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 adjustable floor and power settings are helpful, not to mention a reconfigurable design for cleaning large areas and tight spaces like the inside of a car.
We've tested over 90 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 multiple surfaces with a corded design that we've tested is the Miele Complete C3 Alize PowerLine. This corded canister vacuum does a fantastic job of clearing various kinds of debris on bare floors, ranging from pet hair to cereal. It also offers great overall performance on low and high-pile carpet, where it clears most kinds of material without too much difficulty, though it may take an extra pass to clear finer material like baking soda.
This vacuum has a seven-level suction power adjustment feature to better suit different surface types. Suction performance doesn't drastically decrease as its large dirtbag fills up either, so it shouldn't need to be replaced very often. Build quality is excellent, with a high-grade plastic body, stainless steel telescopic wand, and dense rubber wheels that enable it to roll smoothly on uneven surfaces. It's also incredibly easy to maintain.
Unfortunately, this vacuum is heavy, which can make it a bit of a challenge to carry up or down flights of stairs. Its vacuum hose is also a little on the short side, which can make it tricky to clean high-mounted shelves. Otherwise, its amazing build quality, easy-to-maintain design, and excellent overall performance on different surface types make it one of the best bagged vacuums that 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 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 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 doesn't have 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 Dyson V15 Detect is the best cordless multi-surface vacuum that we've tested. This cordless stick vacuum delivers exceptional performance on bare floors, where it clears everything from pet hair to cereal without difficulty, and also has no trouble sucking up material like sand or baking soda on both low and high-pile carpet. Using it in its 'Auto' mode allows it to increase or decrease suction on different surface types automatically.
Its lightweight design makes it easy to maneuver in tight spaces, and it can be quickly reconfigured into a handheld vacuum for spot cleaning. It comes with a wide assortment of tools too, which include a cone-shaped turbo brush, a combination hard bristle brush/upholstery tool, as well as a secondary vacuum head with a soft brushroll and a built-in laser light to help you see fine debris. Battery performance is alright overall, as it can supply roughly anywhere between 10 to over 70 minutes of runtime depending on your choice of attachments and suction power level, though this can vary slightly in the real world.
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. In addition, there are quite a few parts that need to be cleaned regularly, 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 cordless stick vacuums that we've tested.
If you're looking for a vacuum that's especially well-suited to spot-cleaning, consider the Shark UltraCyclone Pet Pro+. This handheld vacuum isn't nearly as well-suited to cleaning large areas as the Dyson V15 Detect and comes with fewer tools and accessories, but it's a lot more compact, making it easier to pick up and carry or store in a cupboard or a closet. It offers similarly superb performance across a range of surface types too, ranging from bare, even surfaces like hardwood to high-pile carpets. Suction performance doesn't drop by a noticeable degree as its dirt compartment fills up either, though be aware that the dustbin is very small and consequently needs to be emptied often. In addition, you need to work quickly when dealing with bigger messes, since it only provides little over 10 minutes of runtime on a single charge, though this can vary in the real world.
Get the Dyson if you want a more versatile cordless vacuum, but consider the Shark if you only need a handheld vacuum 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 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 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 high due to the number of parts that need occasional replacing. Regular maintenance can also be quite demanding, as many components need to cleaning fairly frequently. Still, if you're looking for a robot vacuum that can handle messes on many 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 it 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.
Jun 23, 2021: Replaced Shark Rocket Pet Pro with MultiFlex IZ163H with Dyson V15 Detect as 'Best Cordless Multi-Surface Vacuum' pick. Added Shark Rocket Pet Pro with MultiFlex IZ163H and Neato D8 to Notable Mentions.
Apr 26, 2021: Confirmed all picks are in stock and still the best recommendations for our users.
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.
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.