At Modern Castle we test and research products so that we can make the best recommendations possible. Learn more about our tests here.
- Best Overall: Dyson V10 Absolute
- Best Cordless: Dyson V11 Torque Drive
- Best Value: Shark IONFlex DuoClean
- Best Robot: Roomba S9+
- Best 2-in-1 Robot: Roborock S6 MaxV
- Best Canister: Miele Classic C1
- Best Upright: Shark APEX DuoClean
The 7 best vacuums for hardwood floors above all went through our tests and impressed us enough to earn a spot on our list here. Continue below to our hardwood floor vacuum comparison chart.
|Dyson V10 Absolute||Check Price|
|Shark IONFlex DuoClean||Check Price|
|Roomba S9+||Check Price|
|Roborock S6 MaxV||Check Price|
|Miele Classic C1||Check Price|
|Shark APEX DuoClean||Check Price|
Best Overall: Dyson V10 Absolute
The Dyson V10 Absolute is a 2-in-1 stick vacuum with 60 minute run time, excellent cleaning performance (99% in our tests), and a lightweight body. It’s easy to maneuver the V10 across different flooring types and the soft roller cleaning head is ideal for hardwoods.
The V10 is designed to easily transforms between a cordless stick vacuum and a portable handheld vacuum. Additionally, it includes a variety of cleaning tools.
Tools easily attach and detach with a one-click button connection.
One of the most notable tools is the Fluffy cleaning head, a soft roller cleaning head specifically designed for cleaning hard surface flooring.
We put this vacuum to the test in our at-home testing lab. We tested it against cereal, rice, kitty litter, and sugar and the V10 had excellent scores across the board.
The Dyson V10 captured 99% of debris tested (overall) on hardwoods. Scores break down as follows:
- Cereal: 100%
- Kitty Litter: 100%
- Rice: 98%
- Sugar: 100%
Best Cordless: Dyson V11 Torque Drive
The Dyson V11 Torque Drive is an upgraded V-series vacuum after the V10. It has a little more suction power (185AW vs. 140AW) and does not include the “fluffy” roller cleaning head, but is otherwise quite similar.
The V11 Torque Drive comes with fewer accessories than the V10 Absolute, but the main one you may miss is the Fluffy cleaning head.
This vacuum only comes with the Torque Drive cleaning head which is suitable for all floor types. If you like the specs and features of the V11, but also want the soft roller brush, you can buy a standalone fluffy brush here.
Similar to the V10 above, and all vacuums in the Dyson V-Series lineup, the V11 is a 2-in-1 stick vacuum that can also be used as a handheld vacuum.
RELATED: Want the power and features of the V11, but with higher dust capacity? Check out the XL Dyson V11 Outsize, with a 25% wider cleaning head and 150% higher dust bin capacity.
There are three different cleaning modes, Eco, Auto, and Boost, which easily show the battery life on the back of the motor.
We put the V11 to the test and the results were basically the same as the V10.
The Dyson V11 captured 99% of debris tested (overall) on hardwoods. Scores break down as follows:
- Cereal: 100%
- Kitty Litter: 99%
- Rice: 99%
- Sugar: 100%
Best Value: Shark IONFlex DuoClean
The Shark IONFlex DuoClean stick vacuum is a solid value for a cordless stick vacuum with good performance.
Unlike traditional stick vacuums, the IONFlex DuoClean has two unique features.
- A soft roller cleaning head (much like the Fluffy head from Dyson)
- A flexible wand for extended reach under furniture or compact storage
This vacuum has controls accessible on the back of the handheld, behind the motor which makes it easy to:
- Change cleaning mode
- Adjust suction
- Turn the vacuum on / off
The flexible stick design makes it easier to clean under furniture or even for compact storage. The flexible wand joint allows for up to 180 degrees of maneuverability.
The Shark IONFlex captured 98% of debris tested (overall) on hardwoods. Scores break down as follows:
- Cereal: 100%
- Kitty Litter: 100%
- Rice: 100%
- Sugar: 93%
The biggest struggle with cleaning performance was collecting sugar, as the soft roller head tended to fling the sugar up and over the cleaning head instead of directing it into the dust bin.
That being said, it wasn’t a huge quantity of sugar left behind, in comparison to what was initially tested.
Best Robot: Roomba S9+
Looking for a robot vacuum with a different set of features? Check out the Roomba S9+ from iRobot. This robot vacuum offers a self-emptying dust bin, digital mapping, Recharge & Resume, zoning cleaning, and excellent cleaning performance.
The navigation on the S9+ is more advanced than other budget level models (like Roomba e5 or Roomba 675). These more basic models are equipped with iAdapt 1.0 navigation, which results in a zig-zag navigation pattern.
Roombas equipped with iAdapt 2.0 or 3.0 navigation clean with straighter lines and more direct, logical cleaning patterns.
The Roomba i3+, i7+, and S9+ include a self-emptying dust bin. This feature can remove debris from the vacuum and deposit into a larger dust bin designed into the docking station.
The Roomba S9+ captured 99% of debris tested (overall) on hardwoods when we tested a mix of cereal, sugar, rice, and kitty litter.
Also see our side-by-side comparison of the Roomba S9+ vs. i7+ vs. i3+ vs. e5 vs 675
Best 2-in-1 Robot: Roborock S6 MaxV
If you prefer the autonomous nature of a robot vacuum, it’s hard to miss the Roborock S6 MaxV.
This robot vacuum has excellent cleaning performance on hardwoods and a navigation system that is unrivaled (in our view) by anything else on the market.
In addition to the specs above, the S6 can sweep, vacuum, and damp mop, making it an excellent option for a 2-in-1 vacuuming and mopping robot.
The obstacle detection is incredibly impressive with this robot. The S6 MaxV not only makes digital maps while it cleans, but it also senses and avoids obstacles that could get in the way of the cleaning.
See the mapping and obstacle field we tested below.
In addition to obstacle detection, the S6 MaxV also had excellent cleaning performance.
The Roborock S6 MaxV captured 99% of debris tested (overall) on hardwoods when we tested a mix of cereal, sugar, rice, and kitty litter.
Best Canister: Miele Classic C1
If you prefer the power and light in-hand maneuverability of a canister vacuum then you should go with the Miele Classic C1 canister. This vacuum uses a bagged system which helps to keep the debris and airborne particulate down but may result in higher maintenance costs overall.
When cleaning with any canister vacuum, there is a rigid in-hand portion attached to the body of the vacuum via a flexible wand. The body of the vacuum holds a bagged system for debris to be deposited into.
There are controls on the vacuum for the following functions:
- Power on / off
- Cord wrap
- Adjust suction power
The Miele C1 is a corded vacuum, but the cord is 18′ with a 5′ hose, for a combined reach of nearly 23′.
During our tests, I was impressed with the cleaning performance of the Miele C1.
The Miele Classic C1 captured 100% of debris tested (overall) on hardwoods when we tested a mix of cereal, sugar, rice, and kitty litter.
Best Upright: Shark APEX DuoClean
The Shark APEX DuoClean is the only upright vacuum featured in this review. Part of that is due to the increasing popularity of other vacuum types as well as the exceptional performance of this particular vacuum on hardwood floors.
In many cases, traditional upright vacuums may be too bulky and a bit overkill for cleaning hardwoods, where excess suction may not be required.
The APEX DuoClean is unique with its dual cleaning head and relatively lightweight body style.
This vacuum has a soft roller at the front of the cleaning head to capture large debris without flinging it. A centrally located spiral brushroll helps to clean debris from higher pile surfaces like carpet and / or area rugs.
This vacuum is 17 lbs, so about the same weight at the Miele C1 (16.1 lbs). It’s heavier and larger than all other models listed above, but if you want strong suction and don’t want to worry about a fading battery, this upright is a good choice.
The Shark APEX DuoClean captured 100% of debris tested (overall) on hardwoods when we tested a mix of cereal, sugar, rice, and kitty litter.
How We Ranked & Scored
Wondering how we ranked or scored these best vacuums for hardwoods?
All of our scoring comes as a result of in-depth performance testing. We use the vacuums in our testing lab, try it out, and score the vac based on a series of assessments and real-life cleaning scenarios.
Factors we consider in the overall score include:
- Cleaning Performance
Although we’re mainly concerned with performance on hardwoods here, we do test the vacuum both hardwoods and carpeted floors (high pile and low pile carpet).
We also use a range of debris types, varying in density and size. Our cleaning tests clean up:
- Kitty Litter
- Can I use the same vacuum on carpets as I do on hardwood floors?
- What are the most important features for hardwood floor vacuums?
- What if I have both pets and hardwood floors?
- Should I sweep or dust before I vacuum my hardwood floors?
- Are bagged or bagless vacuums better for hardwood floors?
- How frequently should hardwood floors be vacuumed?
Can I use the same vacuum on carpets as I do on hardwood floors?
The short answer is yes. Many times vacuums require more suction and power for cleaning carpets than they would require for cleaning hardwoods.
Hardwood floors have a hard surface with no need for agitative brushrolls to pull the dirt up (like carpet).
A vacuum that is successful at cleaning carpets would be more than sufficient at cleaning hardwood floors.
That said, some traditional brushrolls can be damaging to certain hardwood floors. If you have unsealed or otherwise delicate hardwood floors a brushroll (aka beater bar) could scratch or otherwise damage the floors.
In general, for hardwood floors we recommend vacuums that:
- Can turn off the spinning brushroll
- Have a soft brushroll
- Have no brushroll (as is the case on canister vacuums)
Always follow your hardwood floor manufacturer’s guidelines for cleaning.
What are the most important features for hardwood floor vacuums?
For cleaning hardwood floors, there are a few features that help to achieve the best cleaning performance.
#1 – Roller Brushroll (if applicable)
Not all vacuums have this and it is certainly not “necessary”, but many vacuums do offer a cleaning head that uses a soft roller. Roller heads are generally better at capturing large debris types and are gentler at cleaning hardwood floors in general.
For the best vacuums with a soft roller, check out:
For robot vacuums with a similar approach, look for Roombas with rubberized brushrolls. This includes the following popular models.
Click the links below to read our full review of each Roomba:
RELATED: Want more Roomba? Click here to see our full rundown of the best Roombas.
#2 – Appropriate Cleaning Tools (excludes robot vacuums)
Accessories is another factor that can really enhance a vacuum for hardwoods. Some of the most beneficial tools for cleaning hardwoods include:
- Combination tool
- Crevice tool
- Soft dusting brush
This would apply to upright, stick or handheld vacuums. If you decide to opt for a robot vacuum, it won’t come with any handheld cleaning tools
#3 – Long Run Time (if applicable)
Many vacuums today are cordless, which means run time is becoming increasingly important.
Longer run time allows for more time cleaning and less time waiting on a charge.
Cordless Vacuums with Long Run Times
Some vacuums with the longest single run times include:
- Dyson V11 Torque Drive: 60 minutes
- Shark IONFlex DuoClean: 80 minutes (via 2 batteries)
- Dyson V10 Absolute: 60 minutes
- LG CordZero A9 Kompressor: 120 minutes (via 2 batteries)
- Dyson V11 Outsize: 120 minutes (via 2 batteries)
Other advantages may also include:
Recharge and Resume: (for robot vacs only) Recharge the vacuum in the middle of a cleaning cycle and then goes back to cleaning where it left off
Interchangable batteries: includes two batteries so you can swap it out when one dies and keep on cleaning
What if I have both pets and hardwood floors?
Having pets means you have pet messes to clean up, the most common being pet hair.
Cleaning pet hair on hardwood floors is easily handled by any of the vacuums on our list. However, vacuum cleaners with soft roller or rubberized brushrolls are particuarlly well-suited to cleaning pet hair.
Traditional brushrolls can be more likely to tangle on pet hair, where rubber and soft brushes have enough friction to grab onto hair, but can still loose it into the dust bin
The soft roller brush on the Dyson V10 Absolute, dual-brush style from the Shark IONFlex DuoClean and Shark APEX DuoClean, and rubberized brushrolls from Roomba’s S9+ all do a great job at removing pet hair from hardwood floors.
Should I sweep or dust before I vacuum my hardwood floors?
In most cases, no, sweeping or dusting before you vacuum is rarely necessary. Vacuums are designed to clean up a variety of different debris types, ranging in size from quick pick-ups to large deep cleaning cycles.
RELATED: Want a vacuum that sweeps, vacuums, and mops? Roborock S6 MaxV.
The one exception would be if you’re wanting to clean surfaces above the floor, like furniture, fans, counters etc. Many times, it can be helpful to dust those areas first as much of that debris may fall onto the floor.
Once higher level surfaces are clean, you’ll be able to vacuum more effectively.
Are bagged or bagless vacuums better for hardwood floors?
Baggde and bagless vacuums both have their advantages and disadvages when it comes to cleaning hardwood floors.
Bagged systems can be beneficial for people with allergies since all of the debris is contained.
Bagless systems are good at easily knowing when it’s time to empty the dustbin. A refillable dust bin also keeps down maintenance costs since you don’t have to buy bags.
Want the benefits of low maintenance, but the allergy protection of a bagged system? Consider a system with a washable dustbin.
Vacuums with Washable Filters
Here are three vacuums with washable filters, dust bins, or other parts:
How frequently should hardwood floors be vacuumed?
Hardwood floors should be vacuumed often in order to keep them clean. For most homes, the means once or twice a week.
If you have lots foot traffic, kids, dogs, live in a dusty / dirty environment, you may want to vacuum your hardwood floors every day.
Unlike carpets or area rugs, where debris can hide in the fibers, hardwood floors allow debris to sit on top of the surface which can make messes more noticeable.
Still not sure what vacuum is best for your hardwood floors? No problem.
Please use the comment form down below to ask us your questions. We’d be happy to help! We typically are able to answer within 24 hours.
- January 1, 2021 – We corrected a handful of typos, swapped out different / better images, and added new information where relevant, including the new Shark Vertex model. A few links were changed to more relevant and better pages.
- July 6, 2020 – Page was completely overhauled with new, updated, and clarification recommendations. Updated page template to be more streamlined and clear.
- April 11, 2019 – Initial version of the page was published.