It was a great few years in Consumer Reports’ vacuum labs. Cordless stick vacuums are a lot 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 serious cleaning tool.
But although the new kids in your area are turning heads, if you want deep cleaning, you’ll still need certainly to depend on your trusty upright or canister vacuum. That said, we’ve also found lots of good small vacuums for smaller messes.
How Exactly We Test Vacuums
To find out how well a vacuum picks up dirt, exactly how much debris it retains, how easy it really is to move, and exactly how noisy it really is, Consumer Reports puts vacuum cleaners through a difficult group of tests. We embed talc, sand, and pet hair into carpet before vacuuming. We utilize the same kind of litter on bare floors and observe whether or not the vacuum picks it up or scatters it about. And we maneuver the vacuum around, exactly like you would, to ensure it is easy to operate.
Here, reviews in the best vacuums you can purchase right now, from each type 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. This means it’s exceptionally powerful when used with its attachments, which include a crevice tool, bristle brush, and power roller. On bare floors it captures nearly every particle it picks up, keeping them found in its disposable bag. And it’s no slouch at removing embedded dirt from carpet or tackling pet hair, either, although it is just a little louder and tougher to handle than some bagged uprights. It’s not the least expensive model you’ll find, but this impressive performer is unquestionably 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 of the same quality at cleaning carpet. It’s also a great choice when you have pets that shed, since it cleans through to 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’s true of any bagless vacuum.) The Dyson lacks a couple of features that 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 many 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 almost every test we throw its way. It’s a champ at bare floors and embedded pet hair but in addition excels at capturing dust particles. Powerful airflow makes its attachments especially effective. It’s also noticeably quieter than many models. It gets dinged a bit on our handling test, and that’s true of most canister vacuums, which trail behind you at the end of the suction hose. At more than $1,000, it could suck a huge chunk from your bank account, too—certainly something to take into account prior to making the splurge. See our cannister vacuum ratings for any other high-performing options.
4 Bagless Canister
CR’s take: Whenever you can live without bags, this Kenmore 22614 aces our bare floors make sure is nearly nearly as good at carpet cleaning. 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 utilize your attachments a great deal, and also this vacuum is also low on emissions, meaning it retains what it sucks up. The noise level is so-so, and also the vacuum isn’t as simple to maneuver as other canisters in this class.
5 Stick Vacuum (Significantly Less Than 6 Pounds)
CR’s take: on top, it might seem tough to justify the purchase of a stick vac that costs 2 or 3 times what you should spend on 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 may do that means it is such a standout inside our ratings. It includes 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 an extraordinary 21 minutes on a single battery charge—long enough that you may a bit surpised at how infrequently you’ll want to lug around a heavier, full-sized model.
6 Stick Vacuum (Significantly 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 even devours embedded pet hair in our tests—compacting the collected debris into little bales of dirt stashed in the head associated with unit. Although it lacks the suction of a full-sized upright or canister, it’s still a massive improvement throughout the cordless sweepers of yesteryear. In fact, it scores well across most of our tests. Its edge cleaning performance is solid but lags behind several other stick vacuums as it lacks a crevice tool. Despite the fact that, we’re prepared to bet it’ll become your go-to for small spills and everyday messes. It stands upright on its own and it has a handle that collapses to fit under pantry shelves. With a 47-minute run time, it’s the most perfect way to keep floors tidy between deep cleanings.
7 Robotic Vacuum
CR’s take: In a category you might associate with Roomba—and the one that 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 even 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 every intensive 86-minute cleaning session. Ultimately, no robotic vacuum can replace a full-sized upright or canister. However the Powerbot comes closer than any other robotic.
8 Hand Vacuum
The Shark Pet Perfect does everything a great hand vacuum needs to do, in a relatively inexpensive and easy-to-use package. It excels at sweeping small messes from bare floors and easily gets into corners. It runs for a full 19 minutes—longer than you’d importance of most small messes—and even is sold with a rotating brush roll that helps it tackle pet hair or spot-clean carpets. We also appreciate that the nickel-cadmium battery is replaceable, though it requires a complete 16 hours to charge. Remember that its score within our Noise test is middle-of-the-road. Still, for an appliance you could only need occasionally, this hand vac is a good option to loosen up more thorough cleanings and tackle messes such as for example spilled Cheerios regarding the spot before they spread during your house.
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