Handheld vs Canister Vacuum: What’s Better For Hardwood?

The right vacuum cleaner is an important element in the care of hardwood floors. Hardwood is beautiful, but needs protection from the elements through regular cleaning. People and pets may be major causes of hardwood floor damage, but the vacuum should never become another of these causes. Having the right equipment will let you clean wooden floors without leaving scratches or scuff marks.

Qualities of Vacuums for Hardwood Floor

Electrolux Oxygen Ultra Canister Hardwood Floor VacuumWhether it’s an upright, canister or handheld, the best vacuums for hardwood floor are all designed with a specific goal in mind, and that is to have a cleaner that’s powerful enough to clean the toughest messes, but have all the precautions to help avoid accidental damage to the floor. Choosing a vacuum with features intended for a hardwood floor home is very important, and you always want to look out for the following traits while doing your shopping:

  • No brush: At the very least, the vacuum should allow for the brush to be deactivated or detached
  • Suction Power: It should have enough suction to clean effectively
  • Easy to Use: The unit should weigh little, have a long hose as well as a long power cord. It should be easy to manoeuvre, even on stairs
  • Low Noise: It should be as quiet as possible
  • Versatile: Because we need to clean hard to reach places, our vacuum should have attachments like crevice tools, wands and upholstery tools
  • Rubber Padding: The wheels should never leave scratches or scuff marks

Handheld or Canister?

Handheld vacuums were made to be portable, and that’s why they’re light-weight. It’s why many handheld models are battery powered. To remain portable, handheld vacuums powered by electricity need to have long power cords. However, handheld cleaners come with few or no attachments, and due to their small size, they have smaller dust-bags and less suction than larger vacuums. Extra-powerful suction is not as necessary for hardwood as it is for carpet, though.

Canister vacuums are known for their powerful suction and lack of noise. They are easy to move, but not as portable as handheld models. An advantage of canister is that the vacuum head is interchangeable with other attachments, which makes them versatile. Being larger than the handheld variety, canisters have larger dust-bags/dustbins, better filtration and more suction.

The choice between handheld and canister vacuum depends on the considerations discussed below:

1. How large is the home?

When cleaning large rooms, we need lots of reach, and the more upright we are, the better we move. Canister vacuums allow us to remain upright. Cleaning a large floor with the much smaller handheld vacuum requires us to bend or kneel as we clean the floor. Most people would consider the bending or kneeling/crawling as tiresome and awkward.

A large home needs a larger full-sized cleaner. A small home can be cleaned with a handheld cleaner (If the person cleaning likes to get low while they clean).

2. What kind of wood is the floor made of?

The softer the wood on our floors, the more delicate the floors. For this reason, it’s important to choose a vacuum suitable for even the most delicate floors, preferably one that doesn’t scratch the floor with its roller brush or its plastic casing. If you choose to go with canister, you should buy one with rubber wheels and padding. These kinds are readily available in the market. In addition, they were made with wood floors in mind, and should either have a brush that can be deactivated or no brush-roll at all. A handheld vacuum for hardwood should have brush that can be removed or deactivated as well.

3. Do your floors have seams and grooves?

If the answer is yes, then powerful suction is needed to lift dirt from the grooves. A canister vacuum is the best option for such floors. Portable handheld cleaners tend to be a lot less powerful and less effective in removing dirt from grooved or lined hardwood floors.

4. Do you have multiple kinds of floors in the home?

If there are area rugs or carpet flooring in the house, then a versatile vacuum cleaner is needed. Most handheld vacuums have limited suction and few attachment tools. This makes them ill suited for cleaning thick carpets and area rugs. Canister cleaners, though, allow for several kinds of attachments including upholstery tools and wands. Homes with more than one kind of flooring should choose the more versatile canister.

5. Do you have pets?

Pet owners need a vacuum that removes pet hair easily and thoroughly. Currently, many handheld vacuums are designed to remove pet hair and do a good job on easy to reach surfaces. A handheld vacuum that removes pet hair from hard to reach places needs to have a narrow-ended crevice tool.

Canister vacuums have powerful suction that allows them to pick pet hair off a hardwood floor. They typically have allowances for crevice tools, wands and upholstery tools which will get pet hair off any surface, nook and cranny. Because of these attachments, they can get to pet hair wherever it hides.

6. Cleaning baseboards and stairs

A handheld vacuum that is shipped with a soft-tip brush tool and a hose cleans baseboards and stairs easily. A canister also does a good job since canisters are relatively easy to maneuver on stairs. Though the handheld is lighter, both work well on stairs and baseboards.
It’s all about making work easier

Handheld vacuums are light and easy to work with. They are ideal for light work or small surfaces. To get the best value for money, anyone considering a handheld vacuum should buy one that allows for attachments. Canister vacuums are bigger and heavier. But they are also more powerful and are the better option for large surfaces. If you’re interested in more tips like this, be sure to follow Home Floor Experts, which has become one of our favorite resources for information on this topic. Also, make sure you also check out some of our other articles that talk about the different ways you can keep your floors clean at home:

 

LATEST ARTICLES

Hardwood or stone flooring? It's a question that most homeowners contemplate when acquiring or renovating their homes. Both have their merits, so it's hard...

The kind of floor to install is one of a homeowner’s tough decisions to make. Depending on one’s personality or life-style, one may prefer...
Dyson Pet Vacuum

Pet hair and households are not kindred spirits. Dogs and cats shed hair perpetually. An enduring, robust vacuum is an essential. Without one, be prepared...