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 115 vacuum cleaners, and below are our recommendations for the best vacuums with HEPA filters. These are based not only on their inclusion of a HEPA filter but also on 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 with a corded design that we've tested is the SEBO Airbelt D4. It's a high-end canister vacuum that you can buy directly from the manufacturer or most dedicated vacuum retailers. It features a three-stage S-Class sealed filtration system, comprised of a three-layer dirtbag, pre-motor filter, and micro-fiber exhaust filter. Altogether, it's advertised to trap 99.9% of particles as small to 0.3 microns in size, which comprise most common allergens. Its large dirtbags don't need replacing very often, and filters are expected to last for years at a time. The vacuum is fantastic on bare floors, and it does a good job of sucking up debris on low- and high-pile carpets even with just its straight-suction Parquet Brush floorhead. You still might want to consider purchasing a SEBO ET-1 or ET-2 motorized floorhead if you have a lot of dense carpeting in your home.
This vacuum's stiff hose and rather heavy canister body can make it a bit of a hassle to maneuver in tight spaces, so you might want to consider the Miele Complete C3 Alize PowerLine—or any other Miele Complete C3 variant with a HEPA filter—if you're looking for a canister vacuum with similar air filtration performance. The C3 has a shorter range and incurs higher costs of ownership due to its less durable filters and smaller dirtbags.
The best cordless HEPA vacuum we've tested is the Samsung Bespoke Jet. Generally speaking, bagless vacuums like this aren't the best option for allergy sufferers since emptying their dustbins can release a plume of dust and debris. However, the Bespoke Jet comes with an all-in-one charging rack/Cleaning Station accessory, which uses a built-in suction motor to suck debris from the vacuum into a dirtbag inside the fixture. The vacuum also features a five-stage filtration system that's effective in sealing fine particles. It does superb on bare surfaces, and the vacuum does an excellent job of dealing with debris on low- and high-pile carpets. The vacuum comes with an additional accessory rack with a battery charging slot, enabling you to charge both included batteries at the same time and giving you a significantly longer maximum runtime.
It's worth noting that the vacuum's bulky twin-brushroll floorhead makes it harder to maneuver than many other cordless stick vacuums. If that's an issue for you, consider an alternative like the Dyson V15 Detect if you're looking for a cordless vacuum with HEPA filtration. However, the Dyson feels less sturdy and only comes with a single battery. The Roborock H7 is also a compelling alternative, if only for being one of the few cordless stick vacuums that can be used with disposable dirtbags, resulting in a clean means of debris disposal. The Roborock doesn't feel as robust and doesn't perform as well on carpets.
The best budget HEPA vacuum that we've tested is the Wyze Cordless Vacuum. This cordless stick vacuum has an allergen-trapping HEPA filter, which is rare for a vacuum at this price point. It delivers excellent overall performance on carpeted surfaces and does a fantastic job cleaning pet hair and small debris on bare floors, though very bulky debris can get caught at the entry to its dustbin. This vacuum's lightweight construction and pivoting head make it very easy to maneuver, even in cluttered areas. There's also a touchscreen display at the back of the vacuum that you can use to switch its suction power mode or view an estimate of the remaining charge. It can run for a maximum of roughly one hour in its most energy-efficient mode, but its runtime drops dramatically in its 'TURBO' mode.
If you're looking for a budget-friendly cordless vacuum with a HEPA filter that doesn't struggle with bulkier debris and has a longer battery life, consider the Tineco PURE ONE X Tango. However, unlike the Wyze, its battery isn't removable, reducing its long-term longevity. It also doesn't perform as well on carpeted floors.
If you don't want to deal with the hassle of vacuuming yourself but still want a vacuum with HEPA-level filtration, consider the iRobot Roomba S9. This premium cordless vacuum has an onboard HEPA filter that traps allergens as it cleans. It does an excellent job cleaning pet hair and other solid debris on bare floors and performs impressively well on low and high-pile carpets. Its surface detection system allows it to automatically change its brushroll height to suit the floor type that it's on. Its iAdapt 3.0 navigation system stores a permanent map of its coverage area, letting you set up virtual boundary lines or direct it to clean specific rooms within your home. It can also resume a cleaning job from where it left off if it needed to return to its docking station to recharge.
It does incur somewhat high costs of ownership, so you might want to consider the Neato D8 if you're looking for a robot vacuum with a HEPA filter that doesn't have as many parts that need periodic replacing. However, the Neato doesn't maneuver itself as effectively as the iRobot and has shorter battery life. If you don't want to spend as much on a robot vacuum with a HEPA filter, the Wyze Robot Vacuum is also worth a look, though it doesn't perform nearly as well on carpeted floors.
If you're looking for a handheld vacuum that offers HEPA-level filtration, you could look at the Dyson Humdinger. This high-end handheld vacuum is effective at sealing fine particles as you clean, which is good if you suffer from allergies. It performs superbly on flat, even surfaces like tabletops or shelves and does a very good job clearing away debris on low- and high-pile rugs and carpets. It also has a somewhat long battery life compared to most other handheld vacuums, as you can expect a maximum runtime of almost 30 minutes in its most energy-efficient mode. Unfortunately, its runtime does drop to just under 10 minutes when used in its 'MAX' mode, forcing you to work quickly when dealing with stubborn debris. Its dustbin is also very small and needs frequent emptying.
If you're looking for a cheaper handheld vacuum with a HEPA filter, you could consider the Wyze Handheld Vacuum. It also happens to be smaller than the Dyson and can be easily stored in a cupboard or closet. It struggles with sucking up bulkier debris and has an even smaller dustbin.
May 27, 2022: Recategorized SEBO Airbelt D4 as 'Best HEPA Vacuum'. Replaced Dyson V15 Detect with Samsung Bespoke Jet as 'Best Cordless HEPA Vacuum'. Added Dyson Humdinger as 'Best Handheld HEPA Vacuum'. Removed Dyson Micro 1.5kg from recommendations due to current availability.
Apr 06, 2022: Article rework to better align with changes made to the vacuum test bench. Replaced Miele Complete C3 Alize PowerLine with SEBO Airbelt D4 as 'Best Corded HEPA Vacuum'. Recategorized Miele Complete C3 Alize PowerLine as 'More Maneuverable Alternative' pick. Added Roborock H7 as 'Bagged Alternative' pick. Moved Dyson Micro 1.5kg and Kenmore Intuition Bagged to Notable Mentions.
Feb 07, 2022: Replaced Shark Rotator Lift-Away ADV with Kenmore Intuition Bagged as new 'Upright Alternative' pick. Added Shark Rotator Lift-Away ADV to Notable Mentions.
Dec 09, 2021: Replaced Wyze Handheld Vacuum with Wyze Cordless Vacuum as 'Best Budget HEPA Vacuum' category pick. Replaced Wyze Cordless Vacuum with Wyze Handheld Vacuum in Notable Mentions section.
Oct 12, 2021: Ensured that all main picks are still in stock and represent the best choice for their given category. Added Wyze Cordless Vacuum to Notable Mentions.
Our recommendations above are what we think are currently the best HEPA vacuums 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.