Ditch the mop and bucket and give your floors a real clean with our favourite hard floor cleaners
The best hard floor cleaner will actively lift away dirt, sanitise floors and leave them looking fresh and new. The classic mop and bucket will wash your floors but will also leave them sopping wet and won’t pick up all the dirt and hair that builds up over time. Moreover, you’re dipping back into dirty water over and over, putting grime back onto your floor each time.
This is why it makes sense to invest in a good hard floor cleaner if you’ve got a lot of sealed hard flooring in your home. Some of the best hard floor cleaners will even vacuum, wash and dry in one go, meaning you don’t have to put half a day aside to refresh your floors.
In this article, we’ll help you choose the best hard floor cleaner for your needs. Our buying guide below has some questions and information you might find useful. Be sure to also check out our at-a-glance list for quick links to our favourites or read on for our reviews of the best hard floor cleaners.
Best hard floor cleaner UK: At a glance
- Best for speedy cleaning: Vax ONEPWR Glide | £200
- Best on a budget: Shark Klik n’ Flip Automatic Mop | £120
- Best all-in-one for pet hair: Bissell Crosswave Pet Floor Cleaner | £269
- Best lightweight cordless: Karcher FC 3 Cordless Hard Floor Cleaner | £179
- Best for big spaces: Karcher FC 5 Hard Floor Cleaner | £253
How to choose the best hard floor cleaner for you
What’s the difference between a hard floor cleaner and a steam cleaner?
While both hard floor cleaners and steam cleaners will clean hard floors, steam cleaners, perhaps unsurprisingly, simply use hot steam to blast away dirt. Hard floor cleaners, on the other hand, tend to use a combination of vacuuming and spinning roller brushes to simultaneously vacuum up debris and wash away dirt at the same time.
What are the benefits of a hard floor cleaner?
As mentioned above, most hard floor cleaners vacuum, wash and dry your floors at the same time, significantly cutting down the time and effort spent cleaning, as well as the time spent waiting for floors to dry.
When used with a cleaning solution, especially an antibacterial one, hard floor cleaners will do a much better job of banishing any nasty bacteria that might be lurking. Most have dual water tanks, which means that only clean water will be pulled through the rollers and onto your floor.
What type of flooring can I clean?
You can use a hard floor cleaner on any hard flooring including wood, laminate, lino, vinyl and stone, as long as it’s sealed. Some cleaners are even multi-purpose, and can be used on both hard floors and carpet. Wood and stone that has not been sealed should not be cleaned with a hard floor cleaner, as the moisture could damage the flooring.
READ NEXT: The best vacuum cleaners to buy
How often should I use a hard floor cleaner?
That’s completely up to you. However, if you’re in a household with heavy traffic – for example, lots of people and/or animals – we suggest using your hard floor cleaner every few days.
For rooms that are used less often, a thorough cleaning once a fortnight should do the trick. You can, of course, do this less or more often if you want depending on how dirty your home gets from week to week.
How much should I spend?
Most hard floors cleaners are on the pricier side and can cost anywhere from £100 to more than £300. We think around £200-£250 in the sweet spot for a good hard floor cleaner that will vacuum, wash and dry in one but also is pleasant to use.
READ NEXT: The best carpet cleaners to buy
The best hard floor cleaners you can buy in 2023
1. Karcher FC 3 Cordless Hard Floor Cleaner: Best lightweight cordless cleaner
Price when reviewed: £179 | Check price at AmazonAt just 2.4kg the FC 3 is an impressively lightweight, easy-to-use hard floor cleaner that’s also cordless. The slim roller brush design not only means it can get closer to the edges of your room than some of the other cleaners on this list, but also makes it easier to store. Asides from being super simple to use, we’re also impressed with the FC 3’s dry time: you can get back to using your floor in as little as two minutes.
This cordless cleaner gives you a full 20 minutes of cleaning, which doesn’t sound like much on the surface but it’s more than enough for two medium-sized rooms with hard flooring. Bigger spaces will definitely benefit from a more powerful, heavy-duty cleaner though.
Key specs – Capacity: 0.36l; Runtime: 20 mins; Charge time: 4 hours; Weight: 2.4kg; Dimensions (WDH): 305 x 226 x 1,220mm
2. Vax ONEPWR Glide: Best for speedy cleaning
Price when reviewed: £200 | Check price at Vax If you’re fed up of waiting for 30 minutes for your floor to dry after a bout of vacuuming and mopping, this nifty little hard floor cleaner from Vax might just transform your deep cleaning ritual. The ONEPWR glide does all three things at the same time, saving you time and seriously minimising effort. It’s suitable for all hard flooring including wood floors, laminate, lino, vinyl, stone and tiles, as long as they’re sealed.
We were really impressed by how well it was able to pick up both large chunks of food like cereal and pasta, as well as smaller bits of dirt and debris. It didn’t leave our floor bone dry but it wasn’t far off and we could use the space as normal within just a minute or two. This compact cleaner also has LED front lights for harder-to-see areas and once you’re done washing, the Glide’s self-cleaning system flushes the machine with water to keep it mess-free. With a 30-minute runtime and a 0.6l tank capacity, this isn’t the beefiest cleaner on this list, but it’s ideal for small to medium households.
Key specs – Capacity: 0.6l; Runtime: 30 mins; Charge time: 3 hours; Weight: 4.9kg (without battery); Dimensions (WDH): 290 x 250 x 1,110mm
3. Shark Klik n’ Flip Automatic Mop: Best budget hard floor cleaner
Price when reviewed: £119 | Check price at John LewisIf you prefer a more traditional steam mop to a chunky hard floor cleaner, this is an ideal choice. This compact offering from Shark might be corded but at 2.7kg, it’s much lighter than other hard floor cleaners and its swivel head makes it incredibly easy to get around corners and under tables. No battery means you can keep cleaning until the water tank runs out and three different steam options make switching between light cleaning and heavy-duty easy.
What we found most ingenious, though, was the mop’s cleaning head. The Kick n’ Flip reversible mop head makes use of both sides of the cloth, giving you twice the cleaning power without having to stop to switch out your used cloth. If you want a decent compromise between affordability and performance, this is definitely one to consider.
Key specs – Capacity: 0.38l; Runtime: N/A (corded); Charge time: N/A; Weight: 2.7kg; Dimensions (WDH): 110 x 100 x 1,190mm
4. Bissell Crosswave Pet Floor Cleaner: Best all-in-one pet hair cleaner
Price when reviewed: £269 | Check price at AmazonOn the surface, the Crosswave cleaner might seem a tad pricey compared to some of the other entries on this list. However, this nifty cleaning machine actually works on both hard flooring and carpet, meaning you can switch from your hard floors to rugs almost seamlessly. The generous 0.8l tank means there’s enough capacity for even the dirtiest of floors and because it’s corded, you essentially have an infinite run time, which is ideal for any sized room.
What makes the pet version unique is its slightly thicker brush roll, which is somewhat better at picking up extra hair left by furry friends. There’s also an additional strainer, which better separates liquid and solids, making hair disposal far easier. The pet version also comes with a new cleaning solution specifically designed for homes with pets, though this can also be used in older models. We really rate this heavy-duty cleaner for its big tank and separation feature; if you need something for light cleaning, however, this probably isn’t the one for you.
Key specs – Capacity: 0.8l; Runtime: N/A; Charge time: N/A; Weight: 4.9kg; Dimensions (WDH): Not specified
5. Dyson Omni-glide: Best for small homes
Price when reviewed: £300 | Check price at DysonMost traditional hard floor cleaners are fairly hefty both in weight and size, making them difficult to store in small spaces. Dyson tackles this problem with the Omni-Glide, a compact, and lightweight hard floor cleaner specifically designed for small apartments. Dyson might be best known for its carpet vacuums but this cordless cleaner, which measures 206 x 91 x 1,077mm (WDH) and weighs just 1.9kg, glides effortlessly around hard floors.
The main cleaning head has a suction tube sandwiched between two soft rollers that rotate in opposing directions, but you can move the head in any direction you please, meaning it’s great at getting around awkward table legs and weird nooks. Unlike other hard floor cleaners, this doesn’t come with a wet clean or wash option, but it does have plenty of attachments.
In testing, it coped just as well with larger debris as it did with smaller dust particles, exceeding our expectations in almost every way. The battery life is ok, but not amazing, lasting 22mins 33secs in Standard mode and 8mins 40secs on Max. There are additional battery packs available to buy separately though and Standard mode should provide more than enough power for most cleaning jobs.
Read our full Dyson Omni-glide review for details
Key specs – Capacity: 0.2l; Runtime: 22 minutes; Charge time: 3.5 hours; Weight: 1.9kg; Dimensions (WDH): 206 x 91 x 1,077mm
6. Bissell 2582E Crosswave Cordless Floor Cleaner: Best heavy-duty cordless cleaner
Price when reviewed: £276 | Check price at AmazonMost cordless hard floor cleaners give you more freedom of movement but sacrifice capacity and cleaning power to do so. The multi surface Bissell Crosswave cleaner, however, offers the best of both worlds. Like the corded Crosswave Pet, the cordless version has a large 0.8l water tank, which is spacious enough for even the biggest rooms. It has a 25-minute runtime, which is about standard for hard floor cleaners and should be enough to cover three to four rooms.
There isn’t a huge difference between this and the corded version. Like the pet floor cleaner, it has a tank strainer to better separate solid dirt and hair from liquid and it’s a tad heavier than the corded version at 5.6kg. The big selling points here are that it’s completely cordless, and that it tackles both hard floors and carpeted areas, which we think makes it well worth the additional cost.
Key specs – Capacity: 0.8l; Runtime: 25 minutes; Charge time: 4 hours; Weight: 5.6kg; Dimensions (WDH): Not specified
7. Karcher FC 5 Hard Floor Cleaner: Best for big spaces
Price when reviewed: £253 | Check price at AmazonThe FC 5 is essentially a heavy-duty, corded version of Karcher’s cordless FC 3, which vacuums, washes and dries all in one. There exists a cordless version of the FC 5, but we still recommend the FC 3 for those looking to ditch the cord.
Like its cordless counterpart, the unique brush roll design means you can clean much closer to the edge of your rooms, something other hard floor cleaners struggle with due to their size and build. The roller brushes can be easily removed and washed for reuse and additional rollers are also available via the Karcher website if you get through them quickly.
No battery means you can keep cleaning for as long as you like but the small 0.4l fresh water tank means you will need to refill at least once during cleaning if you’re tackling a big job. Despite this, the Karcher FC 5 corded is still a high-performing floor cleaner with an attractive price tag.
Key specs – Capacity: 0.4l; Runtime: N/A; Charge time: N/A; Weight: 5.2kg; Dimensions (WDH): 320 x 270 x 1,220mm