The 8 Best Vacuum Cleaners That Are Actually Worth the Splurge


A good vacuum cleaner is a household staple when it comes to appliances. But there’s a lot to consider when buying a new vacuum cleaner. They can get expensive, so you’ll want to find the right vacuum cleaner for your home and lifestyle. 

It’s especially important to keep in mind the size and layout of your home. A smaller vacuum cleaner may be great for an apartment, while larger homes with many stairs may need a different style. Some vacuums work best on low-pile carpeting, while others work better for a hardwood floor or mostly carpetless floors. Do you have pets or kids that make frequent messes? Or are you expecting a major cleanup, such as after a construction project, or liquid spills? Some vacuum cleaners are more useful than others when it comes to pet hair or different types of cleanup situations.

8 Best Vacuum Cleaners Worth the Splurge

  1. Best Overall Vacuum Cleaner: Shark Navigator Lift-Away Professional
  2. Best Cheap Vacuum Cleaner: Bissell PowerForce Helix Bagless Upright Vacuum
  3. Best Bagless Canister Vacuum Cleaner: Bissell Hard Floor Expert Multi-Cyclonic Bagless Canister Vacuum
  4. Best Cordless Stick Vacuum Cleaner: Dyson Cyclone V10 Motorhead
  5. Best Upright Vacuum Cleaner: Dyson Ball Multi Floor 2
  6. Best Vacuum Cleaner for Pet Hair: Miele Classic C1 Cat & Dog Canister Vacuum
  7. Best Robot Vacuum Cleaner: iRobot Roomba i3+
  8. Best Wet/Dry Vacuum Cleaner: DeWALT 12 Gallon Poly Wet/Dry Vac

Best Overall Vacuum Cleaner

Shark NV360 Navigator Lift-Away Deluxe Upright


This lightweight, bagless upright vacuum cleaner ranks at the top of our list because of its big dust canister and its special lift-away feature. The machine quickly turns into a canister vacuum so that you can easily tackle stairs or hard-to-reach areas with the 5-foot hose. The machine converts from carpet to hardwood with an easy brushroll shutoff option. A HEPA filter promises the capture of 99.9% of dust and allergens. Plus, this model is very affordable!

Why We Love It: As a combo upright and canister vacuum, it simply can’t be beat. We love that it weighs only 13 pounds, and its 1.2 quart dust cup means you won’t be constantly dumping it out.

Things to Consider: It’s not easy to maneuver under low furniture.

Promising Review: “This is the first shark I have bought amd my mind was blown. I usually get the cheapest vacuum that has good reviews and they work, but they don’t last or they spread dust everywhere which is an issue with my allergies. When I got a new house I decided to invest in this to better maintain it. I was instantly amazed at the suction power and how quiet it was compared to my others. .” – Kmmay

$169.99 at

Best Cheap Vacuum Cleaner

Bissell PowerForce Helix Bagless Upright Vacuum

BISSELL PowerForce Helix Bagless Upright Vacuum walmart

This lightweight, easy-to-maneuver model is great for a budget vacuum cleaner. It maintains effective suction on both carpets and bare floors with five height settings for different types of carpet and floors. It comes with a 5-foot hose plus an extension wand for reaching higher locations. It also includes a dusting brush, a crevice tool and a washable filter. The dust canister is easy to empty when it gets full.

Why We Love It: As far as budget vacuums go, it does what it’s meant to. It easily adjusts for different carpet piles and floor types, and is fairly versatile for a cheaper model.

Things to Consider: It’s not sturdy. It doesn’t offer too many additional features.

Promising Review: “I had no idea my house was so dirty! I was skeptical at first because of the price, but this thing sucked up everything.  I have two dogs who constantly shed and a cat, plus I have long hair, this thing took care of it like nothing. Easy to assemble, lightweight, and has five settings for different flooring. Very happy with this purchase.” – Brooke

$54.00 at

Best Bagless Canister Vacuum Cleaner

Bissell Hard Floor Expert Multi-Cyclonic Bagless Canister Vacuum

Bissell Hard Floor Expert Multi-Cyclonic Bagless Canister Vacuum Walmart

Get your hardwood floors as clean as possible with this bagless canister vacuum cleaner. The rotating brush is specifically designed to extract dirt and dust from crevices and grout in hardwood and laminate floors. While it’s specially made for cleaning bare floors, it has an included attachment for cleaning carpets as well. It also includes a telescoping wand, a crevice tool and a dusting brush. The 18 foot extension power cord makes cleaning easier from room to room.

Why We Love It: This vacuum is specially made to get hard floors clean, but it does so gently so as to not damage or scratch them. The suction is extremely impressive.

Things to Consider: The arm is somewhat short. Additional tools need to be managed separately, as there’s no place on the machine to store them.

Promising Review: “Amazing quality, great vacuum for the price and amazing customer service.” – Amela

$227.98 at

Best Cordless Stick Vacuum Cleaner

Dyson Cyclone V10 Motorhead

Dyson V10 amazon

Okay, it’s pricey. But it has one of the highest run times of cordless stick vacuums out there. When used without motorized brushes, this one can last up to 60 minutes. Run time is a notorious problem when it comes to cordless vacuums, so why not go with the one that performs best? Plus, the fully-sealed filtration system traps up to 99.97% of particles as small as 0.3 microns.

Why We Love It: It’s lightweight, low profile and easy to store. Plus, did we mention the run time? 

Things to Consider: This vacuum likely won’t replace a deep cleaning vacuum, such as an upright or a canister vacuum. Using motorized brushes may lower the battery life.

Promising Review:  “Light and so convenient to use. Brilliant with dog hairs, so much better than a corded vac. Wish the battery lasted a little longer, and did not take so long to recharge” – Amazon customer

$539.88 at

Best Upright Vacuum Cleaner

Dyson Ball Multi Floor 2

dyson ball multi floor Amazon

Dyson has become a top brand in vacuum cleaners and all types of home appliances, and their products usually come at a hefty price point. But this model is reasonable for the brand, and it’s effective on a variety of floor types, automatically adjusting from carpet to hardwood. Dyson’s ball technology makes the machine easy to navigate. A high-reach wand, stair tool and combination tool are included. The vacuum also offers whole-machine HEPA filtration.

Why We Love It: This machine has several important features you’ll use, such as additional attachments and a washable HEPA filter. It’s sleek for an upright vacuum cleaner and made by a reliable brand.

Things to Consider: This is a bagless system, and the dust bin fills up quickly. It’s also heavy.

Promising Review: “AMAZING vacuum! I have owned a Dyson vacuum before and that one lasted almost 10 years but I had noticed it wasn’t picking up as well as it had in the past. This one is great! After one round of my house it was very clear my last one wasn’t picking up at all! Love love love this vacuum!!!” – Janis v N

$399 on

Best Vacuum Cleaner for Pet Hair

Miele Classic C1 Cat & Dog Canister Vacuum

miele dog and cat vacuum bed bath beyond

Another very high-end vacuum, but this one might be worth it to you if you live in a home where the pets outnumber the people, or if your pet allergies don’t stop you from adopting. This model consistently rates among the best-performing vacuums out there. And for a canister vacuum, it works very well on carpeting, too. The Active AirClean filter eliminates pet odors and captures and retains lung damaging particles. The device includes a motorized brush head, a bare floor tool, an upholstery tool, extension wand, dusting brush and crevice tool.

Why We Love It: It’s truly a great vacuum, and it’s quiet yet powerful. This brand consistently outperforms other canister styles.

Things to Consider: The price is steep, so it’s for the true pet lovers who still want a very clean house. Bags can be pricey.

Promising Review: “Wife worked as professional cleaning tech for high end private residences. Miele was choice of product then and she says this vacuum I purchased for her is still the best vacuum brand on the market.”

$699.99 at

Best Robot Vacuum Cleaner

iRobot Roomba i3+

irobot roomba i3+ Amazon

If you’re hoping to come home to a clean house without lifting a finger, look no further than the iRobot Roomba i3+. This device maps your home in neat rows using smart sensors. It works on carpeting and hardwood, and it avoids places it cannot reach, keeping the device from getting stuck. The vacuum disposes of its contents into its own base for up to 60 days. It works well to eliminate pet hair and dander. 

Why We Love It: The set-it-and-forget-it aspect of this device is pure genius. You won’t have to worry or even think about this device much; you’ll just notice cleaner floors. 

Things to Consider: This isn’t a replacement for a deep-cleaning vacuum, but works well for daily upkeep. It doesn’t work well with area rugs or homes with a lot of items on the floor, and it cannot go up or down stairs.

Promising Review:  “We breed Dobermans and we currently have 4 living in our home. Besides the hair, they track in all sorts of debris. This vacuum is an absolute life and back saver! Does an outstanding job on both carpet and solid floors, in a very reasonable amount of time. I should have purchased an iRobot years ago and will never again be without one. In fact, am looking to purchase a 2nd for the upper level of our home. Just can’t say enough about this vacuum, it is simply amazing! I know some complain about the noise, but it isn’t any noisier than any other vacuum, other than when it empties the dust bin, but that only lasts a few seconds, so not an issue in my book.”

$542.99 at

Best Wet/Dry Vacuum Cleaner

DeWALT 12 Gallon Poly Wet/Dry Vac

dewalt wet dry vac amazon

This effective and reliable wet/dry vacuum scores well for its price, its power and its portability. Its hefty 12 gallon container makes it so that big jobs go undisturbed, as you won’t have to be emptying it out constantly. Reverse the airflow to blow leaves or debris out of the way. The hose is an impressive 7 feet, so you’ll be able to reach high or far. It comes with several accessories such as a dust brush, a crevice tool, an extending wand and a washable filter.

Why We Love It: It’s great for professional use or household projects. You’ll love the 7-foot hose as well as how easy this vacuum makes cleaning up basements, garages, yards, construction sites and more.

Things to Consider: The canister should be emptied after each use, especially if cleaning anything wet. It can be loud.

Promising Review:  “I’ve used a shop vac for several years and wanted to get a second unit so I could dedicate the other vac to my table saw. I wasn’t expecting this new vacuum to work as well but it performs just as well if not better than my similarly sized shop vac unit. It has a bunch of accessories and I honestly haven’t even looked at them yet.”

$179.00 at

Everything You Need to Know About Buying a Vacuum Cleaner

A vacuum cleaner that sports a motorized brush works best on carpet compared to those powered by only suction. Most vacuums have a switch to deactivate the brush to protect and better clean hardwood floors. Some models have a manual carpet pile-height adjustment control, so you’ll be able to change the speed and suction depending on the surface you’re vacuuming. Others adjust automatically as you change surfaces.

There’s a debate when it comes to bagged or bagless devices. They’re both effective, so it really comes down to a personal preference. reports that while bagged vacuums might be better for allergy sufferers and less mess, bagless vacuum cleaners are more environmentally friendly, and you won’t have to foot the bill for new bags every few months. 

What Are the Different Types of Vacuum Cleaners? 

  • Upright vacuums: These are probably the models you think of when you think of vacuum cleaners. They’re great for bigger spaces and work well on carpets. But they may be heavy and clunky to use, as well as loud.
  • Handheld vacuums: Handheld vacuums are low profile and easy to store. They’re best for cleaning up small messes on short-pile carpet or hard floors. They’re also great for cleaning car interiors. 

When buying a handheld vacuum, keep in mind that they are not a replacement for full-sized vacuums, but rather used best for quick surface cleaning in addition to full-sized vacuums, which would be used to clean the entire house.

  • Canister vacuums: Canister models work great for hardwood and other carpetless surfaces, but many work very well on carpeting as well. They make it easier to get to hard-to-reach places, such as under furniture, and attachments make cleaning drapes, furniture and stairs easy as well. They usually run more quietly than upright vacuums. However they can be harder to store than uprights due to the hose and attachments.
  • Stick vacuums: Stick vacuums are lightweight and low profile. They’re great for cleaning up smaller messes without the need to bend over (like when using a handheld). However, stick vacuums aren’t a great replacement for a full-sized vacuum, except for perhaps in a small apartment. Their dustbin is usually small, and they don’t work well on carpets. 

Some things to consider when choosing a stick vacuum: Stick vacuums can be noisy. Keep your neighbors in mind when purchasing a stick vacuum. Stick vacuums also come as corded or cordless vacuums. Battery life can be an issue when it comes to the cordless vacuum variety.

  • Robot vacuums: Robot vac models are most convenient for light vacuuming between deeper cleanings, and they’ll do so without your help. Sensors help them find their way around furniture and out of tight spaces. However, they’re not a replacement for a more robust model. They also don’t work well with shag carpets or area rugs.

Consider the layout of your home when thinking about purchasing a robot vacuum cleaner. This may be more practical for homes with more open space rather than smaller rooms that have more furniture and things covering the floor.

  • Wet/dry vacuums: A wet/dry vacuum is a handy tool to have, as they’re much more powerful than typical vacuums and much more versatile. They can handle indoor and outdoor cleaning as well as a decent amount of water. However, they are big and heavy, so you probably won’t want to replace your everyday vacuum with this one. It’s best used for heavy duty jobs. 

What Are Key Features to Look For in a Vacuum Cleaner? 

Vacuum cleaners come with all kinds of bells and whistles these days. But which features will you actually use? It’s best to look for a vacuum with additional attachments that will allow you to clean tight spots as well as furniture and drapes. Look for a narrow tool for tight spaces, an upholstery brush and a round brush head for dusting surfaces. 

Check that your vacuum has different settings for high-pile and low-pile carpeting, as well as hard flooring, or one that switches modes automatically as needed. If your vacuum has a powered brush, look for an “off” setting for when you’re cleaning bare floors. 

Especially with upright vacuums, which are heavier, you may want a machine that is self-propelled. However, these systems can make a vacuum even heavier to carry, though they make for easier pushing when the vacuum is running.

If you really want a deep clean, opt for a medel with a HEPA filter. While not a must-have, these filters may be useful to those with allergies or asthma, as they catch fine particles before they escape through the machine’s exhaust.

How Much Should You Spend on a Vacuum Cleaner?

You’ll likely be dropping a few hundred dollars on a new vacuum. After all, you want this machine to last years, and you want it to work! Of course, vacuum prices can get pretty steep if you’re willing to foot the bill, but you can get a decent vacuum for $300 or less. 

When Is the Best Time To Buy a Vacuum Cleaner?

When you’re ready to purchase your new vacuum, keep an eye out for deals around holidays, such as Fourth of July, Memorial Day, Labor Day, Presidents Day and Black Friday. Many retailers have big sales during these times on home appliances, so it’s a great time to shop for your household needs. 

How to Save More When Buying a Vacuum Cleaner

Check out our coupon pages to find a deal at a retailer you like to save big on your next vacuum purchase. You can also take a look at RetailMeNot’s DealFinder app to find current sales. E-architect advises to search for deals in the spring, as many stores and online retailers will have discounts for spring cleaners.

The post The 8 Best Vacuum Cleaners That Are Actually Worth the Splurge appeared first on The Real Deal by RetailMeNot.

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