The Best Vacuums for Hardwood & Carpet

First and foremost, it’s important to know that I loathe cleaning, so for me, part of what makes a product good is if it’s easy to use and cuts down on the amount of time I have to spend using it.  Makes sense, right?  Along with getting new floors comes the added responsibility of caring for them properly.  My hunt for a great vacuum started some months ago and since then, I’ve found a vacuum, a cordless vacuum, and a carpet washer that I love. These are my tried and true cleaning favorites.  Today, I’m sharing each of these products with you.  This is NOT a sponsored post – just sharing my finds with you in case you like them, too! Affiliate links below.

When evaluating a product, you first have to identify what features are necessary and important to you.  For me, I considered the following:

  • Easy to use
  • Efficient
  • Powerful
  • Convenient
  • Useful Features
  • Portable
  • Low Maintenance Costs
  • Easy to Clean

 

Favorite Vacuum: Shark Rotator Powered Lift Away Professional

Shark Rotator Lift Away Professional

 

I had another vacuum for years but it always clogged {mostly pet hair stuck in the hose} and eventually, I grew tired of fussing with it and looked for a new vacuum.  For me, a lift-away vacuum was a must.  At the time, I had carpet on my stairs and needed to be able to easily use the vacuum on the stairs, but also, I like to vacuum the sofa cushions from time to time and so like to hold the vacuum in my hand as I do so.  I also wanted a vacuum that was very powerful, could be used on both carpet and bare floor, and one that wouldn’t clog.  I also prefer bagless vacuums given my low maintenance cost requirement.

I tried four vacuums before I decided on the Rotator Professional, including one other from the Shark Rotator series.  Here’s why I love the Rotator Professional.

Pros

  • Super powerful – I had just vacuumed my rugs when I tested out the Rotator Professional.  I was horrified to see the canister immediately fill with dirt and dust after just a few passes on my shag rug.  How much dirt had been hiding in there?!  I’m still trying to convince myself that Shark hid some dirt on the vacuum to make me think it was picking up more than was there but no, the truth is, it is so powerful you’ll be amazed what you’ll find hiding in your carpet.
  • Easily changes from an upright, to a handheld, to a canister!  Yes, it comes with a second base that allows it to function as a canister!
  • Handle removes in two different areas to extend your reach
  • Comes with various tools for crevices, pet hair, dusting, and a hardwood floor attachment
  • Economical compared to its main competitor, Dyson
  • Easy to clean the dirt chamber
  • Doesn’t clog

Cons

  • It’s heavy, so while the lift-away part makes it portable, you wouldn’t want to carry it far
  • Given the strong suction, it’s a bit hard to push on rugs with a high pile

 

Not too many Cons with this one!  I do truly love this vacuum and am amazed by how much dirt it pulls up and how many different configurations it has so that you can reach almost any spot in your house!

 

Favorite Cordless & Handheld Vacuum: Dyson V6 Motorhead Cordless Vacuum

Dyson V6 Motorhead

When  my new hardwood floors were first installed, I found that I needed to clean them more often since dirt and debris shows more easily on dark floors versus light.  Initially, I just swept them every day but quickly realized that the broom left behind dust that was still visible on the floors.  I decided I needed a vacuum for the hardwood.  The Shark Rotator Professional mentioned above does work on bare floors, but it’s a bit heavy and not as convenient and easy to use as a broom, so I decided to look for an alternative.

I LOVE my new Dyson V6 Motorhead.  It is so lightweight and convenient that it’s just as easy to use as a broom.  Since it’s cordless, I can quickly move throughout the house and because it’s powerful, I haven’t yet found anything that it doesn’t pick up…plus it doesn’t clog!

 

Here are my personal Pros and Cons after testing and using it throughout my home.

 

Pros

  • At under 5lbs. it is very easy to lift and easily portable up and down stairs
  • Quickly converts from a full-size cleaner to a handheld so that it can be used in the car, outside, etc.
  • Powerful and can be used on both bare floors and carpet, easily pickup up dust as well as larger items.
  • Doesn’t scratch the hardwood floors
  • Convenient and easy-to-use wall mounted charging station {I’m actually super impressed with the design of the charging base!}
  • Ball head maneuvers quickly to turn corners and change direction, even with just one hand
  • 20 minutes of cleaning time per charge so I can cover the whole house
  • Comes charged and ready to use
  • Easy to follow instructions, although it’s so easy to use that it’s really self-explanatory
  • Very good quality – solid not flimsy
  • Comes with three additional attachments for various uses

 

Cons

  • The price.  It’s high even if you find it on sale!  You have to think of it as an investment and you’re paying for the features and quality.
  • To operate you have to hold the trigger down and although it’s easy, it does become tiresome
  • The air exhaust is strong and blows on you as you’re cleaning….of course, if it’s a hot day I suppose the vacuum could double as an air conditioner!
  • To dump the debris from the container, you need to use two hands.  I actually wouldn’t have even thought anything about this except that compared to my Shark Rotator Professional which requires only one hand, it seems a bit less convenient.

 

If picking up pet hair from carpet or upholstery is necessary, try the V6 Animal.  If you need a dusting cloth, try the V6 Absolute.

 

 

Favorite Carpet Washer: Bissell ProHeat Lift-Off 2x Pet

Bissell ProHeat Lift-Off 2x Pet

 

With kids and pets and shoes there’s just no way I can avoid the need to wash my carpets – and even my upholstery – from time to time!  So far, I’ve had no issues with my Bissell and in fact, love it!

I debated whether to show you this picture….it’s embarrassing.  This is the top of my stairs and by far, the spot that gets the dirtiest.  Here you can clearly see which areas I’ve cleaned and which I haven’t.

Tidbits&Twine-Bisell-Carpet-Washer

 

Pros

  • Effective – does a great job getting tough spots out
  • Lift-off canister makes it portable for spot cleaning and/or upholstery cleaning
  • Smells great – this might sound silly, but the cleaning solution smells really good and the carpet feels softer once it dries
  • Very easy to use and the results are instant

 

Cons

  • Hard to clean the dirty water reservoir
  • Need to make several passes over the wet carpet to pull the water out
  • Not for use on high pile carpet, as the suction isn’t strong enough to penetrate too deep

 

 

As I mentioned at the beginning, cleaning is just not high on my list of Likes….actually, it doesn’t even make my list!  These products have all worked really well for me, though.  If you want to see some more of my favorite cleaning products, you can find my Top 10 here:

TIDBITS-&-TWINE---10-Favorite-Cleaning-Products

 

Tidbits&Twine - Signature

 

 

 

 

13 comments on The Best Vacuums for Hardwood & Carpet

  1. Kelly
    April 14, 2016 at 2:24 PM (1 year ago)

    Perfect timing! I am in the market for a new vacuum! Did you compare the Shark Rotator to a Dyson and most importantly…have you found an easy way to clean hardwood floors after you vacuum? Like mopping but not really mopping, if you know what I mean. Out of all of the cleaning I do, this is my least favorite job!

    Reply
    • Tidbits&Twine
      April 14, 2016 at 4:31 PM (1 year ago)

      Hi Kelly!

      I didn’t come across a Dyson that had the Lift-Away feature, so I never compared the Shark to a Dyson with a plug. I did compare the Shark to the Dyson Cordless V6 on carpet and the Shark is much stronger and better on carpet. For cleaning the hardwood floors, I use Bona because that’s what the store told me to use when I bought the floors and I went with their recommendation. I haven’t really tried any other cleaners to compare, but I’ve been happy with Bona so far. It doesn’t leave any streaks, film, or sticky residue. :)

      Reply
  2. Marilyn
    April 14, 2016 at 3:05 PM (1 year ago)

    I WILL buy the shark! I’m excited about one hand dumping of the “bag”. And I like the fact that it has the 3way to use it. But for shampooing furniture and spots, I still love my Little Green Clean machine. I even take it to church when we have a spot that needs attention. when I was young and strong I had Kirbys but had to give them up as they are just too heavy. And, really, who wants a vacuum that lasts for decades… I replace vacuums every 4 or 5 years even though I use some essential oil on the filters so the house smells nice when I vacuum. I LOVE Sprayway glass cleaner! Windows would never come clean in one try before for me. IT was the standard “I don’t do windows” until I found Sprayway!!!! Bar Keeper’s Friend is another staple in my home but I will look for your other favorites now and give them a try. Thank you so much! I truly enjoy your blog!

    Reply
    • Tidbits&Twine
      April 14, 2016 at 4:41 PM (1 year ago)

      Hi Marilyn!

      I hope you like the Shark! The next time I’m in the market for a carpet cleaner, I’ll definitely check out the Little Green Clean machine. Thank you so much for the suggestion!

      Reply
  3. Marilyn
    April 14, 2016 at 3:09 PM (1 year ago)

    OH. I forgot to mention my favorite cleaner! Pet Stain and Odor Eliminator by Citrus Magic (or the parent company I think is Beaumont). THE best odor eliminator by far. Makes Nature’s Miracle seem like water. And so much Easier to use. It can also be used on our German Shepherd when she rolls on something dead at the sea shore. Wonderful for the laundry too. When caring for parents and children sometimes we need a bit in the laundry and it Works. You should try it! I buy it online by the gallon…. and share with friends so they can try it, too.

    Reply
    • Tidbits&Twine
      April 14, 2016 at 4:43 PM (1 year ago)

      I’m going to try the product from Citrus Magic!!! I have Nature’s Miracle and I’ve never been convinced that it does anything…. Good to know it can be used directly on the dog, too! Lol! Thank you for sharing. :) Kim

      Reply
  4. Debby
    April 15, 2016 at 7:12 AM (1 year ago)

    Thank you, thank you, thank you….I have been looking for a new sweeper (have Kirby now) and just couldn’t wrap my brain around what to look for (so many features on sweepers). I too have the Bissell carpet cleaner and find it hard to clean up the unit after using it.

    Reply
  5. At Rivercrest Cottage
    April 20, 2016 at 8:15 AM (1 year ago)

    Thanks for this informative piece. Perfect timing for us as we’re looking for a new vacuum right now.

    Reply
  6. Nathan Gonzalez
    June 11, 2016 at 11:17 AM (12 months ago)

    Hi Kim, not sure how I came across your site here but I’m glad i did.

    Great post here. I will definitely be coming back soon!

    Reply
  7. Sammy Dolan
    August 14, 2016 at 9:01 AM (9 months ago)

    I think Shark vacuum cleaners outperform Dysons in every department, and they are usually about half the price. The lift-away models are the best as they are so convenient, especially on stairs!

    Reply
  8. Jason
    October 22, 2016 at 6:29 AM (7 months ago)

    That Dyson really is expensive like you say, but the convenience of the cordlessness just can’t be beat! Once you try a cordless vacuum you’ll never want to go back to a corded one.

    Reply
  9. nayyer industries
    January 16, 2017 at 11:22 PM (4 months ago)

    Okay, so it is as important as putting the carpet in your house, because I love carpets flooring but few people likes floor because it is easy to clean, but carpet is difficult to clean. But the look of carpet is more favorable for me than the floor. It is also necessary to know for normal people like us that how to clean the carpet, because we go and buy expensive carpets but then we don’t know how to keep it clean and what kind of vacuum should we use to make it clean, good that I came across this post and read the information I need, and now I can also suggest other family members of mine, which product should be use to clean the carpet, Thanks again for informative sharing!!

    Reply
  10. David
    April 7, 2017 at 8:26 PM (2 months ago)

    When choosing to buy a vacuum cleaner you should also check the rotating head of the nozzle for easy rotation. Normally, when sucked, the hose is 45 degrees. Try the vertical 90 degrees and 0 degrees horizontal with the floor that the table is not so much upset. Also remember to note the suction accessories included with the machine, there are types of suction head with integrated brush underneath to facilitate the cleaning of niches, grooves.

    Reply

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