The 12 Best Vacuum Cleaners of 2022, Tested in Our Lab

We put them through their paces to find the best and weed out the rest

Our editors independently research, test, and recommend the best products; you can learn more about our review process here. We may receive commissions on purchases made from our chosen links.

All of the vacuums The Spruce tested at The Lab sit in front of a couch.

The Spruce / Phoebe Cheong

When you own a vacuum cleaner you love, tidying up your living space can start to feel a little bit less like a mundane chore. Picking up spilled cereal on your kitchen floor, piles of dog hair that are latched onto your couch cushions, or the leftovers of a craft project is suddenly—dare we say it—fun, as well as efficient. However, finding your vacuum soulmate can be tricky, as you can't totally assess assembly, weight, suction power, noisiness, and flexibility by looking at a product online or on a shelf.

To see what vacuum cleaners are actually going to streamline and enhance your cleaning routine, we purchased 28 vacuums from a variety of brands and tested them in The Lab for 16 hours. We timed each product's unboxing and setup process, evaluated its effectiveness on four types of flooring, and brought it through a living room obstacle course. Throughout the process, we noted how many passes it took for each vacuum to suck up hair, popcorn kernels, and Cheerios. We emptied each canister, considered the weight and noise level, and wrapped the test by holding handheld models above our heads.

After, we compiled our notes and ratings to answer the eternal question: what is the best vacuum? Truthfully, there are models that excel at making your hardwood sparkle but are a nuisance to use on carpet. There are cordless stick picks that are easy to navigate around a coffee table but do not offer the same suction as an upright vacuum. Our selections reflect that, and it's important to keep your floor type in mind when shopping, in addition to a vacuum's filter type and attachments.

Backed by our testing, here are the best vacuums for tidying up your living space.

Our Top Picks
This cordless vacuum applied powerful suction to every type of surface in our tests, and collected materials in mostly one pass.
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It's easy to assemble, maneuver, and capture materials on most hard floors and carpeting with this stick vacuum by your side.
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While upright vacuums are more bulky, this vacuum has multiple settings for different types of surfaces and is easy to empty.
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Powerful yet easy to maneuver, this stick vacuum comes with helpful attachments including a mini motorized tool.
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Although this canister vac is bagged and pricey, it offers quiet operation and the ability to get into tight nooks and crannies.
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You can't overlook the flexibility and fluid movement of this compact vacuum, or its adjustable handle and quiet operation.
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The dustbuster is easy to detach from this 2-in-1 cordless stick model, and is equally easy to empty out into your trash can.
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The vacuum has multiple suction settings for cleaning different types of carpet, and a 40-minute battery life which is ideal.
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While testing this vacuum on multiple surfaces, we confirmed it's only suitable for hardwood, but can make your floors sparkle.
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If you're up against pet hair, this cordless stick vacuum will come to the rescue, as it can pick up hair on the lowest setting.
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Best Overall: Shark IZ462H Vertex DuoClean PowerFins Lightweight Cordless Stick Vacuum

shark-vertex-duoclean-powerfins-cordless-stick-vacuum
4.8

Our Ratings
  • Ease of Setup
    4/5
  • Effectiveness
    5/5
  • Maneuverability
    5/5
  • Ease of Emptying
    5/5
  • Noise Level
    4.5/5
What We Like
  • Powerful suction on all surfaces

  • Vacuum basically moves itself

  • Very long battery life

  • Folds in half for easy storage

What We Don't Like
  • Collection canister could be bigger

  • Pieces are individually wrapped

  • Noisy when picking up larger items

After two days of complex testing, this lightweight (yet mighty) vacuum by Shark was our pick for the best vacuum overall. It sucked everything we put in its path right up—whether it be dusty Cheerios or tough popcorn kernels—and mostly during its first pass. Upon lifting the floor head off the ground, the materials didn't sprinkle everywhere, plus the vacuum basically pulled itself around the surfaces. Our tester noted that it took very little effort on their part to get the cleaning job done, and rated it 5 stars for effectiveness on every type of surface.

Speaking of maneuverability, the Shark Vertex DuoClean PowerFins Cordless Stick Vacuum was able to easily slip under our coffee table and couch, which sits fairly low to the ground. When taking it through the obstacle course, the tester called the vacuum "flawless," and noted that it's quiet a majority of the time. Two brush heads give this pick its power, and while the collection canister could be bigger, you'll find that it's easy and painless to empty into your trash can, and worthy of our tester's 5-star rating for ease of emptying.

When your cleaning job is done, you can also easily store this cordless stick vacuum—that has a longer battery life than other cordless picks, at 60 minutes—because it folds in half. This makes it suitable for both smaller apartments and larger households with pets. All in all, our tester gave this vacuum 5-star ratings almost across the board, only docking it because the handheld component is rather heavy and the pieces are individually wrapped when they come out of the box, which can be frustrating. However, setting up this product for use did not take longer than three minutes, even with the wrapping.

Dimensions: 46.46 x 9.65 x 10.24 inches | Weight: 9.04 pounds | Cord Length: Cordless | Battery Life: 60 minutes | Bin Volume: 1.4 quarts | Cleaning Path Width: 10.63 inches | Compatible Floor Type: Carpet, multi-surface, and hardwood

The Shark Vertex DuoClean PowerFins Lightweight Cordless Stick Vacuum sits in front of the couch during The Spruce's vacuum test at The Lab.

The Spruce / Phoebe Cheong

Best Budget: Eureka NES510 Flash Lightweight Stick Vacuum Cleaner

eureka-flash-lightweight-stick-vacuum
4.2

Our Ratings
  • Ease of Setup
    4.5/5
  • Effectiveness
    4.5/5
  • Maneuverability
    4/5
  • Ease of Emptying
    3.5/5
  • Noise Level
    4/5
What We Like
  • Quick and easy assembly

  • Powerful suction on most surfaces

  • Floor head features a light

  • Easily swivels around obstacles

What We Don't Like
  • Not as effective on high-pile carpet

  • Cord is heavy and bulky

  • Emptying is a multi-step process

The Eureka Flash Lightweight Stick Vacuum Cleaner shouldn't be overlooked. This budget-friendly pick has all the suction power and thoughtful features of a more expensive one. To start, it's incredibly easy to assemble—our tester needed just a minute and a half to put it together and gave the process a total of 4.5 stars. In addition, on hardwood, low-pile carpet, and medium-pile carpet, this vacuum proved to be powerful and was able to collect all materials in one or two passes. Now, the motor did get warm on the high-pile carpet, and the vacuum became difficult to maneuver through the threads. However, our tester still rated it an average of 4.5 stars for its overall effectiveness, docking it for the troubling high-pile experience only.

When it came time for the obstacle course, this pick was able to slip into small spaces with total ease. It only presented one flaw: the long, but heavy and bulky cord. Most stick vacuums are designed without a cord to make them easier to maneuver throughout your space. While this feature isn't ideal, the power of this vacuum is what makes it really stand out from its competitors. For its more compact size (and price tag), it works wonders on every type of surface and doesn't produce a lot of noise in the process, which is why our tester rated it a solid 4 stars for noise level.

Emptying this product is a multi-step process, as the entire canister detaches. Overall, though, it's game for tackling all kinds of messes in your kitchen, bedroom, bathroom, and more, and will help you track them down with the floor head's light.

Dimensions: 45 x 11.1 x 7.9 inches | Weight: 7.4 pounds | Cord Length: 30 feet | Battery Life: Not applicable | Bin Volume: 1.05 quarts | Cleaning Path Width: 11 inches | Compatible Floor Type: Carpet and hardwood

The Eureka Flash Lightweight Stick Vacuum Cleaner sits in front of the couch during The Spruce's vacuum test at The Lab.

The Spruce / Phoebe Cheong

Best Upright: Shark NV151 Navigator Swivel Pro Complete Upright Vacuum

shark-navigator-swivel-pro-complete-upright-vacuum
4.1

Our Ratings
  • Effectiveness
    5/5
  • Maneuverability
    3/5
  • Ease of Emptying
    5/5
  • Noise Level
    4/5
  • Ease of Setup
    4/5
What We Like
  • Multiple surface settings

  • Easy to empty

  • Straightforward assembly

What We Don't Like
  • Hard to maneuver under furniture

  • Doesn't transfer surfaces well

Upright vacuums are known for their suction power, which is why many people opt for this style, even if it's not the most space-conscious. We tested eight upright vacuums and concluded the best one is the Shark Navigator Swivel Pro Complete Upright Vacuum. Shark's Navigator series is outfitted with suction power, settings for different types of surfaces, crevice and upholstery attachments, and a daintier price tag. However, this particular Navigator model shined in the effectiveness category—given 5-star ratings for both hardwood and low-pile carpet, and 4.5-star ratings for medium-pile and high-pile carpets. Our tester noted that it glided over the surfaces, while still picking up the materials quickly, and was docked in ratings only if it needed to do more than one or two passes. Despite a bulky and heavier design, they were able to use one hand for several passes, which was rewarding.

In addition, they enjoyed the multiple settings for carpet and hardwood, which aided in its effectiveness. While it had trouble moving from concrete to carpet—the floor head needed to be picked up to make this transfer—and was hard to reach under any furniture, it was pretty quiet and very easy to empty when all was said and done. According to our tester, assembling this pick is "straightforward," too. They were able to complete the assembly in just three minutes and gave this process a 4-star rating because it's easy, but the product was a little heavy at the start.

Dimensions: 45.66 x 12 x 9.64 inches | Weight: 15 pounds | Cord Length: 25 feet | Battery Life: Not applicable | Bin Volume: 0.4 quarts | Cleaning Path Width: 12 inches | Compatible Floor Type: Carpet, laminate, and hardwood

The Shark Navigator Swivel Pro Complete Upright Vacuum sits in front of the couch during The Spruce's vacuum test at The Lab.

The Spruce / Phoebe Cheong

Best Cordless Stick: Dyson v11 Animal Cordless Stick Vacuum Cleaner

dyson-v11-animal-cordless-stick-vacuum-cleaner
4.6

Our Ratings
  • Ease of Setup
    4.5/5
  • Effectiveness
    4/5
  • Maneuverability
    4.5/5
  • Ease of Emptying
    4/5
  • Noise Level
    5/5
What We Like
  • Has a boost mode

  • Very quiet operation

  • Easy to turn and maneuver

What We Don't Like
  • Trigger is sensitive

  • No spot for attachments

Cordless stick vacuums get a lot of (often well-deserved) hype since they're easy to navigate and store in your home, in comparison to upright models. However, only one can be crowned the best, and it's the Dyson v11 Animal Cordless Stick Vacuum Cleaner. Dyson is known for its modern, colorful, and pricey small appliances, and this particular vacuum is no exception. It especially stands out for its full set of attachments including a dirt brush, crevice tool, and a mini motorized tool that make it especially useful for pet owners to clean hair off of cushions and in hard-to-reach places. Plus, at 60 minutes, its battery life also makes it great for tackling these types of smaller tasks, along with regular vacuuming, without having to stop and recharge.

Throughout our test, this vacuum was very effective at picking up dirt and debris on all types of surfaces. It was also lightweight and easy to move under objects including coffee tables and even low couches, earning it a 4.5 for maneuverability. With a perfect score for noise level, this stick vacuum was extremely quiet, making it easy to talk over while testing. Overall, this is a very versatile vacuum that is powerful and easy to use.

Dimensions: 10.28 x 49.65 x 9.84 inches | Weight: 6.68 pounds | Cord Length: Cordless | Battery Life: 60 minutes | Bin Volume: 0.8 quarts | Cleaning Path Width: 9.84 inches | Compatible Floor Type: Hardwood, carpet, laminate, and tile

The Dyson Dyson v11 Animal Cordless Stick Vacuum Cleaner sits in front of the couch during The Spruce's vacuum test at The Lab.

The Spruce / Phoebe Cheong

Best Canister: Miele Compact C1 Turbo Team Bagged Canister Vacuum

miele-compact-c1-turbo-team-canister-vacuum
4.2

Our Ratings
  • Effectiveness
    4/5
  • Maneuverability
    4.5/5
  • Ease of Emptying
    4/5
  • Noise Level
    5/5
  • Ease of Setup
    3.5/5
What We Like
  • Extremely quiet

  • Easy to get into tight spaces

  • Takes a while to fill up

  • Great suction power

What We Don't Like
  • Requires replacement bags

  • Instructions were a little unclear

  • Not a good fit for home with pets

Canister vacuums marry the maneuverability of a stick vacuum, with the suction power of an upright one. The Miele Compact C1 Turbo Team Bagged Canister Vacuum is our top pick for a canister vacuum, as it was very effective at gobbling up all materials on hardwood, low-pile carpet, and high-pile carpet. Our tester noted that hair did clog up the otherwise-mighty canister vac, so this pick might not be the best fit for households with pets. In addition, the instructions were a little unclear and the vacuum is a bit heavy, and would likely not be ideal for carrying up and down stairs. For those reasons, it was given slightly lower star ratings for categories like effectiveness and maneuverability.

However, it's the perfect fit for a home with small nooks and crannies that need to be cleaned, as it was able to get under a couch and around a coffee table with total ease. It's "so quiet it's ridiculous," per our tester, and the 21-foot cord can be rewound automatically when you're finished with your cleaning job. Not to mention, at 3.75 quarts, this little machine takes a while to fill up, which is convenient since it's a bagged model. It's pricey, even before you purchase the replacement bags, so a spacious canister is so welcomed. Ultimately, this vacuum's positives heavily outweigh its negatives, making it worth every one of your pennies.

Dimensions: 16.9 x 9.1 x 9.8 inches | Weight: 15 pounds | Cord Length: 21 feet | Battery Life: Not applicable | Bin Volume: 3.75 quarts | Cleaning Path Width: Not listed | Compatible Floor Type: Carpet and hardwood

The Miele Compact C1 Turbo Team Bagged Canister Vacuum sits in front of the couch during The Spruce's vacuum test at The Lab.

The Spruce / Phoebe Cheong

Best Compact: NEQUARE S180 Corded Lightweight Vacuum with Self-Standing

nequare-corded-lightweight-vacuum-with-self-standing
4.5

Our Ratings
  • Effectiveness
    4/5
  • Maneuverability
    4/5
  • Ease of Emptying
    5/5
  • Noise Level
    5/5
  • Ease of Setup
    5/5
What We Like
  • Extremely quiet

  • Flexible and fluid movement

  • Has an adjustable handle

What We Don't Like
  • Struggled on high-pile carpet

  • Need to empty it often

If you're cozied up in an apartment, condo, or other smaller living space, look no further than NEQUARE's S180 Corded Lightweight Vacuum. This compact vac is a hidden gem and happily surprised The Spruce's team of testers. First things first: its lightweight design makes it easy to carry from one room to another. An adjustable handle also allows every member of your household to feel comfortable using it, and you'll never have to lean it up against a couch because it stands up on its own. Our tester gave it 5 stars for its effectiveness on hardwood, and 4 stars for its effectiveness on low-pile and medium-pile carpets. High-pile carpet proved to be a little difficult to maneuver through, but overall its movement felt very fluid and easy to control.

In fact, our tester called this vacuum "extremely flexible," noting it was a breeze to clean underneath the couch and coffee table. Emptying the vacuum was also a total breeze, although needed to be done more often than other models. If our tester could change anything about this NEQUARE compact vacuum, it'd be the size of the canister. They'd also like there to be more than one setting. However, this vacuum was one of the quietest ones we tested in The Lab, and that is a luxury that can't be overlooked.

Dimensions: 17.48 x 13.54 x 7.32 inches | Weight: 2.42 pounds | Cord Length: Not listed | Battery Life: Not applicable | Bin Volume: Not listed | Cleaning Path Width: Not listed | Compatible Floor Type: Carpet and hardwood

The NEQUARE S180 Corded Lightweight Vacuum with Self-Standing sits in front of the couch during The Spruce's vacuum test at The Lab.

The Spruce / Phoebe Cheong

Best Handheld: BLACK+DECKER HSVB420J POWERSERIES 2-in-1 Cordless Stick Vacuum

black-and-decker-powerseries-cordless-stick-vacuum
4.6

Our Ratings
  • Ease of Setup
    5/5
  • Effectiveness
    4/5
  • Maneuverability
    4.5/5
  • Ease of Emptying
    5/5
  • Noise Level
    4.5/5
What We Like
  • Handheld model clicks in

  • Has storage for attachments

  • Has a light on the floor head

  • Easy to empty

What We Don't Like
  • Not as effective on all surfaces

  • Could use more settings

Many vacuums can be partially disassembled and transformed into a handheld vacuum, but they do not make it as easy as the BLACK+DECKER POWERSERIES 2-in-1 Cordless Stick Vacuum. It's our top pick for a handheld vacuum because its design is incredibly thoughtful. There are only two parts to this vac: the handle and floor head, and the dustbuster that clicks into it. When you're using the upright-style vac, all the debris collects in the dustbuster; it turns into the collection canister. Need the dustbuster? Just pull it out, and notice how the remaining section of the handle is a nifty storage spot for attachments.

It took our tester less than a minute to unbox and assemble this vacuum, which is pretty lightweight and has a light on the front for easy cleaning under a couch or in a dimly-lit corner. While it was a little sloppy when picking up Cheerios on the hardwood and low-pile carpet (it basically pushed them around), it was awarded 4.5 stars for effectiveness on medium and high-pile carpets. It was docked for missing some of the material that was ground into the carpet, however the handheld vac was able to complete the task. Our tester enjoyed that it stood up on its own. Emptying this vac was also quick.

Dimensions: 22 x 8.3 x 6.5 inches | Weight: 5.84 pounds | Cord Length: Not applicable | Battery Life: 30 minutes | Bin Volume: 0.52 quarts | Cleaning Path Width: 9 inches | Compatible Floor Type: Carpet, laminate, hardwood, tile, and vinyl

The BLACK+DECKER POWERSERIES 2-in-1 Cordless Stick Vacuum sits in front of the couch during The Spruce's vacuum test at The Lab.

The Spruce / Phoebe Cheong

Best for Carpet: Samsung VS15T7032R4 Jet 70 Pet Cordless Stick Vacuum

samsung-jet-pet-70-cordless-stick-vacuum
4

Our Ratings
  • Ease of Setup
    3.5/5
  • Effectiveness
    4/5
  • Maneuverability
    4/5
  • Ease of Emptying
    3/5
  • Noise Level
    5/5
What We Like
  • Has multiple suction settings

  • Can transfer surfaces easily

  • Very quiet operation

  • Has a decent battery life

What We Don't Like
  • Doesn't swivel very well

  • Doesn't come with any charge

  • Emptying the canister is a hassle

The Samsung Jet 70 Pet Cordless Stick Vacuum's strong suit is carpet. Our tester gave this vac a 2-star rating on the hardwood since it pushed around the popcorn kernels and Cheerios. However, they rated it 5 stars on the low-pile carpet, and 4.5 stars on the medium and high-pile carpets. On the low-pile carpet, the vacuum picked up all the materials in just one to two passes. On the high-pile carpet, it was harder to maneuver but was able to pick up the materials once kicked into high gear. When it came time to do the obstacle course, our tester found that it didn't swivel too well. However, it conquered the transition from concrete to carpet with ease and could fit under the couch with no issues. It was ultimately given 4 stars for its maneuverability.

Throughout this process, the vacuum remained quiet. It did become quite heavy, and emptying is a bit of a hassle since hair does get caught up in the filter and there's no button to release the canister. You have to empty the vacuum from the top, which requires a bit of work on your part. Notably, assembly is quite easy, though, especially once you've figured out the battery and wall mount once. Plan to charge this vacuum immediately, as it doesn't come with any "starter" charge.

Dimensions: 44.2 x 9.8 x 8.5 inches | Weight: 5.8 pounds | Cord Length: Not applicable | Battery Life: 40 minutes | Bin Volume: 0.84 quarts | Cleaning Path Width: 9.87 inches | Compatible Floor Type: Carpet, laminate, hardwood, tile, and vinyl

The Samsung Jet 70 Pet Cordless Stick Vacuum sits in front of the couch during The Spruce's vacuum test at The Lab.

The Spruce / Phoebe Cheong

Best for Hardwood: TINECO Floor One S3 Smart Wet/Dry Vacuum

tineco-floor-one-s3-wet-dry-smart-vacuum
3.8

Our Ratings
  • Effectiveness
    3/5
  • Maneuverability
    3/5
  • Ease of Emptying
    3.5/5
  • Noise Level
    5/5
  • Ease of Setup
    4/5
What We Like
  • Has two water tanks

  • Glides smoothly on hardwood

  • Equipped with smart features

What We Don't Like
  • Only compatible with hardwood

  • Packaging isn't eco-friendly

After testing the TINECO Floor One S3 Smart Wet/Dry Vacuum on multiple surfaces, we can confirm that it is made for hardwood. On hardwood, this combo vacuum excelled at picking up the materials, and was given a 5-star rating by our tester. On a low-pile carpet, it even received 5 stars for its ability to lift each of the materials off the carpet in just one to two passes. Trouble ensued, in the form of error messages, the moment this wet-dry vacuum tried to take on a thicker carpet. So, if you're looking for a vacuum that will clean all the surfaces in your home, this is not the one.

However, if you're looking to make your hardwood sparkle, this TINECO model has your back. It's smooth on smooth surfaces, and can even thoroughly mop your floor if you make use of the dual tanks. It's very quiet, so you can easily hold a conversation with a member of your household while using it. During our test, our tester noted the packaging it comes in is not very eco-friendly, but that set up is simple, and a solid 4-star experience. Upon powering it on, it propels itself forward, as if to say, "I'm ready, let's go!" It also "almost knows intuitively when its job is complete," and will sit idle if need be, without fully turning off. Just don't use it on carpet, and you'll be good to go.

Dimensions: 43.3 x 10 x 11.3 inches | Weight: 9.9 pounds | Cord Length: Not applicable | Battery Life: 35 minutes | Bin Volume: 0.42 quarts | Cleaning Path Width: 9 inches | Compatible Floor Type: Hardwood

The TINECO Floor One S3 sits in front of the couch during The Spruce's vacuum test at The Lab.

The Spruce / Phoebe Cheong

Best for Pet Hair: Bissell 22889 ICONpet Cordless Stick Vacuum

Bissell ICONpet Cordless Vacuum
4.3

Our Ratings
  • Effectiveness
    4.5/5
  • Maneuverability
    4/5
  • Ease of Emptying
    4.5/5
  • Noise Level
    5/5
  • Ease of Setup
    4.5/5
What We Like
  • Three suction settings

  • Effective at picking up hair

  • Has a light on the floor head

What We Don't Like
  • Can't stand up on its own

  • Attachments are a bit confusing

Pet owners need a vacuum by their side that isn't afraid of a hairy situation. Enter, the Bissell ICONpet Cordless Stick Vacuum. This product was rated 4s and 5s by our tester across the board and was very effective at picking up hair—even on the lowest suction setting. Starting with assembly, our tester was able to put this vacuum together in three minutes, only confused by some of the attachments. The vac was a third of the way charged, to begin with, but we made sure it was fully charged before testing it on the surfaces and obstacle course.

The vacuum was most effective on the low and medium-pile carpets, and the tester noted it was super easy to maneuver. It pushed around the kernels a bit, but otherwise effectively sucked up materials in a few passes. Notably, this vacuum also features a light on the floor head which made navigating it much easier, especially when the couch and coffee table came into play. It's also quiet, and easy to empty. You just need to shake the collection canister a bit to release anything that's stuck inside. You will be slightly disappointed at the fact that this vacuum doesn't stand up on its own like our tester was. That feature—or lack thereof, we should say—became annoying over time. But, the three different suction modes were "powerful in their own ways," and ultimately earned this vacuum a 4.5-star rating for effectiveness, only being docked for the kernels.

Dimensions: 44.25 x 11 x 7.75 inches | Weight: 7 pounds | Cord Length: Not applicable | Battery Life: 30 minutes | Bin Volume: 0.52 quarts | Cleaning Path Width: 10.5 inches | Compatible Floor Type: Carpet and hardwood

The Bissell ICONpet Cordless Stick Vacuum sits in front of the couch during The Spruce's vacuum test at The Lab.

The Spruce / Phoebe Cheong

Best Wet-Dry: Shark VacMop Pro Cordless Wet/Dry Stick Vacuum

shark-vacmop-wet-dry-stick-vacuum
4.9

Our Ratings
  • Ease of Setup
    5/5
  • Effectiveness
    5/5
  • Maneuverability
    5/5
  • Ease of Emptying
    5/5
  • Noise Level
    5/5
What We Like
  • Budget-friendly price tag

  • Has a light on the floor head

  • Comes with replacement pads

What We Don't Like
  • Only compatible with hardwood

  • Short battery life

Wet-dry vacuums allow you to tackle two cleaning jobs at one time. When it comes to this newer style of small appliance, you can't beat the Shark VACMOP. This stick vacuum has limited battery life, but takes a total of two minutes to assemble, including pouring in the detergent and attaching the cleaning pad. It's super easy to glide on hardwood and has a button on the handle for spraying the detergent on the floor. A light on the floor head allows you to easily see what you're cleaning, and how effective the product is.

Our tester noted that the slim profile is very lightweight, and the detergent has a fresh scent that's very mild. The disposable cleaning pad makes clean-up simple, and the VACMOP comes with four, ready-to-use replacements, so you don't have to venture to the store right away. While the canister could be a bit larger and this product is not suitable for carpets, the entire model operates very quietly and will be very suitable for your kitchen or bathroom. It also runs at a budget-friendly price. All in all, our tester did not dock this vacuum for anything but its canister size, giving it 5-star ratings across the board.

Dimensions: 47.87 x 9.5 x 5.3 inches | Weight: 5 pounds | Cord Length: Not applicable | Battery Life: 20 minutes | Bin Volume: 0.03 quarts | Cleaning Path Width: 10 inches | Compatible Floor Type: Hardwood, tile, laminate, and vinyl

The Shark VACMOP sits in front of the couch during The Spruce's vacuum test at The Lab.

The Spruce / Phoebe Cheong

Best Robot: iRobot Roomba 690 Robot Vacuum with Wi-Fi Connectivity

irobot-roomba-690-robot-vacuum-with-wifi
4.3

Our Ratings
  • Effectiveness
    4/5
  • Maneuverability
    4/5
  • Ease of Emptying
    5/5
  • Portability
    5/5
  • Noise Level
    4/5
What We Like
  • Can schedule automatic sessions

  • Multiple surface brushes

  • 90-minute run time

What We Don't Like
  • Not great for high-pile carpet

  • Small bin capacity

In the market for a robot vacuum? You can’t go wrong with the iRobot Roomba 690, which will help keep your home clean without any effort on your part. This robotic cleaner has a three-stage cleaning system with dual multi-surface brushes and an edge-sweeping brush. This brush captures both small particles and larger debris from both carpets and hardwood floors. 

In addition, this Roomba is WiFi capable, so you can schedule and control it right from your smartphone. It also has Dirt Detect sensors that let it know when it needs to do an extra pass. It won’t fall down the stairs thanks to its cliff-detection sensors, and it can run for up to 90 minutes per charge before automatically docking to recharge. While we didn't test this product in The Lab, our at-home tester found the Roomba 690 performs best on a low-pile carpet and hard floors. It can occasionally get lost or stuck underneath furniture, but they were happy with how easy it is to maintain.

Dimensions: 3.7 x 13 x 13 inches | Weight: 7.8 pounds | Cord Length: Not applicable | Battery Life: 90 minutes | Bin Volume: 0.63 quarts | Cleaning Path Width: 13 inches | Compatible Floor Type: Carpet and hardwood

iRobot Roomba 690 Vacuum
The Spruce / Joy Merrifield
What Testers Say

"In general, the floor should be as picked up and uncluttered as possible, which is actually nice because it forces you to keep a cleaner home. Power cords are especially vulnerable—the spinning brush thinks they’re delicious. The package includes a separate battery-powered 'virtual wall' unit that can be set to project either an invisible linear barrier or a circular one." — Joy Merrifield, Product Tester

Compare

Overall Rating Ease of Setup Effectiveness Maneuverability Ease of Emptying Portability Noise Level Overall Value
shark-vertex-duoclean-powerfins-cordless-stick-vacuum
Best Overall:
Shark Vertex DuoClean PowerFins Cordless Stick Vacuum
4.8
4 5 5 5 4.5 5
eureka-flash-lightweight-stick-vacuum
Best Budget:
Eureka Flash Stick Vacuum Cleaner
4.2
4.5 4.5 4 3.5 4 5
shark-navigator-swivel-pro-complete-upright-vacuum
Best Upright:
Shark Navigator Swivel Pro Complete Upright Vacuum
4.1
4 5 3 5 4 4.5
dyson-v11-animal-cordless-stick-vacuum-cleaner
Best Cordless Stick:
Dyson v11 Animal Cordless Stick Vacuum Cleaner
4.6
4.5 4 4.5 4 5 4
miele-compact-c1-turbo-team-canister-vacuum
Best Canister:
Miele C1 Turbo Canister Vacuum
4.2
3.5 4 4.5 4 5 4
nequare-corded-lightweight-vacuum-with-self-standing
Best Compact:
NEQUARE Corded Lightweight Vacuum
4.5
5 4 4 5 5 5
black-and-decker-powerseries-cordless-stick-vacuum
Best Handheld:
BLACK+DECKER POWERSERIES 2-in-1 Cordless Stick Vacuum
4.6
5 4 4.5 5 4.5 5
samsung-jet-pet-70-cordless-stick-vacuum
Best for Carpet:
Samsung Jet 70 Pet Cordless Stick Vacuum
4
3.5 4 4 3 5 4
tineco-floor-one-s3-wet-dry-smart-vacuum
Best for Hardwood:
TINECO Floor One S3 Smart Wet/Dry Vacuum
3.8
4 3 3 3.5 5 3
Bissell ICONpet Cordless Vacuum
Best for Pet Hair:
Bissell ICONpet Cordless Stick Vacuum
4.3
4.5 4.5 4 4.5 5 4
shark-vacmop-wet-dry-stick-vacuum
Best Wet-Dry:
Shark VacMop Pro Wet/Dry Vacuum
4.9
5 5 5 5 5 5
irobot-roomba-690-robot-vacuum-with-wifi
Best Robot:
iRobot Roomba 690 Robot Vacuum
4.3
4 4 4 5 5 4 4
Final Verdict

After thoroughly testing 28 vacuums in The Lab, the Shark Vertex DuoClean PowerFins Cordless Stick Vacuum (view on Amazon) was our best overall pick. This vacuum is effective at cleaning all surfaces, has a very long battery life, and folds in half for easy storage. If you're looking for something a little bit cheaper, the Eureka Flash Lightweight Stick Vacuum Cleaner (view on Amazon) is a great option, as it is quick and easy to assemble, powerful on most surfaces, and was easy to swivel around obstacles in our "living room" obstacle course.

Best Vacuum Cleaners

Lara Antal / The Spruce

How We Tested the Vacuums

We tested 28 vacuums side-by-side in The Lab in Industry City, Brooklyn. We started with real-time unboxing and setup, and then put them through their paces to test for the best—and weed out the rest. We evaluated such categories as the vacuums’ weight and portability, how well they transition from smooth floors to carpeting, and how long cordless models stay charged.

Our testers used each vacuum on hardwood and carpeted surfaces to clean up measured amounts of hair, popcorn kernels, and every parents’ constant companion: Cheerios. While testing, we noted how many passes were needed to clean up the materials and if any hair was tangled in the beater bar. We ran them through a living room obstacle course to see how they maneuvered in tight areas and around corners. Our testers even changed the bags and emptied the bins, rating how messy or complicated the process is. Our editors took all of the consistently applied testing data and boiled it down to the 12 vacuums we believe are the very best.

The Spruce's product tester navigates a living room obstacle course at The Lab with the Shark Vertex DuoClean PowerFins Cordless Stick Vacuum.

The Spruce / Phoebe Cheong

What to Look for in a Vacuum

Weight

If you’ve ever pushed around a vacuum cleaner for an extended cleaning session or even lugged it up and down a flight of stairs, you know the weight of your vacuum matters. It can be a real pain to maneuver a heavy product. Fortunately, many vacuum cleaners are designed to weigh less and be more nimble than the unwieldy machines that first entered home cleaning closets decades ago.

Upright vacuums tend to weigh the most. However, their wider floor heads, more powerful motors, and larger dust bags account for the added weight and often make them more effective. If you opt for this type of vacuum, assume it'll weigh between 12 and 18 pounds, with some models weighing less or more. Canister vacuums vary widely in terms of weight. Some lightweight models barely tip the scale at 8 pounds, while others that offer enhanced performance and features (to rival upright vacuums) can weigh as much as 18 or 20 pounds. Cordless stick vacuum cleaners are generally the most lightweight vacuums available. Intended for lighter cleaning and tiny spaces, they're meant to be easy to pick up for spot cleaning or light-duty vacuuming. They typically weigh between 3 and 7 pounds.

Compatible floor type

It's important to consider where you want to use your vacuum before purchasing it. Some picks are solely meant to be used with hardwood, while others are a powerful cleaner for laminate, tile, vinyl, and low to high-pile carpets as well. The presence, or absence, of a brush roll on a vacuum cleaner may determine what type of flooring the product is best suited for. Vacuums with no brush roll are good for hardwood floors or tile flooring, since the stiff fibers of a brush roll might scratch the finish on your flooring or send dirt in all directions. Alternatively, some vacuums with a brush roll offer the ability to turn the rotation of the brush off, making it safe for use on hardwood and effective on any type of hard surface flooring.

Filter type

Many vacuum cleaners are equipped with a filtration system intended to trap fine particles of dust and dander that might otherwise be released with the exhaust of the vacuum cleaner. Some filters are washable, making them an affordable, easy-to-maintain choice. These filters are typically made of a sponge-like material that rinses easily and air dries quickly. Other filters are much more paper-like in appearance, and must be replaced on a schedule (usually every 6 months or so) to maintain effectiveness.

Included attachments

The gold standard in vacuum filtration is a HEPA filter, which stands for High-Efficiency Particulate Air. These ultra-fine filters will trap the tiniest of dust and dander particles, as small as 0.3 microns in the case of true HEPA filters. A HEPA filtration system can be a major plus for anyone looking to reduce dust, dander, pollen, and other small particles in their home. HEPA filters usually need to be replaced on a schedule to maintain their filtration capabilities, but some newer versions do offer the advantage of being washable, as well.

Once you pick your perfect vacuum cleaner, make sure it’s equipped with the correct accessories to complete your cleaning tasks. Sometimes accessories are included with the purchase of your brand new vacuum, but other times you may need to purchase them separately. Some common tools that may be included with your vacuum are crevice tools, extension wands, and upholstery brushes that will all come in handy when you are trying to deep clean your home.

Some other popular cleaning accessories for vacuums are pet-related cleaning tools. These include nozzle attachments with grippy surfaces, fine-tooth combs, or stiff brushes to extract pet hair from your furniture upholstery, drapes, and more. If you're a pet owner, you'll want to certainly look into a pet-friendly attachment, as it can double the result of your cleaning efforts.

Popcorn kernels sit inside the floor head of a vacuum The Spruce tested at The Lab, that sits on a colorful, low-pile rug.

The Spruce / Phoebe Cheong

FAQ
  • How long should vacuum cleaners last?

    Most vacuums last an average of eight years. However, an important factor to consider when preserving the lifespan of your appliance is the type of vacuum it is. If your vacuum is a cordless stick pick, for example, it'll have a shorter lifespan due to the use of a battery instead of regular electricity.

    Now, there are many things you can do to ensure your vacuum lasts as long as it possibly can. Emptying the bag and cleaning the filter regularly are both ways to make sure your vacuum doesn't overfill or get clogged. Cleaning the attachments of any debris is also key in helping your vacuum last, as any type of hair or tangled fibers in attachments can still cause other damage to the unit as a whole.

  • Why do vacuum cleaners lose suction?

    The most common cause of vacuum suction loss is clogging. If the filters become blocked in your appliance, it restricts the flow of air. By regularly cleaning out your vacuum of dirt and debris, you'll extend its lifespan and ensure it won't lose power. In addition, it's also important to check the operating belts of the vacuum to make sure there isn't a problem with the base unit. You can check the belts by following the instructions in your appliance's operating manual.

  • How do you know what type of vacuum cleaner to buy?

    Your vacuum cleaner needs will be determined by your household priorities. The most important factors to consider are the size of your home, what kind of floors you have, and whether you have pets. For smaller households, a cordless stick or even handheld vacuum may work. But, for a larger family home, you may want to consider a more powerful canister or upright vacuum.

    Homes with hardwood floors should consider a vacuum specifically designed for this type of surface, including a wet-dry vacuum that mops and vacuums. If you have pets, there are also plenty of options on the market to help eliminate dander and fur.

  • How often should you clean a vacuum?

    Generally, you should deep clean your vacuum and its parts at least every 12 to 18 months. It also depends on how often you use your appliance. If you use it weekly or daily, cleaning it more often will be beneficial. As an example, bagless vacuums with washable filters used once or twice a week should be cleaned at least once a month. Refer to your owner's manual for a breakdown of cleaning information, as this will give you the best instructions on model maintenance.

The Spruce's product testers collect insights on three Dyson cordless stick vacuums, while standing around a high-pile carpet in The Lab.

The Spruce / Phoebe Cheong

Why Trust The Spruce?

Marisa Casciano is a senior commerce editor for The Spruce, and was in The Lab for the entirety of our vacuum test. She has researched the ins and outs of air purifiers, dishwashers, cooktops, wine fridges, and more in the home space. She has first-hand knowledge of how our vacuum tests were developed and performed, as well as where each product excelled or fell short.

Before conducting testing, she scoured brand and retailer websites, and considered price, verified customer reviews, features, and design when selecting the vacuums to test. She also did thorough research on the latest technology, and considered practicality and real-life cleaning situations. At the moment, she loves her upright-style Shark vacuum that's effective at cleaning both hardwood and carpeted areas in her home.

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. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. What Is A HEPA Filter? US EPA. 2021.

  2. How Long Do Vacuum Cleaners Last? Consumerreports.org.

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