted areas.
Whether you’re getting into the spirit of spring cleaning or just trying to keep pesky allergies and pet hair at bay, the best vacuum for hardwood floors can make the entire process much easier. If you’re sick of using a clunky traditional vacuum, then it might be time for you to cut the cord and upgrade to a more modern, cordless version. These high-tech appliances are lighter and easier to manoeuvrer compared to their corded counterparts. They tend to look sleeker and nicer too.
While most cordless vacuums are designed to work on all surfaces, they are especially effective when it comes to cleaning hardwood floors. These neat gadgets will suck up the same amount of dirt and debris as traditional vacuums, but their lightweight and compact designs prevent excess wear and tear from occurring on your flooring and on you!
Cordless vacuums, like many appliances, can be expensive but worth the cost. You will need to determine your needs and wants and see which vacuum best fits those needs before you make your purchase. Some vacuum options even have extended battery life to give you up to 100 minutes of runtime. Some others are designed to wash floors and suck up unwanted debris simultaneously. Regardless, there are plenty of options available for you to find the best hardwood floor cleaning machine to suit all your cleaning needs.