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Throughout the years, more and more innovative products have been released to the public. Some of these are astoundingly beneficial and will help to make the consumer’s life a little bit easier.
This is especially true, when it comes to some of the new vacuum cleaners. Many have been revamped and engineered in a manner that makes them absolutely perfect for hardwood and laminate floors. Within this guide, you will learn everything you need to know about purchasing the best vacuum for cleaning your hardwood & laminate floors!
- Related: Best vacuum for tiled floors
If you are looking to find a machine to also wash hardwood floors, read our Vax Floormate reviews here.
Our Top Picks - Vacs for Hardwood Floors
Why Buy a Hardwood Floor Vacuum?
When You Shouldn’t Buy a Hardwood Vacuum
The only occasions where you don’t need a vacuum cleaner for hard floors is if you don’t have any. If your house is fully carpeted, then this type of vacuum cleaner is not going to do you any good.
Other than that, there is no other reason why you shouldn’t go out and pick up one of these nifty vacuums.
Why You Need a Hardwood Floor Vac
You might be thinking why you need a hard floor vacuum cleaner, and what makes it different from a regular vacuum.
You can find out more about the latter in the next section, but here we are going to tell you why you need a hard floor vacuum cleaner, especially if you have hardwood flooring.
Having a vacuum cleaner that has been specially designed to deal with your hardwood floors can help to improve its overall condition and also increase the lifespan of your flooring.
It cleans them more effectively and efficiently, ensuring that your floors are not only kept in perfect condition, but also making sure that they are well looked after.
How it Differs from a Carpet Vacuum
A regular vacuum cleaner, or one that works primarily for carpets, can cause damage to your hardwood floors over time, causing wear and tear and negatively affecting its overall condition and potentially damaging the floor.
Regular vacuum cleaners often use a powered brush, and this is often too rough on hard floors, causing them to become scratched and worn.
You will also find that a regular vacuum cleaner does not clean hard floors as effectively or efficiently as a machine that has been designed especially for these conditions.
They require greater suction and power, particularly if there are gaps between the wood or even the tiles.
Hardwood floors actually tend to produce a lot less friction than carpeted floors, which can lead to the dirt and debris being pushed around instead of sucked up. As a result, you need more power and suction in order to clean the floors properly.
How Much Do You Need to Spend?
Hardwood vacuum cleaners come in all shapes and sizes. You might find some for around £50, but the prices can go all the way up to over £400. It depends on the brand, but also the quality and design of the machine.
If you want something good and effective for your hardwood floors, you should be looking at spending between £200 and £250 on your vacuum cleaner.
While there are some models that are lower in price that can be just as good, you are safer sticking with this price bracket.
Main Types of Hardwood Vacuum Cleaner
This is a slightly trickier question to answer, as you will find there are loads of different types of hardwood vacuum cleaner. Here are some of the main types that you might come across.
Handheld vacuum cleaners tend to be the cheapest on the market, and they are also some of the best for small messes and clean-ups.
Generally speaking, they aren’t the most powerful machines out there, but they will do a great job on what you need them to. Plus, many of them work very well on hardwood floors, helping you to avoid damage.
Upright vacuum cleaners are a very popular choice, and once again, there are many brands and models to choose from to help you tackle your hard floors.
These are often very compact and easy to store away, but they can be heavier than other types of vacuum cleaner. Some will have a lift-away feature where you can take the main body of the vacuum off for easier transportation as well as stair cleaning.
Cylinder vacuums are also a great one to choose. If you are wondering what they look like, think of a Numatic Henry or some of the smaller models of Dyson.
These tend to be closer to the ground, and are lighter in terms of weight because they wheel along behind you. There are plenty of these vacuum cleaners on the market that work very well on hardwood floors, as well as tile and laminate.
What Key Features to Look For
One of the first things you will want to look at is the price range. Once you have determined how much you have to spend, you can start to filter the models available to you accordingly. Here’s how the pricing tends to go for hardwood vacuum cleaners:
Cheap: under £50
- In this price bracket, you are likely to find handheld vacuum cleaners and not much else. These are great for small messes and surfaces, but not so great for cleaning the whole house.
Budget: under £100
- You are likely to find a mixture of vacuum cleaners here. The higher end handheld models and the lower end cylinder and upright vacuums will be here. Although, you might find yourself a good quality bargain.
Mid-Range: under £250
- You may find some great quality cylinder vacuum cleaners from brands like Numatic here. These tend to be very good for cleaning without costing a fortune. There will also be uprights and a few handhelds in this price bracket.
High-End: over £250
- Big names like Dyson and Shark tend to be in this price range, and you can expect to find quite a few (corded and cordless) when searching for hardwood vacuum cleaners. There are also a number of great cylinder vacuums in this bracket from leading brands.
Power is essential for hard floors, and there is a very good reason for this. Hardwood floors tend to have gaps between the planks, and it is very easy for dust and debris to become trapped between them.
As a result, you need a machine with very powerful suction that can lift the grime from these tricky areas – especially as a brush roll is not going to be able to reach that far down to pull out the debris.
It also means that it will be better at picking up large debris. Of course, if you have hard floors with no gaps, the suction isn’t as important.
The weight is also a feature that you need to think about. How much weight are you able to handle? Do you want something that is easy to carry up the stairs? It is important to know what you want before you start looking at vacuum cleaners.
Handheld models are the lightest but the least effective, whereas cylinder vacuums are a relatively lightweight form that can act as a good middle ground.
Vacuum cleaners need to be stored away when they aren’t in use, even if it’s only to keep it out of your way. Take some time to consider how much storage space you have for a vacuum cleaner.
Do you have a tall and slim place for an upright model, or would a shorter and squatter cylinder vacuum be the better option? Look also for storage on the actual vacuum, things like a clip for the main floor head or the accessories.
Corded or Cordless
Do you want a corded or a cordless model? Cordless models mean that there are no cables to trip over, and that you don’t have to keep jumping between sockets. However, they do run out of charge, and you might not have enough time to clean your home.
Corded models can offer more power and suction, but they can also be less convenient and trickier to store. They both have pros and cons, so it really comes down to your personal preferences.
Many standard vacuum cleaners come with powered brush bars for cleaning, but with a hard floor vacuum, this is something you do not want.
The brush bars are made to really dig into the carpet to remove dirt and grime, but this also means that it can scratch your hard floors, leaving them looking worn and damaged.
The rolling brush is gentle on your hard floors, and is also able to pick all the debris up without scattering it.
Most cylinder vacuums will have wheel padding, which ensures that your hard floors are not scratched or damaged by the vacuum running behind you. While this feature is most commonly found on cylinder vacuum cleaners, some upright models have it too.
Pets / Allergies
You also need to think about whether it will be able to deal with all the pet hair in your home (if you have them), as well as if the filter is going to be good enough.
Some filters for pet vacuum cleaners will neutralise the odours or produce a fragrant scent to leave your home smelling fresh.
If you have asthma or allergies, you will also want to ensure that the filter captures the majority of dust and allergens without pushing it back into the air.
Attachments are a vacuum cleaner’s saving grace, and there are many models that will come with a variety of tools for you to use. However, there are three main ones that you should always keep an eye out for:
- Crevice tool (for the tight corners and skirting)
- Dusting brush (for surfaces and delicate areas)
- Upholstery tool (for furniture and the inside of your car)
Similarly, if you have pets, you will want to look out for a turbo tool (or something similarly named) that can really work your flooring with a little extra suction to ensure that all the fluff and dirt is removed effectively.
It’s no secret that there are some seriously loud vacuum cleaners on the market, but there are also models that are quite quiet in comparison.
Always take a look at the decibels to see how noisy the machine is going to be before you buy, especially if you want something a little quieter.
Bagged / Bagless
Some people prefer bagged vacuum cleaners, as the debris is tightly contained and it can be much easier for asthma and allergy sufferers to empty them. However, they can be quite expensive to replace, and some models have made them tricky to install.
Bagless vacuums are becoming the most popular choice as you can see when the canister is about to fill, but they also empty at the press of a button. They are a convenient choice for many.
The warranty is an important consideration to make. Most will last a minimum of one year, but you should check to see if they can be extended. It is also important to ensure that they cover parts and labour so that you are fully protected.
Shark is one of the top brands on the market, and as a result, you know you are getting great quality when you pick up one of these.
For one of the best hardwood vacuum cleaners, you only need to look below to see if it is going to be right for you and your home.
This upright vacuum cleaner features lift-away technology, so you can separate it from the main machine to make it more portable and lightweight.
This is perfect for carrying it up the stairs or between room, and also helps to make cleaning the actual stairs easier.
It also has a swivel head to make the handling easier and features a range of versatile attachments. It features powerful suction while also being gentle on hardwood floors to avoid scratching and general damage.
It’s strong enough to remove the dirt from the gaps in your hard floors, as well as able to tackle rugs and carpets when required – thanks to the dual speed setting.
The filter works effectively to remove up to 99.9% of allergens from the air, which is perfect for asthma and allergy sufferers.
I found this one is brilliant at sucking up hair and fibres. It also has a cracking set of filters, which means it locks in all of the nasty dust and allergens that it sucks up - a must for any allergy sufferer.
The Not So Good
Some customers found that this model was heavier than expected.
- Power: 750 watts
- Run Time: N/A
- Charge Time: N/A
- Weight: 6kg
- Dust Capacity: 5L
- Battery Voltage: 240v
- Noise: 80db
This vacuum cleaner comes at a reasonable price considering the brand and overall power/quality of the machine as well as its gentleness with hard floors.
While it can be a little heavier than expected, the handling still remains excellent, and the lift-away feature is great for accessing more difficult places like the stairs.
Plus, the wand is able to reach high areas, while the attachments are perfect for assisting with the details. Overall, it makes the perfect vacuum for any home.
Dyson V6 Absolute
Laminate floors are not always easy to clean, but the Dyson V6 Absolute is here to make things a little easier for you.
This could be the ideal vacuum cleaner for your home, so take some time to read the reviews below and see if it’s going to be the right one for you.
What makes this model of Dyson vacuum cleaner so good for use on laminate floors is the main brush head, which has been specially designed to cope with both hard floors and carpets in a gentle manner.
If you look at the brush bar, you will see alternating hard and soft bristles, and this is why it is such a gentle machine.
Despite this, it still offers amazing suction and power to clean your floors. I love how easy it is to handle, when you are vacuuming you only need one hand for full and smooth control.
On laminate floors, the suction is incredible, picking up fine debris with absolutely no issue at all. You can even use the dusting tool for a soft, but strong, clean that avoids damage to your floor.
The charging period is excellent, as is the running time, and it comes with a selection of very useful attachments to make life easier for you.
The Not So Good
It does tend to snow plough large debris, and so you will need to remove the head and just use the aluminium hose to clean these pieces up.
- Power: 100 watts
- Run Time: 20 mins
- Charge Time: 3 hours
- Weight: 4kg
- Dust Capacity: 0.4L
- Battery Voltage: 21.6v
- Noise: 87db
This vacuum cleaner is an excellent model from Dyson, and it could be just what you need for your laminate floors.
While it does snow plough large debris on hard floors (pushes it forward), all you need to do is remove the main brush head and use the hose to suck up the larger pieces. It offers a gentle clean on laminate floors as well as powerful suction to ensure that it remains clean.
Overall, it is a great model that is available at an excellent price considering how much it can offer your home.
Dyson V8 Absolute
Dyson is one of the biggest vacuum cleaner brands, and the market leader.
When it comes to innovation, they are usually first, and this cordless vacuum cleaner could be just what your hardwood floors ordered. Have a look for yourself below and see.
This great little stick vacuum cleaner has quiet running, which is pleasant for everyone in the home, as well as powerful suction that is sure to be able to tackle all of the dirt and debris in your home.
It is gentle on hardwood floors, avoiding scratching, and comes with a range of tools to help you keep the home clean. The suction is also powerful enough to reach between the cracks.
The rotating brush bar is tough on dirt and pet hair, which makes it suitable for use in all home, and it will ensure that everything is removed efficiently. Plus, it can also extend so that you are able to reach those high and difficult places.
To make stair cleaning easier, as well as reaching tight areas, it can fold down into a handheld model that is comfortable to hold and easy to use.
I found the V8 Absolute makes light work of household mess, dust and pet hair. It works well on a range of floor types - carpets, floorboards and laminate flooring. I also found it's easy to remove the turbo brush to disentangle hair and other debris.
The Not So Good
It has a small capacity and can be a little tricky to empty for some customers.
- Power: 850 watts
- Run Time: 40 mins
- Charge Time: 3-4 hours
- Weight: 0.5kg
- Dust Capacity: 0.5L
- Battery Voltage: 21.6
- Noise: 65-72db
This cordless stick vacuum cleaner might have a higher price tag than most, but it is worth the price for the amount of power and suction that it has to offer.
While it can take a little time to get used to the emptying of the canister, as well as its smaller capacity, you will get there and find that this model is an absolute dream.
Gentle on hardwood floors and with quiet running, it combines everything you could want from a vacuum into one compact little machine.
NUMATIC HVR200-12 Henry Vacuum – Great Value For Money
SEBO FELIX Navy ECO – Bagged Model
SEBO FELIX Navy ECO – Bagged Model
BISSELL Vac And Steam Mop 1,500 W
BISSELL Vac And Steam Mop 1,500 W
Miele Complete C3 – Great For Pet Owners
Vax Air Reach U90-MA-Re – Very Lightweight
At the end of the day, there are many excellent vacuums on the market, but some are better than others.
Above, you have found some of the best and most efficient vacuums currently available for use on hardwood floors. Be sure to read all of the reviews and choose the one that is right for your specific needs and budget!
Gemma Tyler is a freelance journalist with 15 years of experience writing for consumer publications. She has tested and reviewed a wide range of household items from vacuum cleaners to washing machines and dehumidifiers to steam irons. Her attention to detail and exhaustive testing certainly makes her an expert in her field.