most powerful handheld vacuum

Handheld vacuums are surprisingly essential cleaning tools; they make it easy to clean up small messes without hauling out the full-sized vacuum. In fact, there’s no need to undersell a handheld vac; the best handheld vacuums are so good that they can handle any mess short of a deep cleaning, meaning you can leave the canister vacuum in the closet most of the time. Today, we review the Most Powerful Handheld Vacuum models on the market for you.

most powerful handheld vacuum

Best-rated handheld vacuum

BLACK+DECKER CHV1410L 16V Cordless Lithium Hand Vacuum

Black & Decker CHV1410L 16V Cordless Lithium Hand Vacuum$60 now 10% off4.2 stars, 21,169 reviews$54

Sporting “suction [that] is incredibly powerful for a little cordless handheld vacuum,” reviewers trust this Black + Decker to deal with tasks ranging from cleaning “5 and 8 year old [kids’] messes” to “vacuuming stink bugs from my [organic] plants.” A reviewer notes, “It quickly and easily sucks up crumbs, hair, dust, litter and all those other little items that plague our surfaces and makes our space look soooo much nicer,” while another calls it, “Almost as powerful as a full blown sweeper.” The rechargeable lithium battery gets plenty of props, as well. “One day I used it to clean all the baseboards, the stairs, the couch and, well, heck, I got carried away and did most of the floors … it didn’t run out of charge until the bitter end,” writes one reviewer. Another writes, “It seems that it is ALWAYS charged and always provides great suction.”

Its longevity also impresses reviewers, like one who writes, “I have been using this vacuum for six years now. No broken parts, battery still holds a decent charge and the vacuum basically functions as it did when I purchased it.” It’s so good that reviewers implore you to buy one: “Look, if you are thinking about getting this … STOP WAITING AND JUST GET IT.”$54 AT AMAZON

Best-rated (less expensive) handheld vacuum

Bissell Pet Hair Eraser Handheld Vacuum, Corded, 33A1

Bissell Pet Hair Eraser Handheld Vacuum, Corded$37 now 16% off4.4 stars, 7,372 reviews$31

“We have never had a couch or furniture that wasn’t constantly covered in dog hair … until I found this,” reads one of thousands of positive reviews for Bissell’s Pet Hair Eraser. “I was skeptical that the rubber brush attachment was a good idea — wouldn’t it collect hair and resist the suction? Nope. This thing powers through couch hair,” a converted skeptic writes. “Often, only a single swipe is needed, which makes for a quick job. There was hardly any hair stuck to the brush. All of it ended up inside the dust container, which is super easy to detach, empty, and clean.” Another pet owner writes, “I have a grey cat that prefers a particular chair of my dining set. Just a few swipes with this Bissell product and I knew I had a winner.” The nozzle is versatile, too. “It gets alllll the hair off of furniture, the bed, the fabric shower curtain. rugs, clothes, everything,” exclaims one reviewer.$31 AT AMAZON

Best handheld vacuum for tight spaces

Dirt Devil Scorpion Quick Flip Corded Bagless Handheld Vacuum

Dirt Devil Scorpion Quick Flip Corded Bagless Handheld Vacuum$40 now 25% off4.2 stars, 4,859 reviews$30

Hundreds of reviewers describe this vacuum as small but powerful, like one student who writes, “I normally don’t take the time to write Amazon reviews, but I was blown away by how powerful this little vacuum is. It picks everything up no matter what size and very quickly! Makes vacuuming so easy for me in my dorm room.” And dozens specifically cite the flip-open crevice tool as the feature that makes this handheld vacuum especially useful in tight corners. “The crevice tool is incredibly useful for nooks and crannies that gather dust,” writes one, who adds, “The attachable nozzle has been great for vacuuming our rug. We have a delicate faux sheepskin rug that really shouldn’t be vacuumed using such a powerful tool, but with the nozzle it’s much more manageable and doesn’t cause too much shedding.” Another satisfied reviewer raves, “The flip-up yellow crevice cleaning attachment is a stroke of genius — it’s onboard so you can never misplace it. No messy bags. The filter is very quick and easy to clean. Love the long cord. I can’t find a single negative thing to say about this vacuum cleaner.”$30 AT AMAZON

Best handheld vacuum for stairs

Shark Rocket Corded Hand Vac (HV292)

Shark Rocket Corded Hand Vac (HV292)$128$150 now 15% off4.6 stars, 1,500 reviews

“I have always HATED vacuuming my stairs and never could find an easy way to do it. This vacuum is a game changer,” one reviewer declares. “The brush head bends backwards slightly making it super easy … Everyone with stairs in their home needs one of these!” Dozens of other five-star reviews agree that this “lightweight, easy to hold” Shark Rocket is made for the stairs. “The motorized head does a fantastic job at getting my stairs clean. My husband could not believe the difference,” one says. “We have two large shedding dogs … [I] can do the whole staircase in less than five minutes,” another reviewer notes. “The amount of stuff that came up the first couple times we used this was unbelievable!”$128 AT AMAZON

Best handheld vacuum for pet hair

Bissell Pet Hair Eraser Lithium Ion Hand Handheld Cordless Vacuum

Bissell Pet Hair Eraser Lithium Ion Hand Handheld Cordless Vacuum$70 now 6% off4.6 stars, 2,466 reviews$66

Reviewers writing about the cordless cousin of the Bissell Pet Hair Eraser mentioned above rave over the brush attachment. “I have a white dog with hair that embeds (EMBEDS!!!) into fabrics — our sofa, car seats, etc. This vacuum does a MUCH better job than anything else I have used. And it is very easy to use,” notes one reviewer. “The rotating brush in this little vacuum is SO MUCH BETTER than just using a regular attachment.”

“It has several nice attachments but the only one you really need is the motorized brush. It cleans as well as my upright vacuum and my canister vacuum,” while another reviewer says it “did a better job of cleaning [dog] hair than the shop vac.” Another says they “went to town on the steps with the motorized brush attachment, and in under five minutes, they were cleaner than they’ve been since I moved in (and the vacuum’s canister had the cat hair to prove it).”$66 AT AMAZON

Best handheld vacuum with brush attachment

BLACK+DECKER Cordless Handheld Vacuum

BLACK+DECKER Cordless Handheld Vacuum$30 now 10% off4.2 stars, 2,185 reviews$27

The brush attachment on this Black+Decker stood out to reviewers who regularly vacuum their couches and area rugs. It’s not the only handheld vacuum on this list with a brush attachment: The Bissell Pet Hair Eraser also has them. But customers think this one is more versatile, since it’s not just for pet hair. “It is small but powerful,” says one customer who “used the brush attachment on the couch and the rug” and reported back that “it worked great.” She recommends this vacuum to anyone “looking for a quick and easy way of cleaning up messes without having to take out the vacuum.” Another customer uses hers “pretty much every day to clean up small messes,” and she says the attachments “help get into crevices and to ‘brush’ the dirt up.” She hasn’t used it for an extended period of time, so she can’t comment on how long the battery lasts, but one more customer says they’ve “used it for up to 30 minutes with no problems.” Plus, reviewers say it’s so powerful, you don’t even need to use it for that long. Take it from this customer who writes, “My life no longer sucks, but my vac sure does, boys and girls. The first time I turned this vac on, it was pointed toward the sofa and it started pulling the sofa toward me and I yelled ‘HOLY MOLY’ and quickly turned it off.” She goes on to say that this vacuum has “changed [her] life in an amazing way,” and she thinks it’ll change yours, too.$27 AT AMAZON

Best handheld vacuum with lithium battery

BLACK+DECKER BDH2000L 20-Volt Max Lithium Ion Battery Cordless Hand Vacuum

BLACK+DECKER BDH2000L 20-Volt Max Lithium Ion Battery Cordless Hand Vacuum$106 now 34% off4.2 stars, 2,448 reviews$70

“In one afternoon, I did my Jeep, my minivan, my stairs and outer perimeter of my kitchen and could have still kept going,” one reviewer says of this Black + Decker’s 20-volt lithium-battery cordless model. “Extremely happy with the power and battery life of this,” adds another. Another reviewer describes the charging unit as “wonderful. Just set the vacuum on it, no snapping into place.“ And the powerful lithium battery means “you can leave it on the charger without losing charge,” as another writes. “The battery lasts sufficiently long for such a small unit, and it charges quickly,” an owner writes. “Love this little guy. We have a 600 square foot apartment so sometimes it’s just not worth pulling out the big ol’ Miele to do a deep clean. I highly recommend getting this version.” Another reviewer, who works as a Lyft and Uber driver and uses this vacuum to regularly clean their car, says of the battery, “I charge it overnight … after several uses, and it lasts for several days of five- to ten-minute uses.”$70 AT AMAZON

Best lightweight handheld vacuum

Shark Wandvac Handheld Vacuum

Shark Wandvac Handheld Vacuum$100$140 now 29% off4.6 stars, 2,032 reviews

Reviewers agree that this Shark model has got “great suction, awesome battery life and it even looks stylish.” Says one owner, “This is a vacuum you don’t mind keeping out in the open because it looks so good!” A once-skeptical reviewer writes, “Initially, I scoffed at the idea of spending $100 on a souped-up dustbuster, but as long as this unit lasts, it is worth it … This miracle, sleek vacuum device is a GODSEND and a GAME CHANGER.” Another satisfied customer was just as surprised: “Lightweight, doesn’t sound powerful, but don’t let that fool you!”$100 AT AMAZON$110 AT BED BATH & BEYOND

Best wall-mounted handheld vacuum

BLACK+DECKER dustbuster Handheld Vacuum, Cordless

BLACK+DECKER dustbuster Handheld Vacuum, Cordless$414.2 stars, 10,025 reviews

“Hangs discreetly on the wall,” says a reviewer of this Black + Decker handheld vacuum, functionality that one reviewer describes as “really handy.” Another reviewer loves that “it’s so lightweight and recharges quickly. It’s a snap to empty and there’s no cords to drag for small or medium size spills.” Says another, “It’s easy to use, easy to empty, has a good capacity for a hand-vac, and was easy to set up on the wall where I needed it.” It’s the “best handheld small vacuum I’ve ever owned,” in the words of one reviewer. “Does a great job.”$41 AT AMAZON

Best handheld vacuum with floor-cleaning attachment

Makita XLC02R1B 18V LXT Lithium-Ion Compact Cordless Vacuum Kit

Makita XLC02R1B 18V LXT Lithium-Ion Compact Cordless Vacuum Kit$179$315 now 43% off4.4 stars, 778 reviews

This cordless vacuum from Makita is lauded by reviewers for its ease of use and lightweight profile, like one who admits, “I thought of buying a corded stick vac because they were so much less expensive but my husband is a Makita tool user and recommend I try this. I am so glad I did. The amount of dust and cat fur it picks up daily is just amazing. I don’t even see all the dust and fur but when I empty the canister, I am shocked. It is lightweight, easy to maneuver, easy to change attachments, easy to empty.” Plus, reviewers note that the longer floor attachment makes it easy to keep hardwood, carpeted, and even tiled floors clean. One explains, “I’ve had it now for a month or so, and my house looks great. I’ve found missing socks in the dust bunnies I’ve sucked up. It has enough power to twist in my hand when it starts, and it will suck a penny up the long tube off a hardwood floor.” Another writes, “We built a 162 square-foot tiny home trailer and having a lightweight, cordless, easy to store vacuum is a must. This thing is absolutely perfect. We use it every day and it does a great job getting up all the dirt, dog hair, and fallen food from our hardwood floors. It works well on the small pieces of carpet that we have on the stairs.”$179 AT AMAZON

Best cordless wet-dry handheld vacuum

BLACK+DECKER 20V MAX Flex Handheld Vacuum

BLACK+DECKER 20V MAX Flex Handheld Vacuum$109 now 4% off4.1 stars, 2,308 reviews$105

“This little vac cleans like a big vacuum should,” writes one slightly begrudging customer. She’s gone through dozens of vacuums in “37 years of marriage and family life” and most of them don’t last or work as well as she wants. She even bought “the Mercedes of the high end, full size vacuum cleaners,” but reports that this smaller model from Black + Decker has become more useful. “I use this little guy nearly everyday for maintaining and quick cleanups,” up to 45 minutes at a time. Many customers credit its power and functionality to the hose. “Holding the vacuum body in one hand while holding the hose and nozzle in the other is surprisingly convenient, and allows me to easily reach into areas and quickly vacuum up messes,” writes one customer, who thinks that the length is also excellent. And though it looks like it might be heavy, one reviewer reports, “It is smaller than it looks and comparable in size to a traditional handheld vacuum.” And another says that the detached hose actually makes it much easier to hold and for “cleaning in tight spaces. The hose is four feet long and extremely flexible.”$105 AT AMAZON

Best commercial handheld vacuum

Oreck Commercial XL Pro 5 Super Compact Canister Vacuum

Oreck Commercial XL Pro 5 Super Compact Canister Vacuum$124 now 24% off4.2 stars, 1,313 reviews$94

Dozens of customers bought this commercial vacuum for their jobs, whether they’re professional cleaners or construction workers looking to tidy up on-site. One home-improvement contractor laments no matter how careful you are with placing tarps, “the dust finds its way onto the floor or carpet,” so in order not to leave a huge mess, he bought this heavy-duty handheld vacuum. He likes that it’s small enough to keep in his truck at all times, but it’s still large enough to clean a larger space. He calls it “a good little machine.” Another is impressed with how powerful it is for its size. He says it has “exceptional suction power for a handheld vacuum” and actually thinks it’s worth more than its price. “Includes all attachments, easy to switch on and off, light in weight, not burdensome or awkward. It comes with a commercial cord, not a flimsy one, AND the length is ample.” But the best part for him is that it actually comes with a bag. “It ensures the dust and small particles stay in one place and do not ‘fly’ out when emptying like the bagless ones.” Even if you’re not commercially cleaning, some reviewers just like it as a heavy-duty option for pet hair and dirt. As one customer puts it, “Pet hair hasn’t got a chance against the power of this commercial vacuum. It’s easy and convenient to use in every room including the stairs.”$94 AT AMAZON

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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