Best →

Best HEPA Vacuums for Mold

Updated: Nov 14, 2023 9:47 PM
best hepa vacuum for mold featured image that shows the top three best vacuum cleaner models

When you’re shopping for the best HEPA filter vacuum, you’re focused on removing airborne particles, including dust, pollen, mold spores, pet hair, and possibly even smoke from the air. This means your top priority will be confirming whether your ideal vacuum contains a HEPA filter, which traps up to 99.97% of particles drawn into the vacuum — especially dust.

But other factors also matter. In particular, how effective is the suction power on your vacuum? Can it suck up larger items without getting clogged? Also, consider whether you want a bagged or bagless model, or even if you want a robotic vacuum as opposed to a stick, cordless, or upright model. And finally, you’ll want to think about the weight — especially if you vacuum frequently or have a larger home. Keep reading our best HEPA filter vacuum buying guide to learn more.

Top HEPA Vacuums for Mold

 #1  Oreck BB1200DB Vacuum Cleaner


WHY WE LIKE IT: This handy vacuum features a high-grade filtration system that easily eliminates mold and other small particles. The device has a wide variety of accessories that offer comprehensive whole-house cleaning.

  • Incredible suction power
  • Blower functionality
  • Lightweight design
  • The hose is short

The Oreck BB1200DB vacuum cleaner features a powerful motor that provides great suction for picking up large dirt particles. It comes with a flexible hose and telescoping extension wand that improve its reach. This device has onboard storage to simplify accessing the attachments. This vacuum cleaner also comes with a dusting brush and crevice tool for cleaning on shelves, furniture, and appliances. We love that this vacuum doubles as a blower, offering a complete all-in-one home cleaning solution. However, the hose on this device is short.

This Oreck BB1200DB vacuum cleaner is a heavy-duty canister vacuum that comes with a number of attachments. This vacuum cleaner has an inner HEPA bag that removes mold, pollen, and other small particles from the home. This vacuum doesn’t require cleaning a dust cup, so it’s easy to maintain. Weighing just 5.5 pounds, this canister vacuum is easy to carry. It has a 20-foot power cord that offers flexibility. A cord strap accessory at the bottom of this vacuum offers neat storage. If you’ll need to clean both debris and liquids, a top-rated wet dry vac could be a nice combination solution for you.

 #2  Miele Complete C3 Vacuum Cleaner


WHY WE LIKE IT: This vacuum cleaner features a motorized brush head that is very effective in cleaning carpets and area rugs. The bagged design with a performance filtration system eliminates mold easily from the home.

  • Outstanding 1200W motor
  • Motorized brush head for carpets
  • Very maneuverable
  • Struggles with very thick rugs

The Miele Complete C3 vacuum cleaner is a bagged model that provides versatile functionality. This device comes with a pack of 16 filter bags for convenience. It has a HEPA air filter that removes mold and small dust particles. This machine is lightweight, simplifying carrying. It has a powerful 1200W Vortex motor that provides adequate suction to pick up large particles easily. However, the vacuum cleaner struggles on very thick carpets.

This Miele Complete C3 vacuum cleaner comes with a parquet floor brush, which lies flat during cleaning, reaching under furniture easily. It rotates 90-degrees, offering a measure of flexibility. This Miele vacuum cleaner comes with a crevice tool and dusting brush for cleaning up in vehicles and hard-to-reach areas such as bookshelves. A 36-foot operating radius enables easily cleaning large rooms. This device also has a motorized Electro Comfort brush for carpets.

 #3  Makita XCV11Z LXT Vacuum Cleaner


WHY WE LIKE IT: This vacuum cleaner is compatible with a rechargeable battery that enables cord-free operation. It has a versatile design, so it’s the vacuum of choice for handling moist surfaces

  • Incredible suction power
  • Wet and dry cleaning capability
  • Handy accessories
  • Filter gets clogged easily on wet surfaces

The Makita XCV111Z LXT vacuum cleaner is a multifunction device that’s good for domestic and industrial applications. This device features a BL Brushless motor, producing about 57 CFM of suction to pick up very large particles easily. It has a slot for an 18V lithium-ion battery (sold separately), which enables cable-free operation. With a noise level of just 76 dB, this device performs relatively quietly. However, the filter gets clogged fast when cleaning a wet surface.

This Makita XCV111Z LXT vacuum cleaner comes with an efficient HEPA filter that removes particles as small as 0.3 microns. This device weighs just 10.1 pounds, enabling users to carry it easily from place to place. We like the LED battery indicator that facilitates estimating the expected runtime. This machine comes with a wide nozzle for picking up very large particles. It includes a crevice tool for cleaning in cracks and narrow spaces. With wet and dry abilities, this device is suitable for wet surfaces.

 #4  Vacmaster Pro VK811PH Vacuum Cleaner


WHY WE LIKE IT: This wet and dry vacuum cleaner has a very large tank that will appeal to people who are cleaning in office and industrial settings. The device comes with handy accessories that provide versatility.

  • Gigantic tank
  • Incredible 125 CFM suction power
  • Very long 30-foot power cord
  • The vacuum easily tips over

The Vacmaster Pro VK811PH vacuum cleaner is a powerful extraction device that is suitable for homes and offices. This device features a gigantic 8-gallon tank that can accommodate plenty of dirt, making it a good choice for cleaning very large homes and workplaces. This device comes with a HEPA filtration system, which is good for mold. However, this device easily tips and falls over when pulled with the hose.

This Vacmaster Pro VK811PH vacuum cleaner has a two-stage industrial motor that provides durability. It produces a suction of up to 125 CFM, picking up small and large particles with ease. We like the integrated 30-foot long power cord, which offers flexibility when cleaning office hallways and large living rooms. The device has an industrial-grade 10-foot x 1 ½-Inch hose for picking up big particles. It also features two locking steel 20-inch wands for flexible cleaning. This device has an airflow adjuster for precise customization.

 #5  Bosch VAC090AH Vacuum Cleaner


WHY WE LIKE IT: This device has a very large debris tank that accommodates a huge amount of dirt, making it a good choice for cleaning large homes and construction sites. The device has wheels, simplifying moving it from place to place.

  • Immensely large debri tank
  • Wheels provide mobility
  • Self-cleaning filtration system
  • Loud

The Bosch VAC090AH vacuum cleaner is a handy tool for cleaning up large homes and business premises. This device features a proprietary self-cleaning filtration system that clears the filter every 15 seconds to maintain maximum suction. It comes with a HEPA filter for removing small particles, including mold from the home. The vacuum has a Bosch Pro Plus guard that complies with OSHA silica exposure requirements, so it’s ideal for some construction sites and industrial settings. However, this device is a bit loud.

This Bosch VAC090AH vacuum cleaner has a powerful motor that produces up to 150 CFM, picking up stubborn particles easily. It also comes with a fleece filter bag for disposing of dirt easily. The device features a large 9-gallon tank to accommodate plenty of debris, reducing the need for frequent emptying. This device is lightweight to enable easy carrying and features heavy-duty casters for mobility. A hose wrap hook secures the hose for safe storage and transportation.

 #6  Kenmore Elite 81714 Vacuum Cleaner


WHY WE LIKE IT: This device has a tangle-resistant tool that is efficient at extracting cat or dog hair from thick carpets. The device features conveniences such as onboard accessory storage and casters for mobility.

  • Powerful motorized pet hair tool
  • Wheeled design
  • Long retractable 26-foot power cord
  • The vacuum is challenging to pull
  • Noisy

The Kenmore Elite 81714 vacuum cleaner is a bagged canister-type device that is suitable for whole-home cleaning. The vacuum comes with a variety of attachments that aid in cleaning the floor, furniture, and appliances. This device has a motorized attachment that lifts pet hair from carpets and couches easily. It has a unique design that resists tangling. Onboard storage for attachments offers conveniences. However, this vacuum cleaner produces a loud, high-pitched sound during operation.

This Kenmore Elite 81714 vacuum cleaner has a HEPA filter for removing mold, dust particles, and pollen from the home. A two-motor system provides incredible suction power. The device comes with a telescoping aluminum wand to help users reach high objects. It comes with a retractable 26-foot power cord that provides flexibility when cleaning in large rooms and long hallways. This device has smart nozzle tech that detects the thickness of a carpet and adjusts performance accordingly.

Beginner’s Guide to HEPA Vacuums for Mold

What is a HEPA Vacuum for Mold?

A HEPA vacuum cleaner is a vacuum with a HEPA filter. These vacuums not only remove dirt and debris from your floors and surfaces but also filter air sucked into the vacuum to effectively remove pollutants such as dust mites, pollen, pet dander, and mold. HEPA is short for High-Efficiency Particulate Air. It’s a scientifically proven efficient method for removing up to 99.97% of pollutants from down to particles as small as 0.3 microns in size. With this much cleaning power, these vacuums can be rated as the best vacuum for dust mites.

This is essential because standard vacuums can throw allergens like mold back into the air through the exhaust vents. However, vacuums with HEPA filters serve as a final protective barrier to prevent pollutants from being pushed back into the air.

Because HEPA filters are so effective at trapping mold and other allergens, the leading HEPA vacuums are perfect for people with respiratory conditions like asthma or people that suffer from allergies. These vacuums are available in a wide array of styles, including corded, cordless, bagged versus bagless — although bagged is best — uprights and canisters, and even robotic models.

HEPA Vacuums for Mold vs. Other Vacuums

The best HEPA vacuums are effective at trapping mold, which is what makes them stand out against other vacuums. This is because of the additional barrier layer that the HEPA filter provides. Unlike traditional vacuums that expel pollutants back into the air, HEPA vacuums prevent this from happening. In addition, because of their enhanced filtration against small particles, you can be confident that any mold sucked into your vacuum won’t be released back into the room.

The only real drawback with HEPA filter vacuums is that you’ll have an added expense because you must replace the air filter. Depending on how often you vacuum and the state of your surfaces, the replacement timeline may vary. But HEPA filters can be expensive, hence it is crucial to protect your investment using the best home appliance insurance policy.

Beyond that, HEPA vacuums are the same as regular vacuums. And just like regular vacuums, you can find them in a range of styles, weights, and suction power strengths depending on your flooring.

How HEPA Vacuums for Mold Work

The leading HEPA vacuums for mold still function like traditional vacuums. An internal motor powers a fan that creates low pressure by drawing in air. This helps to develop suction that pulls in light debris as the vacuum passes over surfaces.

Depending on the vacuum cleaner’s design, the particles are pulled into a container or bag. However, HEPA filter vacuums add another step. After the air reaches the container or bag, it passes through a HEPA filter which traps any airborne particles.

After this final step, the filtered air is released back into the room through the vacuum’s exhaust vents.

Why You Should Buy a HEPA Vacuum for Mold

Mold is a major problem for many households. From aggravating respiratory conditions to creating stale odors, no one wants mold in their home. Along with keeping your home visibly clean, a HEPA vacuum can help reduce allergies and maintain indoor air quality at optimal levels.

Are HEPA Vacuums for Mold Worth Buying?

  • You Have Asthma or Allergies: For some people, mold can aggravate their respiratory system and trigger allergies or asthma attacks. HEPA vacuums can help to remove mold from the air when you clean.
  • You’re Concerned About Releasing Dirt into the Air: Traditional vacuums are notorious for expelling dirt back into the air. The HEPA filter in HEPA vacuums can prevent this from happening.
  • You’re Concerned About Certain Odors: In particular, HEPA filters are great at trapping smoke molecules from cigarettes and mold spores.

Why a HEPA Vacuum for Mold May Not Be for You

  • You Don’t Want the Added Expense: HEPA filters can be expensive. Even though you might not need to replace them as often as in an air purifier, the expense can add up over time.
  • You Want to Get to the Source of Your Home’s Mold Problem: HEPA filters can remove mold from the air, but it’s a temporary fix if mold is growing in your home. If you truly want to correct mold issues, you need to find the source and determine an effective solution for eliminating it.
  • You Want a Bagless Vacuum: You can buy bagless HEPA vacuums, but they’re not generally recommended because of the risk of releasing mold and other irritants back into the air when you empty the container.

How Long Will HEPA Vacuums for mold Last?

In general, vacuums tend to be incredibly sturdy appliances. HEPA vacuums can last for years before you need to replace them — as long as you don’t abuse them by being unnecessarily rough. Performing routine maintenance such as periodically emptying canisters or replacing bags and cleaning attachment brushes can extend the lifespan and improve performance.

Instead, the question is how frequently must your HEPA filter be replaced. And there’s no concrete answer for this as it depends on how often you clean your home and how much dirt and grime are present on surfaces. However, what is clear is that HEPA filters can be expensive. So, the added cost of replacement filters on top of replacement bags can make this product a serious investment for some people.

How to Choose the Best HEPA Vacuums for Mold

To qualify as a HEPA vacuum, your appliance needs to have a True HEPA filter. These are the only filters confirmed to trap particles as small as 0.3 microns and remove 99.97% of particles from the air. But you also need to think about other factors like the type of flooring in your home, suction power, the vacuum style, and what accessories — if any — are included.

HEPA Vacuums for Mold Key Factors to Consider

1. Is it a True HEPA filter?

“HEPA-like” or other proprietary brand slogans are not the same as True HEPA filters. Only True HEPA filters can remove up to 99.97% of particles in the air and particles as small as 0.3 microns. Anything other than True HEPA can’t make those claims.

2. What vacuum style do you prefer?

HEPA vacuums are available in all the major vacuum configurations. This includes canister, upright, stick, central, handheld, and robot styles. But consider which option is most compatible with your cleaning needs. For example, a stick or robot vacuum that allows you to do other things while it cleans can be an excellent solution for daily vacuuming.

Smaller spaces may not be ideal for a traditional upright. Instead, a compact stick or handheld vacuum might be a better option. Meanwhile, canister vacuums are great for cleaning multiple floors because you can easily lift them over stairs.

3. Do you want a corded or cordless model?

Choosing between corded versus cordless vacuums is about your preference. Cordless options offer more mobility but may have limited operation ranges between charges. Likewise, they may have lower suction power. While corded models can run forever, you may need to unplug and plug it when you switch between rooms.

4. Should you get a bagless or bagged vacuum?

With HEPA vacuums, one model is better than the other — especially if you suffer from allergies or a respiratory condition. Bagged vacuums usually feature a self-contained replaceable bag. This is important because you don’t have to worry about mold or other allergens being released into the air when you make the bag swap. In contrast, bagless vacuums can release dust or dirt clouds when you open the container.

5. How strong is the suction?

Powerful suction can reduce the total amount of time you need to spend cleaning — even with robot vacuums. On the other hand, poor suction could mean you need to repeatedly pass over sections of your floor to suck up dirt and dust. However, to pick the right suction, you need to think about your flooring and the types of particles you want to vacuum.

Typically hardwood floors don’t need as much suction as carpeting. But if you want a vacuum that can draw in large particles like food, you’ll still want powerful suction. Meanwhile, high pile carpeting requires stronger suction to effectively remove particles stuck deep into the carpet. Keep in mind that cordless vacuums, including robot models, usually aren’t as powerful as corded versions.

6. How much does the vacuum weigh?

Vacuums come in a range of weights, from ultra-light to incredibly heavy. Heavier models can be self-propelled, which is nice but may be a chore to lift over stairs. Consider your home’s layout and how frequently you vacuum before making a selection.

7. Are there any attachments?

Attachments can be a great feature to target specific cleaning scenarios. For example, a crevice tool is great for cleaning between couch cushions or into corners where the regular vacuum nozzle won’t fit. Or a brush tool and hose extension would be ideal if you want to clean drapery. Check to ensure that your vacuum comes with attachments, so you don’t have the added expense of buying them separately.

Dorian Smith-Garcia Avatar

Learn More About Vacuum Cleaner