Kids make messes. Pets make messes. You make messes. For parents, a great vacuum cleaner for the home carpet isn’t a luxury; it’s an absolute necessity. The problem? Vacuums are a dime-a-dozen these days, with so many on the market and all of them promising incredible results. In an era of top-of-the-line vacuuming technology, we’re all faced with the tyranny of choice.
To narrow it down, we thought about what the perfect vacuum cleaner should be. First of all? Lightweight. It won’t do you much good to have a behemoth that’s hard to move around, so every vacuum we chose had to weigh less than 15 pounds. We only considered models with great reviews, of course, and we also looked for modularity — how the vacuum can change to tackle specific cleaning challenges. We came up the best vacuum cleaners for your home, all of which will leave your floors nice and clean.
If you want a powerful handheld vacuum without springing for a Dyson, the Shark is a solid investment. It weighs just 1.4 pounds, meaning it's light and maneuverable enough to get into the tightest corners and crevices.
Pros: Like the Dyson, you press a button and empty out its debris, without touching anything nasty. The Shark vacuum has a tapered nozzle for easy pickup and two accessories for tackling pet hair, upholstery, and tight spaces.
Cons: You get what you pay for. In this case, you only get two attachments, as opposed to those you get with the Dyson.
We defy your dog to leave its fur behind, or your kids their crumbs. Because this Dyson Cyclone will scoop them up in mere seconds, thanks to its Torque drive cleaner head. Dust is, well, dust.
Pros: The vacuum has a genius way of emptying its waste bin, which means you never have to touch unspeakable things again. It’s small and powerful, with a ceramic shaft instead of steel. It spins at up to 125,000rpm, generating the same suction as a full-sized vacuum. Oh, and it weighs less than six pounds.
Cons: The price is no joke, but this monster lasts for forever.
If you love robotic vacuums, which do just about all the work for you, then meet the newest Roomba. This thing empties out its own dustbin, so you don't have to touch any nastiness. And it's way quieter then its predecessors, with double the cleaning power.
Pros: For starters, it’s seriously quiet, for a robot vacuum. It’s much more reliable than previous versions, meaning it gets stuck less and sucks more. You get premium three-stage cleaning to pick up dust, pet hair, and allergens. And you decide how often it cleans, and when.
Cons: It’s expensive, and the docking station is massive.
Meet the new king of Vacuumtown. Miele’s Complete C3 Marin vacuum cleaner has an Electro Comfort electrobrush meant for cleaning low to medium pile carpeting, rugs and smooth flooring. It's a carpet tool with a floating head and swivel neck design for easy maneuverability.
Pros: For this price, you also get the Parquet Twister, which provides 180 degree rotation. Plus, this transitions automatically from hardwood floors to carpets and back again. Oh, and it has a telescopic, stainless steel wand and super-long cord that provide a total cleaning radius of 36 feet. It has six speed settings that you control via a foot switch.
Cons: Well, the price. And some users say it clogs way too easily.
Looking for a lightweight, hassle-free, budget-friendly vacuum that’s as effective as it is subtle? This is it. You can transition this bagless bad boy from closet to carpet in no time, and its five height settings, washable filter, and quick release handle are high-end features not always seen on cheaper models.
Pros: We have to start with the accessories you get: a crevice tool for hard-to-reach areas, a dusting brush that rids your home of allergens, and an upholstery tool for more delicate surfaces. The extra-wide nozzle (12.6 inches) allows you to clean wide swaths without moving back and forth.
Cons: A bagless vacuum does come with a downside: you’ll have the clean the dust cup between each use. It’s large, but a bit of a hassle. Because it’s budget-friendly, it’s made of plastic — so don’t whip it around the house nonchalantly if you want to keep it in one piece.
If you’re having a tough time finding the energy to bring the big cleaner out of the closet, a robotic vacuum is ideal: just turn it on, and it does the work. With this model, you don’t even have to worry about battery life … ever. It does its thing, and when it starts to run out of battery, it goes back to its charging station to refuel. If you need a vacuum cleaner you can just turn on and forget, this is a great choice.
Pros: Its large wheels roll over virtually anything to make sure your whole room is spotless. Its sensor stops it from falling down the stairs, and it runs up to 100 minutes per charge. The dust box is fairly large, holding 0.6 liters of grime. At only 2.85 inches tall, it easily slips under furniture.
Cons: There’s something to be said for doing it yourself — after all, you probably know your carpet best. A robo-vacuum can also easily spook a pet, so maybe hold off if your dog or cat is extra jumpy.
The NV352 owns the basics. It picks up tons of stuff from carpets and maneuvers smoothly with sturdy swivel steering, of course, but it's also easy to pull out the canister -- with or without a wand -- to spot clean if necessary.
Pros: Powerful for its 12.5-pound weight, not a feather but also not much of a burden. It has a HEPA filter, trapping most allergens and bacteria in your home. It comes with a short array of attachments, including a dusting brush and a crevice tool.
Cons: Due to its modular design, the power cord starts at the base of the vacuum—some users complain about catching their feet on it. The nozzle is only 9.5 inches wide; other vacuums are a little bit wider, allowing you to vacuum a wider swatch of carpet with each pass.
Canister vacuums are usually a bit easier to navigate because you only have to move an attachment and a hose, not all of the machinery that gives your vacuum suction or the debris you pick up. The Zing is a great example that, with the flip of a switch, easily switches between carpet and hard floor modes.
Pros: Automatic cord rewind means the days of wrapping (and untangling) cords are in the past. There’s also a dirt cup that’s easy to empty and, at eight pounds, you won’t hurt your back pulling this thing out of the closet.
Cons: The cord is only 15 feet long, so you might find yourself stooping over to unplug and replug it often if you have larger areas to clean. No spinning brush to agitate in the deepest recesses of your carpet.
Soniclean’s vacuum is, quite simply, a powerhouse that can thoroughly (but gently) clean basically any kind of floor — from premium synthetic to wool carpets. It’s been awarded the highest performance certification for carpet cleaning by The Carpet& Rug Institute, a distinction not many carpet cleaners get. And at just 10.5 pounds, it's a carpet cleaner that truly glides.
Pros: The ultra-soft brushes on this cleaner are essential for cleaning expensive or soft carpets without damaging them. The wheels are also especially large, helping you to move smoothly around your house. It has a “Quiet Mode,” so you won’t spook the dog and dozens of other settings that you can adjust to match whatever you’re doing. Even the bags are no joke: HEPA — high-efficiency particulate air — filter bags capture dust, dirt, and particles that could bother your family. You can get replacements here.
Cons: This performance doesn’t come cheap, but it’s an investment that’s definitely worth it if you have high-quality carpets and rugs.
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