Forbes: The Best Vacuum

February 1, 2019


Forbes: The Best Vacuum

Whether your home is a small apartment or a big Victorian, covered with shag carpets or left with bare wood floors, or filled with kids and pets, it can be difficult to figure out what type of vacuum cleaner is best for you. We’ve put hundreds of hours into testing a variety of models including upright and canister, cordless stick, robot, and handheld vacuums. Here are a few of our favorite recommendations.

eufy RoboVac 11S / LIAM MCCABE

Robot Vacuum: eufy RoboVac 11S

We tested 23 robot vacuums over more than 100 cleaning sessions before choosing the eufy RoboVac 11S as our top pick. It’s quiet and fits under more furniture than competitors we tested. It’s also the best overall vacuum for pet hair. We like that it has a top-notch navigation system and is less likely than similar models to get stuck or stop during a cleaning session. During testing, we found that at times it was able to pick up more junk than robot vacuums that cost two to three times as much. The RoboVac 11S has a strong suction and an effective brush roll that loosens and moves debris toward it. The 11S has long-lasting battery life and comes with a remote control which lets you steer it manually or set daily cleaning times. 

Shark Navigator Lift-Away / KYLE FITZGERALD

Upright Vacuum: Shark Navigator Lift-Away

The Shark Navigator Lift-Away has been our top pick for four years. It’s the best upright vacuum because it’s easy to use, reliable, and offers a great value. It’s a bagless model that comes without any recurring costs and it doesn’t require much maintenance to keep it running. During testing, it performed well picking up all types of debris including pet hair, crumbs, and dust. Its build allows for smooth handling and it’s ideal for most any home because it cleans short and long carpets as well as bare floors.

Miele C2 Electro+ / MICHAEL HESSION

Canister Vacuum: Miele C2 Electro+

For the absolute-best vacuum and canister model, we recommend the Miele C2 Electro+. It’s the most affordable canister vacuum in the Miele lineup and compared to similar models we tested, it’s the most effective cleaner. We expect a Miele vacuum to last for decades. It uses large bags, runs quiet, and works on any type of flooring—plus its filtration makes it ideal for homes with people that have asthma or allergies. The C2 Electro+ has an electric cleaning head, six suction settings, a foot-controlled power button, and it can handle shag and high-pile carpets. It’s easy to handle, completely sealed for optimal dust control, and its hose and various cleaning parts are durable. The C2 Electro+ itself isn’t cheap and you’ll have to buy new filters and bags regularly, but we still think this upgrade pick is worth the investment for some people.

Dyson V7 Motorhead / MICHAEL HESSION

Cordless Stick Vacuum: Dyson V7 Motorhead

The Dyson V7 Motorhead is one of the most powerful cordless stick vacuums we tested and the best at picking up ground-in debris like pet hair and dust from carpets. It also performs exceptionally well on bare floors. Weighing only five pounds, it’s incredibly light and the swivel joint attaching its cleaning head gives it smooth handling. For a cordless vacuum with such strong suction power, the V7 Motorhead is fairly quiet. It’s battery powered, and during testing we recorded about 28 minutes of run time—enough to clean multiple floors in an apartment or small home. When you pull the handle on its dustbin, it releases the contents through the other end so you can dispose of everything you’ve sucked up without getting your hands dirty. Best of all, it takes up little floor space and easily stores in closets.

Black+Decker Max Lithium Flex Vacuum BDH2020FL / MICHELLE MCSWAIN

Handheld Vacuum: Black+Decker Max Lithium Flex Vacuum BDH2020FL

If you need a compact vacuum for your home or car, a handheld model is a good choice. The Black+Decker Max Lithium Flex Vacuum BDH2020FLeffectively cleans and picks up anything from road grit to plant matter to Cheerios, and it comes with a brush tool for picking up pet hair. It’s been our top pick since 2014 because it has the best combination of power and versatility at its price, and it offers solid performance over long-term use. During testing, its suction power remained strong throughout the entire cleaning session and we got about 16 minutes of run time after recharging it for four hours. The Max Lithium Flex is designed to be held with two hands and we found it to be comfortable to hold while performing tasks like cleaning a car. It has a flexible 4-foot hose for cleaning hard-to-reach places, all of its attachments clip onto the hose, and it even has a crevice tool for picking up heavier debris.