The 10 Best Vacuum Cleaners of 2022, Tested and Reviewed

The winner is the Shark Vertex DuoClean Cordless Vacuum

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A group of vacuum cleaners tested by The Spruce.

The Spruce / Dera Burreson

Tidying up your living space always sounds so satisfying in theory, but when the day finally comes to vacuum all of the rooms in your home, it can feel exactly like what it is: a chore. You're adjusting the cord so it doesn't get tangled up like "old school" headphone wires at every turn. Covering every surface with the floor head is an unsolicited arm workout, and you're constantly wondering how long you can go before it's time to clean the vacuum and empty the dust bin—gross! Truthfully, vacuuming will always be a chore, but there are models that make it easier to romanticize your Saturday morning and achieve the satisfying carpet lines and mess-free floors you're after.

Through several tests of over 50 vacuums in The Lab and at home in real, everyday situations, we've found them. During these tests, we time each vacuum's setup process, evaluate its effectiveness on multiple types of flooring, and bring it through a living room-inspired obstacle course. We rate noise level, portability, value, and the ease of emptying the dust bin or bag, so you (and your pet who hates the vacuum cleaner) know what to expect from a particular vacuum and can choose the best option for you.

From upright, cordless stick, and wet-dry, to robot, canister, and handheld, the selection of vacuums is anything but limited. But after all of our testing (so far), we love the Shark Vertex DuoClean Lightweight Cordless Vacuum. It's lightweight, easy to use and store, and powerful, sucking up everything from cereal to hair on every surface we tested.

Here, the best vacuums for chores that feel more gratifying than gross, backed by our testing.

Our Top Picks

Best Overall

Shark IZ462H Vertex DuoClean PowerFins Lightweight Cordless Stick Vacuum

4.8
The Shark Vertex DuoClean PowerFins Lightweight Cordless Stick Vacuum features a gray and blue exterior and flexible design.

Amazon

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

What do buyers say? 88% of 3,200+ Amazon reviewers rated this product 4 stars or above.

After tons of testing, this lightweight (yet mighty) vacuum by Shark is our pick for the best vacuum overall. It sucked up everything we put in its path, including Cheerios and tough popcorn kernels, and mostly during its first pass. Upon lifting the floor head off the ground, the materials didn't sprinkle everywhere, and 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 even called the vacuum "flawless."

The Shark Vertex DuoClean PowerFins Cordless Stick Vacuum was able to slip easily under a coffee table and couch, which sits fairly low to the ground, as well. Our tester noted that the vacuum remains quiet most of the time its in operation, too, so your pet may not be as spooked by this cleaning machine. Its quietness is no sign of its strength, though: two brush heads give this pick power, and while the collection canister could be bigger, you'll find that it's easy and painless to empty into your trash can. When your chores are all done, you can easily store this cordless stick vacuum, too, because it actually folds in half. This thoughtful design feature—on top of a 60-minute battery life that's longer than most other cordless picks we've seen and tested—makes it suitable for both smaller apartments and larger households alike.

Now, there are newer versions of this particular vacuum out there. We tested the Shark Cordless Pro with Clean Sense IQ, the newest model in this line, but found that the older version achieved a much better clean. The new version dropped debris and wasn't effective at picking up pet hair on upholstery. While the older version comes with individually-wrapped pieces (which we didn't love) and a heavy handheld component, we still believe it's a top-notch option that's worth every penny. Even with the wrapping, setup took our tester about three minutes—it doesn't get much better than that!

Price at time of publish: $430

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

Best Budget

Kenmore DS4095 Elite Cordless Stick Vacuum with EasyReach Wand

4.3
Kenmore DS4095 Elite Cordless Stick Vacuum With EasyReach Wand

Amazon

What We Like
  • Very quiet operation

  • Lightweight and balanced design

  • Powerful suction on all surfaces

What We Don't Like
  • Difficult to put on attachments

  • Doesn't stand up on its own

  • Pulls hair and debris a bit

Spending money on a vacuum can feel as dreadful as vacuuming itself. If you're looking to stick to a budget, all while achieving a satisfying clean, check out the Kenmore DS4095 Elite Cordless Stick Vacuum that's quiet and lightweight. Our tester noted that it was super easy to push over bumps and onto a higher-pile rug, saying that it felt balanced. Notably, because the dust bin is located near the top of the handle, this balanced feeling isn't a guarantee with cordless stick models. On top of this, the swivel head was easy to use, and the vacuum had zero issues navigating around furniture or other obstacles.

Now, this Kenmore vacuum does have a few quirks. For one, you'll want to make sure you're centered over your messes so the vacuum can easily suction them up. In our experience, the vacuum pulls hair and debris behind it and along its sides a bit. You may have to go over areas a few times to pick up any leftovers. However, there's no other real issues with its cleaning effectiveness. Our tester wasn't super impressed with the included brush, but noted that the crevice tool provided great suction power, and the whole vacuum picked up small and large debris with ease in The Lab.

They were most impressed by its quiet operation—you could easily hold a conversation over it. "This was by far the quietest vacuum I have ever heard," they said, adding that it truly outperformed the more expensive, cord-free options that they tested in every way. Just know: this pick doesn't stand by itself and the attachments are a bit tricky to put on. You'll need to lean it up against a couch or wall, and spend some time getting to know the cleaning machine before tackling messes on your surfaces.

Price at time of publish: $180

Dimensions: 21.46 x 5.71 x 15.75 inches | Weight: Not listed | Cord Length: Cordless | Battery Life: Up to 40 minutes | Bin Volume: 1.06 quarts | Cleaning Path Width: Not listed | Compatible Floor Type: Carpet, laminate, hardwood, tile, and vinyl

Kenmore DS4095 Elite CSV Max 21.6V Cordless Stick Vacuum With EasyReach™ Wand

The Spruce / Dera Burreson

Best Canister

Miele Compact C1 Turbo Team Bagged Canister Vacuum

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

Amazon

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 homes with pets

The Miele Compact C1 Turbo Team Bagged Canister Vacuum is worth splurging on if you're looking for a super effective vacuum that's also pretty standard in its design—and not, say, a robot vacuum that's typically highly priced. The Miele vacuum easily gobbles up debris on hard floors and carpeting, and ultimately impressed our tester. They noted that hair did clog up the otherwise-mighty canister vacuum, so this model might not be the best fit for households with pets. The instructions were a little unclear and the vacuum is a bit heavy, too, so it likely would not be ideal for carrying up and down stairs.

However, the canister vacuum—like all canister vacuums—is a great contender for homes with small nooks and crannies that need to be cleaned. The slim handle and floor head make it easy to reach under a couch or near a coffee table. The 21-foot cord of this model can be rewound automatically when you're finished as well. Plus, at 3.75 quarts, this little machine takes a while to fill up, which is convenient, since it's bagged instead of bagless. It's pricey, even before you purchase the replacement bags, but ultimately this vacuum's positives outweigh any of its negatives. Per our tester, it's "so quiet it's ridiculous." Even if you disrupt your wallet, you won't likely disrupt the members of your household.

Price at time of publish: $491

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

Best Upright

Hoover Complete Performance Bagged Upright Vacuum Cleaner

4.7
Hoover Complete Performance Corded Bagged Upright Vacuum Cleaner

Amazon

What We Like
  • Powerful suction on all surfaces

  • Easy to release and dispose bag

  • Long power cord

  • Wide cleaning path

What We Don't Like
  • Heavy and bulky design

  • No stair attachment

  • Noisy operation

Upright vacuums are known for their suction power, which is why many people opt for this style for cleaning up their carpets or tough messes, even if it's not the most space-conscious. After testing dozens of upright picks, including Shark's Navigator line, the Hoover Complete Performance Bagged Upright Vacuum is our favorite. Its powerful suction on every single surface we tested it on, including upholstery, is hard to beat. It picked up all of our debris in just two passes, making its heavier and bulkier design feel like a total afterthought.

While you certainly would fight with this vacuum a bit on the stairs, since there's no stair attachment and it has a 10-pound build, we appreciated that it's easy to navigate on surfaces. The bag is also super easy to change—just press the release button to expose and dispose the collection bag. Setup was a total breeze for our tester, who didn't even have to look at the instructions to understand where everything goes, though they did say the vacuum's noise level matches its power level. You probably couldn't hold a conversation over this pick, and may want to warn your pets before turning it on.

All in all, this pick doesn't leave much to be desired, though. It has multiple settings for bare floors and carpet, which is a major plus for those who are worried about damaging their hardwood. With a 25-foot cord, 15-inch cleaning path, and more budget-friendly price tag, we feel more than happy recommending it for your home.

Price at time of publish: $155

Dimensions: 15 x 15 x 47 inches | Weight: 9.28 pounds | Cord Length: 25 feet | Battery Life: Not applicable | Bin Volume: Not listed | Cleaning Path Width: 15 inches | Compatible Floor Type: Hardwood, high-pile carpet, laminate, and tile

Hoover Complete Performance Bagged Upright Vacuum

The Spruce / Dera Burreson

Best Cordless Stick

Tineco Pure One S15 Pro Cordless Stick Vacuum Cleaner

4.8
Tineco Pure One S15 Pro Smart Cordless Stick Vacuum Cleaner

Amazon

What We Like
  • Easy to change out attachments

  • Included charging dock

  • Transitions well from hard floors to carpet

  • Great suction power

What We Don't Like
  • Tougher debris requires a second pass

  • More expensive than comparable PET model

Cordless stick vacuums have become increasingly popular over the years, because they're often easier to use and store than their upright counterparts. However, the caveat to cordless stick models is, by nature, they run on a battery that must be recharged and have a dust bin that's usually quite smaller in comparison. The Tineco PURE ONE S15 PRO addresses a lot of these concerns, though, with its battery that lasts up to 40 minutes and overall cleaning effectiveness that's competitive with our "best upright" pick. Our tester said that, in automatic mode, the vacuum adjusted itself to the debris it was picking up and was all-around useful at suctioning up all debris, from cereal to popcorn kernels.

Not to mention, changing out the attachments was easy and the entire model transitioned seamlessly from a hard floor to a carpet, so you won't need to worry about your cleaning session being interrupted by your living room's area rug. They could also easily pick the vacuum up with one hand—a perk for those with lots of stairs—and an included charging dock keeps everything you need in one spot when your Saturday cleaning session is complete.

Ultimately, we didn't have any major complaints about this model or the very similar Tineco PURE ONE S15 PET that we also tested. In comparison, the PET model is $100 cheaper and doesn't include the extra LED soft roller brush that the PRO has. This soft roller brush is great for hard flooring, which can be more prone to scratching or denting from your vacuum cleaner. However, if you don't have a lot of hardwood floors in your home, take the PET model into consideration in order to save a few bucks.

Price at time of publish: $599

Dimensions: 45 x 11 x 11.14 inches | Weight: 6.8 pounds | Battery Life: Up to 40 minutes | Bin Volume: Not listed | Cleaning Path Width: Not listed | Compatible Floor Type: Carpet, laminate, hardwood, tile, and vinyl

Tineco Pure One S15 PRO

The Spruce / Dera Burreson

Best Robot

Ecovacs Deebot N8+

4.8
ECOVACS Deebot N8 Pro+ Robot Vacuum and Mop Cleaner

Amazon

What We Like
  • Easy to set up

  • Docked itself on the first try

  • Excellent smart mapping

What We Don't Like
  • Loud when emptying

  • Mop brushes need to be cleaned

  • Can only use water with mop

Robot vacuums add a level of convenience to your cleaning routines, and are the perfect option if vacuuming your floor doesn't sound even remotely satisfying or fun, or you have pets or children who frequently track all types of messes around your living space. While they are more expensive, robot vacuums (as well as vacuum-mop hybrids, like this pick) tend to be worth the splurge once they're set up the way you want them to be. We have tested dozens of robotic vacuums in The Lab, and our favorite remains the ECOVACS DEEBOT N8+ Robot Vacuum and Mop.

That's right. It will also mop your floors. Our at-home tester said this dual-functionality has been life-changing, and she loves that the model senses when it's on carpet or hard flooring—and adjusts accordingly. This model's packed with smart features, too. It maps out your home, and then you can choose to clean the entire layout or a specific room. It has laser technology to avoid large items, such as furniture or door frames, that it may come across along the way, and smaller items, like socks or jeans left on the floor. (Even so, our at-home tester says she usually picks up a bit before running this device.)

You can program the ECOVACS DEEBOT N8+ with a cleaning schedule or order it to start from your smartphone if you're expecting last-minute guests. If this hands-off cleaning experience isn't enough, it also self-empties—once it's completed its run, all you have to do is change the dust bag every so often. In our lab testing, we were impressed by how quiet this vacuum was when operating, as well, although you might brace yourself for a loud roar when it self empties.

Now, while robot vacuums may not be able to target specific messes or do a deep clean, if you have pets—and, therefore, a lot of visible and invisible pet hair—this ECOVACS robot vacuum and mop will suck up more pet hair than you ever thought possible, as it makes its daily run around your living room. Our tester found not only that it is an effective vacuum and mop, but also that it smartly navigated obstacles and could transition from floors to rugs with ease. They only had one complaint: according to the manufacturer, the mopping reservoir can only hold water (as opposed to a mix of water and floor cleaner).

They got around this annoyance by soaking the mopping pad in their favorite floor cleaner, before attaching it to the device. They then said: "I hate to be dramatic, but this device has completely transformed my life. The time I spent vacuuming and mopping my floors is now free for other activities. Before incorporating this device into my home, it felt as if my floors were always dirty, no matter how much I vacuumed. Whenever I leave the house, I pick up dog toys and other small items off the floor and turn on the auto-clean function. My floors are clean by the time I get back home."

Price at time of publish: $450

Dimensions: 16.6 x 16.16 x 11.9 inches | Weight: 26.4 pounds | Cord Length: Not applicable | Battery Life: 110 minutes | Bin Volume: 0.48 quarts | Cleaning Path Width: 14.5 inches | Compatible Floor Type: Carpet and hardwood

Ecovacs Deebot N8+ on tile floor and carpet

The Spruce / Henry Wortock

Best Handheld

Hoover ONEPWR Cordless Handheld Vacuum Cleaner

4.8
Hoover ONEPWR Cordless Handheld Vacuum Cleaner

Amazon

What We Like
  • Powerful suction

  • Large dust bin

  • Easy to empty

  • Tapered nozzle fits into most spaces

What We Don't Like
  • Expensive

  • Battery pack adds weight

When you have a small mess on your hands that you need to quickly zap up, reach for a handheld vacuum. A handheld vacuum is excellent for rapidly sucking up snack spills in your kitchen, or pet hair from your couch in an efficient manner. Of course, its smaller profile doesn't make it a great option for whole-home cleaning, so it should absolutely be a supplement to your cordless stick, robot, canister, or upright vacuum that tackles most of the larger or weekly messes in your household. Nonetheless, having a handheld vacuum on hand, especially the Hoover ONEPWR Cordless Handheld Vacuum Cleaner, is beyond helpful for spot cleaning, car cleaning, and much more.

The Hoover ONEPWR Cordless Handheld Vacuum Cleaner excelled at our tests in The Lab. Its powerful suction impressed our testers, as it sucked up cereal, pet hair, popcorn kernels, and other debris in its path. We gave it high marks on maneuverability since our tester was able to clean hard-to-reach areas including under a couch, in a car's cupholder, and along a baseboard with ease, thanks to its tapered nozzle. Setup also took less than two minutes, and when it came to the dust bin, emptying it was a total breeze.

The battery pack detaches from the vacuum for easy charging, but our tester noted that the pack adds some weight when inserted into the vacuum, bringing this model up to 3 pounds. It may not be the best option for a deeper clean, or someone who wants something lightweight and easy to maneuver. It's also quite expensive in comparison to other handheld vacuums, but since it's such a strong, reliable cleaner, we believe it's well worth the price.

Price at time of publication: $100

Dimensions: 16.5 x 5 x 6.5 inches | Weight: 3 pounds | Cord Length: Not applicable | Battery Life: 15 minutes | Bin Volume: Not listed | Cleaning Path Width: Not listed | Compatible Floor Type: Carpet, laminate, hardwood, tile, and vinyl

The Hoover ONEPWR Cordless Handheld Vacuum Cleaner is held by a product tester during The Spruce's dustbusters test at The Lab.

The Spruce / Tamara Staples

Best for Pet Hair

Tineco Pure ONE S15 Pet Smart Cordless Stick Vacuum Cleaner

4.8
Tineco PURE ONE S15 PET Vacuum

Tineco

What We Like
  • Charging base included

  • Has an auto mode and three manual modes

  • Has a lever to scrape debris and dust out of the bin

  • LED light on floor head

What We Don't Like
  • Too powerful for area rugs

  • Top-heavy design

As we noted above, the Tineco PURE ONE S15 PET Vacuum impressed our testers with its suction power, ease of operation, and intuitive features, which ensure that you're getting the best cleaning in your home. It's super similar to the Tineco PURE ONE S15 PRO—our "best cordless stick" pick—and really only differs in price and one soft roller brush that makes the PRO more suitable for hardwood floors. However, we really appreciate how the PET is an effective and slightly cheaper option made for pet owners.

Just like other models by the brand, the S15 PET features Tineco's display screen, which turns from red to blue to signify whether there is dirt on the floor. It also clearly displays the battery's percentage. The auto mode is a great option for everyday cleaning, but our tester found that switching to max mode—within the manual mode selections—worked best for ensuring that no dirt or pet hair was left behind. Keep in mind that this vacuum is not best for area rugs, because of its suction power. However, when in automatic mode, it does automatically increase suction when it encounters hair or debris. That helps the vac to conserve energy so you can clean up to 1,399 square feet on a single charge and capture more messes around your home.

Aside from this vacuum's impressive suction power, our tester appreciated its easy-to-empty dust bin. It has a lever that scrapes debris and dust off the filter and sides of the canister. Our tester said they still had to pull out some hair that was stuck up high in the canister, but overall appreciated the ease of emptying. Tineco delivers a tangle-free brush head that lifts hairs into the dust bin, too, so they don't become trapped around the base of the vacuum.

Most importantly, this vacuum's brush head has LED lights on it that illuminate your path so you suck up every last pet hair. Our home tester noted that the LED light actually helped her to find tiny pet hairs in her home. "I thought my home was a pretty clean place, but when I used this Tineco for the first time, I realized I was very, very wrong," she said. "The LED light on the head illuminated tiny white Chihuahua hairs all over my floors—even in rooms that she doesn't usually go in! Now, I use this vacuum almost every day, and every time it illuminates and captures tiny pet hair that I wouldn’t have seen. Honestly, I had no idea my Chihuahua shed that much! I’m grateful that this vacuum can suck up all the stray hairs that I don’t see, so I can feel confident that my dog and I are lounging in a truly clean space."

Price at time of publishing: $499

Dimensions: 45 x 11 x 11.14 inches | Weight: 6.8 pounds | Cord Length: Not applicable | Battery Life: Up to 40 minutes | Bin Volume: Not listed | Cleaning Path Width: Not listed | Compatible Floor Type: Carpet, laminate, hardwood, tile, and vinyl

Tineco PURE ONE S15 PET Vacuum

The Spruce / Rachel Marek

Best Wet-Dry

Shark VacMop Pro Cordless Hard Floor Vacuum Mop

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

Amazon

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, and store just one appliance in your home. When it comes to this newer style of appliance, you can't beat the Shark VacMop. This stick vacuum has limited battery life, but takes a total of two minutes to setup—including pouring in the cleaning solution and attaching a 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 also allows you to easily see what you're cleaning, even if a mess is hidden under your kitchen cart or couch.

Our tester noted that the slim profile is very lightweight, and the cleaning solution has a fresh scent that's very mild. The disposable cleaning pad makes clean-up simple—especially because it's paired with an easy-release button on the floor head that ensures you don't need to touch what you just cleaned up. Notably, the VacMop comes with four ready-to-use replacement pads as well, so you don't have to venture to the store after using it one time. The only really downsides to this model is that the dust bin isn't very large and you have to hold down the power button consistently while using it. This could be tiring, especially after cleaning a larger home.

The entire model operates very quietly though, and will be very suitable for your kitchen, bathroom, or any spot with hard floors. It also runs at a budget-friendly price, meaning you can achieve satisfying cleans for less.

Price at time of publication: $100

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

Shark Vacmop

The Spruce / Phoebe Cheong

Best for Carpet

Dyson V12 Detect Slim

4.2
Dyson V12 Detect Slim

Walmart

What We Like
  • Hair doesn't get tangled

  • 60-minute battery life

  • Intuitive LCD screen

What We Don't Like
  • Instructions aren't very clear

  • Spits debris on hard surfaces

  • Noisy operation

Dyson vacuums have quite the reputation for being intuitive, colorful, powerful, and expensive machines. The v12 Detect Slim is no different, and performed best on carpeting in our testing. We found that the model would spit out debris on hard surfaces, leaving popcorn kernels and cereal scattered and ensuring we had to make a few more passes. However, on carpeting, the vacuum tackled all types of debris well. While it required an extra pass or two to capture larger debris, it ultimately sucked it all up and without too much effort on our part. Also, no hair got tangled in the beater bar which we considered a major win, especially for pet owners.

Notably, the Dyson v12 Detect Slim is outfitted with much of the same technology as other Dyson vacuums. It features a Laser Slim Fluffy cleaner head. The head shines a laser onto tiny particles, so you can see them and know to capture them. The vacuum also features an LCD screen that lets you know how much of its hour-long battery life is left and whether maintenance is required. Though, our tester noted that the full capabilities of it were not explained well in the instruction manual, so you'll have to get to know the digital screen yourself.

In addition, this vacuum was incredibly noisy when operating, but it's noise level matches its power—which you need a lot of to thoroughly clean carpeted surfaces in your home. Ultimately, the power and lightweight design is what pushed this model over the edge for us and made it seem worthy of its more expensive price tag.

Price at time of publishing: $500

Dimensions: 49.1 x 9.9 x 9.8 inches | Weight: 5.2 pounds | Cord Length: Not applicable | Battery Life: 60 minutes | Bin Volume: 0.4 quarts | Cleaning Path Width: Not listed | Compatible Floor Type: Carpet, laminate, hardwood, tile, and vinyl

Dyson v12 Detect Slim

The Spruce / Dera Burreson

Compare

Overall Rating Ease of Setup Effectiveness Maneuverability Ease of Emptying Noise Level
The Shark Vertex DuoClean PowerFins Lightweight Cordless Stick Vacuum features a gray and blue exterior and flexible design.
Best Overall:
Shark Vertex DuoClean PowerFins Cordless Stick Vacuum
4.8
4 5 5 5 4.5
Kenmore DS4095 Elite Cordless Stick Vacuum With EasyReach Wand
Best Budget:
Kenmore Stick Vacuum with EasyReach Wand
4.3
4 5 3.5 5
miele-compact-c1-turbo-team-canister-vacuum
Best Canister:
Miele C1 Turbo Canister Vacuum
4.2
4 4.5 4 5
Hoover Complete Performance Corded Bagged Upright Vacuum Cleaner
Best Upright:
Hoover Complete Performance Vacuum
4.7
5 4 5 3
Tineco Pure One S15 Pro Smart Cordless Stick Vacuum Cleaner
Best Cordless Stick:
Tineco Pure One S15 Pro Cordless Stick Vacuum Cleaner
4.8
4.5 5 5 4
ECOVACS Deebot N8 Pro+ Robot Vacuum and Mop Cleaner
Best Robot:
Ecovacs Deebot N8+
4.8
4.7 4 5 5
Hoover ONEPWR Cordless Handheld Vacuum Cleaner
Best Handheld:
Hoover ONEPWR Cordless Handheld Vacuum Cleaner
4.8
5 5 5 4
Tineco PURE ONE S15 PET Vacuum
Best for Pet Hair:
Tineco Pure ONE S15 Pet Stick Vacuum
4.8
shark-vacmop-wet-dry-stick-vacuum
Best Wet-Dry:
Shark VacMop Pro Cordless Hard Floor Vacuum Mop
4.9
5 5 5 5 5
Dyson V12 Detect Slim
Best for Carpet:
Dyson V12 Detect Slim
4.2
3 3 4 1
Final Verdict

After thoroughly testing over 50 vacuums in The Lab and in real-world situations, the Shark Vertex DuoClean PowerFins Cordless Stick Vacuum is our best overall pick for a vacuum cleaner. It's very effective at cleaning all surfaces, has a long battery life, and folds in half for easy storage. If you're looking for something a little cheaper, the Kenmore DS4095 Elite Cordless Stick Vacuum is a great option. It's lightweight and balanced, and has powerful suction—though, you need to get to know a few quirks.

Best Vacuum Cleaners

Lara Antal / The Spruce

How We Tested the Vacuums

We've purchased and tested over 50 vacuums side-by-side in The Lab and at home. In The Lab, we start with the unboxing and setup of each vacuum, timing how long each assembly process takes and noting whether the instructions are clear or confusing. Then, we put the models through their paces to test for the best and weed out the rest. Our testers use each vacuum on hard flooring and high, medium, and low-pile carpets. They test effectiveness by challenging each vacuum to clean up measured amounts of hair, popcorn kernels, and every parent's constant companion: Cheerios. While testing, we note how many passes are needed to clean up the debris, and whether hair gets tangled in the beater bar.

We also evaluate the vacuum's weight and portability, and how well it can transition from smooth floors to carpeting. We rate the noise level and note whether we can comfortably talk over it. After testing for these attributes, we test maneuverability by running each model through a living room obstacle course, complete with a low-sitting couch and coffee table, to see how they maneuver in tight areas and around corners.

To wrap up our tests, our testers change the bags and pour out the dust bins to gain insights into the ease of emptying each vacuum, and rate each one's overall value based on their experience from beginning to end. At home, several testers put vacuums to the test in real-world situations to evaluate the same attributes, in addition to durability, longevity, and ease of storage. We take all of the consistently applied testing data and boil down the insights to the vacuums we believe are the very best—the ones that will help you achieve that gratifying clean.

0:23
Testing Vacuum Cleaners for Weight, Attachments, and Durability

What to Look for in a Vacuum Cleaner

Type

The first thing you need to consider when shopping for a vacuum is the type of vacuum you're in the market for. There are several types of vacuums and each can help you achieve a different clean.

  • Upright: This is the most traditional type of vacuum cleaner. Upright vacuums usually feature a large dust bin or bag near the floor head, and have a bulkier design that makes them a bit harder to move and store. However, they're great for whole-home cleaning and often can capture more debris at once, especially if they have a corded design. You can expect most upright vacuums to be champions at picking up messes on carpet and offer great suction power.
  • Cordless stick: Cordless stick vacuums have become popular in recent years, because of their smaller profile and maneuverable design. They usually feature a smaller dust bin near the top of their handle, meaning you can't necessarily pick up as much debris at one time. Not to mention, the battery life of your chosen model may limit you. However, continuous advances have made these models more intuitive, so they do often provide the same suction power as an upright vac. You can ultimately expect them to be lightweight, versatile, and easy to store. Our "best overall" pick, the Shark Vertex DuoClean PowerFins Cordless Stick Vacuum, is a cordless stick option.
  • Wet-dry: Models like the Shark VacMop, our "best wet-dry" pick, tackle two cleaning job at once. They can be used to vacuum up loose debris and mop your hard floors. The perk of these models is that you don't need to purchase or store more than one appliance. However, they only work on hard, sealed surfaces, so you'll need another vacuum for tackling messes on carpet. Some come in a stick design, while others look like an upright vacuum or are a robot vacuum.
  • Canister: Another very traditional style of vacuum is the canister vacuum. It marries the handle and floor head of a cordless stick vacuum with a (sometimes rolling) canister that collects debris and holds it in a dust bin or bag. This pick can be a great option for those with a lot of stairs. The canister vacuum is also known for being pretty powerful and maneuverable. However, you'll want to find a pick that ideally has a set of wheels or a handle on the canister, otherwise it won't be as portable as it could be.
  • Handheld: Handheld vacuums—which are sometimes categorized as dustbusters—are great for all the spot-cleaning and smaller tasks throughout your home, car, or even garage. You can aim them at a particular mess, and use their smaller profile or included attachments to target those messes in tight areas like car cupholders. We recommend shopping for a handheld vacuum as a supplement to your larger vacuum, since these models aren't meant for any weekly and whole-house cleans.
  • Robot: Typically outfitted with lots of smart features including smart mapping, robot vacuums offer a hands-free experience to cleaning. With the touch of a button, they intuitively roam the surfaces of your home and pick up debris along the way. These models take time to set up, and you may need to prep your house before they run their cycle to remove obstacles they can get stuck on. Otherwise, they can be a great solution for those with kids and pets, and lots of high-traffic areas. Just note: they will be significantly more expensive than other vacuums out there. We love the ECOVACS DEEBOT N8+ Robot Vacuum and Mop, which acts as a mop, too.

Weight and Portability

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 bins 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. 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—like, the Shark VacMop—while others are powerful on vinyl, tile, hardwood, and low to high-pile carpets. Some picks are also just more useful on one surface—like, the Dyson v12 Detect Slim, which performed the best on carpet in our testing.

Typically, the presence or absence of a brush roll on a vacuum can determine what type of flooring the product is best suited for. Vacuums with no brush roll are good for hardwood floors or tile, since the stiff fibers of a brush roll might scratch the finish on your floors or send dirt in all directions. But, notably, 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.

If you have a mix of flooring and carpeting in your home, you will want to look for a pick with multiple settings for different surfaces.

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

Filter Type and Ease of Emptying

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.

Notably, HEPA filters are a great option for those who suffer from allergies, as they effectively trap the dust, dander, and particles that may be triggers. These ultra-fine filters trap the tiniest of dust and dander particles, as small as 0.3 microns in the case of true HEPA filters. 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. If your household has pets, or you or someone in your household has allergies, consider a vacuum with a HEPA filter or a bagged design. That way, it won't be easy to come in contact with the debris you're collecting.

While replacement bags can be a bit more expensive in the long run, they do seal away your debris. Dust bins are often emptied out in the trash can and may require that you use your hands to loosen up any stuck debris. The ECOVACS DEEBOT N8+ Robot Vacuum and Mop self empties, so you don't have to worry about emptying your vacuum or disposing of the debris for quite some time.

Included Attachments

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 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.

ECOVACS DEEBOT N8+ Robot Vacuum

The Spruce / Henry Wortock

FAQ
  • How long should vacuum cleaners last?

    Most vacuums last an average of eight years. However, one important factor to consider when preserving the lifespan of your appliance is the type of model 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 a cord.

    There are many things you can do to ensure that 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 toward 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 something is blocking the filters in your appliance, it restricts the flow of air. By regularly cleaning your vacuum of dirt and debris, you'll extend its lifespan and ensure that it won't lose power. 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 that's specifically designed for that 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. However, this also depends on how often you vacuum. If you use your appliance weekly or daily, then cleaning it more often will be beneficial.

    As an example, bagless vacuums with washable filters should be cleaned at least once a month if they are used once or twice a week. Refer to your owner's manual for a breakdown of cleaning information, as that will give you the best instructions on model maintenance.

  • How do vacuum cleaners work?

    A vacuum has several different parts that come together to suck up dust and retain it. Its motor is powered by a fan, which runs at high speeds to create suction and release clean air through the exhaust port. The brush, housed in the bottom of the vacuum, helps to loosen and collect dust, dirt, and debris off of your floors. Then, a vacuum has either a bag, a single cyclone, or a multi-cyclone system that holds the debris it has collected. Finally, there is the exhaust filter, which helps to filter out particles and prevents your vacuum from blowing out of the exhaust port the dust and dander you've just collected.

  • When are vacuum cleaners on sale?

    Aside from Black Friday, Cyber Monday, and the holiday season, spring is the best time to buy a vacuum cleaner on sale. Since people like to get their spring cleaning done then, retailers will often schedule sales around that time of year. They also tend to release new models during the summer, so older models will usually get marked down.

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 the senior commerce editor for all things appliances, cleaning, and organization for The Spruce and has personally developed and run vacuum tests at The Lab, evaluating cordless stick, upright, handheld, and canister vacuums. For this piece, she not only consulted our firsthand testing insights, but also scoured brand and retailer websites and considered cost, verified reviews, features, and design when selecting our top vacuums. She did thorough research on the latest and greatest technology, and considered real-life cleaning situations with the help of insights from real-world testers.

She loves her Shark VacMop, which is effective at cleaning hard surfaces in her home. She reaches for it almost daily to pick up crumbs in her kitchen and to make her home feel new again.

What Is Spruce Approved?

Here at The Spruce, we want to ensure that we fully stand behind every product we recommend, and that when we say something is the best, we mean it. You might have noticed The Spruce Approved badge next to the products on this list. Every product with this badge has been rigorously tested in person and carefully selected by our expert team of lab testers and editors. In most cases, we buy all of these products ourselves, though occasionally we get samples provided to us directly by companies. No matter how we procure products, they all go through the same tests and must meet the same strict criteria to make the "best-of" cut. We also pride ourselves on transparency and will always let you know if we received a product for free.

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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