The 8 Best Vacuums of 2022, According to Testing

One of the most important purchases you’ll make for your home is a good vacuum. Whether you have kids, you share your home with pets, or your home has a combination of flooring surfaces, a great vacuum will enable you to get rid of dirt, crumbs, pet hair, and more with ease. However, not all vacuums are built to tackle your home’s biggest challenges.

The best vacuums can help you stay on top of the debris that will otherwise accumulate on your floors. Instead of buying a model that gets clogged with pet hair or struggles to pick up crumbs from your hardwood floors, buying a vacuum that’s been vetted by an expert ensures you get an effective and long-lasting machine.

“Effective vacuuming removes and retains grit, soil, and dust, reduces inhaling potentially harmful airborne particles, and lowers the risk of fire from dust buildup in your electronics and other devices,” says Allen Rathey, director of the Indoor Health Council. “House dust may contain mold spores, pollen, skin flakes or scales shed from our skin, lint fibers, heavy metal dust, pesticide particles, and pet dander.”

That’s why we spent several days putting the best vacuums to the test in our lab in Des Moines, Iowa. Our home experts put each vacuum through its paces on hard floors, low-pile carpet, and high-pile rugs to see how well they removed dirt, hair, crumbs, and more. We also tested their maneuverability, noise level, and features to see which vacuums will be easiest to use in your own home. Finally, our testers evaluated the vacuums based on their design, size, and value for the price before creating a final list of the best vacuums.

After testing hundreds of different vacuums over the past year, our favorite overall machine is the Shark Vertex Ultra-Lightweight Cordless Stick Vacuum. During testing, it was super easy to maneuver around obstacles and fit under furniture while picking up debris on all flooring types. 

These are the best vacuums, according to hundreds of hours of testing.

Best Overall

Shark IZ462H Vertex DuoClean PowerFins Lightweight Cordless Stick Vacuum


Amazon


Why You Should Get It: Its jointed wand and self-propelled capabilities allow you to clean even the trickiest areas of your home with very little effort.

Keep in Mind: There’s nowhere to store the attachments on the vacuum itself.

Whether your home has high-pile rugs, tile floors, or lots of carpet, this versatile yet lightweight stick vacuum will be up for the task. During testing, the Shark Vertex Ultra-Lightweight Cordless Stick Vacuum earned perfect scores in nearly every category including effectiveness, maneuverability, ease of emptying, and more.

Our testers found that the Shark Vertex vacuum’s suction was exceptionally powerful, allowing it to remove heavy debris like popcorn kernels and pieces of cereal from hard floors without any trouble at all. Its brushroll was also quite effective on low-, medium-, and high-pile carpet, churning up dirt and pet hair with ease. We found it to be relatively self-propelled, which allows it to chug along with very little effort on the user’s part. 

When maneuvering around furniture, this cordless stick vacuum makes it very easy to clean in every corner of your home. Thanks to its jointed wand, it’s flexible enough to fit underneath coffee tables, chairs, and even couches without moving the furniture. Its swivel head was described by our testers as “impressive,” since it allows you to navigate sharp turns and tight corners with ease. 

We also loved the self-cleaning brushroll, which allows the vacuum to pick up long hairs without them getting tangled and clogging the vacuum. You won’t have to cut hair out of your vacuum nearly as often as some other vacuums.

The Shark Vertex Ultra-Lightweight Cordless stick vacuum has a 60 minute runtime, which is plenty of time to clean multiple rooms in your home before needing a recharge. It also comes with several handy attachments to clean upholstery and other hard-to-reach spaces in your home. 

The only downside to this vacuum is that it doesn’t doesn’t have any special slots to store the attachments, which means that you’ll need to have a separate storage bin or shelf available to place the accessories when not in use. This not only takes up more space, it may be inconvenient not to have the attachments located right on the vacuum for easy access when cleaning. 

Price at time of publish: $430

Product Details: Vacuum Type: Cordless stick | Weight: 9.04 pounds | Battery Life: 60 minutes | Accessories: Anti-allergen brush, pet multi-tool, crevice tool

Best Budget

Kenmore Elite CSV Max 21.6V Cordless Stick Vacuum With EasyReach Wand

Kenmore DS4095 Elite CSV Max 21.6V Cordless Stick Vacuum

Walmart


Why You Should Get It: Our testers found that its compact, lightweight frame was easy to maneuver in tight spaces without fatiguing or sacrificing cleaning power.

Keep in Mind: Its handheld vacuum attachment isn’t effective at removing hair from upholstery.

If you’re low on storage space or you don’t want to fork over a ton of money for a vacuum, we recommend this budget-friendly yet powerful stick vacuum. The Kenmore Elite CSV Max Cordless Stick Vacuum shocked our testers with its lightweight design, quiet operation, and powerful suction.

When tested on carpet and hard floors alike, this vacuum had no trouble sucking up all the debris in its path. Our experts were especially impressed by how quiet the vacuum was, allowing it to pick up hair and dirt without making a racket (though it got a little noisier when picking up popcorn kernels). This means you can use it to clean without disturbing people in another area of the house or being irritated by a loud whirring noise.

A built-in HEPA filter allows the Kenmore Elite stick vacuum to remove 99.97% of all dust particles, dander, and bacteria in your floors, so it’s capable of cleaning even microscopic debris from your home. The powerful brushless motor allows the device to pick up lightweight dust and heavier pieces of debris like crumbs and pet food with better efficiency, meaning it won’t waste tons of battery power as it cleans.

One of this vacuum’s biggest assets is its maneuverability—the flexible wand allows you to reach underneath furniture and around tight corners more easily, making it perfect for cleaning large rooms and tight spaces alike. Plus, at less than 6 pounds, you won’t have to exert yourself to run the vacuum.

While this vacuum detaches to become an easy-to-use handheld device, we found that it wasn’t as effective at removing pet hair from upholstery. However, it had no trouble sucking up dirt and crumbs.

Price at time of publish: $180

Product Details: Vacuum Type: Cordless stick | Weight: 6 pounds | Battery Life: 40 minutes | Accessories: Two-in-one combination crevice brush

Better Homes & Gardens / Dera Burreson


Best Upright

Hoover Complete Performance Bagged Upright Vacuum Cleaner

Hoover Complete Performance Corded Bagged Upright Vacuum Cleaner

Amazon


Why You Should Get It: It has an extra-wide cleaning path that allows you to clean large rooms faster while remaining super easy to maneuver.

Keep in Mind: The vacuum is bulky and heavy, making it difficult to carry up and down stairs.

Though bulkiness can be an important factor for many vacuum shoppers, it’s hard to beat the performance of an upright vacuum. Our testers loved the Hoover Complete Performance Corded Bagged Upright Vacuum, which had an impressive suction that picked up all debris from every flooring type during testing.

The vacuum was surprisingly easy to maneuver around on carpet and rugs, which made sucking up dirt, pet hair, and crumbs a breeze. We had no trouble navigating around tight corners and under furniture without missing any spots on the carpet, which surprised our testers, given the size of the machine. Its wide cleaning path allows you to make fewer passes across the floor, reducing the amount of time it’ll take to clean large rooms.

When vacuuming upholstery, we appreciated the helpful tools included with the Hoover Complete Performance vacuum: a crevice tool and a pet hair attachment. Our testers found that these accessories helped remove different debris types from upholstery and overhead corners with ease, while the powerful suction helped pick up particles that were deep in couch cushions or carpet fibers.

The built-in filter on this vacuum allows you to capture and remove 95% of debris as small as .5 microns, which includes fine dust particles, grass, and dirt. Keep in mind that this filter isn’t a HEPA filter like other vacuums on our list, which can capture even smaller particles like smoke, bacteria, pollen, and more. The vacuum’s wide cleaning path allows you to make fewer passes across your floor without missing a single speck of dust. Plus, the handle can be adjusted to four different heights, making it comfortable to operate for tall and short users alike.

If you live in a smaller home or you plan to use your vacuum in multiple levels of the house, we recommend considering the Hoover Complete Performance vacuum’s size before purchasing. Its weight and wide base makes it trickier to maneuver in tight spaces. At 9.28 pounds, the Hoover Complete Performance vacuum is a bit heavier than others we tested, but our experts noted that, given the vacuum’s effectiveness, it’s well-worth the added weight.

Price at time of publish: $155

Product Details: Vacuum Type: Upright vacuum | Weight: 9.28 pounds | Battery Life: N/A | Accessories: Crevice tool, pet hair brush

Better Homes & Gardens / Dera Burreson


Best Robot

iRobot Roomba 694 Robot Vacuum

iRobot Roomba 694 Robot Vacuum

Amazon


Why You Should Get It: Cleaning your entire home is extremely easy thanks to this vacuum’s user-friendly features and quick, intuitive setup. 

Keep in Mind: It doesn’t have mapping or object avoidance.

After several months of testing both in the lab and in our homes, the iRobot Roomba 694 robot vacuum has consistently proven itself to be one of the best robot vacuums on the market. It’s designed to navigate itself around your home, picking up hair, dirt, and dust in its path without you having to lift a finger. Simply start a new cleaning task from the app on your phone or by pressing the start button on top of your robot vacuum, then watch as it maneuvers around your space.

The iRobot Roomba 694 has built-in sensors to help it detect walls, furniture, and staircases in its way without getting stuck. This doesn’t allow it to remember the layout of your space or avoid small objects like power cords in its path, but it can maneuver itself around bigger obstacles like your couch to avoid getting stuck or damaged.

In addition to its powerful brushroll and suction that picked up cereal pieces, pet hair, and sand in our tests, this robot vacuum also has an edge sweeper that guides debris under the brushroll for more thorough cleaning. These features help ensure that the device doesn’t miss any dirt or debris hiding in the corners of a room.

With an impressive 90-minute battery life, the vacuum will be able to clean multiple rooms in your home at a time before needing to recharge. It can even locate and navigate itself back to the charging dock at the end of every session, so you won’t have to track down the vacuum when you get home. We also like that the Roomba 694 allows you to schedule cleaning tasks in advance or tell your vacuum to start working even when you aren’t home, so you can come home to a tidy house.

Just make sure you keep smaller items like socks, power cords, and toys off the floor, since the Roomba 694 model doesn’t have object detection capabilities. You also won’t be able to virtually  block off certain areas in your home for the vacuum to avoid, so make sure you shut the door to any rooms you don’t want your vacuum to wander into.

Price at time of publish: $275

Product Details: Vacuum Type: Robot vacuum | Weight: 6.8 pounds | Battery Life: 90 minutes | Accessories: None

Best Cordless Stick

Tineco Pure One S15 Pro Cordless Stick Vacuum Cleaner

Tineco Pure One S15 Pro Smart Cordless Stick Vacuum Cleaner

Amazon


Why You Should Get It: Testers were amazed that this vacuum was able to effectively suck up long hair without it getting tangled in the brushroll.

Keep in Mind: Compared to other vacuums, it has a relatively short battery life.

This user-friendly vacuum possesses a ton of helpful features that make it incredibly easy to keep your floors and upholstery clean. During testing, we used the Tineco Pure One S11 Pro to suck up cereal pieces, kernels of corn, long hairs, and more. We found that it was super effective at cleaning everything up with no trouble, requiring only two passes to remove all traces of debris. This is partially because of its helpful automatic mode, which allows the vacuum to increase suction and power when working on particularly dirty surfaces. 

Our tester, who has long hair and a dog that sheds, said she was shocked to find that the Tineco Pure One S15 Pet vacuum had no hair tangled in the brushroll even after a month of consistent use. Instead, every strand got sucked up into the dustbin, making it much easier to remove the hair from her home without clogging. 

The digital display at the top of the vacuum will turn red when it detects debris, allowing you to see in real-time how dirty your floors are—and make sure they’re cleaned thoroughly. We also loved its tangle-free brushroll, which is designed to help suck away long hairs without getting caught on the bottom of the vacuum. This means you won’t have to cut hair out of your vacuum’s brushroll nearly as often as other models. 

To clean upholstery and hard-to-reach places, the Tineco Pure One S11 Pro transforms into a handheld vacuum, allowing you to clean couch cushions, baseboards, and more with ease. You’ll also be able to remove up to 99.9% of dirt from your floors thanks to its five-stage HEPA filtration system, which removes particles like dust, pollen, dander, and more.

When it’s time to empty the vacuum, a single-touch trigger helps scoop all of the gunk out of the canister so you don’t have to touch any of the dirt yourself. The only thing we’d change about the Tineco Pure One S11 Pro is its battery life, which only lasts 40 minutes. This makes it great for short cleaning stints around the house, but you may not be able to clean your entire home in this time.

Price at time of publish: $400

Product Details: Vacuum Type: Cordless stick vacuum | Weight: 6.8 pounds | Battery Life: 40 minutes | Accessories: Two-in-one dusting brush, anti-tangle brush, dual-tube assembly, crevice tool, hair cleaning tool

Better Homes & Gardens / Dera Burreson


Best for Pet Hair

Kenmore Pet Friendly POP-N-GO Bagged Canister Vacuum

Kenmore Pet Friendly Pop-N-Go Canister Vacuum

Target


Why You Should Get It: This vacuum out-performed other devices we tested when it came to removing pet hair, dirt, and dander from floors.

Keep in Mind: You’ll need to use two hands to operate it.

No matter how cute and cuddly your cat or dog is, it’s no secret that owning a pet adds extra challenges to keeping your home clean. However, after testing 37 of the best vacuums for pet hair, our testers found the Kenmore Pet-Friendly Pop-N-Go canister vacuum to be the most effective against pet food crumbs, hair, dander, and more.

This powerful vacuum cleaner sucked up pieces of kibble and chunks of pet hair from carpet on even its lowest setting without issue during our tests. We were surprised to find that it picked up both debris types in just two passes across the floor, meaning you won’t have to go back through after vacuuming and pick up debris your device missed. It’s also easy to maneuver around furniture and into tight spaces, thanks to its lightweight build and responsive vacuum head. Just note that you’ll need to use two hands at times when operating this vacuum—one to hold the wand and the other to guide the canister around furniture or carry it up and down stairs—which can be slightly inconvenient.

Since pets often bring in dirt, pollen, and more from outside, the Kenmore Pet-Friendly Pop-N-Go canister vacuum uses a HEPA filter to help remove these and other unseen particles from your floors and keep them trapped in the canister until it’s time to empty it. Attachments like a pet hair brush, crevice tool, and a dusting brush make it easy to clean upholstery, tight corners, and ceiling fans too.

This is a corded vacuum, so you’ll never have to stop and recharge your vacuum’s battery during a cleaning session. Of course, you’ll need to always be within reach of a power outlet, but its 26-foot-long cord allows you plenty of space to move around.

It’s also important to note that this vacuum weighs 22.6 pounds, which may be cumbersome to maneuver around your home. The canister has wheels that allow it to glide along behind you, but you’ll still have to avoid tripping over the hose as you clean, making it a lot clunkier than other vacuums on this list.

Price at time of publish: $320

Product Details: Vacuum Type: Canister vacuum | Weight: 22.6 pounds | Battery Life: N/A | Accessories: Dusting brush, pet hair brush, crevice tool

Best for Carpet

Dyson V12 Detect Slim

Dyson V12 Detect Slim

Walmart


Why You Should Get It: It was the most effective vacuum at removing long hair, popcorn kernels, and sand from carpet during our tests.

Keep in Mind: It wasn’t as effective as other vacuums at picking up debris on hard floors.

Keeping your carpets clear of dirt, hair, and crumbs can be a challenge since the carpet fibers tend to trap debris and make it harder for vacuums to suck away the gunk. During testing, we found that the Dyson V12 Detect Slim vacuum was the best vacuum for carpets, picking up long hairs and heavy popcorn kernels from even high-pile carpet with ease. 

When it comes to vacuums, Dyson is known for its innovation and sleek design, and the V12 Detect Slim is no different. We love that the vacuum’s fluffy cleaner head has a built-in laser to illuminate otherwise-unseen debris on your floors, ensuring that you don’t miss any of it as you clean. Its motorbar vacuum cleaner head is designed to resist tangles when you’re sucking up long hair, and we found during testing that not a single strand of hair got stuck in the brushroll.

To help you navigate around all the furniture in your home, the Dyson V12 Detect Slim vacuum features a lightweight build and rotating head. This lets you reach underneath your couch, coffee table, or dining chairs without having to lift or rearrange any furniture. The vacuum also comes with three different vacuum heads: an all-purpose motorbar head to clean carpet, a fluffy cleaner head for buffing hard floors, and a pet hair screw tool to tackle stray hairs around your home. You’ll also receive two upholstery cleaning tools and a removable battery that makes recharging a breeze. Plus, each battery lasts up to 60 minutes before needing a recharge, so you can complete several rooms in your home in one cleaning session.

If your home is mostly hard floors with only a few rugs to keep clean, we recommend purchasing a vacuum that’s better suited for hard surfaces. While the Dyson V12 Detect Slim was capable of removing debris on hard flooring, it took several more passes and a lot more time than other vacuums we tested. 

Price at time of publish: $650

Product Details: Vacuum Type: Stick vacuum | Weight: 5.2 pounds | Battery Life: 60 minutes | Accessories: Fluffy cleaner head, motorbar head, combination tool, crevice tool, hair screw tool

Better Homes & Gardens / Dera Burreson


Best for Hardwood Floors

Eureka Lightweight Cordless Vacuum Cleaner

Eureka Lightweight Cordless Vacuum Cleaner

Amazon


Why You Should Get It: It has a 1-liter dust canister to prevent you from having to empty debris as frequently.

Keep in Mind: The battery life only lasts up to 30 minutes.

Our tests indicated that this powerful stick vacuum was the most effective model we tested at cleaning hardwood and tile floors, sucking up pet hair and crumbs from both surfaces without any trouble.

Weighing just 7.15 pounds and equipped with a swivel head, this lightweight stick vacuum is easy to maneuver around your space to get every last speck of dirt. It features bright LED headlights to help illuminate debris on your floors and make it easier to spot messes, while its powerful suction allows it to pick up even heavy debris like pet food, popcorn kernels, and cereal pieces.

We like its 1-liter dust cup, which is large enough to hold several cleaning sessions’ worth of debris without being emptied in between. This reduces the number of times you have to come in close contact with the gunk from your floors. When the time comes to empty the canister, simply press a button to release dust into your garbage can. (Though our tester had to reach inside the container to dislodge chunks of hair.)

The Eureka Lightweight Cordless Vacuum Cleaner’s biggest weakness is its battery life. With only 30-minutes to clean before the device runs out of power, it’s not ideal for people with large homes or those who like to vacuum multiple rooms at a time.

Price at time of publish: $220

Product Details: Vacuum Type: Stick vacuum | Weight: 7.15 pounds | Battery Life: 30 minutes | Accessories: None

Better Homes & Gardens / Dera Burreson


The Bottom Line

There are plenty of vacuum types on the market, but after months of testing, we found the Shark Vertex Ultra-Lightweight Cordless Stick Vacuum to be the best overall choice for most shoppers. With versatile and powerful suction that allows it to suck up debris on every flooring type with ease, it’s a great option for people with multiple flooring types in their home. Plus, it propels itself, so you won’t have to expend a bunch of energy pushing a clunky vacuum around the house.

Our Testing Process

We put 82 of the best vacuums to the test in our lab in Des Moines, Iowa, including stick vacuums, upright vacuums, robot vacuums, and canister vacuums. Our team of home and cleaning testers spent several days using each vacuum on hard floors, carpet, and high-pile rugs to see how well they picked up debris.

We also scattered common debris a vacuum might encounter in the real world, such as sand, popcorn kernels, pet food, and hair, making a note of how many passes each vacuum needed to remove all the gunk. Our testers navigated each device through an obstacle course of furniture to see how easy they were to maneuver underneath couches and around tight corners.

Finally, we evaluated each vacuum based on its design, ease of setup, battery life, accessories, and overall value for the price before creating our list of the best vacuums.

What to Know About Vacuums Before Shopping

Vacuum Type

The best vacuums on the market come in plenty of different shapes and sizes, but finding the right model for your home depends on your flooring type, what features you want in a vacuum, and how much storage space you have.

Our testing revealed that, while upright vacuums and canister vacuums tend to be the most effective when it comes to deep-cleaning your carpet, they take up a lot of storage space and can be quite noisy when operating. We recommend these vacuums to people with larger homes with carpet in high-traffic areas and people with pets. Our favorite upright vacuum is the Hoover Complete Performance Corded Bagged Upright Vacuum because of its wide cleaning path and powerful brushroll, which makes quick work of large cleaning tasks.

If you want a lightweight, versatile model that works well on hard floors and carpet, stick vacuums allow you to get into every corner of your home to remove all dust and debris—though they may not have as much suction power as an upright vacuum. These vacuums are best for shoppers with smaller spaces and lots of furniture to navigate around. For example, the Tineco Pure One S15 Pro Cordless Stick vacuum weighs just 6.8 pounds and is super easy to maneuver around your space. Plus, it can transform into a handheld device to clean upholstery, stairs, and more, eliminating the need for another appliance in your home.

Robot vacuums are ideal for people who want to multitask, since they can navigate around your home and do a routine cleaning on their own, all while avoiding furniture, walls, and staircases. If you need a device that can perform a thorough once-over in your home without supervision, our testers’ favorite robot vacuum is the iRobot Roomba 694. It combines effective cleaning power with intuitive features to move through your space, and you won’t have to spend a ton of time setting it up. Keep in mind that these types of vacuums won’t deep clean your home quite as well as a vacuum you have to push around yourself.

When testing the best vacuums on the market, we kept different user interests in mind by trying out each device on carpet, hard floors, and several debris types including dirt, sand, pet hair, popcorn kernels, and more. This helped us determine which vacuums are best at tackling different messes and what types of homes they’re best suited for.

Weight

When shopping for the best vacuums, you’ll want to consider the item’s weight to ensure it’s easy to maneuver around your house. Instead of purchasing a clunky, heavy model that takes a lot of effort to push across the floor, opt for one that is less than 10 pounds. This will make it easier to operate for long periods of time, carry up and down stairs, and store out of sight when you’re done cleaning.

The Kenmore Pet-Friendly Pop N’ Go Canister Vacuum is our only exception to this guideline. Though this vacuum is more than twice as heavy as others on our list, our testers described it as “lightweight” because the weight is distributed comfortably between the vacuum’s wand and the canister.

Battery Life

There are plenty of benefits to buying a cordless vacuum—it’s more lightweight, there’s no cord to untangle, and you don’t have to stay within close proximity to a power outlet—but the runtime on these devices is limited. When purchasing a new vacuum, we recommend looking at its battery life to see how long they’ll be able to operate.

In general, the best cordless vacuums will last around 30 to 60 minutes. This gives you plenty of time to go over multiple rooms in the house or deep-clean smaller areas. If you plan to purchase a device with a shorter runtime, it may be helpful to find a replacement battery you can swap in halfway through in order to extend your cleaning time.

Accessories

The best vacuums make it easier not only to keep your floors clean, but also your furniture, upholstery, and cupboards, too. Look for devices that come with a few different attachments, such as a crevice tool for sucking debris out of tight corners or a pet hair tool to free tangled hair out of carpet and upholstery.

“Your vacuum’s accessories can be very useful, especially the vacuum crevice tool,” says Jeff May of May Indoor Air Investigations. “These are narrow enough to get under refrigerators and between the fridge-cove walls—places where people rarely clean.”

Some vacuums may have multiple cleaner heads that you can switch out depending on the flooring type, so if you want a more specialized clean, these types of devices may catch your eye. Just keep in mind that, the more accessories your vacuum has, the more space you’ll need to store all of it.

Other Vacuums We Tested

Hoover OnePWR Evolve Pet Cordless Small Upright Vacuum Cleaner

After testing this vacuum on hard floor and carpet, our testers said that the Hoover OnePWR Evolve Pet Cordless Small Upright Vacuum Cleaner was “a dream” when it came to picking up pet hair. We also found that it was shockingly easy to carry, empty the dust bin, and maneuver around furniture or other obstacles. However, it doesn’t come with any attachments to clean upholstery or hard-to-reach corners in your home, which is why we chose not to include it on our list of the best vacuums.

Shark Cordless Pro with CleanSense IQ at Shark 

Despite initially being skeptical because of its bulky size, our testers were really impressed with the effectiveness of the Shark Cordless Pro with CleanSense IQ. It easily sucked up cereal pieces, hair, and sand from rugs, carpet, and hard floors, and we were surprised by its maneuverability. However, our testers found that, in order to swap attachments, you have to empty the dustbin first or else the debris will spill out onto the floor, which was slightly inconvenient.

Tineco A11 Tango Cordless Stick Vacuum

Though we chose the Tineco Pure One S11 as our favorite cordless stick vacuum, the Tineco A11 Tango Cordless Stick Vacuum didn’t perform as well during testing. It comes with 10 different attachments, which is helpful when targeting different surface types, but complicated when it comes to using the machine and storing it once you’re done. We found that it took a few different tries to figure out which attachment to use, and while the instructions were helpful, we prefer a more versatile vacuum to avoid constantly switching up the attachments.

Your Questions, Answered

Do I need a HEPA filter on my vacuum?

Having a HEPA filter on your vacuum is a great way to remove pollen, dirt particles, and pet dander that can collect on your floors. These high-efficiency filters are designed to capture and remove particles up to .3 microns in size, meaning you can remove even unseen debris from your home. And while HEPA filters are the best filter for capturing small particles, Rathey says other factors may impact its effectiveness at removing allergens from your home.

“The most important factor in dust removal is the entire vacuum as a system, not the presence of a HEPA filter,” Rathey says. “However, problems arise when the vacuum’s pre-filters are of such poor quality that the HEPA filter becomes plugged by dust, when the body seals on a vacuum allow dust to leak from gaps in the body, or when the rate of airflow exceeds the ability of the filter to catch small particles.”

For these reasons, it’s less important to find a vacuum with a HEPA filter and more important to clean the filter when it’s clogged, ensure that your device is well-sealed, and to avoid emptying out the dust bin inside your home.

How long should a vacuum last?

The best vacuums, on average, will last you about eight years. However, it’s all dependent on how often you use your vacuum, how well you care for it after use, and how big your home is. Someone in a small house or apartment won’t need to use their device nearly as much as someone with more square footage. Additionally, homes with lots of debris such as dirt, long hair, and pet messes may need to buy a new vacuum more frequently.

When shopping for the best vacuums to last a long time, we recommend considering what flooring types you have in your home and the most common types of debris you’ll need to clean up. Since some vacuums are better equipped to work on one flooring type over another and may even have specific features to help target different debris, this can help you decide which vacuum is best for your household.

Who We Are

Samantha Jones is an associate commerce home editor at Better Homes & Gardens, writing about the latest and greatest kitchen, cleaning, and garden products worth buying. For this story, Samantha compiled lab insights gathered from our tests in Des Moines, Iowa, and researched important features available in the best vacuums on the market. She also consulted Allen Rathey, director of the Indoor Health Council and Jeff May of May Indoor Air Investigations for their expertise on this topic.

What Is BHG Recommends?

Next to all of the products on this list, you may have noticed our BHG Recommends seal of approval. Products that earn the seal have been put through rigorous testing to make sure they’re worth a spot in your home. We buy most of the products we test ourselves, but occasionally we are provided samples by companies if buying isn’t an option. In these cases, we use the same testing criteria we use to test the purchased products and we let you know that we got it for free to remain as transparent as possible about our picks.

Looking for more products that have earned our BHG Recommends seal of approval? Check out our picks for everything from picnic blankets to humidifiers.