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Searching for a new vacuum cleaner can be quite the chore, especially since there are tons of options on the market. Whether you’re searching for one that will help keep your place pet hair-free or you never want to get tangled in up in a cord again, there’s a vacuum that will fit your needs. While the prices of some top-of-the-line models can soar into the thousands, the following products will get the job done well and won't cost more than a few hundred dollars. We even sent a few home with our testers so they could try them out and report back.
01 of 10
Best Overall Vacuum: Shark Navigator Lift-Away Professional (NV352)
Powerful, lightweight, and an overall value, the Shark Navigator Lift-Away Professional claims the top spot for vacuum cleaners and is ideal for most families. What’s great about this model is that it’s easy to assemble and use, plus it maintains powerful suction whether you’re using it on carpet or bare floors. For those suffering with allergies, the Anti-Allergen Complete Seal Technology traps dust and irritants, plus the vacuum comes equipped with a HEPA filter, that traps 99.9% of allergens in the vacuum. The swivel steering makes it easy to maneuver, and the detachable and portable canister is ideal for hard-to-reach places.
Of course, the bagless vacuum isn’t completely perfect—some users have warned that it tips easily, especially when you’re using the wand or attachments. But overall, customers rave about how much dirt, dust, and hair the Shark Navigator can pick up, and that it even makes carpet look “fluffier.”
The Shark Navigator Lift-Away Professional weighs about 12.5 pounds and comes with a dusting brush, two crevices tools, a wide upholstery pet tool, and a 25 foot cord.
02 of 10
Best Cordless Vacuum: Hoover Linx Cordless Stick Vacuum Cleaner
It’s time to cut the cord — on your vacuum that is! Take everyday cleaning up a notch with this sleek stick vacuum that provides upright performance on a lasting, battery-operated system, making the Hoover Linx Cordless Stick Vacuum Cleaner the best outlet-free vac around.
Starting with the base, this product is powered by WindTunnel Technology that gets all that dirt out of hard-to-reach places. Plus, it scoots easily under most counters and furniture to give you closer access to these hard-to-reach spots. When it comes to longevity, this pick has a fade-free battery life, so it’ll last you long between each clean. Then, when the job is done, this eleven pound product stores away just as effortlessly as it cleans.
When it comes to product reviews, users were impressed with its results on hard floors, especially on pet hair. They claim its powerful functionality across surfaces has replaced their traditional sweeping altogether, although they do note that the occasional charge can take up to three hours. So plan your cleaning spree accordingly.
Want to take a look at some other options? See our guide to the best cordless stick vacuums.
03 of 10
Best Budget: BISSELL PowerForce Helix Bagless Upright Vacuum
You don't need to spend a bundle to get a clean home. This top pick from the trusted brand Bissell will clean your house in a jiffy and all for under $50. Its lightweight construction makes it easy to clean all corners of the home while a washable filter means you won't have to replace it often. With five different height adjustments, you can be sure this will clean everything from a hardwood floor to a shag carpet with ease. Even at this low price point, you'll still get some accessories like a dusting wand, a crevice tool, and an extension tool so you can clean up high and in corners with ease.
Reviewers agree that this vacuum packs a punch at an affordable price. One reviewer said they'll never buy another vacuum and they were impressed with how well this cleaned their shag carpet.
Want to take a look at some other options? See our guide to the best budget vacuums.
04 of 10
Best Design: Dyson Ball Multi Floor 2 Upright Vacuum
Dyson continually produces top cleaning products, and their Dyson Ball Multi Floor 2 Upright Vacuum is just one more to add to the list. This newer model is especially notable for its design, with a ball device that lets users steer the vacuum in any direction, making it easier to reach those difficult area.
Maneuvering aside, the Smart Ball helps give this product the most powerful suctioning capabilities of any lightweight model. Once the job is done, a single button effortlessly releases the bin to empty residue, all before putting it away in the cleaning cupboard with ease. Plus, an instant-release wand lets you literally clean your home from floor to ceiling.
Many customers say this Amazon Choice vacuum lives up to its hype in terms of a sleek, industrial design and ease of use.Continue to 5 of 10 below.
05 of 10
Best Pet Hair Vacuum: Hoover WindTunnel 3 High Performance Pet Upright
While we love our furry friends, we’re not so wild about their hair covering every surface in our homes. Pet owners know just how important finding the right vacuum is. If you’re in the market for a new one, this newly released model from Hoover is a stellar choice.
Hoover's WindTunnel 3 tech creates 3 suction channels to lift and remove pet hair and dirt. The bagless model and washable filter mean you won’t have to purchase replacements or find yourself without a bag and unable to vacuum before company arrives. It comes with a unique Pet Turbo tool to remove upholstery stains, and a HEPA filter to keep pet dirt out of the air.
Those with larger spaces will appreciate the 40-foot cord length that will mean you can avoid unplugging. It also has a quick-pass brushroll to allow 2X faster cleans.
Want to take a look at some other options? See our guide to the best pet vacuums.
06 of 10
Best Handheld Vacuum: Black + Decker CHV1410L Lithium Cordless Dust Buster
Small but mighty, this is a great vacuum for picking up small spills or getting to hard-to-reach spots. The battery can hold a charge for an impressive 18 months, so it’ll be ready to go even if it’s not stored on the charger. Although, if you want to keep it on there, you can—it automatically shuts off when the battery is full. Not only does the lightweight design make this model easy to use, but the narrow nozzle, with an optional brush attachment means you can even reach those previously inaccessible spaces like the crevice between your counter and your refrigerator.
The bagless canister is translucent, making it easy to see when the vacuum is full, and it’s time to empty it. Plus, the filter is washable, meaning you won’t have the extra cost of replacing it down the line. Reviewers rave about the power and the battery life, two of the factors that have made it a bestseller.
Want to take a look at some other options? See our guide to the best handheld vacuums.
07 of 10
Best Bagged Vacuum: Oreck Commercial XL2100RHS8
If you suffer from allergies, a bagged vacuum will give you the best results, plus they tend to last longer than their bagless counterparts. The downside, of course, is that you have to buy replacement bags and change them when they fill up. But if it eases your allergies, it’s a small price to pay. This Oreck model is a category leader, especially at the price point. The 12-inch wide cleaning brush means dirt doesn’t stand a chance in its path. And the vacuum itself only weighs eight pounds, making it easy to maneuver for everyone.
A bestseller in its category, the Oreck Commercial XL2100RHS8 has received rave reviews from customers who appreciate its suction power and the fact that it feels like it’s almost vacuuming by itself since it’s so light.
The one thing you will be giving up with this model is a wand attachment for vacuuming upholstery, curtains, and hard to reach places. So you might have to end up supplementing it with a handheld vacuum as well.
08 of 10
Best Robot Vacuum: iRobot® Roomba® 690 Wi-Fi® Connected Vacuuming Robot
If vacuuming sucks all the fun out of your life all too often, why not hand the job over to a robot? This Roomba 690 robot vac is designed to get up every speck of dust and dirt from your floors with no more than a push of a button from you.
It runs for about 60 minutes on one charge and is equipped with patented 3-Stage Cleaning System to loosen, lift and suction everything from small specs of dust to larger messes. It works on both carpet and hard floors and can maneuver between the two. Smart sensors send it where it's needed most and keeps it from plummeting off stairs or other drop-offs. You can schedule it from your smartphone with the iRobot Home App. Most reviewers say it does a great job and saves them a ton of time, though some note that it gets stuck under furniture and in other places from time to time.
Take a look at other product reviews and shop for the best robot vacuums available online.Continue to 9 of 10 below.
09 of 10
Best Lightweight: Shark Rocket Ultra-Light Corded Bagless Vacuum
Having a lightweight vacuum makes cleaning up nightly messes a breeze since you don't have to lug a heavy machine out of the closet. This Amazon Choice product weighs only 8 pounds so you can quickly suck up the post-breakfast mess or Fido's hair before guests come over with ease. While some vacuums tend to only work well on one type of flooring—this corded model can handle both hardwood floors and carpet equally. To get more bang for your buck this has a micro tool kit and a car detailing kit so you can clean deep into crevices and seats. This model also has an option to convert to a hand vacuum so its really two vacuums in one.
Over 2,500 reviewers agree that this model is that good, with a few saying this performs better than the more expensive competition. While some were nervous that this had a cord, in the end, they liked that they didn't have to worry about it running out of power mid clean.
10 of 10
Best Canister: Miele Compact C2 Electro+ Canister Vacuum
If you need a vacuum that can go anywhere—we're talking about the car, outdoors, and on the stairs—then you'll want to opt for a canister vacuum. These models are often more popular in Europe but they serve a purpose because they are easy to maneuver around whatever your task at hand is. This pick from fan favorite Miele might not come at an affordable price but it has a very loyal following. This sealed vacuum comes with a HEPA filter so people with allergies will appreciate that no dust will get into the air when disposing of the bags. A downside for some is that you will have to purchase bags for this but that ensures the dust stays where it should–in the trash.
Reviewers say this is the best HEPA-filter vacuum around and while it comes at a higher price point it has some serious suction and will be with your family for a long time.
Want to take a look at some other options? See our guide to the best canister vacuums.
How We Tested
Our reviewers spent 29 hours testing two of the most popular vacuum cleaners on the market. To ensure the most thorough feedback possible, we asked our testers to consider the most important features when using these vacuum cleaners — from performance to size and weight — and we've outlined them here so that you, too, know what to look for when shopping.
What to Look for in a Vacuum Cleaner
Type Upright and canister vacuums are the most popular and powerful vacuums, though canister vacuums are two-part machines and offer more flexibility. A stick vacuum is a lighter, more portable version of an upright. Handheld and robot vacuums are the most convenient but have obvious drawbacks like smaller bins.
Bagless vs. bagged Bagless vacuums are more convenient and cost efficient but not ideal for those with allergies. Since bags keep dust, dander, and other allergens sealed, they are better for pet owners and allergy sufferers.
Power For the most efficient clean, look for a multi-surface vacuum that has a 12-amp motor and at least 200 air watts (which indicates suction power).
Test Results: Shark Navigator Lift-Away Upright Vacuum, Lavender (NV352) (Best Overall)
What We Like
What We Don't Like
No retractable cord
Our testers loved that this vacuum was both lightweight and effective: “The suction was strong enough to lift dirt on my small rug but not too strong that it pulled on the fabric,” said one reviewer. The vacuum’s accessories were also a plus for our reviewers: “The wand and small brush were great for cleaning my curtains,” one said, “and I also used the crevice tool to clean corners really well.” However, our testers wished the vacuum came with a retractable cord for easy storage.
Test Results: Hoover Linx Cordless Stick Vacuum Cleaner (Best Cordless)
What We Like
Easy to maneuver
Very effective on hardwood floors
What We Don't Like
Wish battery lasted longer
Not as effective on uneven surfaces
Our testers thought that this vacuum was particularly useful for people who live in small homes or apartments and need something that's not too bulky. Plus, they found that it was a smart option for pet owners: “I have two cats and used the vacuum on three area rugs. It sucked up a lot of cat fur,” one reviewer said. In terms of downsides, our testers reported that it doesn't fare quite as well on uneven surfaces. They also wished its battery life could have been a bit longer.