Picking the best rated vacuum cleaners isn’t just about what has the most bells and whistles. A good vacuum has to do its job well (of course), be easy to maintain, be versatile enough to take on both carpets and hardwood floors, and be a good value for the money. We researched—and in some cases tested—the best vacuum cleaners on the market to find the ones that will make cleaning your home a faster and easier chore to handle.
Best Rated Vacuum Cleaners
Best Overall Vacuum: Shark Navigator Lift-Away Professional (NV356E)
VERY GOODBuy on AmazonBuy on Bed Bath & BeyondShark Navigator Lift-Away Professional Upright Vacuum Review
Powerful, lightweight, and a great value overall, the Shark Navigator Lift-Away Professional claims the top spot for vacuum cleaners and is ideal for most families. What’s great about this model is that it’s easy to assemble and use, plus it maintains powerful suction whether you’re using it on carpet or bare floors. For those suffering from allergies, the Anti-Allergen Complete Seal Technology traps dust and irritants, plus the vacuum comes equipped with a HEPA filter, that traps 99.9 percent of allergens in the vacuum. The swivel steering makes it easy to maneuver, and the detachable and portable canister is ideal for hard-to-reach places.
Of course, the bagless vacuum isn’t completely perfect—some users have warned that it tips easily, especially when you’re using the wand or attachments. But overall, customers rave about how much dirt, dust, and hair the Shark Navigator can pick up.
The Shark Navigator Lift-Away Professional weighs about 13.7 pounds and comes with a dusting brush, a crevice tool, a pet power brush, and a 25-foot cord.
“The crevice tool, which has a narrow suction tube, worked great in tight corners and hard-to-reach areas such as windowsills and furniture ledges. For upholstered household items that are more delicate—like lampshades, window blinds, and drapes—the dusting brush did an excellent job.” — Sage McHugh, Product TesterThe 10 Best Vacuum Cleaners of 2020
Best Budget: BISSELL PowerForce Helix Bagless Upright Vacuum
VERY GOODBuy on WalmartBissell PowerForce Helix Bagless Upright Vacuum Review
You don’t need to spend a bundle to get a clean home. This top pick from the trusted brand Bissell will clean your house in a jiffy and all for under $50. Its lightweight construction makes it easy to clean all corners of the home while a washable filter means you won’t have to replace it often.
With five different height adjustments, you can be sure this will clean everything from a hardwood floor to a shag carpet with ease. Even at this low price point, you’ll still get some accessories like a dusting wand, a crevice tool, and an extension tool so you can clean up high and in corners with ease.
“The machine might feel like a toy, but it’s a toy with powerful suction that you can see. The vortex of cat hair that spun up into the machine after only a couple minutes of use was both gratifying as a reviewer and horrifying as the occupant of an apparently filthy house.” — Joy Merrifield, Product TesterThe 7 Best Cheap Vacuum Cleaners of 2020
Best Design: Dyson Ball Multi Floor 2 Upright Vacuum
VERY GOODBuy on AmazonBuy on WalmartBuy on Bed Bath & BeyondDyson Ball Multi Floor 2 Review
Dyson continually produces top cleaning products, and their Dyson Ball Multi Floor 2 Upright Vacuum is just one more to add to the list. This newer model is especially notable for its design, with a ball device that lets users steer the vacuum in any direction, making it easier to reach those difficult areas.
Maneuvering aside, the Smart Ball helps give this product the most powerful suctioning capabilities of any lightweight model. Once the job is done, a single button effortlessly releases the bin to empty any residue, all before putting it away in the cleaning cupboard with ease. Plus, an instant-release wand lets you literally clean your home from floor to ceiling.
For those that are concerned about allergies and asthma, this vacuum is certified asthma and allergy friendly by the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America which means it effectively removes allergens and retains them in the vacuum.
“It was great at picking up dust and larger debris like cereal from almost every surface—emphasis on “almost.” If you have a lot of very high-pile carpets, this is not the vacuum for you.” — Joy Merrifield, Product Tester
Best Cordless Vacuum: Hoover Linx Cordless Stick Vacuum Cleaner
VERY GOODBuy on AmazonBuy on WalmartHoover LiNX Cordless Stick Vacuum Review
It’s time to cut the cord—on your vacuum that is! Take every day cleaning up a notch with this sleek stick vacuum that provides upright performance on a lasting, battery-operated system, making the Hoover Linx Cordless Stick Vacuum Cleaner the best outlet-free vac around.
Starting with the base, this product is powered by WindTunnel Technology that gets all that dirt out of hard-to-reach places. Plus, it scoots easily under most counters and furniture to give you closer access to those hard-to-reach spots. When it comes to longevity, this pick has a fade-free battery life, so it’ll last you long between each clean. Then, when the job is done, this 11-pound product stores away just as effortlessly as it cleans.
When it comes to product reviews, users were impressed with its results on hard floors, especially on pet hair. They claim its powerful functionality across surfaces has replaced their traditional sweeping altogether, although they do note that the occasional charge can take up to three hours. So plan your cleaning spree accordingly.
“When it comes to suction, this stick vacuum isn’t the most powerful tool ever, but it does a sufficient job picking up dirt, hair, and other debris from both hardwood floors and low-pile carpets.” — Camryn Rabideau, Product TesterThe 9 Best Cordless Stick Vacuums of 2020
Best Pet Hair Vacuum: Hoover WindTunnel 3 High Performance Pet Upright
GOODBuy on AmazonBuy on WalmartHoover WindTunnel 3 High Performance Pet Upright Vacuum Review
While we love our furry friends, we’re not so wild about their hair covering every surface in our home. Pet owners know just how important finding the right vacuum is. If you’re in the market for a new one, this newly released model from Hoover is a stellar choice.
Hoover’s WindTunnel 3 tech creates 3 suction channels to lift and remove pet hair and dirt. The bagless model and washable filter mean you won’t have to purchase replacements or find yourself without a bag and unable to vacuum before company arrives. It comes with a unique Pet Turbo tool to remove upholstery stains, and a HEPA filter to keep pet dirt out of the air (hint: you can also keep your air clean by investing in an air purifier).
Those with larger spaces will appreciate the 40-foot cord length that will mean you can avoid unplugging. It also has a quick-pass brushroll to allow 2X faster cleans.
“The attachments of the WindTunnel 3 were the real bright spot for us. The Pet Turbo Tool hose attachment sounds like a buzz saw and looks roughly that dangerous when it’s spinning, but can really muscle away some fur from upholstery.” — Joy Merrifield, Product TesterThe 7 Best Vacuums for Pet Hair of 2020
Best Canister: Miele Compact C2 Electro+ Canister Vacuum
EXCELLENTBuy on AmazonBuy on Bed Bath & BeyondMiele Compact C2 Electro + PowerLine Vacuum Review
If you need a vacuum that can go anywhere—we’re talking about the car, outdoors, and on the stairs—then you’ll want to opt for a canister vacuum. These models are often more popular in Europe but they serve a purpose because they are easy to maneuver around whatever your task at hand is. This pick from fan favorite Miele might not come at an affordable price but it has a very loyal following. This sealed vacuum comes with a HEPA filter so people with allergies will appreciate that no dust will get into the air when disposing of the bags. A downside for some is that you will have to purchase bags for this but that ensures the dust stays where it should–in the trash.
Reviewers say this is the best HEPA-filter vacuum around and while it comes at a higher price point it has some serious suction and will be with your family for a long time.
“The upholstery tool is amazing at picking up cat hair from couches—better than anything we’ve tested so far. The crevice tool and the dusting brush are nothing special, but we don’t have any complaints.” — Joy Merrifield, Product TesterThe 8 Best Canister Vacuums of 2020
Best Handheld Vacuum: Black + Decker CHV1410L Lithium Cordless Dust Buster
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Small but mighty, this is a great vacuum for picking up small spills or getting to those hard-to-reach spots. The battery can hold a charge for an impressive 18 months, so it’ll be ready to go even if it’s not stored on the charger. Although, if you want to keep it on there, you can—it automatically shuts off when the battery is full. Not only does the lightweight design make this model easy to use, but the narrow nozzle, with an optional brush attachment, means you can even reach those previously inaccessible spaces like the crevice between your counter and your refrigerator.
The bagless canister is translucent, making it easy to see when the vacuum is full, and it’s time to empty it. Plus, the filter is washable, meaning you won’t have the extra cost of replacing it down the line. Reviewers rave about the power and the battery life, two of the factors that have made it a bestseller.The 8 Best Handheld Vacuums of 2020
Best Bagged Vacuum: Oreck Commercial XL2100RHS8
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If you suffer from allergies, a bagged vacuum will give you the best results, plus they tend to last longer than their bagless counterparts. The downside, of course, is that you have to buy replacement bags and change them when they fill up. But if it eases your allergies, it’s a small price to pay. This Oreck model is a category leader, especially at the price point. The 12-inch wide cleaning brush means dirt doesn’t stand a chance in its path. And the vacuum itself only weighs 8 pounds, making it easy to maneuver for everyone.
A bestseller in its category, the Oreck Commercial XL2100RHS8 has received rave reviews from customers who appreciate its suction power and the fact that it feels like it’s almost vacuuming by itself since it’s so light.
The one thing you will be giving up with this model is a wand attachment for vacuuming upholstery, curtains, and hard to reach places. So you might have to end up supplementing it with a handheld vacuum as well.The 8 Best Dustbusters of 2020
Best Robot Vacuum: eufy [BoostIQ] RoboVac 30C
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If vacuuming sucks all the fun out of your life all too often, why not hand the job over to a robot? The eufy RoboVac is designed to clean up for you, without you even lifting a finger.
The eufy 30C runs for about 100 minutes on a charge and moves from room to room sucking up dirt, dust, hair, and crumbs from all corners of your home. When it needs a recharge, the eufy can navigate itself back to its charging dock. It can climb over ledges between rooms or onto area rugs with no problem but has sensors to stop it when it approaches the top of a step.
You can set your robot vacuum to run on a schedule (say, every night at 9), or even get it started by just the sound of your voice, as long as it’s set up with your smart speaker at home. If you have a specific mess that needs immediate attention, you can manually control the vacuum with the included remote or the EufyHome app.The 8 Best Robotic Vacuums of 2020
Best Lightweight: Shark Rocket Ultra-Light Corded Bagless Vacuum
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Having a lightweight vacuum makes cleaning up nightly messes a breeze since you don’t have to lug a heavy machine out of the closet. This high-quality product weighs only 8 pounds so you can quickly suck up the post-breakfast mess or Fido’s hair before guests come over with ease. While some vacuums tend to only work well on one type of flooring—this corded model can handle both hardwood floors and carpet equally. To get more bang for your buck this has a micro tool kit and a car detailing kit so you can clean deep into crevices and seats. This model also has an option to convert to a hand vacuum so its really two vacuums in one.
Reviewers agree that this model is that good, with a few saying this performs better than the more expensive competition. While some were nervous that this had a cord, in the end, they liked that they didn’t have to worry about it running out of power mid-clean.
Vacuum Cleaner Buying Guide
A comprehensive guide that will give you all the information you need on how to buy a new vacuum.https://www.youtube.com/embed/BO-4WsRd8oY?rel=0
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.
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 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 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
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 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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.