The best vacuums for every home and every personBy Jonathan Chan
We often get asked, "What's the best vacuum cleaner?" But the answer isn't that simple. Over the past five years, we've tested uprights, canisters, robots, cordless, and wet-dry vacuums, and we can tell you that each type has its own advantages and drawbacks.
Uprights, for example, tend to be best at cleaning carpets rather than upholstery. On the other hand, canisters can take up more space but get under furniture more easily. Then there are robot vacuums, which have to run everyday to keep the dust bunnies at bay.
Confused yet? Don't worry, we've got you covered. Here are the best vacuums of any type you can get right now, and why you should or shouldn't buy them.
Updated March 29, 2017
Where To Buy$89.99 Amazon Buy
Bissell CleanViewBest Affordable Upright
If you want the most vacuum for the least amount of money, the Bissell CleanView is your best bet.
This popular bagless canister sells for around $90 online and in stores, and our tests showed the CleanView offered a fantastic balance of performance and price. Pet owners might need something with even more suction—but the CleanView is a great generalist.
The CleanView picked up an impressive percentage of the test dirt we laid out for it, and we feel the included crevice tool, dusting tool, and turbo brush accessories will satisfy the needs of most households. At 77 dBa, it's louder than more expensive models, but still one of the quietest vacuums we've tested at this price.
Note this model lacks a retractable cord, doesn't carry all of its attachments on board, and isn't great for deep carpet. But user reviews praise its reliability and build quality.
For more, check out our full affordable upright vacuum guide.
Where To BuyClick for price Amazon Buy
Eufy RoboVac 11Best Affordable Robot Vacuum
For those that want a helping hand, an automated robot vacuum is a great way to keep the dirt at bay. If you don't need the fanciest features like Alexa integration, then an above average robot vacuum shouldn't could more than $300.
Cue the Eufy RoboVac 11. This model has an MSRP of $399, but retails for as low as $187. It gets positive user reviews, and fared exceptionally well in our tests—outperforming even the popular iRobot Roomba 770 and 880.
In a week of cleaning, we estimate the Eufy will pick up about as much as a traditional vacuum would in a few hours. In fact our only complaint is the lack of virtual barriers, which other manufacturers use to prevent their robots from entering certain rooms or knocking over a dog's dish. For under $400, though, the RoboVac 11 is an affordable and effective way to add a robot to your cleaning routine.
For more, check out our full affordable robot vacuum guide.
Where To Buy$599.99 Dyson Buy
Dyson V8 AbsoluteBest Cordless Vacuum
Cordless vacuums are the way to go when you want to clean your car or behind furniture. However, if you want a cordless vacuum that could potentially replace your regular vacuum, you're going to have to shell out big money.
The Dyson V8 Absolute is the pinnacle of cordless vacuum technology, and it comes with absolutely everything: a powered brush head that's designed for hardwood floors, a motorized mini brush for upholstery, a soft brush for hardwood, a combination upholstery / bare floor tool, a crevice tool, and a soft dusting brush for computers and delicate items. They all attach to a 5.6-pound wall-mountable package—one of the lightest cordless vacuums on the market.
The V8 Absolute's brush head is made from carbon fiber and nylon. It's softer than a puppy—and infinitely more gentle on floors and better at picking up dirt. In our labs, the V8 picked up 88 percent of the dirt we put down for our tests—more than any other cordless vacuum we've tested, and better than many full-size vacuums.
On the low setting, the V8's battery lasted an amazing 40 minutes. When you're done cleaning, the dustbin empties out with the pull of a single lever on top of the machine.
For more, check out our roundup of the best cordless vacuums.
Where To Buy$1,099.00 Amazon Buy
Miele Complete C3 KonaBest Canister Vacuum
Because they can be unwieldy, bagged canister vacuums aren't as popular as they once were. Still, they're the go-to choice for serious cleaning. That's because their separate wands and many attachments make them easy to use under furniture, on a variety of floor types, and on upholstery and curtains. If you have mostly wood floors, a canister vacuum is your best bet.
At over $1,000, the Miele Complete C3 Kona bagged canister vacuum might be expensive—but our tests show it gets the job done. On bare floors and thick carpet, the Kona simply captures more dirt than its competitors. It does this with its powered brush head, which is powerful enough to propel itself forward.
When cleaning is done, all attachments store onboard—even the powered Electro Plus wand slots right into the body. And since it's a Miele, nothing but the best build quality will do—no cheap or wobbly panels here. Everything is fine tuned for balance so the unit won't fall over.
If you suffer from allergies or just demand a clean house, look no further than Miele's Kona.
For more, check out our full canister vacuums guide.
Craftsman 12004Best Shop Vacuum
Wet/Dry vacuums are designed to pick up dirt, debris, and water. The Craftsman 12004 was our overall pick for the best wet/dry vacuum because it offered the most balanced combination of power, usability, and versatility. While it's neither the largest nor the most powerful wet/dry vacuum we tested, it picked up 1.43 gallons of water in just 10 seconds—better than any vacuum its size.
The six-gallon Craftsman also backed up its power with smooth operation. The hose was easy to attach and remove, but still felt secure even when we used it to drag a heavy, waterlogged vacuum. This Craftsman also boasted the easiest filter to remove. That's important since you have to to take the filter off before wet pickup.
The only weak spot is the Craftsman's lack of attachments. It comes with two extension wands, a floor squeegee for wet pickup, and a utility nozzle. That covers wet and dry pretty well—but some of the competition came with more.
For more, check out our full shop vacuums guide.
Where To BuyClick for price Amazon Buy
Miele Dynamic U1 Cat & DogBest Upright
If you like the idea of an upright vacuum but want something that's going to last, we recommend spending a little more on a Miele. No matter which model you pick, the Miele Dynamic U1 line of high-end upright vacuums look and feel like nothing else out there. Each vacuum contains weights so it resists tipping over, even when you're tugging on the hose.
But what's more impressive is that the Dynamic U1 models clean as well as they handle. When it comes right down to it, the U1 series picked up more dirt than any other vacuum we've ever tested. Yes, it is expensive—even the entry-level U1 Maverick starts at $399. But when you need a superior clean, Miele delivers.