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Vacuum Wars

The current Vacuum Wars Best Hard Floor Cleaner / Wet Dry Vacuums ranking based on our own independent evaluation.

Tineco Floor ONE S5 Steam Hard Floor Cleaner

Tineco Floor ONE S5 Steam

Best Overall

Tineco Floor ONE S5 Pro 2 Hard Floor Cleaners

Tineco Floor ONE S5 Pro 2

Runner-up

Tineco Floor ONE S5 Smart Hard Floor Cleaners

Tineco Floor ONE S5 Smart

Top Cordless

Bissell Hydrosteam Corded Hard Floor Cleaners

Bissell Hydrosteam Corded

With Poweful Steam

Shark Hydrovac Cordless Hard Floor Cleaners

Shark Hydrovac Cordless

Top Budget Option

How We Tested and Chose These Hard Floor Cleaners


At Vacuum Wars, we want you to be confident in our recommendations so we purchase and test all the products we review. This way we can provide information that is not only accurate and comprehensive, but is also based on our years of hands-on experience in exploring these products.

Here’s an in-depth look at how we chose the best hard floor cleaners for early 2024.

Hard Floor Cleaners in the Vacuum Wars Studio
Our Hard Floor Cleaners in the Vacuum Wars Studio © Vacuum Wars

Evaluating Basic Functionality

We start by examining the basic functionality of each cleaner. This includes testing how easy it is to fill the clean water tank with water and the included solution.

Adding Water and Solution to a Hard Floor Cleaner
Adding water and solution to a hard floor cleaner during our evaluations. © Vacuum Wars

We note whether the water is dispensed manually or automatically, with more expensive models typically offering automatic dispensing. Each cleaner is then tested for its ability to pick up debris and hair, mop up stuck-on stains, and handle large wet spills.

Testing hard floor cleaners.
Testing various hard floor cleaners in different ways. © Vacuum Wars

Additionally, we evaluate the effectiveness of their self-cleaning modes, which are designed to maintain the machine after use. For heavy use, particularly with large wet messes, we recommend manual cleaning after each use.

Hard floor cleaners in their recharging and self cleaning stations.
Our hard floor cleaners in their recharging and self cleaning stations. © Vacuum Wars

Assessing Features and Specifications

We closely examine the features and specifications of each hard floor cleaner. Key considerations include whether the model is cordless or corded. Corded models like the Tineco S5 Steam and Bissell HydroSteam can use steam for cleaning, which offers an advantage in power but requires being plugged in.

Extra points were awarded for models with an auto mode, which uses sensors to adjust suction power and brush speed based on floor dirtiness.

Many, but not all, of the hard floor cleaners we tested with auto mode. © Vacuum Wars

LED and LCD screens that display real-time battery life and other information were also highly valued.

We considered the combined capacity of clean and dirty water tanks, with larger capacities scoring higher, and the weight of each model, with lighter models scoring better.

Features like self-propulsion, edge cleaning capabilities (especially those with no space on one side of the head, such as the Tineco S7 Pro), and self-drying modes significantly influenced the final scores.

Hard Floor Cleaners 2024 side cleaning scores
Our Hard Floor Cleaners side cleaning scores. © Vacuum Wars

Bench Tests

Our bench tests cover various aspects of performance, including sealed and unsealed suction measurements, which are combined to provide an overall suction score.

Hard Floor Cleaners Suction Scores from Vacuum Wars Tests
Hard Floor Cleaners Suction Scores from Vacuum Wars Tests

Noise levels are measured from a fixed distance at maximum power. Basic pickup tests assess each model’s ability to handle fine debris, large debris, and wet messes on hard floors. While some manufacturers claim their cleaners can be used on carpets, our tests typically show that these machines do not perform well on carpets, as they lack the necessary agitation and tend to leave carpets wet.

Performance Tests

Performance tests are critical in determining the top models. One such test is the glow-in-the-dark wet test, a timed test using the same amount of wet material to evaluate how well the machines process water and clean their brushes. The Tineco S5 series performed exceptionally well in this test, with an average time of 95 seconds compared to 166 seconds for other models.

Hard Floor Cleaners Glow in the Dark Wet Test
Hard floor cleaners glow in the dark wet test scores. © Vacuum Wars

Another crucial test is the dried pickup torture test, where we use dried coffee and grape juice stains to see how many passes it takes to clean the stain using primed rollers on max power.

Hard Floor Cleaner dried on mess test at Vacuum Wars.
Hard floor cleaners performing the dried on mess test at our studio. © Vacuum Wars

Steam models like the Tineco S5 Steam and Bissell HydroSteam stood out in this test, demonstrating the effectiveness of hot steam in loosening difficult stains. The steam models not only cleaned faster but also potentially sanitized the floors, though this aspect is harder to quantify.

Hard Floor Cleaners 2024 Dried on Stains
Hard floor cleaners dried on stains torture tests. © Vacuum Wars

Scoring and Criteria

To ensure fairness, we do not factor in battery life or other battery-related features, allowing corded and cordless models to compete equally. Prices are excluded from the overall scores but are considered in our personal picks. Our scoring focuses purely on performance, ease of use, and the presence of advanced features.

Best Overall: Tineco S5 Steam

The second cheapest of the Top Five, but still a top-performing model, it is our number one overall pick for its combination of top performance and affordability.

Tineco Floor ONE S5 Steam Hard Floor Cleaner

Tineco Floor ONE S5 Steam

Best Overall

Best Cordless: Tineco S5 Smart/Blue or S5 Pro 2

Chosen for value and performance, particularly for those looking for a cordless option.

Tineco Floor ONE S5 Smart Hard Floor Cleaners

Tineco Floor ONE S5 Smart

Best Value Option

Best Budget: Shark Hydrovac Cordless

Delivering good performance at a lower price.

Shark Hydrovac Cordless Hard Floor Cleaners

Shark Hydrovac Cordless

BEST Budget Option

Top Five Overall

And if you’re a by-the-numbers type, here is the top five overall performers, based only on our comprehensive testing process and scoring system:

Tineco Floor ONE S5 Steam Hard Floor Cleaner

Tineco Floor ONE S5 Steam

Best Overall

Tineco Floor ONE S5 Pro 2 Hard Floor Cleaners

Tineco Floor ONE S5 Pro 2

excellent performance and value.

Tineco Floor ONE S7 Pro

Tineco Floor ONE S7 Pro

High Performer

Tineco Floor ONE S5 Smart Hard Floor Cleaners

Tineco Floor ONE S5 Smart

Enhanced features and solid performance

Bissell Hydrosteam Corded Hard Floor Cleaners

Bissell Hydrosteam Corded

2nd Best Cleaner with Steam

Frequently Asked Questions

Are Hard Floor Cleaners the same as Carpet Cleaners?

No, hard floor cleaners are primarily designed for use on hard floors such as tile, hardwood, laminate, and vinyl. Some manufacturers claim that their machine can be used on carpets, but not at the same performance level of a carpet cleaner. Hard floor cleaners lack the necessary agitation to deep clean carpet fibers and tend to leave carpets damp. For effective carpet cleaning, it’s best to use a dedicated carpet cleaner.

Can I use these to clean up big messy spills?

Yes, hard floor cleaners can handle large wet spills effectively. Remember however that the machine needs to be cleaned after each use to maintain its performance and longevity. If you expect to be cleaning large messes regularly, you may want to consider a model with a self-cleaning feature.

Will this replace my regular vacuum cleaner?

Hard floor cleaners are excellent for maintaining clean hard floors, but they may not entirely replace your regular vacuum cleaner. While they can pick up debris, hair, and mop up stains, they are not as versatile as traditional vacuums, especially for carpeted areas. So, it’s best to use them alongside your regular vacuum cleaner for a comprehensive cleaning solution.

Are hard floor cleaners safe for all types of hard floors?

Most hard floor cleaners are safe for a variety of hard floor types, including tile, hardwood, laminate, and vinyl. However, it’s important to check the manufacturer’s recommendations for your specific model or the flooring manufacturer if you have specific concerns.

Do these cleaners require special cleaning solutions?

Yes, most hard floor cleaners require specific cleaning solutions that are designed to work with their systems. These solutions help in effectively cleaning and maintaining the floors without leaving residues. It is recommended to use the solutions provided or approved by the manufacturer to avoid damaging the machine or the floors.

And don’t forget to check out our Hard Floor Cleaner reviews!

Best of the Best

Current Vacuum Wars product rankings:

Best Cordless Vacuums
Best Robot Vacuums
Best Upright Vacuums
Best Carpet Cleaners
Best Air Purifiers