Comparison of vacuum cleaners: 11 Best Vacuums of 2023, Tested & Reviewed by Cleaning Experts

10 Best Vacuum Cleaners of 2023

Best Overall Upright Vacuum

Shark Stratos

$400 at Amazon

Dust Bin Type: Bagless | Cleaning Path Width: 9.5″

REASONS TO BUY

Great carpet cleaning

Spectacular hard surface cleaning

Convenient to use

Highly maneuverable

REASONS TO AVOID

Expensive

The Shark Stratos stands out as one of the top upright vacuums available in the market today thanks to its exceptional cleaning performance, effortless maneuverability, and convenient lift-away feature. Shark has continuously improved its duo clean technology, equipping the Stratos with a dual brush roll system that effectively eliminates dirt and debris from various surfaces, including hard floors and carpets. No matter the type of flooring, you can expect beautifully cleaned surfaces. The lift-away feature enhances usability by enabling easy cleaning of stairs, accessing tight spaces under furniture, and reaching challenging spots.

Our evaluation of the Shark Stratos revealed very few shortcomings. Only through rigorous side-by-side comparisons was our team able to identify minor criticisms. We do think it could benefit from a slight improvement in its edging ability and a reduction in weight. Though, it still leaves carpets looking expertly clean, and you are unlikely to notice any issues at the edges. Overall, the Shark Stratos is an exceptional vacuum cleaner, leaving little room for improvement.

Read more: Shark Stratos review

The Shark Stratos left no crumbs behind in any of our carpet cleaning tests.

Credit: Abriah Wofford

Most Economical Upright Vacuum

Shark Navigator Lift Away

$195 at Amazon

Dust Bin Type: Bagless | Cleaning Path Width: 11.25″

REASONS TO BUY

Great maneuverability

Picked up almost all pet hair

Reasonably priced

REASONS TO AVOID

Requires some additional passes

The Shark Navigator Lift Away took the top spot in our testing for its affordability and impressive performance. This model is extremely easy to handle and move around corners. Additional premium features of this model include a HEPA filter (so that dust and debris won’t fly out of the vacuum) and a ‘Lift Away’ mode, which allows users to take apart the vacuum and use it as a handheld vacuum. These two features are commonly seen on more premium upright vacuums, and you’ll rarely see them at this price point.

Although the Shark Lift Away is a stronger performer, we did notice a couple of flaws. It took us a couple of extra tries to pick up debris on both hardwood flooring and carpets. This will admittedly require a bit more of your time, but not much. Overall, this vacuum is great for anyone on a budget who doesn’t want to sacrifice quality features.

Read more: Shark Navigator Lift Away review

The ‘Lift Away’ feature on the Shark Navigator is very simple.

Credit: Chris McNamara

Best All-Around Stick Vacuum

Shark Rocket Pet Pro

$300 at Amazon

Power Source: Battery | Cleaning Path Width: 10 ¼”

REASONS TO BUY

Easy to use

Great at removing pet hair

REASONS TO AVOID

Expensive

Relatively loud

The Shark Pet Pro was one of the top performers in the stick vacuum review. This stand-up stick vacuum works like a full-sized machine — but is much easier to handle — leaving us with few critiques about its performance. This machine handles hair extremely well because the brush penetrates the carpet to extract hair while the agitator self-cleans. The Pet Pro comes with crevice, brush, and pet tools for furniture and stairs. Also, the “stick” portion of the machine can be removed, turning it into a handheld vacuum — a real plus for vehicle cleaning. The unit is just eight pounds, it has an easy-to-swap battery that lasts up to 21 minutes (in economical mode), and it has a swift recharge time of just 2.5 hours. The Pro does well on both hard and soft surfaces, large and small debris, and its 37″ articulating shaft makes it easy to get under the couch or bed without getting on your hands and knees.

The performance of the Shark Pet Pro is rather impressive. Our only criticism is that this machine is a bit loud compared to other models, and pushing the vacuum straight into a wall leaves a small gap that the agitator could not reach. However, run the agitator perpendicular to the wall, and there is almost no gap. As a bonus, the Pet Pro is freestanding — a rarity among stick vacuums — so it will stand at attention until the next time you need it.

Read more: Shark Pet Pro review

The Shark Pet Pro is a well-designed, high-quality device that can clean-up the toughest of messes.

Credit: Laura Casner

Top Premium Stick Vacuum

Shark Stratos Cordless

$352 at Amazon

Power Source: Battery | Cleaning Path Width: 10.25″

REASONS TO BUY

Superb cleaning performance

Folds up

Multiple power settings

REASONS TO AVOID

No charging indicator

Pricey

The Shark Stratos Cordless seamlessly tackles whatever mess is placed in front of it, regardless of the surface. This model gives other stick vacuums a run for their money, as it picked up almost all the oats and rice spilled throughout our testing area. A simple click of a button allows the system to transition into a handheld model for cleaning non-floor surfaces like couch cushions or car seats. This cordless model won’t be limited to locations with power outlets, so you can easily float this around the entire house without needing to replug. The machine has average maneuverability, but you should have no trouble getting around furniture and tight corners. It boasts an impressive battery life, with power settings ranging from eco to boost. When all the cleaning is done and you’re ready to relax, this system folds down, easily packing away into tight places.

The Stratos Cordless should last the entirety of your cleaning unless you exclusively run it on boost mode. When docked to charge, there’s no indicator to let you know its charge level. Instead, you have to turn it on to see what power percentage it has. It isn’t the easiest to get started with an inconveniently placed button, and it weighs in at 8.9 pounds. However, much of that weight is held in the brush head. Additionally, it’s on the pricier side. This is quite an impressive machine and we think the investment will be worth the extra cleaning power and performance.

Read more: Shark Stratos Cordless review

With just a click of a button, the Stratos Cordless transitions into a handheld vacuum for easy couch cushion cleaning.

Credit: Abriah Wofford

Best Overall Canister Vacuum

Eureka WhirlWind

$80 at Amazon

Power Source: Plug-in | Cleaning Path Width: 10 ½”

REASONS TO BUY

Easy to use

Good performance on hard surfaces

REASONS TO AVOID

Struggles with pet hair

Requires bags

If you want one of the best canister vacuums at an affordable price point, the Eureka WhirlWind is a top choice. This model was one of the absolute best performers in our best canister vacuum review. We were impressed by its ability to plow through cereal, oatmeal, and flour in our hard surface and carpet cleaning tests. At 11 pounds, this vacuum cleaner is also one of the easiest to carry up and down stairs. We appreciated this model for its impressive cleaning performance, handling, and ease of use.

Pet owners may want to go with another unit unless they are on a tight budget. Unfortunately, the pet hair performance was lackluster due to the absence of a brush roller. But, if you’re looking for an affordable vacuum and don’t mind making a few more passes to collect pet hair, the WhirlWind may be a viable choice.

Read more: Eureka WhirlWind review

Credit: Abriah Wofford

Best Carpet Cleaning Canister Vacuum

Miele Compact C1 Turbo

$441 at Amazon

Power Source: Plug-in | Cleaning Path Width: 10 ¾”

REASONS TO BUY

Good at removing pet hair

Maneuverable

REASONS TO AVOID

Spendy

The Miele Compact C1 Turbo is an all-around top-performing, albeit expensive, canister vacuum. The machine’s key feature is a floor cleaning attachment with a rolling brush (agitator) that makes it more like an upright vacuum cleaner while maintaining the advantages and simplicity of a canister unit. Given the benefits of having an agitator, we were not surprised that the Turbo did well on carpets of all pile lengths (but particularly on the shorter variety) and most debris types. Its swivel head makes it more maneuverable than most canister units, too, while its floor attachment does reasonably well at collecting debris in corners and against baseboards. While this unit performed well across the board, it shined when picking up flour (fine debris) and the toughest debris of all — pet hair.

Although the Miele Compact C1 Turbo excelled at tackling some of the toughest messes, its performance dropped a degree when cleaning larger debris (like rice and cereal) from the fluffier varieties of carpet, requiring more passes than other machines. We also felt that the Turbo was a tad fiddly when switching between attachments. Its ease of use was further impacted by its middling weight of 15.2 pounds — not the heaviest but certainly not the lightest either. Despite this, the Turbo does a great job reaching under low furniture and has a maximum reach of 30 feet for an outlet to the attachment. If this vacuum cleaner fits your budget, it’s a great buy, particularly for pet owners with loads of carpeting.

Read more: Miele Compact C1 Turbo review

Credit: Abriah Wofford

Best Overall Handheld Vaccuum

Black+Decker Flex Vac BDh3020FL

$100 at Amazon

Power Source: Battery | Cleaning Path Width: 1 3/16″ (hose end)

REASONS TO BUY

Good in tight spots

Good with pet hair

REASONS TO AVOID

So-so battery life

Two-handed operation

The Black+Decker Flex Vac BDh3020FL does a lot for a handheld vacuum, and that’s because it’s a lot like a miniature canister vacuum. This model was a top performer in our best handheld vacuum review. The machine has an accordion hose for long reaches, multiple attachments for those hard-to-reach places, and high airflow through its 1 3/16 inch hose end. The Flex Vac did well sucking up animal hair and large debris, such as Mini-Wheats cereal, without clogging. Moreover, the little vac did a great job cleaning deep cracks and crevices (easily reaching 36″ into a 3″ gap), and it did above average in cleaning dusty surfaces with a brush attachment.

While we were impressed with the overall performance of the Flex Vac, it is not without some shortcomings. Specifically, it is loud enough to strain conversation. Also, it struggles with heavy, caked-on dirt as you would find on the floorboard of a car, though it will eventually get the job done if you keep at it. Finally, there is a lack of some convenience features that we would have liked to see. For example, the battery life is a bit truncated at just 15 minutes of runtime on a full charge, and it has a four-hour recharge interval. Also, the Flex Vac is a bit heavy at three pounds. Finally, the unit’s three attachments lack onboard storage though there is a place to organize them on the battery dock. Yet, the large and easy-to-empty canister counteracts some of these convenience shortfalls. All in all, the Flex Vac still performs quite well across the board.

Read more: Black+Decker Flex Vac BDh3020FL review

We used an anemometer to measure the suction power of each handheld vac – including the Flex.

Credit: Abriah Wofford

Most Economical Handheld Vacuum

Black+Decker HHVI320JR02

$55 at Amazon

Power Source: Battery | Cleaning Path Width: ~3″

REASONS TO BUY

Good with big debris

Good in cracks and crevices

REASONS TO AVOID

Struggles with fine debris

Quite loud

The Black+Decker HHVI320JR02’s performance is a mixed bag with some real bright spots, including a great price point and the suction power to pick up big messes. The narrow nozzle with the built-in extension makes it effective at getting to those hard-to-reach places without needing multiple attachments. In the same vein, the rotating nozzle feature is a boon for maintaining a good grip on the handle when probing between couch cushions and the like. Also, the fold-down brush does well for vacuuming baseboards, though you need to be mindful not to scratch the wall with the plastic backing. Finally, the Black+Decker HHVI320JR02’s battery lasts ~15.5 minutes, weighs 2.4 pounds, and has an easy-to-empty debris receptacle.

The Black+Decker HHVI320JR02 has some limitations, too. For one, it did not fare well in our pet hair pick-up tests. It also struggles with fine debris like flour and has limited effectiveness on high-pile carpets. Additionally, the unit is considerably louder than other models in the class. Despite these issues, we still favor this unit as a reasonably effective, easy-to-use, affordable handheld vacuum.

Read more: Black+Decker HHVI320JR02 review

The Black+Decker does well in tight spots like between cushions due to its narrow, extendable, rotating nozzle and good suction.

Credit: Jenna Ammerman

Best Overall Robot Vacuum

Roborock Q5

$430 at Amazon

Multi-Room Navigation: Yes | Poo-avoidance: No

REASONS TO BUY

Great navigation

Useful mobile app

Excellent carpet cleaning

REASONS TO AVOID

Doesn’t pick up large debris

Gets clogged with hair

The Roborock Q5 strikes the perfect balance between price and performance, all while packing in the most advanced features. This machine connects to a mobile app, where you can find options for no-go zones, schedules, and suction power. Here, the system creates a virtual 3D map of the home and outlines its cleaning path. Undoubtedly, the Q5 is among the smartest in the lineup, seamlessly navigating the entire space without bumping into furniture, walls, or those walking around. With few exceptions, like larger objects and pet hair, the system excels at tidying up various surfaces. It effortlessly cleaned up oatmeal and rice, even on fluffy carpet.

The Roborock Q5 has a low clearance, making it difficult to pick up larger debris. It also struggled to clean powdery messes like flour. Though it still picks up hair, the strands get wrapped around the bristles over time and can clog the machine. All in all, this robot system outperforms some of the most expensive options and is a handy cleaning tool for those on the go or who simply don’t want to vacuum as often

The Roborock Q5 effortlessly glides around obstacles, avoiding furniture, people, and no-go zones.

Credit: Abriah Wofford

Read more: Roborock Q5 review

Robot Vacuum and Mop

Roborock S7 MaxV Ultra

$1,060 at Amazon

Multi-Room Navigation: Yes | Poo-avoidance: Yes

REASONS TO BUY

Endless features

Efficient navigation

Excellent pet waste recognition

Mop that self cleans

Automatic dirt disposal

REASONS TO AVOID

Pricey

Bad with pet hair

All hail the mighty Roborock S7 MaxV Ultra! This super smart robot vacuum has an awesome app that allows users to set up boundaries in any room of their home. This robot is one of the first to explore mopping functionalities and actually mops pretty well. It is also a keen navigator and doesn’t bump your furniture, but still manages to clean pretty close against obstacles. One of the things we loved most about this model was its latest and greatest pet poop-avoidance technology. When we set up simulated poop in our test suite, the S7 noticed it immediately and kept its distance. We highly recommend this model to those who want the most out of a robot vacuum.

Unfortunately, this is probably not the best choice if you have pets. Although it has superb poop-avoidance technology, it still doesn’t do very well at picking up pet hair. This device is also super expensive, and we would think that a robot vacuum this pricey would be able to handle a little bit of pet hair.

Read more: Roborock S7 MaxV Ultra review

The Roborock S7 has incredible stool avoidance technology for those with pets.

Credit: Jessica Riconscente

Best All-Around Cordless Wet Dry Vacuum

Milwaukee M18 0880-20

$125 at Amazon

Power Source: Battery | Cleaning Path Width: 1″ (hose end)

REASONS TO BUY

Great hose design

Robust motor

Great accessory storage

REASONS TO AVOID

Relatively heavy

So-so runtime

The Milwaukee M18 0880-20 is an exceptionally well-designed wet-dry vacuum cleaner. This model is easily at the top of its class in our cordless wet dry vacuum review. It is conveniently streamlined and also packs a powerful electric motor that will bust the toughest messes, be they sopping wet or dry as a bone. Soaked carpets? Heavy nuts and bolts? Piles of sawdust? It will suck all that up without a fuss and, with its HEPA filter, will blow nearly particular-free air out the tail-end. When your work is done, the M18 has a slick, toolbox-like design that accommodates all the attachments and self-retracting hose within. Another nice design feature is the hose routing that runs straight into the can where others use an easily-clogged elbow.

While the Milwaukee M18 0880-20 is a great vacuum, it isn’t without some limitations. For one, it did not fare well when sucking up standing water on a hard surface. In the M18’s defense, this results from a poorly designed floor attachment, not poor suction or airflow. Another weak spot for the M18 is its run time. At four minutes and 39 seconds per amp hour, it’s below average for its class. And, at 10 lbs 2 oz, it’s on the heavy end of its class, too. However, its hose stretches from 24 to 90 ½ inches, so you shouldn’t have to move it around too much. All in all, this is one heck of a wet dry machine, and we feel that most will overlook its deficiencies in light of its exceptional performance and ease of use.

Read more: Milwaukee M18 0880-20 review

The M18 is an extremely well-designed machine that can tackle the toughest mess in quick order.

Credit: Laura Casner

Why You Should Trust Us

This complex and diverse vacuum market overview comes from hundreds of hours of researching, testing, and comparing these machines since 2015. Specifically, we tested these vacuums for ease of use, cleaning effectiveness on common mess types, battery life, and reach, to name just a few of our analyses. This overview takes the best machines from five vacuum categories — upright, handheld, canister, wet-dry, robot, and stick — and combines them to give a telling overview of the market as a whole.

We put every vacuum cleaner through exhaustive testing protocols in our lab – involving tens of different tests to assess performance in a range of common-use situations including: carpet cleaning, hard floor cleaning, vacuuming up pet hair, small particle cleaning (flour), and a variety of challenges including picking up oatmeal, cereal, and rice.

Credit: Abriah Wofford

Senior Research Analyst Austin Palmer, review editor Jessica Riconscente, and author Nick Miley worked together to curate this vacuum cleaner review. This triad has well over 10 years of collective experience testing home electronics such as vacuum cleaners, air purifiers, kitchen appliances, and cordless tools.

Nick brings scientific experience gained in university research facilities and writing journal articles. Austin brings hundreds of hours of hands-on testing experience assessing products ranging from keyboards to photo printers, and now runs GearLab’s testing site. Finally, Jessica has on-the-ground experience as a professional cleaner, working at hostels and upscale homes for several years. She is also a dog mom and understands the demands placed on a vacuum when it comes to hairy messes.

Our research analyst, Jessica Riconscente, spread out debris over a short pile carpet for our robot vacuum testing.

Credit: Abriah Wofford

Our testing of vacuum cleaners is divided into four separate rating metrics:

  • Carpets
  • Hard Surfaces
  • Ease of Use
  • Pet Hair

These metrics contribute to each product’s overall score based on what consumers want out of their vacuum. The weightings for each metric will vary among different vacuums; for example, a handheld vacuum is quite different from an upright vacuum and therefore requires different tests and weightings. This comprehensive testing and rating approach helps us to help you find the right vacuum for your household and budget.

The Shark Stratos effectively picked up all the debris in our hardwood floor testing.

Credit: Abriah Wofford

How to Pick the Right Vacuum:

The first question you’ll want to answer is what kind of vacuum you need to satisfy your needs. While all vacuums perform the same general function, there is a high degree of specialization in the vacuum market. A good way to conceptualize this is to think about the messes you’ll most likely be cleaning and where. If this prompt made you think, sawdust in the garage, you’re solidly in the wet-dry category. On the other hand, if you thought of heavily-trafficked carpets in the house, you’re in the market for an upright, canister, or stick vacuum. The following is a breakdown of the various types of vacuums covered in this review. These categories will not only describe the machines but also where and what they do best.

Upright Vacuums

Your favorite upright vacuum is what many people think about when they imagine a vacuum cleaner. These machines are essentially the Swiss army knife of in-home vacuum cleaners. They are completely self-contained, with the canister, attachments, power cord, and extension hose all in one unit. A common feature in an upright is a roller brush or agitator that stirs up the debris for the vacuum to then suck into its canister — this makes them great for high pile carpets and hard texture surfaces where other vacuums struggle. These machines commonly have a hose that can be disconnected on one end and used with attachments like a handheld device for cleaning stairs and furniture. These are universal machines for household use, and their freestanding, self-contained design makes them easy to store in a closet or corner.

The Shark Stratos is an all-around impressive upright vacuum.

Credit: Jessica Riconscente

Stick Vacuums

Stick vacuums are simply a pared-down version of an upright device that is often battery-powered, but not always. Stick vacs often lack the accessories of uprights, such as a detachable handheld device, but again, not always. Some of the more sophisticated devices are quite comparable to high-quality uprights. The main difference is the slender profile of the unit, which makes the vacuum easier to store but also means that the canister is smaller and thus will need to be emptied more often. As such, we think these devices make the most sense in smaller areas, rooms with less traffic, or limited high pile carpet.

Many premium stick vacuums come as lightweight cordless models, which allows you to move and vacuum throughout your home without difficulty.

Credit: Abriah Wofford

Canister Vacuums

Canister vacuums are similar to uprights, with the obvious exception that the canister storing the collected debris is trailered behind the vacuum head and handle. This means that the business end of the vacuum is lighter and arguably more maneuverable. Still, it can also be harder to store in a closet or corner because the unit as a whole is bulkier. However, these machines do provide a bit of a sound demeaning because the motor is in the canister, and some find them easier to use on stairs since the canister can be left on the ground or carried in one hand while the other is free to work the business end of the machine.

One benefit of a canister vacuum is the ability to easily drag it around your home or up and down the stairs.

Credit: Abriah Wofford

Handheld Vacuums

Handheld vacuums are essentially an accessory and are not intended to clean a whole house. They do well at getting into all the places your upright or canister vacuums aren’t expected to reach. When we think about a handheld unit, we think about countertops, window sills, the car, or light spot cleaning when you don’t want to get out the full-size vacuum. These devices are battery-powered, so the runtime can be an issue, but the lack of a cord makes them all the more agile and nimble.

Handheld vacuums work well for hard to reach areas.

Credit: Abriah Wofford

Robot Vacuums

Robot vacuums are more than just a novelty. These machines offer users real time-savings when used correctly. While they are no substitute for a traditional vacuum cleaner (and the human running it), they are great for routine cleaning of the home and some light spot cleaning. The downside of the robot vacuum is that they require some setup, charging, have relatively small dust bins, and are not always intelligent — meaning that some cannot reliably make decisions not to run over something that doesn’t need picking up.

Many robot vacuums now come with smart capabilities and mapping that can be managed from your smart phone.

Credit: Jessica Riconscente

Cordless Wet-Dry Vacuums

As the name suggests, “wet-dry” vacuums are designed to tackle a whole other type of mess compared to those units discussed above. Wet-dry vacuums specialize in big messes where water or other liquids are involved. For example, these machines can suck up a bucket of water into their cans, something we wouldn’t dream of doing with an upright device. However, wet-dry vacs lack an agitator, so they are not great at cleaning large carpeted areas. When we think of wet-dry vacs, we think of work in the garage, motorhome, car, truck, or boat. Most of these units are battery-powered; thus, battery runtime will be something you’ll want to pay attention to if you put them on big jobs. These machines are self-contained, compact, and powerful.

The M18 is completely self contained making it easy to use, carry, and store. However, don’t be fooled by its simplicity – this machine can tackle the big, wet messes.

Credit: Laura Casner

To Bag or Not to Bag

While the bag debate was an important part of selecting a vacuum cleaner at one time, that is no longer the case. Nowadays, the vast majority of vacuums are bagless. This is a good thing for the most part because the lack of a bag reduces waste and trips to the store. However, there is no denying that, when emptying a bagless canister, some of the dust collected can escape into the air. If you are sensitive to dust, a bagged vacuum cleaner may be the right choice.

Bagless canisters tend to be easier to empty.

Credit: Abriah Wofford

Conclusion

This general overview of the vacuum market has highlighted the best models in the several classes of vacuums, including upright, stick, robot, canister, wet-dry, and handheld. Along with the overview, we have included a buying advice section to help you narrow down the market. These tools will assist you in selecting the right vacuum for your needs. With the proper vacuum, cleaning isn’t just a chore — it can be an enjoyable task.

The best upright vacuum in 2023

Upright vacuums — modern twists on the traditional vacuum cleaners of yesteryear — are more compact and easier to store than canister vacuums, and more powerful than stick vacuums. They’re also easy to use, so they’re good for spot cleaning and well-suited to households full of pets or kids that require heavier-duty spot cleaning than a handheld vacuum can provide.

To help you choose the best upright vacuum, we spent two weeks testing a half-dozen highly rated models. We put each one through a series of tests, from cleaning up the fur left behind from two dogs and three cats to sucking up cat litter spills, assessing performance, overall ease of use and usefulness of attachments. In the end, we found three winners capable of handling your cleanup needs.

Shark Rotator Professional Lift-Away NV501

Best upright vacuum overall

JC Penney

With great cleaning power and maneuverability, the Shark Rotator Professional Lift-Away NV501 was a standout in all of our testing.

$300
$270 at Amazon

Bissell Pet Hair Eraser Lift-Off Upright Vacuum

Best upright vacuum for pet hair

Amazon

The Bissell Pet Hair Eraser Lift-Off Upright Vacuum’s standout feature is the Pet Turboeraser tool, which has a spinning brush head with bristles that easily pull cat and dog hair off upholstery and stairs, making it the best of the bunch for pet owners.

$370 at Amazon

Eureka DashSprint Dual Motor Upright Vacuum With Headlights

Best budget upright vacuum cleaner

Eureka

Lightweight and easy to maneuver as well as affordable, the Eureka DashSprint Dual Motor Upright Vacuum had the smoothest swivel and excellent suction power, and didn’t get tripped up on high-pile carpets or when transitioning from hard floors to area rugs

$180 at Walmart

Lindsay Boyers/CNN Underscored

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The Shark Rotator Professional Lift-Away NV501 was a standout in all of our testing. It was one of the easiest vacuum cleaners to maneuver, thanks to its swivel head and fairly light weight. It weighs 15.8 pounds, which doesn’t sound especially light, but compared to the others it was easy to pick up and move around. It also has a large padded handle that was especially helpful when utilizing the lift-off feature, which lets you remove the motor unit to use as a sort of miniature canister vacuum with upholstery and other above-the-floor accessories.

The canister easily comes off the vacuum base with the push of a large button, so when we needed to vacuum the stairs or extend into the corners of the ceiling, we could detach the pod and carry it independently. Next to the canister release lies another button that releases the wand, so in just two moves the lift-off pod is off and ready to go.

The Shark Rotator comes with an upholstery tool, a dusting brush and a crevice tool, which all worked well. The attachments fit onto the end of the handle, so you can use them when the vacuum is intact or when you’re taking advantage of the lift-off feature. The tube has a nice amount of stretch to it, which made it easier to get into harder-to-reach areas without having to keep moving the vacuum.

An extra bonus was how neatly the attachments fit onto the machine. They’re easy to grab and remove, and they don’t get in the way when you’re utilizing other features. They also firmly clip into their respective holders so they don’t fall out when you’re moving around or accidentally bump into something.

It also has headlights, a useful feature when vacuuming on hard floors. While not as handy on carpet (since dirt and debris sink in instead of lying on the surface), the headlights helped illuminate missed spots on the wood and vinyl flooring.

As far as suction power and performance go, the Shark Rotator Professional Lift-Away NV501 got high marks across the board. Both the main brush head and the attachments picked up pet fur in one pass on all types of floors, and the main brush head made easy work of pulling cat litter out of high-pile carpet.

The Shark’s XL dustbin allowed for continuous cleaning — we were able to get through the entire house and then some without stopping to empty it — and it was simple to detach and empty. The design itself was similar to the other bagless models on this list, with a latch on the bottom that opens to release everything into the trash can. But, because this vacuum has three filters, there was no dust or blowback when emptying the machine.

The only real flaw we found was when the dustbin was off, the vacuum itself sometimes toppled backward given the uneven weight distribution, landing hard on the floor a couple of times before we got the hang of better positioning it.

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Though not a deal breaker, we didn’t love the red and white color scheme. It looked a bit outdated when compared to other models. We would have also loved a retractable cord, but none of the units we tested had one, so we can’t hold that against the Shark.

Lindsay Boyers/CNN Underscored

Similar in design to the Shark Rotator, the Bissell Pet Hair Eraser Lift-Off Upright Vacuum lives up to its name in its ability to pick up cat and dog hair. It was comparable to the Shark in almost every way: ease of use, design, ease and cleanliness of emptying and suction power/performance. It features a similar lift-off motor unit that makes using it on upholstery and other above-the-floor objects easier.

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The Bissell has a swivel head that makes it easy to maneuver and a detachable pod that lets you drop the base and more easily vacuum stairs and out-of-reach places. The wand and base both detach with the touch of a button, and you can change from low carpet to plush carpet with a lever that’s conveniently positioned on the thumb portion of the handle.

One standout feature of the Bissell is the Pet Turboeraser tool from which it gets its name. While the Shark comes with a regular crevice tool, the Bissell’s Turboeraser has a spinning brush head with bristles that pull hair off upholstery and stairs. This tool worked well on the cat tower and shorter-pile carpets, though it did need some help on the high-pile stairs. It never got jammed up though, even when pulling up longer human hair, and was a welcome addition to the setup.

Ultimately, this vacuum didn’t earn the top spot because it’s a bit heavier than the Shark (it weighs almost 18 pounds), has a smaller dustbin that needed more frequent emptying, and it didn’t perform as well as the Shark on hard floors, despite being more expensive. But if you’re looking for a vacuum cleaner specifically to get control over the mess left by shedding pets, the addition of the Turboeraser makes this a good choice.

Lindsay Boyers/CNN Underscored

The Eureka DashSprint Dual Motor Upright Vacuum is significantly less expensive than the Shark Rotator and Bissell Pet Hair Eraser, and cheaper than most other options we tested. As such, we didn’t have high hopes for its performance, but were pleasantly surprised in all areas.

The Eureka is the lightest of our recommendations, weighing in at just 12.6 pounds, and it was easier to maneuver and carry from one floor to the next than the others. The swivel was the smoothest; it could move on a dime, plus it didn’t get tripped up on high-pile carpets or when transitioning from hard floors to area rugs. It had excellent suction power, too. While it didn’t do an exceptional job on hard floors, especially during the cat litter test, it performed well on all carpet heights and the attachments made easy work of cleaning the couch and cat tower.

It comes with a Pet Pal Turbo tool that’s almost identical in design to the Turboeraser that comes with the Bissell. While it wasn’t quite as impressive as the Turboeraser — it occasionally needed two passes instead of one — it did a stellar job 90% of the time.

The dustbin is larger than the Bissell’s, 1.5 liters compared to Bissell’s 1, but it needed more frequent emptying since its filter — located in the center of the bin — is larger than the Bissell’s, so we found ourselves needing to clear debris trapped around it more often. Emptying it was simple enough, using the same process as the others: Just open the latch at the bottom and the debris comes out into the trash can. However, we ended up having to reach into the canister repeatedly to clear out debris by hand.

There’s no lift-off feature, which was kind of a bummer, but the wand does come out of the base to clean harder-to-reach above-the-floor areas. The tube isn’t attached to the wand like the others, so you have to detach the tube from the base then hook it up to the wand before you use it, a straightforward enough but still additional step.

Upright vacuums are, for the most part, less bulky and less expensive than canister vacuums and more powerful than stick or handheld models.

As all-in-one products with the motor housed inside the main unit, upright vacuums are easy to carry around the house to take care of various tasks and, true to their name, can simply stand up on their own when stored. Typically they include a range of accessories for above-the-floor tasks like upholstery, drapes and stairs, though since the motor unit is integrated with the floor head, they aren’t quite as suited to such use as canister vacuums or cordless stick vacuums (though lift-off models like our top recommendations address this issue).

With wider cleaning heads embedded with a turbo brush, upright vacuums are also a good choice if you have lots of rugs or wall-to-wall carpets, and since there’s less stuff to lug around, you’ll be able to clean much larger areas in a shorter period. They feel more natural when you push them since you’re not dragging a canister behind you.

Since everything is integrated, however, they may be harder to maneuver around furniture or obstacles in the room than the wand and floor brush of a canister vacuum. They are also not the best for lugging up and down stairs, and since the motor unit is right in front of you, they do tend to be noisier in use.

We looked through user reviews and product specifications and landed on six models that are marketed toward pet owners, not just because pet hair is such a common application for vacuum cleaner purchasers, but also since these vacuums are typically more powerful and full-featured overall and include upholstery tools that work equally well in pet-free households.

We rated each vacuum based on setup, design features and performance, considering things like suction power and effectiveness on different floor types and pile heights.

While setup was a consideration in our rating, we didn’t weigh it too heavily since you only have to assemble the vacuum once during its lifetime. We did take note if any were especially difficult to put together.

  • Ease of use/maneuverability: How easy it was to vacuum different types of spaces. We measured based on whether or not the vacuum could swivel, if it could lie flat to go underneath couches and how heavy it was. We also considered if the vacuum pulled, dragged or got stuck on the carpet. If there was a lift-off canister, we checked if it made a difference in the overall experience.
  • Ease of emptying: How easy the vacuum was to empty and how messy (or clean) the process was.
  • Capacity/dust canister size: How often you have to empty a vacuum depends on how much debris you’re picking up, but the bigger the canister, the less often you’ll need to stop to clean it out. We factored this into our testing as well.
  • Organization: All of the vacuums on the list came with various attachments. Part of our rating included whether or not there was a place to neatly store each of the attachments.
  • Suction power: Suction power was one of the biggest considerations. Since these vacuums are targeted toward pet owners, we tested the main brush head and each attachment on pet fur and cat litter on all types of floors. We considered whether the vacuums could pull the heavier cat litter particles out of high-pile carpet and if the debris got adequately sucked into the canister versus getting spit out the back and not making it into the canister. We also tested if the heavier particles could travel the length of the tube when using an attachment or if they spilled out the front of the attachment once the vacuum was turned off. We took note of suction power when the canister was empty and when it was full to see if the vacuum lost effectiveness as the canister filled up, and if it was necessary to empty it during use to keep the vacuum functioning up to par.
  • Effectiveness on different floor types: We have four different types of floors in our house — carpet, hardwood, tile and vinyl — and we tested the vacuums’ suction power on each using pet fur and cat litter. We used both the main brush head and the various attachments, when appropriate, to see how each performed.
  • Effectiveness on different pile heights: In addition to testing different types of floors, we tested the vacuum on various pile heights using high-pile carpet, a medium-pile area rug and a low-pile area rug.
  • Effectiveness on various surfaces: While we measured the effectiveness of the attachments on the different floor types, this test was specifically aimed at testing each attachment’s specific functionality. We used the attachments on a cat tower, a fabric couch, high-pile carpeted stairs, low-pile carpeted stairs, and hard floors, as well as in corners (both on the floor and ceiling).
  • Tangling/clogging: We also considered whether or not longer hair got tangled in the brush roll after several uses, and if the canister got clogged and negatively affected suction power.
  • Noise level: While not a major factor in our testing, we considered the noise level of each model and noted if a particular model was considerably quieter or louder than the others.

The Hoover WindTunnel 3 High Performance Pet Vacuum was a worthy contender, but it ultimately fell short due to its heavy weight and lack of maneuverability. Compared to the other models on the list, it was a bit clunky and difficult to carry up and down the stairs. Using it on the stairs was also a struggle since it doesn’t have the lift-off capabilities of our top picks and you have to rely on the attachments and the not-long-enough tube. Plus, it doesn’t swivel. The canister is fixed on the head, so even on flat surfaces movement is more difficult, especially when combined with the heavier weight.

The upside is that it did well in all of our performance tests. The suction power got high marks on carpet and hard floors. It pulls up cat litter and picks up pet hair from high-pile carpet in one pass and easily sucks up cat litter from hard floors without spitting it out the back. The brush roll’s seven-position height adjustment made it easy to transition from hard floors to area rugs to carpets without a lot of fuss or swapping out parts. All of the attachments also have a home on the machine, so when you’re not using them, everything stores neatly packed away.

Emptying it was simple. The process was on par with the other machines — just take the canister off and empty it with a latch on the bottom — and the canister is a generous size. We were able to clean up 900 square feet of high-pile carpet without stopping to empty it.

The TL;DR: If you’re looking for pure suction power and don’t care as much about maneuverability, this could be a good choice for you.

The Kenmore AllergenSeal Bagless Upright Vacuum is a decent option, especially for the price. The performance was good and it was able to handle all types of floors, although it did get a tripped up on the plush area rug. While the attachments struggled a bit with cat litter — they’re really designed for upholstery — the main brush head had no problem clearing the heavier debris from wood floors or carpets.

It lost points in two areas: the swivel capabilities and the attachments. The swivel wasn’t as smooth as the other options. It moved from side to side well, but wasn’t as free-flowing as the top picks. If you’re a stickler about vacuuming in straight lines, this might not matter as much, but we got spoiled with the smooth movement of some of the others.

The two attachments were also sub-par compared to the others — a three-in-one combo tool and an upholstery tool. Both tools had the rough surface finish of an old-school lint brush, but using them required more manual scraping on our part and they got clogged halfway through cleaning the couch and the cat tower. We would have preferred to see a rotating brush like some of the other pet models. There are also no additional features, like a lift-off pod or detachable wand.

If you’re looking for a basic vacuum for quick cleanups, this one can do the job, but if you’ve got a house full of pets or kids, it might not stand up to the challenge.

The Kenmore Intuition is reminiscent of traditional bagged vacuums. It has upgrades, of course, but when compared to other models, especially at this price point, it felt a little underwhelming. It got decent marks for portability and maneuverability, since it is fairly lightweight and easy to move around. It also has a lift-off canister, so if you need to vacuum the stairs or other hard-to-reach places, you can ditch the base and carry the canister and the wand around with you.

Its major downfall was using it as a regular upright. It got tripped up on high-pile carpets, which make up the entirety of our second floor. While it has decent suction power and operates on a swivel which makes it easy to maneuver (in theory), it dragged along on plush carpet, rather than smoothly gliding like the others. This meant little clumps of hair were sometimes left behind and required a second pass. It was one of the better performing on hard floors and shorter-pile area rugs, though, so if that’s what you need most, this vacuum can handle it.

The attachments are pretty standard — there’s a specialized pet tool, a three-in-one combination tool and a dusting brush — and performed just as well as the others’. There were no standouts here.

Also worth noting in case you skimmed over the name: This vacuum utilizes bags, which are thrown out and then replaced. Aside from adding an extra overall cost to its use, it seemed  inconvenient to keep a steady supply of bags in the house. Of course, this is a matter of personal preference  — it was easy enough to take the full bag out and replace it with a new one — and not something that we weighed heavily since we were aware that it was a bagged vacuum right out of the gate.

Specifications Robot Vacuum Cleaner Nozzles Included Power Supply

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Reviews of brands from the vacuum cleaners section0003 07. 2023

Vacuum Cleaner Ranking (July)

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How to choose a vacuum cleaner: tips for choosing a good vacuum cleaner for your apartment and house

Vacuum cleaner is one of the most popular household appliances. A correctly selected model will help you quickly clean up your apartment, private house, garden or workshop. In the Karcher catalog you will find a huge selection of instruments with a wide range of prices and functions. Each model has its own characteristics that affect the usability and possible scope. To understand how to choose a vacuum cleaner suitable for your purposes, you need to know what types of equipment exist and how they differ from each other.

Selection criteria

Household vacuum cleaners have several key features.

Waste container volume . The capacity of conventional filter bags in household vacuum cleaners is about 2.5–3 liters. Such devices are suitable for everyday cleaning of small residential premises. For cleaning on a personal plot or in a workshop, models of household vacuum cleaners are used, which are designed to remove large contaminants and collect bulk debris, so their container capacity reaches 25–30 liters.

Cleaning type . You can choose a regular household vacuum cleaner for dry cleaning and air filtration in the house or a utility model. Such devices are able to remove water, large debris, and are also equipped with a reservoir that can hold up to 12 liters of water.

Instrument size . In a small apartment, it is not easy to find a place to store large household appliances, so you can pay attention to compact models, such as vacuum cleaners with a folding handle, such as the Karcher VC 5.

Functionality . The main criterion when choosing a vacuum cleaner is its purpose. Before buying, decide how often you plan to clean, what is the area and features of the room, what kind of coatings you want to clean with it. To understand which model suits you best, get acquainted with the main types of Karcher vacuum cleaners designed for cleaning apartments and houses.

Bag vacuum cleaners

Traditional models collect waste in special bags. This is the best solution for owners of small apartments and private houses. The principle of their operation is simple: air with dust particles enters the dust collector. There it is filtered and then brought out, having undergone additional purification in a HEPA filter. Such vacuum cleaners will take up a minimum of space, while high efficiency will ensure impeccable cleanliness of surfaces. So, the compact, powerful and inexpensive model Karcher VC 2 is one of the most popular for cleaning apartments. It is equipped with a floor, furniture and crevice nozzle. A large number of interchangeable accessories allows you to complete the model according to your needs and carry out high-quality cleaning of various types of coatings.

Cyclone vacuum cleaners

This category includes models in which the collected dust is retained in a special transparent container. You do not have to spend time and money on buying filter bags, and to clean the tank, it will be enough to rinse it with water. The transparent container allows you to control the degree of its filling. Thanks to the filtration system, dust particles do not enter the air during cleaning. Bagless models can be used not only for cleaning in the house, but also for cleaning surfaces in a small commercial space. They will become universal assistants for cleaning hard surfaces and carpets. Upgrade your chosen vacuum cleaner model with a turbo brush, nozzles for processing mattresses and upholstered furniture, and the whole house will shine with cleanliness. HEPA filters will stop the smallest dust particles at the exit.

Upright vacuum cleaners

Compact and powerful at the same time, these models help to quickly remove dirt. With their help, you can remove dust from upholstered furniture, carpets, floors, stairs. Mobility and light weight make upright vacuum cleaners indispensable assistants. With them it is easier to clean up the narrow corridor, under the furniture. So, the Karcher VC 5 vacuum cleaner with a telescopic handle combines ease of use and high efficiency. Individual height adjustment helps to adjust the device for users of any height. Dust is collected in a special container that is easy to clean. When folded, the vacuum cleaner takes up minimal space, so it is suitable for use in small apartments. The mobile model is especially convenient for working in a narrow room. With it, it is easy to bypass any obstacles in the room, providing a thorough cleaning. You will forget about inconvenient wires if you choose the battery version of this model.

Vacuum cleaners with aquafilter

The Karcher DS 6 model is suitable for those who care about clean air and providing an optimal microclimate in the room. All dirt collected by the vacuum cleaner enters the water filter, in which up to 99.95% of dust particles settle. Additional air purification is carried out using a HEPA filter that traps pollen, fungal spores and bacteria. After use, the aquafilter can be washed with plain water. High suction power ensures the cleanliness of various surfaces: hard floors, carpets, upholstered furniture. With the help of vacuum cleaners with an aquafilter, you can create comfort in the house and take care of your health.

Household vacuum cleaners

These models are designed to work in a variety of conditions. With their help, you can put things in order in the room, garage, car, in the garden and in the workshop. This category includes devices with high power that can cope with fine dust, moisture and large debris. They are irreplaceable for owners of private houses and cars. One of the most popular vacuum cleaners in this category is the WD 2, a powerful and compact vacuum cleaner with an impact-resistant housing. With it, you can collect dry debris and liquid pollution. The volume of the garbage container is 12 liters. The model is equipped with an ergonomic carrying handle and provides compact storage of the cable and accessories.

Karcher vacuum cleaners can be used for cleaning in various conditions.

  • On a personal plot . You can collect leaves, small and large debris, last year’s grass with the help of Karcher household vacuum cleaners. Models with a blow function are useful for removing debris where suction is not possible, such as a gravel driveway. Our household vacuum cleaners are equipped with a capacious container with a volume of up to 30 liters, so that during cleaning you are not distracted by emptying the waste bin.
  • In workshops and small repairs . With the help of household vacuum cleaners, you can remove small and large dirt that forms during work in the garage or small repairs. Power tool vacuums can be connected directly to construction tools while drilling or sawing. For example, the Karcher WD 3 P vacuum cleaner is equipped with a socket for power tools, thanks to which it automatically turns on and off, ensuring a neat work in the workshop. The model allows you to quickly remove the filter without contact with dirt. Thanks to this, you can quickly change the modes of dry and wet cleaning. The detachable handle and the ability to connect nozzles directly to the hose will help clean up hard-to-reach places.
  • In the car . With special attachments, our vacuum cleaners can also be used to clean the interior of a car. With their help, you can collect dust, crumbs, sand, dirt particles from the upholstery of the seats and the floor, performing both daily and general cleaning in the car. The well-thought-out ergonomic shape of the nozzles helps to reach the most inaccessible places in the cabin.

Features of Karcher utility vacuum cleaners

Liquid collection . All models of Karcher household vacuum cleaners are able to remove liquid dirt, wet debris, spilled water, etc. Our devices will become universal assistants for removing various types of dirt. They will help you quickly and efficiently put things in order, regardless of the type of pollution.

Absolute freedom when cleaning . Cordless models provide maximum mobility. You can put things in order where it is impossible to connect to the network. At the same time, in terms of functionality, such vacuum cleaners are not inferior to models with a cable. To clean up dirt in your car, on the yard or in the workshop, you can use the WD 3 cordless utility vacuum cleaner with a 17 liter dust bin. Additionally, you can purchase a set of nozzles for convenient cleaning of the car interior. The compact WD 1 is also battery powered. Use the removable Kärcher Battery Power to clean in all conditions, even in wet conditions.

Washing vacuum cleaners

Such models allow not only dry cleaning, but also wet cleaning. Clean water and detergent are poured into a special tank. The resulting solution is evenly distributed over the surface and immediately collected with a vacuum cleaner. Washing models also allow you to clean upholstered furniture and carpets, car interiors and other surfaces.

Karcher washing vacuum cleaners have the following advantages.

  • Quick switch between dry and wet cleaning.
  • Separate dirty and clean water tanks that prevent liquid mixing.
  • High power for maximum efficiency.
  • Special nozzles that reduce drying time by 50%.
  • Universal nozzles to remove dirt from all types of surfaces.
  • Elimination of the smallest particles of dust and allergens during wet cleaning.

These models are larger and heavier than dry vacuum cleaners. Ease of use is ensured by high maneuverability and a compact storage system for accessories. Models Karcher SE 5.100 and SE 4002 can be recommended to owners of large apartments and cottages.

Robot Vacuum Cleaners

If you don’t want to spend time cleaning your house, leave the job to a smart assistant. The Robot Vacuum Cleaner will easily clean up dirt while you are doing more pleasant things. Modern models are able to effectively remove debris throughout the room, including under furniture and in the corners. Karcher RC 3 robot vacuum cleaners are controlled using the RoboCleaner program, which can be installed on a smartphone or tablet. You can set a cleaning schedule and set up automatic cleaning of selected areas. The smart navigation system is equipped with infrared and elevation sensors. During operation, the robot vacuum creates a map of space and develops a route that allows you to make maintenance cleaning as efficient as possible.