The Best Vacuum Cleaners, According to HGTV Editors
Shop our editors' most-loved vacuum cleaners for every surface and budget.
When it comes to cleaning, we're a passionate group. From pets to kids to everyday dust and grime, these editor-approved vacuums get the job done with ease. Plus, there's an option for every budget and surface. (These tools make cleaning, dare I say, fun?) But with so many different types of vacuums out there, it can be difficult to start your shopping journey. We’re here to help!
Types of Vacuum Cleaners
First, it’s important to understand the different types of vacuums so you can find one that works for you and your household.
Canister Vacuum: Ideal for furniture and multi-surface use, canister vacuums come with a suction hose and retractable cord to make vacuuming a breeze. The motor and dustbin live in a separate unit for flexibility and ease while cleaning.
Carpet Cleaner: If your house is heavily carpeted, a carpet cleaner or carpet shampooer is a great way to tackle tough stains. While not meant for everyday use, they are great for spot and ground-in dirt removal. Carpet cleaners combine a cleaning solution, scrubbing brushes and vacuum suction to lift away hard-to-remove dirt and stains. The cleaning solution is injected deep into carpet fibers, while brushes agitate and loosen the stain, allowing the vacuum suction to remove it from the fibers entirely.
Handheld Vacuum: Handheld cleaners aren’t meant to tackle entire-home messes; they’re designed for spot cleaning in small areas. Plus, they’re particularly handy for cleaning upholstery, stairs and fabric because of how easy they are to carry. There are a few different types of handheld vacuums — corded, cordless and those with HEPA filters. While corded handheld vacuums typically offer better, more powerful suction, cordless models provide more cleaning flexibility — which is the whole point of having a handheld vacuum as a supplemental cleaning tool.
Pet Hair Vacuum: Pet hair vacuums are designed to tackle just that — pet hair. There are several important factors to consider when choosing the right one to efficiently de-shed your home. Carpet and area rugs will benefit from great suction and a rotating brush to pull hair out of the carpet fibers. Hardwood and tile require a vacuum specifically for floors and one that won’t just blow the hair around, creating a bigger mess. And if you have stairs, you should consider the weight of the machine. Plus, most pet hair vacuums come with HEPA air filters and attachments, like crevice and upholstery tools, so you can conquer the sofa, ceilings and more to pick up hair you can’t even see.
Robot Vacuum: These smart little machines excel at cutting down on manual work, and they easily fit under beds and couches, reaching places that don't frequently get cleaned. Most robot vacuums are controlled with an app, making it easy to start a cleaning session whenever you want, wherever you are. Stairs are not an issue thanks to drop-sensing technology, and voice-enabled startup is widely available. Dustbin sizes vary and some vacuums come with side brush attachments for a deeper clean.
Stick Vacuum: Lightweight and cordless (battery-powered), stick vacuums are the perfect mix between an upright vacuum and a handheld vacuum. A great stick vacuum should have both an upright configuration with powerful suction that can tackle larger floor spaces, as well as a handheld configuration for getting corners and hard-to-reach nooks and crannies. They’re most commonly used for quick cleanups in kitchens and bathrooms versus whole-house vacuuming.
Upright Vacuum: Upright vacuums are the most common vacuum cleaner. Uprights are ideal for larger carpeted areas and hardwood floors. Most feature height adjustments for easy surface transition and come with onboard attachments like crevice tools, dust brushes, upholstery tools and more. Upright vacuums may be bagless, while others have traditional bags to hold debris. FYI: Bagged vacuums can hold more dirt and release less dust into the air, while bagless vacuums require frequent emptying and often feature filters that need to be cleaned or replaced. (You will save money on bags, though.)
How to Choose the Best Vacuum Cleaner
There's a lot to consider when choosing a vacuum, from floor surfaces to the size of your home. These are our top six priorities: ease of use/weight, suction power, dirt disposal system, air filtration, included attachments and price. What is your cleaning priority: clearing pet hair? Picking up everyday dirt and grime? Quickly grabbing kid messes? Consider the size of the space you're looking to clean, too. (Only the kitchen? Just upholstery? The entire house?) That will determine the type of vacuum you need. For example, if you want to clean your entire house and every surface, a stick vacuum probably isn't the best pick. From there, consider strong suction for hard-to-tackle messes, like clingy pet hair, and your preferred dirt disposal system (bag or dustbin) while also thinking about air filtration if you or someone in your household suffers from allergies. Most vacuums, even handhelds, come with attachments, so determine which ones are important to you and that you need for your home. If you're looking to hit baseboards and hidden corners, a crevice tool may be crucial for your cleaning routine. If you need to grab crumbs off the sofa, then an upholstery attachment will make cleaning a breeze. Finally, you'll want to consider the price. Not all vacuums are created equal and a top-of-the-line vacuum doesn't always equal the best clean. It's important to dive into the specs of the vacuums you're interested in to determine if they meet your cleaning expectations before purchasing.
To help you get started, we've rounded up our favorite tried-and-true vacuum cleaner picks for houses with pets, kids, hardwood floors, area rugs and more. Shop our top vacuum buys in the links below.
"I really appreciate when machines are engineered so that simple and regular cleaning and maintenance can be done without tools. This automatic carpet cleaner dispenses cleaner as it's pushed forward, then dries the area when pulled backward. So simple! And there is a dry-only setting that disables the cleaner spray when pushed and pulled. Also, the super-easy access to the brushes makes cleaning them a snap." — Paul Cox, Manager of Editorial Operations
"I'm super impressed with this machine. I just passed over the stains and they disappeared. I waited for it to dry in case I was just not seeing it clearly, but the stain is truly gone, and it couldn’t have been easier. It’s a breeze to use and works perfectly. No hard work on my end, and it works quickly." — Keri Sanders, HGTV Editor
"I used it to remove muddy pawprints and senior dog slip-ups in a rug that I'd previously treated multiple times with spray cleaners and paper towels. This deep-cleaning machine handily removed the telltale shadows of my failed previous cleaning attempts and left my rug looking like new." — Camille Smith, HGTV Managing Editor
"I'm obsessed with this carpet and upholstery spot cleaner. We use it at least weekly. It's gotten raspberries out of a rug, yogurt off a sofa and it brought back a carpeted stairway that we were sure we would have to replace. They should basically hand these out at the hospital when you have kids, though it's awesome for pets, too." — Marianne Canada, HGTV Executive Producer
"Friends are always so surprised at how clean our house is with three pets. I give all the credit to my Bissell Pet Hair Eraser. We leave this guy docked right next to the cats' litter boxes so we can quickly grab pet hair and stray litter. Triple-level filtration makes it clean like a beast, and the large dirt bin makes it a cinch to dump out between uses. It comes with a motorized brush tool, an upholstery tool and a crevice tool so I can take on everything from the sectional to the baseboards." — Kayla Kitts, HGTV Managing Editor
"If you consistently find yourself running through the car wash just so you can vacuum out your seats (ahem, me), this may be the vacuum for you. Not only is it great for picking up messes in the car (think spilled cereal, dirt and grass), it's also the perfect size to store in a spare cup holder and can be charged right in the car using the included USB charger. And at only one pound, this handy little helper may even be a worthwhile addition to your diaper bag or stroller." — Keri Sanders, HGTV Editor
"I really like how strong the suction is and the narrow nozzle makes it easy to reach in between cushions. It’s also really lightweight which is nice for cleaning out the car and baseboards. This is a great vacuum to keep in the garage or near the car for quick cleanup." — Molly Miller, HGTV Assistant Editor
"I love this vacuum cleaner! I have a dog, and it does a great job getting up the pet hair. My home consists of carpet, hardwood floors and rugs, and this vacuum cleaner works really well on all these surfaces. I usually vacuum every Saturday, and I'm always amazed at how much dust, dirt and pet hair it picks up every week." — Lauren Fansler, HGTV Editor
"Offering powerful pet hair pickup with an affordable price tag, the Bissell Cleanview Pet Upright Vacuum conquers pet messes on hardwood, carpet, vinyl and tile with ease. This vacuum has great suction — it ranks right up there with more expensive vacuums I've tried." — Paul Cox, Manager of Editorial Operations
"I'm obsessed with this robot vacuum because it saves me so much time. It's a great value because it has all the main features you want in a robot vacuum without too many (expensive) bells and whistles. It has strong suction, good battery life and a Wi-Fi-enabled app that allows scheduling and logs vacuuming sessions. Plus, it's really quiet! I can run it while I'm working and still hear myself think, which is not the case with other robot vacuums I've tried." — Laura James, Editor
"I always thought a robot vacuum wasn’t for me, but this gadget has changed my life! It may not get every single crumb and dust bunny, but it has decreased the amount of time I have to spend vacuuming each week. Instead of plugging up my corded vacuum every day, I only pull it out to spot clean once or twice a week. Just this morning, my i3 vacuumed the whole house while I went on a walk and drank coffee. Can’t beat that convenience!" — Kayla Kitts, Managing Editor
"As life-changing as my Dyson vacuum is, my Neato is even more revolutionary. Hands-off cleaning? Yes, please! Pet hair is my biggest pet peeve so I run this baby daily just to manage all of the dust, hair and crumbs that inevitably accumulate on the floor from my family of five (plus two dogs). The navigation technology on this vac is seriously top-notch. It doesn't bounce around loudly and aimlessly like other budget robot vacs. I like being able to mark off no-go areas and set the vacuum to run when I'm not at home. It's definitely pricey, but as a mom of three, being able to hand off a chore is priceless." — Molly Miller, HGTV Assistant Editor
"Anyone with a cat will understand this one. As much as I love him, I hate, hate, hate the litter box and the litter that is constantly scattered in my laundry room/home office (because that’s where we are now, folks). I first saw this when I was getting my hair done and thought it would be a handy solution to my pet mess problem. I’ve heard of people with vacuums in their baseboard (Can you say, “The dream”?!), but I think this stationary vacuum is the next best thing. I keep it right by his litter box turned to auto and just sweep his mess straight into it. They have a pet version too, but this one works great for me. Plus, for anyone with mobility issues, this would be a great alternative to using a traditional dustpan." — Keri Sanders, HGTV Editor
"I am fully obsessed with my Dyson stick vacuum. Since purchasing it on Prime Day three years ago, I've used it at least once a day, usually multiple times a day. The cost per use at this point is probably less than one cent; it is absolutely worth the splurge! The suction power is incredible. It gets up dog hair better than any other vacuum I own. I love how easy it is to maneuver, and I especially appreciate the long battery life (on low-power mode) because I can clean all of the major areas of my 1,900-square-foot house on one charge. For pet owners and parents, this is absolutely a must-have." — Molly Miller, HGTV Assistant Editor
"We have a Moosoo stick vacuum and love it, especially with its reasonable price tag. With a toddler at home, we have a lot of food crumbs that land on the floor, and this vacuum has been a lifesaver. It’s great for a quick cleanup and easy to use." — Lauren Fansler, Editor
Our Favorite Upright Vacuums
"As a long-time Dyson owner, I actually swapped it for this Shark Navigator DLX. I got it specifically for its pet hair pickup functionality, as well as the 11-foot extendable hose. I’ve had it for more than a year and couldn’t be happier! It features multi-level filtration to trap dust and allergens, powerful bare floor and carpet cleaning, and great swivel steering so I can maneuver around all the awkward spots in my home. The upholstery tool keeps my sofa looking brand-new, and the crevice tool cleans baseboards like a pro. This is by far my favorite upright vacuum I've owned." — Kayla Kitts, HGTV Managing Editor
"I not-so-secretly love vacuuming. After five years of service, my vacuum lost suction, and I received a Shark for Christmas. It's been doing a great job pulling out dirt and grime buried deep into the carpet left behind by my old vacuum. It also has several attachments and detaches from the base so you can vacuum curtains and hard-to-reach spots." — Jessica Yonker, Editor
"My vacuum was in major need of an upgrade, so I really went for it and decided on the Shark Vertex. It is definitely an investment, but I have yet to find something I don’t like about it. One of my favorite features is the self-cleaning DuoClean PowerFin roller which picks up pet hair and debris with ease, sans the hair wrap. Because what’s grosser than looking at your vacuum’s roller and seeing it’s covered in all sorts of hair and gunk? Nothing." — Ellie Sanders, Assistant Editor