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Great on all types of floors
Our longtime favorite upright vacuum works well for most homes, with adjustable features that make it effective on both hardwood floors and other surfaces.
Our favorite all-around vacuum—for any type of flooring—is the Shark Navigator Lift-Away NV352, a reasonably priced and durable machine that has always performed very well in our cleaning tests on all surfaces, including bare floors. You can toggle the brush roll on or off, so it won’t send hard debris like cat litter or breakfast cereal shooting across the room when you’re cleaning wood, linoleum, or tile. Even if you need to clean only bare floors right now, choosing this Shark is a good way to future-proof your vacuum purchase in case you end up needing to clean rugs or carpets someday.
Miele Classic C1 Pure Suction
The absolute best for hardwood floors
This nimble vacuum for hardwood floors and low-pile carpeting includes tools designed to do the job right. It has given one Wirecutter editor a decade of excellent, trouble-free cleaning.
If you don’t plan to clean rugs (or at least not thick ones), you can get a vacuum that’s purpose-built for cleaning bare floors. These are most often “suction-only” models, without a brush roll. One suction-only vacuum that we’re really fond of is the Miele Classic C1 Pure Suction. Miele canister vacuums are known to last for decades, run quieter than almost any other vacuum, and have great filtration. The Classic C1 Pure Suction is the lowest-priced Miele canister model you can buy. It has a suction-only cleaning head (no brush roll) with soft bristles around the edges that let it glide smoothly across bare floors. The strong suction allows it to work pretty well on low-pile rugs, too.
Dyson V7 Fluffy
Cordless convenience, excellent on bare floors
This variant of our favorite cordless vacuum comes with a specialized soft-fabric cleaning head that’s excellent at cleaning all types of debris from any type of bare floor. But this model is pretty expensive for how bad it is on rugs and how nondurable it tends to be.
*At the time of publishing, the price was $280.
Using a model with a soft-fabric brush roll is another effective way to vacuum bare floors. Rather than trying to agitate and fling debris like a typical brush roll, the fluffy cylinder of a soft-fabric roll essentially hugs debris as it moves from the floor to the vacuum intake. The design works great with everything from fine, dusty debris all the way up to some big yard waste such as leaves or mulch. The cordless Dyson V7 Fluffy and Dyson V8 Absolute models are our favorite vacuums that come with a soft-fabric roller.
You might also consider a robot vacuum. Most robovacs are great at cleaning bare floors—they’re arguably better than any human-powered vacuums because they persistently work longer hours without getting bored and find dust in hidden spaces that people usually ignore. Read more about these in our guide to the best robot vacuums.
Source: The NY Times
Keyword: What’s the Best Vacuum for Hardwood Floors?