The current vacuum cleaner landscape has yielded many models that can deal with clearing debris on 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 an adjustable floor and power setting is helpful, not to mention a reconfigurable design for cleaning large areas and tight spaces like the inside of a car.
We've tested over 115 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, look at our list of the best hardwood vacuums, the best vacuums for high-pile carpet, the best Dyson vacuums, and the best vacuums for stairs.
The best vacuum for hardwood and carpet with a canister design that we've tested is the Miele Complete C3 Alize PowerLine. It performs exceptionally well on bare floors and cleans an impressive amount of debris on low and high-pile carpet, though you may need to make another pass to fully clean very fine material on this surface type. It has a seven-level suction power control feature that allows you to adapt to many different surfaces, from curtains to high-pile carpet, with the twist of a dial.
This vacuum feels very well-built, courtesy of its high-grade plastic body, and is remarkably simple to maintain, with the few parts that need regular cleaning or replacing being easily accessible. There are quite a few convenience features to help make cleaning a little easier, including an onboard storage compartment for its dusting brush, crevice tool, and upholstery tool attachments, as well as a power cord that retracts at the press of a button. The vacuum also features a HEPA filter to trap allergens as you clean.
Unfortunately, the vacuum's HEPA filter and dirtbag need regular replacing, so recurring costs can add up over time. In addition, its hose is short, which can make it difficult to clean hard-to-reach areas. This variant of the vacuum also only comes with a basic straight-suction floorhead, so you might want to spend more on a pricier variant with a powered floorhead like the C3 Brilliance or C3 HomeCare+ if you have a lot of dense carpeting in your home. Otherwise, its strong performance, premium build quality, and wide range of convenience features make it one of the best canister vacuums that we've tested.
If you're looking for a versatile canister vacuum but prioritize lower costs of ownership, consider the SEBO Airbelt D4. This high-end canister vacuum weighs noticeably more than the Miele Complete C3 Alize PowerLine and has a stiffer vacuum hose, making it more difficult to maneuver in tight spaces. It also delivers similarly outstanding performance to the Miele on bare floors as well as low and high-pile carpet. The rocker switch on its handle allows you to adjust its suction power in fine detail, allowing you to adapt to a wide variety of surfaces, from curtains to high-pile rugs. In its default setting, it exerts a strong suction force through its floorhead, enabling it to easily lift debris from cracks and crevices. However, it's worth noting that this variant of the D4 only comes with a straight-suction floorhead. If you plan on cleaning a lot of shag-pile carpeting, it's recommended that you spring for the pricier D4 Premium, which comes with SEBO's ET-1 powered floorhead in the box, or simply buy an ET-1 or wider ET-2 powerhead separately for an additional cost.
Get the Miele if you're looking for a more maneuverable canister vacuum, but consider the SEBO if lower costs of ownership are more important for you.
The best multi-surface vacuum with an upright design that we've tested is the Shark Rotator Lift-Away ADV. This bagless upright vacuum performs exceptionally well on bare floors and does a good job dealing with debris on low and high-pile carpet, though it might take an extra pass to fully clean very fine material on this surface type. Its twin-brushroll floorhead has two levels of surface adjustment, one for bare floors and low-pile carpet and the other for medium to high-pile carpets and rugs.
This vacuum's 'Lift-Away' design allows you to pick up and carry its canister body separately from its upright portion, making it easier to clean hard-to-reach places with its hose and extension wand. It comes with a couple of attachments, like a miniature turbo brush, a crevice tool, and a dedicated upholstery tool with a clip-on hard-bristle brush for dealing with stuck-on dirt and debris. Since it uses washable, reusable pre-motor and allergen-trapping HEPA filters, recurring costs are minimal.
Unfortunately, this vacuum does have quite a few parts that need regular cleaning, including its primary brushroll, which isn't meant to be removed, making it harder to clear stuck-on debris. Unlike the otherwise similarly-designed Shark Rotator Powered Lift-Away Upright, there's no brushroll off switch, you need to be careful when cleaning around loose obstructions like rug tassels, which can get caught inside the floorhead. Otherwise, it's a solid option if you're looking for a vacuum that can handle messes on a wide variety of surfaces.
The Dyson V15 Detect is the best vacuum for hardwood and carpet with a cordless design that we've tested. It delivers exceptional performance on bare floors, where it clears pet hair and solid debris without difficulty. It also has no trouble sucking up various kinds of material on low and high-pile carpets. There's also a built-in dirt sensor that counts and measures the size of debris being sucked into the dustbin, which could be a helpful feature if you suffer from serious allergies and want to know about the presence of fine allergens in your home.
Its lightweight design makes it easy to maneuver in tight spaces, and you can quickly reconfigure it into a handheld vacuum for spot cleaning. It comes with quite a few tools, like a cone-shaped turbo brush, a combination hard bristle brush/upholstery tool, as well as a secondary vacuum head with a soft brushroll. Using it in its 'Eco' power mode grants over 70 minutes of battery life, which is quite a while for a cordless vacuum, but its runtime drops to roughly 10 minutes when using it in its max power 'Boost' mode.
Unfortunately, its strong suction force can make it a little difficult to push around on some carpets and can cause it to drag lighter rugs around. There are quite a few parts that need regular cleaning, but thankfully its bagless design and washable pre-motor and HEPA filters result in a near-total lack of recurring costs. Overall, its broad assortment of tools and versatile performance make it one of the best multi-surface vacuums we've tested.
If you're looking to spend less on a cordless vacuum that performs well on a wide range of surfaces, consider the Samsung Jet 70 Pet. This cordless stick vacuum doesn't have the Dyson V15 Detect's built-in dirt sensor or automatic suction power adjustment capability, but it is significantly cheaper. Despite using a less powerful 150W suction motor compared to the Dyson's 230W motor, the Samsung also delivers similarly fantastic performance on bare floors, does an excellent job of clearing away debris on low-pile carpet, and performs exceptionally well on high-pile carpet. It can also be purchased with a dedicated mopping floorhead, which is useful for clearing away dried-on stains on hard floors. Unfortunately, while its maximum runtime of roughly 50 minutes isn't unusually short for a vacuum of this type, you can drain this vacuum's battery in a little over five minutes when using it in its strongest 'MAX' mode, so you need to work quickly when vacuuming stubborn debris.
Get the Dyson if you want a vacuum with a longer battery life and a wider array of convenience features, but consider the Samsung if you want to save some money without sacrificing performance.
If you're looking for a vacuum for spot-cleaning many different surface types, a versatile handheld vacuum is a helpful tool, and the Shark UltraCyclone Pet Pro+ is among the best that we've tested. This compact vacuum does a fantastic job of dealing with pet hair and solid debris on flat, even surfaces like countertops, shelves, or hardwood and tile floors. It also delivers superb overall performance on low and high-pile carpets and rugs.
This vacuum's compact size makes it easy to store in a cupboard or closet, while its lightweight construction allows you to pick it up and carry wherever you may need it with minimal effort. It feels well-built and has a simple design that's easy to maintain. It comes with a crevice tool for tackling messes in tight corners, a hard-bristle brush to dislodge stuck-on dirt and debris, and a turbo brush for cleaning upholstered surfaces, which has a brushroll with angled plastic fins meant to reduce the risk of hair getting tangled around it.
Unfortunately, unlike some other handheld vacuums, like the Dyson Humdinger, it doesn't have a HEPA filter, so it might not be the best option if you happen to suffer from serious allergies. It also only provides roughly 10 minutes of runtime on a single charge, so you need to work quickly when cleaning up larger messes. Still, its compact size and strong performance make it one of the best vacuums for apartments that we've tested.
The best multi-surface robot vacuum that we've tested is the iRobot Roomba S9. This robot vacuum has no trouble clearing debris on many 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 between 50 minutes to over 2.5 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 you don't want it to enter.
However, like many robot vacuums, recurring costs are high due to the number of parts that need occasional replacing. Regular maintenance can also be quite demanding, as many components need cleaning fairly frequently. If you're looking for a robot vacuum that can handle messes on many surface types, this is a good option.
The best budget multi-surface vacuum that we've tested is the Eureka Whirlwind Bagless Canister. This compact canister vacuum clears a remarkable amount of debris on bare, even surfaces like hardwood or laminate. It also does an excellent job of sucking up pet hair and other kinds of debris from low-pile carpet and delivers good overall performance on high-pile carpet.
This vacuum's primary vacuum head has bristles that can be extended or retracted depending on if you're cleaning hard floors or carpets. Its bagless design and washable filters keep recurring costs to a minimum, and its lightweight plastic construction and built-in carrying handle make it easy to pick up and carry to other rooms. You can also remove its wand to clean furniture, shelves, and delicate surfaces.
Unfortunately, it doesn't come with very many tools and accessories, with only a soft-bristle brush that can be attached to its handle. Its short vacuum hose makes it difficult to clean hard-to-reach areas, while its short power cord may require you to swap outlets when cleaning larger spaces. Some components in its construction feel rather flimsy, especially its clear plastic dirt compartment. Otherwise, its strong performance on several surface types, lightweight design, and budget-friendly price makes it one of the best vacuums for under $100 that we've tested.
Apr 21, 2022: Replaced Wyze Cordless Vacuum with Samsung Jet 70 Pet as 'Cheaper Alternative' pick. Added SEBO Airbelt D4 to recommendations as new 'Alternative With Lower Recurring Costs' pick. Added Wyze Cordless Vacuum and Samsung Jet 90 Complete to Notable Mentions.
Feb 14, 2022: Substantial article restructuring to better align with user needs and expectations. Recategorized Miele Complete C3 Alize PowerLine as 'Best Multi-Surface Canister Vacuum'. Added Shark Rotator Lift-Away ADV as 'Best Multi-Surface Upright Vacuum'. Recategorized Wyze Cordless Vacuum as 'Budget-Friendly Alternative' pick. Recategorized Shark UltraCyclone Pet Pro+ as 'Best Handheld Multi-Surface Vacuum' pick. Moved Shark APEX UpLight to Notable Mentions.
Dec 16, 2021: Moved Wyze Cordless Vacuum from Notable Mentions to new 'Cordless Alternative' pick.
Oct 19, 2021: Replaced 'Upright Alternative' pick with 'More Portable Alternative' pick due to current availability. Removed HoLife HM036E, Shark Navigator Lift-Away, and Neato Botvac D7 from Notable Mentions due to current availability. Added Miele Classic C1 and Wyze Cordless Vacuum to Notable Mentions.
Aug 20, 2021: Replaced Miele Dynamic U1 PowerLine with Shark Rotator Powered Lift-Away Upright as 'Upright Alternative' due to current availability.
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 multiple surfaces, most are good enough to please almost everyone, and the differences are often not noticeable unless you really look for them.