highest suction vacuum

Today, we will review the Highest Suction Vacuum and the best vacuum cleaner 2020 below. Most people find it difficult to differentiate between low and high suction units. If you want to quickly test the suction power of your vacuum cleaner, try switching the cleaner to “carpet mode.” Power on the unit and let it run on maximum power. Try attaching the floorhead to a wall. If you have high suction power device, it should stay attached to the wall without any external support.

I’m sure many of you want more specific details. That is why we to rely on real measurements. To understand the term “suction power”, you just need to know how it is measured. Suction power may be provided in manufacturer’s specs in several ways, by various units: Watts, Amps, CFM (cubic feet per minute) or AW (Air Watts). Let’s see what each of them means.

Airflow (CFM)

It’s one of the most important types of measurements, and it represents the power of the airflow, from the surface to the bag (or bin): it is the quantity of air sucked by the unit in 1 minute, measured in cubic feet (ft3/min). Although it is important, manufacturers don’t always list this measurement. In fact, more than 50% don’t. If you’re lucky and they offer this indicator on the product’s features list, it’s great! This dimension takes into account both the power of the motor and the resistance of the exhaust system (filters, fans, bags, cyclones and so on). The higher the CFM value, the higher the suction power. Common vacuum cleaners operate in the range of 50 to 100 CFM.

Tip: CFM is usually measured without any connected hose, wand or other accessories. That is why it is possible to end up with an actual lower CFM than the one listed in the specs.

Air Watts (AW)

Air Watts are another type of measurement for the suction power. This refers to the amount of Watts used by the machine to carry a unit of air through an opening (usually the vacuum’s nozzle). This is my favorite measurement, because it’s more consistent to the reality of what needs to be quantified. If you know the CFM and the Water Lift (also called sealed suction, measured in inches of water list, when there is a zero nozzle opening), you can calculate the Air Watts size by using the formula:

Air Watts = 0.117254 * Airflow (CFM) * Water lift (inches of H2O)

Hoover once had an article on their website (it’s gone now, I would have linked it), and it said something like this: an efficient upright should have at least 100 AW and a canister, at least 220 AW. Why do you think canisters need more AW? Because they need to pull the debris through the hose. Also, vacuum cleaners with good filtration systems (i.e. HEPA) need more AW, because they need to pull the air through filter’s fibers, which are way tinier than in the case of common sponge filters.

Tip: As you might have guessed, an Air Watt is essentially different from a Watt: 2 vacuum cleaners with the same motor consumption (same number of Watts) may have a very different efficiency (different number of Air Watts).

Water lift (inches of H2O)

The seal suction test is another good way of assessing the suction power of a vacuum cleaner. The unit is completely sealed and connected to a tube which contains water. The higher it raises the water level, the bigger suction it has. However, normal vacuum cleaners don’t deal with this kind of situation (some even have a mechanism that lowers/turns off the power in order to prevent overheating).


This is probably the most common value provided the manufacturer. Watts refer solely to the motor power consumption, not to its performance. As a general rule of thumb, units with higher watts have more powerful motors and thus, suck better. However, this is not always accurate, and there’s is even a public debate running at the moment precisely on this matter. In EU i.e., the law forbids (since 2014) to produce vacuum cleaners that consume more than 1600W. 5 years ago, EU officials were estimating to enforce this law to 500W by 2015, but things have chilled out in the meantime.


The Amps specification is in a way, similar to Watts, as it also refers to power consumption. Thus, the logic listed above stands: the higher the Amps, the better the suction power. However, manufacturers usually provide an Amp value for the entire unit, which includes other electrical systems such as the brushroll or the LED lights. Of course, the biggest electricity consumer remains the motor, but in order to be able to compare 2 units, one measured in Watts and the other measured in Amps, you should know precisely how much these adjacent systems “eat”. As most of you know by now, the maximum amperage of any appliance is 12. Given a 12 Amp unit, knowing the head nozzle consumes around 1.5 Amps and that LEDs draw an additional 0.5 Amps, the real motor amperage should be 10.5. From here, things get pretty easy, because we can use the following formula:

Watts/Volts (120 in US) = Amps


This unit has in fact little to do with vacuum cleaners and their effectiveness. Commonly referred by “Peak Horsepower” in shop-vacs (actually, lots of models produced by the brand Shop-Vac), this measurement shows the in-rush current, measured in the first milliseconds from powering on the unit, which is inflated by the low motor temperature.

Tip: Horsepower is really a bogus and has nothing to do with the actual suction power.

What is the highest suction power of a vacuum cleaner?

Suction power can vary a lot, by a lot of factors, external and internal. While testing, if you run the cleaner without a bag or without its HEPA filter, you will get high levels of suction. To the best of my knowledge, no one really tested suction power unitary. IMO, the Watts/Amps measurements are almost useless. A standard measurement should be AW, but we’ll have to wait a lot to reach that point.

One of the highest measured suction powers in a commercial vacuum cleaner is 200 CFM. Again, this was achieved without the vacuum head: the power drops significantly when we start to attach things. The lowest suction in a standard home vacuum cleaner would be around 45 CFM, but I’ve seen worst.

Do canisters have a higher suction power, compared to uprights?

Canisters or cylinder cleaners and upright vacuum cleaners are the most commonly used types of vacuum cleaners. Among these two, canisters have a much stronger market presence in EU, and uprights are more common in US.

The rule of thumb is, canisters are more powerful than upright models, because they need to compensate the longer reaching distances resulted from connecting the hose and telescopic wand. On the other hand, upright vacuum cleaners have the cleaning head and the brushroll much closer to the bag. The cleaning principle of an upright is based on a sweep-and-vibrate action. The upright model comes with a rotating brushroll or beater bar. While this doesn’t help the suction, it allows you to collect more. The bags/plastic bins are also much bigger with upright vacuum cleaners. As a result, uprights don’t need the same amount of suction as their smaller brothers.

How about shop-vacs or backpack vacuums?

A shop-vac is basically a large bucket type vacuum cleaner that is employed to clean commercial spaces like shops and large storage facilities. It is also known as a wet/dry vacuum. These vacuum cleaners are generally more powerful than your standard home vacuum cleaner and have a higher suction power. They can be used to clear out foliage, sawdust, shavings of wood, and grass clippings among other debris, and can be used over an extensive area. Most shop-vacs are capable of vacuuming up water. That means they need higher suction levels. Many models reach 200 CFM.

Backpack vacuums, on the other hand, are easier to use, and have a very low distance between the air intake and the dirt recipient. Thus, they need less suction power. The last Rubbermaid backpack vacuum I’ve analyzed was averaging 110 CFM and was sucking everything nicely.

How much suction power is enough?

The level of suction power required in a vacuum cleaner depends only on your needs. It’s like buying a car. Smaller motors consume less. Bigger motors are more powerful and fun. If you are looking for a vacuum cleaner to keep your home or small office space clean and free of dust, a standard canister with a moderate level of suction power would be a good choice (you will save energy). If you are looking at heavy cleaning chores such as for an industrial area or a large shop, you will obviously need a powerful unit such as a shop-vac, which can take care of heavy debris effectively, in a shorter time span. If you’re looking for numbers, let’s just say 180-200 AW is great for an upright, 80-100 AW is more than enough for a cordless and 300+ AW should be ok in a canister.

What are the downsides of having a high suction power vacuum cleaner?

Though a vacuum cleaner with high suction power has a number of benefits, it has its cons as well. Due to the fact that it employs a very powerful motor, extensive use can result in higher power consumption. Apart from that, they can be very noisy and cause sound pollution. Last but not least, these units will know a high temperature variation which will wear them faster.

Highest Suction Vacuum

Here are 5 units which really “suck” (I always keep this top updated):

Dyson Ball Animal 2Dyson Ball Animal 2270 AW
Shark APEX DuoCleanShark APEX DuoClean270 AW
Kenmore Elite vacuum cleanerKenmore Elite 31150280 AW
Miele Complete C3Miele Complete C3350 AW
Dyson V11Dyson V11185 AW (when in boost mode)


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Beyond high suction power, users should look for other factors such as ease of operation, maneuverability, and low noise levels when they set out to buy a vacuum cleaner. Maneuverability is a quality that is often overlooked. I.e., there is no point in having an extremely powerful vacuum cleaner if you can’t use it to access difficult spots.

Given the facts above, you should now have a clear picture about the significance of suction power in a vacuum cleaner. Though it is a fact that powerful suction is necessary to effectively remove dirt and grime any kind of surface, it is not the only factor that you should look for when choosing your vacuum cleaner. You need to look at your requirements and choose a cleaner that suits your needs perfectly.

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.


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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