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 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 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 that the manufacturer advertises as able to trap 99.9% of particles as small to 0.3 microns in size, including most common allergens like pet dander or pollen. Recurring costs are pretty low for a bagged vacuum since it uses high-capacity dirtbags and pre and post-motor filters that will last for years without replacement. The vacuum delivers fantastic performance on bare floors and low-pile carpet with a straight-suction floorhead, but consider purchasing a SEBO ET-1 or wider ET-2 motorized floorhead if you have a lot of dense carpeting in your home, even if these are fairly pricey attachments.
This vacuum's stiff hose and rather heavy canister body can make it a bit of a hassle to maneuver in tight spaces. You might want to consider a variant of the Miele Complete C3 with a HEPA filter, like the C3 Brilliant or C3 HomeCare+, if you're looking for a more maneuverable canister vacuum with similar air filtration performance. Unfortunately, the Miele has a shorter range and incurs higher ownership costs due to its less durable filters and smaller dirtbags.
The best bagless HEPA vacuum we've tested is the Dyson Ball Animal 3. Bagless vacuums aren't the best option if you suffer from allergies since emptying their dustbins can release a cloud of dust, unlike the self-sealing bags used by some bagged models like the SEBO Airbelt D4. That said, if you don't want to buy new dirtbags periodically, it isn't a bad option, as it has a HEPA-rated five-stage filtration system that's effective in sealing in common allergens like pet dander. As long as you wash its filters according to manufacturer recommendations, you won't need to swap them out over time, either.
This vacuum delivers fantastic performance on a wide variety of surface types thanks to its powerful suction motor and floorhead with three levels of surface adjustment. Unfortunately, it feels rather flimsy, with a mainly plastic construction that creaks and flexes slightly while in use. While it's pretty maneuverable for an upright of this size, thanks to its ball-shaped wheel, it's still heavy and rather bulky. The lack of an automatic cord retraction system is also a bit of a disappointment for a vacuum of this price, especially considering that the cable is quite long.
The best mid-range HEPA vacuum we've tested is the Airsign HEPA Vacuum. While it doesn't feel as well-built as a high-end model like the SEBO Airbelt D4 and lacks the Dyson Ball Animal 3's motorized floorhead, 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. It 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.
It also has a rather short power cord, so you'll probably need to swap outlets when cleaning larger rooms. If that's a problem, you could consider the Miele Classic C1; however, be aware that the entry-level Pure Suction model, which is priced somewhat similarly to the Airsign, doesn't come bundled with a HEPA-rated post-motor filter, but you can buy one separately.
If you don't mind losing out on the extra layer of filtration found on a pricier bagged model like the Airsign HEPA Vacuum, you could 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 delivers excellent performance on carpeted surfaces and does a fantastic job cleaning 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.
If you're looking to spend even less and don't mind using a corded vacuum, the BISSELL Zing Bagged Canister is worth a look. It performs pretty well on bare floors with its straight suction floorhead and has a compact, easy-to-maintain design. However, you'll need to purchase an aftermarket HEPA filter to bolster its filtration performance.
The best cordless HEPA vacuum we've tested is the Samsung Bespoke Jet. It isn't nearly as well-built as the comparably-priced SEBO Airbelt D4 and lacks its hospital-grade filtration system, 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 charging rack that also acts as a 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, too.
Unfortunately, the bulky twin-brushroll floorhead makes it harder to maneuver than many other cordless stick vacuums. If that's an issue, consider the Roborock H7 as an alternative. It doesn't come with an auto-empty base station, has a less powerful suction motor, and is currently somewhat hard to find; however, it's one of the few cordless stick vacuums that you can use with disposable dirtbags via an included adapter, providing an additional layer of air filtration while cleaning.
Feb 07, 2023: Verified that all main picks are still available and represent the best fit for user needs.
Dec 09, 2022: Verified that all main picks are still the best fit for user needs and preferences.
Oct 11, 2022: Major article restructuring to better align with user needs. Removed less relevant Notable Mentions picks, and added Shark APEX Upright Vacuum, Dyson V15 Detect, and Dyson V12 Detect Slim to Notable Mentions.
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.
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.