best hoover for pet hair

The best hoover for pet hair is one of those must-have appliances for removing stray hairs around the home and contending with allergies – such as pet dander – which is all pretty unpleasant, especially when there’s a high pollen count to contend with, too. In addition to the usual high tech spec you can now expect on the top-rated vacuums, the majority – if not ALL – vacuum cleaners for pet hair are bundled up with a selection of very handy tools which are not only fab for tackling pet hair but ridding the home of dust and other airborne particles. Yes, there’s a lot of factors to consider, just like when buying any new appliance, but to help hone in on the best option for you, we’ve put together this extensive guide of our favourites which performed well during testing in our own homes. Some also feature in our list of the overall best vacuum cleaners, best hoover for pet hair and stairs and best vacuum for pet hair and hardwood floors and carpet, so you know you are on to a winner. 

Keep scrolling to see our rankings – all models have been reviewed by our appliance expert Sarah, and nothing with less than 4 stars has made the list.

best vacuum for pet hair and hardwood floors and carpet

THE best hoover for pet hair

best vacuum for pet hair: Dyson Big Ball Animal 2



Best for: All-rounderType: CylinderBagless?: YesCordless?: NoWeight: 7.9kgCapacity: 1.5ltrsNoise level: 80dB


+Powerful removal of dust and pet hair+Easy to move, use and empty+Great on all surfaces including hard flooring


-Quite rigorous carpet cleaning might make it hard work for someToday’s Best DealsCHECK AMAZON

OUR VERDICT: An innovative design that distinguishes itself from the cylinder crowd because it’s easy to move and store. Well up to the challenge of dirt and debris removal on all floors. Read more of our review.

For a large house with a few pets, we highly recommend the Dyson Big Ball Animal 2. Simply the best vacuum cleaner around, its clever brush heads pick up all the hair our furry friends leave behind, without getting tangled up, and the motorised brush bar gets out stubborn dirt from muddy paws. 

Pet hair extraordinaire

This cylinder model is perfect for quick but thorough cleaning. It features a pneumatic head that automatically adjusts between floors for maximum efficiency around your home. From stubborn dirt to hair-ridden carpets, it gets it all. Standard power mode does a mean job, but there is a max mode for the worst dirt (we are talking muddy walk with a moulting German Shepherd). 

If your pets are constantly wrecking your carpet with muck, this really does bring it up looking good as new.

Attachments for every task

From rotating heads to lift hair on the stairs to the turbine head for dust on hard floors, the tools will help you out. The standard crevice tools will grab those bits of fluff and dirt that escape into corners too. The hose is long, meaning you have good reach wherever you need to clean.


Anyone with pets will know that vacuuming is a race against time with the dog trying to play with the brush and the cat threatening to leave home at the noise. So our reviewer was impressed by just how quick and easy this model was to use. The signature ball offers max manoeuvrability. While it isn’t the lightest, the small cylinder is much easier to carry than some of its well-known competitors.

If you do prefer an upright however, we also rated the Dyson Ball Animal 2 highly which is the upright version of this machine.

Real Homes rating 5 out of 5 stars

  • Buy the the Dyson Big Ball Animal 2
Vax ONEPWR Blade 4 best pet vacuum cleaner



Best for: CordlessType: StickBagless?: YesCordless?: YesWeight: 3.1kgCapacity: 0.6ltrs


+Light and easy to move around+Great for pet owners+Works well on all floors+Gets right under the furniture+Handy for the car


-A full set of tools could cost you extraToday’s Best DealsCHECK AMAZON

If you want the best pet vacuum (and don’t have the budget to stretch to a Dyson) we can highly recommend the Vax ONEPWR Blade 4. It’s an extremely impressive piece of kit which has almost three times more suction than any of their older cordless vacuum cleaners. And it stands up to the best corded vacuums too – a great option for small spaces. 

Battery life

This is always the first thing to look out for when you’re buying a cordless model, especially if you are planning to use it all over a larger than average home. The Blade 4’s battery lasts on the standard setting for around 45 minutes and on maximum for around 15 minutes. Charge time to take it back to full power is around two hours 45 minutes. Not bad.

Suction power

So, if you’re using it on standard power for 45 minutes, what’s it like to use? Well, on its lowest setting, it’s not a good as you might hope – it will clean well but tricky spots can take a bit of going over. It is, however, really effective on its higher setting, even on fluff-ridden carpets and for picking up larger debris from hard floors. However, needing to use it on maximum power to get the job done does mean your vacuuming time is limited to just 20 minutes or so, which (for us) makes it a great pet hair trouble-shooting second vacuum cleaner, but not one to efficiently service the entire house.


The Blade 4 can be quickly changed into a handheld cleaner. This is useful when you have pets who shed their hair on stairs, in the car and on upholstery. Or, of course, you could use it for quickly picking up scatterings of debris on kitchen work surfaces. 

Bin capacity

As you’d expect from a handheld, cordless cleaner, the bin capacity won’t match our top corded picks. The bin is just 0.6ltrs, so will need emptying regularly. On the upside, it’s removable, which means easy emptying. Plus, as it fills, it doesn’t lose suction power.

Ease of use

Always important, this model weighs just 3.1kg, or just 2kg as a handheld. This is about what you’d expect for a cordless vacuum, but is, of course, much lighter than our heftier top picks. If you struggle to lug around a heavy vac, this really can’t be beaten.

A feature we do really like is the DustTracker LED headlights, which are perfect for highlighting all that pet hair under the sofa that you couldn’t see in plain daylight. Other attachments include a crevice tool, dusting brush and the neat tool caddy. As for storage, this vacuum has a wall-mount, a real bonus for small homes or if this vac is to be kept in a kitchen utility cupboard for charging. What wasn’t popular was the noise levels when at maximum power. 

Real Homes rating 4.5 out of 5 stars

  • Buy the Vax ONEPWR Blade 4
Dyson v11 best vacuum cleaners



Best for: Lightweight powerType: StickBagless?: YesCordless?: YesWeight: 2.97kgCapacity: 0.76ltrs


+Incredible power+Long running time+Easy to manoeuvre +Notifies you when it needs to be emptied


-Expensive-Takes a while to charge-Not the lightestToday’s Best DealsUS$584.99VIEW AT AMAZON

For good reason, we would recommend investing in the Dyson V11 Animal cordless vacuum cleaner because it’s one of the best cordless vacuums out there, and it has got twice the suction of the others. As a result, it’s made it on to our shortlist of the best pet vacuum. No wonder we rated it our top cordless vacuum overall too.

Supreme clean

As well as high suction, the filter captures allergens with ease offering as thorough a clean as much larger vacuums. It has a good range of attachments and is well-designed for the car or spot cleaning so you could happily have it as the only vac for a small household, or a portable back-up in larger homes. It will hit the floor running for up to 60 minutes, so as long as you have time to charge it (4.5 hours a pop), and its nifty LCD screen will let you know just how much running time you have left so you’re not left out on a limb.


Whether you have a lot of stairs or mobility issues, this vacuum is suitably lightweight. Despite it being lightweight, the power, battery and dust capacity have not been compromised. The style also means it will clean all those high up corners and crevices with little fuss.

Max power

It is great in standard mode, but you will need to switch it to max power for tougher jobs. This gives it super suction but does result in a couple of drawbacks. Firstly, it cleans so well you find yourself emptying the bin and cleaning the filter very regularly. Secondly, max power does decrease the battery life so you can only use it in short bursts. This isn’t a problem if you keep on top of grime every couple of days, but if you are more of a fortnightly/monthly deep clean kind of person, you probably shouldn’t get a cordless.

We have not reviewed this particular model in person, but you can read our review of the Dyson V11 Absolute for a spec comparison (only difference being the cleaner heads they’re sold with). See all of our favourite Dyson cordless vacuums in the guide.

  • Buy the Dyson V11 Animal Cordless Vacuum Cleaner
Best Shark vacuum for pet hair: Shark DuoClean Powered Lift-Away with TruePet Cordless vacuum cleaner



Best for: Those who can’t decide what type they wantType: Upright style that convertsBagless?: YesCordless?: YesWeight: 5.7kgCapacity: 0.6ltrsNoise: 72dB


+50-minute battery life+Versatile cleaning styles+Floor illumination+Battery can be charged separately


-Long hair can get tangled-There are lighter cordless modelsToday’s Best DealsCHECK AMAZON

So, you know you want a vacuum that is tough on pet hair, but you can’t decide what style you want? This is the time where we will say to buy the Shark DuoClean Powered Lift-Away with TruePet, which is perfect for anyone who wants to give cordless a go but likes the cleaning style of their cylinder or upright.

A new breed of vacuum cleaner

If a stick vacuum cleaner is a speedy greyhound, an upright a reliable Labrador and a cylinder a compact but sturdy bulldog, then this vacuum is the perfect mongrel. Pictured above in upright mode it is well suited to those who want the agility and convenience of a cordless vacuum but would prefer an upright to push than a stick. A simple click and lift and the cylinder detaches – you can either carry that around as you do the stairs, or set it down while you push the foot over your flooring.

TruePet tech

It is in the name that this is designed for pet owners so how does it cope with the hair and dirt? Very well is the answer. The foot and attachments lift hair with ease and the boost button ups the power for getting engrained dirt from floors. Our reviewer noted that long hair does get tangled in the brush, but this can be easily removed. 

Power and charging

The battery life is on the generous side for a cordless at 50 minutes. This gives you plenty of time to whizz around and you can buy a spare batter to charge while the other is in use. The power is impressive and it is surprisingly quiet.

Boost mode shortens the battery life but if you are the kind of person who cleans little and often, it will suit you well. The light helps illuminate dust and debris so you won’t miss a thing.

Real Homes rating 4 out of 5 stars

  • Buy the Shark DuoClean Powered Lift-Away with TruePet
best vacuum for pet hair: Dyson Ball Animal 2 vacuum cleaner



Best for: Upright fansType: UprightBagless?: YesCordless?: NoWeight: 7.34kgCapacity: 1.8ltrsNoise: 80dB


+Powerful suction so great on carpet and hard flooring+Ball makes it easy to move+Long cord


-Can be noisy-It isn’t the lightest to moveToday’s Best DealsUS$441VIEW AT AMAZONUS$505.99View at AmazonSee all prices (3 found)

If you have pets, love a Dyson, but prefer an upright model to the cylinder style above, we highly rate the Ball Animal 2. Its clever brush heads pick up all the hair our furry friends leave behind, without getting tangled up, and the motorised brush bar gets out stubborn dirt from muddy paws.

All flooring, all debris

Be it mud on kitchen tiles or fur bedded into your carpet, this vacuum cleaner gets to work with ease. The suction is powerful so it does the job quickly, but you might want to turn it down a bit for carpet as it can be harder to push. It won’t scatter dirt around and gets right to the edges of the room.


The Dyson Ball Animal 2 comes with a two-in-one tool for dust and cobwebs, a stair tool and a turbine tool that is tangle-free – perfect for handling all types of pet hair. The latter will help get fur (and other debris) off upholstery, too. 

Ease of use

The low profile head and telltale ball make swishing this beauty round almost enjoyable. A long cord means you won’t be slowed by having to change sockets and the handle gives you plenty of reach when cleaning stairs and upper corners. It isn’t the lightest but the neat design isn’t too hard to carry and it stores away nicely.

Real Homes rating 4.5 out of 5 stars

  • Buy the Dyson Ball Animal 2 Vacuum Cleaner
Best Miele vacuum for pet hair: Miele Blizzard CX1 Cat&Dog PowerLine vacuum cleaner



Best for: Easy emptyingType: CylinderBagless?: YesCordless?: NoWeight: 8.71kgCapacity: 2ltrsNoise: 76dB


+Powerful bagless convenience+Great on pet hair+Handles all surfaces like a pro


-Quite heavy-Expect a workout if you don’t turn the suction down on carpetToday’s Best DealsCHECK AMAZON

If you’re looking for a great bagless pet vacuum, which isn’t a Dyson, then we would recommend buying the Miele Blizzard CX1 Cat&Dog PowerLine. Not everyone is team Dyson, and we love this bag-free version from Miele, known for their top-quality engineering.

Pet hair and allergies

Dried mud and pet hair are easily thwarted by this model that carries an Allergy UK-approved HEPA AirClean filter. If you have pets and allergies this model will get rid of nasties and is easy to empty so you don’t need to worry about being triggered by emptying it either. The self-cleaning function is particularly impressive – we’ve always said that vacuum cleaners need cleaning too. What’s more, it has the biggest dust tank of all the bagless models on our list and second biggest after its bagged Miele sibling, the Miele Complete C3 Cat&Dog (more on that below).

Ease of use

The suction on this model is great and it has a good range of tools, all neatly stowed in the body of the vacuum cleaner. Switching between settings is simple – just flip the foot control to adjust brushes or retract the cable. 

While it isn’t the smallest, it is a neat design that is easy to transport and store. That said, when it is in high suction mode on carpet, you might notice its weight and strength, so we recommend turning it down so the foot glides more easily.


Easy to move with a telescopic tube, people with back problems won’t find this vacuum hard to use. However, it is on the weighty side, so if you have lots of stairs, you might prefer a lighter model – for a large bungalow though, it would be perfect.

Real Homes rating 4 out of 5 stars

  • Buy the Miele Blizzard CX1 Cat&Dog PowerLine
Best vacuum for pet hair and allergies: Miele Complete C3 Cat & Dog Vacuum Cleaner



Best for: AllergiesType: CylinderBagless?: NoCordless?: NoWeight: 7.26kgCapacity: 4.5ltrsNoise level: 79dB


+Filter traps dust +Extra-long cord +Comes with a good set of tools


-Additional tools are expensive-Not the most effective with larger dirt/debrisToday’s Best DealsCHECK AMAZON

If you’re sensitive to dust mites and pet hair we would recommend the Complete C3 Cat & Dog PowerLine cylinder vacuum cleaner by Miele, which is the best vacuum for allergy sufferers. 

AirClean filter

The filter system means carpets and homes in general feel fresher. This is thanks to the AirClean filter system, which filters 99.9 per cent of fine dust from the air, and has a charcoal layer that helps absorb odours. The filter has a useful TimeStrip, too, which tells you when it needs to be changed. 

This vac also has a special bag fleece, which retains more fine dust and small particles than a normal bag. Combined with an auto-shut mechanism that closes the bag when the vacuum is opened for emptying and prevents dust from escaping back into the air, this is a good choice for allergy sufferers and neat freaks alike.


As for picking up hair and lint, the Turbobrush attachment’s beater brush is really effective. Reviewers do note that it’s very powerful, making vacuuming shag pile carpets and area rugs a little bit of a challenge. However, you can change the settings on the vacuum cleaner to suit the floor type with the conveniently placed foot controls. 


As you’d expect for a vacuum cleaner of this quality, there’s a useful selection of attachments including a crevice nozzle, upholstery nozzle and dusting brush. They’re all usefully stored inside the body of the vacuum cleaner, which is a time- and effort-saving feature we approve of. 

There is a wide range of extra attachments available including a parquet floor tool which is less likely to scratch wood and an extra-large hardwood floor brush to speed up the cleaning in large homes. They are quite expensive (the most expensive brush is just shy of £100), but for a machine that is built to last, it is worth investing in the extras for the most professional job possible.

Ease of use

This vacuum cleaner has a large operating radius of 12m (the one-touch retractable power cord is 7.5m long), meaning you can clean large rooms and long hallways, without the need to constantly change plugs. The extra long hose will make vacuuming up and down stairs easier than with heftier or upright models. When you’re done cleaning, a handy foot pedal lets you wind in the cable without having to bend over. The only downside? You have to change the bag when it’s full, although its capacity is a decent 4.5ltrs.

  • Buy the Miele Complete C3 Cat & Dog PowerLine cylinder vacuum cleaner
Best vacuum for pet hair for manoeuvrability: Dyson Light Ball Multi Floor vacuum cleaner



Best for: ManoeuvrabilityType: UprightBagless?: YesCordless?: NoWeight: 6.9kgCapacity: 1.6ltrsNoise level: 80dB


+Lightweight +Three different power settings 


-Requires emptying frequently -Not great under furnitureToday’s Best DealsUS$329.99VIEW AT AMAZON£468.45View at eBaySee all prices (3 found)

If you’re after a vacuum cleaner with lots of manoeuvrability then the Dyson Light Ball Animal Upright vacuum cleaner is one of the best pet vacuums you can buy.


Let’s start with manoeuvrability: the small head and roller ball technology allow it to glide easily across all floor types, and it’s flexible enough to get into corners and under tall furniture for a thorough clean (note that the head is quite bulky which means it won’t fit under lower furniture, and you’ll need to swap to tools for this). For anyone who’s never used a Dyson with roller ball technology, don’t under-estimate just how light it can feel in your hand. And this particular model, at just under 7kg, is around the average weight for a vacuum so you won’t feel like you have to lug it about. Another plus point is its long cable, at just over 10m; handy if you have a large house. Like other uprights, it’s not ideal for cleaning stairs, upholstery and curtains, but the extendable wand does make those vacuuming jobs easier – more on that below.

Suction power

This Dyson’s suction power is consistent, thanks to its bagless cleaning technology. There are three suction modes: one for picking up large debris, one for stubborn dirt and one for deep pile carpets, and this carpet does cope well with picking up both small and large particles, which not all carpets cope well with. The good news? It’s pretty quiet, despite its power.

Pet hair removal performance

Suction power aside, it’s the Tangle-Free Turbine Tool with its counter-rotating heads that really makes it effective at cleaning up pet hair. The tool is designed never to tangle, which allows it to release more hair and dirt into the canister – and means you won’t have to be constantly picking pet (or human) hair out of the brush head before you start vacuuming. Its efficient filters mean that allergens stay in the canister – ideal for pet-owning allergy sufferers. 

The attachment options, including a combination crevice tool and upholstery brush, and turbo upholstery brush, also make cleaning up pet hairs from upholstery and curtains a simple task. There’s a useful stair cleaning tool, too.

Ease of use
The downside of some upright models is that it can be fiddly to clean anything that’s off the floor, but this model has an instant release, extendable wand that quickly retracts into the body of the vacuum. And on-board tool storage means every tool is always to hand. Useful if your cat likes to sleep on the back of the sofa or your dog moults so freely that even the curtains need a regular vacuuming. 

This Dyson is pretty easy to empty once you get used to the push mechanism, but it’s worth noting that the canister has a smallish capacity of just 1.6ltrs, so you should expect to be emptying it more regularly than some of our other buys. If you don’t have the budget and space for the best buy Cinetic model in this list, this vacuum is the perfect alternative.

  • Buy the Dyson Light Ball Animal Upright vacuum cleaner
Best vacuum for stubborn pet hair: Shark DuoClean Corded Stick Vacuum



Best for: Stubborn pet hairsType: Upright stickBagless?: YesCordless?: NoWeight: 4.7kgCapacity: 0.49ltrsNoise level: 80dB


+Great with hair, dust and large debris+Compact and easy to store+Perfect for those easy to reach areas


-Small bin  Today’s Best DealsCHECK AMAZON

If you don’t want to lug around a big and bulky vacuum (who does?), then we would recommend the Shark DuoClean vacuum cleaner which is lightweight and easy to manoeuvre, plus its thin body makes it easy to store. In fact this is one of the best pet vacuums for pet hair if you’re after a vac for quick cleaning jobs. 

Lightweight for easy manoeuvrability

For those who aren’t as able or just like a lighter load, this vacuum is effortless to use. Unusually for a corded vacuum it’s incredibly light at just 4.7kg, and the slim body also allows it to get into more hard-to-reach areas, such as underneath the sofa. With one click, the flexible wand bends in the middle, too, so you won’t have to. 

Ready to put it away? The DuoClean folds down to half its size – ideal if your home doesn’t have tons of storage space. What else do we like? The extra long, 10m cord is useful. This might be a fairly small vac, but its cord means it has the oomph to tackle large spaces.

The downside of its size? You’ll have to empty the canister more frequently than some of our other picks as at just 0.49 litres, it’s on the small side.

Handheld cleaning

What you lose in canister size, though, you win in the handheld department. This stick vacuum cleaner quickly converts to a lightweight, powerful handheld vacuum cleaner, which is really useful for when you want to clean stairs or raised surfaces, including furniture and curtains. It makes it a viable option as a vac for tackling pet hair-ridden cars, too.

Tackle carpets and hard floors

So how does it perform on surfaces? Shark’s DuoClean Technology allows you to switch from carpets to hard floors without swapping heads. The brush head itself has two brush rolls, which are specially designed to draw in large and small debris from carpets while lifting fine, stuck-on dust from hard floors. That means you won’t spread mess with this vacuum cleaner, as you do with inferior models.

Allergen capture

Shark’s Anti-Allergen Complete Seal captures and traps 99.9 per cent of dust and allergens inside the vacuum; you will, however, need to ensure the filters and canisters are regularly cleaned.


At 80dB, it’s not the quietest of the smaller pet hair vacuum cleaners we’ve reviewed, but it’s more or less on a par with our larger models.

  • Buy the Shark DuoClean Corded Stick vacuum cleaner
Best vacuum for pet hair for flexibility: Bosch Athlet Pro Animal Vacuum Cleaner



Best for: FlexibilityType: Upright cordlessBagless?: YesCordless?: YesWeight: 3.3kgCapacity: 0.9ltrsNoise level: 74dB


+ 60 minute run time + Ideal for upholstery+Converts to a smaller handheld


– Difficult to change attachments-It converts to a handheld but you have to carry the tank on your shoulder which can be hard to get used toToday’s Best DealsCHECK AMAZON

For big family homes and lots of pets we would recommend buying the Athlet Pro Animal vacuum for pet hair.

Cleaning power

Like the others on our list, this vacuum for pet hair is designed to tackle all floor types, and it has a HighPower Brush that works at around 5,000 revolutions a minute for thorough cleaning of carpets. Its SensorBagless™ Technology is a sensor-controlled performance monitoring system, built in to ensure an outstanding level of cleaning – and to keep maintenance to a minimum. Bosch also claims that these features means this vac can clean faster than some of its comparable corded vacuum cleaners.

There are three power levels: one for easy cleaning jobs (on maximum run time); one for normal cleaning jobs (on medium run time) and a turbo level for difficult cleaning jobs (and a reduced run time). As always, we’d bargain on using the turbo setting for maximum cleaning satisfaction, especially on carpet.


This cordless vacuum also comes with useful attachments, including a Pro Animal nozzle, which can be a little tricky to dismantle and change, but which picks up pet hair well. The manoeuvrable nozzle attachment helps the vacuum move easily around and beneath furniture, while the upholstery and crevice tools are useful for vacuuming pet hair off furniture and curtains. 

The alternative handheld

Finally, there’s a shoulder strap for when you convert it into a handheld. It’s an unusual feature we really like, meaning you can transport this lightweight (3kg) vac, plus a mop and bucket back to the utility cupboard in one, easy trip. However some people might find this a little hard to get used to and prefer the basic handheld cordless stick vacs like the Dyson V11 above.

Ease of use

It has an impressively long battery life of up to 60 minutes, so you can do a thorough job in every room. Charging time is short, too; just three hours to take it to 80 per cent, or six hours to 100 per cent charged.

There’s an LED light that tells you when the filter of the fairly small (0.9ltr) dust container needs cleaning – it’s easily washable, so no follow-up costs on dust bags are required. 

This vacuum cleaner has a solid, freestanding function, so it’s easy to store, and charging is flexible as a result, too.

  • Buy the Bosch Athlet Pro Animal Vacuum Cleaner

Vacuum Cleaner Buying Guide

A comprehensive guide that will give you all the information you need on how to buy a new vacuum.

Getting Started

Deciding on the perfect vacuum for your home can be tricky. There are a lot of styles, functions and high-tech features to choose from. So which one is right for you? This guide has been created to make your vacuum shopping experience as easy as possible. So let’s dive in!.Shop Vacuums


There are a few different types and styles of vacuums that we are going to address in this buying guide. We are sure you will find just the one to fit all of your cleaning needs.

Upright Vacuums


This style of vacuum is going to be the most popular type of vacuum that can be found in many households today. It’s the best go-to vacuum for removing dust and dirt from carpeting, and is able to clean large areas of carpet quickly. They also work well on area rugs and hard floors.However, it is good to note that not all upright vacuums can be used on hard floor surfaces, since doing so might cause damage to some floors and vacuums. If this is an important factor it’s smart to do research on the brand of vacuum you are looking into, to make sure it works well on hard floors too. A brush on/off switch is recommended, as it will help protect the finish on bare floors.Some other things to look for when deciding on your upright vacuum are onboard attachment, bag-less or not, and the weight of the unit. Upright cleaners come in a variety of styles and sizes, each varying in weight. Some uprights include edge cleaning, which picks up dirt under the entire area of the head. This is a helpful feature especially when cleaning wall-to-wall carpeting. Suction control is another useful feature to look at when cleaning draperies and upholstery.Shop Upright Vacuums

Canister Vacuums


Canister Vacuums are portable and easy to use. They are well suited for people who clean a variety of surfaces but are most popular for those who have little carpeting and like to vacuum their hard surfaced floors. They tend to be lighter than other vacuum designs, plus they have a highly maneuverable power head that can reach tight spots with ease.Canister vacuums have the motor and bag in a separate unit, which is usually mounted on wheels to help with maneuvering. The canister itself is connected to the vacuum head by a flexible hose. By using a revolving brush system or brush agitator, it can dislodge dirt particles from the carpet so they can be picked up easily; this comes in handy when picking up things like pet hair. Without a built-in revolving brush, canister vacuums use straight suction to clean. Most canister vacuums have a bag that needs to be replaced, however there are bag-less models available, which eliminates the additional cost of buying dust bags.Bottom line, this style is perfect for vacuuming hard-to-reach spots and furniture; it’s also great for cleaning cars and drapes as well.Shop Canister Vacuums

Handheld & Stick Vacuums


These types of vacuums are the smallest and lightest options available, they are often cordless and operate on batteries. They also offer lots of convenience when it comes to a variety of cleaning tasks around the house.Handheld vacuums are perfect for cleaning closets, vents, blinds, upholstery or car interiors, and made mostly for above-the-floor cleaning. They’re best used for tasks such as cleaning up small spills, getting cobwebs out of corners or vacuuming dirt out of windowsills.Stick vacuums are very similar to upright vacuums. The design is the same, but stick vacuums tend to be a lot lighter in weight and usually do not come with any attachments. If you have a multilevel home, a stick model vacuum is great to keep on the second floor and eliminate the need to carry your main one up and down the stairs. Not to mention, there are certain models out now which have been designed with handheld features, making it easy to clean stairs, ceiling fans and more.Shop Handheld & Stick Vacuums

Robot Vacuums


Robot cleaners are completely hands-free, battery-operated vacuums. They seek out and suck up dirt, debris and dust from carpets and hard surface floors. They are a great choice for light, daily cleanings and extremely popular with pet owners, allergy sufferers, busy households, or just anyone who wants their floors to stay constantly clean.A robot vacuum is self-propelled and programmable, so you don’t have to do any extra work when it comes to vacuuming. These nifty gadgets use sensors to avoid obstacles and stairs, while smart enough to still easily clean underneath furniture. If you’re someone who simply does not have enough time to vacuum regularly, a robot vacuum can help you solve this problem.Shop Robot Vacuums

Commercial & Garage (Wet & Dry) Vacuums

Wet & Dry

Commercial and garage vacuums are often referred to as shop vacs. They offer extra power when it comes to professional-sized messes. These vacuums are the perfect type when it comes to cleaning up things such as sawdust in basements, dirt and water in garages, or any other mess, wet or dry. Many labor workers use them on job sites as they can handle that kind of debris. To choose the right commercial or garage vacuum, one must think about how they will use it and where it will be stored.Smaller models will be easier to move around, but they will not be able to handle larger messes.Shop Commercial & Garage (Wet & Dry) Vacuums

Carpet/Steam Cleaners

Carpet/Steam Cleaners

Carpet cleaners come in a variety of different styles ranging from uprights to portable spot cleaners, even smaller handheld carpet cleaners, all of which are capable of cleaning and disinfecting furniture, drapes or rugs.Even if you vacuum your carpets pretty regularly things such as dirt, pet dander, bacteria and dust mites remain deep in your carpet’s fibers. To fix this issue, carpet cleaners use moisture and heat to loosen the dirt and stains that a regular vacuum can’t suction. Not to mention, they can also disinfect carpets by killing unwanted germs. If you’re looking for a deep clean, a carpet cleaner is your best bet.Steam cleaners have become very popular in recent years because they are considered the healthy and “green” alternative to cleaning. Many steam cleaners look like upright vacuums, they have a large tank that dispenses hot water with a cleaning solution, while another tank holds the dirty water. If you or anyone in your home suffers from allergies and chemical sensitivities, a steam cleaner is a healthy way to deep clean a variety of surfaces without aggravating allergy symptoms. You and your family can live healthier and breath better by using a steam cleaner on a regular basis.Shop Carpet/Steam Cleaners

Central Vacuum Systems

Central Vacuum Systems

Central vacuum systems are the most durable options available. Although they may be a bit more expensive up front, the lack of maintenance and longer lifespan often make up for the cost and then some. Unlike traditional vacuums, the motor and collector of a central vacuum system is installed into the home, typically in the basement or garage. From there, vacuum piping runs through walls, crawlspaces, or other out of the way areas of the home to floor or wall-mounted inlet valves in a handful of locations around the house. By attaching a hose to these inlets, like those used by canister vacuums, you’re able to vacuum all of the areas of your home without lugging around a heavy canister or upright vac. The hoses are typically 30 feet long, allowing you to vacuum multiple rooms from a single inlet. These systems also offer all the same kinds of attachments you’d find on traditional types of vacuum cleaners, from wands to crevice tools to pet brushes.Installing a central vacuum system offers a number of benefits over traditional models. In addition to their longer lifespan, central vacuum systems also provide far greater suction capabilities when compared to other types of vacuum cleaners. More powerful motors translate to greater cleaning potential, allowing you to pull more particles out of thick carpets or upholstery.

Central vacuum systems are also significantly quieter than their portable counterparts. Without the motor roaring next to you as you clean, the only sound is that of fast-moving air. Additionally, central vacs promote cleaner air quality by extracting and containing dust particles, allergens, and other contaminants, whereas other types of vacuum cleaners can end up releasing their smaller particles back into the air, often when being emptied.There are a handful of qualities to look for when deciding between central vacuum systems. First and foremost, you want to be sure to use a trusted brand. While you may save a few dollars opting for a cheap system, you’ll likely end up paying more in the long run with service calls and/or a shorter lifespan. For the best indicator of suction strength look at the Air Watts specification, with higher numbers signifying stronger suction. You also need to make sure the system offers enough suction to cover every corner of your home. Choosing a model that boasts a coverage area greater than the square footage of your home is a good idea as these numbers are calculated with perfect conditions in mind.Lastly, you’ll need to decide between bag systems, those that use filters, a hybrid of the two, or a cyclonic system.

Bagged systems use a bag inside their collector canister to contain debris. Although they don’t require outside venting, using a vent will reduce noise and odor. Filter systems similarly don’t require venting but benefit from it. These systems use one of a handful of filter types to protect dirt from contaminating clogging the motor, filing a canister or bag that needs to be emptied every three to six months. Cyclonic systems are the only ones that require outside venting. Most of the dirt is captured with the canister with a small percentage of tiny particles venting outdoors. Hybrid systems, those that use filters and bags are a great choice. They help keep the motor running clean and offer an easy to dispose of container for debris.Shop Central Vacuum Systems

Useful Features to Consider

Before settling down and picking a vacuum that will work best for you, take a look as some additional features that may be important or become important long-term:


Bag-less designs probably offer the utmost convenience by allowing you to simply detach the container unit from the vacuum. You can then quickly dispose of any dirt inside, without having to pull out and replace a bag. However, bag designs are still nice because they can usually keep dust contained a lot better, since the bag itself seals the dust away. This prevents any further messes from occurring when cleaning out your vacuum. Not to mention, if allergies are a concern the bag is definitely a smarter choice.

Multi-Surface Flooring

If you have a combination of hard surfaced floors and carpets, or lots of hard floors, a multi-surface vacuum is the best way to go. Multi-surface vacuums allow you to turn the brush roll on and off, so you can avoid scratching your hard floors when transitioning from carpets.


Filters are a must-have for anyone who is sensitive to dust or pet hair, as well as allergic to pollen. HEPA filters are considered to be the best because they remove particles such as dust, dander and allergens from the air. Some vacuum models feature a filter that needs to be replaced regularly, while some have started to include reusable filters that allow you to remove, clean and replace the same filter as necessary. Reusable filters would be the ideal kind to use, as they are a great money-saving option.Shop Vacuums

Vacuum Accessories & Attachments

If you’re looking to do more than just vacuum the floors around your home, you may need to consider certain vacuum accessories and attachments. In order to properly clean drapes, sofas and chairs, dust shelves, and get to all the nooks and cracks in your home, you’ll need the right attachments.A crevice tool is great for cleaning corners and tight spaces. A dusting brush can be used to gently dust shelves and tables, as not to scratch them. An upholstery tool is perfect for vacuuming your furniture without causing any damage. Turbo brushes can offer a deeper clean for longer carpets.

The Main Vacuum Types

There are five primary shapes of vacuum cleaners, each performing a slightly different function, although some combine those forms in order to provide more bang for your buck. Being aware of the expectations you have of your vacuum cleaner can help you more intelligently and decisively pick one of the following.

1. Handheld

Handheld vacuums are perfect for getting those painfully hard-to-reach areas that desperately need a cleaning. The most common example for use is in vacuuming cars, since, as the name suggests, this model can be held in only one hand. Its versatility makes it a dream for suctioning up dirt and debris in a variety of tight places, but it would not serve well for general flooring cleaning, which would take a long time to clean with a handheld. This type of vacuum cleaner comes in all sorts of different forms with equally different price tags.

2. Canister

Canister vacuum cleaners are a happy medium between the upright model and the stick model. They are powerful like the upright cleaners, but feature a slender frame, like the stick cleaners. In this case, a separate canister is attached to a long wand which can be used to maintain not only carpeted areas but also bare flooring as well. This style of vacuum cleaner tends to be one of the most expensive options, given its technologically-forward and multi-functional design.

3. Upright

These cleaners are perhaps the most popular and sought-after forms of vacuum cleaners. When you imagine a vacuum cleaner or see one advertised in media, the image you picture is probably that of an upright machine. These models provide the most powerful clean-up for your house, and offer the comforting benefit of usually easy-to-understand functions and accessories, since most people have used an upright vacuum cleaner at least once in their lifetime. Most models provide settings that allow these vacuum cleaners to be used not only on carpeted surfaces but also bare floors.

4. Stick

While perhaps the least powerful of the vacuum models, stick vacuums have a knack for getting into narrow places and doing a tremendous job on hardwood floors, area rugs and light carpeting. This type of vacuum features a long stick-like handle and a slender construction. The slimness of this model makes it a perfect addition to any closet space, as it tucks neatly into most corners after its purpose has been served.

5. Autonomous / Robot

Robot vacuum cleaners have gained a lot of popularity in recent years, mainly due to the fact that they require little effort on your end. These vacuums are able to roam freely around your home, sucking up any small mess in its way. They not only save you time, but they are also able to reach places that larger vacuums wouldn’t be able to, such as under the couch. One main drawback of robot vacuums is that they typically come at a steep price.

Vacuum Cleaners

Location, Location, Location

Do you have primarily hardwood floors throughout your house? Are these floors covered with area rugs, or are they bare? Is your home filled with wall-to-wall carpeting? These are considerations you must make before taking the leap and purchasing your very own vacuum cleaner.

Bare Floors:

If you have bare floors, you’re better off with models that provide a number of attachments and which don’t have quite as much heft as some of the others. Using a regular upright vacuum on flooring like hardwood poses a number of problems, which includes scratching your smooth and coveted floors and being counterproductive by scattering debris across their surfaces. Some upright vacuums do provide settings that function better on non-carpeted areas, but for the most part your best bet would be with a model like the canister vacuum, which can also take care of your area rugs if you have any. These vacuums usually come with a bare-floor brush, which makes keeping your floors squeaky clean and scratch-free a piece of cake.


On the other hand, if you have wall-to-wall carpeting, it’s definitely worth considering a model with different advantages than a vacuum cleaner suited for hardwood flooring and tiling. You won’t need to worry about scratching the surface of your carpet, and in fact, you’ll want something powerful that pulls up all the lingering debris from the carpet strands. In this instance, an upright cleaner is a great way to go. There are all sorts of extra conveniences that upright vacuums have recently come out with, including a dirt sensor which makes sure you get that last speck of grime.

Know the layout of your flooring and what sorts of surfaces you’ll be dealing with to ensure your needs will be met with your new vacuum cleaner.

To Bag or Not To Bag

The general consensus is that, whether you have a bagged vacuum or a bagless vacuum, your house will be clean either way (as long as you keep using it). However, there are a few small differences that may make or break your decision to buy one or the other.


If you or any of your family members are sensitive to allergens or have asthma, the bagged vacuum is probably more for you. Dust exposure is minimized when the bag is emptied and most bags are guaranteed to trap all but .03% of the dust and pollen in your carpeting. You do have to replace the bags on a regular basis, although these are typically available at most supermarkets.


If you are environmentally-minded and prefer to not have to deal with replacing bags, the bagless vacuum is more for you. These vacuums usually have a see-through canister which gives you perfect access to seeing how full the vacuum is, which can help you determine when you need to empty it out.

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