good housekeeping vacuum cleaners

Choosing good housekeeping vacuum cleaners for you and your home means thinking about more than just that. Consider what surfaces you’ll be vacuuming, how your home is laid out and how much time you have for cleaning up. Immediately below are our picks for the best vacuums in key categories. 

good housekeeping vacuum cleaners

Best Budget Vacuums

Hoover UH70120

Hoover T-Series WindTunnel Rewind Plus Upright Vacuum Cleaner, with HEPA Media Filtration, Lightweight and Corded, UH70120, Green
AMAZON

Hoover UH70120

$190BUY FROM AMAZON

Weight: 23 pounds

Cord length: 27 feet

Cord retractability: Retractable power cord

Noise level: Slightly noisier than average

Bagged vs. bagless: Bagless

HEPA filter: Rinseable HEPA filter included

Number of attachments: 4 (extension wand, crevice tool, upholstery/dusting brush and powered hand tool)

Suction power: WindTunnel technology provides extra suction

Cleaning path width: 13.5 inches

Wattage: 1440 watts

Warranty: Two-year limited warranty

The Hoover UH70120 is packed with the latest features, including Hoover’s WindTunnel Technology, which provides consistent, strong suction that removes even the most stubborn debris. This vacuum cleaner is ideal for those who are looking for a unit that gets the job done at an affordable price. Its five-position height adjustment also makes it a good fit for households with a variety of flooring types.

Bissell CleanView Bagless Vacuum

Bissell 9595A CleanView Bagless Vacuum with OnePass
AMAZON

Bissell CleanView

$100BUY FROM AMAZON

Weight: 15 pounds

Cord length: 25 feet

Cord retractability: Retractable power cord 

Noise level: N/A

Bagged vs. bagless: Bagless

Filter: Washable foam filter

Attachments: TurboBrush, crevice tool and dusting brush

Suction power: Cyclonic system for a more powerful suction

Cleaning path width: 13.5 inches

Wattage: 12 amps

Warranty: Two-year limited warranty

Your search for the best budget-friendly dust sucker ends here. This Bissell CleanView bagless vacuum has a four-star rating from over 13,000 Amazon customers thanks to its long-lasting suction, durability and versatility. With the included turbo brush tools, you can not only vacuum your carpets but also your stairs and furniture. Plus, it comes with technology that separates dirt and debris to keep the filter clean for as long as possible. But don’t worry, the filter is washable anyway.

Best for Large Spaces

Oreck XL2100RHS

Oreck Commercial XL2100RHS 8 Pound Vacuum with 4 Bags Bundle - Blue
AMAZON

Oreck XL2100RHS

$295BUY FROM AMAZON

Weight: 9 pounds

Cord length: 35 feet

Cord retractability: None

Noise level: Noisier than average

Bagged vs. bagless: Bagged

HEPA filter: No, but comes with four free HEPA bags

Number of attachments: No hose or attachments

Suction power: Strong

Cleaning path width: 12 inches

Wattage: 480 watts

Warranty: One-year commercial warranty and one-year warranty on the belt

Marketed as commercial-grade, this vacuum cleaner is designed to get the job done. Its ability to automatically move from carpet to hardwood to vinyl makes it ideal for large homes with multiple flooring types. However, its lack of attachments could be a problem for those hoping to use their vacuum cleaner to get into tight spaces.

Oreck Commercial Upright

Oreck Commercial Upright Bagged Vacuum Cleaner, Lightweight, 40ft Power Cord, U2000R1, Grey/Red
AMAZON

Oreck Commercial Upright

$151$239SAVE $88 (37%)BUY FROM AMAZON

Weight: 8 pounds

Cord length: 40 feet

Cord retractability: Retractable

Noise level: N/A

Bagged vs. bagless: Bag

Filter: Bag filtration

Attachments: None

Suction power: Powerful brush with 6,500 RPM

Cleaning path width: 12 inches

Wattage: 120 volts

Warranty: Limited

When cleaning a large surface, you need a vacuum that’s not just powerful but has a long enough cord so you don’t have to make any mid-clean adjustments. The Oreck Commercial Upright Vacuum features a 40-foot cord to help you cover a large surface area in one sweep. Plus, it also has automatic floor adjustments so you can get the best clean on carpet and hard surfaces without having to manually switch the settings.

Best for Pet Hair

Miele Dynamic U1

Miele AirClean Dynamic U1 Cat & Dog Upright Vacuum
BED BATH & BEYOND

Miele Dynamic U1

$700BUY FROM BB&B

Weight: 20 pounds 

Cord length: 46 feet

Cord retractability: Retractable cord

Noise level: N/A

Bagged vs. bagless: Contains a filter bag

Filter: AirClean

Attachments: Handheld turbo, crevice, upholstery and dusting

Suction power: Provides even and consistent suction

Cleaning path width: N/A

Wattage: 1,200-watt vortex

Warranty: One-year limited warranty

Finding a decent vacuum is one thing, but finding one that can lift away debris and pet hair is another. The Miele Dynamic U1 Cat & Dog Upright Vacuum was made with pet hair in mind — hence the name — and features an AirClean filtration system that cleans 99.9 percent of dust and allergens.

Shark Navigator NV356E

Shark Navigator Lift-Away Professional NV356E,White and Silver
AMAZON

Shark Navigator NV356E

$200$250SAVE $50 (20%)BUY FROM AMAZON

Weight: 13.7 pounds for the entire unit, 8 pounds for pod

Cord length: 30 feet

Cord retractability: None

Noise level: Average

Bagged vs. bagless: Bagless

HEPA filter: Anti-allergen complete seal technology plus a HEPA filter

Number of attachments: 4 (dusting brush, 8-inch crevice tool, pet power brush, dust-away hard-floor attachment with two microfiber pads)

Suction power: Strong

Cleaning path width: 9.5 inches

Wattage: 1100 watts

Warranty: One year

The Shark Navigator NV356E has a canister that can be easily ejected to clean hard-to-reach areas. The anti-allergen technology promises to trap 99.9 percent of dust and allergens, making it the perfect vacuum cleaner for those who have sensitivities. Its lightweight form and pet power brush make it easy to wipe up all the pet hair that accumulates over the course of a week.

Best for Multi-Surface Homes

Dyson Ball Multi-Floor 2

Dyson Upright Vacuum Cleaner, Ball Multi Floor 2, Yellow
AMAZON

Dyson Ball Multi-Floor 2

$366BUY FROM AMAZON

Weight: 15.6 pounds

Cord length: 31 feet

Cord retractability: None

Noise level: Average

Bagged vs. bagless: Bagless

HEPA filter: Yes

Number of attachments: 2 (stair tool and combination tool)

Suction power: 245 air watts

Cleaning path width: 13.4 inches

Wattage: 1400 watts

Warranty: Five-year parts and labor warranty and lifetime support

The Dyson Ball Multi-Floor 2 upright vacuum has a self-adjusting cleaner head that can gracefully move from carpet to wood, vinyl and tile. The instant-release wand makes it easy to clean sofas, shelves and areas that are difficult to reach at floor level. The bin is also easy to clean. Just push a button and remove the canister.

Best for Deep Carpet Clean

Eureka Bagless Upright Vacuum

Eureka NEU180B Lightweight Powerful Upright, Pet Hair Vacuum Cleaner for Home, Graphite
AMAZON

Eureka Bagless Upright Vacuum

$73BUY FROM AMAZON

Weight: 8 pounds

Cord length: 20 feet

Cord retractability: None

Noise level: Noisier than average

Bagged vs. bagless: Bagless

HEPA filter: None. Washable allergen filter included

Number of attachments: 3 (dusting brush, crevice tool, extension wand)

Suction power: Better than average

Cleaning path width: 13 inches

Wattage: Unknown

Warranty: One-year limited warranty

Strong suction makes this ideal for households with hard-to-clean carpets. Although it is noisier than average, the airspeed technology and high-performing attachments make it easier to clean spaces quickly. A five-setting height can also help with cleaning all uncarpeted flooring types.

Best for People Who Do Not Like to Vacuum

iRobot Roomba 890

iRobot Roomba 890 Robot Vacuum- Wi-Fi Connected, Works with Alexa, Ideal for Pet Hair, Carpets, Hard Floors
AMAZON

iRobot Roomba 890

$377BUY FROM AMAZON

Weight: 8.4 pounds

Cord length: Cordless

Cord retractability: Not applicable

Noise level: Low

Bagged vs. bagless: Bagless

HEPA filter: None. High-efficiency filter built in

Number of attachments: Accessories sold separately

Suction power: Up to five times the air power of previous Roomba editions

Cleaning path width: Not listed. Uses a spiral motion to clean a concentrated area. Automatically cleans the full perimeter of each room, including corners

Wattage: Powered by a rechargeable battery

Warranty: One-year warranty when bought from an authorized reseller

The Roomba series is popular with tech lovers, as well as those who simply prefer to avoid vacuuming if at all possible. The technology on robotic vacuums has dramatically improved over the years, with the 890 featuring an AeroForce three-stage cleaning system. Homeowners can manually start the cleaning process or schedule it to begin at designated times of the day.

Best for Allergen Prevention

Bissell Pet Hair Eraser Turbo Pro

BISSELL Pet Hair Eraser Turbo Pro with Bonus 3-in-1 Stair Tool
BED BATH & BEYOND

Bissell Pet Hair Eraser Turbo Pro

$210$250SAVE $40 (16%)BUY FROM BB&B

Weight: 14 pounds

Cord length: 30 inches

Cord retractability: Retractable

Noise level: N/A

Bagged vs. bagless: Bagless

Filter: SmartSeal Allergen System with Febreze filter

Attachments: Extension wand

Suction power: High suction power

Cleaning path width: 12 inches

Wattage: 840 watts

Warranty: Five-year warranty

Even if you don’t have a pet, choosing a vacuum designed for highly allergenic pet hair can help you target some of the allergen debris in your home. Bissell’s Pet Hair Eraser Turbo Pro is a lightweight yet highly functional allergen-friendly vacuum that features the SmartSeal Allergen System with Febreze filter for a fresher, cleaner home.

Things to Consider When Buying a Vacuum Cleaner

Things to Consider When Buying a Vacuum Cleaner

The old vacuum cleaner has “bitten the dust” and you need a replacement.  One quick look online is all it takes to realize that choosing a new machine might be more challenging than you thought. It’s easy to get caught up in the “latest and greatest” when perusing vacuums online or in magazines and end up with a machine that is either too much or not enough, or just doesn’t fit your needs.

We’ve put together a few questions for consideration to help focus your search efforts before purchasing that new vacuum cleaner. Maybe you’ve already thought about some of these, so please use the following list to quickly navigate to the concerns most important to you.

What Flooring Types Do I Have?

Upright and Canister Vacuums on Multi-floorsProbably the most obvious consideration is whether you have mainly carpeting, hard floors, or a fairly even combination of both. Generally speaking, for homes with a lot of carpeting, especially in large areas, an upright vacuum cleaner is a good choice. However, if your personal preference tends toward canister style vacuums, there are quite a few excellent choices available. You will want to be sure that it has a floor nozzle with a motorized brushroll and height adjustment options for various pile carpets.

If you love hardwood or tile flooring with a few rugs here and there, or enjoy low-pile carpeting, a canister style vacuum is a great option. Using a specialized floor brush, these are usually very maneuverable for working quickly around and underneath furniture. Some are equipped with combination floor tools that easily switch to effectively clean scatter rugs. For true canister vacuum lovers, there are machines that feature high quality motorized floor nozzles that can effectively handle deep-pile carpets.

Most people have a combination of both carpeting and hard floors. At this point, style preference will be your guide. However, be sure to check for convenience features such as on/off brushroll control, height adjustment, and suction control. Be sure to note whether the brushroll is air-powered or electrically powered as this affects the effectiveness of deep-pile carpet cleaning.

Do I Need to Control Allergens?

This is a key question to consider since we spend, on average, about 90% of our time indoors where pollutants can be 2 to 5 times higher than typical outdoor concentrations. This is especially important to ponder if you or someone in your family has asthma or allergies. A vacuum cleaner that provides HEPA filtration can be an important contributor to improving your indoor air quality. HEPA filters capture particulate matter down to 0.3 microns so that the exhausted air is actually cleaner than what was sucked into the vacuum. There are also machines that include some level of charcoal filtration to help control odors—great for pet owners.

An additional consideration is a vacuum that not only uses HEPA filters but does so in a completely sealed system. This means that there is virtually no leakage of air through the housing or fittings of the machine and all air (along with pollutants) is forced through the filtration system, leaving your indoor air allergen free. See this article for more information about allergies and vacuums.

How Often Do I Vacuum?

Robotic Vacuum Being ProgrammedSomething you may not have thought about, the frequency of your cleaning schedule can be impacted by the ease or difficulty of storing and accessing your vacuum. For those folks who shed their shoes the minute they hit the door, walking on floors that quickly accumulate pet fur, crumbs, and tracked-in dirt or sand, daily vacuuming is standard operating procedure. In that case, a vacuum that is difficult to access and use quickly can make this routine a real chore. Consider a robotic vacuum that can be scheduled to clean while you’re at work or running errands so you return to grit-free floors, really nice if you frequently bring home company.

If your debris tends to concentrate in specific areas, a stick vacuum is a champ at quickly taking care of daily messes whether on hard floors or carpets, as well as effectively handling more extensive weekly cleaning. There are also light-weight uprights and compact canisters with parking features that make them easy to store and use at a moment’s notice.

How Many Levels are in My Home?

Stick Vacuum Being Carried UpstairsIn other words, how many stairs do you have to carry your vacuum up and down? There are many maneuverable, light-weight cordless vacuums that have great suction power and long run times that can handle multiple floor types. There are also lightweight vacuums in both upright and canister styles that make transporting them between floors easy.

An additional thought is the type of flooring on each level. While it sounds crazy, sometimes more than one vacuum is a very good idea. If you have a main floor that really benefits from a machine that can handle a variety of floor types, your upper floor may only require a vacuum best for carpets or hard floors. Or, the reverse may be true. In either case, consider purchasing a smaller stick vacuum for the space best suited for it, and save yourself grueling trips up and down stairs with your larger machine.

What Additional Surfaces will I be Cleaning?

Vacuum Cleaner Tool AssortmentIf you like vacuuming away all the accumulated dust from furniture, curtains, moldings, and baseboards instead of dusting, you’ll want a vacuum that includes a variety of accessory tools. Most include at least a combination brush and crevice tool, while others have additional floor nozzles, an upholstery tool, and specialized accessories for specific types of cleaning. If you own pets, or have a lot of stairs, consider a vacuum that includes a mini-motorized tool for easy cleaning. Some offer an even wider variety of specialized tools and extension wands which you can purchase separately as you need them.

How Much Noise Can I Stand?

Given the technology, if you will, of vacuums, there is a certain amount of expected sound generated during use. Typically, the larger and more heavy-duty the machine for the job, the louder it is. For homes, and for office spaces where a quieter sound level is desired, there are vacuums that have been designed with insulated motor housings as well as newer low-noise motors for quieter operation. Some can run as lows as 47 dB at maximum power while still delivering 120 CFM. Vacuum manufacturers such as NaceCareMiele, and Sebo have recently redesigned some of their machines for quieter operation. Check specifications for your selection before buying.

How Much Maintenance is Required?

This is a question that really depends on your definition of “a lot” and how tedious different kinds of maintenance are for you. Bagless vacuums don’t have bags that need to be changed, but dust bins still need to be emptied and washed periodically, especially if your home includes allergy-sufferers. Any vacuum with a HEPA filter will need that filter to be replaced when necessary, depending on individual home environments. The same is true for any other type of filter unless it is specified as a washable filter.

Vacuum Cleaner Maintenance

Brushrolls will collect pet fur, hair, threads and other debris and will need to be cleaned to maintain top operating capabilities. Ease of access to it should be a consideration. For quality vacuums that last for years, sometimes accessory tools like dusting brushes may need to be replaced. Check to see if these are available for purchase either at retail or from the manufacturer.

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.

Carpeting:

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.

Bagged:

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.

Bagless:

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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