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Best robot vacuums for hardwood floors 2021: Roomba, Shark, and more

Best robot vacuums for hardwood floors 2021: Roomba, Shark, and more


Robot vacuums have revolutionized the way we clean our homes. We no longer have to be home in order to clean because robot vacuums run on schedules that you can set for while you’re at work, sleeping in another room, running to the store, or even on vacation. And as we enter Prime Day season, when Amazon, Walmart, and other retailers have big robot vacuum sales, it’s a great time to buy a robovac.

If you don’t have carpet, you might not be as inclined to invest in a robot vacuum cleaner, but these little machines are actually beasts when it comes to hardwood flooring. (Imagine never having to wear socks in your home again!)

Do robot vacuums really work?

If we’re being honest, robot vacuums are usually not as thorough as upright vacuum cleaners. Their suction isn’t as powerful and you just can’t get the same kind of clean that you get from eyeballing your floors and going back over spots you can tell you missed.

Of course, some robot vacuums do have features that allow them to detect problem areas with extra dirt and debris buildup where the vacuum will put in extra attention, but that’s not necessarily the standard across all price points.

Some robot vacuums don’t have smart mapping, so they clean your house in a sort of chaotic random pattern rather than the side-by-side lines you would probably do if you were the one controlling the vacuum. Though the robots try to hit every spot with this method, they’re bound to miss every now and then.

However, one thing to ask yourself is: Are you currently vacuuming your floors every day? Because robot vacuums can do that. So if they miss a spot one day, they might catch it the next, leading to an overall increase in floor cleanliness.

Overall, robot vacuums *do* get the job done and offer a convenience that other types of vacuum cleaners can’t. If you have a manual vacuum, you might want to break it out on occasion for a deep cleaning.

Are robot vacuums better for hardwood floors or carpet?

We’d say that most robot vacuums actually perform better on a hardwood floor than on carpet. All robot vacuums have a main suction system and side brushes that push dirt in the line of suction. Not all of them have impressive brush rolls, though, which are a necessity for cleaning carpets.

Sucking up hair (human or pet) is easier for robot vacuums on hard flooring because on carpet, the vacuums have to really be able to dig deep and pull up hair embedded in the fibers. On hardwood floors, the hair is just sitting there ready to be pulled in by the suction from a robot vacuum.

Hardwood floors require less work from a robot vacuum to do an efficient job cleaning. If you have both carpet and hard flooring, most robot vacuums automatically adjust between floor types, lowering or raising to get the closest clean possible.

Do robot vacuums scratch hardwood floors?

Robot vacuums themselves are designed to work on hardwood floors without scratching them. They have rubber wheels and gentle rubber brushes that pull in dirt without ripping up your floors.

Where you might get floor scratching is if an abrasive piece of sand, glass, rock, etc. gets caught under the wheel and drags throughout the house. This is pretty uncommon, but to be safe, make sure your floors are clear of any large, sharp debris before running the robot vacuum.

Which robot vacuum is best for wood floors?

If you’re only focusing on hardwood floors, you don’t have to get a robot vacuum with a ton of fancy extra features. (Though, you’re more than welcome to, of course.) Our top pick for the best robot vacuum for hardwood floors is the iRobot Roomba 675.

This robot vacuum is mid-range in price, while still having features like WiFi and app connectivity. The Roomba 675 is great on hardwood floors and can tackle pet hair. It does have a brush roll, so it can easily transition to carpeting and rugs as well.

What about hard floors that aren’t wood?

Laminate floors, tile floors, and any other kind of hard flooring that isn’t hardwood can get the same treatment as wood floors. Robot vacuums that work well on hardwood floors will also do a good job on these floors.

Should you use a robot vacuum or robot mop for hardwood floors?

Both robot vacuums and robot mops are valid choices for cleaning hardwood floors, and really work in conjunction with each other to get the best clean. A robot vacuum will sweep up loose dirt, dust, and debris, while a robot mop can come through and scrub up caked-on dirt to really make your floors shine.

There are some robot vacuums that have both vacuuming and mopping functions. If you want both features, we definitely suggest going for one of the hybrid models to save space. Below, you’ll find our top picks for all the best robot vacuums for hardwood floors.

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