Homes tend to have a variety of surfaces; rare are homes with just one type of flooring. Carpeted bedrooms are popular but hard-wearing, easy to clean options are preferred by many for areas such as kitchens, bathrooms and dining areas that tend to get messy more frequently than say a bedroom.
Bare floor areas in homes may be tiles, Lino, real wood, laminate or concrete. The main issue to worry about when selecting the best bare floor vacuum is not carpet but the risk of damage to the floor. Key features to look for then would be super soft bristles, ability to turn off any rollers and perhaps rubber feet rather than plastic to minimize the risk of scratches.
Bags or no bags? Cord or no cord?
Bagged, bagless, cord or no cord, lightweight/heavy duty the options are endless. When you need to find the best bare floor vacuum for your home, you need to think about what you have to vacuum and how frequently. Think about your flooring; deep pile carpet or bare floors with area rugs? Some cordless vacuums take 20+ hours to charge and then only last for 20 minutes.
Question is, can you get around your apartment on 20 minutes of battery life or is a cordless only suitable for occasional spot cleaning jobs? If you choose a vacuum with too powerful a suction it may just suck those areas rugs right of your floors!
Suction & Filtration
Cyclonic systems tend to have the most reliable suction remaining constant even if filter may become blocked. A HEPA (high efficiency particulate air filter) is essential if you wish to reduce exposure to allergens in your home. A HEPA filter will remove dust, dander, pollen and other allergens down to 0.3 microns.
A good vacuum needs to be easy to empty. Bags in a bagged vacuum are an ongoing cost for both your pocket and the environment. A bagless canister can easily be opened straight in to the trash.
Research and Reviews
Many vacuums on the market will claim to be the best suction, the best for pet hair, or the best for carpet, the best bare floor vacuum etc. Read all the reviews you can, especially the negatives to see if there any obvious problems with a design.
If a vacuum manufacturer claims that the rubber feet don’t scratch hardwood floors, look for that in reviews as a complaint. There are multi-function bare floor vacuums on the market. You may need to clean hard floors, carpets, rugs and stairs but do you need a multi-function vacuum to do it.
Many vacuums have adjustable heights to cope with different carpet heights. The delay comes when you have to tell the head to switch from hard floor to carpet, older and cheaper models will tend to be less disruptive but may not even adjust height! Switching the vacuum to a bare floor surface may be as easy as flicking a switch or pressing a button or you may have to switch heads completely.
Efficiency and Effectiveness
A major concern for consumers with hardwood floors is the ability for the vacuum to pick up larger debris e.g. pet food biscuits. The worst vacuums are those that can crush and spray debris out the back rather than up the nozzle. A guard along the back of the head can be useful but an adjustable height or retractable brushes may be more desirable.
Generally vacuum heads have rotating brushes to pick up dirt and hair. As long as these brushes are kept tangle free from extra long hair then they should not stall and cause issues for vacuuming hard floors and scratching.
For bare and hard floors recommendation is for a lightweight model that doesn’t scratch the floors. Tools are useful but not essential for cleaning most places. However, some hard floor vacuums are marketed with a microfibre cleaning head (essentially a washable, microfbre cloth that fits over the vacuum head to assist with floor cleaning. The main aspect to consider is the transition of the vacuum head across multiple surfaces quickly and easily. Just a flick of a switch is usually all that is needed to switch from carpet to harder floors in a good vacuum model.
There are lots of vacuums and manufacturers to choose from. Concentrate on a few key features such as soft bristles, rollers that turn off and rubber wheels to get the best bare floor vacuum for your home.