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Best Commercial Vacuums in 2022

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Updated June 27, 2022

What are the features that make the best commercial vacuum? The top features to look for in this category include motor power, suction power, and dust cup capacity. These options are the best vacuum cleaners for heavy-duty cleaning, and their performance should reflect that purpose.

These vacuums cleaners are more durable than household options and should last you for at least ten years. Their design is focused on making your cleaning easier, with ergonomic grips and canisters or bags that are easy to swap out. You should also be able to maintain them with ease when necessary.

Keep reading to learn more about the best commercial vacuums, the key factors you should consider when purchasing one, and how to find the best one for your individual needs.

Top Commercial Vacuums

 #1  Sanitaire Tradition Vacuum Cleaner

Award: TOP PICK

WHY WE LIKE IT: This model has a selection of options available to consumers. This gives ultimate control over what you’re getting, pleasing savvy buyers on a budget. It also has incredible power, is easy to use, and has unique maintenance features.

Pros
  • Extended life motor
  • Metal clip bag release system
  • Large-capacity shake out bag
Cons
  • Less attractive model

Not trying to blow out your eardrums while cleaning up? This model clocks in at a steady 79 decibels. This keeps employee ears safe, and other workers distraction-free. You’ll also find fantastic flexibility from this stand-up vacuum, driven by an ergonomic looped handle. There is incredible storage for debris in the easy-to-maintain shake-out bags. You’ll be able to vacuum up to 18 quarts. The only issue is that this isn’t quite as sleek as other models.

However, if you’re looking for a retro model, this is a great option. Metal is partially responsible for the old-style aesthetic, making this a durable vacuum that should last for a couple of thousand hours of commercial-grade performance. The larger capacity for debris means you can easily vacuum an area of 7,500 square feet or more. The 50-foot power cord furthers your reach so you don’t have to keep running from outlet to outlet to get the whole area vacuumed.

 #2  ProTeam ProForce Vacuum Cleaner

Award: HONORABLE MENTION

WHY WE LIKE IT: We love this model for the incredible features it comes with. The dual-motor system is made even better by a HEPA-certified filter system. This means even while vacuuming large messes, you’re breathing better air.

Pros
  • Certified HEPA filtration
  • Dual-motor system
  • High meanuverability
Cons
  • Sometimes screws come loose

Looking to breathe better air even while kicking up dust with your vacuum? Look no further than this model. The HEPA filtration system keeps allergens and asthma antecedents from puffing up into the air. You’ll also love this vacuum because it provides an exceptional cleaning experience using a dual-motor system. Keep an eye out for loose screws, however. While this is a design flaw, it’s easily fixed with a screwdriver and a little know-how.

Extra accessories make it a steal for those looking to get as much bang for their buck as possible. There’s a flexible hose that you can use to get into smaller spaces, like under couches or behind other furniture. There’s also a cleaning wand, which easily gets into even smaller spaces. The large, rubberized wheels can tackle any floor type and will move smoothly wherever you need to take it.

 #3  Oreck Commercial Vacuum Cleaner

Award: BEST FOR LARGE AREAS

WHY WE LIKE IT: If you have large spaces to clean, this is the product for you. It’s able to tackle the toughest messes in the biggest areas. You’ll love the extra length on the power cord, which allows easy access to every nook and corner.

Pros
  • Light body for easy movement
  • Extra length in power cord
  • Features a microsweep feature
Cons
  • Made with aluminum

Large spaces are no match for this model. This is a fantastic company that consistently churns out top-notch vacuums. The only issue at hand is the material used in the body. Aluminum is less sturdy than steel, which means it might not last quite as long.

You’ll be able to go the distance with the lengthy power cord, covering the entire area you’re cleaning with ease. Saniseal technology locks in potential allergens, like dirt and dust. This means you’ll breathe easy even while you’re cleaning. The microsweep feature allows you to shift between floor types without having to switch settings.

 #4  BISSELL BigGreen Vacuum Cleaner

Award: BEST FOR CARPETS

WHY WE LIKE IT: With a 3-stage filtration system, this model will make any buyer weary of allergens far more confident. It’s meant for doing heavy-duty carpet cleaning and will always deliver on the promise of a perfect job well done.

Pros
  • 3-Stage filtration system
  • Incldues 30’ power cord
  • Multiple height adjustments
Cons
  • Meant for carpets

This vacuum is especially attuned to drawing out allergens like dust so that you can rest assured that customers and employees alike can breathe easily. There is an extra wide cleaning path width and a 30-foot cord. That’s a combination that ensures ultimate meanuverability whenever you’re using this vacuum. The only downside is that it’s meant for usage on carpets, so you’ll need another cleaning solution to tackle other types of flooring.

While this is a vacuum meant for carpets, it’s still a top contender in our line-up. Having a vacuum that’s specially designed to handle carpets is never a bad idea. This is especially true if you have a high-traffic place of business. There are also attachments that come standard with every purchase, such as the crevice tool and extension wand. Both allow for cleaning in small spaces, on upholstery, and more.

 #5  Hoover Commercial Vacuum Cleaner

Award: BEST FOR AESTHETICS

WHY WE LIKE IT: You’ll hardly find a sleeker design than with this vacuum. It’s a fantastic choice for those looking to add a touch of luxury to their cleaning routine. Beyond this, it packs in serious power.

Pros
  • Sleek, aesthetic option
  • High visbility cord
  • Fingertip power switch
Cons
  • Hand loop might be awkward

Multiple tools are included to make your cleaning jobs that much easier. This includes a 12-inch cleaning wand, upholstery and dusting tool, and more. You’ll never have to worry about a sore back again with this model. There are five levels of height adjustment, allowing you to perfectly size it to your stature. While comfort is a priority for this product, the hand loop has a bit of an awkward shape that might not be so comfortable.

Even so, there are plenty of reasons to invest in this beautiful machine. The visibility cord can be seen a mile away, keeping people from tripping on it or running it over. The light frame means you can easily transport it around a facility to hit all the high-traffic areas. You’ll also be able to easily change the brushroll and belt, meaning repairs and replacements are a snap.

 #6  Perfect Products C105 Commercial Vacuum Cleaner

Award: BEST FOR PORTABILITY

WHY WE LIKE IT: If you need the ultimate in meanuverability, this vacuum is very much the first choice. It comes with a carrying strap so you can scoop it up and take it wherever it needs to go. We love how powerful the suction is, as well.

Pros
  • Can-like design
  • Under 10 pounds
  • Includes carrying strap
Cons
  • Hose sometimes loosens

Need to suck up spills in a jiffy? This product is the perfect solution to that serious issue. This powerful vacuum will keep your floors dry so you don’t have to worry. It has over 115-inches of water lift to suck spills out of carpets, keep linoleum dry, and ease any wet floor worries. Keep watch on the hose, however. It has been known to become loose over time.

It’s also highly recommended if you need something to use on the move. There is a carrying strap that keeps things easy even when you need to move across different floors for cleaning. The wheels of this vacuum are built on a swivel so that you don’t have to hurt your back twisting and turning. You’ll love the array of attachments that come standard with each purchase, as well.

Beginner’s Guide to Commercial Vacuums

What Are Commercial Vacuums?

A commercial vacuum cleaner is a professional cleaning tool used to clean a large amount of debris from floors over large surface areas. This household cleaning appliance is powerful enough to handle any kind of debris, including pet hair, pet dander, dust particles, stubborn dirt, and human hair. In general, commercial vacuums provide more powerful suction and larger dust cup capacity than other options.

Commercial Vacuums vs. Traditional Vacuums

Both commercial vacuums and traditional vacuum cleaners provide the same mechanical functionality as one another. After connecting to a power source and powering on, both types of vacuums will create suction power to clean up dust and dirt from floors.

However, the main differences between the two options are highlighted in a few different areas. For starters, commercial vacuums offer much more power than standard options. They also tend to provide more dust cup capacity than household vacuums.

In general, the best industrial vacuum is better suited for bare and carpeted surfaces meant for high foot traffic, like those found in office settings. These vacuums may damage hardwood floors and plush carpet, so you’ll need to be aware of what you’re vacuuming before starting to clean.

How Commercial Vacuums Work

A commercial vacuum cleaner functions in much the same way as a traditional vacuum cleaner. They generate suction power using an electric motor to spin a fan, which creates a vacuum effect near the vacuum’s intake port. This suction gathers debris and carries it into the dust cup, where it then remains.

Do You Really Need a Commercial Vacuum?

If you need more powerful suction that enables you to clean larger areas of floor surfaces without a problem, then commercial models are the best choice for you. These powerhouse vacuum cleaners will also last you a long time, despite the heavy-duty cleaning you typically perform with them.

Is a Commercial Vacuum Worth Buying?

  • You Own a Cleaning Business: The top reason to buy a commercial vacuum cleaner is if you own a professional cleaning business. Since these industrial machines can handle large amounts of cleaning and multiple types of dry messes, they work much better than household vacuum cleaners for this purpose. Plus, they’ll last you a much longer time overall, making them a valuable investment.
  • You Own a Large Home or Office Space: Commercial vacuums also make valuable cleaning tools for large homes and office spaces. If you don’t want to hire a professional cleaning service or you simply prefer to do the cleaning yourself in these large spaces, then a commercial option is an excellent choice for you.
  • You Need a Durable and Long-Lasting Vacuum: Commercial vacuum cleaners are some of the longest-lasting cleaning tools you can purchase today. If you’re tired of replacing your vacuum cleaner every few years, then you may want to consider a commercial alternative. These are meant to last much longer than household vacuums, so you’ll get a better return on investment in the long run.

Why a Commercial Vacuum May Not Be For You

  • You Only Need to Clean Small Spaces: If you only have small spaces you need to clean with a vacuum cleaner, a commercial vacuum is likely more power and capacity than you’ll ever need. In this case, you may want to consider a more affordable and smaller alternative.
  • You Have Hardwood Floors and Soft Carpet in Your Home: Most commercial vacuums are meant for cleaning high-traffic areas, which are usually covered in durable flooring. If you have floors that are easily damaged, then a commercial vacuum isn’t the right choice for you.
  • You Need to Clean Outdoor Spaces: Commercial vacuums are only meant for cleaning interior spaces. If you need to clean up patio spaces or yards, you’ll want to consider options like the best commercial leaf vacuum or a leading leaf vacuum.

How Long Will a Commercial Vacuum Last?

Most professional cleaners agree that commercial vacuums should last you upwards of ten years as long as they are regularly maintained. Industry experts like Classic Cleaners have experienced this extended lifespan in the commercial vacuums they use.

Commercial vacuums are meant to be used in heavy-duty applications, cleaning large amounts of dust and debris off of large surface areas. As such, they typically have a longer lifespan than household vacuum cleaners, which usually last five to eight years.

To get the most out of your commercial vacuum cleaner, we recommend cleaning and maintaining it on a regular basis. Change or wash the filter according to the manufacturer’s recommendations, swap dust bags out when they’re full, and repair the vacuum when necessary.

How to Choose the Best Commercial Vacuum

Choosing the best commercial vacuum cleaner ultimately comes down to identifying your specific needs and purchasing an option that meets those needs. Look for a commercial option with enough power and dust cup capacity to keep you cleaning for longer periods of time. This way, you won’t need to stop as often during large cleaning jobs. You should also consider portability factors, such as corded vs. cordless vacuums.

Commercial Vacuum Key Factors to Consider

1. What type of vacuum is best for commercial applications?

The type of commercial vacuum you purchase can determine a lot in terms of power, portability, and longevity. Keep reading to learn more about the different types of vacuums so you can identify the best option for your needs:

  • Upright: This type is one of the most common for commercial applications. Upright vacuum cleaners tend to offer the most versatility, power, and affordability for anyone in the cleaning business. They stand upright on top of the vacuum head and feature wheels for easier use.
  • Canister: With a large canister body, wheels, and an extendable hose, canister vacuums are less commonly used for commercial applications than other types. Since the only intake nozzle on canister models is found in the vacuum hose, they are less useful for cleaning large surface areas. Instead, these are better for reaching tight spaces or cleaning smaller areas.
  • Stick: These vacuums are a type of upright vacuum cleaner with a more portable and lightweight design. The best corded stick vacuum offers plenty of power and portability, but the best cordless stick vacuums are also just as powerful with even more portability.
  • Backpack: Many commercial cleaning companies prefer to use backpack vacuums over any other kind. Backpack models offer the highest level of portability and convenience without sacrificing power or capacity. You can purchase these options as corded models, but the best backpack vacuums are cordless for even greater flexibility.
  • Handheld: This type of vacuum provides the ultimate level of portability, but they do so with a sacrifice to power and capacity. Handheld vacuum cleaners typically operate on a rechargeable battery, but there are some corded options still available today. Handheld vacuums are also great for cleaning tight spaces, making them a valuable tool for cleaning cubicles or kitchenettes.

2. What kind of power do you need for your commercial vacuum?

The power of your commercial vacuum is typically measured in CFM, Water Lift, and Air Watts. Let’s take a look at each of these measurements, so you can understand them better:

  • CFM: This stands for cubic feet per minute, and it refers to the amount of air your vacuum can intake when powered on. It is also known as airflow. The higher CFM your vacuum offers, the more powerful it is.
  • Water Lift: This measures the distance in inches your vacuum can lift water when powered on. Of course, you won’t actually be cleaning water with your vacuum in most cases. This is also known as static pressure.
  • Air Watts: Many vacuum manufacturers combine the CFM and Water Lift numbers to create the Air Watts measurement. The higher Air Watts your vacuum offers, the more powerful suction it will provide, especially for messes like ash. For such cases, you’ll need a top-rated ash vacuum.

3. Should you purchase a corded vacuum or cordless vacuum for commercial cleaning?

Arguably, one of the most important factors to consider when purchasing a commercial vacuum is power, which we discussed above. For the longest time, the most powerful commercial vacuums were corded options. In the past, many professionals avoided cordless models because they offered less power in general.

However, that has changed in recent days. Cordless commercial vacuums are becoming more common today because they can easily keep up with corded alternatives now. If you opt for a leading cordless shop vac model, be aware that they are typically more expensive.

Since they run on rechargeable batteries, you’ll also want to consider battery life. You won’t want to get stuck without a charge in the middle of a job, so we recommend purchasing an option that allows you to swap batteries when necessary.

4. How much capacity do you need for your commercial vacuum?

The best industrial vacuum cleaner offers plenty of dust capacity so you can continue to clean without worrying about constantly emptying the canister—the bigger the capacity, the better the vacuum for commercial applications.

You’ll also want to consider whether you want to purchase a bagged vacuum or bagless vacuum when thinking about capacity. Commercial vacuums are typically bagged vacuums, although this isn’t necessarily your only choice.

Bagged vacuums contain dust and debris better overall, but they require more effort when it comes time to change out replacement bags. Bagless vacuums typically offer more capacity, but you’ll need to clean the canister more regularly.

5. Should you get a commercial vacuum with accessories and attachments?

You can increase your industrial vacuum’s overall functionality and usability by using a variety of different accessories and attachments. Some options will include accessories, while others require you to purchase them for an additional cost.

In general, these additional tools will help you best for commercial purposes:

  • Crevice tool
  • Extension wand
  • Floor nozzle
  • Dust brush
  • Upholstery tool

Commercial Vacuum FAQs

Should you get a wet/dry vacuum instead of a standard option for commercial cleaning?

Wet/dry vacuums are meant to clean both wet and dry messes. You are more likely to experience wet messes in commercial applications, but that doesn’t mean they happen often enough to always spend extra for a wet/dry vacuums. For the most part, a dry vacuum is more than enough for commercial cleaning purposes.

Are commercial vacuums better than household vacuums?

Not necessarily. Commercial models are best for heavy-duty jobs, but they can cause damage to household floor types. However, they offer more power and capacity, making them better for larger jobs.

Why are commercial vacuums so expensive?

Due to their more powerful motors and larger size, commercial vacuum cleaners tend to be more expensive than standard alternatives. They also tend to be more specialized, which always carries a higher price tag regardless of the product category in which you are purchasing.

Are cheap commercial vacuums worth it?

In general, the more money you spend on a vacuum cleaner, the better product you’ll get. If you’re purchasing a cleaning tool for commercial applications, we always recommend spending more to get a better and longer-lasting product.
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