The 11 Best Commercial Vacuums of 2023

The Oreck Commercial XL Upright Vacuum tops our list

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Commercial Vacuums

The Spruce / Kevin Liang

Built for heavy use, commercial vacuum cleaners are a durable choice for cleaning offices, homes, retail spaces, and more. They're relied on by cleaning pros and typically feature a robust design with heavy-duty materials for key components like the motor and brush roll.

If you prioritize durability and longevity, a commercial vacuum cleaner is an option to consider. Angela Brown, an experienced cleaning professional and the CEO of Savvy Cleaner, says "If you need a vacuum that will last a long time, it might be worth it to get a commercial-grade vacuum. These types of vacuums are usually made to last longer and can handle being used more often.”

Commercial vacuum cleaners are available in different configurations to meet various cleaning jobs, including upright, backpack, and canister types. In addition to type, pay attention to the vacuum's weight and maneuverability, so you're sure it'll be comfortable for you to use regularly. Also, consider how you prefer to dispose of the debris, as that'll determine whether you choose a bagged or bagless vacuum. Fortunately, the best commercial vacuum cleaners on the market have a range of helpful design features to meet different cleaning needs.

Our Top Picks

Best Overall

Oreck Commercial XL2100RHS Upright Vacuum Cleaner

Oreck Commercial XL2100RHS 8 Pound Commercial Upright Vacuum, Blue
Courtesy of
What We Like
  • Lay-flat head for vacuuming under furniture

  • Power cord is longer than some models

  • Super lightweight design

  • Automatic height adjustment

What We Don't Like
  • Cleaning path could be wider

  • No hose or attachments

The Oreck Commercial XL Upright Vacuum is our top recommendation for a commercial vacuum. After using this model at home, we appreciated its lightweight design and sturdy, convenient components, like the 35-foot power cord. Whether you plan to use it at home or on the job, this model stands out for its ease of use and large-capacity debris bag.

This upright commercial vacuum weighs just 9 pounds, making it lighter than many other models. This also translates into less effort required to push the Oreck Commercial XL around during use, transport, or storage. And if you have furniture like desks, tables, or couches to work around, a lay-flat design means the vacuum head can reach underneath these low-clearance objects. Bumpers around the vacuum head also provide a buffer as you work around furniture and other obstacles.

Despite being lightweight, this commercial vacuum lives up its XL name by housing a very spacious debris bag. The bag has a top-fill design, which ensures that you can maximize its full capacity. It’s equipped to capture dust, hair, dirt, and debris from all types of flooring and does so with automatic height adjustment, so you don’t need to make any manual changes to the vacuum settings as you transition from bare floors to carpets. The cleaning path width is limited to 12 inches, so you may need to make a few more passes when compared to a commercial backpack vacuum with a 14-inch-wide cleaning path (such as the ProTeam's Super CoachVac Commercial Backpack Vacuum). It doesn't have any attachments, which we found to be the largest downfall when we did at-home testing. It's really intended to be a superstar floor-cleaning machine and nothing else. Still, this commercial vacuum delivers a powerful clean and is a great option for both commercial and residential vacuuming needs.

Price at time of publish: $220

Type: Upright | Dimensions: 47.75 x 12.5 x 9.25 inches | Weight: 9 pounds | Cord Length: 35 feet | Battery Life: Not Applicable | Cleaning Path Width: 12 inches | Bag Type: Bagged | Capacity: 630 cubic inches (approximately 10.9 quarts) | Attachments: Not applicable

Best Budget

Bissell BGU1451T BigGreen Commercial ProBag Upright Vacuum Cleaner

Bissell BGU1451T BigGreen Commercial ProBag Upright Vacuum Cleaner

Courtesy of Amazon

What We Like
  • 13-inch-wide cleaning path

  • On-board tool storage

  • Five brush height settings for various flooring types

What We Don't Like
  • Limited attachments included

  • Manual height adjustment

The Bissell ProBag Upright Vacuum is intended to do one thing well: thoroughly clean your commercial or residential space. The design and features of this vacuum are basic but efficient, which is to be expected of a budget commercial vacuum. At less than $200, it’s a cost-effective choice for a bagged commercial vacuum, since many models cost upwards of $300. 

Factors to pay attention to when choosing a commercial vacuum include the weight of the vacuum and its cleaning path width. The Bissell ProBag weighs 12 pounds, which is heavier than our best overall pick but still lightweight when compared to commercial vacuums weighing 15 pounds or more. It has a 13-inch-wide cleaning path for covering large areas of flooring. It also has a five-position height adjustment to accommodate hard surfaces or carpeting—though, unlike with the Oreck Commercial XL Upright Vacuum, you'll have to manually adjust those height settings.

The tools included with this commercial vacuum are limited—a wand, crevice tool, and dusting brush/upholstery tool—but they store onboard the vacuum cleaner, which keeps them within reach during cleaning sessions. The most likely use for this budget commercial vacuum is for keeping floors and carpets clean, but the addition of the attachments means that it’s also suitable for some above-floor cleaning tasks or for vacuuming upholstered furniture in an office, waiting room, or your home. 

Price at time of publish: $230

Type: Upright | Dimensions: 41.25 x 13 x 12 inches | Weight: 12 pounds | Cord Length: 30 feet | Battery Life: Not Applicable | Cleaning Path Width: 13 inches | Bag Type: Bagged | Capacity: Not listed | Attachments: Crevice tool, dusting brush/upholstery tool, extension wand

Best Upright

Sanitaire Tradition Upright Bagged Commercial Vacuum, SC886G

Sanitaire Tradition Upright Bagged Commercial Vacuum, SC886G

Courtesy of Amazon

What We Like
  • Powerful suction on carpet fibers

  • Durable components with tool-free brush roll and belt replacement

  • Bag has huge capacity

  • 50-foot power cord

What We Don't Like
  • On the heavy side and cleaning path could be wider

  • Loud operation 

  • Bag must be emptied

In most cleaning closets, the upright commercial vacuum is a real workhorse. It’s an efficient way to cover many square feet of flooring and provides powerful suction that can’t easily be matched by vacuums with a smaller form factor. The Sanitaire Tradition Upright Bagged Vacuum is our top recommendation if you want a heavy-duty commercial vacuum for deep cleaning your floors and carpets. It is frequently praised for its powerful suction, which extracts dust, dirt, and hair from carpet fibers, and is a good choice for cleaning up after pets, too. Plus, the 50-foot power cord gives you room to roam while using this upright vacuum, though we do wish the 12-inch-wide cleaning path were larger to more easily cover large spaces.

Another perk of the Sanitaire Tradition SC886G is its durable components, like a metal hood for the vacuum head and a 7-amp motor rated for 2,000 hours of use. Replacement of parts is to be expected on a heavy-duty commercial vacuum, and this Sanitaire model is designed to make routine maintenance easy. The brush roll and belt can be replaced with no special tools required and the fan chamber provides access for clearing debris and servicing the impeller fan. 

The Tradition SC886G weighs a hefty 15.8 pounds—which, in addition to the cleaning path width, is another reason why it might not be the ideal option for covering a lot of ground. Like our best overall pick, the Oreck Commercial Upright Vacuum Cleaner, it also doesn't come with any attachments. It has an enormous 18-quart shake-out dust bag, which provides plenty of room for collecting debris and eliminates the need to buy or replace vacuum bags. But opinions are mixed on whether shaking out the large dust bag is a convenience or a nuisance. Most users seem to agree that it’s a job best done outside to avoid making a mess. Still, deep cleaning and durability are trademarks of Sanitaire’s upright commercial vacuums, and we think this model is worth considering if you're looking for an effective, reliable upright vacuum.

Price at time of publish: $280

Type: Upright | Dimensions: 21.25 x 17.25 x 8.5 inches | Weight: 15.8 pounds | Cord Length: 50 feet | Battery Life: Not Applicable | Cleaning Path Width: 12 inches | Bag Type: Bagged | Capacity: 18 quarts | Attachments: Not applicable

Best Backpack, Corded

ProTeam Super CoachVac 10-Quart Commercial Backpack Vacuum

ProTeam Super CoachVac 10-Quart Commercial Backpack Vacuum


What We Like
  • Telescoping wand maneuvers around obstacles

  • 50-foot cord length for more reach

  • Tool storage on harness of vacuum

  • Helpful attachments

What We Don't Like
  • Lacks HEPA filtration

The ProTeam Super CoachVac is a 10-quart corded commercial backpack vacuum that makes a powerful cleaning partner. A backpack vacuum cleaner is a great, versatile option for cleaning furnished spaces, like office areas with desks, chairs, shelving, and more. The wand of the vacuum cleaner can easily be directed under and around these objects, and the body of the vacuum cleaner doesn't have to be maneuvered around obstacles in the same way as a traditional vacuum. It operates at 66 decibels according to the manufacturer, which is only slightly louder than normal conversation.

Features that make the Super CoachVac stand out among corded commercial backpack vacuums are its filtration capabilities, 50-foot cord, and harness with integrated tool storage. This vacuum has four layers of filtration to capture particles and prevent them from being released along with the air exhaust, including a washable cloth filter. It should be noted that this commercial vacuum doesn’t include a HEPA filter, so that’s something to consider for cleaning environments where allergen capture is a top priority. 

Other noteworthy design aspects of this commercial backpack vacuum cleaner relate to its usability. A 50-foot cord means you won’t need to change outlets as frequently as compared to commercial vacuums with 30- or 35-foot cords. As you clean, you may find it necessary to swap out tool attachments. This is easier to do with the Super CoachVac, which has storage for the dust brush and upholstery tool integrated into the belt of the backpack vacuum’s harness. Other attachments included with this vacuum cleaner are a floor tool with a 14-inch wide cleaning path, a crevice tool, and a telescoping wand to accommodate various user heights or above-floor cleaning tasks.

Price at time of publish: $518

Type: Backpack | Dimensions: 25 x 8.5 x 8.5 inches | Weight: 11 pounds | Cord Length: 50 feet | Battery Life: Not applicable | Cleaning Path Width: 14 inches | Bag Type: Bagged | Capacity: 10 quarts | Attachments: Telescoping wand, floor tool, dusting brush, upholstery tool, crevice tool

Best Backpack, Cordless

Hoover HVRPWR 40V Cordless Commercial Backpack Vacuum Cleaner

Hoover HVRPWR 40V Cordless Commercial Backpack Vacuum Cleaner

Courtesy of Home Depot

What We Like
  • Ideal for areas without outlets

  • Hush mode to reduce operating noise

  • Lightweight, ergonomic design with padded straps

  • Helpful attachments

What We Don't Like
  • Limited battery life

  • Battery and charger sold separately

A cordless backpack vacuum gives you unlimited range for vacuuming floors, stairs, ceilings, and fixtures. The design of the Hoover HVRPWR 40V Cordless Commercial Backpack makes it the ideal choice if you want a commercial vacuum cleaner that prioritizes mobility and flexibility, or if you're cleaning spaces with very limited outlets. It weighs under 10 pounds and is equipped with an ergonomically designed harness that has padded shoulder straps, a waist belt, and height adjustments for users that are between 5-foot-2 and 6-foot-3 tall.

One advantage of choosing this cordless backpack vacuum from Hoover is the fact that it’s equipped with a two-speed motor for quieter operation when needed. For example, if you’re vacuuming commercial spaces during office hours, the Hush mode operates at a lower CFM for reduced noise levels. Hush mode also conserves battery life, giving you up to 51 minutes of runtime compared to 28 minutes in Boost mode. Battery life is the biggest drawback to this model or any cordless commercial vacuum. However, the fact that this Hoover model is compatible with all HVRPWR 40-volt lithium-ion batteries means that you can keep a spare battery charged up and ready. 

While this bagged vacuum's battery life means it's less ideal for covering large swaths of flooring, it’s great for quickly spot-cleaning high-traffic areas or areas without outlets. Plus, it comes with a nice range of tools to tackle messes on floors, upholstery, and other surfaces, but you'll need to purchase a battery and charger separately.

Price at time of publish: $400

Type: Backpack | Dimensions: 24.5 x 8.5 x 12 inches | Weight: 14.56 pounds | Cord Length: Cordless | Battery Life: Up to 51 minutes | Cleaning Path Width: 14 inches | Bag Type: Bagged | Capacity: 6 quarts | Attachments: Multi-surface tool, hard surface tool, upholstery tool, crevice tool, dusting brush

Best Wet-Dry Combo

Ridgid RV2600B 2-Stage Commercial Wet/Dry Shop Vacuum

Ridgid RV2600B 2-Stage Commercial Wet/Dry Shop Vacuum

Courtesy of Home Depot

What We Like
  • Can handle a wide range of messes

  • 10-foot hose for greater tool reach

  • Floor tool with multiple inserts for different surfaces

  • On-board accessory storage

What We Don't Like
  • Power cord is only 25 feet long

  • Very heavy

Commercial vacuums aren’t always tasked with cleaning up dry debris. If you need a vacuum that is equipped to handle wet and dry cleaning tasks, the RIDGID 2-Stage Commercial Wet/Dry Shop Vacuum is a powerful choice. It’s rated for 80 inches of water lift and comes with a three-layer filter for capturing fine dust. Whether you want to use this commercial wet-dry vacuum for cleaning up your home, car, garage, workshop, or other working environment, it has the capacity and power to leave your space immaculate.

Durability is a key feature of this commercial wet-dry combo vacuum. The 10-foot hose is made of heavy-duty material and won’t kink during use. It locks into place, so you don’t have to worry about it coming loose from the drum while you’re vacuuming. If 10 feet of reach isn’t enough, two metal extension wands provide more reach while using attachments like the floor tool, crevice tool, or dusting brush. The floor tool is unique for having three interchangeable inserts to clean various surfaces like carpets or wet, hard surface flooring. The vacuum has a cart-like design, with a basket to hold the included attachments, making it easy to switch to a new tool as needed.

This shop vac can be used indoors or outside and has oversized, rubber tires to easily maneuver anywhere that cleaning help is needed. It’s a good thing that it’s equipped with wheels, since the biggest drawback of this commercial wet-dry combo vacuum is its 40-pound weight. To empty the shop vac's huge 64-quart drum, you’ll have to take the top off, then tip the drum to empty its contents. That’s no small task with a heavy-duty vacuum like this one, so it’s something to be mindful of if you’ll frequently have to empty the vacuum without help.

Price at time of publish: $375

Type: Shop vacuum | Dimensions: 35.8 x 20.6 x 26.7 inches | Weight: 40 pounds | Cord Length: 25 feet | Battery Life: Not Applicable | Cleaning Path Width: Not listed | Bag Type: Bagless | Capacity: 16 gallons (64 quarts) | Attachments: Crevice tool, dusting brush, claw nozzle, multi-purpose floor tool, diffuser, two extension wands

Best Bagless

Bissell BGU1937T Big Green Commercial ProCup Bagless Upright Vacuum

Bissell BGU1937T Big Green Commercial ProCup Bagless Upright Vacuum

Courtesy of Lowe's

What We Like
  • Doesn't require replacement bags

  • Lightweight design

  • Replaceable power cord

  • Helpful attachments

What We Don't Like
  • Manual dial for height adjustments

  • Dust cup will need to be emptied frequently

Most commercial vacuums rely on a bag disposal system to collect debris. But if you’re looking for a model with an easy-to-empty dust cup, then consider the Bissell ProCup Bagless Upright Vacuum. The dust bin holds up to 4 quarts of dry debris and saves you the recurring expense and hassle of keeping replacement vacuum bags on hand. Shake the dust bin into the garbage when your cleaning job is complete, and wash it with soap and water for a deeper clean as needed.

Part of the Big Green Commercial line-up of vacuum cleaners, this model includes several other user-friendly features, aside from its removable dust cup. The vacuum cleaner only weighs 11.25 pounds, making it lighter than some other upright commercial vacuums on the market. The 30-foot power cord is replaceable in the event that the cord fails over time. The vacuum itself is only covered by a one-year warranty from the manufacturer, but it’s also one of the most affordable commercial vacuums on the market.

To effectively clean various types of flooring, you can manually adjust the height on the head of the vacuum cleaner. There are five settings to select from on the dial, giving you options for bare floors (like tile, vinyl, or laminate) or for vacuuming low-pile carpeting or rugs. 

Price at time of publish: $200

Type: Upright | Dimensions: 41.25 x 13.5 x 12 inches | Weight: 11.25 pounds | Cord Length: 30 feet | Battery Life: Not Applicable | Cleaning Path Width: 13.5 inches | Bag Type: Bagless | Capacity: 1 gallon (4 quarts) | Attachments: Crevice tool, dusting brush/upholstery tool, extension wand

Best Cordless Stick

Bissell BGSV696 Battery Powered Stick Vacuum

Bissell BGSV696 Battery Powered Stick Vacuum


What We Like
  • Weighs only 5 pounds

  • Converts to a handheld vacuum

  • Up to 45 minutes of battery life

What We Don't Like
  • Small dust bin requires frequent emptying

  • 4-hour battery recharge time 

A commercial, cordless stick vacuum is highly maneuverable and an excellent choice for quick cleaning tasks. The Bissell BGSV696 is powered by a lithium-ion battery that lasts for up to 45 minutes before requiring a recharge on the included wall-mounted charging stand. It also stands out for being one of the few commercial vacuums that converts to a handheld vac for above-floor cleaning tasks, such as vacuuming furniture, stairs, or air vents. The handheld design comes in handy for cars, too. It can reach into tight spaces, like underneath seats or the dashboard. Depending on the cleaning task at hand, you have the option of high and low suction power settings.

An important criteria for a cordless vacuum is its weight and design. The Bissell BGSV696 weighs only 5 pounds, making it one of the lightest commercial vacuums on the market. When carrying the vacuum from one level to another, the lightweight design is a perk. The removable 0.5-liter dust cup is sized right for the compact dimensions of this commercial vacuum, but it will require more frequent emptying when compared to vacuums with a larger dust cup or bag.

Price at time of publish: $213

Type: Stick | Dimensions: 50 x 8 x 10 inches | Weight: 5 pounds | Cord Length: Cordless | Battery Life: 45 minutes | Cleaning Path Width: Not listed | Bag Type: Bagless | Capacity: 0.5 liters | Attachments: Crevice/dusting brush tool

Best Compact

Hoover PortaPower Commercial Lightweight Canister Vacuum Cleaner

Hoover PortaPower Commercial Lightweight Canister Vacuum Cleaner


What We Like
  • Lightweight design with shoulder strap

  • Variety of included attachments

  • Blower port for forced air

  • Can use disposable or reusable bags

What We Don't Like
  • No attachment storage

  • Lacks wheels

For commercial cleaning power in a small form factor, look no further than the Hoover CH30000 PortaPower. This compact commercial vacuum cleaner has a canister design and weighs only about 8 pounds. It includes plenty of attachments, a built-in blower for forced air, and the option to easily carry it over the shoulder (using the included strap) if you have a lot of square footage to clean in multiple rooms. There are no wheels on this canister vacuum, but the power cord stretches 35.5 feet. Although there is no cord wrap integrated into the handle or body of the vacuum, it does include a cord storage strap to keep the cord coiled when not in use. This bagged vacuum cleaner utilizes disposable paper or reusable cloth debris bags.

The Hoover PortaPower includes a versatile set of cleaning attachments in the box. You’ll find a rug and floor nozzle, furniture nozzle, dusting brush, crevice tool, plus two metal wands and a stretch hose to extend your reach while using any of the tools. This makes this compact commercial vacuum an ideal helper if you’re cleaning spaces that include stairs, overhead cleaning tasks, or tight spaces where the reach of a wand and crevice tool is more ideal than an upright vacuum. However, there is no onboard storage for the accessories, which means you’ll have to figure out another way of keeping these items organized during transport or storage.

Price at time of publish: $156

Type: Canister | Dimensions: 11 x 7 x 18 inches | Weight: 8.3 pounds | Cord Length: 35.5 feet | Battery Life: Not Applicable | Cleaning Path Width: 10 inches | Bag Type: Bagged | Capacity: Not listed | Attachments: Crevice tool, dusting brush, furniture nozzle, rug/floor nozzle, wall/floor brush, two extension wands

Best Canister

Miele Complete C3 Brilliant Canister Vacuum Cleaner

Miele Complete C3 Brilliant Canister Vacuum Cleaner

Courtesy of Williams-Sonoma

What We Like
  • Cord rewinds automatically

  • Motorized floorhead for maximum cleaning power

  • HEPA filtration

  • Helpful attachments with onboard storage

What We Don't Like
  • Premium price point

  • Replacement bags can be expensive

For a canister vacuum that delivers a commercial-quality clean, the Miele Complete C3 Brilliant is a premium option. It offers intensive cleaning power from a 1,200-watt motor and is suitable for use on everything from hard floors to plush carpeting. It includes a motorized floor head for extracting dirt and debris from high-pile fibers and a hard surface flooring attachment for cleaning tile, laminate, or hardwood floors. 

The advantage of a commercial canister vacuum is better mobility without the need to push around a heavy, upright vacuum. The Miele Complete C3 has easy-rolling caster wheels, as well as a 9-foot hose and a 24-foot retractable power cord. A velvet bumper guard along the body of the vacuum protects furniture if the vacuum makes contact while you’re maneuvering through tight spaces or around large objects. This vacuum cleaner has a slew of other premium features, like HEPA filtration, LED illumination on the body and floor head for better visibility while cleaning, automatic cord rewind, and fingertip controls on the vacuum’s handle. These conveniences make this Miele vacuum a pleasure to use, but make it an expensive choice. You can expect to pay upwards of $1,500 for this commercial canister vacuum. 

Price at time of publish: $1,789

Type: Canister | Dimensions: 8.94 x 11.18 x 19.52 inches | Weight: 10.5 pounds | Cord Length: 24 feet | Battery Life: Not Applicable | Cleaning Path Width: 13.5 inches | Bag Type: Bagged | Capacity: 4.5 quarts | Attachments: Crevice tool, dusting brush tool, upholstery tool


ProLux 6000 Corded Upright Vacuum with HEPA Filter

ProLux 6000 Corded Upright Vacuum with HEPA Filter

Courtesy of Amazon

What We Like
  • Washable HEPA filter and sealed motor

  • Steel bottom plate and brush roll

  • Seven-year motor warranty 

  • Onboard tool storage

What We Don't Like
  • Weighs 19 pounds

  • No shutoff for the brush roll

Virtually all vacuum cleaners use filters to prevent dust and other small particles from being released along with exhaust from the vacuum. However, commercial vacuums with a HEPA filter offer more advanced filtration, capturing particles as small as 0.3 microns in size. Vacuums with HEPA filtration are frequently recommended for allergy-sufferers, but it’s a beneficial feature for any environment where you place a priority on indoor air quality. “A commercial-grade vacuum with a HEPA filter will purify the air with each pass and remove even microscopic particles, making the air much healthier for employees and customers alike,” says Brown.

The ProLux 6000 is a popular commercial vacuum with HEPA filtration. It includes a washable HEPA filter that can be removed and cleaned for continued performance, no matter how frequently you vacuum. A sealed motor also means that dust and dirt won’t pass through the motor. Instead, a bypass funnels debris directly into the disposable dust bag of this bagged vacuum cleaner. The steel bottom plate of the vacuum and the metal brush roll offer durability in the face of commercial cleaning environments, but it should be noted that there is no shutoff switch for the brush roll. This means this vacuum is less well-suited as an option for exclusive use on hardwood floors. But if you have low-pile carpeting or a mix of hard and soft surfaces to clean, it cleans well.

This commercial vacuum cleaner weighs more than other options, tipping the scale at 19 pounds. While it is heavier to lift and carry, it does have an integrated handle to make it more convenient to do so. A 40-foot power cord gives you plenty of reach while using this upright vacuum, and the included attachments have integrated storage in the body of the vacuum. 

Price at time of publish: $320

Type: Upright | Dimensions: 45 x 14.5 x 14 inches | Weight: 11 pounds | Cord Length: 25 feet | Battery Life: Not Applicable | Cleaning Path Width: 12 inches | Bag Type: Bagged | Capacity: Not listed | Attachments: Crevice tool, duster brush, upholstery tool, extension wand

Final Verdict

The Oreck Commercial XL Upright Vacuum is our "best overall" pick for a commercial vacuum cleaner. It offers powerful suction for cleaning hard surface floors and carpets, has a spacious dust bag, and is impressively light and easy to maneuver. But if you’re looking for a basic model at a budget price, the Bissell ProBag Upright Vacuum (view at Amazon) is an option worth considering. You’ll have to manually adjust the height of the vacuum head when switching flooring types and it has few attachments included, but it is an affordable choice with a sturdy build. 

What to Look for in a Commercial Vacuum

Vacuum Type

The types of commercial vacuums include upright, canister, backpack, and stick models. Each type has its advantages, but the decision of which one is best will depend on your cleaning environment and objectives.

  • Commercial upright vacuums usually have a more powerful motor compared to other types, but also have a bulkier form and heavier weight. They’re a good choice for deep-cleaning carpets or for pets, but they may take more effort to use and carry when moving from job-to-job.
  • A commercial backpack vacuum gives the user more freedom to move around furniture or objects. You can find corded or cordless backpack vacuums, but either one frees the user from steering a vacuum around obstacles. The drawback to a backpack-style vacuum is the fact that the weight must be carried on the user’s back during use. 
  • Commercial canister vacuums house a powerful motor in the body of the vacuum cleaner while using a hose-and-wand design to reach under furniture or tidy up floors. Some commercial canister vacuums are equipped with wheels, like the Miele Complete C3, while others are stationary. This is the case for the Hoover PortaPower, our pick for the best compact commercial vacuum.
  • Commercial stick vacuums can be ideal for cleaning smaller, hard-to-navigate areas. They typically will have smaller dust bins, which require more frequent emptying. Unlike corded vacuums, cordless stick vacuums will have limited run times, and their batteries can take hours to charge again. However, they can be a great fit for cleaning spaces with no available outlets.

Weight and Maneuverability 

Weight and maneuverability are two of the most important factors in determining how easy it is to use a commercial vacuum. Most commercial vacuums weigh between 12 and 15 pounds, but some models are as light as 5 to 9 pounds and others clock in at closer to 20 pounds. For vacuuming large amounts of square footage, a lighter vacuum will usually translate to less user fatigue. 

Maneuverability is affected by the design of the vacuum body, as well as whether or not you pick a corded or cordless commercial vacuum. Most commercial vacuums are corded for maximum power. To avoid the need to switch outlets frequently, look for a long cord length. Commercial vacuums typically have 30- to 35-foot cords, but some models (including our top corded backpack pick, ProTeam's Super CoachVac Commercial Backpack Vacuum) have cords as long as 50 feet.

While corded commercial vacuum cleaners offer increased power and reliability because there is no battery to deplete, it can limit the mobility of the vacuum cleaner. "For example," Savvy Cleaner CEO Angela Brown mentions, "vacuuming a stairwell requires a plug nearby if your vacuum relies on power from a cord. On the other hand, with commercial cordless vacuums, you are able to clean more freely, as cords do not limit you."


Vacuum cleaners suction up everything from dirt to dander. Filters within the vacuum reduce or eliminate this debris from being expelled along with the vacuum’s exhaust. Commercial vacuums may offer multiple stages of filtration but the highest level of filtration available is a HEPA filter, which captures particles as small as 0.3 microns. According to Brown, “A commercial vacuum with a HEPA filter will trap allergens, like dust mites, pet dander, and other pollutants, so that they do not get re-distributed into the environment.”

Other factors to look for include washable or replaceable filters, which can ensure that your vacuum continues to function at a high level. Our "best HEPA" pick, the ProLux 6000, features a washable HEPA filter.

Dust Bin Capacity 

Most commercial vacuum cleaners are bagged. This means that instead of emptying a dust bin, you’ll remove and replace the vacuum cleaner bag when it becomes full. As an alternative to disposable bags, some models have a shake-out dust bag. This is true of our top choice for an upright commercial vacuum, the Sanitaire Tradition, which holds up to 18 quarts of debris before needing to be emptied.

Bagless commercial vacuum cleaners are usually found on light-duty models, like stick vacuums or small upright models. The advantage is that you don’t need to buy or replace vacuum bags, but debris capacity is usually more limited. The Bissell BGSV696 is a bagless commercial vacuum and our choice for the best cordless model, but it only has a 0.5 quart dust bin that will require more frequent emptying. 

Standout Features


Many manufacturers of commercial vacuum cleaners offer a warranty. Look to understand whether the warranty applies to the motor or the entire vacuum cleaner. A one-year warranty is standard for many models but heavy-duty commercial vacuum cleaners will often have a five-year to seven-year warranty for the motor and, in some cases, for all other components as well. As an example, the ProLux 6000 carries a seven-year motor warranty and a five-year warranty for the rest of the vacuum cleaner. 


Attachments enhance the functionality of a commercial vacuum and can increase efficiency while completing cleaning tasks. The most basic attachments included with most commercial vacuums are an extension wand, crevice tool, and a dusting brush. However, some models include more tools for specialty uses, like an upholstery brush, specialized floor heads, or motorized tools for extracting pet hair from carpets and furniture. According to Brown, considering the accessories and tools included with a vacuum cleaner can give you an idea of how well-suited it is for different tasks.

Some commercial upright vacuums skip out on attachments altogether, making them best suited to cleaning floors.

  • What is a commercial vacuum cleaner?

    A commercial vacuum cleaner is built with more durable components for frequent, repeated use that surpasses what is expected of a household vacuum cleaner. This doesn’t mean that a quality residential vacuum cleaner can’t be used in a commercial setting. However, some vacuum features that are desirable in a commercial vacuum cleaner are rarely found on household versions. 

    For example, commercial vacuum cleaners frequently have more metal components, like a steel base plate, metal brush roll, or chrome hood. In addition, the motor of a commercial vacuum is frequently rated for a long life of service—up to 2,000 hours in some cases. Components may also be designed to be replaceable. This is frequently the case for the power cord. Some models, like the Bissell ProCup Bagless Upright Vacuum, have a power cord connected to a pigtail cord, allowing you to splice in a new power cord if the original one fails without needing to do extensive rewiring or replace the entire vacuum.

  • How long do commercial vacuums last?

    Commercial vacuum cleaners are designed for heavy-duty use, but it doesn’t mean that they will last forever. The lifespan of a commercial vacuum will depend on the frequency and conditions of use. A commercial vacuum used on a weekly basis to clean an office will likely last longer than a commercial vacuum that is used daily in a janitorial business. 

    One indicator of how long the vacuum may last is how many hours of use the motor is rated for. If you can’t find that metric, you can use the manufacturer’s warranty period as a gauge for how long the vacuum may operate problem-free. 

  • Are commercial vacuums better?

    Commercial vacuums are not necessarily better than residential vacuum cleaners, but they may be better suited for specific situations or environments. Commercial vacuums are designed and built with frequent, heavy use in mind. If that’s your scenario, this type of vacuum cleaner will generally perform better and last longer than a household vacuum cleaner. 

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Erica Puisis has been a writer for The Spruce since 2017, specializing as a product researcher for both large and small appliances. For this piece, she compared the features, benefits, and uses of some of the most popular commercial vacuums on the market. She compared models based on their design, weight, warranty, and ease of use. For additional insight on how to pick out the best commercial vacuum cleaners, Puisis interviewed Angela Brown, an experienced cleaning professional and the CEO of Savvy Cleaner. Brown provided insights on features like HEPA filtration and the benefits of corded versus cordless vacuum cleaners in a commercial setting.

Article Sources
The Spruce uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
  1. US EPA. What is a HEPA filter?

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