The 10 Best Vacuum Cleaners That Are Worth Every Penny
Trust us—they'll be total game-changers for your cleaning routine.
via Amazon.com (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 for sale in 2021 can help make the decision a little easier.
We went straight to the source—Consumer Reports‘ Vacuum Lab 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, a top-rated Dyson, and more, 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!
Kenmore Elite 31150 Beltless Pet Upright Vacuum
Weighing 21 pounds, this bagged upright vacuum from Kenmore 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 percent 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 (around $300 on Amazon).
- Strong suction
- Infrared Dirt Sensing technology
- Weight (21 lbs.)
- Runs loudly
- Not as easy to maneuver as other models
Bissell 2554A CrossWave Cordless Max All in One Wet-Dry Vacuum Cleaner and Mop
When you’re confined to a small space like an apartment, a nice two-in-one cleaning tool is always appreciated. Not only will this vacuum-mop combo from Bissell free up some serious storage space, but it will also tackle big household messes and cut cleaning time in half. “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.”
This top-rated vacuum-mop combo, which has more than 2,900 five-star reviews on Amazon, also boasts advanced edge cleaning to help tackle sticky spots like baseboards and corners, as well as a self-cleaning cycle that will flush out debris like hair and dirt to make 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.
- Multi-surface cleaning
- Self-cleaning cycle
- Long charging time (4 hours for about 30 minutes of use)
- Cost of replacement floor and mop cleaner is about $10 to $20 a bottle
- High price point ($400)
Bissell Pet Hair Eraser Lift-Off
Any pet owner knows 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. “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.”
However, what sets this vacuum apart from the others is the Lift-Off technology that is engineered specifically to tackle pet hair, dirt, dander, and allergens. And, forgive the pun, but that’s nothing to sneeze at.
- Suction power
- Lift-Off technology
- Large dirt compartment
- Cord is hard to wrap back around
- Extendable wand is hard to lock
Bissell Featherweight Stick Vacuum with Crevice Tool
Weighing in at just three pounds and priced under $30, this vacuum is small but mighty indeed! It has three different modes that make cleaning carpets, couches, and stairs a breeze. If you’re doubting its power because of its price tag, don’t. More than 30,000 Amazon reviewers have given it five stars. “Where has this been my whole life?!” writes one happy customer. “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 kid’s 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.
- Works on all floor types
- Short cord
- No hook to hang it on a wall
- Small collection chamber
Shark Ion WANDVAC WV201
Don’t let its small size fool you: This handheld 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.
- Lightweight (1.4 pounds)
- Suction power
- Small dust bin
- High price point ($120)
Bissell Cleanview Swivel Pet Upright Bagless Vacuum
If you’re looking for a vacuum that can handle pet hair, dirt, and other debris but need to be mindful of your spending, look no further than the budget-friendly Bissell Cleanview Swivel Pet Upright Bagless Vacuum Cleaner. “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.”
This must-have vacuum with more than 34,000 five-star reviews lifts, loosens, and removes dust and other debris. Plus, its 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.
- Large dust bin
- Low price point ($99)
- Swivel steering
- Short cord
- Hair easily gets caught in brush, so hand-cleaning is often required
Eufy RoboVac 11S
You don’t have to shell out hundreds and hundreds of dollars for a good robotic vacuum—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. “While it’s not the most efficient cleaner, and testers noted that it sometimes scatters debris, it gets the job done.” 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.
- Price point ($150)
- Cliff sensor
- Some consumers reported scattered debris
- Random cleaning patterns
- Not very efficient in picking up heavier grains or pellet-size fragments
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 to monitor cleaning progress, battery levels, and suction performance. Another product to consider looking at: the Tineco iFloor 3.
- High price point ($350)
- Some consumers have reported that their wall-mounting feature is hard to use
- Connecting to the app can be a little bit spotty, depending on your Internet connection
Miele Complete C3 Marin
Which vacuum beats out all the rest? This Miele model. But be warned: Its awesomeness doesn’t come cheap. Still, even though it has a high price point, 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.” Because it’s a canister vacuum, it may be awkward to handle because it trails behind you, but it’s worth buying 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.
- 10-year warranty
- Powerful suction
- Easy to maneuver
- Heavy (19.4 pounds)
- Extremely high price point ($1,199)
- Small bag size
Shark APEX UpLight Lift-Away DuoClean LZ601
If you’re looking for a vacuum to take care of everything, the Shark APEX is your best bet. With Duo Clean technology, it can easily pick up dust and debris from both wood floors and carpets in a snap. “It aces all our key cleaning tests—carpet, bare floors, and pet hair—and operates quietly and cleanly. It also cleans along the edges of walls without leaving any debris behind,” Consumer Reports writes. “Shark stick vacuums earn a Very Good rating for predicted reliability and an Excellent score for owner satisfaction.”
What makes this Consumer Reports favorite stand out? It’s self-standing, which makes it easy to store in small spaces, and it has a self-cleaning brush roll, so you can avoid having to clean up hair clogs. Plus, it comes with several attachments that you can store right on it. However, it’s important to note that some consumers have reported that air blows directly on their faces when they use it, making it a problem for people who are sensitive to allergens.
- Multi-surface cleaning
- Self-cleaning brush roll
- Hard to maneuver
- Potentially problematic for allergy sufferers
- Cannot lower or raise brush head
Shark LA322 Navigator Lift-Away ADV
Our top pick for the best vacuum cleaner for those with allergies boasts a lot of features that will help remove and eliminate common allergy triggers from your home, including a HEPA filter and a guaranteed anti-allergy seal. The filter successfully traps 99.99 percent 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. “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.
- HEPA filter and guaranteed anti-allergy seal
- Price point ($200)
- Multi-surface cleaning
- Heavy (12.3 pounds)
- Limited reach under furniture
- Some consumers say it’s hard to maneuver
Dyson V11 Torque Drive Cordless Vacuum Cleaner
When it comes to Dyson reviews, this one says it all: “I was SHOCKED to see how much dust and dirt this vacuum picked up—especially considering I thought my house was ‘clean,'” one Amazon reviewer states. “I vacuumed for about 30 minutes and had no trouble with the battery power. I loved that the auto mode switched the suction power when I went from hardwood floors to our area rugs.”
This skinny cordless vacuum can run 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.
- 60 minutes of run time
- DLS system
- Three modes to help you get the best clean
- Price point ($600)
- Weak docking station
- Some consumers have reported reliability issues
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- Consumer Reports: “Best Vacuums of 2021”