Choose the Right Vacuum for Hardwood Floors

Discover the vacumm styles that will help you maintain your beautiful hardwood floor.

How to clean hardwood floors

Maintaining a Hardwood Floor


You take pride in the natural beauty and luster of your hardwood floor and want to keep it 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.

How to clean hardwood floors


How to clean hardwood floors


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 like you do for cleaning carpets - with 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 weighing 20 lbs. or more, they 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.


Vacuum Features


Once you know the type of vacuum you want, look for the features that indicate whether you can use it for hardwood floors.



  • Roller brush on/off switch: stops the roller brush from spinning. On a hard surface, a spinning brush will scatter dirt and debris, and it’s also prone to snagging small rugs.
  • Suction control switch: reduces airflow when light suction is all that’s needed.
  • Manual height adjustment (or bare floor setting): lets you lower the power head when vacuuming hardwood flooring. Some vacuums adjust automatically.
  • Edge cleaner: 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
Cleaning Hardwood Floors

Your hardwood floor is a prized asset in your home, and vacuuming 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 one effectively removes dust, dirt, and other particles without scratching the finish.


Cleaning Hardwood Floors