The current vacuum cleaner landscape has yielded many models that can deal with clearing debris on both linoleum floors and dense shag carpeting, not to mention almost everything in between. That said, cleaning performance isn't the only factor in being considered a good multi-surface vacuum. To cope with a variety of different surface types, having adjustable floor and power settings are helpful, not to mention a reconfigurable design for cleaning large areas as well as tight spaces like the inside of a car.
We've tested over 75 vacuum cleaners, and below are our recommendations for the best vacuums for multiple surfaces to buy. These picks are selected not only based on their performance across a variety of surfaces but also their design and price. For more buying recommendations, take a look at our list of the best hardwood vacuums, the best vacuums for high-pile carpet, and the best vacuums for carpet.
The best vacuum for multiple surfaces with a corded design that we've tested is the Miele Complete C3 Alize PowerLine. This canister model delivers outstanding performance on bare floors and does a great job on both low and high-pile carpet. It clears everything from pet hair to coarse debris, like sand and cereal, without issue. It even manages to clear finer material like baking soda spills on carpeted surfaces with relatively few passes.
This appliance is amazingly well-built, with a high-grade plastic body, aluminum wand, and dense rubber-like wheels that roll very smoothly on most kinds of surfaces. Thanks to a bright LED light in the head, you shouldn't have too much trouble seeing what you're cleaning, even in darker areas. Another helpful addition is the seven-level power control feature for adjusting suction power to the surface you're cleaning. It's also exceptionally easy to maintain, with the few parts that need to be serviced or replaced over time being quite simple to access. The included HEPA filter traps allergens as you clean, which is great for owners of heavily-shedding pets.
However, since it has a dirtbag and uses disposable filters, recurring costs can add up over time. Its power cord is also a little short, which might require you to switch outlets when cleaning an especially large room or tall staircase. Small issues aside, its remarkably versatile cleaning performance makes it not only one of the best multi-surface vacuums we've tested but also places it among the best vacuums we've tested.
If you prefer upright vacuums to those with a canister design, you may prefer the Miele Dynamic U1 PowerLine. Its head and body are quite bulky, and it isn't as maneuverable as the Miele Complete C3 Alize PowerLine, but it has a similarly high-quality build and versatile performance. It does an incredible job on bare floors, although it picks up a little less pet hair than the other Miele. It has an amazing performance on low and high-pile carpets, too. There's an automatic surface type adjustment feature, so you can easily move from one surface type to another, and it comes with a turbo brush to help dislodge dirt from fabric-covered furniture. Unfortunately, it's not equipped with an allergen-trapping HEPA filter.
If you want the best all-around performance, or you're concerned about allergens, try the Complete C3 Alize PowerLine. Consider the U1 PowerLine instead if you prefer its upright design and don't mind a heavier vacuum.
The best cordless multi-surface vacuum that we've tested is the Shark Rocket Pet Pro. This stick/handheld model does a fantastic job cleaning bare floors, easily clearing pet hair and debris. It has no trouble picking up pet hair from low and high-pile carpets and has a very good overall performance on those surface types.
You can use it in a handheld mode, which is useful if you want to clean stairs, shelves, or even your car's interior. There are a few tools and brushes included that can help with different cleaning jobs, like a crevice tool for getting into tight corners and an upholstery tool for cleaning fabric-covered furniture. It's very maneuverable, thanks to its rotating head and flexible wand, and you can manually change the suction power and brushroll speed to adapt to whatever surface you're cleaning.
Unfortunately, it doesn't have the best battery performance, as it only provides roughly 10 minutes of continuous use if you use the most powerful suction setting. However, that stretches to over 40 minutes if you use it as a handheld vacuum. Overall, its versatile performance makes it a great multi-surface vacuum. It's also one of the best cordless vacuums we've tested.
If you want a vacuum that works well on a variety of surface types but prefer something handheld, try the Shark UltraCyclone Pet Pro+. This small, cordless model has a shorter battery life than the Shark Rocket Pet Pro, but it's much lighter and more portable. It has an exceptionally versatile performance, as it does an incredible job of cleaning bare floors as well as low and high-pile carpets. There are some tools and brushes included that can help with different cleaning jobs, like a turbo brush for cleaning fabric-covered furniture and a crevice tool for getting into narrow areas. Its dirt compartment isn't a bad size for a handheld model, but this vacuum isn't ideal for long cleaning sessions since its battery only provides roughly 10 minutes of continuous use.
Go for the Rocket Pet Pro if you have a lot of area to cover and want something that can be used as a stick vacuum. Go for the UltraCyclone Pet Pro+ instead if you want something more compact and better suited for spot-cleaning.
The best multi-surface robot vacuum that we've tested is the iRobot Roomba S9. This robot vacuum has no trouble clearing debris on a variety of surfaces, from laminate floors to high-pile carpet. Its performance remains fairly consistent overall as its relatively spacious dust bin fills, which is good for bigger cleaning tasks.
It feels amazingly well-made, with a high-grade plastic construction that looks and feels premium. Its battery performance is superb, and you can expect roughly anywhere between 50 minutes to over two and a half hours of continuous runtime on a single charge depending on the power mode it uses. Using its companion app, you can schedule cleaning times for individual rooms, check its current battery life, and even place virtual boundary markers to block off areas that you don't want it to enter.
However, like many robot vacuums, recurring costs are quite high due to the number of parts that need to be replaced periodically. Regular maintenance can also be quite demanding, as many components need to be cleaned fairly frequently. Still, if you're looking for a robot vacuum that can handle messes on a variety of surface types, this is a good option.
The best multi-surface vacuum that we've tested in the budget category is the Eureka Whirlwind Bagless Canister. This corded canister model offers outstanding performance on bare floors. It also does an overall good job on carpeted surfaces and doesn't lose suction as its dirt compartment fills up.
It's relatively lightweight and easy to carry around. The main head has bristles that can extend or retract, depending on what surface you're cleaning. You can also detach the wand from the head to use the vacuum in a semi-handheld configuration, which is convenient if you're cleaning areas like shelves or the interior of a car. There's a soft bristle brush included as well, which can be used on more delicate objects like curtains and lampshades.
Unfortunately, it has a short power cord, so you may need to switch outlets fairly often if you're cleaning a big room or staircase. Also, while it has a decent build quality overall, it looks a little cheap, and its dirt compartment feels like it might break if dropped. Still, considering its budget-friendly price and versatile performance, it's worth considering if you're looking for an affordable multi-surface vacuum.
Feb 25, 2021: Verified that picks are still the best recommendations for our users and that the products are available.
Jan 04, 2021: Added the Miele Triflex HX1 to Notable Mentions.
Dec 11, 2020: Added Shark Navigator Lift-Away and Shark APEX UpLight to Notable Mentions.
Nov 20, 2020: Slight changes to the text for accuracy and clarity; no change in product recommendations.
Oct 30, 2020: Replaced the Neato Botvac D7 with the iRobot Roomba S9 in 'Best Multisurface Robot Vacuum'. Replaced the HoLife HM036E with the Shark UltraCyclone Pet Pro+ as 'Handheld Alternative'.
Our recommendations are based on what we think are currently the best vacuums for multiple surfaces. We don't just base our results on overall performance but also factors like availability, price, and reader feedback.
If you would like to do the work of choosing yourself, here is the list of our vacuum reviews, with considerations made for high performances across different surface types. Be careful not to get too caught up in the details. While there's no single best vacuum for multi floors, most are good enough to please almost everyone, and the differences are often not noticeable unless you really look for them.