Home > Planning & Design > Best Vacuums for Hardwood Floors
Photo Gallery
Request Brochures

What are the Best Vacuums for Hardwood Floors?

Keep the look of a new hardwood floor with routine vacuuming to remove dirt and debris that can scratch the finish.

You take pride in the luster and natural beauty of your hardwood floors and want to keep them looking great. To maintain the beauty of your hardwood flooring, follow an easy, regular cleaning routine to remove dirt and abrasive debris that can scratch the finish. A vacuum cleaner can help get the job done quickly and effectively.

Best Vacuums for Hardwood Flooring

There are many choices in vacuum models, yet none designed specifically for cleaning hardwood floors. When vacuum shopping, you need to look for a tool that has enough power and flexibility to deal with dust, dirt and pet hair without damaging the floor. If you already have a vacuum, use it just like you do for cleaning carpets except for a few adjustments outlined below to accommodate hard surface floors. If you're in the market for a new vacuum cleaner, this article will help you narrow the choices to find the best vacuum for hardwood flooring.

Upright Models and Canisters

First, decide between a self-contained upright model and a canister with its power head attached to a long hose. Uprights typically cost less than canisters but the extra weight of these vacuums can give you a workout. Canister vacuums are lightweight and, since you’re mostly moving just the hose and power head, easier to maneuver. Canisters clearly have the edge when it comes to cleaning stairs or under furniture.

You might also consider the less powerful stick vacuums. These inexpensive, versatile vacuums have a low profile that easily fits under cabinets and furniture. While no substitute for a full-sized vacuum, a stick vacuum is a convenient way to clean up dirt, sand and other debris brought in from outdoors.

Bagless Vacuums

In reviewing the best vacuums for hardwood flooring, you’ll need to consider dirt collection options. Bagless vacuums collect dirt in a built-in bin instead of a throw-away bag. Be aware, though, with these vacuums, emptying the dirt bin can expose you to a cloud of dust, and pet hair tends to cling to bagless bins, so emptying them can be a frustrating and dusty chore. If you choose a bagless option, check that the bin is well sealed to prevent dust from leaking back into the air where it can redeposit on hardwood floors. Bag vacuums generally hold more dirt and may be preferable if you have allergies.

Vacuums with Features for Cleaning Hardwood

Once you know what type of vacuum you want, look for the features that indicate you can use it for hardwood floors. A switch that stops the roller brush from spinning is one to look for. On a hard surface, a spinning brush will scatter dirt and debris, and it’s also prone to snagging small rugs. A suction control switch can help, too, by reducing airflow when light suction is all that’s needed. A manual height adjustment or bare floor setting lets you lower the power head when vacuuming hardwood flooring. Some vacuums adjust automatically.

An edge cleaner is a convenient option. Models with this feature can pick up dirt under the entire power head, meaning the vacuum can clean right up to where the floor meets the wall. You can also clean this area with any of the standard attachment tools, like a crevice tool or soft bristle brush, that come with most vacuums.

For more cleaning tips for your Armstrong hardwood floor, check out hardwood care and maintenance instructions.

Your hardwood floor is a prized asset to your home, and vacuum cleaning is an effective way to protect your investment. When it comes to choosing the best vacuum for hardwood flooring, keep in mind that the best vacuum is one that effectively removes dust, dirt, sand and other particles without scratching the finish.