The best vacuum cleaner will be powerful enough to suck off dust, debris, and dirt from your mats, carpets, and hard floors with ease. Then, it needs to be light enough to navigate around difficult corners, and carry up and down stairs without breaking your back.
However, there are so many different types of vacuum cleaners on the market, so it can be hectic knowing which one is ideal for your home. Ideally, that’s the same way there are different setups for households – one would need a vacuum cleaner for pet hair, while the other person will be looking for a vac to suck up dust from hard floors. It’s never the same!
However, when buying a vacuum cleaner, the first question is if you want corded or cordless. Corded vacuum cleaners tend to be more powerful for large coverage, while cordless ones come with the flexibility of maneuvering around small spaces, and they do well with stairs too. Then there is a 2-in-1 upright that can transform into a handheld for those small clean-ups, and they offer seamless versatility for most small households.
Or perhaps if you want to relax and put your feet up and still get everything done, you’re better off investing in a self-emptying robot vacuum cleaner to do all the hard work for you at the press of a button.
We’ve reviewed lots of the best vacuum cleaners for our home before, and here we present the best in every category. We’ve tried big-name brands like Miele and Dyson as well as little-known names like Roidmi and Shark, and we’ve put all of them through their paces to see how they stack up in a typical home to identify the best and worst features.
We’ve also included all sorts of factors and use scenarios so you can find the right vacuum cleaner for your needs. However, if you’ve already identified one that you want, we have guides for those too, depending on your household and the tasks you need to be completed. Below are our favorite vacuum cleaners to tackle the toughest messes across the home.
The Best Vacuum Cleaners for 2023
1. Shark NV352 Navigator Lift Away Upright Vacuum
Our #1 Favorite Vacuum cleaner, Great Value
- Excellent performance at an affordable price
- Versatile swivel head for multidirectional cleaning
- Able to adjust the suction for small rugs and delicate carpets
- Non-removable brush roll
- A little clunky to disassemble and reassemble
The Shark NV352 Navigator Lift Away Upright Vacuum has been around for a few years now, so it isn’t for you if you’re looking for something with the latest features and design. However, its presence in the market for all these years just emphasizes that it’s one of the best around. The Shark NV352 delivers the performance of two vacuums in one sleek appliance: It can be used around the house as a traditional upright or you can convert it into a canister vacuum.
Whichever mode you choose, this budget-friendly vacuum offers excellent suction on both pile carpets and bare floors. Perhaps the most outstanding feature of the Shark NV352 Navigator is the suction-release valve control (located on the handle) which can be adjusted to lessen the vacuum’s grip on small rugs and shag carpets.
And while it looks and functions like an upright, the NV352 Navigator’s versatile design allows for it to be converted into a canister vac. It comes with several hose attachments, making it useful when you need to reach small spaces and drapes.
2. Shark IZ862H Stratos Cordless Vacuum with Clean Sense IQ
Most effective cordless vacuum cleaner, with AI
- A flexible wand for vacuuming under furniture
- Clean Sense IQ detest how the dirty floor is
- Powerful suction on carpets, hard floors, and furniture
- Middling dust brush
- Not easy to use in narrow spaces
The Shark IZ862H Stratos Cordless Vacuum is hands down the best cordless vacuum cleaner in Shark’s lineup and offers more smart features than any other vac at this price bracket. The Shark IZ862H’s Clean Sense IQ technology, for instance, automatically adjusts the suction to pick up dirt and debris that you can’t ordinarily see and notifies you when the floor is clean.
The Shark IZ862H isn’t the most affordable around, but for the performance and features, we feel it’s reasonably priced for a high-performance cordless vacuum. This vacuum cleaner is more affordable than comparable models with dust-detection technology like the Dyson V15 Detect. Well, its dust brush attachment isn’t the best at picking up dust, but it’s a minor grip that’s easy to overlook.
3. Miele Complete C3 Calima
The best canister vacuum cleaner
- The best for wood floors
- Best for people with allergies
- Easy and secure storage of attachments onboard
- Quite expensive
- Bulky to store than an upright
The Miele Complete C3 Calima is nothing close to the canister vacuums before it. All its attachments fit onboard and the nozzle attaches to the canister on its own, virtually eliminating the hustle of trying to fit all the vacuum hoses into place. Also, it comes with a telescopic nozzle tube, which makes cleaning dusty ceilings far much enjoyable and seamless.
Out of the box, the Miele Complete C3 Calima is equipped with two floorheads – one for cleaning pile carpets and the other for hardwood – alongside a dusting brush and upholstery as well as crevice nozzles. Miele sells additional attachments for vacuuming almost anything you might want to clean, including mattresses.
Again, with HEPA filtration, tight rubber seals, and a bagged design, the Calima C3 is the best choice for anyone suffering from allergies. Elsewhere, if you have pets at home, you’ll be impressed by how well it picks up pet hair, dust, and any mess on both bare floors and carpets.
4. Dyson v15 Detect Vacuum, Multicolor
Best premium vacuum cleaner
- Powerful suction for all floors
- Laser illuminates hidden dust
- An intuitive LDC screen
- Average-sized dust canister
- Fairly noise on full power
Dyson delivers some of the best vacuum cleaners on the market, and the Dyson V11 has been our favorite for the longest time. This year, they’re taking vacuum cleaning to a new level altogether thanks to the Dyson v15 Detect Vacuum cleaner – the most impressive cordless vacuum cleaner yet. The Dyson v15 Detect is more powerful and cleans even better on all surfaces, and surprisingly lasts up to 60 minutes between charges – the same battery life as the Dyson V11, which costs almost the same.
Well, over its predecessor, the new Dyson v15 Detect stands out thanks to its built-in laser that illuminates a light (a green to be specific) on microscopic dust that can’t be seen by the human eye on hard floors. It also comes with an LCD screen that displays the remaining runtime. And when using it in Auto mode conserves the battery by adjusting the suction power to match the floor type and the amount of dust automatically.
The V15 Detect is a little noisy when used on full power, it has an average-sized dust canister, and is certainly pricey, but we feel confident that it’s worth the money if you’re looking for a top-of-the-range vacuum cleaner.
5. iRobot Roomba s9+ (9550)
The best robot vacuum cleaner
- Excellent suction on hard floors
- Efficient for cleaning around corners
- Very expensive but worth every penny
- Dust bags are an ongoing cost
If you want o do your vacuuming without touching a thing, then you’ll really like the iRobot Roomba s9+ (9550). This is one of our favorite robot vacuums and the most intelligent, packing all the technology you’d ever find in a robot vac. But it also happens to be the most expensive robot vacuum on the market today, and can even be controlled via your smartphone.
In use, the Roomba s9+ (9550) makes light work of collecting everything from fine dust and biscuit crumbs to cereal on hard floors, although its pick-up on carpets isn’t quite as thorough. Additionally, it’s self-emptying, which means less maintenance, and also has five angled arms on its brush to really navigate into corners and along walls.
However, as the robot vacuums do everything on their own and even deposit debris into replaceable dust bags, there’s an ongoing cost associated with this robovac. That’s in addition to its unwieldy price tag – did I mention this is the most expensive robot vacuum we’ve reviewed to date?
6. Black+Decker Dustbuster cordless vacuum
The best hand vacuum for light messes
- Very affordable
- Great for quick cleanups
- Narrow crevice tool for small spaces
- Single charge lasts a long time
- Lackluster pet-hair removal
- Battery isn’t user replaceable
Sometimes cleaning small messes can be the biggest hassles, such as a box of rice or kitty litter spread through the house. While a full-size vacuum will get the job done in a few minutes, it can be tiring to lug around. The affordable Black+Decker Dustbuster weighs only 2.6 pounds and features a rotating nozzle with an onboard brush and extendable crevice for reaching into the far back corners of cabinets and under car seats.
The Black+Decker Dustbuster is ideal for cleaning spots on the couch or sucking up dust bunnies hiding out under the living room sofa. Keep in mind, the Dustbuster handheld vac is meant for the littlest messes around the house or in your car, and will last between 10 and 15 minutes on a single charge.
7. iLIFE V3s Pro Robot Vacuum Cleaner
Most affordable robot vacuum cleaner
- Excellent at cleaning pet hair
- Fantastic hardwood performance
- Very affordable
- Long battery life
- Inconsistent cleaning pattern
- Fills up quickly
The ILIFE V3s Pro is hands down, the most affordable robot vacuums cleaner and is without a doubt our Editors’ Choice. While it lacks the bells and whistles of the iRobot Roomba s9+ and other fancier robot vacuums, the V3S Pro cleans your house and does it intricately well – especially for a budget vacuum. It impresses with its performance in picking up pet hair and dirt on hard floors. It also has no problems navigating over high-pile through rugs.
However, unlike other robot vacuums equipped with a spinning roller brush, the V3s Pro has a suction opening that directs debris into the dustbin. It gets loud during use, but its design helps it overcome a common vacuum pitfall – hair entangled around the cleaning brush. In general, the V3s Pro’s cleaning prowess on hardwood floors is nothing short of magnificent, but it still struggles a bit on high-pile carpets.
What do I consider when buying a vacuum cleaner?
Vacuum cleaners come in various types, and in choosing the most ideal you should consider the nature of cleaning you buying it for. There are upright, cylinder, cordless, handheld, and robot vacuum cleaners, with each serving different purposes in the household. If you’re new to the vacuum market, you may be a little unsure at first of which type is best for you. Here’s a brief insight into the pros and cons of each.
Upright Vacuum Cleaners
This is the most popular type of vacuum cleaner you’ll find in most homes. As the name says, it sits ‘upright’ and you only have to push it in front of you as you clean. It’s a corded design and that gives it lots of power. On the flip side, upright vacuum cleaners tend to be hefty and uncomfortable to use over long periods. Also, they are not easy to maneuver and you might struggle to reach under furniture or far-off corners. These are the best if your household has lots of high-pile carpets, though.
Cylinder Vacuum Cleaners
This type of vacuum cleaner features a small body that rolls on the floor as you clean around, you simply pull them behind you. It’s the most common type of vacuum cleaning, we even dare say it’s the most traditional design, but is particularly effective on hard floors. It’s small to reach under furniture and you can easily clean up the stairs with this type of vacuum cleaner, plus it’s easier to use than an upright one. However, if you have lots of carpets in your house that need regular cleaning, this isn’t the best we can recommend as they don’t come with a turbo brush. However, for hard-floor homes, these are excellent.
Cordless Vacuum Cleaners
Cordless vacs are the latest trend, and they keep growing in popularity. Originally, they were designed to clean after quick spills, but in recent years we’ve seen them replace corded models, with the convenience of covering large floors throughout the household before the batteries run flat. That flexibility comes with a catch, however; they are not as powerful as corded types, but the latest models are getting close, and the lightweight profile means they are easy to maneuver, making them the most pleasant and convenient type to use. If you live in a small space and don’t deal with stubborn debris, this is the best vacuum cleaner for you. You may need to charge them quite often, and the canister may fill quickly.
Handheld Vacuum Cleaners
If you need to clean small spills or difficult-to-reach places, a handheld vacuum cleaner is handy. Sure, you couldn’t use it to vacuum a whole house – it’s usually small, portable, and light enough to hold in one hand, and you typically use it for short periods. The canister has a small capacity so it will fill easily, and these vacuum cleaners are never great for embedded hair. However, handheld vacuums are not so popular lately to be bought separately, as most cordless models also function as handheld vacuums.
Robot Vacuum Cleaners
Robot vacuum cleaners have been around for a while now, and they just keep getting better, and more sophisticated. These will maneuver your home on their own, navigate every corner independently and clean as they go. However, you’ll still need to empty the in-board canister, but some will hold for a few weeks before you need to empty it. Still, they’re not as powerful as the corded models but are nevertheless a much more convenient method of cleaning.
Shark NV352 Navigator Lift Away Upright Vacuum with Wide Upholstery and Crevice Tools, Lavender
$179.49 in stock
13 used from $118.84
If anything, some of the latest models are getting as powerful as the corded models, and in a few years, they’ll be there. We can say that more innovations are being introduced to robot vacuums, including self-emptying and self-cleaning designs and machine learning and camera integration to recognize and navigate obstacles.
Finally, even if you get the right vacuum cleaner for your need, just make sure that you’re using it properly.