A freshly vacuumed home is what dreams are made of. But if your current vacuum is constantly clogging or leaving pet hair tumbleweeds behind, that dream can quickly turn into a nightmare-inducing household chore that takes way longer than it should. While the occasional vacuum mishap is inevitable, the best vacuum cleaners put these woes to bed.
The BISSELL Cleanview Swivel is our top pick for pet hair.
When buying a new vacuum, it’s critical to hone in on what you want—and don’t want. Vacuuming power, portability and affordability all matter, of course. You’ll also want to make sure your vacuum is ideal for the type of floors you have—some work well on hardwood, while others are strictly for carpet. From robot vacuums that do most of the work for you to ultra powerful upright options that leave no trace of pet hair behind, these are the best vacuum cleaners for cleaning your home.
The Shark Navigator Lift-Away Professional upright vacuum comes with a few modes you might find useful. First among them, of course, is the upright mode that lets you clean both carpets and hardwood floors. If you want to clean your stairs, however, you can detach the canister and use it as a handheld with one of several attachments. Speaking of attachments, the Shark Navigator also comes with an extender, so you can vacuum higher-up areas.
Shark’s vacuum comes with an anti-allergen seal to reduce chances of infectious debris from entering your home and it offers a high-capacity canister to house more debris and dirt than most other upright vacuums. Be aware, though, that at 13.7 pounds, it’s a bit heavier than other models, and while a 25-foot cord is quite long, there other options from Shark that deliver 30-foot or longer cords
The Miele Blizzard CX1 is a German-engineered bagless canister vacuum that does it all. It combines an Electro Brush Floorhead with five carpet height adjustments with four different suction power settings that make cleaning any type of surface, from wood to high-pile carpet, a breeze. It comes with standard accessories, like specialized floorheads, a dusting brush, an upholstery tool, and a crevice tool, and an additional handheld turbo brush that’s ideal for pulling pet hair off your couches.
It also has a HEPA Lifetime Filter that captures up to 99.98% of dust and allergens, and never needs maintenance, plus a specialized emptying system that traps in dust when emptying out the dustbin. At 19 pounds, users say it’s a bit on the heavy side, but it’s so good at its job that the trade-off is worth it.
With eBay certified refurbished, you can save $200 (that’s 40% off) on the popular iRobot Roomba vacuum. The iRobot Roomba 960 is great for pet owners because the vacuum brushes don’t get easily tangled with pet hair that often stops regular vacuums. The filter inside the vacuum also helps to trap 99% of dog and cat allergens. And during pet shedding season, the iRobot Roomba will suggest an extra cleaning if the job wasn’t done right on the first pass.
Intelligent home mapping also ensures that the robot vacuum cleans in neat rows, covering every square inch of your living space, and compared to the Roomba 600 series, the 960 has five times the suction, so it does more in less time.
With twice the suction of other cordless vacuums, the Dyson V11 Torque Drive Cordless Vacuum Cleaner is one of the best stick vacuums you can buy, and one of the most versatile vacuums on the market. It features a high torque cleaner head that automatically adjusts suction and power to different floor types without the need to change vacuum heads. The V11 also includes a whole-machine filtration system that traps 99.9% of dust and allergens.
It comes with five tools, including a high torque cleaner head, a combination tool, a crevice tool, a motorized tool, and a stubborn dirt brush that’s excellent at sucking up pet hair from upholstery. And it quickly converts into a handheld vacuum, so you can easily clean your car, stairs, or couches.
While there are plenty of robotic vacuums on the market, the iRobot Roomba 675 Robot Vacuum may provide the best balance of features for the price. It’s about 13 by 13 inches and features both a Clean button on the top and an accompanying app that lets you turn it on and off and monitor its progress. It also ships with indicators that you can put up around the home to limit its access to certain rooms or areas.
While the iRobot Roomba 675 does come with brushes to try and reach corners and crevices, some users said it sometimes falls short. And although it promises up to 90 minutes of battery life, it doesn’t always deliver, reviewers said. Still, it’s one of the more affordable robotic vacuums.
In the world of handheld vacuums, flexibility reigns supreme. Black + Decker’s 20V Max Flex uses high-powered suction to boost its ability to pick up grime and dust and with four hours of battery life, it’ll last plenty long enough to pick up debris around the house.
Arguably the Max Flex’s best feature, however, is its four-foot hose, which allows you to tack on wand, pet brush, and other attachments and reach everything from your ceiling fan to your shelves. It’s also an ideal choice for car vacuuming since it can reach just about anywhere in the vehicle without causing trouble. At 17 ounces, the device’s washable bowl is a little on the small side but at just 2.6 ounces, the Max Flex is by far one of the most portable options on the market.
The Bissell Cleanview Swivel Rewind is a traditional stick vacuum that comes with a 27-foot cord, allowing it to reach far-flung areas around the home. Bissell, a well-known company in the vacuum market, says the device is ideal for pet hair and uses a brush roll and “scatter-free” design to capture every strand. (Users and critics agree the vacuum is surprisingly adept at capturing pet hair.)
Because the vacuum comes with a one-liter capacity, users said they’re able to vacuum up quite a bit of pet hair and debris without needing to quickly run to the garbage. That said, the Swivel Rewind doesn’t necessarily come with all of the attachments you may find in other options and since it doesn’t come with a HEPA filter—something some users bristled at—it may not be best at filtering allergens.
There are times when you simply want to get a new vacuum without all the bells and whistles and save a few bucks. That’s where the Bissell Featherweight Stick Lightweight vacuum comes in. You won’t find any frills here—this is a simple vacuum with an on/off switch and the ability to use it as a handheld if you don’t need the full stick attachment.
It has what reviewers have called “standard” suction strength and its filtration is similarly “standard,” so it won’t remove allergens from the air during use. And at 15 feet, its cord is much shorter than some of the others on this list. But you don’t buy the Bissell Featherweight Stick Lightweight for the features; you buy it for the price. And in that regard, it’s impossible to beat.
There’s no single answer to which type of vacuum is best. Depending on your specific needs, there may be one type that outshines another. Before you set out to buy a vacuum, it’s helpful to understand the different types of vacuum cleaners out there and the key differences between each.
Both bagged and bagless vacuums have their pros and cons. Bagged vacuums tend to be easier to clean—all you have to do is remove the bag and toss it in the trash—but bagless vacuums are more environmentally-friendly and produce less waste. Bagless vacuums can also save you money over time, since you don’t have to purchase bags separately.
I’m a freelance technology, video game, and entertainment journalist. I’ve been writing about the world of technology, video games, and entertainment for the last decade.