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When choosing the best vacuum cleaners for your home, we narrowed down our top picks based on the following factors: suction power, brushes for a variety of floors types (carpet in particular but also bare floors as well), bag vs canister, warranties, and of course customer sentiment. We also included some robotic options and some of the most trusted brands that have proven to work for an extended period of time with no loss of suction or efficacy.
This is why our top pick is the Shark Navigator, a model that combines lightweight maneuverability with power. It’s also easily convertible into a hose-based handheld model for hard-to-reach places while retaining its spacious 2.2-quart debris canister. That makes this vac ideal for the average home – but make sure to check out our other big picks for other vacuum cleaner solutions!
Award: TOP PICK
WHY WE LIKE IT: This Shark is an amazing upright vacuum with top-notch filtration and an incredibly useful handheld conversion feature. It’s the best pick for tackling every mess a house has to offer. For more great products like this, visit our guide to the best upright vacuum cleaner.
Read Full Review: Shark Navigator Vacuum Cleaner Review
The best upright vacuum we’ve found, the 13.7-pound Navigator is especially easy to handle, with “swivel steering” that allows it to go nearly anywhere with just a twist, and a brush roll shut-off options for more delicate floors. It carries a canister with 2.2 quarts of space (more than most) and an excellent HEPA filter for trapping almost all the dust the vac brings in. Everything about this vac is designed for great performance in the home.
It’s also a convertible model: You can remove the canister and hose at any time for a handheld option that makes it much easier to reach high surfaces in the middle of vacuuming. With all these capabilities, there’s not much the Navigator can’t handle, making it the best upright vacuum cleaner we’ve found. Speaking of a clean floor, the best carpet cleaner detergent is a must.
Award: HONORABLE MENTION
WHY WE LIKE IT: This adjustable vac can be prepped for any type of surface (5 height adjustment), and comes with accessories to manage any situation – while still being lightweight. We especially like the extra-large 4.1L capacity of this model, making it easier to clean the whole house in one session.
Read Full Review: Eureka PowerSpeed Lite Review
With five height adjustable, this upright can be adjusted for all kinds of surfaces, making it the best vacuum cleaner for hardwood or stone floors – and the smooth wheels ensure there’s no danger of scratches. Despite being a very light 10 pounds, the vac also includes a variety of accessories including a dusting brush with a 7-inch reach (nice for drapes), fabric tool, and more.
The canister on this vac is also one of the largest on our list at 4.1 liters, easily enough to deal with a room’s worth of dust. And thanks to the 12.6-inch width brush head, you can clean flat spaces quickly while still trapping dirt. The 25-foot cord can also easily handle even larger rooms around your home. You may also want the best carpet cleaner for your floors.
Read Full Review: iRobot Roomba 980 Review
WHY WE LIKE IT: This is one of iRobot’s top of the line robotic vacuums that boasts many of the bells and whistles, including smart connectivity allowing you to access and control the Roomba 980 from your Android or iOS device. It does an amazing job cleaning carpet and hardwood, can detect stairs, and has an excellent run time.
To a large degree, the iRobot Roomba 980 looks like every other Roomba. Which is to say it sports their familiar hockey puck shape. However, unlike the lesser models (below the 960) the 980 sports a camera that maps out the room, allowing it to develop a log of visual landmarks and thus improve cleaning for next time. In short this means less bumping and more cleaning.
There are a few other sensors on board, including one to detect a ledge (aka cliff detection) and one to detect the presence of carpet, where upon the iRobot Roomba 980 will increase its suction power (“Dirt Detect™ Series II5 uses optical and acoustic sensors to detect high concentrations of dirt, dust and pet hair, and the robot then provides focused cleaning where it’s most needed”).
Award: BEST EXTRA WIDE CLEANING PATH
WHY WE LIKE IT: This affordable vacuum cleaner includes technology for picking more debris up in one pass and plenty of on-board accessories for different projects. Add in the extra-wide cleaning path, and it’s one of the best vacs for getting projects done quickly.
Read Full Review: Bissell Cleanview Review
One of the best bagless vacuum cleaner models around, the Cleanview is full of special features to make vacuuming easier on you. The “OnePass” design focuses on excellent suction to average dirt gets picked up easily. The “Scatter Free” tech makes it easier to trap debris on flat surfaces, too. It also has a particularly large 13.5-inch cleaning path to get jobs done more quickly.
On board, you’ll also find a number of handy tools stored away (4 in total), including a crevice tool, a dusting brush, and even a “turbobrush” for tougher furniture messes. The multi-level filtration system isn’t HEPA, but it does help trap more dust and is easily washable between projects. The best floor cleaner keeps your home healthier.
Award: BEST FOR PET HAIR
WHY WE LIKE IT: Dyson designed this vacuum to be one of the best vacuum cleaners for pet hair, with incredibly powerful suction and a dedicated turbine tool for pet hair. Pet owners and everyone else looking for fast results will love this vac.
Read Full Review: Dyson Animal 2 Review
If you’re looking for sheer power, this Dyson vacuum cleaner will provide all the suction you need, with a self-adjusting head that can immediately adapt to any surface, including carpet, wood, and tile. The Animal 2 is well named, too: The excellent turbine tool is designed to pick up pet hair without getting into tangles, and the HEPA-like filtration and sealing trap pet allergens effectively. If you’d prefer another vacuum to pull out allergens and dirt from your carpets, then check out our guide to the best vacuum cleaner for carpets.
Dyson’s trademark ball-shaped design keeps the vacuum very mobile too, which is great for cleaning dust bunnies around chairs and other obstacles. The half-gallon canister can hold all kinds of debris and offers quick one-click emptying over a trash can so you can get back to work. This and the best mop make a home clean.
Award: BEST CORDLESS
WHY WE LIKE IT: This cordless vac with a low profile can fit nearly anywhere and saves a ton of time on smaller cleaning projects. It’s the ideal choice for those with smaller homes!
Read Full Review: Hoover Linx Review
One of the best cordless vacuums we’ve reviewed, the Lynx has a better range and convenience. Plus, models like this Linx pick have extra-low profiles for getting around objects. The vac functions with a removable lithium-ion battery that you charge between projects. There’s a battery meter right on the front of the vac to let you know how much charge is left: To make the most of the battery charge, Hoover has what it calls “Windfunnel” technology, which is a tightly sealed, well-designed containment system designed to increase suction so you’re ready for bigger messes.
Of course, a cordless vacuum is dependent on its battery for performance, which means they are designed for faster cleaning of smaller areas. The Lynx battery only lasts 15 minutes or so before needing a recharge, so be prepared to be speedy. Speaking of speed, clean your carpets quickly and keep it free of pet hair with our best pet vacuum.
Award: BEST FOR AUTO CLEANING
WHY WE LIKE IT: This affordable robot vac is smart enough to clean a whole room, adjust power based on the surface, and avoid falls. It’s the smart vac helper that your house has been waiting for!
Read Full Review: Anker Eufy RoboVac Review
If you want a robot vac to help keep your house faithfully clean, this model is one of the best choices for the average homeowner. far more affordable than the average robot vac but still loaded with smart features.
The vac can clean for up to 100 minutes on the average hardware floor before needing to recharge, using four side brushes and suction power to get rid of messes. If it detects debris that needs extra handling, it can increase suction for a couple of seconds to get rid of it or adjust suction when moving onto carpet. The slim design is also great for getting under furniture.
Award: BEST FOR CARPET
WHY WE LIKE IT: This bagged vacuum has an excellent brush roll for digging down into the carpet, and the bagged design means you don’t have to stop to empty any canisters. It’s an especially great choice for larger areas and multi-floor homes thanks to its lightweight build that doesn’t compromise on suction.
Read Full Review: Oreck Commercial Review
Bagged vacuums aren’t as common these days, but this Oreck vac shows just how useful they can still be. The bag makes it easy to clean without worrying about scattering dust or frequently emptying canisters. Plus, the double helix brushes and powerful brush roll action are ideal for dealing with dirty carpets. If you need to switch to hard surfaces, the vac will automatically adjust to the new height.
At 9 pounds, it’s also the lightest bagged vacuum we’ve ever seen. The 35-foot cord is also one of the longest we’ve seen, which is one reason this vac is good at cleaning larger commercial spaces. But it can still be a great fit for the average home, too!
There are few households today that don’t include a vacuum cleaner or other floor cleaners as part of their cleaning routine. Although it may seem like a modern invention, you may be surprised to learn that this commonplace machine has been around in one form or another for well over 100 years, having been first invented in the 19th Century during the Industrial Revolution. Keep reading to learn more about vacuums cleaners and discover how to buy a vacuum.
Since the invention of the first carpet sweeper in 1860 by Daniel Hess, the vacuum cleaner has taken many forms over the years. The very first models included manually rotating brushes and a bellows or fan that created some amount of suction, and there were even a few versions that ran on gasoline. It wasn’t until 1905 that inventors began to create devices that started to resemble, if vaguely, the machine we know so well today. Modern vacuums use negative pressure to pull dirt and other debris from upholstery and flooring into an intake port, where it is collected either in a disposable bag or a reusable dust cup.
Just how a vacuum cleaner works is a relatively simple process. In a nutshell, a vacuum cleaner helps keep our homes clean via the use of various parts that work together to create negative pressure. The resulting vortex creates suction that pulls dust, pet hair, and other debris into the mouth of the unit.
Some models use a beater bar or other brush roll to dislodge particles from carpet or upholstery. It’s this combination of simple physics and precise engineering that makes it so easy to keep modern homes fresh and clean!
The most important parts of any vacuum cleaner are the motor, internal fan, dust container, intake port, its various controls and switches, and exhaust port. As mentioned, some models use a beater bar or brush, but neither of these are necessary for the vacuum cleaner’s operation, and several units do not incorporate them.
ℹ Why Are Vacuums So Noisy?The main reasons why vacuums are loud and noisy are because of the change in air pressure caused by the unit’s suction, the noise created by the operation of the motor and fan, and the resulting vibration of the vacuum’s exterior casing. Most vacuums produce around 70 decibels of sound.
ℹ Why Are Vacuums So Noisy?
The main reasons why vacuums are loud and noisy are because of the change in air pressure caused by the unit’s suction, the noise created by the operation of the motor and fan, and the resulting vibration of the vacuum’s exterior casing. Most vacuums produce around 70 decibels of sound.
Most people already own a vacuum. So with that in mind, the best question isn’t if you should buy a new vacuum but if it’s a justifiable expense to replace your existing model. If you’re looking for a superior cleaning experience, a vacuum with the latest technology is absolutely worth it.
Vacuum cleaners have come a long way from their humble roots as giant, horse-drawn machines. These days, high-tech models come with features like Bluetooth, incredible motor power, excellent filtration methods (such as HEPA), and low noise levels. But while they’re worth the hype, all those bells and whistles will cost you. This brings us to our next point: robot vacuums.
Robot vacuums are an excellent option, provided your house isn’t too large or you can afford multiple units. Why? They operate on battery power and have a top-end to how much square footage they can cover. Though, many units now have a self-emptying system and are intelligent enough to return to their base station to recharge. Once recharged, they can pick up (pun intended) where they left off. Of course, how long a robot vacuum lasts isn’t quite as long as other vacuums.
# There were 14.2 million American households with a robotic vacuum cleaner in 2019, which was an increase of 1.2 million from the year before (Statista)
The quick answer is yes, they are better; better at filtering out airborne contaminants. However, according to Molekule, if the frame or fit and finish (the build quality) of the filter isn’t mounted or sealed properly, it can negate the positive effects of the HEPA filter and, in turn, do more harm than good. So it’s important to make sure you do your homework before you purchase a HEPA vacuum. Moreover, since HEPA vacuums are more expensive than their traditional counterparts, make sure that the added cost is justifiable given your circumstance.
Now that you’ve got a pretty good grasp of how vacuums work, it’s time to think about how to choose a vacuum cleaner. Fortunately, for the most part, it all boils down to your personal needs.
This is perhaps the most important step in determining the correct vacuum for your home. While many vacuums are versatile enough to cover different floor types and home sizes, it’s important that you also consider other factors, such as pets and allergies. Keep reading to learn more.
If You Have A Smaller Home, Check Out Small Vacuums
Decide If You Want To Vacuum Your Stairs
Decide On The Maneuverability You Need
Fuzzy friends, allergies, and more are all things to consider when picking your next vacuum. HEPA vacuums may be important to you especially if you have allergies, but remember that they’re more costly than non-HEPA vacuums.
Consider A Vacuum For Allergies
Check Out Quiet Vacuum Models
Do you own a pet? Remember If You Need To Vacuum Any Pet Hair
Take Into Account Your Cleaning Schedule
ℹ Most types of vacuums last around 5 to 8 years, with brand and lifestyle making the most significant difference in lifespan.
If you have a large area to clean, the best vacuum cleaner for carpets should have excellent suction power. You’ll also want extra attachments, modes for upholstery, and features like a HEPA filter for dust and allergens.
Consider An Upright Vacuum
# 68% of U.S. respondents said they would most likely purchase an upright vacuum from a 2018 survey regarding future vacuum purchases in the next 12 months. –Statista
Hard-to-reach places harbor crumbs, dirt, dust, and more, which can attract pests and insects. Furniture is incredibly high-traffic and should be vacuumed once a week.
Consider Vacuums With A Canister Design
Messes like those you’d find in a garage or workshop need a different approach than your typical living room carpet. Luckily, there’s a vacuum for that.
Consider Using A Shop Vac
Wet Dry Vac – Do You Want A Good Vacuum That Picks Up Wet and Dry Debris?
The best wet and dry vacs can make short work of messes that would otherwise require multiple tools to clean up. Unlike standard vacuum cleaners, wet-dry vacs work like shop vacs and can suck up liquid spills and wet debris. They also tend to be larger and slightly louder than a regular upright vacuum. To that end, wet dry vacs sometimes have more features than shop vacs and can be more suitable for home use.
Allergies can be paralyzing in day-to-day life. Investing in an excellent HEPA vacuum can help reduce allergens and other airborne debris that irritate the lungs. Also, whether you choose a bagged or bagless vacuum will also make a difference.
Consider A HEPA Filter Vacuum if you…
Know The Differences Between HEPA Filter Vacuums And Regular Vacuums
Compare Bagged And Bagless Vacuums
ℹ Did You Know?: A HEPA filter can remove at least 99.97% of dust particles down to a size of 0.3 microns.
The best lightweight vacuum, whether a cordless stick vacuum or a bagless model, will provide all the convenience you need. These powerful vacuums are portable, making them easy to move from room to room.
Stick vs Upright Vacuums
Consider A Small Handheld Vacuum
The best cordless vacuums can add convenience to your cleaning routine and may be able to reach areas a plug-in vacuum can’t easily access. These models come in various configurations, including small handheld models, upright stick vacuums, and indoor/outdoor backpack vacuums.
Compare Cordless And Corded Vacuums First
Although robot vacuums are becoming increasingly commonplace, there are a few key features you need to look for when it comes to selecting the highest rated robot vacuum to fit your needs. Look into models with features such as scheduling, a mobile app, edge or cliff detection, and a solid motor to power through dirt and grime.
ℹ The average American spends up to 57 days of their life cleaning, which is about 26 minutes a week. (Swnsdigital.com)
The following list is some features you might want to consider when you purchase your next vacuum. Some will help you better narrow your choice of vacuum-based on your need or use case.
Look For Multi-Surface Vacuums With Bare Floor Settings
Look For Carpet Pile Height Adjustment Settings
Look At Vacuums With Powerheads
Consider Vacuums With Headlights
Look For Built-In Attachment Storage
ℹ Most robotic vacuum cleaners have a lifespan between 4 and 6 years, with some variation due to lifestyle, accidents, and brand.
Generally speaking an upright bagless vacuum is the most cost effective type of vacuum you can purchase today. With that in mind, expect to spend north of $100 to get a decent vacuum and perhaps on average $150. Canister vacuums, while they lack the necessity to purchase new bags, often include filters that need to be replaced after a certain amount of use.
Cordless vacuums are generally the most effective but not as powerful. However, because they’re very easy to use, they could lend themselves to more regular cleanings and are great for spot cleaning.
As you might imagine, there are many different types of vacuum cleaners on the market, including upright, canister, cordless stick, corded stick, handheld, and robotic models, along with central vacuum systems. Figuring out which one to buy can feel overwhelming, but once you break them down into general categories, it becomes easier.
Each type of carpet requires different care methods. Because of this, it’s never a bad idea to invest in a carpet-specific vacuum model that’s perfect for your home.
Vacuums For Shag Carpet
Vacuum For Area Rugs
⚠ Warning: For your safety, do not vacuum up water unless your vacuum is designed to pick up liquids.
If your home has a lot of hard flooring surfaces to clean, you’ll find several options on the market that will be a perfect fit.
Vacuums For Tile Floors
Vacuums For Laminate Floors
Pet hair can get into every nook and cranny of your house. So, if you have furry friends in your home, there are vacuums made specifically to clean up after them.
Handheld Vacuums For Pet Hair
Vacuums For Cat Litter
Carpet cleaners and steam cleaners are great for sanitizing your home. However, keep in mind that these machines don’t function as a regular vacuum cleaner but are instead meant for occasional use to deep clean surfaces.
ℹ Did You Know?: 20 million Americans suffer from a dust mite allergy. (Ncbi)
Handheld Steam Cleaners
If you have health issues, such as allergies or asthma, the symptoms can severely impact your life. Vacuum cleaners designed to reduce airborne allergens and pollutants are a great option in this case.
HEPA Vacuums For Mold
Vacuums can be used anywhere food, dust, or debris collect. Some are a special type of vacuum, whereas some types of vacuums can serve multiple purposes.
These handy machines will work hard to keep your floor clean without you lifting a finger, thanks to their scheduling function. By pairing a great robot vacuum with repeat, scheduled cleaning sessions, your home will stay clean for much longer.
Robot Vacuums For Pet Hair
Robot Vacuums For Hardwood Floors
Best Robot Vacuum And Mops
37% of U.S. respondents reported that they were ready to invest in a robot vacuum cleaner in the next year from a 2018 survey regarding the adoption of vacuums. (Mordor Intelligence)
There’s a reason professionals always prefer their shop vacs to their standard ones at home: they can suck up a wide array of debris, especially water, and are designed to last in a commercial environment. There are also small and portable shop vacs for those with limited space.
Cordless vacuums, while they can be pricey, have no cord and make spot cleaning much easier. Just remember that you’ll need to charge its battery regularly. Or better yet, have an extra battery on hand.
⚠ Warning: While it is possible to vacuum glass, it is not recommended, especially for certain vacuum models.
Cordless Vacuums For Hardwood Floors
Cordless Vacuums For Pet Hair
Corded Stick Vacuums
The responsibilities that come with owning a vacuum cleaner don’t end with the purchase. From changing filters to finding insurance, you should always protect your investment, especially if you want to increase how long your vacuum will last.
There are several ways to get a warranty or insurance on your vacuum cleaner. Manufacturers will normally offer one, as will the stores you purchased it from.
There are a couple of different answers to this question. Sometimes when you buy a vacuum, the store might offer an additional warranty on top of the manufacturer warranty for a small fee. On other vacuums, the manufacturer may offer two warranties: one for the parts and the other for the motor.
Often, it’s not required to register to make a warranty claim or activate a product’s warranty. Simply read the terms associated with the product you purchased if you have any concerns. But rarely will a company reject a warranty claim because the owner didn’t fill out their warranty information.
Several factors can void a vacuum warranty. Attempting to do any part repairs yourself, or hiring an outside professional, could completely revoke protection, though this is changing, albeit slowly. Make sure you read all the terms and conditions of any warranty you have.
ℹ Did You Know?: Up to 2,000 dust mites can live on one ounce of carpet dust. (Chemdry.com)
Figuring out how to use a vacuum cleaner can feel overwhelming, especially with so much advice out there. The best thing to do is focus on your specific model and figure out what cleaning solution works best with it, the brand’s advice for you, and what others are saying online.
Performing regular maintenance on a vacuum provides a huge boost to its lifespan. To that end, you should cultivate a few habits to keep your vacuum in shape, such as wiping down your vacuum, maintaining its filters, and cleaning out the brush heads.
Tip: It is recommended to get your vacuum serviced at a minimum every 12 months by the manufacturer, retailer or a third party (check your model’s manual for specific servicing information). Servicing can keep your vacuum at peak performance, mitigate future repairs and extend its lifespan. Read our feature on Why you should service your vacuum.
Whether you use a dusting brush, motorized tool, or crevice tool, vacuum accessories can help you clean different types of floors and mess with ease.
Best Dog Vacuum Brush
Vacuum Attachment For Ceiling Fans
Vacuum Cleaner Attachment For Blinds
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