Vacuum cleaners on the market today come in various form factors with lots of different features. Even among the handful of vacuums in our rating of the Best Vacuum of 2022, there’s a great deal of variance, with prices ranging from $34 to over $1,000 for upright, handheld, cordless, and robot models. As with many household products, the question you should keep in mind while shopping is not which vacuum is best, but which vacuum is best for you.
To get you started, here are some factors to consider when shopping for a new vacuum for your home.
First off, consider your living space. This can help establish the kind of work you want the vacuum to do. For example, a large space with mostly hardwood floors and area rugs may be suited to a robot vacuum, but a home with wall-to-wall high-pile carpet and stairs is not. Also, think about whether or not you want to use your vacuum for surfaces other than floors. If you want to be able to vacuum upholstery, dust baseboards, or reach hard-to-clean areas, you’re going to need a vacuum with a hose or wand and attachments. You should also consider the noise. Some vacuums can be very loud, which may not be suited to apartment living.
In addition to the physical makeup of your home, you also want to consider the people who live there. If you have a large, active family, your floors may require more thorough cleaning than the home of a single person. Pets are also a major factor, as evidenced by the number of vacuums specifically designed for homes with pets. Pet hair can be a hassle, both on the floor and on soft surfaces, so you may want a vacuum built with your furry friends in mind. If someone in your household has allergies, you may want to consider a vacuum with a HEPA filter, like the Dyson V15 Detect Cordless Vacuum. The CDC recommends vacuums with HEPA filters to help clean and disinfect business spaces.
Size and Weight
One factor you may forget when browsing vacuums with new technological features is the vacuum’s size, weight, and shape. After all, a vacuum is useless if you never want to use it. For example, upright and canister vacuums tend to be powerful and have large capacities, but they’re also bigger and heavier than stick models. Also consider storage. Stick vacuums have a small footprint and can even be mounted to a wall for storage.
Lastly, cost is a big factor, and vacuums cover a wide range of price points. In our rating alone, the least expensive vacuum is $34, while the most expensive is $1,100. Generally speaking, robot vacuums tend to be the most expensive. Weigh the pros and cons of the products you’re considering and decide whether certain features, like the ability to program your vacuum to clean while you’re away, are worth the price.
Types of Vacuums
Vacuums come in a variety of shapes and sizes and are suited to different spaces and situations. Our Best Vacuums of 2022 rating contains a mix of upright, stick, and robot vacuums. If you’re shopping for a new vacuum, consider which type is best suited to your needs.
Upright vacuums are common and may be the type you think of when picturing a vacuum. They consist of a tall main section and a large base. The machine’s body allows for a higher capacity – historically, vacuum bags, though most models now are bagless, opting instead for plastic containers. Upright vacuums can clean large areas quickly and are generally easy to maneuver by walking and pushing them back and forth. They’re usually best for carpet cleaning and often have attachments for above-floor areas. They also tend to store fairly easily as they can stand up on their own. Three of the vacuum models in our rating of the Best Vacuums of 2022 are upright: the Bissell Pet Hair Eraser Turbo Upright Vacuum, Dyson Ball Animal 2 Upright Vacuum, and Hoover WindTunnel 3 High Performance Vacuum.
Canister vacuums consist of a tank that houses the majority of the vacuum’s equipment attached to a hose with a cleaning head on the end. These vacuums are more versatile than upright models, as you can easily switch from cleaning the floor to cleaning stairs, upholstery, or curtains. They can be more cumbersome than upright or stick models though, as their two-piece build can make them difficult to store or maneuver around a house. There aren’t any canister models in our rating.
Handheld vacuums are lightweight, portable vacuums. They’re meant for cleaning up small messes and are useful on non-floor surfaces. They’re not meant to be used as a replacement for a large floor vacuum, though some models, like the Bissell FeatherWeight Lightweight Stick Vacuum, can be used as a handheld or a stick form factor, making them a great low-cost option for small spaces like dorm rooms. Most upright and canister vacuums come with attachments that allow them to clean the same spaces that a full-size vacuum head couldn’t reach, although they don’t offer the convenience of a small, battery-powered device.
Stick vacuums combine the light weight of a handheld vacuum with the tall body and handle of an upright vacuum, allowing for a versatile vacuum that’s easy to carry and store. Stick vacuums can either be corded or cordless, but a corded model means you don’t have to worry about the battery running low. However, even corded stick vacuums, in general, don’t replace the deep-cleaning abilities of a full-size vacuum. Half of the vacuums in our rating are stick vacuums: The V11 and V15 from Dyson, the low-priced Bissell FeatherWeight, and the Miele Triflex HX1.
Robot vacuums have increased in popularity, with the name Roomba becoming virtually synonymous with the product category. The one robot vacuum in our ratings is the Roomba s9+ from iRobot. Though expensive, robot vacuums are appealing because they do the job of vacuuming all on their own with nearly no human action needed. Their small size means they’re not meant for tough jobs, but if you hate the chore of vacuuming, an everyday robot vacuum might be worth it.
How Much Does a Vacuum Cost?
Much like the range of vacuum forms, vacuum costs can vary greatly. Small handheld or stick vacuums can cost under $30, while new top-of-the-line models can cost over $2,000. Generally speaking, robot vacuums tend to be more expensive, though some stick models outpace self-cleaning vacuums. Stick vacuums can also be very inexpensive, consisting of a stick frame with a handheld device providing the power. Upright and canister vacuums generally fall in the middle, though, like stick models, there’s a lot of variance.