How We Ranked the 4 Best HEPA Vacuums

True Score Methodology

v1.5

150,575

Reviews Analyzed

Updated Jun 20, 2024 6:55 PM

Table of Contents

best hepa vacuum guide that shows the top best vacuum cleaner model

A whopping 75% of electronic and appliance reviews are untrustworthy. That’s why every reviewer gets a Trust Rating so our True Score System filters out the fake reviews. See how we do it.

If you suffer from allergies, a HEPA filter is a must. HEPA filters trap 99.97% of particles and remove them from your environment. Versatile attachments like crevice tools and motorized pet hair brushes enhance cleaning efficiency, while a sealed system prevents dust from escaping back into your living space. In our extensive review, four vacuum cleaners stood out from over 100 evaluated models.

We analyzed 150,575 reviews, rigorously filtering out fake and low-quality reviews using our data-driven Trust Rating. Our thorough process ensures that only the top-performing vacuums, certified as tested and proven in real-world conditions, make it to our buying guide. This meticulous approach guarantees that the recommended models deliver exceptional performance and reliability​​​​.

How Did We Rank the Best HEPA Vacuums?

Our True Score system and analysis of over 200 sites underpin our guide to the best HEPA vacuums. By evaluating diverse testing methods, expert reviews, and customer feedback, we identified 2 required test results, 1 preferred test result, and 1 must-have specification. This structured approach allows us to present a definitive buying guide, empowering you to make an informed and confident purchase.

Our commitment to unbiased reviews is powered by our ‘True Score’ system, targeting low-quality and fake reviews. When you shop through our links, you’re backing our mission. Dive deeper to see how.

?️ Minimum Specifications

  • Must have a HEPA filter

? Test Criteria

  • Bare Floor Performance: The vacuum sucks up 95% of debris when cleaning bare surfaces such as tile, vinyl planks, and hardwood floors.
  • Pet Hair Performance: The vacuum sucks up 95% of pet hair from any surface.

? “Nice To Haves”

  • Carpet Performance: The vacuum sucks up 75% of debris when cleaning carpets, including low pile and high pile.

Latest Updates

  • 06/20/2024: Republished the list to include the best HEPA vacuum cleaners based on our True Score system.

Top HEPA Vacuums For 2024

Prices accurate at the time of publishing

See how we test the testers

  • Runner Up

    Best Value

    Best Budget

    gr recommended award

    Best Mid-Range

    Shark Stratos Cordless

    • Best Allergies

    Shark Stratos Cordless excels on bare floors and pet hair, boasting top debris pick-up rates. Its lightweight and cordless design enhances maneuverability.

    Shark Stratos Cordless Review →

    True Score

    83
    87
    6

    Experts

    86
    726

    Customers

    SAVE $71
    $399.99
    $329.00

    Snapshot

    Reasons to Buy

    • Impressive suction power
    • Great bare floor performance
    • Great Carpet cleaning performance
    • Excellent pet hair cleaning performance

    Reasons to Avoid

    • Attachments are very limited

    Specifications

    BaglessBaglessYes
    Bin CapacityBin Capacity0.18 gal
    Brush Roll Shut-OffBrush Roll Shut-OffUnknown
    Carpet Height AdjustmentsCarpet Height AdjustmentsYes
    Cleaning Path WidthCleaning Path Width10"
    Compatible Floor TypeCompatible Floor TypeAll floors
    Cord LengthCord LengthCordless
    Corded/CordlessCorded/CordlessCordless
    Filter TypeFilter TypeHEPA
    HypoallergenicHypoallergenicYes
    PetPetYes
    Product WeightProduct Weight8.9 lbs
    Vacuum TypeVacuum TypeStick Vacuums
    Wet And Dry UsageWet And Dry UsageNo

    All Specs

    Test Results

    Bare Floor Performance (% of Debris Cleaned)99
    Carpet Performance (% of Debris Cleaned)89
    Pet Hair Performance (% of Debris Cleaned)100
    Noise Level (dB)77

    All Retailers

    • $329.00
      $400
      Save $71

      Availability

      In Stock

      Free Shipping

      Yes
    • $349.99
      $500
      Save $150

      Availability

      In Stock

      Free Shipping

      Yes

    Our Verdict

    The Shark Stratos Cordless is a versatile vacuum that excels in bare floor and pet hair cleaning. It boasts a superior bare floor debris pick-up rate of 98.83%, and for pet hair pick-up, it scored a perfect 100%, making it ideal if you’re a pet owner constantly dealing with fur in your home. It also performs exceptionally well on carpets, picking up 89.28% of dirt and debris in carpet fibers.

    However, it’s worth noting that the Shark Stratos Cordless’s bin capacity is on the smaller side, at 0.18 gallons. This means you might find yourself emptying it frequently during extensive cleaning sessions. Despite this, the vacuum is lightweight, at 8.9 lbs, enhancing maneuverability and ease of use throughout your home.

    Compared to the Shark Stratos Ultralight, the two share many similarities like their bin capacities, noise levels, and pet hair performance. The Stratos Cordless has superior carpet cleaning performance, though, and is cordless, allowing for easy movement between rooms without hassle. It’s the more efficient and convenient pick if you live in a carpeted home. The Stratos Ultralight is the better value if you’re on a budget, and keep in mind that it’s corded, which may limit mobility but still gives you consistent power without the need for recharging.

    The Shark Stratos Cordless offers a blended mix of performance and convenience. While it’s a pricey model, its excellent performance on bare floors, carpets, and pet hair makes it a reliable pick if you suffer from allergies and have a home with various types of flooring and debris.

  • Runner Up

    Best Value

    Best Budget

    gr recommended award

    Best Mid-Range

    Shark Cordless Vertex Pro Powered Lift-Away

    • Best Apartment

    Shark Cordless Vertex Pro excels in large homes with a large bin, offering exceptional pet hair removal and carpets and bare floor cleaning performance.

    Shark Cordless Vertex Pro Powered Lift-Away Review →

    True Score

    82
    84
    2

    Experts

    86
    328

    Customers

    SAVE $1
    $399.99
    $399.00

    Did you know that 78% of vacuum cleaner reviewers are untrustworthy?

    Our research found only 27 of 125 vacuum cleaner reviewers as of July 2024 can be trusted. This is why Gadget Review is committed to calculating the most accurate product scores on the web.

    To do this, we give every vacuum cleaner review site a Trust Rating, which measures how trustworthy the site and their testing claims are. We then leverage AI & a machine learning model to combine and calculate the Trust Rating with data from experts and consumers to deliver the True Score, the web’s most accurate product quality rating.

    150,575

    Vacuum Cleaner Reviews Analyzed

    100

    Total Products Analyzed

  • Runner Up

    Best Value

    Best Budget

    gr recommended award

    Best Mid-Range

    Shark Stratos Ultralight

    • Best Long Hair

    Shark Stratos Ultralight excels on bare floors and pet hair, features a HEPA filter for allergy sufferers, and offers quiet operation with a long cord for easy reach.

    Shark Stratos Ultralight Review →

    True Score

    81
    82
    1

    Experts

    86
    928

    Customers

    SAVE $100
    $299.99
    $199.99

    DON’T SEE WHAT YOU’RE LOOKING FOR?

    For pet owners, handheld vacuums for pet hair are essential for quickly cleaning up fur and dander from various surfaces. When choosing the best lightweight vacuum, consider models that offer strong suction and are easy to maneuver, making cleaning less of a chore. Our Airsign HEPA vacuum review highlights its excellent filtration and performance, which is ideal for maintaining a clean home environment.

    Maintaining your vacuum is crucial for its longevity. Knowing how to get hair out of the vacuum roller can prevent clogs and ensure optimal performance. Regular maintenance keeps your vacuum efficient and extends its lifespan, making your investment worthwhile.

  • Runner Up

    Best Value

    Best Budget

    gr recommended award

    Best Mid-Range

    Shark Vertex Pro

    • Best Cordless For Hardwood

    Shark Vertex Pro excels on bare floors and in pet hair removal. Its HEPA filter and cordless design allow for easy mobility, making it ideal for medium-sized homes.

    Shark Vertex Pro Review →

    True Score

    79
    81
    3

    Experts

    83
    341

    Customers

    SAVE $103
    $479.99
    $377.48

    Category Snapshot

    Vacuum Cleaners

    • Total Brands/Products Tested

      31 Brands, 100 Products

    • Top 2 Brands

      Dyson, Miele

    • Price Range (Budget-Premium)

      $50-$400+

    • Average True Score

      75.70

    • Important Test Criteria

      Bare Floor Performance (%)

      Carpet Performance (%)

    • Most Trusted Testers

      vacuum top trusted testers

    • Typical Warranty

      1 year

    • Covered by Insurance

      Yes – Amazon, Best Buy

Which Criteria Matters for Testing Best HEPA Vacuums?

By focusing on these criteria (2 required, 1 nice to have), anyone can quickly and easily compare these vacuum cleaners and how they’ll perform. This helps you make an informed decision and purchase a vacuum cleaner that will meet your needs.

CRITERIARANGEREQUIREDDEFINITION
Bare Floor Performance> 95%YesHow much debris the vacuum sucks up when cleaning bare surfaces like tile, vinyl planks, and hardwood floors.
Pet Hair Performance> 95%YesHow much pet hair the vacuum sucks up from any surface.
Carpet Performance> 75%No (Nice to have)How much debris the vacuum sucks up when cleaning carpets, including low pile and high pile.

Our Trusted Data Sources

We looked at 120+ vacuum cleaner reviewers and found that 27 are trustworthy (60%+ Trust Rating). The three we have listed below are our most trusted for vacuum cleaner.

  1. Dagobiet Morales Alfaro – RTings, LinkedIn
  2. Derek Hales – Modern Castle, LinkedIn
  3. Sabine Heinlein – Wirecutter, LinkedIn

Interested in a comprehensive analysis of our data sources? We’ve got you covered. Below, you’ll find a detailed list of every vacuum cleaner review website we’ve identified, organized by their respective Trust Ratings from highest to lowest. But we didn’t stop there. We’ve meticulously reviewed each publication and verified the data by checking whether the authors have bio links to MuckRack or LinkedIn. We’re committed to not only checking the facts but ensuring their veracity.

Vacuum Cleaner Test Data & Results

1. Bare Floor Performance Test Results

As the name suggests, bare floor performance references how well a vacuum does when it’s cleaning up tiles, vinyl planks, or hardwood flooring. Debris comes in a variety of sizes of course, and much of the testing revolves around picking up debris that ranges in size from cereal to bits of dirt to sand to a mix of everything above and more.

We recommend that a vacuum be able to pick up at least 95% of debris from a bare floor to ensure you end up with clean floors. Hitting a perfect score is obviously ideal, but the worse a vacuum performs here, the more work you need to do sweeping up or re-vacuuming. Missing debris is frustrating, and can invite pests if you miss bits of food, or annoyance if you step on something barefoot and hurt yourself.

Bare Floor Performance in % (higher is better; 0 = No Data)

2. Pet Hair Performance Test Results

If you own pets, the ability of a vacuum to suck up pet hair, be it with attachments or the brush itself is extremely important. Pet hair can stick to furniture, dig itself into the carpet, and clump together under beds and in corners. If you have allergies and need to keep pet hair out of your home as best as you can, you’ll need a vacuum that gets rid of as much pet hair a possible when cleaning.

We recommend that a vacuum has a pet hair cleaning performance of at least 95%. Higher is always better, but if you can get rid of most of the pet hair, you’ll have an easier time breathing and less dander flying away and sticking to clothes and furniture. Poor pet hair cleaning performance can invite repeated vacuuming and more annoyance for anyone who suffers from allergies.

Pet Hair Performance in % (higher is better; 0 = No Data)

3. Carpet Performance Test Results

Carpet cleaning ability is another important part of how your vacuum performs. Whether you have low-pile, high-pile, or rugs, how effectively a vacuum cleans up the dirt and debris left behind on the carpet is enormously important to keeping your carpet comfortable.

Generally speaking, we recommend a carpet cleaning performance of at least 75%. You might notice this is much lower than bare floors, and that’s because carpet is harder to clean. Short of devoting the time to actually shampoo and dry out a carpet, thoroughly cleaning out a carpet is very difficult, and good vacuums will reach deep between fibers and pull out long-forgotten crumbs.

Carpet Performance in % (higher is better; 0 = No Data)

Best HEPA Vacuums: Mistakes To Avoid

  1. Ignoring Certification: Not all vacuums claiming HEPA filtration meet the necessary standards. Ensure the vacuum is certified by reputable organizations like the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America (AAFA) or the High-Efficiency Particulate Air (HEPA) Association.

  2. Neglecting Sealing: A vacuum’s effectiveness heavily relies on its ability to prevent air leaks. Overlooking the sealing of the vacuum’s body and filtration system can lead to unfiltered air bypassing the HEPA filter, reducing its efficiency.

  3. Not Considering Vacuum Power: HEPA filters can restrict airflow, so it’s essential to choose a vacuum with sufficient suction power to maintain performance even with the added filtration. Look for models with high-powered motors designed to work efficiently with HEPA filters.

  4. Forgetting Maintenance: Proper maintenance is key to ensuring the longevity and effectiveness of HEPA vacuums. Neglecting regular filter replacements or failing to clean the vacuum’s components can diminish its filtration efficiency over time.

The Best HEPA Vacuums Tests Compared

Product
True Score
Bare Floor Performance
Carpet Performance
Pet Hair Performance
Noise Level

Shark Stratos Cordless

  • Best for Allergies

83
  • 98.83%

  • 89.28%

  • 100%

  • 76.65 dB

$329.00
$400
$71
82
  • 98.57%

  • 89.36%

  • 100%

  • 77 dB

$399.00
$400
$1

Shark Stratos Ultralight

  • Best for Long Hair

81
  • 97.5%

  • 82.25%

  • 99.33%

  • 76.8 dB

$199.99
$300
$100

Shark Vertex Pro

  • Best for Cordless For Hardwood

79
  • 98.5%

  • 82.61%

  • 99.66%

  • 82.35 dB

$377.48
$480
$103

HEPA Vacuum Questions (FAQ)

Learn More About Vacuum Cleaners