Depending on what kind of floors you have and the debris you encounter, having the right vacuum for the job is crucial to keeping your space clean. If you have staircases or bare floors, you may want to consider canister vacuums for their portability and range. If you live in a carpeted home, an upright vacuum can help pick up debris and hair on high-pile textiles. Lightweight stick/handheld vacuums are also a good choice if you need your vacuum to be highly maneuverable. If you're looking for as hands-off of an experience as you can get, robot vacuums can easily clean a room without little interaction on your part.
We've tested over 105 vacuums, and below are our recommendations for the best vacuum cleaners you can buy. If you're looking for more vacuums, check out our recommendations for the best lightweight vacuums, the best cordless vacuums, and the best bagless vacuums.
The Shark Rotator Lift-Away ADV is the best vacuum with an upright design that we've tested. This upright vacuum performs exceptionally well on bare floors, easily cleaning pet hair as well as small and bulky debris. It does an excellent job cleaning debris on high-pile carpet and sucks up a good amount of material on low-pile carpet, though you may need to make another pass to fully clean very fine debris.
This vacuum has dedicated surface settings for bare floors and carpet as well as a suction adjustment switch, enabling you to adapt to different floor types on the fly. Its 'Lift-Away' design lets you decouple its canister from its body and clean tight areas with its telescopic wand and range of attachments, including a turbo brush and a crevice tool. As long as its allergen-trapping post-motor HEPA filter and pre-motor filter get regular cleaning, recurring costs shouldn't be an issue either.
Unfortunately, this vacuum does have quite a few parts that need regular cleaning. Also, its bulky design can make it hard to maneuver under tables and chairs. You also can't stop the rotation of its floorhead's brushroll, so the vacuum can sometimes get stuck on rug tassels and other loose obstructions. Still, its strong performance, onboard HEPA filter, and relatively wide range of features make it one of the best corded vacuums that we've tested.
If you want a vacuum that's a little easier to maintain, consider the Kenmore Intuition Bagged. It doesn't perform as well as the Shark Rotator Lift-Away ADV on bare floors and incurs higher recurring costs, but its bagged design results in fewer parts that need regular cleaning. Its use of a dirtbag also results in a cleaner means of debris disposal, as you can take out and throw away the dirtbag without releasing a plume of dust and debris. It uses a similar design in that you can carry its canister around separately, allowing you to clean tight areas with less difficulty. It also comes with a turbo brush for cleaning fabric surfaces, a stiff-bristle brush, a three-in-one combination tool that serves as a crevice tool, an upholstery tool, and a dusting brush. Unfortunately, this vacuum isn't very maneuverable, as it lacks any sort of surface type adjustment to climb over obstructions like electrical cords. Its top-mounted dirtbag compartment is also quite large and gets in the way when navigating under tables and couches.
Get the Shark if you want a vacuum that incurs lower recurring costs and performs a little better on bare floors, but consider the Kenmore if you want a vacuum with less demanding maintenance requirements.
The best stick vacuum that we've tested is the Dyson V15 Detect. This vacuum is fairly lightweight and easy to maneuver, thanks to its cordless design and pivoting vacuum head. Thanks to its washable HEPA filter and bagless design, it also incurs virtually no recurring costs. It can be easily reconfigured into a handheld vacuum and comes with a very wide assortment of attachments, including a secondary floorhead with a soft roller and laser light for seeing small debris, a stiff-bristle brush, and a turbo brush.
This vacuum delivers remarkable overall performance on bare floors and carpets. Running it in its 'Auto' mode allows it to change its suction power automatically depending on the floor type that it's on. Depending on your choice of attachments and usage habits, you can expect roughly anywhere between 10 to 75 minutes of runtime on a single charge, which should be sufficient for most areas. You can keep tabs on battery life via the LED screen at the back of the vacuum, which can also display the size and number of particles that you're sucking up.
Unfortunately, this vacuum doesn't feel especially robust, which is disappointing for a vacuum at this price point. It also has many parts that need regular cleaning, but thankfully they're easy to access. It's also worth noting that this vacuum's strong suction force can cause it to get stuck on some rugs and carpets. Still, its versatile overall performance, wide variety of attachments, and relatively maneuverable design make it one of the best multi-surface vacuums that we've tested.
If you're looking for a vacuum that feels better built, consider the Miele Triflex HX1. This cordless vacuum has a smaller dustbin than the Dyson V15 Detect and struggles more with sucking up fine debris on carpets. Its high-grade plastic construction does feel notably sturdier, and there are fewer parts that require regular cleaning. Its three-in-one design also allows you to configure it as an upright, stick, or handheld vacuum, depending on your needs. It has a surface detection feature that lets it adjust its suction power depending on the floor type that it's on, and it's capable of stopping the brushroll if it detects that something has gotten stuck in it. It's also lightweight and delivers exceptional cleaning performance on bare floors. Unfortunately, its maximum battery life of just over 30 minutes is substantially shorter. It doesn't come with nearly as many attachments either, with only a crevice tool, a dusting brush, and an upholstery tool.
Get the Dyson if you want a vacuum with longer battery life and more attachments, but consider the Miele if build quality and ease of maintenance are bigger priorities for you.
The best vacuum for pet hair we've tested is the Dyson V8 Animal. This lightweight cordless stick vacuum has an onboard HEPA filter to trap allergens as you clean. It also delivers exceptional pet hair cleaning performance on bare floors as well as low and high-pile carpets. The floorhead's brushroll is easily removable, which allows you clear any tangled hair wraps with minimal effort.
This vacuum's bagless design and washable filter keep recurring costs to a minimum. Its lightweight plastic construction makes it very easy to maneuver, even in cluttered areas. You can quickly reconfigure it into a handheld vacuum to help clean tight spots, and it comes with quite a few tools and accessories. These include a miniature turbo brush, a combination upholstery tool/soft-bristle brush, and even a 180-degree folding extension adapter that makes it easier to clean hard-to-reach shelves.
However, this vacuum has quite a few parts that need regular cleaning and doesn't feel especially sturdy. Its maximum battery life of roughly 40 minutes is shorter than newer Dyson vacuums like the Dyson V15 Detect, which is a fantastic choice for dealing with pet hair, though it's significantly pricier. Overall, if you're looking for a vacuum that's exceptionally well-suited to dealing with pet hair, this is a superb option.
If you're looking for a budget-friendly vacuum that delivers exceptional pet hair cleaning performance, consider the Wyze Cordless Vacuum. This stick vacuum doesn't come with as many tools and accessories as the Dyson V8 Animal, but it's significantly cheaper. It's fitted with an allergen-trapping HEPA filter and delivers fantastic pet hair cleaning performance across a wide variety of surfaces. Its lightweight construction makes it very easy to maneuver, and you can quickly reconfigure it into a handheld vacuum to clear debris in tight corners or on top of countertops and shelves. It has a longer battery life, as you can expect roughly anywhere between 10 minutes to an hour of runtime on a single charge depending on your choice of settings and attachments. However, very bulky debris can clog the entry to its dustbin. It has quite a few parts that need regular cleaning, while parts of its mainly plastic construction feel a little fragile.
Get the Dyson if you want a cordless vacuum that can better handle bulky debris in addition to pet hair, but consider the Wyze if you're looking to save some money without sacrificing much in the way of overall performance.
The best canister vacuum we've tested is the Miele Complete C3 Alize PowerLine. This bagged canister vacuum performs remarkably well on bare floors and clears an impressive amount of debris on low and high-pile carpet. It has a seven-level suction power adjustment feature, allowing you to adjust its suction power for cleaning everything from curtains to high-pile carpets.
This vacuum has amazing build quality with a high-grade plastic body, stainless steel telescopic wand, and dense rubber wheels that enable it to roll smoothly over high-pile rugs and obstructions like electrical cords. User maintenance is remarkably simple, with the few parts requiring regular maintenance being readily accessible. It also has helpful quality-of-life features, like an automatically retractable power cable, an allergen-trapping HEPA filter, and an onboard storage compartment for its attachments.
Unfortunately, the number of attachments included in the box is a little limited, as it only comes with a dusting brush, a crevice tool, and an upholstery tool, though far more accessories are available for purchase from the manufacturer. Its hose is somewhat short, making it difficult to clean hard-to-reach areas. Still, its strong performance, superb build quality, and fantastically easy-to-maintain design make it one of the best bagged vacuums that we've tested.
The Shark UltraCyclone Pet Pro+ is the best handheld vacuum that we've tested. This vacuum does a superb job of cleaning pet hair as well as small and bulky debris on bare floors and delivers fantastic performance on low and high-pile carpet. It comes with a couple of attachments, like a hard-bristle brush to dislodge stuck-on debris and a turbo brush with a self-cleaning brushroll.
This vacuum feels well-built and has an easy-to-maintain design that allows you to quickly access its filters for cleaning or replacement. Its compact size and lightweight plastic construction make it easy to pick up and carry from room to room without fatigue. Its dirt compartment is also relatively large for a handheld vacuum, so it shouldn't need emptying too often.
Unfortunately, this vacuum doesn't have an allergen-trapping HEPA filter. Its battery life of a little over 10 minutes forces you to work fast if you have several large messes to deal with. There's also no way of adjusting its suction power, which would help conserve battery life when cleaning up lighter debris. Still, its compact size and strong performance make it one of the best handheld vacuums that we've tested.
The best robot vacuum we've tested is the iRobot Roomba S9. This premium robot vacuum delivers impressive overall performance on bare floors as well as low and high-pile carpet, clearing pet hair and various kinds of solid debris without too much difficulty. There's an onboard HEPA filter to trap allergens as it cleans. Its brushroll height changes automatically depending on the surface that it's on, which is good if you have a wide mix of surface types in your home.
This vacuum has a wide array of other automation capabilities too. Its built-in dirt sensor lets it detect areas with high concentrations of dirt and allows it to focus cleaning on those areas. Its iAdapt 3.0 navigation system creates a permanent map of its coverage area, which you can then use to set up virtual boundary lines or schedule cleaning sessions for specific rooms. The vacuum does an excellent job of maneuvering itself and can climb over obstructions like power cables.
However, this vacuum incurs high recurring costs since you need to regularly replace some components. It also has many parts that need periodic cleaning. Still, it's a great option if you're looking for a versatile robot vacuum with a dense feature set.
The best budget vacuum we've tested is the Eureka Whirlwind Bagless Canister. This affordable canister vacuum has a compact, lightweight construction, making it easy to maneuver in tight spots or to pick up and carry from room to room. Its bagless design and washable filters help keep recurring costs to a minimum.
This vacuum sucks up a remarkable amount of debris on bare floors. It also delivers impressive overall performance on low and high-pile carpet, but it might take another pass to clear very fine material on carpeted floors. Its floorhead doesn't have a beater brush, but it does have bristles that you can extend or retract depending on the surface you're cleaning.
Unfortunately, this vacuum lacks an allergen-trapping HEPA filter. It also feels a little fragile in some places, most notably its clear plastic dustbin. Also, its power cord is short, so you might need to swap outlets when cleaning larger areas. Otherwise, its budget-friendly price point, maneuverable design, and versatile overall performance make it one of the best cheap vacuums that we've tested.
Jan 13, 2022: Ensured that all main picks are still available. Added Eureka Mighty Mite, NaceCare HVR 200 Henry, and yeedi vac station to Notable Mentions.
Dec 14, 2021: Verified that all picks are still available and represent the best choice for their given category.
Dec 03, 2021: Moved Wyze Cordless Vacuum from Notable Mentions to new 'Budget-Friendly Alternative' pick.
Nov 04, 2021: Added Dyson V8 Animal as new 'Best Vacuum For Pet Hair' pick. Renamed 'Bagged Alternative' pick to 'Easier-To-Maintain Alternative'.
Oct 27, 2021: Renamed 'Alternative With More Configurations' pick to 'Better-Built Alternative' pick to maintain consistency with other recommendation articles. Removed HoLife HM036E from Notable Mentions due to current availability. Added Wyze Cordless Vacuum to Notable Mentions.
Our recommendations above are what we think are currently the best vacuum cleaners for most people. We factor in the price, feedback from our visitors, and availability.
If you would like to do the work of choosing yourself, here is the list of all our vacuum reviews. Be careful not to get too caught up in the details. While no vacuum is perfect for every use, most are good enough to please almost everyone, and the differences are often not noticeable unless you really look for them.