The 6 Best Canister Vacuums, According to Cleaning Pros
Shopping for the best canister vacuum cleaner? We asked the experts to choose the top models in every category.
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Looking for a vacuum cleaner that combines the maneuverability of a cordless stick vacuum with the power and suction of an upright vacuum? Consider investing in the best canister vacuum for your home. Canister vacuums consist of a heavier base (or canister) that is bagged or bagless.
The canister, usually on wheels with a handle, does most of the work and holds all the dust and debris. The powerhead, or stick portion, is usually long and attached via a flexible hose, allowing you to get to hard-to-reach places, like stairs, blinds or even upholstered furniture.
We asked a cleaning expert to select the best canister vacuums from every category. The list includes some of the best vacuum brands, so you know you’re paying for quality. For a dust- and debris-free home, we’ve got you covered.
Best canister vacuums
- Best overall: Miele Compact C1 Pure Suction Powerline Canister Vacuum
- Best value: Eureka Mighty Mite Canister Vacuum
- Best luxury: Kenmore 200 Series Canister Vacuum
- Best for carpet: Dyson Big Ball Multi Floor Canister Vacuum
- Most lightweight: Oreck Compact Handheld Canister Vacuum
- Best for pets: Miele Blizzard CX1 Pure Suction Canister Vacuum
Miele Compact C1 Pure Suction Powerline Canister Vacuum
Kathy Cohoon of Two Maids selected the Miele powerline canister vacuum as the best overall. “It is simple yet solid with six suction power settings designed for an array of floor types,” she says. The bagged vacuum cleaner features the upscale brand’s trademark three-tiered filtration system (a Miele FilterBag, Motor Protection Filter and AirClean Exhaust Filter).
It also comes with four useful attachments: a combination floorhead, dusting brush, crevice tool and upholstery tool. It’s lightweight, weighing in at 15 pounds.
- Powerful vacuum with strong suction
- The compact cleaning machine weighs just 15 pounds
- Six suction power settings
- Includes four attachments
- Does not include a HEPA filter
Eureka Mighty Mite Canister Vacuum
Canister vacuums are more budget-friendly than fancier models, including vacuum mop combos and robot vacuums. This under-$100 Eureka Mighty Mite Canister Vacuum is “affordable and lightweight,” weighing under nine pounds, says Cohoon. It’s the best option on a budget. The unit comes with two attachments, a crevice tool and an upholstery and dusting brush. The blower port helps blow debris in the garage or workshop. The only con? There’s no HEPA filter.
- Budget-friendly price
- Includes useful accessories
- Blower port keeps space tidy
- Innovated wheel design
- No HEPA filter
Kenmore 200 Series Canister Vacuum
Looking to make an investment that will last? Cohoon recommends the Kenmore 200 Series Canister Vacuum. “It has deep cleaning controls and works on multiple floor types,” she says. Other luxury features include auto cord rewind–just tap your foot on the button and the 24-foot cord retracts.
An enhanced HEPA filter system also helps reduce allergens and three attachments come in handy for cleaning all types of things around your house. There’s even a nine-foot attachment, transforming it into a handheld vacuum for hard-to-reach spots. Keep in mind that compared to other models on our list, it’s heavy at 20 pounds.
- A luxurious canister vacuum worth the splurge
- Comes with useful attachments and features, including an automatically retracting cord
- Over 7,200 five-star ratings on Amazon
- Enhanced HEPA filter system traps 99.97% of debris
- Weighs 20 pounds
Best for carpet
Dyson Big Ball Multi Floor Canister Vacuum
Dyson is known for designing some of the most dependable and technologically progressive cleaning machines. For those with lots of carpets in their homes, Cohoon recommends the Big Ball Multi Floor Canister Vacuum, surprisingly affordable compared to other Dysons.
She explains that it’s “durable using the Dyson ball technology” and like other Dyson vacuums, also includes great accessories. A carbon fiber turbine head is perfect for carpet cleaning and a helpful stair tool keeps stairs tidy. The kit also features a unique bin emptying system, so you can get rid of all the dust and debris with the touch of a button.
If you can find this best canister vacuum for carpet, buy it now–it tends to sell out quickly. Here are more of the best Dyson vacuum cleaners.
- Equipped with Dyson ball technology
- Comes with useful tools for homes with carpet, including a turbine head and a stair tool
- Bagless with a one-touch emptying system
- Mid price point
- Reviewers say it’s difficult to store
Oreck Compact Handheld Canister Vacuum
Cohoon suggests the Oreck Compact Handheld Canister Vacuum as the best lightweight canister vacuum. “It is portable and comes with a long cord for cleaning out cars,” she says. The bagged model weighs under 5.5 pounds and can be carried or worn over your shoulder with an adjustable strap.
With the switch of a button, the multi-functioning machine turns into a blower. It’s also equipped with a HEPA filtration system, making it a great option for those with allergies. A variety of accessories help the job, including a flexible hose, telescopic extension wand and on-board tools.
- Lightweight but powerful
- HEPA filtration system included
- Come with multiple attachments
- Weighs under 5.5 pounds
- Reviewers say the hose is stiff
- Works best when carried
Best for pets
Miele Blizzard CX1 Pure Suction Canister Vacuum
If you have furry friends, Cohoon suggests splurging on the Miele Blizzard CX1 Pure Suction Canister Vacuum, one of the best vacuums for pet hair. “It uses advanced technology to pick up coarse and fine dirt, perfect for pet owners,” she says. The sleek-looking gadget is about as high-end as a canister vacuum can get and comes in a few variations, including a dog and cat version.
The Pure, which is a few hundred less, comes with lots of useful accessories, including a combination floorhead, dusting brush on the handle, integrated crevice tool and an upholstery tool. Each model is also equipped with a washable HEPA filter.
- The best canister vacuum for pet hair
- Equipped with the right technology for pet owners
- Comes with lots of useful attachments
- Includes a washable HEPA filter
- Pricey, but worth the splurge
What to consider when buying the best canister vacuum
According to Cohoon, there are a few things to consider when buying the best canister vacuum. The first is your personal budget and personal needs. You can find a great vacuum deal or splurge on a more luxurious model. Other factors to take into consideration are suction, weight, size and filtration. To make sure it lasts, pay attention to the maintenance and storage needs of the vacuum.
How we found the best canister vacuum
As shopping experts, our only job is to help you find a winning product. We start with the research and reporting basics—what products are made of, what they look like and how much they cost—to ensure that we’re only recommending the buys that are worth your time and money. Then, we research the features that speak to the product’s quality, taking advice from industry insiders and subject matter experts on what makes a product a smart value (or worthy of a splurge). Finally, we do the work of combing through user reviews to see how real people interact with the product, and if it stands up to the test.
Are canister vacuums better?
There is no one kind of vacuum that is better than the other—it all boils down to your personal needs and preferences. “There are only slight downsides for canister vacuums,” says Cohoon. For example, some people don’t like to lug around the base and prefer cordless models, while others enjoy the convenience of robot vacuums. The biggest pros? “Canister models tend to be a little quieter and provide a better suction overall than uprights,” she says.
How to clean a canister vacuum
Before cleaning your vacuum, make sure to read the instructions. However, for general cleaning, Cohoon suggests washing it in your sink with warm soapy water. After, let the canister completely air dry.
How long do canister vacuums last?
How long your vacuum will last depends on the exact model and how often you use it. However, Cohoon says that in general, all vacuums last around eight years.
About the expert
- Kathy Cohoon is a cleaning expert for Two Maids cleaning service. She has years of expertise in home cleaning, lending her input and experience to dozens of publications.
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