The 12 Best Vacuum Cleaners, According to Cleaning Pros
Trust us—they're game-changers for your cleaning routine.
Every editorial product is independently selected, though we may be compensated or receive an affiliate commission if you buy something through our links. Ratings and prices are accurate and items are in stock as of time of publication.
RD.COM, VIA MERCHANT (3)
The right vacuum makes all the difference
Whether you like vacuuming or loathe it, the best vacuums make the chore easier—and a whole lot faster, too. However, not all vacuums are created equal, so when you’re in the market for a new one, it makes sense to invest in a top-performing model (and avoid doing things that shorten your vacuum’s life span). But with so many options to choose from, knowing the pros and cons of the best vacuum cleaners helps make the decision a little easier.
What to look for in the best vacuum
“When shopping for the best vacuums, usability and function are what you are looking for,” explains Pam Clyde, a house cleaning expert and owner of BritLin Cleaning.” Look at the weight of the vacuum should you need to carry it upstairs, how difficult it is to push during use and the size of the vacuum head. Larger doesn’t always mean better. This is true of all styles and models, and includes handheld vacuums.”
Pam suggests looking for easy-to-maneuver wheels and handles on the best upright vacuums, as well as lightweight metal and plastic encasement materials. She also insists that shoppers opt for models that are simple to clean and maintain. “Having a good maintenance schedule will allow even the least expensive vacuum last longer. Remember to dump your vacuum filters often—especially your best vacuum for allergies.”
How we chose the best vacuums
We went straight to the sources—Consumer Reports‘ Vacuum Lab, real cleaning pros and tens of thousands of five-star reviews on Amazon—to round up the definitive list on the best-performing vacuums in each category, from the best vacuum-mop combos to the best vacuums for pet hair. You’ll find reviews on Bissells, Sharks and a top-rated Dyson, so you can choose the right one for you. And who knows: Once you see how well they work, you may even look forward to using them! Don’t forget to bookmark our list of the best car vacuums, too.
Best vacuum overall
Black + Decker Powerseries Extreme Cordless Stick Vacuum Cleaner
Easy maneuvering and an affordable price point make the Black + Decker Powerseries Extreme Cordless Stick Vacuum Cleaner one of the best vacuums of all time. Though it was designed with pets in mind, we love it for busy households of all types and styles. The angled floorhead can be used on multiple surfaces. V-shaped bristles pick up all types of debris and the anti-tangle pet hair brush bar goes to work on even the furriest corners and sofas. Reviewers rave about the removable battery, long run time and powerful suction.
“This has great run time, plenty of power and thoroughly satisfying performance,” shares William McDannell, a verified Amazon purchaser. “I love that if I do need to use it beyond the capacity of its battery, I can just swap it out for the battery from my Black+Decker drill and keep on going.”
- Brilliant battery efficiency and ease of use
- Affordable price point
- Easy maneuvering
- Several included attachments for corners, pet hair and unusual angles
- Over 5,000 Amazon ratings with a nearly perfect 4.3-star average
- Reviewers note that it is a bit top heavy. Rest it in its charging mount vs. against a wall or stairs
Best upright vacuum for hard floors
Kenmore Elite Beltless Pet Upright Vacuum
Weighing 21 pounds, this bagged Kenmore Elite Beltless Pet Upright Vacuum is hefty—but, boy, does it pack a punch. “On bare floors, it captures almost every particle,” according to Consumer Reports. “And it’s no slouch at removing embedded dirt from carpet or tackling pet hair, either.” That’s because it has an especially powerful engine that produces 20% more airflow (aka suction power) than conventional Kenmore models.
It has one other superpower worth mentioning: This gets our pick for best vacuum cleaner for hardwood floors because of its built-in Infrared Dirt Sensor, which lights up when it senses dust and grime and turns off once it’s gone. How cool is that?! With all that cleaning power, however, comes a bit of noise—and a mid-range price tag.
- Strong suction easily targets tile and wood
- Infrared dirt-sensing technology
- Incredibly effective on carpet as well
- Not as easy to maneuver as other models
Best wet-dry vacuum mop
Bissell CrossWave Cordless Max Wet-Dry Vacuum Cleaner and Mop
When you’re confined to a small space like an apartment, a two-in-one cleaning tool is always appreciated. Not only does the Bissell CrossWave Cordless Max wet-dry combo free up some serious storage space, it tackles big household messes and cuts cleaning time in half. This top-rated vacuum-mop combo also has more than 6,800 five-star reviews on Amazon. It boasts advanced edge cleaning to help tackle sticky spots like baseboards and corners, as well as a self-cleaning cycle that flushes out debris like hair and dirt. This feature keeps it squeaky clean for the next use. If you want to spend less time cleaning (and who doesn’t?), check out these other products that’ll clean your house in less than an hour.
“I’ve been using the Bissell CrossWave for a little over two months now with pets and young children—2,500 square feet of a mixture of tile, hardwood, rugs, and laminate. It picks up everything!” writes Amazon reviewer Miranda Lewis. “It cuts my cleaning down considerably, being able to vacuum and mop at the same time. Not to mention being able to move from room to room without a cord to plug in.”
- Vacuums and mops floors with one piece of equipment
- Multi-surface cleaning
- Self-cleaning cycle
- Over 6,800 Amazon ratings with a 4.2-star average
- Long charging time (4 hours for about 30 minutes of use)
- High price point
Best upright vacuum for pet hair
Bissell Pet Hair Eraser Lift-Off
Pet owners know that a good vacuum is essential for the battles between pet hair and a clean home. But with the Bissell Pet Hair Eraser Lift-Off and its suction power, two-in-one versatility and an optional Febreze filter to tackle difficult pet odors, you can easily win the war. It’s one of the best vacuums for allergies and easily cleans far more than just pet hair and dander. Forgive the pun, but that’s nothing to sneeze at.
“This vacuum is great if you have pets (or even if you don’t). It is not only a fantastic upright, but a great portable vacuum for doing stairs, furniture, cars and even drapes and high work,” raves one Hall of Fame Amazon reviewer who gave this model five stars. “It comes with wonderful attachments and a long cord, and operation is very smooth. Storage on the unit is good. Despite a few things I am not as fond of, I still really love this vacuum and find its advantages to outweigh the disadvantages and make this an excellent choice to have in the house.”
- Advanced suction power hones in on pet hair
- Lift-Off technology
- Large dirt compartment for bigger rooms and messier loads
- Cord is hard to wrap back around
- Noisier than more compact models
Best lightweight stick vacuum
Bissell Featherweight Stick Vacuum
Weighing in at just three pounds and priced under $35, this Bissell Featherweight Stick Vacuum is small but mighty indeed! It has three different modes that make cleaning carpets, couches and stairs a breeze. Don’t doubt its power because of its price tag. More than 56,000 Amazon shoppers have given it five stars.
“Where has this been my whole life?!” writes ACP. “It’s like a powerful Dustbuster with a long handle, so it’s perfect for little crumbs. I have hardwood floors throughout my house, and the only carpet is in the kids’ bedrooms with one rug in the family room. I rarely brought out the vacuum because it was big and bulky. This is great for a quick run around the house, and picks up crumbs, dog hair and snacks left behind by little ones.” Thanks to its ultra-portable nature, you can now tackle all of the places you haven’t been vacuuming—but should.
- Lightweight at three pounds
- Comes with a crevice tool for hard to reach places
- Ultra-affordable price
- Works on all floor types
- Easy maneuvering
- Short cord
- No hook to hang it on a wall
- Modest collection chamber
Best slim-profile hand vacuum
Shark Ion Wandvac
The handheld Shark Ion Wandvac vacuum is an extraordinary answer to everyday messes. “Not all handheld vacuums can tackle pet hair with aplomb, but the Shark Ion Wandvac aces that task, earning an Excellent rating,” according to Consumer Reports. “It’s also a champ at cleaning bare floors and getting into hard-to-reach places, and it’s not too shabby at cleaning carpet.” What makes this the best handheld vacuum is that the attachments and the vacuum itself can be stored on the charging base, saving you some serious storage space.
- Easy to maneuver by hand
- Lightweight at 1.4 pounds
- Fits in tight corners and hard-to-reach places
- Strong suction power
- Small dust bin
Best affordable upright vacuum
Bissell Cleanview Swivel Pet Upright Bagless Vacuum
The Bissell Cleanview Swivel Pet Upright Vacuum handles pet hair, dirt and other debris—even on a tight budget. “This Bissell is still lightweight, but it has a very wide brush roller so it takes less time to vacuum,” Amazon reviewer Terry says. “The brush roller is fantastic for picking up pet hair. Seriously fantastic. But not just pet hair—it does an excellent job of picking up fine dust and dirt! The plastic casing around the brush roller is clear, too, so you can easily see if you have a lot of hair or fibers wrapped around it.”
Easily one of the best vacuums for those looking to spend less, it boasts over 63,000 Amazon ratings thanks to its powerful suction. It loosens gunk, and removes dust and other debris. Plus, the silk-like bristles work gently on hard floors to remove even the tiniest dirt particles while also keeping it contained with scatter-free technology. The bottom line: This is one pet hair remover that really works.
- Affordable price point for a powerful upright vacuum
- Large dust bin
- Swivel steering
- Tough on several types of debris
- Works on both hard and carpeted flooring
- Short cord
Best robot vacuum
Eufy RoboVac 11S
You don’t have to shell out hundreds and hundreds of dollars for one of the best robot vacuums—not if you get the Eufy 11S, that is. “The Eufy RoboVac 11S earns a Very Good rating in our carpet cleaning test and does even better on bare floors,” Consumer Reports notes. This vacuum also has a built-in cliff sensor to keep it tumbling down steep staircases. That said, you should still never store your robotic vacuum in certain spots.
With brilliant remote control options and hands-free cleaning, it’s no wonder the Eufy has racked up over 60,000 Amazon ratings.
- Hands-free robotic cleaning
- Can be operated from anywhere you have Wi-Fi access
- Affordable price point for a robot vacuum
- Built-in cliff sensor
- Some consumers reported scattered debris
- Won’t pick up heavier grains or large fragments
Best heavy-duty stick vacuum
Tineco Pure One S11
“This stick vacuum from Tineco is a miracle-worker,” Consumer Reports states. “An all-around excellent performer, the feature-packed Tineco Pure One S11 boasts impressive cleaning ability, earning top marks in all our cleaning tests, including an Excellent rating for pet hair. An LED panel on the top of the handle displays the power level and battery time remaining, and alerts you if it experiences a clog.”
While also being cordless and lightweight, this vacuum can run for up to 40 minutes without a single charge, making it an ideal vacuum for whole-house cleaning. Plus, you can download the Tineco App to your phone. The app monitors cleaning progress, battery levels and suction performance. Another brilliant product to consider looking at: the Tineco iFloor 3.
- Offers heavy-duty debris cleanup in a lightweight stick design
- Impressive suction
- Docks in a wall charger
- Higher price point
- Some consumers have reported that their wall-mounting feature is hard to use
Best luxury vacuum
Miele Complete C3 Marin
Which luxury vacuum aggressively beats out all the rest? This Miele Complete C3 model. But be warned: This level of awesomeness doesn’t come cheap. High price point aside, it delivers the best bang for your buck. “Our top-performing canister vacuum, the Miele Complete C3 Marin, earns perfect marks in almost every test we throw its way,” Consumer Reports notes. “Powerful airflow makes its attachments especially effective. It’s also noticeably quieter than many models.”
It’s worth buying for just for its Parquet Twister, which provides 180-degree rotation for the agile yet gentle care of smooth floors and surfaces. It also has a savvy self-adjusting automatic setting that makes the transition from carpets to wood floors a breeze. Cleaning professionals swear by this Miele model as their one-and-only, and real customers say it “lasts for years.”
- Luxury vacuum model with added attachments and superior suction
- 10-year warranty
- Powerful motor and components
- Easy to maneuver thanks to the Parquet Twister
- A worthwhile investment that will last for years
- Available in several stylish colors
- Heavy at 19.4 pounds
- Extremely high price point (but designed to last)
- Modest bag size
Best vacuum for allergies
Shark LA322 Navigator Lift-Away ADV
Our top pick for the best vacuum cleaner for allergies boasts features that remove and eliminate common allergy triggers from your home. The Shark LA322 Navigator Lift-Away ADV includes a HEPA filter and a guaranteed anti-allergy seal. The filter successfully traps 99.99% of dust and allergens, and the seal ensures that the sucked-up particles don’t escape back into the area.
“I’ve only used it twice, but I’m already in love!” writes Amazon reviewer Andrea Miller of what she says is the best vacuum cleaner on the market. “This vacuum does a great job on carpet and hard floors, and the lift-away function is a game-changer. I HATE cleaning, but I just might vacuum the entire house, floor to ceiling, because this machine is so easy to use.” Since it is an upright vacuum, some consumers have reported that it is heavy to bring up and downstairs, but once you’re there, the wheels are easy and smooth to move around.
- Built-in HEPA filter and guaranteed anti-allergy seal
- Modest price point for the features, technology and power
- Multi-surface cleaning
- Thousands of ratings and reviews call this a “miracle” machine
- Heavy at 12.3 pounds
- Limited reach under furniture
Best reviewed vacuum
Dyson V11 Torque Drive Cordless Vacuum Cleaner
When it comes to the best vacuums by customer reviews, Dyson takes the cake—and the crumbs the cake leaves behind. This skinny cordless Dyson V11 Torque Drive vacuum runs up to 60 minutes without a single charge because it is specifically engineered for bigger homes with pets. The suction power is controlled based on what mode you put it on while cleaning—either eco, auto or boost. However, the Dyson DLS system automatically changes the motor speed between carpets and hard floors for more powerful and deep cleaning, making your life easier and motivating you to clean as often as you should.
“We never dreamed that something with a rechargeable battery would have so much power!” shares TJ, a verified Amazon reviewer. “We love this thing, it actually sucks up things our regular vacuum doesn’t. It works on high-traffic areas at a ranch where little rocks and dirt are tracked in all the time! It’s also great on pet hair. Great attachments, too.”
- Dyson vacuums are consistently among the top-rated and most popular models for users
- 60 minutes of run time
- DLS system
- Three modes to help you get the best clean
- Auto-adjustments for energy efficiency and better suction
- Over 6,000 Amazon ratings and a cult-like following
- Expensive price point
- Weak docking station
Want more deals and product picks sent directly to your inbox? Sign up for the Stuff We Love newsletter!