It’s been a great few years in Consumer Reports’ vacuum labs. Cordless stick vacuums are much better than ever and are usually now crowding out corded stick vacs at major retailers. And robotic vacuums have finally transcended from being a novelty item in YouTube cat videos to a significant cleaning tool.
But although the new kids on the block are turning heads, if you want deep cleaning, you’ll still need to count on your trusty upright or canister vacuum. That said, we’ve also found loads of good small vacuums for smaller messes.
The Way We Test Vacuums
To discover how well a vacuum picks up dirt, just how much debris it retains, how easy it really is to maneuver, and how noisy it really is, Consumer Reports puts vacuum cleaners through a hardcore pair of tests. We embed talc, sand, and pet hair into carpet before vacuuming. We utilize the same kind of litter on bare floors and observe whether the vacuum picks it up or scatters it about. And we maneuver the vacuum around, just like you would, to ensure it’s very easy to operate.
Here, reviews on the best vacuums you should buy at this time, from each kind we test. Drumroll—er, brush roll, please.
1 Bagged Upright
CR’s take: The midpriced Kenmore Elite Pet Friendly 31150 earns top marks on bare floors and scores well for tool airflow. Which means it is exceptionally powerful when used in combination with its attachments, which include a crevice tool, bristle brush, and power roller. On bare floors it captures almost every particle it picks up, keeping them found in its disposable bag. And it’s no slouch at removing embedded dirt from carpet or tackling pet hair, either, although it’s only a little louder and tougher to handle than some bagged uprights. It’s not the cheapest model you’ll find, but this impressive performer is unquestionably among the best vacuums we’ve tested.
2 Bagless Upright
CR’s take: The Dyson Ball Multi Floor 2 excels at cleaning bare floors and it is almost as good at cleaning carpet. It’s also a fantastic choice if you have pets that shed, because it cleans through to our pet-hair test, earning top marks. CR’s test engineers found this Dyson to be superb at containing the dust it collects—it scored well for emissions, although that doesn’t account for the mess you may make when emptying the bin to the trash. (And that is true of any bagless vacuum.) The Dyson lacks a couple of features that could be important to you—notably, a manual carpet-height adjustment and suction control, which protects your curtains when you’re utilising the attachments. One last caveat: It’s one of the noisier bagless uprights we tested.
3 Bagged Canister
CR’s take: Our top-performing canister vacuum, the Miele Complete C3 Marin earns perfect marks in nearly every test we throw its way. It’s a champ at bare floors and embedded pet hair but also excels at capturing dust particles. Powerful airflow makes its attachments especially effective. It’s also noticeably quieter than many models. It gets dinged a bit on our handling test, and that’s true of most canister vacuums, which trail behind you at the end of the suction hose. At significantly more than $1,000, it might probably suck a large chunk from your bank account, too—certainly something to think about before you make the splurge. See our cannister vacuum ratings for any other high-performing options.
4 Bagless Canister
CR’s take: Whenever you can live without bags, this Kenmore 22614 aces our bare floors make sure is practically as good at carpet cleaning. It’s also worth a look if you have pets, since it performs superbly inside our test vacuuming up embedded cat hair. You’ll appreciate the capable tool airflow by using your attachments a great deal, and also this vacuum can also be low on emissions, meaning it retains what it sucks up. The noise level is so-so, plus the vacuum is not as easy to go as other canisters in this class.
5 Stick Vacuum (Lower Than 6 Pounds)
CR’s take: On the surface, it could seem difficult to justify the purchase of a stick vac that costs 2 or 3 times what you would devote to a top-rated full-sized vacuum. Though no stick vacuum can fully replace the performance of an upright or a canister, it’s what the Dyson V8 Absolute may do that means it is such a standout within our ratings. It gives exceptionally powerful suction, which helps it earn perfect scores on bare floors, carpets, pet hair, and edges in our tests. It’s also among the quietest of comparable models and runs an extraordinary 21 minutes for a passing fancy battery charge—long enough that you could be surprised at how infrequently you’ll need certainly to lug around a heavier, full-sized model.
6 Stick Vacuum (Significantly More Than 6 Pounds)
CR’s take: The cordless Bissell Air Ram 1984 easily sucks up dirt and debris from carpets and bare floors, and also devours embedded pet hair within our tests—compacting the collected debris into little bales of dirt stashed when you look at the head associated with unit. While it lacks the suction of a full-sized upright or canister, it’s still a massive improvement throughout the cordless sweepers of yesteryear. In reality, it scores well across almost all of our tests. Its edge cleaning performance is solid but lags behind various other stick vacuums as it lacks a crevice tool. Despite that, we’re prepared to bet it’ll become your go-to for small spills and everyday messes. It stands upright on its own and contains a handle that collapses to fit under pantry shelves. With a 47-minute run time, it’s the most perfect way to keep floors tidy between deep cleanings.
7 Robotic Vacuum
CR’s take: In a category you could associate with Roomba—and one that has seen an onslaught of noteworthy new entrants, including models from premium brands Dyson and Miele—it’s Samsung’s Powerbots that steal the show. The Powerbot R7065 powers through dirt on carpets and bare floors, acing both tests, and also finds its way into tight corners, thanks to some extent to its rectangular bumpers. It operates quietly enough that it’ll go unnoticed, though it is difficult to resist watching it return home to dock and charge after every intensive 86-minute cleaning session. Ultimately, no robotic vacuum can replace a full-sized upright or canister. Nevertheless the Powerbot comes closer than just about any other robotic.
8 Hand Vacuum
The Shark Pet Perfect does everything an excellent hand vacuum should do, in a relatively inexpensive and easy-to-use package. It excels at sweeping small messes from bare floors and simply gets to corners. It runs for a complete 19 minutes—longer than you’d need for most small messes—and even is sold with a rotating brush roll that will help it tackle pet hair or spot-clean carpets. We also appreciate that the nickel-cadmium battery is replaceable, though it can take a full 16 hours to charge. Remember that its score in our Noise test is middle-of-the-road. Still, for an appliance you may possibly only need occasionally, this hand vac is an excellent method to stretch out more thorough cleanings and tackle messes such as for instance spilled Cheerios from the spot before they spread through your house.