While many people prefer the simple elegance of hard floors, they can be deceptively difficult to keep clean. Without regular cleaning, wood loses its shine, grime builds up, and gunk gets hopelessly stuck in the cracks. While the most expensive cleaners make use of features such as rotating brushes to remove gunk and grime, budget-friendly models also do a great job with special pads and the ability to vacuum, clean, rinse, and dry with minimal effort. Some even help to sanitize the floor with the assistance of optional cleaning solutions.
We've chosen a selection of hard floor cleaners that excel at efficiently cleaning not only hardwood, but other hard floor surfaces as well such as tile. Although more effort on the part of the user is generally required as the unit price goes down, each of the following picks combine a lightweight, easily maneuvered designs for ease-of-use. They also include helpful features such as dual water tanks and counter-rotating brushes in addition to selectable cleaning modes to power through caked on dirt and grime.
The Hoover FH40010B is one of the best general purpose hard floor cleaning systems you can find. This unit combines the power of a vacuum and hard floor cleaner into one easy-to-use machine. Counter-rotating brushes and a wide cleaning path mean less work for you. Read Full Review
The Hoover FH40010B is an all-purpose cleaner which washes and dries floors as well as having vacuum capabilities. Cleaning modes are easy to select, the unit maintains a wide cleaning path, and a lengthy quick-release power cord allows quick cleaning of large areas. The dual-tank design of the FH40010B keeps clean and dirty water separate with brushes and other features being easy to detach and clean.
Although this cleaner has counter-rotating brushes great for cleaning grout and tile, some manual work is still required. Many of the problems experienced by users are a result of unrealistic expectations and some effort is still required to get the best clean possible. Overall, the FH40010B offers superior cleaning power and convenience at a great price.
With rotating brushes and several easy-to-use features, the Hoover FH40160 scrubs and cleans effectively with minimal effort from the user. Though having powered brushes means paying a little more, this hard floor cleaner nonetheless offers excellent overall value. Read Full Review
Hoover's FH40160 hard floor cleaner works on many hard floor surfaces and includes two additional brushes for cleaning tile, grout, and sealed hardwood. A dual-tank design keeps clean and dirty water separate, while the clean water tank offers a generous 1.5 quart capacity. Selecting between wash, scrub, and dry modes is simple with a CleanBoost Control button located on the handle so you can apply extra cleaning solution for tough messes.
The nozzle on the FH40160 provides combined squeegee and suction action without using too much water allowing for faster drying times. The FH40160 weighs in at less than 14 pounds, requiring less effort from you to maneuver around the house or when bringing up and down stairs. Although the 20 foot cord is a bit on the short side, the Hoover FH40160 delivers excellent all-around performance for its price.
As one of the most budget-friendly picks on this list, the Bissell 2949 is a simple machine, offering good value for your money. It has many of the features included on more expensive models while being safe for use on multiple hard floor surfaces. Read Full Review
The Bissell 2949 delivers all-in-one cleaning including the ability to vacuum, mop, and dry floors. Safe for use on most floor surfaces, this hard floor cleaner includes one microfiber mop pad and one scrubby brush. Although the 2949 has good suction power, it doesn’t have any rotating brushes so scrubbing the floor in particularly grimy areas will require some elbow grease. However, this lightweight cleaner is easy to move around and considerably easier than doing everything by hand. The unit's wet cleaning system also uses dual tanks which are easy to fill, empty, and clean. To switch between this cleaners wet and dry modes simply flip the handle and that’s it; no changing of settings or attachments. Overall, the Bissell 2949 is an excellent, budget-friendly choice.
The Shark ZZ500 isn’t the most complex hard floor cleaner, but still gets the job done. This simple, lightweight model effectively scrubs and cleans all sealed, hard floor surfaces, offers multiple non-toxic cleaning solution options and washable pads. Read Full Review
Shark usually offers solid products for reasonable prices and their ZZ500 hard floor cleaner is no different. This cleaner is good for all sealed, hard floor surfaces and uses a concentrated, non-toxic cleaning solution safe for children and pets to be around. Shark's Sonic Cleaning Technology delivers over 1000 scrubs per minute using the washable pads and although this cleaner does have a floor polishing feature, the finish is sometimes a bit splotchy. A 25 foot cord offers a decent amount of range, and this cleaner is fairly lightweight for easy maneuvering.
This lightweight stick vacuum is an excellent choice for pet owners with hardwood floors. The lack of bristles not only protects floors from scratches, but also prevents pet hair from getting tangled in the brushes. Powerful suction and ease of use make the Bissell PowerEdge Pet a solid hardwood floor option. Read Full Review
At first glance, it's obvious that Bissell engineers put some real thought into designing a stick vacuum to appeal to pet owners. While most stick vacuums tend to follow the typical design trend, the PowerEdge Pet features a unique V-shaped head which gathers crumbs, hair, dust, dirt, etc. into a center channel with concentrated suction. The outer edges of the cleaning head also contain ducts for suction which allows effective cleaning of crevices and corners in one pass. The dirt cup empties easily which is a blessing given the amount of pet hair this stick vacuum is sure to collect.