Top Vacuum Cleaners for Your Home

By Kalina MacKay

Investing in a great vacuum cleaner is key to maintaining the upkeep of your home. But before you buy one, you’ll want to determine what type of vacuum you need and what it will be used for. Are you looking for a vacuum to spot clean messes or one that’s capable of cleaning your entire home? Do you want a lightweight vacuum or something strong and durable? Do you want to be responsible for vacuuming or do you want your vacuum to do the vacuuming for you?

You’ll also have to consider the size of your home and type of flooring you have. For example, a stick vacuum may work well for an apartment, but you can cover more ground in a larger house with an upright vacuum. Take a look at just a handful of vacuum cleaner reviews and you’ll find that some vacuums can’t handle high-pile carpet while some automatically adjust between carpet and hard floors.

Our team has read countless vacuum reviews and reviewed consumer feedback in addition to testing the top-rated vacuums. We’ve researched what factors matter most to those purchasing a vacuum and answered the most frequently asked questions to give you a better look at your vacuum cleaner options.

Best upright vacuum cleaners

The standard upright vacuum is the most common type of vacuum and includes bag and bagless options as well as vacuums that use different filtration systems, like HEPA and water filtration. These are typically heavier than the other types of vacuums and may be more awkward to maneuver or carry around while cleaning.

Bissell Pet Hair Eraser

Pet owners will love the powerful suction and versatile accessories associated with the Bissell Pet Hair Eraser. This upright vacuum is designed with four carpet settings to effectively suction high- and low-pile carpets. But at 18 pounds, it’s not easy to store or transport.

Although it’s bulky in comparison to other upright and stick vacuums, the Bissell is flexible enough to maneuver around furniture and under tables. The heaviness of this vacuum can make sharp turns more difficult for those with limited arm strength.

When it comes to accessories, this vacuum cleaner steals the show. It comes with impressive attachments like an LED light crevice tool, which reveals and cleans hidden dirt, and the Pet TurboEraser tool designed to remove embedded hair from carpets and upholstery. 

Dyson Small Ball 

This compact upright vacuum is built with two-tier radial cyclones and carbon fiber filaments allowing it to remove fine dust from hard floors. It’s simple to use and picks up messes with ease.

Those who have limited strength or who have limited space in their living quarters will appreciate the lightweight and compact design of the Dyson Small Ball. However, the Dyson’s compact size is in no way indicative of its performance. 

With only one setting, the Dyson Small Ball Multi Floor can effortlessly transfer from hard floors to carpeted surfaces, while providing impeccable multi-surface suction. It’s a terrific option for all-around home cleaning.

Dyson Big Ball 

Using the Dyson Big Ball Multi Floor for the first time will really make you question your cleanliness—are you that dirty or did your previous vacuum simply just put lines in the carpet?

This Dyson Ball vacuum gets your dirt’s dirt out of the carpet. Though there’s a slight drag when moving backward on high-pile carpets, we found the vacuum’s outstanding suction to be worth the extra effort. Powerful suction, an easy-to-empty canister, and several other significant factors make the Dyson Big Ball Multi Floor our pick for the top canister vacuum.

The Dyson Big Ball Multi Floor comes with a stair tool that facilitates cleaning on both carpet and hardwood stairs, a turbine head to help remove fine dirt, and a combination tool that expands the long-reach wand up to 50 inches.

Dyson Ball Multi Floor 2 

Looking for a powerful vacuum cleaner with incredible maneuverability and suction power? The Dyson Ball Multi Floor 2 vacuum cleaner is easy to maneuver and can clean the messiest areas with ease. With powerful suction and flexible steering, this vacuum is perfect for cleaning all types of floors including carpets, hardwood, tile, and vinyl.

The Dyson Ball Multi Floor 2 comes with an attached hose and an instant release wand accessory that releases in one smooth action and allows you to spot clean difficult areas. In the box, you’ll receive a Dyson Ball Multi Floor 2 vacuum, a combination tool, a stair tool, a quick start guide, an owner’s manual, and a product registration card.

Overall, we recommend the Dyson Ball Multi Floor 2 for those who want a vacuum that can accomplish a basic, thorough cleaning of the home in a timely manner. It does a phenomenal job of cleaning up a variety of substances on all floor types and definitely surpassed maneuverability expectations.

Hoover WindTunnel 2 Whole House Rewind Upright vacuum

The Hoover WindTunnel 2 Whole House Rewind Upright vacuum is a good vacuum for hard floors but can be a hit or miss on carpet. It’s able to remove dirt, dust, and pollen from any surface and holds more dirt than other upright vacuums.\

It uses advanced Multi-Cyclonic Technology and two channels of suction, lifting and removing surface debris and embedded dirt. This upright vacuum also comes with a multi-floor brush roll that features five manual adjustments to maximize suction for all types of flooring. This is a huge plus for people who have a combination of carpets and hard floors throughout their home.

Overall, the Hoover WindTunnel’s suction power is extremely low compared to competitors. It struggled to pick up fine particles and pet hair and did an average job cleaning carpets. It also has poor maneuverability and can’t swivel or move easily around furniture and tight spaces. In our eyes, the two most valuable parts of this vacuum—the HEPA filter and retractable cord—just aren’t enough to make it a top pick.

Shark Rotator Vacuum

This upright vacuum cleaner deep cleans all types of floors including carpets, area rugs, and bare floors. With its Shark Anti-Allergen Complete Seal Technology—a quality feature for those who suffer from allergies—it traps 99.9% of dust and allergens inside the vacuum. Best of all, its lightweight structure and enhanced swivel steering make it effortless to move around furniture and other obstacles.

The Shark Rotator is one of the lightest upright vacuums on the market, weighing in at 15.5 pounds, but it’s still heavier than a stick or handheld vacuum. If you have difficulty cleaning with heavy vacuums, we recommend choosing a stick vacuum like the Dyson V7 Motorhead.

At a third of the price of a Dyson Ball Multi Floor 2, choosing the Shark Rotator is a no-brainer for those who want a traditional, upright vacuum cleaner with max suction power, easy maneuverability, and plenty of accessories.

Shark Navigator Lift-Away Deluxe Vacuum

The Shark Navigator Lift-Away upright vacuum cleaner can easily be configured into different cleaning modes to keep your floors looking brand new. There’s an upright mode for vacuuming floors and carpets, and a Lift-Away mode for cleaning hard-to-reach areas like baseboards and ceiling fan blades. The Shark Lift-Away also has a brushroll capability for powerful carpet and bare floor cleaning.

The brushroll will not spin unless the nozzle is flat against the floor and the handle is tilted back. Also, due to the strong suction power of this vacuum, you may have to adjust the suction release collar on the handle to decrease the suction power. 

Overall, the Shark Navigator is an excellent upright vacuum—and a total steal. Not only is it lightweight and easy to use, it comes with anti-allergen complete seal technology and HEPA filtration, making it perfect for those who have pets or suffer from allergies. The accessories are also a bonus that makes comprehensive cleaning a breeze.

Best handheld vacuum cleaner

These cordless vacuums are the perfect size for cleaning your vehicle or picking up a small mess in your home. They work best in hard-to-reach spaces, like on top of shelves or under a bed. Because of their size, these small vacuum cleaners shouldn’t be used for entire-house cleaning or sucking up larger messes. This also means that a handheld vacuum is a great supplement to a bigger vacuum.

Dyson V7 Car + Boat vacuum

If the backseat of your car is littered with food crumbs and pet hair, or your trunk is covered in dirt, mulch, and other gardening debris, you’ll need the best handheld vacuum cleaner to tackle these messes. The Dyson V7 Car + Boat vacuum is a cord-free car vacuum cleaner that is great for cleaning your vehicle (and house).

This car vacuum cleaner comes with a quick release extension hose, a mini soft dusting brush, a crevice tool, a charger, a mini motorized tool, a combination tool, and a stubborn dirt brush. It also comes with a car power adapter.

Its strong suction power and portability make the Dyson V7 Car + Boat the perfect tool for crevices and cracks. However, it should be used for spot cleaning instead of larger cleaning jobs.

Best canister vacuum cleaner

Though unwieldy, canister vacuums are quite powerful. Their slender wand can be ideal for reaching tricky spots like stairs and underneath beds or couches. Perhaps one of the biggest downsides of a canister vacuum is the fact that you have to drag it behind you as you clean. If you don’t mind this, you’ll get to enjoy a semi-quiet vacuum that delivers powerful suction for a fast and efficient clean.

Miele Compact C1 Pure Suction

The Miele Compact is a great affordable option for a traditional canister vacuum. It makes vacuuming a bit easier thanks to its lightweight, egg-shaped canister. It’s easy to store and is built with a retractable, 18-foot cord that prevents you from having to wrap and unwrap the power cord.

Due to its thin, lightweight handpiece, the Miele Compact C1 is able to maneuver under and around furniture and fixed objects like heavy plant stands and low-set couches without any trouble.

In addition to its extraordinarily long-reach ability, the Miele Compact canister comes with an upholstery tool, crevice tool, and dusting brush tool (with synthetic bristles), so you can tackle just about any job, anywhere.

Best stick vacuum cleaners

These are more compact than an upright vacuum and are considerably lighter. Though they’re small, they still have amazing suction power and do a great job cleaning carpets and bare floors. They can be cordless or corded and typically transform into a portable, handheld vacuum. The downside to these vacuums: they have smaller dust bin capacity, meaning you’ll have to empty them frequently and the cordless ones may have a short battery life. Because of this, they’re ideal for spot cleaning messes in smaller homes. Stick vacuums also have bigger price tags than other vacuums on the market.

Dyson V7 Motorhead

The Dyson V7 Motorhead’s fuchsia, matte design is energizing and refreshing—a nice change from typical neutral vacuum colors. Because of its lightweight and sleek design, it’s also extremely easy to hold and carry while cleaning.

This vacuum cleaner comes with three tools: a combination tool, a crevice tool, and a docking station. The combination tool is built with a wide, flat-head apparatus and adjustable brush, ideal for cleaning sensitive areas like computer keyboards or bookcases. The crevice tool is a long,

narrow extension wand that works best when cleaning under couch cushions or along baseboards. The docking station is perfect for storing and charging your vacuum in a closet.

Overall, the V7 is a good option for its easy maneuverability, powerful suction, and HEPA filter. It can also easily transform into a handheld vacuum and specifically designed with pet owners in mind.

Dyson V8

The Dyson V8 comes with one of the company’s most powerful engines, so it’s able to remove more dust and debris from your floors. Though it has a five-hour charge time, its battery life will last for up to 40 minutes at a time. 

The Dyson V8 comes with four accessories: a docking station, a combination tool, a crevice tool, and a mini motorized tool. The combination tool is a two-in-one piece meant for simple switching between floor surfaces. The crevice tool is designed for precise cleaning around edges and narrow gaps (think: under car seats or behind your bookcase). The mini motorized tool is a motorized brush bar that tackles pet hair and ground-in dirt. The Dyson V8 also comes with two head attachments: a soft roller cleaning head and a regular motorhead.

Similar to the V7, the Dyson V8 is extremely easy to maneuver around a couch and under a coffee table. We recommend the Dyson V8 for all-purpose cleaning. 

Dyson V10 

We believe the Dyson V10 is one of the best stick vacuums on the market with its extended run time, streamlined design, and stronger suction. It comes complete with multiple accessories, a lightweight design, and three suction modes. 

The V10 is a significant improvement in battery life and charge time from the Dyson V8. It reaches full charge in 3.5 hours and will last for 60 minutes before needing recharged. The V10 also has a more cohesive look and larger dustbin, adding to the overall cleaning performance of the vacuum.

The Dyson V10 performs on carpet, tile, wood, and vinyl. In many cases, it will clean a mess with minimal effort requiring only one pass. When testing this vacuum, the only substance that required more than one pass on low-pile carpet was the coffee grounds, and even then, the mess was completely removed in three passes.

Shark Rocket DuoClean Corded Ultra-Light vacuum

The Shark Rocket with DuoClean Technology integrates a dual brushroll system in one single head for hard floor and carpet cleaning. With Triple Particle Cleaning, this vacuum will pull in large, small, and stuck-on particles from floors and carpets, so you’ll never have to rely on dust mops or brooms to remove any dirt left behind. 

Perhaps one of its greatest features is that it can attack large debris. No front wall on the vacuum head means large particles are confronted head-on by this Shark’s powerful suction.

Need to reach difficult spaces? No problem. This lightweight vacuum easily converts into a 4.6-pound hand vac for versatile floor-to-ceiling cleaning.

Best robot vacuum cleaners

Robot vacuums are increasingly gaining popularity as a result of their outstanding performance and convenience. Why break a sweat lugging the canister vacuum through the house when you could get a robot to do it? 

iRobot Roomba 890

We found that the Roomba 890 performs very well on multiple surfaces and has the same spot-cleaning feature as the newer, more expensive Roombas. Like the other Roomba vacuums, the Roomba 890 includes a dual-mode virtual wall barrier that enables you to section off areas of your home from the Roomba.

Though it has a much shorter battery life and sensing that isn’t quite as advanced as newer Roombas, it’s overall a terrific option for its value. We highly recommend the Roomba 890 for those looking to buy a high-quality, reasonably priced robot vacuum.

iRobot Roomba 960 

The Roomba 960 gets closer to furniture before turning away, allowing it to provide a closer clean. It has a general cleaning setting designed to clean an entire floor as well as a spot-cleaning setting to clean within a three-foot radius. The Roomba 960 performs very well on multiple surfaces and is great for all-around home cleaning.

This robotic vacuum is ideal for people who may not physically be able to vacuum using a canister or upright vacuum. You can schedule cleaning sessions right from your phone, and the Roomba 960 even returns to the charging port on its own when it needs to recharge. The only physical maintenance you need to do is regularly empty out the dust canister.

Its performance, maneuverability, and sleek design are just a few of the reasons why we think the Roomba 960 is a great value. It performs similarly to the newer Roomba 980 but is much cheaper due to its slightly shorter battery life. It also has a spot cleaning setting that does a great job at removing messes confined to small areas.

iRobot Roomba 980

The Roomba 980 comes at a steeper price than the 890, but it also has significant upgrades. It has double the battery life of the 890 and is the only Roomba on the market equipped with carpet boost technology. 

Unlike the 890, the Roomba 980 is built with two extra sensors. One of these sensors is the onboard camera that identifies items like furniture and appliances in your house. The other sensor is for tracking areas where the Roomba has already cleaned. These extra sensors allow the Roomba 980 to clean more efficiently than the Roomba 890.

On top of the visual navigation, the 980 can be trusted to achieve a deep clean. It’s compatible with Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, iRobot HOME app, and Clean Map. 

Neato Robotic Vacuum

Neato has delivered a line of robotic vacuum cleaners that no longer have to rely on a randomized pattern to cover the whole floor in your house. Eventually, those random patterns will result in complete coverage, but the operative word is “eventually.” That translates into longer vacuuming times, more electricity used, more wear and tear on the mechanical parts of the machine, and more trips back to the charger.

Neato uses a system of lasers on their robots to map your house and guide themselves around. This means they can operate even when it’s pitch black inside.

Neato vacuums are extremely efficient. During the first couple of weeks, the collection bin will be completely full after every cycle. As the weeks go by, they begin picking up less than a full bin each time with continued use. They first pick up all the excess debris that had accumulated and eventually suction up the normal daily deposits of grit and grime.

Bonus: top steamers 

We hold our idea of a clean house to a high standard, which involves the need for a steamer to erase dirt from kitchen appliances, bathroom surfaces, upholstery, vehicles, and even kids’ toys. Carpet extractors—also known as steam cleaners—are electrically powered machines that use hot water converted into steam, some form of detergent or cleaning solution, a scrubbing brush, and the power of suction to extract dirt and debris to clean carpets. They’re best used to clean wall-to-wall carpeting—so be very careful if you plan to clean any area rugs with an extractor. Extractors are available for purchase or rental.

Here are some of our favorite steamers to accompany your vacuum. 

  • PurSteam World’s Best Steamers—This multipurpose steam cleaner can be used inside the house and out on vehicles, tile, granite, sealed wood, laminate, carpet, and washable wallpaper.
  • Marsboy—This powerful handheld steam cleaner works well in kitchens and bathrooms on grout, vanities, countertops, stoves, and refrigerators.
  • Lambow—The best handheld steam cleaner for disinfecting kids toys, appliances, and toilets.
  • Isiler—The safest handheld steam cleaner to use around children and pets thanks to its idle safety lock and automatic shut-off.
  • Dirt Devil—Backed by a trusted brand, this Dirt Devil is the best handheld steam cleaner for fabric.

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