By Stacey L Nash | Updated Mar 30, 2021 9:49 AM
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Quick cleanup often starts (and ends) with a broom. Spilled cracker crumbs, a fallen plant, and pet hair can show like spotlights on otherwise clean hardwood flooring. The best broom for hardwood floors contains soft bristles that won’t scratch delicate floors but can hold on to dust, debris, and pet hair. They also prevent dust from kicking into the air so that only the shine and natural glow of the hardwood stays behind.
Keep reading to learn about many of the important features to consider when selecting a new broom, and check out some of the best brooms for hardwood floors below.
While all brooms are designed to help clean, there is a range of differences among the options. Some broom bristle materials work better on hardwood than others, and specific design elements affect how well a broom functions for specific tasks. The following are some of the most important features to consider during the decision-making process of choosing a new broom.
Brooms can fall on either end of the stiffness spectrum, including options with a mix of bristle types on a single broom. Stiff bristles are better at removing large debris, but they could potentially leave small scratches on hardwood flooring. Softer bristles are better at removing fine dust.
Broom bristles also come in several types, including flagged, unflagged, cloth/mop, or rubber.
The angle of the bristles can be important, too. Angled bristles reach in corners and under cabinets better than straight bristles. Flagged and unflagged bristles come in straight or angled cuts.
A broom’s handle and bristle materials affect the broom’s weight, the types of debris the broom sweeps best, and the kinds of surfaces on which it works best. While these materials break down into two broad categories of natural and synthetic, there’s a great deal of variety within these categories.
Some people prefer natural bristles because they like to keep synthetic fibers out of their house. Natural bristles range from soft horsehair to stiff straw. There also are options like broomcorn, Tampico, yucca, and palmyra. Many brooms contain a mix of natural bristles. Yucca and broomcorn, for example, are often used together, combining their powers of large debris and fine dust removal in an all-purpose broom.
Synthetic bristles range from PVC and polypropylene to microfiber and PET, a recycled material. Like natural bristles, synthetic bristles offer some soft options like microfiber and flagged versions of various plastics as well as stiffer, thicker flagged plastic bristles.
Plastic, metal, and wood are the three most common broom handle materials. Plastic and metal resist heat and moisture better than wood, making them a better choice if the broom could be exposed to temperature or humidity extremes. While all of these materials are available in lightweight options, the best lightweight handles are stable and let the user put pressure on the broom without the handle flexing.
Broom handles vary in length, thickness, and design. Handles long enough for the user to stand upright can help prevent back pain and allow the user to get better leverage while sweeping.
Brooms with an adjustable handle work well in multiuser homes, because each user can adjust the length for their height. Some models have one or two extension pieces, while others have a telescoping handle for adjustable lengths.
The joints of some adjustable brooms can present weak points that could potentially bend or flex, reducing the power that can be applied to the broom. Look for joint locking mechanisms, thick joints, and sturdy handle materials to prevent adjustable handles from bending or breaking.
Lightweight brooms prevent fatigue from setting in when sweeping a large room. Plastic and synthetic bristles reduce weight, keeping the broom’s weight around 1 pound. Aluminum handles also are used for lightweight brooms.
Wood brooms tend to be the heaviest at around 2 to 2.5 pounds. However, sometimes wood works best with natural hair brooms, making the added weight worth the enhanced performance. Those small weight differences might not seem like much, but they’re enough to matter when sweeping an entire house.
Weight distribution also can factor into the broom’s functionality. For example, push brooms with wood handles and larger broom heads can be bottom heavy, moving the center of gravity closer to the ground. That makes the broom easier to push.
The sweeping motion used with a standard broom makes a higher center of gravity easier to control. In this case, brooms with lightweight synthetic bristles tend to have a center of gravity that makes sweeping easier.
Depending on the size of a home, storage space can be another factor influencing which broom is the best pick. If a home has a pantry or closet with ample vertical storage space, most brooms don’t usually take up much room.
However, for smaller homes and tighter storage areas, features like hanging hooks, loops, or brackets and braces that mount the broom to a wall make storage much easier. Some models have removable broom heads that attach to the handle for slimmer storage.
Many brooms that include a dustpan are stored with the broom head inside the dustpan. Some models with snaps or hooks attach the dustpan to the broom to offer more convenient storage.
Brooms that come with a dustpan offer distinct advantages. First, the dustpan usually attaches to the broom so users aren’t left playing hide-and-seek to find the dustpan when it’s time to sweep.
Second, dustpans that come with the broom generally fit the broom head better than one bought separately. The dustpan’s width and depth match that of the broom for improved performance. Finally, buying the broom and dustpan together can save on a second purchase.
Dustpans can also add real cleaning value. Some models have “teeth” that clean the broom’s bristles or a rubber lip that helps debris go into (rather than under) the dustpan. Dustpans with long handles and mechanisms that lock them in the open position allow users to remove the final dust pile without crouching on the floor.
The brooms among the top picks include some models with matching or attached dustpans and others with microfiber heads or rubber bristles. These brooms stand out for their performance and offer a variety of options. Some have more specific applications, while others work well as an all-purpose broom for hardwood floors.
The TreeLen Broom and Dustpan combine into a compact 2.2-pound cleaning system that leaves no dust bunny behind. It also helps prevent backaches with the included extension pole that lengthens the 40.5-inch broom handle to 52 inches.
Backs also may appreciate the dustpan’s 38-inch handle and a locking mechanism that keeps the dustpan in the open position. It allows users to sweep debris into the dustpan without crouching on the floor. A rubber lip creates a close seal between the dustpan and floor to keep debris from sweeping underneath. Tines on the dustpan also help remove debris from the broom.
The broom has soft, pliable flagged bristles that flex against hardwood floors without scratching them. The bristles’ feathered ends grab dust and dirt, keeping it from resettling on the floor. Finally, the lightweight plastic broom and dustpan connect, with the broom storing inside the dustpan. The complete set can slide into narrow storage areas or hang from a hook built into the broom’s handle.
The SANGFOR Dust Pan and Broom Set features four layers of gently angled, flagged bristles that cover more surface area with each stroke of the broom. The 40-inch broom comes with an extension pole that takes the total length to 54.3 inches, giving even tall users the ability to sweep without stooping.
A dustpan with a 38.9-inch handle lets users clear the final dust pile without crouching. It has a rubber lip that reduces the chances of dust going under rather than into the dustpan. A rubber comb on the dustpan removes hair and other debris from the broom for more thorough cleaning.
The broom stores inside the dustpan, which attaches to the broom via a clip. The dustpan’s flat bottom allows for standing storage, but a hook on the broom handle offers a hanging storage option, too. Both are made of lightweight plastic and weigh a total of 2.4 pounds.
The O-Cedar Fast ‘N Easy Angle Broom offers effective cleaning at a price that won’t eat through the dollar bills. The soft flagged bristles, which have O-Cedar’s Flare-Tip technology, trap dust and dirt to help keep it from resettling onto hardwood floors. The angled bristle design reaches into corners and under kitchen cabinets for precise cleaning. Bristles made of 80 percent recycled plastic offer an eco-friendly cleaning solution, too.
The handle’s 53-inch length keeps most users upright, reducing back pain. While this model doesn’t include a dustpan, the head’s open design has a handle for better control when removing the final debris pile. The full plastic construction keeps this broom light at 1.26 pounds, reducing fatigue while sweeping big floors.
The SWOPT Premium Smooth Surface Straight Broom Head functions as part of SWOPT’s interchangeable cleaning system. This broom head has straight flagged plastic bristles attached to a wood head. The bristles’ feathering ends expand the available surface area, holding tight to pet hair so it doesn’t fly into the air and resettle on hardwood floors.
This brand offers a versatile range of products and options to go with this broom head. The handle must be purchased separately, which allows customization of the broom. There are wood and stainless steel options in 48- or 60-inch lengths. Rather than having the handle screw onto the broom head, SWOPT uses a snap-lock system for better stability and durability. The handle and broom head are interchangeable with other SWOPT cleaning products.
The broom’s total weight depends on the handle chosen to go with it, but the broom head only weighs .86 pounds. All of the handle options include a hook for hanging storage.
The OXO Large Upright Sweep Set stands apart, featuring a telescoping handle with 20 inches of adjustability. It extends from 39 to 53 inches, with the ability to lock the handle anywhere along that length.
Angled and flagged bristles provide the cleaning power behind the OXO. They trap dust, dirt, and pet hair before they resettle on the floor, yet they’re soft enough to preserve the surface of hardwoods.
This broom includes an accompanying dustpan with a 36-inch handle, so users don’t have to crouch to use it. The dustpan can lie open on the floor for easy sweeping with a rubber lip that prevents dirt from getting under the dustpan. A comb on the top of the dustpan helps remove hair and debris from the bristles. Both the broom and dustpan are made of plastic, with a total weight of 2.2 pounds. They can stand or hang for storage.
The O-Cedar Power Corner Large Angle Broom features “double bristle technology.” At the ends, the broom has firmer black flagged bristles to pull both fine and large debris out of corners. Softer gray bristles in the broom head’s center hold on to the finer particles so they don’t resettle onto the floor. Both types are made of 80 percent recycled materials. They’re also made with O-Cedar’s memory technology to resist bending and breaking.
The 55-inch handle height lets most people sweep without stooping, saving backs from sweep-related pain. While this model doesn’t include a dustpan, the broom head design includes a handle that makes it easier to clean up dirt piles. This broom is made of plastic with a total weight of 1.5 pounds.
The Quickie Bulldozer 18-Inch Smooth Surface Push Broom covers a wide 18-inch area with every push. Flagged poly-fiber bristles are soft enough to protect hardwood floors but tough enough to hold and push dust, dirt, and hair. Push brooms function a bit differently than standard brooms. Consequently, they need a longer 60-inch handle to provide leverage for users of different heights.
Though this broom is made of plastic, resin, and synthetic bristles, the larger heavy-duty design pushes the weight of this model to 2.45 pounds. However, for those who have a lot of square footage to cover, the weight is worth the extra ground covered with a push broom’s wide head. The broom can be hung with the head removed and clipped to the handle for more compact storage.
The FURemover Broom serves a very specific purpose, and that’s pet hair. The natural rubber bristles attract, pull, and sweep pet hair from hardwood floors and carpets. It’s a great cleaning tool for multi-pet homes or those with a heavily shedding pet. All that accumulated pet hair washes right off the broom with warm, soapy water.
A telescoping handle that extends from 36 to 60 inches lets users of different heights comfortably manage the broom. The head also does more than remove pet hair: A built-in squeegee works well for cleaning up spills on hardwoods or for washing windows. For the size, the FURemover is a lightweight .92 pounds.
The Full Circle Tiny Team Mini Brush and Dustpan Set is the only broom on this list with unflagged bristles. However, their softness and flexibility make them an efficient option for small spills on hardwood floors.
This tiny brush features eco-friendly materials, including a stylish bamboo handle and recycled plastic bristles. The dustpan’s silicone lip presses into the floor to keep dust moving into the dustpan. When it’s time for storage, the brush snaps into the dustpan. In total, the set is 7 inches by 7 inches and weighs just .15 pound.
The O-Cedar Dual-Action Microfiber Sweeper Dust Mop collects hard to remove dirt, fine dust particles, and flyaway pet hair in its microfiber and chenille head. This model functions similarly to a push broom, letting users navigate around tight corners and furniture edges.
A flexible head provides extra cleaning power. The head flexes up baseboards to remove debris clinging to the wood. However, it also pushes larger debris, creating a pile similar to that of a traditional broom.
The 49.5-inch handle isn’t adjustable, but it’s sturdy, helping users manipulate the broom around and under furniture legs and cabinets. This model collects debris in the head, which can then be machine washed. The head usually needs to be replaced after approximately 50 washes.
Innovations in cleaning tools may lead to new questions and potentially new methods for keeping hardwood floors spotless. Here are a few answers to some of the most popular questions about using brooms to clean hardwood.
The best way to sweep hardwood floors is to start at the room’s perimeter and sweep your way to the center. Sweep as often as necessary. Homes with pets may need to be swept more often than a home without extra fur. However, for less-trafficked homes, once or twice a week may be sufficient.
Yes, brooms work well on hardwood floors. Choose the broom carefully, looking for soft flagged bristles that trap hair, dirt, and dust so that it doesn’t resettle on the floor.
Broom replacement time depends on how frequently the broom gets used and how it’s used. Brooms used on hard surfaces will naturally wear out more quickly than ones used indoors on a smooth floor. Everyday sweeping will wear out a broom faster, too. You may need to replace the broom every few months, once a year, or every few years, depending on how often it’s used.
Watch for signs of wear like bent, broken, or shedding bristles. Once the broom starts to break down, it’s time for a new one.
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