While they don’t get as much attention as upright, robot or stick vacuums, the best canister vacuums suck up dirt and gunk from your floors without creating a ton of noise, making them a good option for many families. But why choose a canister vacuum? These wheeled devices typically have better suction and a higher flow rate than their upright peers, which means you can get your floors spotless in less time. They also tend to be quieter and are generally more lightweight to maneuver around your place. Our top pick overall is the Dyson Big Ball Canister Vacuum, though we stand behind all the models on this list.

But, of course, not all canister vacuums are created equal or even right for your home. It’s important to consider elements like suction power, whether you want to deal with a dust bag and how heavy of a machine you feel comfortable pushing around. Some canister vacuums come with attachments that can be handy for tackling upholstery, curtains and other hard-to-reach spots. Ultimately, the best canister vacuum is one that meets your individual needs, but there are some models that rise above the competition. Consider these on your search for cleaner floors.


Best Overall Canister Vacuum

A Smartly-Designed Vacuum That Rolls With The Punches

Weight: 18 pounds | Bagless: Yes | Power: 1,400 watts

Dyson is known for its powerful vacuums with smart designs, and this canister model is no exception. The Big Ball has a unique round shape that allows it to right itself and keep on rolling in case of accidental bumps. It’s also bagless to help you save on replacement bags, and features a HEPA filter to trap particles. The 0.5 gallon dust cup offers plenty of space to contain dirt and dust from a trip around most homes. There’s even a stair tool and combination nozzle to give you cleaning options. At $400, this vacuum isn’t prohibitively expensive, either.

Pros:

  • Fairly affordable
  • Smart design
  • Bagless

Cons:

  • Doesn’t stand upright on its own
  • Too heavy for some

Best Bagless Canister Vacuum

A Bagless Vacuum With A Roomy 3-Liter Dustbin

Black + Decker Bagless Canister Multi-Cyclonic Vacuum Cleaner

Weight: 18 pounds | Bagless: Yes | Power: 1,200 watts

Dealing with a vacuum bag can get messy—and costly. Black + Decker’s multi-cyclonic vacuum ditches the bag and offers up a roomy three liter capacity for dirt and dust in the process. Enjoy different levels of suction power you can control with your fingertips, along with a washable HEPA filter to keep dust out of your air. This vacuum feature special cyclones that spin dirt and debris away from the filter to ensure your vacuum operates with maximum suction power. There are also three tools—a crevice tool, small brush and upholstery tool—to give you a variety of ways to clean.

Pros:

  • Multiple attachments
  • Washable filter
  • Large dust bin

Cons:

  • Not tall enough for some users
  • Using on/off button with foot can tip machine over

Best Canister Vacuum For Pet Hair

A Powerful Vacuum With Several Pet Hair-Tackling Attachments

Weight: 22 pounds | Bagless: No | Power: 1,200 watts

If you have furry pets, you need a vacuum that can tackle all that excess hair lurking around your home. The Kenmore Elite 81714 has special features to do just that, including an Ultra Plush nozzle that gives you a deeper clean and motorized Pet PowerMate attachment to really tackle stubborn pet hair. A HEPA filter helps trap up to 99.97% of pet dander (along with dust particles and pollen). Enjoy variable power to switch between various levels of carpet and hard floors, and performance indicator to tip you off when your bag is full. There’s even a Stair Grip feature that lets the vacuum comfortable rest on on your stairs while you clean without fear of tumbles.

Pros:

  • Four cleaning tools
  • HEPA filter
  • Variable power

Cons:

  • Not bagless
  • Some complain that it’s too loud

Best Canister Vacuum For Hardwood

A Vacuum That Sucks Up Dust And Keeps It In The Bin

Weight: 19 pounds | Bagless: Yes | Power: 1,200 watts

Miele’s Blizzard CX1 features special vortex technology to suck up and retain dust while you clean, preventing you from accidentally shooting it back onto your floors. It offers up four different suction levels to help you cruise over hardwood and low pile carpets. This vacuum has specialized Click2Open emptying, to prevent a cloud of dust from forming when you empty the bin, along with a telescopic handle to help you get that just-right height while you work. Enjoy accessories like a combination floor head, dusting brush, crevice tool and upholstery tool.

Pros:

  • Vortex technology keeps dust in the bin
  • Telescoping handle
  • Four attachments

Cons:


Best Lightweight Canister Vacuum

A Vacuum That Weighs Just Six Pounds

Weight: 6 pounds | Bagless: No | Power: 1,200 watts

Lugging a heavy vacuum around can be tough for people with dexterity issues or bad backs. The Prolux TerraVac is just six pounds, making it easy to tote around. This vacuum features sealed HEPA filtration to capture and keep dust contained, along with accessories like a crevice/upholstery tool, duster brush, hard floor surface tool and pet tool mini head. Flip between 400 watts for gentle dusting to 1,200 watts of serious suction power. A height-adjustable powerhead and telescoping wand lets you customize your clean to your flooring.

Pros:

  • Incredibly lightweight
  • HEPA filter
  • Four attachments

Cons:

  • Hose is too stiff for some
  • Some say the hose could be longer

Best Canister Vacuum For Carpet

A Sturdy Vacuum With A Wide Cleaning Width

Weight: 23 pounds | Bagless: No | Power: 1,200 watts

Carpets require some serious suction, and this Kenmore canister vacuum has plenty of it. It uses 1,200 watts, along with a two-motor system to really get into rug fibers. A swivel head allows you to seamlessly cruise along and get into those hard-to-reach spots, while a 14-inch cleaning width means you cover more ground in one swipe. There’s also a triple HEPA filter system to help pull in and trap dirt that’s in your carpets. Want to shift to clean hard flooring? A Pop-N-Go floor brush makes it easy. Enjoy a motorized Pet Powermate attachment to get out pet hair from surfaces that stores inside your vacuum. And, for cleaning spots up high, you’ll enjoy the adjustable wand that lengthens to 10 feet.

Pros:

  • Strong suction
  • Swivel head
  • Motorized pet hair cleaner

Cons:

  • Brush attachment doesn’t swivel
  • Vacuum is too heavy for some

Best Cordless Canister Vacuum

A Lightweight Cordless Vacuum That’s Easy To Tote Around

Weight: 9 pounds | Bagless: Yes | Power: 20 volts

While you won’t find a cordless version of a canister vacuum you can roll around your floors, there are cordless canister vacuums that are firmly in the shop vac category. This option from Craftsman has a two-gallon tank that can handle just about anything—spills, dirt, dust, debris, and more. It offers 35 CFMs of suction power to lift up even heavier items, along with a HEPA filter to trap 99.7% of dust and allergens. A seven-foot, eight-inch hose helps you get some serious reach during your cleaning. Overall, this is perfect for quick clean-ups—just not for cruising around your carpeting.

Pros:

  • Cordless
  • Powerful
  • Good for spot-cleanings

Cons:

  • No wheels
  • Not ideal for carpets

Best Canister Vacuum With Powerhead

A Machine That Will Almost Make You Look Forward To Cleaning Day

Weight: 19.4 pounds | Bagless: No | Power: 1,200 watts

At $1,300, Miele’s Complete C3 Marin is admittedly a splurge. But this is the Cadillac of canister vacuums, with a powerful Electro Premium brush head to pull up dirt that’s even caked into your floors. This vacuum has a lot of tools to make your cleaning experience easier, including LED headlights to see the gunk in your path, and a special parquet floor for tackling wood, stone, tile and more. Flip between six power settings, along with step-down pedals to help you fine-tune your suction. A swivel neck makes it easy to navigate around furniture, while a low noise output won’t disturb other family members while you get to work. An ergonomic handle and auto setting to adjust the suction to your surface height adds to the ease of use.

Pros:

  • Ergonomic handle
  • Powerful brush head
  • Six power settings

Cons:

  • Expensive
  • Too heavy for some