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 130 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, and the best vacuums for stairs.
The best vacuum for hardwood and carpet we've tested is the SEBO Airbelt D4. This high-end canister vacuum has a very powerful 1250 W motor, enabling it to easily clear debris on bare floors and low and high-pile carpet, even with a basic straight-suction floorhead. If you plan on cleaning a lot of shag-pile carpeting, it's recommended that you spring for SEBO's ET-1 or wider ET-2 powerhead for an additional cost, which is one of the most effective attachments for carpet cleaning on the market. The handle-mounted rocker switch gives you a precise level of control over the vacuum's suction output, enabling you to adapt to different surface types on the fly. Recurring costs are low, especially for a bagged vacuum, as it uses high-capacity dirtbags and filters that will last for years without needing a replacement. Build quality is fantastic, and the canister body is surrounded by a cushion to prevent it from marking up your walls.
While its four caster-mounted wheels make it somewhat maneuverable for a vacuum of this weight and size, you might want to consider the Miele Complete C3 if you need something a little smaller, lighter, and easier to use in cluttered environments. However, the Miele has a shorter range and incurs higher ownership costs due to its smaller dirtbags and less durable filters. Conversely, if you want to go completely cordless, the Dyson V15 Detect is one of the most powerful cordless vacuums we've tested and delivers a correspondingly strong cleaning performance. However, it's prone to get stuck on thicker rugs and carpets.
The best vacuum cleaner for carpet and hardwood we've tested in the upper mid-range price category is the Samsung Jet 90 Complete. This cordless stick vacuum comes bundled with two floorheads, one with a soft roller for improved debris pickup on hard surfaces and the other with bristles for improved surface agitation on carpets. Using the correct floorhead, it performs superbly on bare floors and is highly effective on carpets. Unlike most other cordless stick vacuums, it's also compatible with a dedicated mopping floorhead, which uses a pair of rotating pads to scrub away dried-on stains. However, its multi-surface floorhead has no brushroll on/off switch or height adjustment to prevent it from getting stuck on thick carpeting. Combined with its substantially less powerful suction motor, its deep-cleaning performance, especially on thicker carpets, falls short of high-end corded models like the SEBO Airbelt D4.
Battery performance is strong for a cordless vacuum, as you can expect over an hour of runtime in its most energy-efficient mode. If you prioritize deep-cleaning performance, the Dyson Ball Animal 3 is worth a look. The two vacuums aren't exactly direct competitors, with the Dyson being a much heavier and bulkier corded bagless upright that's better suited for longer cleaning sessions. That said, it delivers remarkable performance on bare floors as well as low and high-pile carpet.
The best vacuum for hardwood and carpet we've tested in the mid-range price bracket is the Shark Vertex Pro Powered Lift-Away. This cordless upright isn't as maneuverable as a stick vacuum like the Samsung Jet 90 Complete, while its floorhead is also considerably more basic than the more powerful SEBO Airbelt D4's ET-1 powerhead, with no automatic brushroll cutoff or height adjustment. However, it's cheaper than either vacuum, and it still delivers fantastic performance on bare floors. It also clears away an impressive amount of debris on low and high-pile carpeting, though the lack of any height adjustment means it can get bogged down on shag-pile carpeting. Its cordless design makes it easier to clean far-away areas than the SEBO, even considering the latter's nearly 50-feet operating range, and has a higher-capacity dustbin than the Samsung, which won't need emptying as often.
It can run for about 30 to 40 minutes when used as an upright in its default power setting, which is alright for a cordless vacuum, but nothing particularly noteworthy. If you don't want to worry about running out of charge and want a comparably-priced corded vacuum, the Miele Classic C1 is a great choice. It has little in common with the Shark, being a bagged canister vacuum, but it offers strong performance and feels better built. Still, if you want a C1 with a turbo brush or a powerhead, you'll have to pay a premium, and the entry-level Pure Suction variant doesn't have an electrosocket that would allow it to accept powered floorheads.
If you're looking to save money on a multi-surface vacuum, consider the Wyze Cordless Vacuum. This stick vacuum is less sturdily built than the pricier Shark Vertex Pro Powered Lift-Away and has the common downside of lacking any floorhead height adjustment settings. This means it can get stuck on rug tassels and thick shag-pile carpeting, but it still manages to clear away an impressive amount of debris across a wide range of surface types. Its lightweight construction makes it easy to take out of a closet and maneuver in cluttered spaces. The onboard HEPA filter is rare for a vacuum at this price point and also helps trap fine allergens, like dust or pet dander. It can run for about an hour in its most energy-efficient mode, but that drops quickly when using more powerful settings.
Want a budget-friendly corded vacuum? The Eureka Mighty Mite is a fantastic choice. It isn't a direct competitor to the Wyze, being a bagged canister vacuum with a somewhat short range, but it's better suited for longer cleaning sessions since you won't have to worry about running out of charge. While its pure suction floorhead doesn't have a brushroll to provide some level of surface agitation on carpets, it still delivers good overall performance on bare floors as well as low and high-pile rugs.
Jan 20, 2023: Ensured all main picks represent the best option for user needs. Added Samsung Jet 75 to Notable Mentions and removed less relevant Notable Mentions.
Nov 21, 2022: Verified that all main picks are still available and represent the best fit for user needs. Removed less relevant Notable Mentions picks.
Sep 22, 2022: Removed irrelevant product category picks. Added Samsung Jet 90 Complete as the new 'Best Upper Mid-Range Multi-Surface Vacuum' pick and added Shark Cordless Vertex Pro Powered Lift-Away as the new 'Best Mid-Range Multi-Surface Vacuum' pick. Added Wyze Cordless Vacuum as 'Best Budget Multi-Surface Vacuum'. Removed less relevant Notable Mentions and added Shark APEX UpLight and Shark Rotator Lift-Away ADV to Notable Mentions.
Jun 23, 2022: Recategorized SEBO Airbelt D4 as 'Best Multi-Surface Canister Vacuum' pick. Removed Miele Complete C3 Alize PowerLine and Samsung Jet 70 Pet from main recommendations. Replaced iRobot Roomba S9 with Roborock S7 as 'Best Multi-Surface Robot Vacuum'. Added Airsign HEPA Vacuum to Notable Mentions. Removed Dyson Ball Animal 2, Shark APEX UpLight, and Wyze Cordless Vacuum from Notable Mentions.
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.
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.