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Best Vacuum Cleaners 2020: Updated List Published


The following list of Vacuums are rated 4 stars or more on Amazon. At the time of this writing all vacuums on this list have FREE Amazon Prime shipping.


Best Overall: Shark Navigator Upright Vacuum at Amazon

“Powerful, lightweight, and easy to assemble.”

Best Cordless Vacuum: Hoover Linx Cordless Vacuum Cleaner at Amazon

“Gives you closer access to those hard-to-reach spots.”

Best Budget: BISSELL PowerForce Upright Vacuum at Walmart

“This top pick will clean your house in a jiffy and all for under $50.”

Best Design: Dyson Multi-Floor Upright Vacuum at Amazon

“Customers love the sleek industrial design.”

Best Pet Hair Vacuum: Hoover WindTunnel Vacuum at Amazon

“Three suction channels lift and remove pet hair and dirt.”

Best Handheld Vacuum: Black + Decker Dust Buster at Amazon

“The lightweight design makes this model easy to use.”

Best Bagged Vacuum: Oreck Commercial XL at Amazon

“If you suffer from allergies, this will give you the best results.”

Best Robot Vacuum: iRobot Roomba at Amazon

“It runs for about 60 minutes and works on both carpet and hard floors.”

Best Lightweight: Shark Rocket Corded Vacuum at Amazon

“This Amazon Choice Product weighs only 8 pounds so you can easily suck up any mess.”

Best Canister: Miele Compact Canister Vacuum at Amazon

“Reviewers say this is the best HEPA-filter vacuum around and has some serious suction.”

How to choose a Vacuum Cleaner

If you have mostly bare floors:

A house full of hardwoods and tile still needs a vacuum, and a versatile canister vac might be your best bet. With its many attachments (it usually comes with a bare-floor brush), you can get into corners and other tight spaces more easily. If you prefer an upright, choose one that allows you to turn the brush roll off; it tends to scatter debris on a bare floor and could even scratch some surfaces.

If you have a lot of wall-to-wall carpeting:

A canister with a motorized power head attachment is great for carpet, but if you have a lot of space to cover, you’ll probably prefer the ease of an upright. Look for an adjustable-height brush roll to improve cleaning and pushing across various carpet-pile heights. Some models even have dirt sensors, good for making sure you’ve gotten the last of the grime without lots of extra back-and-forth.

If you have stairs:

A canister with a long hose and attachments for getting in and around railings is a smart pick. However, if you only want one vacuum for the entire house, a cumbersome canister that you’ll need to drag between floors may not be your cup of tea. Opt for a lightweight upright as your solo machine, or buy a second, less expensive model for upstairs cleaning.

If you want to vacuum more than the floors:

A vacuum is a super versatile cleaning tool, so make sure you consider the attachments. In addition to the standard crevice tool, dusting brush, and upholstery brush, many models have specially designed extras for cleaning mattresses, removing pet hair, and even dusting ceiling fans and the tops of bookcases.

Variable suction is also helpful for cleaning delicate items like drapery sheers and small area rugs without damaging them. Look for models with extra long cords (up to 35 feet) to extend your reach even more.

If your family suffers from allergies:

A vacuum works by drawing air (and dust and debris) in and sending exhaust air out. One with poor filtration or a lot of crevices in the body can scatter irritants that make you sneezy and wheezy. To be safe, choose a vac that’s both sealed and has a HEPA filter, which traps 99.97% of dust, dander, pollen, and mold spores in the machine.

If you prefer quick cleanups:

Newer cordless models claim to suck just as well as traditional corded uprights and aren’t tethered to an outlet. Their shortcoming is the battery life — they run for minutes, not hours (or even half hours), before needing a recharge. So if you like to clean the whole house in one swoop, skip them.

Stick vacs and handhelds (both corded and cordless) are also great for quick pick-ups, but they lack the power and versatility to be your primary vacuum.

If you really hate vacuuming:

Go full-on hands off with a robotic vac (the latest are even better at area mapping so as not to miss a spot). Some both vacuum and wet-clean, but all told, robotic vacs are pricey and aren’t super-powerful, so they won’t replace your regular vac.

If you’re weighing bagged vs. bagless:

There’s no difference in cleaning ability, so it comes down to preference. Bags less messy, but you need to have replacements on hand. Bagless vacs are more convenient, but can be irritating if you have allergies.

Source: Carolyn Forte, director of the Home Appliances and Cleaning Products lab at the Good Houskeeping Research Institute