Buyer's Guide Table of Contents
However you see vacuums, whether it be as high-tech cleaning companions, sources of clogged filter frustrations, or just an excellent way to drive your dog insane-- they are a staple of just about every modern household.
Did you know the earliest vacuums were made in the 1860s and were human powered? Since then, vacuums have evolved dramatically.
They are the most commonly replaced household piece of machinery and can be a money pit if you don't buy the right one. As weird as it sounds, we love vacuums, and we love testing them to figure out which are the best of the best.
Which vacuum cleaner is the best?
More details on that later in the article. Before we get too far into the details, here is a quick preview of the vacuums that we dubbed to be the best of the best, and the ones you should consider purchasing if you're in the market for a new vacuum cleaner.
Let's get started!
Most Affordable Robot Vacuum
Best Mid-Level Robot Vacuum
Neato D7 Connected
Best Robot Vacuum
Shark Rotator NV752 TruePet Vacuum
Best Vacuum For Pets
Miele Dynamic U1 Maverick
Best Vacuum For Carpet
Shark Rocket DuoClean
Best Vacuum For Wood
Best Vacuum For Tile
Bissell 959A Cleanview
Honorable Mention - Good Value
Eureka NEU182A PowerSpeed
Honorable Mention - Good Value
Types Of Vacuums
When it comes to vacuums, your options for are literally limitless. They are so common, and there are so many different manufacturers and models that the choices are overwhelming.
When you start your journey to find the perfect vacuum for your home, the first thing you have to decide is the type of vacuum you want, and what kind of flooring you have.
Best Vacuums By Category
Robot vacuums are the newest type of vacuum on the market. They are a wonderful combination of convenience and cleaning power. While you can't expect a robot vacuum to be as effective on all cleaning surfaces as you would a high powered canister vacuum, they are still a great choice overall.
When looking for a robot vacuum, you have a lot of things to consider. They range in price from $100 - $1000+ depending on the power and functionality.
At its core, you generally are looking for 1 of 2 things when considering a robot vacuum.
- Something affordable that takes the edge off cleaning
- A high tech, high powered cleaning robot
For the budget-friendly option, you only have a few options that are actually worth the money, but as for the best of the best, there really isn't any comparison.
Let's take a look....
First up for the affordable options, you have the Eufy 11s. This robot vacuum is a best seller because it is so affordable, and does a great job cleaning. It can typically be found for under $250 and boasts a ton of cool features such as Boost IQ technology. This means the robot can go from one type of flooring to another without a hitch. One thing to note - since it is so low-cost, it does not come with wifi capabilities. You cannot control it or schedule it with your phone, and it does not map your floor or do much other than just the basics of cleaning.
- Good obstacle avoidance
- Can be controlled and scheduled in an app
- Easy to set up
- Can clean large and small debris
- Gets stuck on wire
- Brushes tangle easily
Second on the list for affordable robot vacuums is the Deebot N79s. Similar in cleaning power to the Eufy 11s, the main difference in functionality (and slightly higher price tag) is that the Deebot N79s is wifi connected. It still uses the low-tech navigation of going forward until it hits something then turning, but with the wifi, you have a few more options than you have with the Eufy. Since it connected to wifi, you can control the robot with an app, set schedules, remotely start your robot, and check stats. Apart from the wifi capabilities, this is still a very basic robot vacuum but is an excellent option if you're on a tight budget.
- Incredibly thorough laser navigation system
- Floor mapping and app-enabled "no-go" areas
- Wifi capable
- Powerful, tangle free suction
- Intuitive spot cleaning
- Effective on all surface types
- Squared off design for effective edge cleaning
Okay, so I'm not going to lie, this robot vacuum is expensive. But! Hear me out on this one. It's effing amazing.
One of the many huge difference between top-tier robot vacuums like the Neato Robots D7 Connected and lower priced options is the navigation and floor mapping ability.
Unlike the Deebot or Eufy, the Neato Robotics D7 will intelligently map your entire floor, and clean in a pattern that assures every area gets attention. After the robot maps out your floor initially, you can view the map within the app. If you want to exclude certain areas you want the robot to avoid, you can draw "no-go" lines in the app. After you do that, your Neato D7 connected will clean within the boundaries you dictate.
Obstacle avoidance is another prominent feature that sets the Neato D7 apart from the crowd. It effortlessly gets around and under furniture, can avoid dangerous areas like stairs, won't get caught in high pile carpet, and will avoid "pet messes" rather than running them over. It is hands down the smartest autonomous robot vacuum on the market. With the higher price tag, you're paying for a robot vacuum that will take the stresses of cleaning away. You don't have to babysit it at all like you do other robot vacuums. All you have to do is empty the debris container every couple of runs and that it. Your floors are clean forever.
Best For Pets
Pet owners have more of a struggle with keeping clean floors than people who do not have pets. Whether you have a dog, a cat, a bird, or something more exotic, we can all agree that cleaning up after pets is a lot of work.
- 3-in-1 canister, upright, and handheld
- Plenty of attachments for wood and upholstery
- Effective on all surfaces
- Sub-par maneuverability
Vacuums for homes with pets need to have powerful suction, a great filter, and not get tangled with hair. Where all of these features meet is the Shark Rotator NV752 TruePet. This is actually an older model of vacuum, but it is still one of the best sellers for pets. (Because it's older, you can find it on sale often, yay!)
The Shark Rotator NV752 TruePet is a 3-in-1 canister, upright, and handheld vacuum. It can be converted to any of the three configurations depending on the cleaning job. It comes with a HEPA filter and anti-tangle brushes.
If you have pets like a dog or cat that may sit on furniture, this vacuum really shines. It comes with a motorized upholstery/stair brush so you can clean pet hair off of just about any surface. Most vacuums with attachments like this are air powered. Because the NV752 TruePet brush is motorized, it is much more effective at cleaning pet hair from upholstery than competitors.
Best For Carpet
Carpet is the most common type of flooring in home and apartments today. It is cost effective and creates a warm, cozy environment. Carpet is also one of the most challenging types of flooring to keep clean because you have to battle stains, need strong suction to pull dirt up, and need to be careful about damaging it.
- Low profile for its size
- Better suction power than Dyson models
- Very maneuverable
- Heavy - over 20 lbs
- It struggles with smaller debris items such as fine dirt on low pile carpeted surfaces.
Where power meets maneuverability is where you find the Dynamic U1 Maverick Vacuum. This is a lesser known company, but they produce some of the best vacuums on the market. When it comes to carpet, power is extremely important. The Dynamic U1 Maverick has suction power that gives Dyson a run for its money. Head to head against a Dyson V8; the Dynamic U1 Maverick perform incredibly.
This vacuum is effective on low and high pile carpet, and won't get stuck on things like shag rugs. Although it is heavy, it is very low profile for its size and is incredibly quiet and maneuverable.
Best For Wood
With wood, you have more to consider when it comes to shopping for a vacuum than you do for more durable flooring types. Wood is easily scratched and warped. This means that when shopping for a vacuum for wood floors, you have to be very particular about finding a vacuum that is strong, but gentle.
- "DuoClean" brushes effectively clean and polish hard floors
- "DuoClean" technology cleans better in one pass than most other vacuums
- Can transfer from tile to rugs & carpet easily
- Comes with a variety of attachments, including an under-appliance wand
- Cannot stand upright on its own
Where suction power meets gentle brushes is the Shark Rocket DuoClean. This vacuum is actually one of my overall personal favorites because it is so practical and versatile.
The big thing that sets the Shark Rocket DuoClean apart from the competition is the 2-level "duo" brush system. On the front of the vacuum head is a soft brush that accomplishes two things. First, it is soft enough that it will run over large debris rather than push them around. It then channels the larger debris into the rear brush to get sucked up into the vacuum. Usually, vacuums push around debris that are as tall as the vacuum head itself. The Shark Rocket DuoClean is different.
The second useful aspect of the "duo clean" brush heads is that on wood, the soft brush acts like a duster/polisher for your floors. It is incredibly soft and works great for picking up ultra-fine debris on wood. Most of my home is wood, and I use the Shark Rocket DuoClean almost exclusively because it performs so well.
Best For Tile
With tile floors, you have grout to worry about, as well as needing a vacuum that is strong enough to suck up dirt without just pushing it around. While tile isn't as sensitive as carpet or wood, it still comes with its specific needs to get the most effective vacuum cleaner for the job.
- Can steam clean, vacuum, or both at once
- Has disposable or reusable pads
- Suitable for tile, wood, or carpet
- Does a great job on small and large debris
- Large Dustbin
- Small water tank
- Difficult to push the head down to start cleaning
With tile, you have to vacuum and mop. The Bissell Symphony is an all-in-one vacuum and mop wonder. Using steam cleaning, the Bissel Symphony can clean/sanitize your floors, and at the same time, it will be picking up larger dirt and debris.
Generally with vacuums that both mop and sweep, they can do them both, but separately. The great thing about the Bissell Symphony is that it does both at the same time. This cuts your cleaning time for tile floors in half.
This vacuum is also incredibly versatile and allows you to clean the way you want. If you like the idea of a no-hassle disposable mop head, the Bissel Symphony has one. However, if you like the idea of saving money with a single reusable mop head, the Bissel can accommodate that too!
When it comes to value, the Bissell Symphony combo vacuum is one of the best. You get a well designed, practical and intuitive machine at a reasonably low price.
Budget Friendly/Value Vacuums
Understandably so, not everyone can afford to drop a ton of money on a vacuum cleaner. This section is devoted to the best affordable vacuum cleaners on the market. With these vacuums, you get effective cleaning power but are skipping on some of the somewhat unnecessary features that drag the price up.
- Suction control capabilities
- Good suction power
- Long lasting Suction
- Terrible on hard surfaces
- Difficult to maneuver
If you find yourself down the internet rabbit hole looking for the best affordable vacuum cleaners, you'll see the Bissell CleanView Upright vacuum mentioned in just about all of them. It is one of the most popular vacuums you can buy online because it is one of the cheapest. For the most part, this vacuum does a good job overall, but it has its drawbacks.
The Bissell CleanView Upright excels at cleaning low-pile carpet. It has decent suction power and can clean up dirt and small debris without much issue. It is downright terrible on hard surfaces, so if you have wood or tile in your home, don't buy this vacuum.
This vacuum comes with a few basic accessories like hose attachments and an upholstery tool. Honestly, it is nothing special, but it does a good enough job. For the price, it is a great option.
Another good option if you're on a tight budget is the Eureka NEU182A PowerSpeed. This ultra-affordable, lightweight vacuum is arguably the best vacuum under $100. When pitted against vacuums that were 2 or 3 times as expensive, the Eureka NEU182A PowerSpeed performed just as well on all types of carpets.
Similar to the CleanView Upright, the Eureka NEU182A PowerSpeed also doesn't perform as well on hard surfaces but will be reasonably effective for most situations. It struggles with extra large and extra small debris like cereal and flour. When it comes to everyday messes like dirt, the Eureka NEU182A PowerSpeed did a great job.
The Eureka NEU182A PowerSpeed comes with a detachable wand which allows you to clean areas like upholstery or the ceiling without any issues. You can connect all the included accessories to the wand making the Eureka NEU182A PowerSpeed the most versatile upright vacuum for the money.
What To Look For In a Vacuum
Since the vacuum market is so crowded, it can be hard to settle on just one that is the best. If you didn't particularly like any of the models we mentioned in this article, here are some factors you should consider when doing your own research into the best vacuum.
This does not mean price. If you buy a cheap vacuum and didn't research it, you'll probably end up with a cheap hunk of junk. Value is where price and features intersect. To get the best value of vacuum cleaner, you need to consider what features you want, and what features you don't care about. You should analyze the suction power and accessories that come with your vacuum. Since many vacuums come in around the same price, with a little bit of research, you can easily find the best value for what you pay.
A vacuum that can't suck up debris is useless. Power is one of the most important things to consider when selecting a vacuum. Be sure to check other online reviews to see if the vacuum you are considering tends to lose power over time, or if out of the box it is strong enough to do what you need. Generally speaking, cordless vacuums have the least power, and canister vacuums have the most. This is due to motor size. With a canister vacuum, the motor is separate from the hose, which means it can be bigger and more powerful. Some higher priced cordless vacuums are strong enough for everyday use, but some less expensive ones can't suck up much of anything.
The easier a vacuum is the maneuver, the more you'll be able to clean. Lighter vacuums with swiveling heads excel in this category. Heavier vacuums tend to be harder to push, especially on high pile carpets and can struggle to get around furniture. If maneuverability is crucial to you, make sure you find a lightweight vacuum with a swiveling head.
Accessories are one of the most significant factors that drags up the price of a vacuum. Some models come with no attachments, some others come with more than you'll ever need. Check out what accessories each vacuum comes with and be realistic with yourself. Do you really need them all? Are they worth the extra cost? Sometimes the answer is yes, sometimes it's no. Either way, make sure to check out what accessories comes with each vacuum to make sure you have everything you need.
Now it's your turn!
That's it! We love vacuums, and we love testing them to help our readers decide which is the best for them.
Which vacuum cleaner are you going to get? Let us know in the comments section below, and as always, if you think we missed something or liked our review, we would love to hear about it.
Vacuums For Pets
Vacuums For Tile
Vacuums For Carpets
Vacuums For Wood