Buying a new vacuum cleaner can be CONFUSING!
There are many different types of models to choose from, and walking into an appliance shop can leave you feeling overwhelmed. Do you choose an upright model, and handheld design, one with bags, or one without?
You also need to take into account your personal situation. Will you be vacuuming pet hair? Does anyone in the house have asthma or allergies? Do you intend to vacuum your car? And does your house have stairs?
All vacuum cleaners are different, and finding the best value for money isn't easy. Start by reading our handy guides below on what types of vacuum cleaner is best for you. Once you know what type of vacuum cleaner is best, then you can start deciding which model to purchase.
The Best Vacuum Cleaners
|Best vacuum cleaner under $100||BISSELL 9595A Vacuum with OnePass|
|Best vacuum cleaner under $200||Shark Navigator Lift-Away Professional|
|Best vacuum cleaner under $300||Dyson V6 Motor Head Cord-free Vacuum|
|Best vacuum cleaner under $400||Dyson DC50 Ball Compact Animal Upright Vacuum Cleaner|
|Best vacuum cleaner under $500||Dyson V6 Absolute Cord-free Vacuum|
|Best vacuum cleaner under $750||iRobot Roomba 870 Vacuum Cleaning Robot|
|Best vacuum cleaner under $1000||Miele Complete C3 Cat & Dog Canister Vacuum Cleaner|
|Best robot vacuum cleaner||iRobot Roomba 650 Vacuum Cleaning Robot|
|Best vacuum cleaner for pet hair||x|
|Best handheld vacuum cleaner||BLACK + DECKER CHV1410L 16 volt Lithium|
|Best upright vacuum cleaner||Shark Navigator Lift-Away Professional|
Without further adieu, let’s get right into the top considerations when choosing the best vacuum cleaner…
General Buying Considerations
Type of Vacuum Cleaner
There are many different styles of vacuum cleaners; uprights, canister, robots, handheld, bagged, bagless, corded, and cordless to name a few.
Each type of vacuum cleaner has a different set of advantages and disadvantages. The only way you can truly know which is best for you is by reading through our vacuum cleaner reviews and considering each of them with your own home and circumstances in mind. A good place to start is our in depth guide on the different types of vacuum cleaners.
Have a think about where you will be using your vacuum, how frequently, and what other special applications your vacuum might have, such as vacuuming a car or pet hair.
Vacuum cleaner reviews will give you a pretty good idea of which models are the most popular for a range of different circumstances. We do our best to provide reviews of all leading vacuum cleaner brands to ensure you can purchase with confidence.
If you can’t find a review on our website, please speak to us and let us know. Meanwhile, consider searching on Amazon as their many thousand customer reviews will give you a great idea on which vacuum cleaner is the best for you.
Different types of vacuum cleaners take up different amounts of room. You have to think about where your vacuum cleaner will be stored,, and buy a model that fits this space.
Upright vacuum cleaners take up a little more room than a canister vacuum cleaner. However if you are in a small apartment you may even consider a handheld vacuum cleaner or a small robot vacuum cleaner.
You can spend anywhere from $50 to $1000 on a vacuum cleaner. Generally you should be looking at the $299 to $799 range if you want to buy from a quality well made brand that will last over 10 years. A quality vacuum is something that you will use once every week or so, and is much easier and stress-free to use than cheaper alternatives.
Much like a mattress, sometimes paying a little more to get a few additional features is absolutely worth the investment.
Many leading vacuum cleaner brands come with a 2 year manufacture warranty. If you are buying new, be sure to purchase from a reputable retailer that honours the manufacturer's warranty. I am hesitant to recommend buying a second hand vacuum. The seller is clearly unhappy with the vacuum's performance, or they wouldn’t be selling it. Vacuum cleaners are surprisingly cheap these days, so buy new, and buy with a warranty.
If your home has stairs it is no surprise that a vacuum cleaner robot will need assistance getting up and down these. You may also need to consider one vacuum robot for upstairs, and one for downstairs.
Another consideration for houses with stairs is the attachment that you will use to clean the stairs. Some attachments can be purchased that will make this job easier, such as an extended hose, or thin rotating head attachment.
If you have lots of furniture, or a house with many nooks to vacuum around, a robot vacuum cleaner may not do the job to a standard you are happy with. However read our robot reviews as they are improving every year.
If you have a pet you will be familiar with the amount of fur they can leave on your carpet and furniture. If you have dark carpet, you will be even more aware of just how much hair your pets can leave behind on a daily basis!
It’s extremely frustrating to vacuum a piece of carpet, and no matter how many times you go over it, the pet fur remains clinging to the carpet.
Our advice is simple. If you have a pet that leaves hair on carpet, rugs, or upholstery, you need to buy a vacuum cleaner that has a rotating head.
Have a think about the types of surfaces you will be vacuuming. Hard floors, as often found in kitchens and bathrooms, will have a different set of needs to soft floors, such as carpet and rugs.
If you have carpet, you will likely want to choose vacuum cleaner that comes with a rotating head. These help pick up the stubborn dust and hair that gets embedded deeply into the carpet.
Product Specific Considerations
Most vacuum cleaners come with a few extra accessories out of the box that will make using the vacuum that little bit easier in harder to reach spots. But did you know you can also purchase extra accessories that could make your cleaning duties even easier? Be sure you are buying a vacuum cleaner that either comes with, or has available, a range of handy extra attachments. The key ones to keep an eye out for are:
Capacity refers to how much dust and grime the dirt canister can hold, or in the case of a bagged vacuum cleaner, the size of the bags the vacuum cleaner takes.
Obviously, the larger the capacity, the less the vacuum cleaner needs to be emptied or bags changed. For some asthmatics, emptying the vacuum cleaner less often is a big benefit, as it can often be a slightly dirty process.
Also consider your personal situation. If you have pets, or children, you may be vacuuming more often, in which case your vacuum cleaner will fill up quickly and you may prefer to consider a larger capacity model.
Bagged or Bagless
There are countless debates online whether a bagged or bagless vacuum cleaner is better. We have even written our own guide on the pro’s and con's of both types of vacuum cleaner.
I personally prefer bagged vacuum cleaners. This is largely because I have asthma and am sensitive to dust. A bagged vacuum cleaner is ever so slightly more convenient and cleaner to empty than a bagless vacuum cleaner.
Read our full guide for a better understanding of both types of vacuum, and to help decide which style is best for you.
The noise output from different vacuum cleaners can vary greatly. Some will be loud enough for the neighbours to hear, and others can be comfortably used with a child asleep in the next room. When reading our vacuum cleaner reviews keep in the back of your mind that the average conversation takes place at about 50dB. A lawnmower typically operates at 100dB.
If you are looking for a relatively quiet vacuum cleaner target one that operates in the 60 to 75dB range.
Deciding between a low quality and high quality vacuum cleaner means deciding between one that will last two years versus one that could last up to twenty years.
Jumping straight into a purchase without reading reviews of each vacuum cleaner is a surefire way to make a purchase that you will regret.
Vacuum cleaner quality is largely dictated by the suction power, filter quality, and construction quality. If you buy from one of the known vacuum cleaner brands construction quality is generally good.
Read our reviews to choose a vacuum with the suction and filter quality that you desire.
There is little use in buying a brand new vacuum cleaner if it does not have a high quality filtration system.. If your vacuum cleaner does not have a quality filter, you will simply be picking up dust of your carpet and upholstery, before travelling right through the vacuum cleaner and being blown back out again and into the room, where it will once again settle as dust.
For asthmatics and people with allergies, this is clearly not an ideal situation. We recommend buying a vacuum cleaner with a quality filter to everyone, but even more so to asthmatics.
The technical term for the type of filter to look for is a HEPA filter. HEPA stands for High Efficiency Particulate Air. This type of filter has three different methods of removing 99.9% of all particles from the air as it is pushed through the vacuum.
When reading our vacuum cleaner reviews keep an eye out for the airflow and sealed suction statistics. Note that some reviews will refer to sealed suction as “water lift”.
On canister vacuum cleaners an airflow rating of 100CFM or more is what we recommend all our readers aim for, Alternatively, look for a water lift of 90 inches or more.
On many vacuum cleaner reviews you will also see the manufactures touting the watts or amps of their products. It is important to keep in mind that these simply rate the power of the vacuum cleaner, and ‘power’ cannot be confused with ‘performance’. Both watts and amps will indicate how much electrical power the vacuum cleaner uses, but not how good the suction power is. In some cases the motors power ratings show an incomplete picture of the vacuum cleaner's performance. For example, a 10 amp motor can create more suction power than a 12 amp motor it is is designed in a more efficient manner.