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The 5 Best Canister Vacuums - Summer 2022 Reviews

Best Canister Vacuums

Canister vacuums stand out from the crowd due to their compact design. They tend to have great maneuverability as they use a long hose and wand to get into hard-to-reach places while their canister body follows behind it on wheels. Many can also reconfigure to tackle different surface types or debris by swapping the vacuum head for different tools, which is handy if you're cleaning stairs or inside your car. Their canister bodies can hold a larger dirtbag or dirt compartment than stick vacuums, and some specially designed canister models can even tackle finer debris found in workshops or garages.

We've tested over 115 vacuum cleaners, and below are our recommendations for the best vacuum cleaners with a canister design to buy. We select these picks not only based on their performance across a variety of surfaces but also their design and price. Look at our lists of the best vacuums, the best laminate floor vacuums, and the best multi-surface vacuum cleaners.

  1. Best Canister Vacuum Cleaner

    The Miele Complete C3 Alize PowerLine is the best canister vacuum we've tested. This high-end canister vacuum is packed with a wide assortment of convenience features. There are seven levels of suction power adjustment, allowing you to clean up everything from stubborn debris to vacuuming delicate surfaces like curtains. It also features an onboard storage compartment for its dusting brush and crevice and upholstery tools, not to mention a power cord that retracts at the press of a button. This vacuum delivers fantastic performance on bare surfaces with its AllTeQ floorhead, which features retractable bristles for cleaning up messes on low-pile carpet. While this variant doesn't have a floorhead with a motorized or air-driven brushroll to provide added surface agitation, it still does a great job of dealing with most kinds of debris on high-pile carpet.

    However, it's worth noting that this vacuum's power cord is on the short side, so you might need to swap outlets when vacuuming very large spaces. This specific variant of the vacuum can also be somewhat hard to find, but it's worth noting that the Alize is very similarly-equipped to the Complete C3 HomeCare PowerLine model, which also comes with Miele's AllTeQ floorhead as well as an additional Parquet Twister floorhead for cleaning bare surfaces.

    See our review

  2. Best Mid-Range Canister Vacuum

    The Miele Classic C1 Pure Suction is the best mid-range canister vacuum we've tested. It's less sturdily built than the substantially pricier Miele Complete C3 Alize PowerLine and doesn't have an onboard tool storage compartment, but it's still a versatile canister vacuum that performs very well across a wide range of surface types. It easily clears away debris on bare floors and does a very good job on carpets, even with a relatively simple pure suction floorhead. It features six levels of suction power adjustment, so you can tweak its suction power to clean everything from carpeting to curtains. While it doesn't have an allergen-sealed construction and doesn't come with a HEPA filter included in the box, its GN AirClean 3D filter bags help limit the spread of fine particles as you clean.

    This vacuum also has a simple design that's remarkably easy to maintain, though it incurs high costs of ownership since you'll need to swap out its dirtbags and filters periodically. If you want a similarly-priced canister vacuum that uses larger dirtbags, the NaceCare HVR 200 Henry is worth a look, though it doesn't perform as well on carpeted surfaces.

    See our review

  3. Best Budget Canister Vacuum

    The best canister vacuum cleaner we've tested at a budget-friendly price is the Eureka Mighty Mite. This bagged canister vacuum is small enough to be stored in most cupboards or closets and has a lightweight construction that allows you to pick it up and carry it from room to room with minimal effort. It's also pretty easy to maneuver in cluttered areas. Despite this vacuum's budget-friendly price point, it does a fantastic job of dealing with bulky and small materials on bare floors. You can retract the bristles on its floorhead for improved performance on carpeted surfaces, where it's fairly effective in dealing with most kinds of material. It has a simple design that makes it easy to access its dirtbags and filters for regular replacement.

    Unfortunately, this vacuum does feel a little cheap in places, especially its wand, which is made of a pair of plastic tubes and can fall apart if they aren't put together with sufficient force. You'll also need to replace its filters and dirtbags periodically. If you don't want to deal with the expense of replacing filters and dirtbags, the Eureka Whirlwind Bagless Canister is a good option, though it has an even shorter range, so you'll need to swap outlets when cleaning bigger rooms.

    See our review

  4. Best Bagless Canister Vacuum

    If you're looking for a canister vacuum and don't want to deal with the hassle of swapping out a dirtbag regularly, consider the Dyson Cinetic Big Ball Animal Canister. This canister vacuum has a unique design that doesn't employ any conventional filters, resulting in few maintenance requirements and minimal recurring costs. The manufacturer advertises its cyclone filter to provide HEPA-grade filtration, which is good if you suffer from allergies and are sensitive to fine particles, though emptying its dustbin does release a plume of dust. This vacuum has a fairly large assortment of attachments, including a miniature turbo brush for clearing debris on upholstered surfaces and a crevice tool with a slide-on soft-bristle brush. It also has a fairly compact body, making it easy to store and maneuver in tight areas. It also has a very low center of gravity, so you don't need to worry about the vacuum tipping over when pulling it around on uneven surfaces.

    This vacuum is quite effective when dealing with small debris, but it struggles with sucking up bulky debris, which gets pushed around by its floorhead and stuck near the opening of the head instead of being sucked into its dirt compartment. Coarser debris also tends to get stuck near its wheels due to static buildup.

    See our review

  5. Best Canister Vacuum For Allergies

    If you need a canister vacuum with exceptional filtration performance, the SEBO Airbelt D4 is worth a look. This high-end model features an S-Class filtration system comprised of a three-layer dirtbag, a pre-motor filter, and a micro-fiber exhaust filter. Altogether, it's advertised to trap more than 99.97% of particles down to 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, as you can quickly swap out its filters and bag. The cost of ownership is very low, especially for a bagged vacuum, as it uses dirtbags that are much bigger than those used in other high-end canister vacuums like the Miele Complete C3 Alize PowerLine. Its filters should also last for years without needing replacing.

    This vacuum does an outstanding job clearing away debris on bare floors and performs well on low and high-pile carpet, even with a basic straight-suction floorhead. It has a handle-mounted rocker switch that allows you to make fine adjustments to its suction power for cleaning different surfaces. Unfortunately, this vacuum is somewhat bulky and fairly heavy, making it a hassle to maneuver in very tight areas.

    See our review

Notable Mentions

  • BISSELL Zing Bagless Canister: The BISSELL Zing Bagless Canister is a bagless, canister-style vacuum with an impressive performance on carpets, but it does poorly on bare floors, where it struggles to pick up bulky debris and pet hair. It also incurs more recurring costs and is much harder to maintain than the Dyson Cinetic Big Ball Animal Canister. See our review
  • BISSELL Zing Bagged Canister: The BISSELL Zing Bagged Canister is a basic, budget-friendly canister vacuum that's very easy to use and amazingly easy to maintain. It's effective at clearing small debris on carpeted floors but struggles with pet hair and bulky debris. See our review

Recent Updates

  1. Jun 13, 2022: Article restructuring to better align with user needs and expectations. Recategorized SEBO Airbelt D4 as 'Best Canister Vacuum For Allergies' pick. Removed Eureka Whirlwind Bagless Canister from main recommendations. Removed NaceCare HVR 200 Henry from Notable Mentions. Added BISSELL Zing Bagged Canister to Notable Mentions.

  2. May 11, 2022: Verified that all main picks still represent the best choice for user needs and expectations.

  3. Apr 15, 2022: Replaced Miele Classic C1 with SEBO Airbelt D4 as new 'Alternative With Lower Recurring Costs' category pick. Added Miele Classic C1 to Notable Mentions.

  4. Mar 14, 2022: Ensured all main picks are still available and represent the best option for user needs and expectations.

  5. Feb 11, 2022: Ensured that all main picks still align with user needs and expectations.

All Reviews

Our recommendations are based on what we think are currently the best vacuums with a canister design. We don't just base our results on overall performance but also factors like availability, price, and reader feedback.

If you'd like to do the work of choosing yourself, here's the list of our canister vacuum reviews. Be careful not to get too caught up in the details. While there's no single best vacuum with a canister design, most are good enough to please almost everyone, and the differences are often not noticeable unless you really look for them.