The 13 Best Vacuum Cleaners of 2023, Tested and Reviewed

The Shark Navigator Upright and Shark Vertex Cordless Stick Vacuums stood out

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vacuum cleaners
Photo: People/Tara Donne

A house is hardly a home until it has at least one vacuum cleaner. But with so many vacuums on the market — and so many varieties and price points — how are you supposed to know which one is perfect for you?

Dr. Shyam Joshi, MD and CMO of Nectar, finds HEPA filters and model type (i.e. bagged or bagless) to be one of the most important aspects of anyone's vacuum search. "Either type of vacuum is reasonable if used with an appropriately designed HEPA filter and seal, thus reducing the risk of contaminants escaping into the air when vacuuming," he explains. While size, price, dust bin capacity, and attachments are extra components to consider, this is one to keep top of mind throughout the process.

We spent several days PEOPLE Testing over 50 vacuums in our lab to determine how easy they were to set up, their effectiveness, maneuverability, ease of emptying, noise level, versatility, and portability. We also tested each vacuum on several types of floors (including hardwood floors and high-pile carpets). Then, we evaluated how many passes it took to suction up different items, such as popcorn kernels, Cheerios, and hair.

The Best Vacuums PEOPLE Tested

Read more about the best vacuums PEOPLE Tested.

Best Overall, Upright: Shark Navigator Swivel Pro Complete Upright Vacuum

Home Depot


  • User-friendly
  • Performed well on both hardwood and carpeted floors
  • Reasonably priced


  • A little bulky
  • It's corded

After days of testing, this vacuum was a clear standout, picking up top scores in nearly every category. Shark has made a product that's not only easy to use but also powerful enough to effortlessly suck up stubborn particles like pet hair and cereal in one pass.

We found that the Shark Navigator Swivel Pro Complete Upright Vacuum was incredibly straightforward to put together out of the box, with everything sliding together in just three minutes. No matter what surface we ran the vacuum over — including hardwood floors and low-, medium-, and high-pile carpets — it was a breeze to maneuver, effortlessly gliding across even the thickest of rugs. The vacuum has multiple settings for carpets and hardwood floors, which made it seamless to switch between the two surfaces.

At 15 pounds, the upright vacuum cleaner is fairly lightweight; it can even be used with just one hand. Plus, thanks to a HEPA filter, the vacuum can capture small particles, including dust and allergens, making it more comfortable to breathe indoors.

However, this one is not cordless — but that may not be a drawback to you, if you prefer a traditional vacuum. We also noted that it is a little bulky, which prevented us from fully reaching under big pieces of furniture like couches and coffee tables. But overall, shoppers who are searching for a vacuum cleaner that's user-friendly and powerful will be impressed by this Shark Navigator.

Price at time of publish: $169 (orig. $199)

Type: Corded | Dimensions: 45.66 x 9.64 x 12 inches | Weight: 15 pounds | Filter Type: HEPA | Capacity: 0.1 gallons | Cord Length: 25 feet | Included Accessories: Crevice Tool, dusting brush, Turbo brush

Best Vacuum Cleaners
People / Rachel Marek

Best Overall, Cordless: Shark Vertex DuoClean Cordless Stick Vacuum



  • Performs well on all surfaces, making it a great option for those who vacuum daily
  • Lightweight
  • Extremely powerful suction for a stick vacuum


  • Smaller dust bin

If you're searching for a vacuum cleaner that won't bog you down with long, tangled cords, we recommend the Shark IZ462H Vertex DuoClean PowerFins Lightweight Cordless Stick Vacuum. We found that its comprehensive functions are so hands-off that it basically vacuums for you.

Unboxing this vacuum, however, is a little more complicated than our winner. Since each included piece is individually wrapped, it's a little tedious to pull everything out before you can even begin to build it. Yet despite that extra plastic, the vacuum cleaner is still able to come together in under five minutes. On hardwood floors, the vacuum sucks everything up instantly — no kernels or pieces of cereal flying around — and it effectively picked up debris on three types of carpets on the first go. We also appreciated how little effort it takes to use and move the machine.

Since the vacuum is so narrow and slim, it's easy to bend and maneuver under the couch and coffee table. It also has LED headlights, illuminating all the dust and hair you may have otherwise missed. And it's quiet for a powerful device, although it does become louder when it rolls over bigger pieces of debris. Users can operate the vacuum cleaner for up to 60 minutes at a time before it needs to be recharged.

However, this vacuum doesn't have a big canister, so we had to empty it much more often than competing devices. The vacuum also does not have any place to house its attachments on its slim body, so you'll need to store them elsewhere. Plus, for the budget-minded, the vacuum is still on the expensive side.

Those who are searching for a cordless vacuum that's effective on several types of surfaces, converts into a handheld device, and is refreshingly quiet should opt for this Shark model.

Price at time of publish: $332.94

Type: Cordless | Dimensions: 27.6 x 11.8 x 9.4 inches | Weight: 12.52 pounds | Filter Type: Not listed | Capacity: Not listed | Cord Length: Not listed | Included Accessories: Crevice and nozzle tool

best vacuums
People/Tara Donne

Best Overall, Canister: Miele Compact C1 Turbo Team Bagged Canister Vacuum



  • Performs well on hardwood floors and low-pile carpets
  • Easy to maneuver
  • Bagged canister


  • Set-up and operation instructions are confusing
  • Quite heavy

Users often gravitate toward canister vacuums if their homes are mostly hard floors and low-pile carpets — which is what the Miele Compact C1 Turbo Team Bagged Canister Vacuum is best on. This vacuum gobbled up hair on hardwood floors and picked up everything in one go over low-pile carpets. Even on thicker carpets, it only needed a few passes to successfully suction popcorn and hair.

Thanks to the slim hose design, the vacuum is able to maneuver under couches and coffee tables and effortlessly reach into tight corners. This vacuum is also among the quietest of the devices we tried, which is always a plus in our book. And although the vacuum isn't cordless, it does have an auto-rewind feature that pulls in the cord in a snap.

This vacuum cleaner has a bagged canister, allowing you to use it until it's full before tossing it. Plus, it has a three-tiered filtration system — an excellent feature for those concerned about dust and dander. But be warned that even though the vacuum is pretty small, the canister is heavier than expected

If your home is mostly hardwood floors and low-pile rugs and you're looking for a device that'll help with allergies, choose the Miele Compact C1 Turbo Team Bagged Canister Vacuum.

Price at time of publish: $530.99

Type: Bagged canister | Dimensions: 16.19 x 9.1 x 9.8 | Weight: 15 pounds | Filter Type: AirClean FilterBag | Capacity: Not listed | Cord Length: Not listed | Included Accessories: Turbo Brush Floorhead, dusting brush, crevice tool, and upholstery tool

best vacuums
People/Tara Donne

Best Overall, Robot: iRobot Roomba 694 Robot Vacuum

Irobot Roomba


  • Works well on hard flooring and carpets
  • Avoids furniture
  • Effective cleaning


  • Sensory issues at edges of surfaces

If this list of vacuums has already made you exhausted from just thinking about the task of vacuuming your house, then the iRobot Roomba 694 Robot Vacuum may be the one for you. The iRobot was the crowned winner in our robot vacuum test, thanks to its effectiveness on all types of flooring, from hardwood and tile to carpeting. It took us less than five minutes to get this robot vac going after removing it from the box. This short time period includes downloading the app and setting up the vacuum's cleaning schedule on our phones.

As robots can only do so much that humans cannot, the Roomba had some issues detecting the edges of rugs and carpeting, staying away from those areas as if it sensed a drop-off or staircase. With this in mind, you may have to nudge it along when it gets to the edge of a surface, but it is fantastic at maneuvering around obstacles like chair legs and couches. For an appliance that can effectively clean for you while you go about your day, we'd say this model is as good as it gets.

Price at time of publish: $249.99

Type: Robot | Dimensions: 13.4 x 13.4 x 3.54 inches | Weight: 6.8 pounds | Filter Type: High-efficiency | Capacity: 0.15 gallons | Cord Length: Not applicable | Included Accessories: Docking station, extra filter, Wi-Fi connectivity, phone app

irobot Roomba 694
PEOPLE / Henry Wortock

Best Budget: DirtDevil Versa Cordless 3-in-1 Stick Vac

Versa Cordless 3-in-1 Stick Vac


  • Super lightweight
  • Easy to maneuver
  • Spacious dust bin


  • High noise level
  • No included attachments

Vacuums are one of those household items that usually require an upfront investment, which is why this under-$100 DirtDevil is something to write home about. The Versa Cordless 3-in-1 Stick Vac is a powerful machine, gliding around any type of flooring effortlessly. Its lightweight frame and cordless design helps you get into every corner without having to switch a cord to a closer socket.

This DirtDevil vacuum was extremely easy to set up, as the body of the vacuum came pre-assembled, and we just had to tack on the handle and wand. Since it's a fairly simple machine, the Versa doesn't come with any additional attachments — but we think that's okay for the effective cleaning that you get from just the vacuum itself. As we maneuvered it around an obstacle course of furniture and a variety of floor types, we were impressed with how lightweight and powerful it was as it glided around chair legs with ease (we especially loved its cordlessness during this task).

Our only note was the noise level because this vacuum was pretty loud while in use. It would be difficult to carry on a conversation while vacuuming, but who's really doing that, anyways? For all of our tests, whether it be coffee grounds on carpet or hair strewn on tile, the DirtDevil rose up to the challenge (and did so at a fabulous price). We'd recommend it to anyone looking to be a little conscious of their spending when adding a new cleaning device to their home or those hoping for a quality starter vacuum.

Price at time of publish: $79.99 (orig. $89.99)

Type: Cordless | Dimensions: 2.5 x 10 x 7.8 inches | Weight: 5 pounds | Filter Type: Bagless | Capacity: 0.10 gallons | Cord Length: Not applicable | Included Accessories: None

Best Vacuum Cleaners
People / Dera Burreson

Best Splurge: Dyson V12 Detect Slim Cordless Stick Vacuum

Dyson v12 Detect Slim


  • Easy to navigate darker spaces with a built-in laser light on the brush head
  • Features a single-touch power button
  • Incredibly lightweight


  • Did not perform as well on bare floors
  • Some hair remained twisted in the dust bin

Loyal Dyson fans will be happy to know that the new V12 Detect Slim Cordless model is a solid pick with upgraded features — but it will set you back a few hundred dollars. (By a few hundred dollars, we mean around $650.) There are a few outstanding features that make this Dyson different from the other models on the market.

First, there's a single-touch power button, so you don't have to hold down a trigger button the entire time you vacuum. Second, at just over 5 pounds, it's super lightweight, making it easy to maneuver from one room to another during its extended 60-minute battery run time. And perhaps most importantly, it comes with a laser light on the brush head that illuminates dirt, dust, pet hair, and more, so that you can efficiently clean your space.

There are plenty of other features we could highlight, but we need to talk about the cons. While the dust bin was incredibly easy to empty, there was some hair stuck inside that had to be manually fetched out at the end of its cleaning run. And while it showed superior performance on our testing carpet, it didn't do as well on the bare floor. It took about 25 passes to pick up all of the popcorn kernels and cheerios from the lab's hard flooring. However, if you are a Dyson collector and already own the Omni-Glide model for your bare floors, then this is an outstanding upgraded option for your carpets.

Price at time of publish: $549.99 (orig. $649.99)

Type: Cordless | Dimensions: 9.8 x 9.9 x 49.1 inches | Weight: 5.2 pounds | Filter Type: Whole machine filtration | Capacity: 0.1 gallons | Cord Length: Not applicable | Included Accessories: Laser Slim Fluffy cleaner head, Motorbar cleaner head, crevice tool, hair screw tool, combination tool

Dyson v12
PEOPLE / Meredith Campbell

Best Smart: Tineco PureOne S15 Pro Cordless Stick Vacuum

Tineco PRO S15


  • LED light illuminates debris
  • Includes a standing dock for easy storage
  • Digital screen keeps track of your floor's cleanliness


  • Expensive, but features could make it worth it
  • Motor head is a bit heavy

This Tineco vacuum cleaner is an amazing option for those looking to geek out on smart features or anyone who needs extra help supercharging their clean. The Tineco digital screen turns red when encountering dirt and blue when the area has been sufficiently cleaned, but this model also automatically goes into a short max power mode when it comes into contact with a big mess — so it's really putting in the extra elbow grease for you.

It comes with a standing dock, so you don't have to mount anything to a wall (which is great for renters) and it not only includes helpful attachments, but it also includes a place to store them, so you won't lose them within the first week of owning your vacuum. The LED light on the brush head helps to illuminate any pet hair, crumbs, or other debris that might be lurking in your corners or along your baseboards. However, these features come with a high price tag and our at-home tester noted that the motor portion of the vacuum gets to be a bit heavy after using it for an extended period of time.

Price at time of publish: $599

Type: Cordless | Dimensions: 11 x 11.4 x 45 inches | Weight: 6.8 pounds | Filter Type: Magnetic filter and 5-stage filtration | Capacity: Not listed | Cord Length: Not applicable | Included Accessories: Mini power brush, 2-in-1 dust brush, crevice tool, stand

Tineco PUREONE S15
PEOPLE / Meredith Campbell

Best Quiet: Kenmore DS4095 Elite Cordless Stick Vacuum

Kenmore cordless stick


  • Super lightweight
  • Extremely quiet
  • Easy to maneuver around any obstacle


  • A bit difficult to empty
  • Hair is still (yes, still) stuck in the dust bin from our testing day

We'd go as far as to say that the Kenmore Elite Cordless Stick Vacuum was the quietest vacuum we've ever used. Clocking in at only 65 decibels, it was incredibly easy to carry on a conversation while the vacuum sucked up everything in its path. On top of its quiet operation, this cordless vacuum only weighs three pounds. Three pounds! But still, we were impressed with how easily it maneuvered around corners, furniture, and any obstacle that stood in the way.

Even though it was an effective, quiet, and easy-to-use vacuum, the size and shape of the dust bin made it difficult to empty. We also had to manually fetch some of the hair out of the dust bin, and unfortunately, we weren't able to retrieve all of it. But if you don't live in a household that's constantly shedding, that might not be a dealbreaker for you, so we're still including this quiet vacuum on our list for those that like to clean while babies are sleeping or while they simultaneously conduct facetime calls.

Price at time of publish: $161.31 (orig. $179.99)

Type: Cordless | Dimensions: 15.75 x 5.71 x 21.46 inches | Weight: 3 pounds | Filter Type: HEPA | Capacity: 0.2 gallons | Cord Length: Not applicable | Included Accessories: 2-in-1 combination dust-crevice tool, wall mount

Kenmore cordless stick vacuum
PEOPLE / Meredith Campbell

Best Handheld: Bissell Cleanview Deluxe Corded Handheld Vacuum



  • Powerful suction
  • Spacious canister
  • Easy assembly


  • Not easily portable

Earning the title of "Best Overall" in our dustbusters vacuum test, the Bissell Cleanview Deluxe Corded Handheld Vacuum was a standout thanks to its lightweight yet durable design, strong suction power, and large dirt canister capacity. While many other dustbusters needed to be emptied at least once throughout the test, this tiny yet mighty machine lasted throughout the vacuum trials, despite sucking up large quantities of dry cereal, hair, flour, and more. It only needed to be cleaned out at the very end.

This lack of canister cleaning was a huge convenience to us, but we found that this model was not super portable — in fact, for a vacuum this small, we'd rather it be cordless. However, the cord is 18 feet long, so you'll likely complete most of your chores before being inconvenienced by this feature. Cordless or not, with its easy-to-assemble design (it comes basically ready to use) and deceivingly strong cleaning power, it's not hard to see why the Bissell was a winner.

Price at time of publish: $47.99

Type: Corded | Dimensions: 10 x 5 x 8 inches | Weight: 5 pounds | Filter Type: HEPA | Capacity: 0.2 gallons | Cord Length: 18 feet | Included Accessories: Hose, crevice tool, wide-mouth tool

Bissell Handheld Vacuum on carpet
PEOPLE / Tamara Staples

Best Self-Emptying: Shark Wandvac Cordless Stick Vacuum with Self-Empty Charging Base

Shark Wandvac Self-Empty System with HEPA Self-Empty


  • Maneuvers easily around furniture
  • Slim, lightweight design
  • Works well on upholstery


  • Takes a few passes to fully vacuum
  • Not as powerful as its volume alludes

What's better than a vacuum that will do the dirty work (i.e. emptying the dust bin) for you? The Shark Wandvac Cordless Stick Vacuum does just that, emptying itself into a HEPA filter bag every time it's attached to the charging base. And because it's cordless, you can move this lightweight vacuum from room to room with ease. You can even remove the wand from the base to get into all of those hard-to-reach spots, like between couch cushions and behind furniture, for a deeper clean.

Though we loved this model for its easily mobile functions and conveniently slim design (makes for easy storage), we did notice that it took a few passes to fully vacuum all of the messes we made — and it was considerably louder than the other models we tested. However, we appreciated how effectively the vacuum performed on upholstery, making this a great option for cleaning up after popcorn movie nights in the family room.

For the cleaner that loves a shortcut (don't we all), you'll love this self-emptying option from Shark.

Price at time of publish: $329.99

Type: Cordless | Dimensions: 8.75 x 11 x 43.5 inches | Weight: 13.85 pounds | Filter Type: Washable HEPA | Capacity: 0.03 gallons | Cord Length: Not applicable | Included Accessories: Duster crevice tool, pet multi-tool, self-emptying charging base

Best Vacuum Cleaners
People / Dera Burreson

Best for Pet Hair: Samsung Jet 75 Pet Cordless Stick Vacuum Cleaner

SAMSUNG Jet 75 Pet Cordless Stick Vacuum Cleaner


  • Easy to assemble
  • Powerful suction on hair
  • Helpful attachments


  • Short battery life
  • Loud volume

We love our pets dearly, but there's always going to be a trail of fur left in their paths — which calls for a great vacuum that can clean up after them. The Samsung Jet 75 Pet Cordless Stick Vacuum Cleaner worked tirelessly to scoop up pet hair across all surfaces, from tile to high-pile carpets, leaving only a clean space in its wake.

Not only was this model easy to assemble, but it performed exceptionally well when it came to picking up hair on all flooring types. We loved that you could use the vacuum as a cordless stick model or detach the handle from the base to convert it into a sleek, shorter handheld wand. The crevice tool came in handy when getting into those small corners, as the regular vacuum struggled to get debris at the very end of the base.

We did notice, however, that the volume was quite loud for our taste. This may not be a big factor to you if your home doesn't have an open design, but if it does, you may wake sleeping children or disturb Zoom calls if you're hoping to multi-task. The battery lost power a bit faster than we expected, but it charged quickly, so this wasn't a big problem.

If you need to keep your space clean but own shedding pets, the Samsung Jet 75 could be the one for you.

Price at time of publish: $386.99

Type: Cordless | Dimensions: 8.5 x 9.8 x 44.5 inches | Weight: 6 pounds | Filter Type: Bagless | Capacity: 0.21 gallons | Cord Length: Not applicable | Included Accessories: Mini motorized tool, long reach crevice tool, combination tool, soft brush

Best Vacuum-Mop Combo: Shark 2-in-1 Vacuum and Mop Robot with Matrix Clean Navigation™

Shark 2-in-1 Mop Vacuum


  • Area mapping
  • Deep-cleaning mode
  • Very quiet


  • Setup instructions were unclear
  • Doesn't get corners well

A vacuum that mops and vacuums for you? Sign us up. The hands-free Shark 2-in-1 Vacuum and Mop Robot with Matrix Clean Navigation is a tried and true favorite in the household, especially if you want your space to get clean before you get home (yes, you can program it to clean while you're at work so you come back to sparkling floors).

This vacuum connects to an app that allows you to map out the areas of your home and the amount of rooms that you want it to clean in a sitting. With area mapping, you can program the machine to avoid furniture, move to different rooms, and even set parameters of a room for deep cleaning, should it need it. Another perk is that it practically moves silently, operating far quieter than most vacuums on our list.

The Shark is a great option for those who have children or pets leaving piles of destruction behind them, but the robot did have a bit of trouble getting into corners due to its circular shape. You also have to be a bit tech-savvy to understand how to set up this machine, as it's a little tough to figure out solely from the included instructions. However, we think that the price is very reflective of the value that you are getting from this 2-in-1 vacuum and mop duo because of its exceptional clean and zero-effort functionality.

Price at time of publish: $449.40

Type: Robot | Dimensions: 21.4 x 14.96 x 5.7 inches | Weight: 23.57 pounds | Filter Type: HEPA | Capacity: 0.06 gallons | Cord Length: Not applicable | Included Accessories: Side brushes, mopping pads, cleaning solution, phone app

Best Vacuum Cleaners
People / Dera Burreson

Best for Hardwood Floors: Dyson Omni-Glide + at Dyson


  • Not too loud
  • Lightweight model
  • Swivel head


  • No storage compartments for attachments
  • Canister fills up quickly

When it comes to home devices, whether for cleaning or beauty, there's no one doing it quite like Dyson. The Omni-Glide + was a standout for us due to its sleek design, lightweight feel, and easy mobility. And because it detaches from the base to become a handheld vac, you can reach heights like never before (i.e. tops of bookshelves and cabinets) to get an even deeper clean in your home.

Though we didn't test this model on carpet or rugs, we thought it performed fabulously on tile, hardwood floors, and even stairs. In under one minute, each mess of hair, popcorn, and other pieces of debris were effectively sucked up into the machine's canister. Not to mention that its noise level was considerably lower than others we've tried, making this a huge plus in our book.

We think this is the perfect vacuum for small spots and quick cleanups because of its agile design. (You can fold it flat to fit under low furniture!) However, its slender canister can only hold about 0.2 liters of debris. This means you'll have to empty it more frequently if you're vacuuming a large area, but its quick cleans and maneuverability make the trash visits well worth it. You also get a cleaner head, mini motorized tool, combination crevice tool, light pipe crevice tool, docking station, and charger in the mix — just without built-in storage (but hey, that's what storage closets are for).

Dyson remains supreme for all of your home (and hair) styling needs, especially when it comes to the Omni-Glide+. If you're looking for a slightly cheaper option, the original Dyson Omni-Glide model is available for about $50 less at Target and at Walmart. Expect the same stellar performance, but note that the Omni-Glide+ comes with an additional attachment and a slightly different color scheme than the original Omni-Glide model.

Price at time of publish: $499.99

Type: Cordless | Dimensions: 42.4 x 8.89 x 3.62 inches | Weight: 4.19 | Filter Type: Whole-machine filtration | Capacity: 0.2 liters | Cord Length: Not applicable | Included Accessories: Cleaner head, combination crevice tool, docking station, mini motorized tool, light pipe crevice tool, charger

Things to Consider Before Buying a Vacuum Cleaner


Consider the size of your home, if you have pets, and how often you vacuum. If you live in a small apartment, you'll likely want a more compact model with a smaller dust bin, like the SAMSUNG Jet 75 Pet Cordless Stick Vacuum Cleaner. If you're running a big house with kids and pets, you need a bigger device, like our best upright pick, the Shark Navigator Swivel Pro Upright Vacuum. It's on the bulkier side, but it has a good-sized dust bin (0.1 gallons), so you won't have to empty it mid-clean.


Vacuums prices can range wildly, from just $50 to well over $700. A less expensive device often won't come with extra attachments or HEPA filters — just take the DirtDevil Versa Cordless 3-in-1 Stick Vac for example. But our testing has indicated that for up to $200, you can snag a vacuum that's highly reviewed, comes with useful accessories, and has enough power to suction up big debris.

Dust Bin Capacity

Like the size of the machine, you'll want to seriously consider the size of the dust bin. If you are vacuuming large areas regularly (daily or close to it), you may not want to empty the dust bin during your cleans, making the Miele Compact C1 Turbo Team Bagged Canister Vacuum a great option for you. But on the other hand, the Dyson V12 Detect Slim Cordless Stick Vacuum, which features a smaller dust bin, would suit the type of user who is looking to clean a small apartment or just one messy room at a time (like a kitchen in a busy household).


Most vacuum cleaners nowadays come with at least one attachment, but if you're looking for a machine that can clean beyond the floor, look closely at what extra accessories are included. Those who want to vacuum couch cushions, drapes, car interiors, and high shelves should double-check that their pick comes with crevice tools, dust brushes, and extendable arms.

Also, consider where you're going to store these attachments. Having a dedicated storage box, such as a bin or basket that you keep close to your vacuum, will keep you from losing these helpful little tools. The Tineco Pure One S15 Pro model includes attachment storage on its docking base, so you'll be sure to keep track of the included attachments (and you'll likely use them more often, too).

When to Buy

Vacuums are often on sale, though depending on the time of year, you may not be able to find the brand name you're searching for. For top brands like Shark or Dyson, shop during Amazon Prime Day, Black Friday, and Cyber Monday for the best discounts.


How do I know which vacuum is right for me?

The size of your home, your floor type(s), cleaning routine, budget, and overall mess level will all factor into your purchasing decision. If you have a small space and value convenience above all, a cordless stick vacuum could be great for you. If you've got a large home with children and pets, a large upright vacuum, like the Shark Navigator Swivel Pro Upright Vacuum, might suit you better. Of course, the price will certainly play into your decision. A good vacuum may cost around $200, with high-end models touting $1,000 price tags.

Are bagless vacuums better than bagged?

According to Dr. Purvi S. Parikh, MD, allergist at NYU Langone Health, both have pros and cons, and both bagged and bagless vacuums should have a HEPA filter that you change regularly. "With bagged [vacuum] cleaners, you do not have to change the filter as often, but if you do not have a model that alerts you, some of the allergens can start coming out when it's too full," she says. So while bagged vacuum cleaners tend to offer less allergen exposure during the emptying process, it's important to properly maintain your vacuum and use a mask and gloves when emptying the dust bin or changing a very full vacuum bag.

Are there better vacuum cleaners than Dyson vacuums?

In our testing, we found other brands that performed basic functions as well or better than the Dyson vacuum cleaners we tested (though the Dyson V12 Detect Slim Cordless Stick Vacuum as well as the Omni-Glide+ have been mainstays). Dyson is known for its innovative features and whole filtration system, but if those things are not important to you, there are plenty of other brands such as Shark, Samsung, Tineco, Miele, and more that offer extremely high-performing vacuums.

How long should a vacuum last?

A quality vacuum should last around 8 years, but some brands, such as Dyson, offer a 10-year limited warranty. Check your vacuum's warranty for coverage details. Note that some warranties do not cover all parts or aspects of the vacuum.

How We Tested Vacuum Cleaners

Our testers spent a total of five days trying out over 50 different vacuums, focusing on eight key performance metrics: ease of setup, effectiveness, maneuverability, ease of emptying, noise level, versatility, portability, and overall value.

We created an obstacle course of scattered popcorn kernels and crunched up Cheerios on bare floors, and even smushed faux hair balls into high-pile carpets to really put each tool to the test. Each cleaning job was timed on a stopwatch to see which devices could effectively clean each surface the quickest, and they were evaluated on how intuitive they were when it came to commonplace furniture. (Did they easily glide around chair legs? Suck up debris stuck in corners? You get the gist.)

Each test was given a score from 1 to 5, with the winners selected based on an average of scores. Prices were concealed from testers until the very end of testing, to which they shared their pleasant shock (or advice for a better price).

What Is PEOPLE Tested?

We created the PEOPLE Tested seal of approval to help you find the very best products for your life. We use our unique methodology to test products in three labs across the country and with our network of home testers to determine their effectiveness, durability, ease of use, and so much more. Based on the results, we rate and recommend products so you can find the right one for your needs.

But we don't stop there: We also regularly re-review the categories in which we've awarded the PEOPLE Tested seal of approval — because the best product of today might not be the best of tomorrow. And by the way, companies can never buy our recommendation: Their products must earn it, fair and square.

In short, PEOPLE Tested provides recommendations you can trust — every day, every purchase.

Want more product recommendations? Check out all of our People Tested content.

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