The best vacuum cleaner for your home depends on your lifestyle, but one thing’s for sure: Getting a quality machine that caters to your needs will make the chore significantly easier. Vacuums come in various styles and with different features, from high-tech robot vacuums that’ll clean when you’re not home to powerful stick vacuums that can slide into corners and crevices. Looking for portability? Check out some cordless vacuum options, and when it comes to cleaning the car or removing pet hair from furniture, handheld vacuum cleaners are handy tools to have.
On your hunt for the best vacuum for your home, consider additional things like your floor type, the size of your home and what exactly you want cleaned, whether it’s a large room or hard-to-reach corners. A smaller space may benefit from a cordless vacuum that’s easy to store or a stick vacuum that’s lightweight rather than a traditional, heavy model. Vacuums can also come bagless or with bonus features like air filtration systems and swiveling heads designed for maneuverability. In short, there’s an option that fits every home type and cleaning need, so if your old, clog-happy vacuum isn’t cutting it anymore, read on for our list of the best vacuum cleaners available.
Best Vacuum Cleaner Overall
Powerful Suction For Everyday Messes And Deep Cleaning
Best Cordless Vacuum Cleaner
A Lightweight Model For Quick Cleanups
Best Robot Vacuum Cleaner
Effortless And Effective Everyday Cleaning
Best Handheld Vacuum Cleaner
On-The-Go Convenience For Small Homes And Tight Spaces
Best Lightweight Vacuum Cleaner
Powerful Suction, Without The Bulk
Best Vacuum Cleaner For Hardwood Floors
A Quick And Effective Way To Rehab Hardwood Flooring
Best Stick Vacuum Cleaner
A Popular Option For Tackling Every Home Surface
Best Vacuum Cleaner For Pet Hair
Unique Technology To Capture Pesky Hair
Best Value Vacuum Cleaner
A Budget-Friendly Option That Doesn’t Compromise On Quality
Best Car Vacuum
A Powerful-Yet-Portable Model For Cars And Garages
What’s The Best Type Of Vacuum?
There’s no single answer to which type of vacuum is best. Depending on your specific needs, there may be one type that outshines another. Before you set out to buy a vacuum, it’s helpful to understand the different types of vacuum cleaners out there and the key differences between each.
- Upright vacuums are your traditional vacuum, with a suction head and motor contained in one chassis. They’re available in all price ranges and, nowadays, usually come without bags.
- Canister vacuums separate the motor and the suction head and can create extremely strong vacuuming capabilities, which is reflected in the higher price tag.
- Stick vacuums are handy devices that place the dust canister at the top of the stick, where it’s easily accessible. Stick vacuums also benefit from a variety of attachments that allow them to be used both as upright vacuums and handhelds. Be aware, however, that they’re usually not as powerful as upright alternatives.
- Robotic vacuums are becoming more commonplace, but still remain the newest entrants to the market. They are usually controlled by a mobile app so you don’t even need to be home to turn your vacuum on. They can clean open areas well but their performance in corners and around obstacles isn’t always the most precise. Even the highest-end models can miss a few spots.
- Handheld vacuums are small enough to be carried around and often come with several attachments for reaching nooks and crannies. You’re probably not going to vacuum your whole house with a handheld (though some premium models might make a good case) but they can be great for small jobs or hard-to-reach areas like stairs, upholstered furniture or your car.
What To Consider When Buying A Vacuum Cleaner
Not all vacuums are made the same so the very first thing to consider is your cleaning needs. That will help you narrow down what kind of vacuum you actually need. If you own furry pets, for example, you’ll need a vacuum that specializes in lifting pet hair from carpets. And a lightweight vacuum won’t do the trick for your car or tougher surfaces like garages; in this case, look for utility and car-specific vacuums.
Space needs to be taken into account as well. Apartments and smaller spaces may benefit from a light stick vacuum while larger rooms will call for something heavier like a standard upright vacuum. Some vacuums also do better with certain types of flooring than others. If you have thick carpets, a vacuum that specializes in hardwood floors won’t be the best choice. Needless to say, when vacuum shopping, it’s important to read up on what the vacuum is actually for.
Tank capacities vary so pay attention to the sizes when shopping for bagless vacuums. Smaller, lightweight vacuums are efficient but will likewise have smaller tanks, which means they’ll fill up quickly. You’ll find yourself taking more trips to the trash can to empty them out, which can be a hassle if you vacuum often. Traditional vacuums may be bulkier but will have larger tanks so you won’t have to worry about emptying them after just one clean. Most people also love the ease and satisfaction of dumping out a larger tank all at once.
Consider whether you want a corded or a cordless vacuum. If corded, you want to make sure the cord is easy to wrap around and store when not in use. The length varies as well. Longer cords allow you to easily maneuver the vacuum in large rooms or move from one small space to another without having to unplug, then plug the cord into a closer outlet. Cords can also make your vacuum harder to move or store, and there is the risk of it getting worn down from daily use.
On the contrary, cordless models are lighter and make for quick cleanup and storage since you don’t have to worry about handling or properly wrapping up a long, thick cord. Not having a cord makes them more portable as well; you can move them all around the house without worry. Cordless models run on charges however, so you’ll have to keep an eye on battery life. Suction may also not be as strong with a cordless vacuum, since they’re on the lighter side and not always ideal for deep-cleaning.
As mentioned, cordless vacuums don’t have the same hassle as corded models but they do run on batteries. So, you’ll want to make sure your cordless vacuum has a decent battery life, and they need to be charged before and after use. How long the vacuum takes to fully charge and how long it can run on a single charge are also factors to consider. Like any technology, battery life depletes over time so replacing the battery may be a necessity at some point. You might want to check that replacement batteries for your particular model are easy to find.
Additional Features and Attachments
Many vacuums come with additional features and extra attachments to help streamline your cleaning tasks. Consider what features you need and what attachments would be useful for you. Pet owners, for example, will want to look for pet-friendly attachments like brushes that help extract fur from couches. Whether it’s quality-focused like anti-allergen seals and air filtration systems, technology-based like motion sensors and app controls or physical tools like extension tools and blower nozzles, each feature has a different function so you want to get something that’ll actually be useful for you. After all, there’s no point in having six different attachments if you won’t use them.
If your vacuum comes with physical attachments, make sure to note storage as well. Some vacuums have on-board storage so you can just stick the attachments in their place once you’re done. This feature can also have a bearing on the size of your vacuum, making it bulkier. Other models don’t offer storage so you’ll need a separate place to keep the attachments.
Frequently Asked Questions About Vacuum Cleaners
Are Bagged Vacuums Better Than Bagless?
Both bagged and bagless vacuums have their pros and cons. Bagged vacuums tend to be easier to clean—all you have to do is remove the bag and toss it in the trash—but bagless vacuums are more environmentally friendly and produce less waste. Bagless vacuums can also save you money over time, since you don’t have to purchase bags separately.
Are Expensive Vacuum Cleaners Worth It?
It depends. A higher price tag doesn’t always equate to better quality (just like a lower price tag doesn’t necessarily mean the vacuum won’t work well). Expensive vacuum cleaners often come with additional features, like cordless capabilities and allergen filters. In the case of robot vacuums, you generally have to pay more for advanced technology, like home mapping and self-emptying. So whether an expensive vacuum cleaner is worth it depends on your needs and what additional features you’re looking for.
What Vacuum Cleaner Do Professional Cleaners Use?
There’s not a single vacuum cleaner that professional cleaners use. Often, the vacuums combine powerful suction with portability, like the Miele Blizzard CX1 Cat & Dog Bagless Canister Vacuum or the Samsung Jet 90 Complete Cordless Stick Vacuum.