Hardwood can be a finicky floor to clean and maintain. Vacuuming your floors at least once a week is highly advised especially if you have wood floors. Your choice of vacuum can severely affect the cleanliness too.
The purpose of this article isn’t to convince you of the necessity of a good hardwood floor vacuum, and to debate the classic question that seems to pop up in vacuum circle discussions: “Which is better for hardwood: canister, or upright?”
Canister vacuums combine easy transportation with a versatile suction head, but have their own drawbacks as well.
- Canister vacuums are designed to fit almost everywhere. Most come with a ridiculous assortment of attachment heads to get underneath tables and into tight corners by the baseboards. Many of these attachments are specialized for certain surfaces, including your hardwood.
- A canister machine is designed for transportation, with the bulk of the weight focused in the canister itself. It is easy to store and use, and doesn’t take up a lot of space. This could make it easier to keep right in the kitchen or wherever your hardwood is located, and easy to quickly store away once you’re done.
- An interesting tidbit is that canister vacuums are great for those who suffer from allergies, which my family does. This could be great for families that have shedding pets and hardwood floors, which is already a tricky situation.
- One thing many people dislike is that you have to drag a canister behind you. They don’t navigate around obstacles very well, which can be troublesome in high traffic areas. My kitchen is crowded with bar stools, and cleaning around them can be difficult.
- Less power for less space. One thing I have noticed about cheaper canister vacuums is that in most cases you are trading suction power for taking up less space. This can leave your floor gritty underfoot, which will eventually wear away at the finish. Upright vacuums, on the other hand, have the power to get the job done, but can be cumbersome and heavy.
- Most upright vacuums can get the job done well. I’ve had my commercial moments where it cuts a beautiful path of white through the dirt, and in a busy household it can be a plus to know everything is as clean as can be.
- Upright vacuums make easier transitions from carpet to hardwood, often as simple as pressing a switch. They also have less attachments, featuring all around cleaning for most household surfaces.
If you’ve ever tried to carry an upright machine with you up the stairs, you know that they are ridiculously heavy! Uprights are not the easiest for transportation, and tend to take up a lot of room. Our front closet holds coats and the vacuum; that’s about it. With uprights, it all comes back down to the power vs portability issues.
The worst flaw of an upright cleaner when it comes to wood flooring is the beater bar. The beater bar can severely damage your floor, and though some uprights have a switch to turn it off, the one time you forget is when your floor will take a beating.
Based on the supporting points above, I would definitely suggest using canister vacuum for hardwood floors. It’s easier to get into tight corners, and you don’t risk damaging the floor, which is a nice thing if your goal is to keep your hardwood nice and pristine. If you want to try something a bit out of the box, have a look at backpack vacuum cleaners. These lightweight vacuums are powerful and extremely easy to carry around.