If you suffer from allergies, having a vacuum that doesn't disperse allergens in the air is hugely important. Using a bagged vacuum can help reduce the spread of fine debris. However, the inclusion of a HEPA filter is also crucial since they're rated to capture 99.97% of particles equal in size to 0.3 microns, which covers a wide range of particles that can cause allergies, like dust, dirt, or pollen. Bagless vacuums equipped with a HEPA filter can also do a good job in this respect, but be aware that not all appliances of this type are completely sealed systems.
We've tested more than 130 vacuum cleaners, and below are our recommendations for the best vacuums with HEPA filters. These are based on their inclusion of a HEPA filter and their design and price. For more picks, look at our lists of the best vacuums for allergies, the best cordless vacuums for pet hair, and the best robot vacuums for pet hair.
The best HEPA vacuum we've tested is the Miele Complete C3 Brilliant PowerLine. The Brilliant variant sits at the top of the C3 lineup and is loaded with features. It comes bundled with Miele's SF-HA 50 HEPA-rated exhaust filter that's advertised to trap 99.95% of common allergens like dust or pet dander, which is further helped by the vacuum's allergen-sealed body, making it a great option if you suffer from serious allergies. Its dirtbags even have self-sealing covers that fall into place when you remove the bag, preventing dust or debris from escaping as you pull them out.
This variant of the C3 comes with a trio of floorheads: a straight-suction parquet head for cleaning hard floors, a universal pure suction floorhead with retractable bristles for cleaning low-pile carpet, and a height-adjustable SEB 236 powerhead for cleaning various lengths of carpeting. Unlike cheaper C3 models, the Brilliant also features additional sound insulation for its motor, handle-mounted power controls, and a surface-sensitive power adjustment setting.
That said, recurring costs are a little on the high side. If you're looking for a vacuum with similar air filtration performance that incurs lower ownership costs, the SEBO Airbelt D4 is a great option that uses much higher capacity dirtbags and filters with a longer lifespan. That said, it's heavier and bulkier than the Miele and has a stiffer hose, making it a bit of a hassle to use in tight spaces.
If you're shopping for a HEPA vacuum at a slightly lower price point, the Miele Classic C1 Home Care PowerLine is a good option. Build quality falls short of the Miele Complete C3, and it lacks some of the Brilliant variant's specific features, with no surface detection system and no handle-mounted power adjustment controls. However, it offers similar filtration performance at a slightly cheaper price. The Home Care variant comes bundled with a HEPA-rated exhaust filter. It uses the same 2.5L self-sealing dirtbags as the C3, which have a flap that closes when you open the vacuum's dirtbag compartment. Note that this Home Care model is only available from specialized vacuum retailers.
The Home Care variant is the flagship C1 model and comes with a wide assortment of tools, like Miele's SEB 228 powerbrush, which has five levels of height adjustment for cleaning thick carpeting, as well as the SBD 365-3 floorhead with retractable bristles for cleaning both hard floors and low-pile rugs. It has the same powerful 1200 W motor as the Complete C3, and debris pickup performance is similarly strong across various surfaces. Unfortunately, its power cord is shorter than its pricier stablemate, so you'll need to swap outlets when cleaning faraway areas.
The best mid-range HEPA vacuum we've tested is the Airsign HEPA Vacuum. While it feels less well-built than a high-end model like the Miele Complete C3, it does deliver good air filtration performance at a more affordable price point. As the name implies, this bagged canister vacuum comes with an onboard HEPA-14 filter, which the manufacturer advertises to trap 99.995% of airborne allergens. Performance on bare floors is superb, and its powerful 1200W motor allows it to clear away most debris on low-pile carpet with a fairly rudimentary pure suction floorhead. Still, unlike the flagship Home Care variant of the Miele Classic C1, it isn't compatible with a powered floorhead for cleaning thick carpeting and rugs.
The Airsign comes bundled with a set of eco-friendly biodegradable paper bags, but if you want to further improve its filtration performance, you could spring for aftermarket cloth bags; the Airsign uses a pretty common 2.5L sizing. Unfortunately, it also has a short power cord, so you'll probably need to swap outlets when cleaning larger rooms.
If you don't mind losing out on the extra layer of filtration found on a pricier bagged model like the Airsign HEPA Vacuum, consider the Wyze Cordless Vacuum. While it does use a bagless design, which isn't ideal for air filtration, it does have a HEPA-rated post-motor filter, which is exceedingly rare for a cordless model at this price point. It also does a good job of clearing away small and bulky debris as well as pet hair on hard floors. Performance on carpets is also quite impressive for a cordless model in this price range. Battery performance isn't bad either, as it can run for almost an hour in its most power-efficient configuration. This vacuum's lightweight construction and pivoting head make it easy to maneuver, even in cluttered areas, though it does feel pretty flimsy in places.
The BISSELL Zing Bagged Canister is worth a look if you want to spend even less and don't mind using a corded vacuum. It performs pretty well on bare floors with its straight suction floorhead and has a compact, easy-to-maintain design. However, you'll have to purchase an aftermarket HEPA filter to bolster its filtration performance.
The best cordless HEPA vacuum we've tested is the Samsung Jet 75. Compared to a bagged model like the Miele Complete C3, it's missing a crucial layer of filtration media, but it does have a few tricks up its sleeve for users who want a cordless vacuum that can handle allergens. While most bagless models require you to empty their dustbins manually, which can release a cloud of dust, this high-end stick vacuum comes with a stand-up self-emptying station. With the vacuum docked, debris is sucked from its dustbin into an anti-bacterial dirtbag inside the station at the press of a button, making for a far more hygienic means of debris disposal. The vacuum also features a five-stage filtration system that's effective at sealing fine particles. It delivers superb overall performance, and this variant comes with two batteries, giving it a much longer maximum runtime if you keep both charged.
If you don't mind paying a lot more for a few more bells and whistles, the Samsung Bespoke Jet is also worth a look. Unlike this variant of the Jet 75, it comes with a miniature turbo brush, a twin roller floorhead, and a more sleekly designed self-emptying station that doubles as a charging rack. However, regarding raw performance, the significantly cheaper Jet 75 is very much its equal, and the Bespoke Jet's twin roller floorhead compromises maneuverability in cramped environments.
Our recommendations above are what we think are currently the best vacuums with HEPA filters 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 and a video of their air quality performance test. Be careful not to get too caught up in the details. While no vacuum is perfect for every use, most are good enough to please almost everyone, and the differences are often not noticeable unless you really look for them.