A good vacuum is essential to keeping your house clean. Whether you have hardwood, tile, carpet or a mix of all of the above, the fact is your floors are the number one surface to collect dirt and grime around your house (due to that thing called gravity). Think about it: You—and everyone else in your family—track dirt in on your shoes; pollen filters in through open windows; dust falls from air vents; and if you have pets, their hair flies around with their every step. And let’s not forget random spills that are an inevitable part of life. The right vacuum can be a lifesaver, so you’ll want to be thoughtful about your purchase, and we’re here to help.
The great thing is that this segment of household appliances has improved noticeably in recent years. New technology is producing vacuums that are lighter, stronger and quieter than ever. (Side note: We love cordless options, too, but sometimes the job—or the size of the house—requires the a traditional vacuum!) But it can be a bit overwhelming to consider all the options. Start by thinking about whether you prefer an upright or a canister, and if you’re unsure go for a model that converts from upright to canister-style. If you have both carpet and hard surfaces, make sure the vacuum is equipped to clean both. Another consideration: Bagged vs. bagless. Vacuums that use bags generally are considered the most hygienic because they trap dust and allergens in the bag, but you’ll also have the added cost of the bags. Bagless vacuums usually have clear chambers so it’s easy to see when they need to be emptied, and they are the more eco-friendly (and wallet-friendly) option.
To help you on your quest to a cleaner home, we’ve found the six best vacuums you can buy right now.
Shark DuoClean Powered Lift-Away Speed
Shark describes its newest upright as its most advanced and after testing it for a few days, I can see why. The light weight made me skeptical, but then I tried it on both carpet and wood floors and wow! My floors look new! The vacuum’s DuoClean technology is designed to capture everything from small to large particles and anything stuck on—or in—your flooring, and the brushroll is easy to remove if you need to untangle hair and other debris. And unlike my old upright, this one easily transforms into canister-style so I can reach under and behind furniture.
If your home is filled with hard floors and area rugs, this is the multi-tasker you need. Use the CrossWave to vacuum the rugs and then wash—not just dust—the floors. The unit has two tanks to keep cleaning solution and dirty water separate, and a brush that will scrub the floors and suck up debris at the same time. Just push a button to switch from hard floors to area rugs.
Electrolux Silent Performer Bagged Canister
This is the newest addition to Electrolux’s line of canister vacuums. Like the name indicates—it’s super quiet, so no more “I can’t vacuum because the baby’s sleeping” excuses! Multiple suctions levels make it easy to switch from carpet to hard floors, and the 3-in-1 tool on the handle combines a crevice tool, dusting brush, and upholstery nozzle for vacuuming upholstery and drapes. And the wheels swivel 360 degrees so it glides across your floors very smoothly.
Hoover WindTunnel 2 Whole House Rewind Upright
I’ll admit I’m partial to Hoover because that’s the brand my mom used when I was growing up. This is one of the newest models, intended to provide all the tools and features you’ll need to clean your entire house. Turn the brush roll off when you switch from carpet to hard floors, and add the Turbo Tool for that extra boost to suck up all that pet hair. My favorite tool is the adjustable dusting brush that has five cleaning positions so it can even dust on top of your ceiling fans. Brilliant!
Dyson Ball Animal 2
This futuristic-looking upright packs a ton of power—in fact Dyson says it has the strongest suction of any vacuum and I believe it! The cleaner head automatically adjusts as you move between carpets and hard floors and the wand and hose releases easily so that you can get under furniture or reach air vents high on a wall. One of my favorite features is that I can empty the bin with a push of a button, without touching any dirt. And the washable filter means no need to purchase expensive bags.
Miele Complete C2 Limited Edition Canister
Long regarded as fanciest vacuum on the market (before Dyson took over that slot), his Miele canister vac combines two important traits: Super powerful suction and quiet performance (and check out the sunny yellow color!). It includes two brushes, one for low- to medium-pile carpets and area rugs, the other for low-pile carpets and smooth floors. Use the most powerful suction setting on carpet and dial it down to vacuum drapes and upholstery.
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