When you looking best vacuum for hardwood floors and area rugs you need a vacuum can adjust the suction from strong to weak for more delicate rugs. My house has mostly wood floors and recently purchased a large very expensive wool and silk area rug. I am in need of a new vacuum and am wondering which one would be best for both the floors and the rug? I was told by the decorator I purchased it from not to use a beater bar on it. I would like to keep the price under $500, as well.
A friend who collects vintage and rare textiles, many of museum quality, and he told me the beater bar causes wear, not damage to area rugs. After hundreds of hours of research and reading reviews and based on the experience of using vacuum cleaners, this is a list of vacuum for hardwood and area rugs under $500.
What is the best vacuum for hardwood floors and rugs?
Shark Rotator Professional Lift-Away NV501 – Highly Recommend For High Shag Carpet
I went with the Shark Rotator Professional Lift-Away, and I have been thrilled with the results! I couldn’t believe the dirt it pulled out of my new carpets, and how much it consistently pulls out every time I vacuum. I love the ease of use and versatility.
I vacuum backward to pull the vacuum toward me instead of push whenever I have a “snowplow” problem, works like a charm! I have bragged to many people about how much I love my vacuum, and my mother-in-law purchased one based on my recommendation.
I think the only better vacuum is a Kirby. Thank you so much, you helped someone with bad allergies breathe easier and save money in the process!!! The machine is quite easy to carry in lift-away mode, and the many attachments work quite well.
In addition, the lift-away caddy is another great new feature, allowing the machine to be pulled behind you as you clean. The attachments on this model are also quite robust, comprising of a: wand, crevice tool, dusting brush, turbo brush, and a bare floor tool. These all are easy to use and have a storage place, either on the machine or on the caddy.
The cleaning power on the floor is also improved over previous models, with a new extra-large floor head compared to previous models. This new floor head has the signature strong shark brushroll, and a new feature to the shark brand.
Headlights! This floorhead is also quite large and features the swivel steering controls like previous lift-away vacuums. The swivel steering makes it easy to move around and keep control of the vacuum while allowing you to still get into tight places. The strong suction provided by the motor unit also allows the vacuum to keep up with the brushrolls ability to dislodge dirt from the carpet fibers.
This new floor head also seals to the floor like the Dyson DC41, which allows for very strong pickup performance on carpet. Like older shark brushrolls this machine still has overload protection, and the brushroll will stop when jammed before damage is caused to the floor, the machine or the item caught in the brush.
Overall this vacuum is a strong upgrade from previous Shark Navigators and a very strong machine on its own. This machine has been redesigned to be more user-friendly while having greater performance in all areas from hardwood to carpet.
BISSELL PowerGlide Pet Bagless Upright Vacuum
The Bissell Powerglide Lift Off pet looks to be a great vacuum with a low price, powerful pet hair pickup and swivel steering that will make vacuuming the house easy. In addition, the machine features a large dirt bin which should help make vacuuming easier by not requiring many trips to the garbage to empty the vacuum.
The system also includes a few attachments designed to help clean the house, especially pet hair that clings to surfaces in the home. Lastly, the Lift-off feature makes the vacuum easily portable for attachment usage as the base separates from the rest of the vacuum so you can hold it in your hand and carry it to wherever you need to clean.
Floor and Carpet Cleaning:
The vacuum is very efficient at floor cleaning with a wide brushroll and powerful suction that makes it a very good choice for anyone who wants to clean carpets quickly. The brushroll makes quick work of pet hair and can clean most of it with a single pass, with the rest being picked up by the second pass.
The vacuum also has good airflow and strong suction which work along with the brushroll to remove deep dirt that’s trapped in the carpet pile. In addition, the swivel steering, although nowhere near as good as the Dyson ball, works well enough to make cleaning easier by allowing you to turn a small amount by just turning your wrist. Overall the Bissell Powerglide Lift Off Pet does a great job at carpet cleaning and will also work out pretty well for those who want to clean hard floors.
The vacuum does well for attachment cleaning as well thanks to the attachments included and the lift-off feature that allows the machine to detach the base from the rest of the machine so you can carry it around, however, the vacuum feels very heavy.
This may not seem like a lot but it can start to hurt when you want to clean things like stairs or curtains. The turbo brush that’s included with the machine is great for pet hair thanks to the rubber pet hair system that can be attached to the brush. The pet hair system makes cleaning pet hair a breeze by collecting it and making it easy to suck into the vacuum’s large bin.
The Bissell Powerglide Lift Off Pet makes cleaning very easy for carpets, hard floors, and attachment usage. The vacuum performs quite well on carpets and removes a large amount of pet hair, and does great at attachment cleaning. If you can get over the machine not feeling very comfortable to lift off and carry around then this machine might be just right for you.
Hoover Vacuum Cleaner Air Steerable WindTunnel Bagless Lightweight Corded Upright UH72400
The Hoover Air Steerable is a unique machine on the market, designed for those who are looking for a small, easy to carry vacuum for smaller spaces, or as a secondary vacuum for those with larger houses. It’s small size, lightweight and easy carrying handle make it perfect for those use cases.
The Hoover Air Steerable vacuum features a number of different floor cleaning technologies that make the vacuum an awesome performer.
The first technology the cleaner uses is the Hoover Windtunnel 3 system, a system of 3 separate suction channels in the vacuums floor head. The front channel is used to pick up large debris, like cereal, before it has a chance to get into the brushroll, where it can be kicked out the back or ground up.
The middle channel surrounds the brushroll and works as the main suction chamber, typically the only suction channel or path on most machines. The rear channel works to prevent dirt from being kicked out the back and toward your feet as you vacuum. On hard floors, this system really shines as even when the brushroll is engaged there is very little kickback of large dirt particles. Normally a vacuum cleaner will shoot some of the dirt backward as the user cleans due to the speed and force of the brush.
Another technology that the Hoover Air Steerable has tucked inside it is 8 separate cyclones arranged in a 1 + 7 configuration. Most vacuums that advertise being “multi-cyclonic” or “never loses suction” rely on a 1 + 1 cyclonic system.
In a 1 + 1 system, the bin itself acts as a low-speed cyclone, filtering most large dirt out of the air before a smaller, medium-sized cyclone in the center filters out some of the smaller dust before a series of filters capture the rest of the dirt and dust. This type of system is inefficient due to the large size of the inner cyclone which means lower average airflow speeds and less force to pull the dust out of the air stream.
On the Hoover Air Steerable, the bin acts as a large cyclone (1), but instead of a single inner medium-sized cyclone (the + 1), there are 7 inner cyclones (the + 7) that are much smaller, with much higher speeds and forces. In use, this means that the vacuum will go much longer while retaining more suction than some competitors before the filters need to be washed.
Finally, this vacuum cleaner has swivel steering and a small cleaner head that allows it to get into tight spaces very easily. In my testing, I found that the swivel steering system on the Hoover Air Steerable was much better than that on most Shark models, although both pale in comparison to the Ball system found on Dyson vacuums.
The Hoover’s attachment system is mediocre at best, both in use and in the attachments that come with the vacuum cleaner out of the box. The Hoover only has a wand, which doubles as the vacuum’s handle, and a 2-in-1 crevice tool and dusting brush combination tool.
The wand is sturdy enough for the task, although the end is a bit small, which can make cleaning with it a bit tedious as you have to move it over the area multiple times, back and forth, to ensure effective cleaning. The 2-in-1 tool, on the other hand, is a major disappointment. The dusting mode is too small, with a very stiff brush which can make dusting difficult. The crevice mode is too large with the end being too big to fit into most spaces where you’d typically want a crevice tool to clean.
If you can put aside the issues with the tools, the Hoover Air Steerable isn’t nearly as easy as its competitors to go from floor cleaning to hose cleaning. On most other machines, like those from Shark and Dyson, you simply pull the wand out of the vacuum, sometimes hitting a button to disengage a lock first.
On the Hoover, first you must press a button to disengage a lock, then remove the wand, pull the hose out of the hose storage clip, pull the connector out of the connector dock, get down to the floor level and open a little door, then finally slide in the hose connector until it clicks into place. Is it a big deal? No. Is it something that will be annoying if you clean with the hose often? Yes. For that reason, I would recommend you look elsewhere if you are an avid attachment cleaner when using a vacuum.
Overall the Hoover Air Steerable is a very useful vacuum and is a great fit for those with smaller spaces and don’t use the attachments often. The floor cleaning performance is stellar, especially for the low price that this vacuum carries with it.
This vacuum also has a HEPA filter to prevent the dust that you just captured from being blown back into the room, and in my tests, it works very well. My only complaints with the Air Steerable are in the attachment system, but if you can get over those, or don’t often use the attachments on a vacuum cleaner, then this could be the perfect machine for you and your home.
Shark Navigator Lift-Away Professional NV356E
The Shark Navigator Lift-Away Pro vacuum is a great machine for most homes and needs. This machine is designed to be lightweight when you need to carry it and get a deep-down clean at the same time.
One of the ways the machine stays light is by allowing itself to “Lift-Away” from the base, by that I mean push a button on the side and it pops off the floor head, becoming a handheld canister. This is great when you need to use the attachments as the machine is a bit top-heavy and can tip over when used with the floor head.
The attachments that come with the machine are quite robust, with the key that sets this model apart is the Dust-Away attachment, which is best described as a vacuum nozzle with a cloth behind it (think Swiffer but washable).
This attachment allows one-pass cleaning on hard surfaces, with the vacuum getting the larger particles, and the washable pad getting the fine dust from your hard floors. There are also other attachments in the box like the Turbo brush, dusting brush, and a crevice tool.
When used with carpet this machine does a great job, picking up a great amount of dirt and making cleaning quick with its wide floor head. This floorhead has stiff bristles that are designed to get into the carpet fibers and extract lots of dirt.
This action, combined with the powerful suction allows the machine to extract lots of dirt, dust and even pet hair. In our tests, the machine did an excellent job on the short and medium-pile carpet. The floor head also will automatically adjust between different floor types to keep the cleaning power maximized and the head sealed to the floor.
Overall this vacuum has great performance and is highly recommended on carpet and hardwood. The bin on this vacuum is also very large, and the cord is quite long, allowing you to clean your entire home without stopping to empty the bin. the HEPA filtration will even keep dust in the vacuum and out of the air that you will breathe.
Bissell 9595A CleanView Bagless Vacuum with OnePass
The Bissell CleanView OnePass vacuum is cheap under $100, light-ish weight vacuum that promises a lot, like being able to get completely clean in one pass. The machine makes a lot of promises about cleaning performance, and in the end, it does a very good job for the price point. The machine comes with good attachments and decent build quality, but the really great feature of the machine is the technology they used on the floor head.
The floor head is designed very well, and the machine fulfills on its promise to clean in one pass most of the time. The OnePass is also very good at getting pet hair and is great for anyone that needs to clean up after a shedding pet.
The floor head has many specialized features including a brushroll that has varying bristle lengths. The various length bristles help effectively agitate your carpet by getting both the deeper levels and the surface level. In addition, Bissell took a page out of Dyson’s book and attempted to make the floor head seal to the carpet.
The machine works very well on carpeting, yet it has trouble on hard floors. If you are looking for a vacuum to do both carpets and hard floors, this is not the machine for you. The brush cannot be disabled, and as such will kick any debris you encounter out of the back of the machine toward your feet.
The Bissell CleanView OnePass does alright at attachment cleaning, but it feels like the attachment system was designed as an afterthought to the floor cleaning.
The CleanView OnePass has a short hose that will topple the machine if you pull it too far, yet the attachments are well designed. The machine can feel a bit awkward to use at times because of the short hose and the, but if you are not using the attachments often this won’t be too much of a problem.
Overall, the Bissell CleanView OnePass vacuum cleaner is not the best machine out there, yet for the price point, it offers great performance if you can live with an unsealed filtration system and a short hose. In addition, if you have hard floors, this probably isn’t the machine for you. That said, if you have mostly carpets, and don’t use the attachments often, this is a great choice for a lower budget!
Eureka Airspeed ONE Turbo Upright Vacuum, AS2111A
The Eureka Airspeed One vacuum cleaner is designed to be a low cost, high-performance vacuum that cleans well in the average home. The Airspeed One is one of the latest in Eureka’s Airspeed line of vacuums that feature low prices and extremely high airflow, all while claiming to clean better than Dyson at a much lower price.
The Airspeed One is marketed as being a great performer on carpets and has a few features designed to help it do a good job. Firstly, the Airspeed has extra-large tubes leading from the dirt cup down to the motor and floor head.
These large tubes are designed to allow for greater airflow when compared to the ribbed hoses that are commonly found on other vacuums like those from Shark and Bissell. In addition, the attachment system is designed in a way that doesn’t cause any disturbance to the airstream as it flows through the vacuum cleaner. Additionally, the vacuum has a large brush-width that’s designed to make cleaning easier.
It’s not perfect, but I think it’s great. I purchased it after we had our house re-carpeted with a high and thicker shag. I had, and still have, a Shark vacuum, which I also still love but can’t use on my carpet because it is not adjustable in height. I’m saving it for my daughter. This vacuum could use some improvements, but if you just want a vacuum to suck the dirt and pet hair out of your carpet, this will do the trick.
This vacuum is so lightweight. It’s easy to maneuver and the tools are easy to use. The cons are a short cord you can resolve by purchasing an extension cord that leaves permanently attached, could use a swivel hook where you wrap the cord around, could use a long extension hose, and sometimes the extra tools fall off. between the price and suction, it’s a great deal!
If you have any desire to clean hard floors at all with your vacuum, this is NOT the vacuum cleaner for you. I recommend you look at other like the Hoover Air Steerable or the Shark Rotator Lift-Away Pro.