The 10 Best Vacuums on the Market, According to an Expert
Plus, pro tips for what features to look for when shopping for a superior machine.
It's no secret that investing in a high-quality vacuum can make housekeeping that much easier. "Not only does the right kind of vacuum remove more fur, dust, and allergens from your carpet and rugs, but it also fluffs them to almost-new quality, helping prevent destructive traffic patterns and matting that look ugly and shorten the rug's lifespan," says Rachel Decker, co-owner and operator of Queen Vacuum & HomeCare Center. "A good vacuum also helps preserve delicately-finished wood floors by reducing the need for time-consuming wet mopping or chemical applications."
Even better, Decker says that a superior vacuum, ideally one with a HEPA-filtration system, can also improve the air quality of your home. "Bad vacuums can disturb dirt on the ground during use and also spray out a measurable amount of dust and allergens back into your breathing air," she explains. "All of that material ultimately settles onto your furniture and other above-floor surfaces. That spells more housework and allergy attacks!"
Of course, Decker says stellar vacuums have other important qualities, too. "It should be comfortable and simple to use, as well as intuitive to troubleshoot," she says. "Along with variable suction control—a feature that allows you to reduce the vacuum's suction to safely clean trickier surfaces—it should also come with various tools and attachments for versatility. It should also be of good financial value: Durable, supported well by the manufacturer, and guaranteed to last at least 10 years." Shopping for a top-notch vacuum that meets all of the above criteria? We asked Decker which vacuums she considers the best on the market, and here's what she had to say.
Searching for a petite vacuum cleaner that packs a lot of filtration power? Rachel Decker, co-owner and operator of Queen Vacuum & HomeCare Center, suggests the Miele Compact C2 Electro+ Canister Vacuum. "It deeply cleans all piles of carpet with a powerful, adjustable electric power nozzle," she says, "while the soft 'twister' floor brush works beautifully on delicately finished wood floors."
Shop Now: Miele Compact C2 Electro+ Canister Vacuum, $699, bedbathandbeyond.com.
Why buy a big, bulky vacuum when you can have a handheld one instead? The Dyson V7 Trigger Cordless Hand Vac boasts 100W of suction power and weighs less than four pounds so you carry it with one hand from room to room.
Shop Now: Dyson V7 Trigger Cordless Hand Vac, $199.99, target.com.
Looking for a cordless vacuum that won't cost you an arm and a leg? "The Johnny Vac JV222 has a soft, motorized brush roller that provides remarkably effective pickup on both bare floors and rugs while maintaining ample run-time for daily tidying," Decker explains.
Shop Now: Johnny Vac JV222, $199, johnnyvac.com.
Consider the Miele Complete C3 Canister Vacuum Cleaner the Rolls Royce of vacuums. "This vacuum is the best of the best, at the best price," Decker notes. "It's of the highest German quality and filtration, easy to use, has the largest bag capacity and operating reach, and is the most versatile vacuum for deeply cleaning all floorings, rugs, and surfaces, period."
Shop Now: Miele Complete C3 Marin Canister Vacuum Cleaner, $1,099.95, williams-sonoma.com.
Light as Air
The only thing better than a quality upright vacuum is one that's ultra-lightweight, too. The Riccar SupraLite R17 Premium only weighs nine pounds, which makes "pushing it around and transporting it up the stairs less of a chore," says Decker.
Shop Now: Riccar SupraLite R17 Premium, $899.99, riccar.com.
Pet parents rejoice: We have a superior vacuum for you. The Miele Dynamic U1 Cat & Dog Vacuum is designed with a swiveling head, an activated-charcoal filter (for removing undesirable odors), huge dust bag, and an extra-long cord, making it "an ideal fit for those with pets and/or larger homes with wide rooms," Decker says.
Shop Now: Miele Dynamic U1 Cat & Dog Vacuum, $699.95, williams-sonoma.com.
Pet for Less
If you're a pet owner on a budget, this is the vacuum for you. "Unlike most bagless vacuums found in this lower price range, the Bissell CleanView Bagged Pet Upright Vacuum Cleaner unit is bagged, so it holds more fur and debris while offering the user better protection from contaminants," Decker says.
Shop Now: Bissell CleanView Bagged Pet Upright Vacuum Cleaner, $119.99, bissell.com.
Cordless to the Max
Searching for a cordless vacuum that doesn't skimp on versatility or suction power? "Unlike many stick vacs, the Miele Swing H1 Tactical PowerLine is bagged for excellent hygiene and allergen control," Decker says. "The adjustable wand/handle can change heights for different users and can also be configured in three different ways."
Shop Now: Miele Swing H1 Tactical PowerLine, $299, miele.com.
If you're in the market for a no-frills, no-nonsense option, then Decker recommends the Clean Obsessed Commercial HEPA Canister Vacuum. "This very affordable and tough little commercial-grade canister features powerful one-speed suction, simple tools, and controls that make it simple for anyone to use, but hard to break," she says. "Favored by cleaning services, homeowners also appreciate the higher-than-usual level of filtration compared to most heavy-duty vacuums."
Shop Now: Clean Obsessed Commercial HEPA Canister Vacuum CO711, $239, thinkvacuums.com.
If you don't have a ton of room in your storage closet, Decker suggests investing in a compact machine that still packs plenty of punch. "The Miele Compact C1 Turbo Team Canister Vacuum is a great fit for smaller spaces with a mix of flooring," she says. "It comes with a versatile set of floor cleaning tools that tackles bare floors, low pile carpets, and the most delicate of rugs."
Shop Now: Miele Compact C1 Turbo Team Canister Vacuum, $499, queenvacuum.com.