The 6 Best Vacuum Cleaners - Spring 2024: Reviews (2024)

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What is the best type of vacuum cleaner?

This depends entirely on your particular needs. If you have a bigger home with thick carpeting, you should look into a full-size canister or upright vacuum. Their powerful motors and corded design make them ideal for stubborn messes and longer cleaning sessions. You also might want to invest in a higher-end corded upright or canister model with a motorized floorhead if you have thick carpeting and rugs since a vacuum with a beater bar will do a much better job dealing with embedded dirt.

On the other hand, if you live in a smaller home, condo, or apartment and would prefer something smaller, lighter, and more maneuverable, a cordless stick vacuum is worth a look. Compared to a mid-range or higher-end corded vacuum, you'll give up some degree of overall capability. As a general rule, these sorts of vacuums prioritize portability and maneuverability over out-and-out performance, and they'll generally only ship with more rudimentary powerheads that lack a brushroll off switch or height adjustment, so they'll have a harder time cleaning carpets. That said, high-end models, like theDyson Gen5detect, give some corded models a run for their money in terms of pure power.

If you'd prefer not having to clean, there's no shortage of robot vacuums to suit every budget. Once again, though, there are tradeoffs. Robot vacuums aren't intended for heavy-duty cleaning of large debris and are best suited to low-intensity but frequent cleaning sessions.

How much should you spend on a vacuum cleaner?

Once again, it depends on your exact needs. You don't need anything too fancy if you mostly have hard floors or a really low-pile carpet at home. If you want something corded, it's hard to go wrong with a basic canister model like theEureka Mighty Mite, which features a relatively powerful motor, a compact body, and an easy-to-maintain design, all for a little under $100. If you'd prefer something cordless, you'll probably spend a little more. Still, you can often find theWyze Cordless Vacuumfor under $150, and it delivers a performance that isn't far off of alternatives costing twice or even thrice as much. In both these cases, however, you'll have to contend with less-than-stellar build quality.

Cleaning surfaces like thicker carpeting necessitates a more complex, expensive appliance, but you still won't have to spend a fortune. A bagged upright like theKenmore Intuition Bagged, or even theHoover Windtunnel Tempo Bagged, has powered heads for clearing away messes on carpets; both can be found on sale for well under $200. Past this point, you're essentially paying for additional niceties, which, in fairness, can make vacuuming a far more pleasant experience. TheMiele Complete C3, for instance, features a powerful yet quiet 1200W motor, a high-grade plastic construction, onboard tool storage, and an allergen-sealed construction, but you'll end up paying well north of $600 for the privilege.

How long does a vacuum last?

As per the results of a Consumer Reports reliability survey, vacuums last for a median of eight years. That's not the end of the story, though. We'd hate to repeat ourselves, but how long a vacuum lasts is only partly down to inherent reliability: how you use it arguably plays a larger part. Consider the difference in long-term wear and tear for a vacuum used to clean a one-bedroom apartment versus one used to vacuum a three-story house with a few heavily shedding pets and kids.

Generally, you can do a few things to ensure you aren't putting additional wear and tear on your vacuum. Clean the vacuum filters according to manufacturer recommendations, ensure the hose or wand isn't clogged, and ensure there isn't a lump of stuck-on debris or tangled hair jamming the vacuum's motorized brushroll (if applicable).

That said, it's worth noting that we're a little more skeptical of long-term reliability for cordless models, mainly those with non-replaceable batteries. Like any cordless appliance, a battery's ability to hold a charge degrades over time, and you'll inevitably have to replace it if you plan on keeping your vacuum around for more than a couple of years. Making this component difficult to replace for most people simply makes it more likely to be tossed in a landfill when its performance degrades. If you're shopping for a cordless model, we recommend purchasing one with a replaceable battery pack.

Are bagless vacuums better than bagged ones?

Each type of vacuum comes with their own strengths and weaknesses. Bagless vacuums tend to incur lower ownership costs in the short term. Some models use filters that are supposed to last the life of the vacuum, and you obviously won't have to think about replacing those disposable dirtbags. However, that missing layer of filtration media (in the form of a dirtbag) does mean that the filters inside the vacuum get really dirty quickly. Emptying debris from a vacuum's dustbin can also release a cloud of dust and debris. Some companies have attempted to get around this with self-emptying docking stations, as seen on theSamsung Bespoke Jet. This concept resembles the self-empty stations bundled with robot vacuums like theRoborock Q Revo. The Samsung's dock sucks out debris from the vacuum's dustbin through an airtight seal and into a disposable dirtbag inside the stand-up station, meaning you don't have to worry about emptying its dustbin manually. Still, these accessories are bulky, noisy, and expensive. They can also offset the advantage in recurring costs that bagless vacuums have over bagged alternatives since these docks use disposable dirtbags that need to be disposed of once they're filled.

In comparison, bagged vacuums are almost always a better option for those who suffer from allergies, especially if you go for one with an allergen-sealed body that uses cloth (as opposed to thinner paper) dirtbags, like the Miele Complete C3. Tossing out a filled dirtbag is a much easier, more hygienic process than shaking out a vacuum's dustbin.

When is the best time to buy a vacuum?

There isn't necessarily a defined 'vacuum season,' in which new models are released simultaneously, and manufacturers synchronize major discounts. Vacuums are just one of those products that you can find on sale at any point in the year. You'll likely find a good deal on Black Friday or Amazon Prime Day. However, it's also worth looking at some manufacturer websites at the end of February or the beginning of March, as some companies will drop prices on a few of their models to sway folks looking to start their spring cleaning routine.

All Reviews

Our recommendations above are some of the most well-rounded vacuumsfor most people. We factor in the price, feedback from our visitors, and availability.

If you would like to choose for yourself, here is the list of all our vacuum reviews. Be careful not to get too caught up in the details. While there's no single best vacuum for every conceivable use, mostare goodenough to please almost everyone, and the differences are often not noticeable unless you really look for them.

The 6 Best Vacuum Cleaners - Spring 2024: Reviews (2024)
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