It’s been an enjoyable few years in Consumer Reports’ vacuum labs. Cordless stick vacuums are better than ever and generally are now crowding out corded stick vacs at major retailers. And robotic vacuums have finally transcended from being a novelty item in YouTube cat videos to a significant cleaning tool.
But while the new kids in your area are turning heads, if you need deep cleaning, you’ll still have to rely on your trusty upright or canister vacuum. That said, we’ve also found plenty of good small vacuums for smaller messes.
How We Test Vacuums
To learn how good a vacuum picks up dirt, just how much debris it retains, how easy it is to go, and how noisy it really is, Consumer Reports puts vacuum cleaners through a hardcore pair of tests. We embed talc, sand, and pet hair into carpet before vacuuming. We make use of the same style of litter on bare floors and observe whether the vacuum picks it up or scatters it about. And we maneuver the vacuum around, like everyone else would, to ensure it is an easy task to operate.
Here, reviews regarding the best vacuums you can purchase at this time, from each kind we test. Drumroll—er, brush roll, please.
1 Bagged Upright
CR’s take: The midpriced Kenmore Elite Pet Friendly 31150 earns top marks on bare floors and scores well for tool airflow. Which means it is exceptionally powerful when combined with its attachments, which include a crevice tool, bristle brush, and power roller. On bare floors it captures virtually every particle it picks up, keeping them contained in its disposable bag. Plus it’s no slouch at removing embedded dirt from carpet or tackling pet hair, either, although it’s only a little louder and tougher to carry out than some bagged uprights. It’s not the lowest priced model you’ll find, but this impressive performer is obviously one of the better vacuums we’ve tested.
2 Bagless Upright
CR’s take: The Dyson Ball Multi Floor 2 excels at cleaning bare floors and is almost as good at cleaning carpet. It’s also a fantastic choice if you have pets that shed, because it cleans up on our pet-hair test, earning top marks. CR’s test engineers found this Dyson to be superb at containing the dust it collects—it scored well for emissions, although that doesn’t account fully for the mess you can create when emptying the bin in to the trash. (And that is true of any bagless vacuum.) The Dyson lacks a few features which may be important to you—notably, a manual carpet-height adjustment and suction control, which protects your curtains when you’re utilising the attachments. One last caveat: It’s one of several noisier bagless uprights we tested.
3 Bagged Canister
CR’s take: Our top-performing canister vacuum, the Miele Complete C3 Marin earns perfect marks in virtually every test we throw its way. It’s a champ at bare floors and embedded pet hair but also excels at capturing dust particles. Powerful airflow makes its attachments especially effective. It’s also noticeably quieter than many models. It gets dinged a little on our handling test, and that is true on most canister vacuums, which trail behind you at the conclusion of the suction hose. At more than $1,000, it would likely suck a huge chunk from the banking account, too—certainly something to consider prior to making the splurge. See our cannister vacuum ratings for other high-performing options.
4 Bagless Canister
CR’s take: when you can live without bags, this Kenmore 22614 aces our bare floors test and is virtually as good at carpet cleaning service. It’s also worth a look when you have pets, because it performs superbly within our test vacuuming up embedded cat hair. You’ll appreciate the capable tool airflow if you are using your attachments a lot, and this vacuum can be low on emissions, meaning it retains what it sucks up. The noise level is so-so, therefore the vacuum is not as simple to move as other canisters in this class.
5 Stick Vacuum (Significantly Less Than 6 Pounds)
CR’s take: On the surface, it might seem tough to justify the purchase of a stick vac that costs 2 or 3 times what you will devote to a top-rated full-sized vacuum. Though no stick vacuum can fully replace the performance of an upright or a canister, it is what the Dyson V8 Absolute can do that makes it such a standout in our ratings. It gives exceptionally powerful suction, which helps it earn perfect scores on bare floors, carpets, pet hair, and edges within our tests. It’s also among the quietest of comparable models and runs a remarkable 21 minutes in one battery charge—long enough that you might a bit surpised at how infrequently you’ll need to lug around a heavier, full-sized model.
6 Stick Vacuum (A Lot More Than 6 Pounds)
CR’s take: The cordless Bissell Air Ram 1984 easily sucks up dirt and debris from carpets and bare floors, and also devours embedded pet hair in our tests—compacting the collected debris into little bales of dirt stashed into the head associated with the unit. Whilst it lacks the suction of a full-sized upright or canister, it’s still an enormous improvement within the cordless sweepers of yesteryear. In reality, it scores well across the majority of our tests. Its edge cleaning performance is solid but lags behind some other stick vacuums since it lacks a crevice tool. Despite that, we’re happy to bet it’ll become your go-to for small spills and everyday messes. It stands upright by itself and it has a handle that collapses to match under pantry shelves. With a 47-minute run time, it’s the most wonderful way to keep floors tidy between deep cleanings.
7 Robotic Vacuum
CR’s take: In a category you may keep company with Roomba—and one which has seen an onslaught of noteworthy new entrants, including models from premium brands Dyson and Miele—it’s Samsung’s Powerbots that steal the show. The Powerbot R7065 powers through dirt on carpets and bare floors, acing both tests, and also finds its way into tight corners, thanks to some extent to its rectangular bumpers. It operates quietly enough that it’ll go unnoticed, though it’s difficult to resist watching it return home to dock and charge after each and every intensive 86-minute cleaning session. Ultimately, no robotic vacuum can replace a full-sized upright or canister. But the Powerbot comes closer than just about any other robotic.
8 Hand Vacuum
The Shark Pet Perfect does everything a good hand vacuum should do, in a relatively inexpensive and easy-to-use package. It excels at sweeping small messes from bare floors and simply gets into corners. It runs for a full 19 minutes—longer than you’d requirement for most small messes—and even is sold with a rotating brush roll that will help it tackle pet hair or spot-clean carpets. We also appreciate that the nickel-cadmium battery is replaceable, though it can take the full 16 hours to charge. Keep in mind that its score in our Noise test is middle-of-the-road. Still, for an appliance you may possibly only need occasionally, this hand vac is a great method to stretch out more thorough cleanings and tackle messes such as for instance spilled Cheerios regarding the spot before they spread through your house.