A vacuum that can contain the spread of dust and debris can be invaluable if you suffer from allergies. A HEPA filter is a good starting point, as it can help trap allergens as you clean. A dirtbag can also be a handy addition since it reduces the chances of having dust escape when emptying the appliance. Overall cleaning performance is important, especially when trying to pick up debris like pet hair or dust. While those aren't the only criteria for this list, they are the most important in determining whether or not a vacuum will be effective in reducing the spread of allergens.
We've tested more than 120 vacuum cleaners, and below are our recommendations for the best vacuum cleaners for allergies. These recommendations are based not only on their cleaning performance on different types of surfaces and the inclusion of a HEPA filter but also on their design and price. For more buying recommendations, look at our lists of the best cordless vacuums for pet hair, the best robot vacuums for pet hair, and the best vacuums for carpets.
The SEBO Airbelt D4 is the best vacuum for allergies we've tested. This high-end canister vacuum delivers superb performance on most surfaces and features an S-Class filtration system made up of a three-layer dirtbag, a pre-motor filter, and a micro-fiber exhaust filter advertised to trap 99.9% of particles 0.3 microns in diameter, including most allergens like dust or pollen. Its sealed canister body feels very well-built and is remarkably easy to maintain. Recurring costs are very low for a bagged model because it uses dirtbags with a large capacity, and the manufacturer expects that you should only need to put in a new one after six to 12 months. Its filters are also very long-lasting, so you should only need to buy a new set after 10 to 20 dirtbag replacements. Its operating range of over 50 feet also means you can easily clean far-away areas.
That said, this vacuum has a somewhat stiff hose and is a little on the heavier side, making it a little more of a hassle to maneuver around in very tight areas compared to alternatives like the Miele Complete C3 Alize PowerLine. The Miele is also an excellent choice if you suffer from allergies, as it has an allergen-sealed construction, uses the manufacturer's proprietary AirClean 3D dirtbags, and can be bundled with a HEPA filter, all of which contribute to its ability to filter out 99.9% of common allergens. That said, it has a shorter range than the SEBO, uses much smaller dirtbags, and its filters don't last as long, resulting in higher recurring costs.
The best mid-range vacuum for allergies we've tested is the Airsign HEPA Vacuum. This bagged canister vacuum has an onboard HEPA filter with charcoal filtration, helping to seal in fine allergens and minimize odor. It uses biodegradable dirtbags with a built-in seal cover to prevent any dust or debris from being released when taking them out too. Performance on bare surfaces is superb, and the vacuum does a good job tackling solid types of debris on carpeted floors, even with a basic straight suction floorhead. While the floorhead does have bristles that you can retract for cleaning rugs, you still might want to consider an alternative like the Miele Classic C1 PowerLine Pure Suction, a more expensive variant that comes with a turbo brush and an electrobrush for vacuuming dense carpeting. That said, the Miele in its most basic trim doesn't come bundled with a HEPA filter.
The Airsign is partially made from recycled materials, which is great if you're looking for a more environmentally-conscious vacuum. It feels decently well-built for the most part and has a simple design that's easy to maintain. The canister body is pretty compact, enabling you to store it in small closets without too much effort. Its power cord is very short, so you'll probably need to swap outlets when vacuuming larger areas.
The best budget vacuum for allergies we've tested is the BISSELL Zing Bagged Canister. While this vacuum doesn't have a HEPA filter bundled with it, you can buy aftermarket HEPA-rated bags and a HEPA filter to improve its air filtration performance and trap most airborne particles like pet dander or pollen. That said, it doesn't have an allergen-sealed body, so you'll still want to step up to a pricier model if you suffer from very serious allergies and need the extra layer of filtration. It's small enough to be stored in most closets and weighs very little, making it easy to drag around from room to room. Unusually for a vacuum in this price bracket, its power cord can be rewound with the press of a button, though be aware that it's short, and you'll probably need to swap outlets when vacuuming larger rooms.
With its floorhead bristles retracted, this vacuum does a good job of cleaning up solid debris on low and high-pile carpeting, but it struggles with bulkier debris, which can clog its suction inlet. Pet hair also tends to get stuck in its floorhead when the bristles are extended. Consider the Eureka Mighty Mite if you're looking for a more budget-conscious vacuum that delivers a stronger overall performance. You can use aftermarket HEPA-rated bags and a HEPA filter with the Eureka, but be aware that some models have vents behind their rear wheels, bypassing any post-motor filtration and negating the benefit of using a HEPA filter.
If you're looking for an upright model, the Kenmore Intuition Bagged is worth considering. This bagged upright option has an onboard HEPA filter and uses dirtbags made of HEPA-rated media, reducing the spread of fine particles while cleaning. It's also worth noting that its dirtbag can be quickly released from its housing with the press of a single latch, meaning there shouldn't be a large plume of dust released while disposing of it. Unfortunately, despite this vacuum's pivoting floorhead, it can still be difficult to maneuver in tight spaces due to its bulky dirtbag compartment. In addition, there's no way of adjusting its floorhead height, so you might have trouble climbing onto uneven surfaces, like shag carpeting.
This vacuum does a fantastic job of cleaning pet hair as well as small and bulky debris on surfaces like hardwood or linoleum. There's even a brushroll on/off switch for its floorhead, so it shouldn't send larger debris scattering everywhere when cleaning flat floors. It performs impressively well on low and high-pile carpet, though you might need to make an extra pass to fully clear very fine debris on this surface type. Its 'Lift-Up' design lets you pick up and carry its canister body separately from its upright portion, making it easier to clean tight spots.
The best HEPA vacuum for allergies with a cordless design that we've tested is the Roborock H7. It comes with an adapter that allows you to fit a miniature dirtbag within its dirt compartment, which is a rare feature for a vacuum of this type and results in improved air filtration performance when combined with its onboard HEPA filter. It delivers impressive performance on bare floors and does a decent job on carpets. It's very lightweight, even compared to most other cordless stick vacuums, and is consequently very easy to carry from room to room. It can run for more than 90 minutes in its most energy-efficient mode, which gives you plenty of time to deal with lightweight debris. While its runtime drops to a little over 10 minutes in its high-power 'MAX' mode, that's normal for a vacuum of this type.
However, it doesn't come with a second battery that can extend its overall runtime. If that's something you want, the Samsung Bespoke Jet is a good alternative and is a fantastic option if you suffer from allergies. The Samsung uses a more conventional bagless design but comes with a 'Clean Station' accessory that acts as both a charging station and a self-emptying dock that sucks debris from its dustbin into an external dirtbag without generating a plume of dust. That said, it's also significantly pricier than the Roborock.
If you're a pet owner and want a hassle-free way of keeping your floors clean, the iRobot Roomba S9 is among the best vacuums for pet hair and allergies we've tested. This premium robot vacuum features an onboard HEPA filter that helps trap allergens as you clean. It does a fantastic job of cleaning up pet hair on a wide variety of surface types and clears a good amount of fine and large debris, like baking soda or sand, from low and high-pile carpets, though it still may need to make another pass to clear it all. It feels amazingly well-built, thanks to its high-grade plastic body and durable rubber wheels. It offers fantastic overall battery performance as well. However, like many robot vacuums, many parts need regular cleaning. Several components also need periodic replacing, meaning recurring costs can add up over time.
This vacuum does a great job maneuvering itself and supports a wide range of automation features. You can use its companion app to set up virtual boundary markers or schedule individual room cleaning sessions. If you'd prefer not to deal with emptying its dustbin, you can buy it with an external dirt compartment built into its charging dock to automatically empty itself of debris.
Jul 12, 2022: Extensive article restructuring. Recategorized SEBO Airbelt D4 as 'Best Vacuum For Allergies'. Recategorized Kenmore Intuition Bagged as 'Best Upright Vacuum For Allergies'. Added Airsign HEPA Vacuum as 'Best Mid-Range Vacuum For Allergies' pick. Replaced Wyze Cordless Vacuum with BISSELL Zing Bagged Canister as 'Best Budget Vacuum For Allergies' pick. Replaced Dyson V15 Detect with Roborock H7 as 'Best Cordless Vacuum For Allergies'. Added Dyson V15 Detect, NaceCare HVR 200 Henry, Dyson Humdinger, and Hoover WindTunnel Tempo Bagged to Notable Mentions. Removed Dyson V8 Animal, Shark Rocket Pet Pro with MultiFlex IZ163H, Shark ION W1 WANDVAC, Shark Rotator Lift-Away ADV, iRobot Roomba i7+, iRobot Roomba 981, Dyson V7 Animal, Dyson Ball Animal 2, Wyze Handheld Vacuum, Eureka FloorRover Elite NEU630, and Samsung Jet 70 Pet from Notable Mentions.
May 10, 2022: Replaced Miele Complete C3 Alize PowerLine with SEBO Airbelt D4 as 'Best Canister Vacuum For Allergies' pick. Recategorized Miele Complete C3 Alize PowerLine as 'More Maneuverable Alternative'. Removed Shark Rotator Powered Lift-Away from recommendations. Added Samsung Jet 90 Complete and Samsung Jet 70 Pet to Notable Mentions.
Mar 10, 2022: Ensured all main picks still represent the best option for user needs and expectations.
Jan 12, 2022: Slight article restructuring to better align with user expectations. Re-categorized Miele Complete C3 Alize PowerLine as 'Best Canister Vacuum For Allergies' pick. Re-categorized Kenmore Intuition Bagged as 'Best Upright Vacuum For Allergies' pick. Re-categorized Shark Rotator Powered Lift-Away Upright as 'Bagless Alternative' pick.
Nov 17, 2021: Replaced Wyze Handheld Vacuum with Wyze Cordless Vacuum as 'Best Budget Vacuum For Allergies' pick. Re-categorized Dyson V15 Detect from 'Cordless Alternative' pick to new 'Best Cordless Vacuum For Allergies' pick. Added Wyze Handheld Vacuum and Eureka FloorRover Elite NEU630 to Notable Mentions.
Our recommendations above are what we think are currently the best vacuum cleaners for allergies for most people. We factor in the price, feedback from our visitors, and availability.
If you would like to do the work of choosing yourself, here's the list of all our reviews of vacuums equipped with an allergen-trapping HEPA filter. Be careful not to get too caught up in the details. While there's no single best vacuum for dust or other fine allergens, some are good enough to please almost everyone, and the differences are often not noticeable unless you really look for them.