The best vacuum for your household
When the time comes to purchase a new vacuum, will you be ready? A vacuum is an essential purchase that happens to be a modest investment, so it’s essential to feel confident in your decision.
Choosing a vacuum boils down to a few considerations, including floor type, convenience and of course, budget. There are several types of vacuums on the market, ranging from lightweight stick vacuums to efficient robotic vacuums.
There’s a good chance you’ll feel spoiled for choice, but to make sure you don’t feel overwhelmed, we’ve assembled this buying guide to help you choose a vacuum.
Critical considerations for buying a vacuum
An easy way to narrow your vacuum search is to rule out vacuums that aren’t suitable for your floors.
Households with hardwood and carpet floors require vacuums that transition easily between floor types. Vacuums recommended for carpet use may cause damage to hardwood and laminate floors. There are quite a few multi-floor vacuums, but you won’t find many that can be used on decks or porches.
Before you explore the vast world of vacuums, it’s a good idea to make a list of your vacuum needs.
If you have pets, you’ll need a vacuum that wrangles pet hair efficiently without getting clogged. Households with babies or night-shift professionals may benefit from low-noise vacuums. Some homes have limited access to outlets, in which case cordless vacuums emerge as logical solutions.
If there’s one thing consumers can agree on, it’s that convenience is an attractive feature in vacuums.
Bagless vacuums, for example, save money on bags and are easy to empty. Lightweight vacuums are popular for their easy, effortless maneuvering. Vacuums with retractable cords prevent tangles that may affect operation. There are also vacuums with attachments to clean upholstery and drapes.
Budget-friendly vacuums cost between $60-$130 and include basic models capable of occasional cleaning. For more powerful vacuums suitable for daily use, be prepared to spend $150-$400. Vacuums with the most bells and whistles run anywhere between $500-$900.
Which vacuum should I get?
Upright vacuums remain popular for their powerful suction and user-friendly operation. Most models are suitable for several floor types, making them highly versatile. However, they are bulkier and heavier than other vacuums, so be prepared to haul them up and down flights of stairs.
One of the most affordable upright models is Dirt Devil Endura Reach, which features a lightweight, bagless design. The filter is removable, so you can rinse it off for easy maintenance.
One of the more powerful upright vacuums is Dyson Ball Animal 2. It’s best known for its cyclone technology that gives it powerful suction. The ball-swivel design makes the vacuum easy to maneuver.
A decent middle-of-the-road upright vacuum is Bissell Cleanview Swivel Pet. It’s a solid choice appreciated by busy households for everyday vacuuming. It comes with specialized pet tools and has a 6-foot hose for cleaning drapes and stairs.
Cordless vacuums are untethered options that give you the freedom to vacuum anywhere in your home. They’re also considered safe options for vacuuming around pets and high-traffic areas. Unfortunately, cordless vacuums may need to charge for a few hours before use.
Speaking of pets, the Hoover ONEPWR Evolve Pet Cordless is equipped with an antimicrobial brush roll and pet filet. The cordless vacuum lifts deep-set dander and debris from high-pile carpets. With a large-capacity dirt up, you can enjoy less frequent emptying, too.
One of the best-selling premium cordless vacuums is the Dyson V11 Torque, which boasts an hour of suction time on a full charge. The intuitive design adapts to floor type for a seamless transition between tile, carpet and hardwood floors. Consumers dig its space-savvy drop-in dock.
Lightweight vacuums are ideal for individuals looking for easy maneuvering and portability. Some models even weigh less than five pounds. One of the pitfalls of these vacuums, however, is that they may compromise on suction power.
If you’re on a tight budget, the Bissell Featherweight Stick is a popular entry-level option. The three-in-one machine can be used as a stick, handle or stair vacuum. Many consumers say it’s efficient at picking up surface dirt from hardwood floors and low-pile carpets.
One of the more powerful lightweight vacuums is Shark Rocket DuoClean, which weighs less than five pounds. It’s equipped with an easy-access brush roll to make cleaning and maintenance easy. The vacuum also has LED lights and comes with a pet multi-tool.
In addition to regular vacuums, it’s also worth investing in a handheld vacuum. These are ideal for targeted cleanups of small areas, including stairs or around furniture. While convenient and relatively powerful, they remain somewhat limited in terms of cleaning potential.
Bissell Pet Hair Eraser Hand Vacuum is your best option for keeping upholstery and drapes clean if you have pets. It comes with three specialized pet tools to pick up hair and dander. The device is effective at lifting crumbs around pet food bowls.
Some consumers use handheld vacuums, such as the Shark Wandvac, to clean their vehicles. The tapered nozzle reaches between car seats to pick up sand, dirt and even bits of food. It has a convenient one-touch emptying mechanism.
Robotic vacuums allow you to work smarter, not harder. Intuitive and independent, these vacuums clean floors daily. Robotic vacuums won’t replace a regular vacuum, so they’re considered premium add-ons to your cleaning device collection.
Many people view eufy by Anker BoostIQ RoboVac to be a solid introductory robotic vacuum. It’s reliable and operates more quietly than comparable models. Consumers appreciate the simple user interface of the app as well as its Alexa and Google Assistant integration.
For those ready to go all-in with a robotic vacuum, iRobot Roomba i7+ remains a top choice. It’s equipped with innovative mapping technology to learn the layout of your home. The robot empties itself into a clean base, making it a low-maintenance investment.
Sian Babish is a writer for BestReviews. BestReviews is a product review company with a singular mission: to help simplify your purchasing decisions and save you time and money.
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