For more than six months, we’ve tested various types of top-of-the-line vacuums—including cordless, robotic, canister, hand-held and upright vacuums—to make it easy to choose the one that best suits your needs .
So whether you live in a small apartment or a spacious home, need to clean up after pets or kids, or just want to be in time when the mess happens, we’ve rounded up the best vacuums we’ve tested to make sure you’re getting The right tool for the job.
The best cordless vacuums
This impressive wireless option can handle even the toughest cleaning tasks on surfaces from high-pile carpets to hard floors, and even effectively sucks up pet hair as well as dirt and dust.
Best Handheld Vacuum Cleaner
The easiest to charge, empty and use, this handheld vacuum from trusted Black + Decker features a large-capacity canister and handy built-in accessories, making it perfect for any small cleaning.
best vacuum tank
Powerful, maneuverable and durable, the Miele Classic C1 Turbo Team features six suction speeds and many useful tools. Great for hard floors, low rugs and rugs, upholstery and even dusting.
The best robot vacuums
The iRobot j7+ is smarter and more powerful than any other robot vacuum we’ve tested, and it also comes with simpler mapping.
The Shark Rotator Professional Lift-Away NV501 was one of the easiest upright vacuums to maneuver in our tests, and thanks to its swivel head and 15.8-pound weight, it’s also easy to pick up and move around. Simply press the large button to easily lift the can from the vacuum base to detach the pod and carry it independently, then press the button next to the can to release the wand.
The Shark Rotator comes with accessories such as decorating tools, dusting brushes and crevice tools that easily fit on the end of the handle. It also has headlights, a useful feature when vacuuming on hard floors.
In terms of suction power and performance, the main brush head and attachment can pick up pet fur on all types of floors in one go, and the main brush head can easily pull cat litter out of high-pile carpets.
Shark’s XL bagless bin can be cleaned continuously and is easy to remove and empty. However, since this vacuum has three filters, there is no dust or blowback when emptying the machine.
Our only complaint is that the vacuum itself sometimes tipped backwards when the bin was closed, landing hard on the floor a few times before we could better position it. We’d also love the retractable cord, but none of the units we tested didn’t have it, so we couldn’t use it against the Shark.
• related: Learn more from our full test of an upright vacuum cleaner
Dyson V11 Animal is an absolute powerhouse that performs equally well on high and low pile carpets and rugs, as well as on all types of hard floors (vinyl, tile and hardwood). The swivel head and lightweight body, at 6.68 lbs, are also easy to move. It sucked so much debris from our living room rug and no animal fur, grime or dust escaped.
Its three modes, boost, auto and eco, and although the vacuum defaults to auto, you can easily cycle it at the touch of a button. Enhanced mode helps pull dust and heavier debris, such as cat litter, out of plush rugs.
In theory, the Dyson V11 can run continuously for 60 minutes on a full charge, but in practice, when you use it on Auto or Boost, the usage time drops to 30 to 45 minutes. The generous 0.2-gallon (or 0.76-liter) litter box makes the V11 Animal one of the bulkier cordless canes we’ve tested, but we’d happily accept a little bulk rather than constantly emptying it.
In addition to the main high-torque cleaning head, the Dyson V11 comes with four additional attachments, and you can replace the main brush head for each attachment, or remove the brush head section entirely and use the V11 Animal as a handheld device.
• related: Learn more from our full test of a cordless stick vacuum
For many, “Dustbuster” is synonymous with “handheld vacuum cleaner.” So it’s no surprise that this handy machine beats the competition with a balanced combination of size, features, and convenience. It has a comfortable, well-balanced feel, is easy to control, and is super simple to control.
All its accessories and tools are built into the machine itself, making it easier to find and keep track of anything you might need. The Dustbuster’s only downside, while not a deal-breaker, is its lack of a flat interior trim add-on. And, we appreciate that the tiny charging station comes with a corresponding ring as a connector, so it can be set on the base in any orientation.
A powerful motor recovered all of our test debris, even those troublesome Cheerios, with no clogging issues, and the dust collector was easy to remove and dump without making a mess. Only another vacuum we’ve tested has a larger dust container, and if you factor in the affordable price, the Dustbuster is a no-brainer.
• related: Learn more from our full test of a handheld vacuum cleaner
The Miele Classic C1 Turbo Team is a lightweight, manoeuvrable six-speed canister vacuum cleaner that is extremely comfortable to use, removing hair and dust from low-pile carpets and rugs, to gliding over parquet floors, to Nice way to dust baseboards and overhead fixtures. 90 degree pivot tool. But you’ll love it because it finds the sweet spot between portability, versatility, build quality, and price.
Easier to use on stairs, its 13-pound can is a full 10 pounds lighter than the high-end Miele Complete C3 and 9 pounds lighter than the Kenmore Pet-Friendly Pop-N-Go. Its floor head has a suction rotating brush, and the 11-inch wide floor head is quite flexible. The C1’s handle and telescoping metal rod don’t have to support the electric floor brushes, which makes them lighter than those used on canisters that use electric accessories. Also, since the handle of the handle is integrated into the straw, it is less tiring to use.
From curtains to hard floors, six labeled suction settings are controlled by a dial on the canister—and less bulky since there’s no onboard tool storage. Instead, crevice tools, dusting brushes, and upholstery tools are located on clips on the bottom of the hose.
The multi-layer 4.5-liter GN AirClean 3D filter bag doesn’t have a HEPA rating, although Miele says combined with a motor protection filter and exhaust filter, they block “99.9 percent of fine dust particles.”
The Turbo Team isn’t the only model of the Classic C1, but it will suit most people. Miele also makes a $699 Cat & Dog version of the Classic C1, which comes with a power floor brush, a suction mini-turbo brush for pulling pet hair out of upholstery, and an activated carbon exhaust filter.
• related: Learn more from our full test of a canister vacuum cleaner
The iRobot j7+ outperforms all other products at mapping, creating virtual boundaries, and detecting and avoiding obstacles, which means it’s the best “set-and-forget” smart robot vacuum – and it even empties itself. What’s more, it picks up dust, debris, and cat litter from hardwood floors and low-pile carpets better than any other product we’ve tested.
The j7+ has a multi-sided rubber brush on the bottom to prevent the main brush from tangling with pet hair. Plus, when it’s done cleaning, it returns to the base and empties itself into a bag in the larger bin on the back of the base, reducing the clutter of everyday handling. It also does a great job of keeping away from everyday household items like headphones and light cords, and fits easily under furniture that’s only 3.4 inches tall.
Of course, all these high-end smart features will set you back $699, making this one of the most expensive vacuums we’ve tested.
• related: Learn more from our full test of a robot vacuum
Not sure which vacuum is best for your particular household? Here’s a short guide to choosing the right one for your needs.
A far cry from their bagged, corded ancestors, today’s cordless stick vacuums are compact, lightweight and powerful – especially for apartments or small homes, they may be everything you need.
With a powerful motor, long hose and vacuum, and a variety of accessories, canister vacuums can clean your entire house, have better suction and filtration than stick vacuums, and are more flexible than upright vacuums, allowing You handle everything from floor care to upholstery, stairs, curtains and dusty furniture.
More powerful than stick vacuums and easier to store than canister vacuums, upright vacuums offer a modern twist on a traditional product. And because they’re easy to use, they’re also great for spot cleaning — especially in homes with pets or kids.
• related: Best vacuums for pet hair
No one wants to smash a clunky, full-sized vacuum for everyday clutter. That’s why compact cordless handheld vacuums are so popular for light cleaning tasks. Yes, their small capacity and limited battery life make them unlikely to be used as your primary vacuum cleaner, but boy are they handy for everything from kitchen spills to car clutter to pet hair and dander.
A good robot vacuum cleans floors so you don’t have to do it as often. They’re great for keeping pet hair, but also keep your house tidy when you’re too busy. They may not be able to replace a full-size vacuum (they can’t handle upholstery, curtains, or any floor-level tasks yet) or eliminate your weekly chores, but as part of an overall cleaning strategy, they can make your job a lot easier .