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 60 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, such as 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 aren't a fan of canister vacuums and prefer the ergonomics of an upright design, take a look at the Miele Dynamic U1 PowerLine. This bulky, eye-catching machine isn't as maneuverable as the Miele Complete C3 Alize PowerLine, but it's similarly well-built and exceptionally easy to maintain. It does a very good job of cleaning various kinds of debris on a wide range of surfaces, which is helped by its automatic surface type adjustment feature, though it doesn't perform quite as well on bare floors. It has a very long power cord, so you shouldn't have to worry about switching outlets, even in a big room. It doesn't have a HEPA filter, though it does come with a turbo brush and upholstery tool to help clear messes on couches and chairs.
Get the Complete C3 if you want better all-around cleaning performance and a HEPA filter, but consider the Dynamic U1 if you want a vacuum better-suited for cleaning larger spaces and don't mind a bulkier machine.
The Shark Rocket Pet Pro is the best cordless multi-surface vacuum that we've tested. This versatile stick/handheld model delivers outstanding performance on bare floors, as it easily clears pet hair as well as debris like sand and cereal. It also does a very good job on low and high-pile carpets, where it picks up pet hair with no issue.
It can be reconfigured into a handheld mode, which is useful if you're clearing awkward areas like stairs or your car. It has excellent maneuverability, with a rotating head to help it move around obstacles and a flexible wand that makes it easier to clean under low furniture. You can easily switch between two different surface type settings, and it comes with a few different tools and brushes to help with different cleaning jobs, like a hard bristle brush for scrubbing away stubborn messes.
Unfortunately, its battery only provides roughly 10 minutes of continuous runtime if you use the most powerful suction mode, but that can be extended to just over 40 minutes in its handheld mode. It also has a fairly small dirt compartment, so you may need to empty it often if you're cleaning a big space. That said, its versatile performance makes it a great choice if you have both carpets and bare floors in your home. It's also one of the best cordless vacuums we've tested.
If you need a good multi-surface vacuum but prefer something handheld, consider the Shark UltraCyclone Pet Pro+. This cordless model isn't as well-suited as the Shark Rocket Pet Pro for cleaning large areas, but its handheld design makes it easier to carry around and great for hard-to-reach places like the interior of your car. It delivers a versatile performance, as it does an exceptional job of cleaning both bare floors and low and high-pile carpets. It also comes with a few accessories, like a turbo brush to dislodge dirt from furniture and a crevice tool for getting into narrow spaces. Unfortunately, it only has one power setting and its battery can be depleted after roughly 10 minutes of continuous cleaning time, so you have to work fast if you're cleaning up a big mess.
Go for the Rocket Pet Pro if you want a cordless vacuum that can tackle big areas of carpets or bare floors. If you want something that performs well on various surfaces but prefer a handheld design, consider the UltraCyclone Pet Pro+ instead.
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.
01/04/2021: Added the Miele Triflex HX1 to Notable Mentions.
12/11/2020: Added Shark Navigator Lift-Away and Shark APEX UpLight to Notable Mentions.
11/20/2020: Slight changes to the text for accuracy and clarity; no change in product recommendations.
10/30/2020: 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.