One thing you may not think about a lot is what types of flooring your vacuum is good for.
It may surprise you to learn that not all vacuums are good at cleaning all floor types. Whether it be different carpet piles, or non-carpeted flooring.
This article will look at the best vacuums for both hardwood floors and carpet.
Top 6 Vacuums for Hardwood Floors and Carpet
- 1 Top 6 Vacuums for Hardwood Floors and Carpet
- 2 Vacuums for Various Floor Types
- 3 Buyer’s Guide: Choosing a Vacuum for All Floors
- 4 Best Vacuum for Hardwood Floors and Carpet
- 5 How to Clean Your Whole Home With a Vacuum
- 6 Care and Maintenance of Your New Vacuum
- 7 Frequently Asked Questions
- 8 Conclusion
- Shark Navigator Lift-Away Professional
- Ecovacs DEEBOT N79S
- Shark Rotator Professional Upright
- Eureka Blaze 3-in-1
- Bissell Zing
- Tineco A10 Hero
For the full list of vacuums scroll down to our reviews.
Vacuums for Various Floor Types
Depending on the type of carpet you had, that was the type of vacuum you purchased. Things change, though. Today, homes have different types of flooring throughout the home and we want a cleaner that will handle them all.
From low-pile carpet to shag, tile to bamboo flooring, not all vacuums are capable of handling the different types of floors. Stick vacuums, for example, may not handle higher piles of carpet. Large, bulky uprights may be too strong to vacuum some of the more delicate hard flooring.
Luckily, we have options. As you will see there are uprights, sticks and even robot vacuums capable of vacuuming hardwood floors and carpet alike.
Buyer’s Guide: Choosing a Vacuum for All Floors
Most likely you have some type of carpeting in your home. Even if you have hardwood floors throughout, you will have area rugs or throw rugs which need to be cleaned.
Knowing the type of carpet you have, and most importantly the pile type, will help you pick the right vacuum. The higher the pile, the less options you will have.
Not every vacuum can handle high-pile and shag carpeting. When selecting your vacuum, make sure it can handle your carpet type.
Hardwood and Softwood
Hardwood floors are highly durable, but maintain a sleek appearance. Some vacuums may be too large or heavy to clean them effectively. Hardwoods are easier to clean with a vacuum than softwoods, though, but still can develop dents, scratches or marring.
Softwood floors show scratches more easily than hardwoods. If you need to move furniture to vacuum, you may need to lift and carry. It would be easier to find a low-profile vacuum that can get under the furniture (or behind it) rather than risk scratching your floors.
There are a lot of other non-carpeted surfaces to consider, too. Laminate, vinyl and bamboo are all popular flooring types and need special care when cleaning. Vacuums are great for dry messes on these floor types, but can leave scratches.
You will want to find a robot with soft brush rollers (which makes them less effective on carpet) or the ability to shut the powered cleaning head off.
Straight suction vacuums (no brush roller) are ideal for hard flooring and non-carpeted surfaces, but are pretty dismal at cleaning carpet beyond the surface or top of the fibers.
Another factor to look into is the suction power of the vacuum. Higher power isn’t always better. Depending on your floor types, you may find that too high of a power causes more problems than it solves.
Lifting rugs or sucking up fringe can be a big problem. However, too little suction and you won’t get a clean floor. The vacuums should be powerful enough to clean your hardest flooring and the rest will need to be adjusted.
Having a vacuum with variable speed control will go a long way to being ideal for all floor types.
There are different power supply options as well. You can have corded vacuums or battery only options.
If you use a corded model, there will be more power and suction, but you will be tethered by your outlet locations.
Battery powered models have more freedom, but generally less power. You will also need to make sure they hold a charge long enough to clean your entire home.
Filtration & Collection
Filtration is also important. HEPA filters are among the most sought after as they can collect in-home allergens such as pet dander, pollen and mold spores.
However, they do cost more and need replacement more often adding to the overall cost of your vacuum.
On the other hand, if you don’t have a need for the HEPA filtration methods, you can usually save a bit of money with non-HEPA style filtration models.
How the debris is collected is also something to think about. Bagged versus bagless will always be a personal choice. Bagless models keep your costs down but add to the maintenance routine.
Bagged models are generally cleaner, but you need to continuously buy new bags for replacement.
Price & Warranty
Finally, you will need to think about the price. In a perfect world we would all buy those $2000+ models that clean everything including the kitchen sink. Realistically, though, our investment needs to fit our budget without several months worth of extra saving.
The warranty is also worth taking a closer look at. Vacuums come with warranties that span a year to up to 10 years. The average is about 2 years worth of coverage, though.
Making a claim should be simple. You will want to look at what is required on your end for a proper claim. This may be nothing more than registering the vacuum online and then making a phone call, or you may be required to hold proof of purchase or even original packaging for the duration of the warranty.
Know before you buy so you can be prepared to meet all the warranty claim criteria before you leave the store.
Best Vacuum for Hardwood Floors and Carpet
Below, you will find 8 of our favorite vacuums for hardwood floors and carpet.
Each type and model is reviewed and compared through a gamut of price, reliability, functionality and performance. Read through and find your next all-purpose vacuum.
The Eureka Blaze is a versatile vacuum that picks up fine dust and large debris. Whether you want to clean the stairs, quick spills, the entire floor or above your head, this machine can take care of it.
With a 20-foot power cord, you will find that you need to search for an outlet more often than some models. It also doesn’t have a brush roll or motorized power head.
However, 20-feet is ample enough to clean an entire room in most cases and the high suction power cleans up all visible messes. It may not get deep into high-pile carpet fibers, but at such a low price point that is easily overlooked.
The stick vacuum in regular mode will handle hard floors without scratches, the large wheels let it roll on carpet with ease and the weight is so light you can carry it anywhere.
In handheld mode, you can clean counters, curtains, couch cushions and much more. You can also use the cleaning head in handheld mode for a wider cleaning path for stairs or hard to reach areas.
The removable cleaning head is the only tool included, so you won’t have the crevice tool or brush that is common with similar vacuums. You do get a 3-year warranty, though which is almost unheard of for a vacuum of this capability and low price.
|Easily conforms to any cleaning surface||No additional tools|
|3-year warranty is long for this style vacuum||No brush roll for deep carpet cleaning|
|Ideal for hard flooring, low and medium carpet and upholstery|
|High cost to value ratio|
|Affordable for any budget|
When you need a whole-home cleaning machine, the Shark Navigator Lift-Away series is one that is always near the top of these lists. The Navigator Professional is lightweight, capable of cleaning any surface and will get deep into carpet fibers for a true, full clean.
This upright model mode is powerful. With suction and a motorized brush roll, the carpet pile doesn’t matter. Low pile and high pile carpet alike (and all in between) are cleaned down to the pad.
When you lift off the main body, the hand held unit is larger and heavier than most other models. However, it takes the power, suction and versatility with it. Using the attachments you can clean stairs, overhead and even in your automobile.
The pack does weight a little over 13 pounds so carrying it for long periods does tend to get a little heavy. However, it will stand up on its own without the cleaning head base. So you can move it where you need it and set it down, limiting carrying time.
With a large capacity collection bin (2L) and HEPA filtration you will spend less time on maintenance and more time enjoying your clean home.
|Multi-purpose cleaner with hand-held option||1-year warranty is a little lower than average|
|Cleans all carpet and floor types||Hand held unit can get heavy|
|Brush roll shut off for hard floor cleaning|
|Overhead and automotive cleaning capable|
Robotic vacuums aren’t generally known for being great on carpet and hard flooring. Most manufactures build their robots with one or the other in mind. In the case of the DeeBot series, the N79S is built for both.
With a sleek profile it can get under and around furniture easier. It also has wireless communication capabilities to help your controls and can even connect to Amazon Alexa enabled devices for some voice commands.
The suction power is pretty high for a robot vacuum and this helps it clean up hard floors, tile, and even flooring with grout or grooves. The brush roller is centrally located to provide a more suction and power focused for increased suction.
The dual side brushes get along baseboards and edges. The deep cleaning pulls in debris from the sides and keeps the robot moving forward without missing many areas. The battery power, though, is quite high.
With an average runtime of 110 minutes, the robot can clean up to 1400 square feet on a single charge. When the battery does drop to about 15% charge remaining, it will return to the charging station to recharge on its own.
The main issue is that there isn’t any sort of sophisticated navigation. Because of this, the random cleaning paths may cover areas twice or miss some parts of a room from time to time. It also means that the robot will not continue cleaning after a recharge cycle.
With a 1-year warranty, you won’t see as much coverage as other models in the market. But the replacement parts are inexpensive and the robot can clean any floor in your home.
|All floor type cleaning, including high pile||1-year warranty is a little light|
|Inexpensive initial purchase price||Doesn’t resume cleaning after charging|
|Easily accessible replacement parts|
|Automatically recharges the battery|
4. Bissell Zing
The Bissell Zing is a quick and easy way to clean up your smaller messes, or the entire floor. It works like a stick vacuum, has the power of an upright and the reach of a 2-in-1. With this vacuum you can clean any surface or floor type, at any time.
The biggest draw to this vacuum is the vortex suction method. It comes with an air flow regulator that keeps the suction paths open so there is less chance of a reduction. When using the vacuum it will perform just as well after the 5th room as it does brand new.
The canister is a pull behind model that allows you to use the flex hose and cleaning head like an upright, without the bulk. The cleaning head has a power brush roll that comes with a power switch.
Using your foot you can switch between deep cleaning carpet to hard flooring and back again without ever slowing down. What will slow you down, though, is the power cord. It is only 15-feet, which is decent enough for most room sizes, but living rooms or medium sized rooms with a lot of obstacles may require more than one outlet.
|Easily switches from carpet to hard floors||15-foot cord is a little short|
|Includes all tools needed for whole-home cleaning||1-year warranty is below industry average|
|Air flow regulator keeps suction level high|
|Large collection bin|
The Shark Rotator is similar in design to the Lift-Away model in the runner-up spot listed above. However, this model offers a little more than just a lift-away core and is only used all over the home.
The suction power is incredible and this vacuum will clean any floor type, including high-pile carpeting. You will even see the pile come back to life, stand back up and become plush once again.
The price can get a little high, but you do get what you pay for. This model includes an 8-foot flex hose and a pet cleaning power tool for upholstery and hard to reach places. It is also weighs about 2 pounds more than the previous Shark model, making the total weight over 15 pounds.
The downside here is that the collection bin is smaller (1.3L vs 2L) which means more trips to the trash can for emptying. You should still have more than enough room in the bin for an entire home cleaning, though.
|Lift-Away for above head cleaning||1-year warranty is still below average|
|More power than most other models on this list||Smaller collection bin|
|Anti-allergen complete HEPA seal|
|8-foot hose and 25-foot power cord for extra reach|
With the VonHaus vacuum you get the best of both worlds; a fully capable floor cleaner with a built-in upholstery and automotive vacuum. This stick vacuum comes with a lot of suction power and can transform to a handheld quickly.
In extended mode, the collapsible handle extends to let you vacuum your hard flooring and carpet with ease. There isn’t a brush roller, but the textured cleaning head and large castor wheels do agitate the carpet some.
On hard flooring small and large debris are collected without any issues and there isn’t any blow back to push lighter debris around like on some models.
In handheld mode you can use the cleaning head for larger areas like stairs or even couch cushions. For hard to reach areas, the crevice tool and brush tool make light work. You can even remove all the tools and use it to clean your car, mattress or above head with the brush on fan blades or in corners.
The 20-foot cord is fairly long for a stick vacuum and it produces enough power to create suction for cleaning low and medium pile carpeting. On high pile carpeting the top layer will get clean, but not much else. This is ideal for quick messes, though, even on shag carpeting.
|Powerful suction for all floor types||No brush roll for deep cleaning carpets|
|20-foot power cord for easy reach||Extending handle is a weak spot|
|Cleans above head and in the car, too|
|Affordable for any budget|
The MOOSOO vacuum looks and feels almost like a Dyson stick vacuum. It even has similar colors. What it doesn’t have is the price tag of a Dyson.
Is it as good as the similar model from the high-end company? No, but you shouldn’t expect it to be. At such an affordable price, though, you won’t be disappointed. It does have cyclone suction technology and a motorized power head.
It will clean any mess (except wet) on hard flooring of all types. The soft roller won’t scratch any surfaces and it is ideal for getting in grooves and along edges.
When it comes to carpet, the suction power is high enough to deep clean all carpet types and it even has variable speeds for different floor types. You can also remove the extension hose and cleaning head to have a powerful handheld model capable of cleaning almost anywhere.
It will reach over head, but the extension wand attached can make it awkward to maneuver. It will clean your furniture, car and stairs, though and you won’t have much trouble with the collection bin.
Where you will find an issue is with the battery. It takes about 5 hours to charge and the vacuum is rated to last about 25 minutes. While this is enough time to clean most sized homes, the actual runtime is closer to 15 minutes.
However, if you can get past that (knowing the Dyson model lasts about 12 minutes or less) you will find a HEPA filtration system and easy to empty bin. Everything you need in one stick vacuum that cleans your entire home.
|3-stage HEPA filtration||Short battery life|
|High power suction for all floor types||Can be awkward cleaning overhead|
|Soft roller won’t scratch surfaces|
|Anti-clog air flow design|
Tineco brings you the A10 Hero. This is another battery powered cyclonic suction stick vacuum similar to the MOOSOO model listed above. It has similar specs as well, but costs a little bit more.
This model converts easily to a hand held for every day messes, while the stick vac mode will take care of all floor types. You can go right from carpet to rugs to the hard floor and back again without any worry.
Like the previous model, the battery here is rated to last 25 minutes, when it will truly run uninterrupted for about 14 to 18 minutes. However, unlike the MOOSOO model, this one can charge in about 4 hours, instead of five.
At only 5 pounds, though, it isn’t as awkward cleaning overhead. It also comes with a lot more tools, including several brushes and a crevice tool. In handheld mode, you can use any tool to clean furniture, cars, upholstery or overhead.
The 2-year limited warranty is about industry average and the 4-stage HEPA filtration will keep the in-home allergens from returning to the air during use. You may find the collection bin a bit small and in need of frequent emptying though, and this is why it falls below the MOOSOO model.
|4-stage HEPA filtration||Low battery life|
|7 accessories and tools included||Smaller collection bin|
|Ideal for pet hair and all floor types|
|Easy overhead cleaning|
How to Clean Your Whole Home With a Vacuum
When you select the right vacuum you will be able to clean your entire home.
This may be just the floors for some models, but it should be all the floors. For more versatile machines this will also include overhead cleaning and even dusting.
Cordless vacuums may be more convenient, but sometimes lack the power of the corded vacuums.
You should always start at the top of the room or home. Using extension wands or flex hoses and brush attachments, you should start with the corners of the ceiling and the ceiling fans if you have any.
This should also include any AC vents or returns near the top of the walls.
From there, work your way down. Tops of appliances, shelves and counters, and if capable the drapes, curtains or window dressings.
Next, you will want to tackle the furniture. Using onboard tools and attachments, you can clean couch cushions, the stairs, railings and other furniture.
Finally, you can clean the floors. Anything from the previous steps not collected by the vacuum then will have fallen to the floor where you can collect it.
Vacuuming your floors will complete the entire home-cleaning and you can clean the machine and store it away until next time.
Care and Maintenance of Your New Vacuum
Most vacuums have a quick and simple maintenance routine that you should become familiar with. Cleaning the machines is always the first step and should be done on an more regular basis.
Wiping down the outside of the machine will keep the exhaust vents clear and the dust and debris from building up. You will also need to empty the collection bin or bag when it gets full.
For routine maintenance, your tasks get a little more involved but aren’t anything too difficult.
- Check the cord or charging cable for tangles, knots fray or other damage.
- Inspect the wheels and housings for string or hair caught up and remove as needed.
- Remove the filter and inspect for damage, holes or built-up debris. If it is a washable filter you can rinse it off. If not, you can knock the filter off to remove the larger debris.
- Check the suction port and brush rollers for clogs, tangles or build up and remove as needed.
- Follow up with a wipe down of the machine and your maintenance is complete.
Frequently Asked Questions
Here I will answer some of the most common questions about vacuums and floor cleaning. If you have more questions, feel free to use the comment section below the article.
Q. Are corded or battery powered vacuums better?
- Better is a subjective term and both battery and corded vacuums have their advantages. Battery powered vacuums have less power, in general, but can go to more places without having to stop. Corded models are stronger but limited to a smaller cleaning area without having to be plugged back in for each room. Your specific needs will dictate which
Q. Will robot vacuums clean as well as upright models?
- There are only a couple of robot vacuums with the capabilities of cleaning as deep and thorough as a standard upright. However, these models only clean floors and still cost over $1000 each. For less than half of that you can have a versatile upright model that can clean floors, over head and furniture. Most robot vacuums, though, are not strong enough or thorough enough to clean as well as an upright, at any price point.
Q. Will motorized cleaning heads scratch hardwood floors?
- Most motorized cleaning heads have a switch to shut the rollers off or lift them slightly when cleaning hard flooring. A lot of brush rollers use stiff bristles that have been known to scratch or mar softer surfaces. Pine, laminate and bamboo, for example are easily scratched and should be watched closely when using bristle brush rollers.
Q. Are bagless vacuums more cost-effective than bagged vacuums?
- In the long term the argument for bagless vacuums is made because you don’t have to have the additional purchases of the bags over time. However, canisters and collection bins also wear out, have rubber mounting rings, grommets or filter tabs that can break down. While you won’t spend as much, extra costs are there. For the most part, though, bagless vacuums are more cost-effective over the life of the vacuum.
If you are still undecided, take a second look at the top budget pick. The Eureka Blaze 3-in-1 is a versatile, capable machine that will clean above head, furniture and any floor type.