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A Household Essential: The Best Vacuum Cleaner

Vacuums are an essential tool when it comes to keeping the household clean. While most vacuums will get the job done in a pinch, some are obviously better than others. Each of these vacuums offer superior performance and convenience, though some may balk at the higher prices. If you can't find exactly what you're looking for in this list of the best vacuum cleaners in 2021, be sure to explore the related lists on the right and check out our vacuum buyer's guide.
 

What is the best vacuum cleaner of 2021?

Dyson Upright Ball Multi Floor 2, Yellow Vacuum Cleaner - Best Vacuum Cleaner Overall

Dyson is constantly pushing vacuum cleaning technology forwards, finding new ways to make their machines more powerful, more efficient, and more convenient. With this innovation comes a hefty price tag, but many people find the premium worth paying.

The Dyson Cinetic Big Ball Animal + Allergy uses Dyson’s new Cinetic technology, which features high frequency, oscillating tips to keep dust from building up and restricting air flow. Because of this, Dyson no longer uses a filter before the motor thus making this the first “filterless” vacuum; this means no maintenance is required, along with giving you consistent suction. Thanks to the vacuum being completely sealed and its use of HEPA filtration, this vacuum is a good choice for allergy sufferers.
Useful, basic vacuuming attachments are included such as tangle-free turbine attachment.

The Cinetic Big Ball Animal + Allergy is quite heavy at just under 20 pounds, but Dyson says this is intentional for better stability. As to be expected, maneuverability is excellent but the oversized ball makes reaching underneath low furniture a challenge. Cleaning performance of the Cinetic vacuums isn’t necessarily better than a comparable model (such as Dyson’s excellent DC65 Animal), but the promise of consistent performance and less long-term maintenance will appeal to many. As with all of their models, the Cinetic Big Ball Animal + Allergy is certified by the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America and comes with a five year warranty.

Shark Rotator Lift Away Professional Bagless Upright Vacuum - Runner Up

The Shark Rotator Professional Lift-Away offers tremendous versatility for a mere $200. With performance coming close to matching considerably more expensive models, this upright vacuum is an excellent choice for those looking for an affordable, all-around option. The Shark Rotator Professional Lift-Away can transition easily from carpeting to hard floors, including the ability to shut off the brush roll to avoid scratching delicate wood floors.

Suction on both hard surfaces and carpet is very good, and the vacuum offers the ability to use it either like a standard upright model or like a canister vacuum thanks to its lift-away portion. Combined with the large amount of attachments included, this makes cleaning stairs, upholstery, and just about anything a simple task. Although at 16 pounds this vacuum isn’t a featherweight but its pivoting head and headlight make maneuvering and spotting dirt easy. It features a washable filter and a large, easy to empty dust cup. HEPA filtration and a sealed design help keep dust and other allergens trapped inside.

Neato Robotics D6 Connected Laser Guided Robot Vacuum Cleaner - Contender

The Neato BotVac 85 might not be cheap, but this robot vacuum delivers significant performance advantages over comparable models that cost more. Neat vacuums are unique for their use of an embedded laser which scans the room to build a map of the area. This drastically alters their cleaning behavior, allowing them to perform in a more orderly manner, versus bouncing around when it detects objects or walls.

The BotVac 85 provides several improvements over previous models, including a side brush, larger main brush, and a larger dust bin. The vacuum has also been made quieter, making it possible to carry on a conversion while it’s in use. Run times are quick for a robot vacuum, and the magnetic boundary markers are easier to use than iRobot’s Virtual Walls system.

If you follow instructions to fully charge and discharge the unit two to three times before the first use, the BotVac 85 can operate for over an hour on a single charge. Although it’s a bit too expensive to get away with no included remote control, the Neato BotVac nonetheless is an excellent overall performer for a good price.

Hoover LINX Platinum Collection Cordless Stick Vac - Consider

Although $100+ seems like an unreasonable price tag for a stick vacuum, it makes sense once you examine this model carefully. Unlike other stick vacuums which are simply handheld units with an extended grip, the LINX is a full-fledged bagless 'WindTunnel' vacuum condensed into a cordless stick format. The beater brush is motorized, and can be switched off for cleaning bare floors more effectively. The 18-volt lithium ion battery provides consistent power until it drains completely, and the battery life indicator lets you know at a glance how much charge is left. The dust cup is easy to empty - pressing one button will drop the bottom panel, allowing all of the dust to fall out.

Dirt Devil Vibe 3-in-1 Vacuum Cleaner - Best Stick Vacuum

The Dirt Devil Simpli-Stik is a convertible vacuum which instantly changes from being a standard stick vacuum into a handheld unit. This is done by removing the stalk from the handle so it can be used in all cleaning situations. Removing the floor cleaner head makes room for the crevice tool attachment which can be used to clean corners and tight spots. The power cord is long enough to avoid having to constantly search for new outlets while cleaning and the 3.8 pound weight ensures portability and easy maneuverability. The Dirt Devil Simpli-Stik is also extremely affordable, making it a great buy if you can't stand carting out a heavy full-size vacuum for each little mess.

Shark Rocket Ultralight Upright (HV302) - Best Stick Vacuum

This versatile vacuum offers the ability to clean both the floor and off the floor. The Shark Rocket is capable of changing from a stick vacuum to a hand vacuum, while its low profile means it easily reaches under furniture. Coming in at just under five pounds, the Rocket is very lightweight and while the cord can become cumbersome at times, it’s nonetheless quite long at 27 feet. This stick vacuum offers two cleaning modes; one for hard floors, and another that activates the brush roll for carpeted surfaces.

Performance is very good all-around, and the dust bin is easy to empty. The Rocket also comes with a long list of useful attachments, including an extension tube, floor nozzle, dusting brush, crevice tool, Dust-Away tool, and a pet upholstery tool; all of which are kept in the included storage bag. With performance rivaling more expensive models, the only major drawback is the occasional hassle of dealing with the cord.

Buyer's Guide

What are Vacuum Cleaners?

Vacuum cleaners are machines that make the job of floor cleaning more efficient and faster - vacuum cleaners clean floors by suction. The process of removing debris from the floor with a vacuum cleaner uses a vacuum generated by a fan’s suction.

The vacuum cleaner causes suction on the principle of difference in air pressure. The vacuum cleaner's fan sucks air through the cleaning tube at a high rate, causing low pressure within the machine. The low pressure inside the machine then causes dust and debris with atmospheric air to be pushed into the area of low air pressure inside the machine.

Vacuum cleaners can be used on different surfaces at home, in the office, or in cars. There are different types of vacuum cleaners designed to ease the cleaning of different surfaces and reaching every corner.

What are the Types of Vacuum Cleaners

The five major types of vacuum cleaners are:

Canister Vacuum Cleaners

Also known as cylinder vacuums, canister vacuum cleaners are equipped with canisters such that the cleaning head is easily maneuverable. They are suitable for cleaning wooden floors. They have room for attachments like brushes and crevice nozzles.

Handheld Vacuum Cleaners

Handheld vacuum cleaners are more portable vacuums that can easily be carried to the tightest corners. They are usually versatile and ideal for quick clean-ups. Handheld vacuum cleaners are also lightweight, making it easy to carry them around. They are suitable for cleaning the interior of cars.

Upright Vacuum Cleaners

Upright vacuum cleaners are heavier than canister vacuum cleaners. They do a great job of cleaning carpet floors and can be tweaked to function optimally on other floor types. They have a wide-body design that makes them ideal for cleaning large spaces in less time.

Stick Vacuum Cleaners

Stick vacuum cleaners are lighter versions of the upright vacuum cleaner. Apart from being lighter than the upright vacuum cleaner, they are also cordless. They run on batteries, and you do not have to worry about your movement being limited to the length of the cord plugged into the mains when cleaning.

Robot Vacuum Cleaners

Each vacuum cleaner mentioned so far needs human input throughout the cleaning process. With robot vacuum cleaners, human interaction in the cleaning process is reduced to the barest minimum. Robot vacuum cleaners clean the house while you focus on other things.

What are the Things to Consider When Buying Vacuum Cleaners?

There are various factors to consider before buying a vacuum cleaner. A close look at these factors will help you make an informed decision on the right vacuum cleaner to buy.

Floor-type

The type of floor that the cleaner will be used on should be the first factor to consider when buying a vacuum cleaner. All vacuum cleaners do an excellent job of cleaning, but some cleaners are ideal for specific floor types.

Maneuverability

You should also consider how easily you can maneuver the vacuum cleaner. This factor is particularly important if you will be cleaning corners and crevices. Vacuum cleaners that have the maneuverability to reach these corners and crevices should be prioritized over others.

Bagged vs. Bagless Vacuum Cleaners

Vacuum cleaners are either bagged or bagless. Bagged vacuum cleaners have replaceable bags that store up specks of dirt, dust, and debris. These bags usually need replacing. Bagless vacuum cleaners do not have bags for storing up dust and debris. You simply empty out the debris and reuse it. Bagged vacuum cleaners are considered more hygienic because the waste is securely disposed of, unlike bagless cleaners, where you get exposed to the waste when disposing of it.

Bagless vacuum cleaners are more cost-effective as you do not have to constantly buy new bags for the cleaner.

Corded vs. Cordless Vacuum Cleaners

Vacuum cleaners could either run on electricity by plugging them into the mains or cordlessly running on rechargeable batteries. Cordless cleaners have the advantage of unlimited mobility. You do not worry about straying too far away from the mains. Compared to corded vacuum cleaners, cordless vacuum cleaners tend to cost more to maintain as you have to change the rechargeable batteries when they become weak.

Noise

Vacuum cleaners all make noise, but the level of noise each makes differ. For example, canister vacuum cleaners are usually not as loud as upright vacuum cleaners. Therefore, you should check the cleaner's noise specification before buying.

How Much do Vacuum Cleaners Cost?

You can get a vacuum cleaner for as low as $30. There are also high-end vacuum cleaners that cost more than $1,000. For a balance of efficiency and cost, vacuum cleaners within the $350 to $500 range are good enough.

Final Thoughts on Vacuum Cleaners

Vacuum cleaners have developed over time to make cleaning safer and better. HEPA filters are some of the extra features that vacuum cleaners now have. HEPA filters help to remove allergens from the air to safeguard the health of people with allergies. People with allergies should look out for HEPA filters in their vacuum cleaners.

Vacuum Cleaner FAQ

Q – What is a sealed vacuum cleaner system?

A – A sealed vacuum cleaner system is a vacuum cleaner that has an air-tight mechanism in place to prevent the already vacuumed dust from escaping and polluting the environment again.

Q – How often do I change the vacuum bag?

A – How frequently you change the vacuum bag depends on some variables. The bag's size and how often the vacuum cleaner is used are some factors that influence how often the bag is changed. On average, vacuum bags should be changed every two months.

Q – Can I use a vacuum cleaner with my allergy?

A – Yes, you can. Vacuum cleaners with sealed systems and HEPA filters are ideal for people with allergies. These cleaners are designed to keep allergens from escaping the vacuum chamber till they are disposed of.

Q – Are robot vacuum cleaners worth it?

A – Robot cleaners are meant to complement the work of the more traditional cleaners. However, they can hold their own in doing quick clean-ups. They are designed to map out the room, do the cleaning, and return to their charging space with minimal interaction.

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