Hardwood floor surfaces are not like any other surfaces. They are always spectacular and they come with very different characteristics and designs. Apart from being very beautiful and creating a scenery with a calm and a naturally warming effect, these floors are also as delicate as they look. That is why maintaining them has always been a task.

Hardwood Vacuum CleanerA cleanly polished and well maintained hardwood floor will greatly increase the value and appearance of your home. But to polish, maintain, and safely clean a hardwood floor surface, you need a vacuum cleaner that is specifically designed for the job.

Vacuum cleaners offer the most efficient and effective techniques for cleaning any surface, because of their high demand and general use, very many companies have produced and released a variety of cleaners with different specifications and features.

Purchasing a good vacuum for wood flooring comes with a number of challenges, and you should always be aware that they vary not only in terms of quality, but they also have different specifications depending on the exact type of your floor. So what should you look out for when searching for the best one out there?

The following detailed guide will inform you on some important aspects to consider.

How to Choose The Best Vacuum For Hardwood Floor

Before you can select the right cleaner that will cater for all your needs, you should research information related to your floor first and know the types of cleaners that are available for you and how they relate to hardwood floors.

Generally, vacuum cleaners are classified into:

1. Upright

These are vacuum cleaners that are built on one solid piece. They can stand upright on their own without support and they are taller and heavier than other types of vacuums, they have a very powerful suction, great filtration mechanisms, a nose with extra attachments and some added features that make cleaning a house very easy and convenient. However, they are not recommended for cleaning hardwood floor surfaces because most of them have beater brushes on their heads which can scratch wooden floors. You can use the nose attachment to clean up your floor but this can prove to be a very tiresome and inconvenient way if you are cleaning the whole house.

2. Canister

These are very easy to use vacuum cleaners that are made of two parts, the head and the body. A suction head is connected to an engine through a long pipe or hose. It has an effective suction power and it can clean out a variety of dirt and particles. This is probably the best for hardwood floors because:

  • Its suction power is powerful enough to get the dirt out of cracks and hidden places.
  • It is very mobile. Its light weight increases its mobility so you can pull it around your house to where ever you are moving to as you clean.
  • It has an interchangeable head. The head of a canister vacuum can be switched and changed. This diversifies its purposes and makes it easier to avoid brushes that might cause damage to your floor.

3. Stick

A stick vacuum is very similar to an upright and has the same properties as an upright cleaner. The only variations that exist on it are its suction power which is weaker compared to other vacuums, it has no hose extension to help access hidden areas and it is very skinny. Otherwise, it has no interchangeable heads and it can stand upright on its own just like an upright. These vacuum cleaners can be essential for your hardwood if you are in an environment where you have to clean small messes frequently or in a compact home space. They are not effective for heavy duty or extended cleaning purposes.

4. Handheld

Handheld vacuums are portable vacuum cleaners that can be corded or battery powered. They do not have many features and capabilities but they are very effective and resourceful when it comes to cleaning small particles of dirt from hard to reach surfaces, they can do effective spot cleaning and simple touch-ups. Handheld can work well with hardwood floor surfaces since these surfaces do not require very powerful suction. However, they are very impractical for cleaning extended areas or the whole house because of their small size.

It is also very important to consider the characteristics of your hardwood surface and the main purpose of the cleaner you want to purchase. You can base your judgement on the following.

Also Read: Why You Need Both a Canister and Handheld Vacuum for a Hardwood Floor

Factors You Should Consider

What kind of wood do you want to clean?

Wood that is meant for a floor surface can come in different types with some variations and special added features. Is your floor coated, Is it purely wood, does it have grooves and lines in between? Looking at the characteristics of your floor and taking note of what can harm it and what will effectively clean it will enable you to have a better picture of the features you want.

What amount of ground surface do you want to cover?

If you are covering a larger area with separate floors and staircases, it is most likely that you should go for a light vacuum cleaner that you can carry and move around with up or down the stairs, but if you are cleaning a large flat floor, an upright cleaner can be of much help.

What other surfaces will you need to clean as you clean your floor?

Some homes have floor surfaces that are made from pure hardwood, but most homes have different materials covering different parts of the floor. You could find a carpet in the living room, some tiles in the kitchen and even rugs. This can make your search a little bit complicated but if you generalize some features according to your preferences, you will be able to pick the most effective vacuum cleaner for you.

Do you happen to own pets?

Pets are fun to have around as they light up your home, but from time to time, they tend to leave small messes here and there around your house, you will be forced to clean after them. Pet hair also has a way of sticking on surfaces. You need a vacuum cleaner that has specific features that can brush off the hair with ease and suck it up with the other dirt.

How much filtration power do you need?

The filtration power is essential when it comes to the quality of the air you desire and the size of particles you want to clean. If you are cleaning a surface with a lot of dust and small particles, you need a higher filtration power that will not release some particles into the air. this will keep your atmosphere clean.

You should also consider the amount of noise produced and the price of the whole machine. Cheaper vacuums produce the most noise because they lack some noise cancelling features. With a good selection technique, you can find an effective one with features that are essential for your needs at a very friendly price to your pockets.

Features to Look For

Extra and versatile attachments

Hardwood floor surfaces require a variety of attachments to cater for different cleaning purposes. A large suction head without a spinning beater brush is the best option for a hardwood floor because these brushes can scratch and damage a wooden floor.

Suction power

For a hardwood floor surface, low to medium suction power is advisable. Large carpets require a high and powerful suction power because they can hold too much dirt in between their threads. this is not the case when it comes to hardwood floor surfaces.

Long extension hoses

Irrespective of the type of vacuum cleaner you purchase, a long hose will completely come in handy. A long hose saves you the fatigue associated with bending around and stretching to some hard to reach areas which can turn your cleaning into a very tiresome task.

The weight of the machine

If you plan on cleaning your house using only a single machine, you must consider the effort that it will take you to move it from place to place. Heavier machines require more effort which leads to faster fatigue. They can also cause wear and tear on your floors as you move around and possible accidents. A light to medium weight vacuum cleaner can be of good use.


The body of your vacuum can do a lot of damage as you move it around. Those that are designed for hardwood floors feature a protective cover made of rubber on their sides and their bottoms. This layer will protect your wooden floor from scratches. You should also go for rubber wheels on the machine since plastic will also cause some damage with the slightest mishandling.

The following is a list of some of the top rated models available:

  • Oreck Insight. This vacuum is very light and performs best on hardwood floors, stairs and carpets.
  • Miele S-6270 Quartz. This one has a powerful suction, its motor runs quietly and it is very easy to use.
  • Dyson V-6 Motorhead. This one is essential for pet hair and very effective on hardwood, carpets and even tiles.
  • Oreck Commercial XL 2100 RHS. this one comes with a low profile head that enables it to get to tight spots and transition easily through different surfaces.
  • Dyson V 6. It picks up pet hair very well with high performance on hard floors and carpets.

Other great models include:

  • Miele Jazz S 7280.
  • Neato Botvac BV 85.
  • Miele S 8590 Alize.
  • Miele S 2121 Olympus.
  • Dyson DC 65 Animal.


Vacuum cleaners are meant to make cleaning easier and very convenient. To top that, they should produce the best results attainable. Due to the delicate nature of hardwood floors, you can never get the job right by using any vacuum cleaner. The variety of cleaners available makes it even harder for you to pick any. For this reason, you need to consider many things. This basic guideline can help you come up with the best decision to get the most effective choice for your home.


  1. http://www.hardwoodchampion.com/picking-the-best-vacuum/
  2. http://woodfloors.org/maintenance.aspx