Depending on what kind of floors you have and the kind of 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. Conversely, if you live in a carpeted home, an upright vacuum can help pick up a large amount of debris and hair on high-pile textiles. Lightweight stick/handheld vacuums are also a suitable 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 90 vacuums, and below are our recommendations for the best vacuums 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 Miele Dynamic U1 PowerLine is the best vacuum cleaner with an upright design that we've tested. This corded upright vacuum is amazingly well-built, with a high-grade plastic construction that's easy to take apart and reassemble, which also makes user maintenance an exceptionally simple process. It also has a very long power cord, which should enable you to clean a large area without needing to swap outlets.
This vacuum delivers superb performance on bare floors and does an excellent job of clearing various kinds of debris on low and high-pile carpet. A rotary dial on the vacuum head allows you to swap between four different suction power modes. You can also remove its handle from its main body in order to use it in a semi-handheld configuration and attach any one of the included tools and accessories, which include a small dusting brush and a turbo brush.
Unfortunately, this vacuum is quite heavy and quite bulky, which can make it difficult to pick up and carry or to clean under tables and couches. That said, its swiveling head does make it relatively maneuverable. The vacuum's dirtbag also needs to be replaced once it's been filled, though its large size should ensure that you don't need to do that too often. Overall, this vacuum's excellent build quality, versatile cleaning performance, and easy-to-maintain design make it one of the best multi-surface vacuums that we've tested.
If you're looking for a vacuum that's a lot easier to carry around, you may want to consider the Shark Rotator Lift-Away ADV. This corded upright isn't nearly as well-built or as easy to maintain as the Miele Dynamic U1 PowerLine, but you can use it in a semi-handheld canister configuration by detaching its pod from its main wand, making it easier to pick up and clean hard-to-reach areas. It also delivers superior performance on bare floors, where it does a better job of sucking up pet hair, though it does have a much harder time sucking up fine debris like baking soda from low-pile carpet compared to the Miele. Recurring costs are low, courtesy of its bagless design and washable, long-lasting pre-motor and HEPA filters. Unfortunately, its somewhat bulky dirt compartment can get in the way when vacuuming under low-lying furniture, like tables and couches.
Get the Miele if you want a better-built vacuum that delivers superior performance on carpeted floors, but consider the Shark if portability and better bare-floor performance are bigger considerations.
The best stick vacuum that we've tested is the Dyson V15 Detect. This cordless stick/handheld vacuum delivers exceptional overall cleaning performance on a wide variety of surface types, from bare floors to low and high-pile carpet. Suction performance remains consistent as its dirt compartment fills up, which is good if you have several large messes to deal with.
Its bagless design and washable, reusable allergen-trapping HEPA filter result in a near-total lack of recurring costs. Its lightweight design makes it easy to navigate cluttered areas, and reconfiguring it into a compact handheld vacuum is a simple, quick process. It comes with a wide variety of tools and accessories, including a laser vacuum head that illuminates hard-to-see debris and a combination upholstery tool and hard bristle brush. Depending on your choice of accessories and suction mode, it can supply over 70 minutes of runtime on a single charge, though you can drain its battery in under 10 minutes if it's used continuously in its high-suction 'Boost' mode.
Its very high suction force can make it difficult to maneuver on some carpets, and it can drag around some lighter high-pile rugs. It also doesn't feel particularly sturdy, and there are quite a few parts that require regular maintenance as well. Still, this vacuum's versatile overall performance, broad selection of tools and accessories, and lightweight construction help make it one of the best vacuums that we've tested.
If you want something with a more versatile design, you may prefer the Miele Triflex HX1. It doesn't perform quite as well on carpets compared to the Dyson V15 Detect and doesn't come with as many tools and accessories, but it has a unique three-in-one design that allows it to be used as a handheld, upright, or stick vacuum. It delivers similarly exceptional performance on bare floors too, where it easily clears pet hair as well as small and large debris, like rice or cereal, without difficulty. It also features an automatic surface-type adjustment feature that changes the brush power to suit different surface types or even stops the rotation of the brushroll to prevent it from tangling on an obstruction, like rug tassels. Unfortunately, its dirt compartment is quite small and consequently needs to be emptied often.
Get the Dyson if you prioritize superior cleaning performance on carpet and want more tools and accessories, but consider the Miele if you want a better-built vacuum with a more reconfigurable design.
The Miele Complete C3 Alize PowerLine is the best canister vacuum that we've tested. This bagged vacuum does a fantastic job of sucking up pet hair as well as bulky and small debris, like cereal or rice, from bare floors, and also delivers excellent performance on low and high-pile carpet. It features a seven-level suction power adjustment feature, and you can retract the bristles on its primary vacuum head for cleaning different kinds of floors.
This vacuum also has excellent maneuverability, thanks to its rubber-like wheels that enable it to roll smoothly over low obstructions like electrical cords or rugs. It feels very sturdily built and has an easy-to-assemble design, so user maintenance is remarkably simple. You can detach the wand from its handle and use the included dusting brush for cleaning delicate surfaces, attach the upholstery tool for dealing with messes on fabric-lined furniture or fit the crevice tool in place to deal with messes in hard-to-reach areas. The handle also features an integrated LED light for illuminating dark areas.
Unfortunately, this vacuum is quite heavy, which can make it a hassle to pick up and carry to another room or up and down a flight of stairs. Its hose is also a little short, so it can be difficult to clean far-away areas when using it in its semi-handheld configuration. Otherwise, its strong cleaning performance and wide feature set make it one of the best vacuum cleaners with good suction that we've tested.
The Shark UltraCyclone Pet Pro+ is the best handheld vacuum that we've tested. This cordless handheld has a compact, lightweight body that can be easily carried to spot-clean far-off areas, like the inside of your car. It has a sturdy-feeling plastic body and is quite easy to maintain, with few parts that need routine maintenance. Its dust cup filter is its only disposable part, so recurring costs are also decently low.
It delivers remarkable overall performance on everything from bare, even surfaces like hardwood floors to densely woven high-pile carpet. It clears pet hair without an issue, not to mention debris like rice or cereal. It doesn't struggle with coarse material like sand or fine debris like baking soda on carpeted surfaces. It comes with a turbo brush to help you clean messes on upholstered furniture, as well as a hard bristle brush to dislodge stuck-on debris and a crevice cleaner to tackle messes in tight corners.
Unfortunately, it can run out of charge in a little over 10 minutes, so you need to work quickly if you're trying to deal with a particularly stubborn or large mess. It also doesn't have a HEPA filter to trap allergens as you clean. Still, its mix of versatility and portability helps make it one of the best vacuum cleaners we've tested.
The iRobot Roomba S9 is the best robot vacuum we've tested. This premium robot vacuum does an excellent job of clearing debris on bare, even surfaces like laminate or hardwood and clears an impressive amount of material on low and high pile carpet. Suction performance remains consistent as its dirt compartment fills up, which is good when dealing with larger messes.
The vacuum's iAdapt 3.0 navigation system allows you to generate increasingly efficient cleaning routes, and its automatic surface type adjustment feature enables it to adjust to different floor types on the fly. You can use its companion app to schedule cleaning sessions for individual rooms or set up virtual boundary markers to prevent the vacuum from entering certain spaces. The vacuum itself feels amazingly well-built, and depending on your usage habits and current power mode, supplies roughly anywhere between 50 to over 150 minutes of runtime.
Unfortunately, there are quite a few components that need to be cleaned periodically. Some parts need to be replaced relatively frequently, so recurring costs are rather high. Still, its versatile overall cleaning performance, excellent build quality, and exceptional battery performance help make it one of the best vacuums for carpets that we've tested.
The best budget vacuum cleaner that we've tested is the Eureka Whirlwind Bagless Canister. This relatively affordable canister vacuum is relatively lightweight, making it easy to pick up and carry to another room or maneuver in cluttered rooms. Its bagless design and washable filters result in a near-total lack of recurring costs, too, and it isn't too demanding in terms of maintenance.
It delivers superb cleaning performance on bare floors, where it sucks up pet hair as well as small and large debris like rice or cereal without difficulty, even as its dirt compartment fills. It also does an amazing job of clearing messes on low-pile carpet and clears a good amount of debris on high-pile carpets, though you may need to do an extra pass to clear everything.
However, its power cord and vacuum hose are quite short, which can make it a challenge to clean larger rooms without swapping outlets or clean high-placed shelves and furniture. Despite its relatively compact size, it can also be a bit of a hassle to store due to its lack of any sort of onboard storage. Still, its versatile performance, maneuverable design, and budget-friendly price also help make it one of the best apartment vacuums that we've tested.
Jul 07, 2021: Replaced Dyson Ball Animal 2 with Miele Dynamic U1 PowerLine as 'Best Upright Vacuum'. Removed Miele Dynamic U1 PowerLine from Notable Mentions and added Dyson Ball Animal 2.
Jun 07, 2021: Ensured that all main picks are still in stock and represent the best choice for their given category.
May 12, 2021: Replaced Shark Rocket Pet Pro with MultiFlex IZ163H with Dyson V15 Detect as 'Best Stick Vacuum' due to superior overall performance. Added Shark Rocket Pet Pro with MultiFlex IZ163H to Notable Mentions.
Apr 12, 2021: Verified that all main picks are still in stock and represent the best choice for their given category.
Mar 17, 2021: Checked picks to ensure the best products are being recommended and that they're in stock.
Our recommendations above are what we think are currently the best vacuums 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.