Finding The Best Handheld Vacuum for Hardwood Floors


Homeowners with hardwood floors are a special kind of breed. We suffer through hours of difficult clean up, especially if we have dog or cat hair floating around. Sometimes, typical vacuum cleaners tend to throw the grit about instead of actually sucking it up.

And let’s not forget about the edges by the wall–it’s almost impossible to get that area dust and dirt free. Thankfully, there is a great solution if you’re suffering like the rest of us. All you need to do is buy a nice handheld vacuum cleaner.

A Handheld Vacuum? Really?

Yes, really. Today’s smaller units no longer suffer from suction issues of the past and they have become incredibly versatile. Actually, many smaller handhelds beat their bigger siblings when it comes to power–and there are a few other advantages to consider.

1. Cordless!

This is a great option if you want to clean up fast without the cord getting in the way. These battery powered units are surprisingly lightweight and powerful. You can’t get this with an upright.

2. Adaptable!

Clean Hardwood FlooringBy adaptable, I’m referring to the amount of surfaces that a small hand vacuum can clean. Sure, they make a great vacuum for hardwood floors, but they also are easy to use on your couch and chairs and other furniture, the stairway, and any other elevated, hard to reach areas.

My dogs sleep on my comforter. No need to haul it to the laundromat since I can use my small portable vacuum to take care of all the shedding they left behind.

3. Attachable!

By far, my favorite feature is how these vacuum for wood floors now come with hose extensions, a variety of nozzles, and even wand attachments. You can carry the cordless machine in one hand while walking around your house getting every nook and cranny your hardwood floor has.

Best Handheld Vacuum Cleaner For Your Specific Needs?

Everybody’s situation is different. If your current unit is working for you, you might not need a handheld–but odds are, your vacuum is leaving a lot to be desired–and also leaving dirt and hairballs behind, too. If so, there are a variety of considerations when choosing which handheld vacuum to buy.

Do you plan on using it for extended periods of time (corded) or just as a short finishing touch (cordless)? Do you plan on using it to clean a variety of surfaces and areas, especially your hardwood floors (multi-functional with attachments) or simply to hit the couch and drapes a couple times a month (basic unit).

Although a basic unit will be slightly cheaper, the great news is most handhelds are extremely reasonable in price and have so many benefits over traditional vacuums. There really is no reason why you couldn’t spend a few more dollars to get one that has all the bells and whistles. You might be sorry when your pet decides to shed ten pounds of fur on your couch and you don’t have the best attachment for the job.

For me, I have a huge area that is hardwood. I never thought I would use my handheld unit so much until I started using it! Typically, I will run around with my upright vacuum then break out my smaller machine to finish what the big guy left behind.

You’d be surprised. With all the additional uses, and the ability to clean my entire hardwood floor, it’s one of the best purchases I’ve ever made.

Shark Handheld Vacuum vs. Dyson For Hardwood Floor

Dyson Appliances. burst onto the home cleaning scene in 1993 with the introduction of the DA 001, a vacuum cleaner based on founder James Dyson’s patented “dual cyclone” bagless technology. Although Dyson had licensed the technology to European and Asian appliance makers for more than a decade, it was the DA 001 that put Dyson on the map and established it as a leading maker of premium home cleaning appliances.

Dyson continues to prosper, selling a wide variety of vacuum cleaners as well as hand dryers, bladeless fans, heaters, and hair dryers. Dyson has prospered by positioning its wares as premium products – more expensive, but correspondingly more effective and durable than the cheaper products produced by competitors.

Dyson V6 Cordless Handheld vs Shark SV780 Cordless Handheld

Is the premium price justified? That’s the key question in a comparison of Dyson’s $200 V6 cordless handheld vacuum cleaner with the $50 Shark SV780 cordless handheld from SharkNinja.

Formerly known as Euro-Pro, SharkNinja was a 100-year-old Canadian company that struggled to maintain a one-percent share of the U.S. vacuum cleaner market. Under the leadership of an ambitious new CEO, the company moved its headquarters from Canada to Newton, Massachusetts and overhauled the product line, focusing on innovative products based on new technology.

The company’s products now account for 20 percent of the U.S. market and Shark vacuums now outsell Dyson’s.

The Challenge

Cordless handheld vacuums are typically used for “spot” cleaning. They’re perfect when a watering mishap leaves a potted petunia upended, a pile of potting soil on the carpet. Why wheel out the full-size room vacuum if you’ve got a handheld model close at hand. You’ll clean the mess and replace the vacuum in its charger cradle in two minutes or less.

Customers especially love handheld vacuums for cleaning pet hair off carpets and furniture. This single use is cited by so many potential customers that general-purpose hand vacuums are sometimes renamed and marketed specifically for use cleaning pet hair. Except for the packaging, general-purpose vacuums and pet-vacs are usually the same product, perhaps with an extra brush or two.

Our question today is whether the $200 Dyson V6’s power and reliability justify its high price compared to the Shark SV780, which can be purchased at prices ranging from $25 to $50 dollars – in one application. Specifically, we’re evaluating the suitability of the two units for vacuuming hardwood floors.

Face to Face

Let’s be clear at the outset: cleaning minor messes on hardwood floors with a vacuum, according to the home floor experts, is the least demanding task you will ever ask a handheld vacuum to perform. Ferreting crumbs out of sofa cushions is harder. Getting every last bit of cat hair off grandma’s crocheted cushions is harder. Spot-cleaning entry carpets that get lots of wear-and-tear is harder. A minor spill on a plain hardwood floor surface? That’s a piece of cake.

Given the specs, there is no reason to believe the Dyson product would perform appreciably better than the Shark – certainly not enough better to justify the higher price.

Customer reviews at popular online retail sites highlight reliability and durability concerns, however. Reviews of Shark handhelds commonly include complaints about battery life – both the time the unit can be used between charges and the life of the replaceable Ni-MH battery. Dyson’s lithium-ion batteries last longer and are more reliable than the cheaper batteries chosen by Shark, which must be fully discharged and recharged once every three months or so, and must eventually be replaced.

Whether this issue is sufficient to justify the Dyson handheld’s higher price is a determination only the buyer can make. The information presented in this article is only meant to be used as a guide to help get you started in the right direction and to help reduce the confusion around how to pick the appropriate hardwood floor vacuum. As with any purchase you make regardless if it’s online or offline, always practice due diligence and research what you are buying in order to make the most informed decision that you can.

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