The Best Upright and Canister Vacuums

Staff author Sabine Heinlein has been a journalist for over 20 years. She obsesses over the best way to take away cat and rabbit fur from her sofa and hairballs from her heirloom rugs.

For this information, we did the next:

  • We examined 16 corded upright and canister vacuum cleaners in 2023, spending greater than 80 hours scrutinizing them at our check facility in Long Island City, New York, and one other 20 hours testing them in a multi-pet, multi-story, multi-surface dwelling.
  • We spoke to hoover cleaner collectors and repair specialists, engineers, product managers, and CEOs from all main vacuum corporations. We additionally spent greater than 80 hours scouring the web sites of producers and impartial vacuum professionals.
  • We pored over proprietor evaluations, carried out an in-house survey, and talked to dozens of real-life corded vacuum house owners.
  • We employed the AI device DiscoverOurView to establish necessary themes and points in hundreds of buyer evaluations.

If you reside in a small petless house with simply a few rugs, it’s possible you’ll get away with a cordless stick or a robotic as your sole vacuum cleaner. But you probably have a much bigger dwelling, or you probably have pets, a number of rugs, or wall-to-wall carpets, you’ll probably need a plug-in upright or canister mannequin.

While a stick or robotic vacuum will be simpler to retailer and extra handy to make use of, plug-in vacuums are extra {powerful} and extra sturdy. They take away pet fur and dirt extra completely than cordless or robotic fashions and, with their limitless run time and flexibility, they work for houses of all sizes. The finest ones include one or two spinning brush heads that penetrate carpet fibers to take away deep-seated dust and have a number of attachments for cleansing couches and bookshelves.

Upright vs. canister vacuums: Plug-in vacuums are available in each upright and canister fashions. Choosing one over the opposite usually comes down to non-public choice. “I believe it’s a idiot’s errand to attempt to get somebody who’s used to a canister to change to an upright—or vice versa,” mentioned John van Leuven, CEO of SEBO America, maker of our high upright vacuum and canister vacuum picks.

Upright vacuums are a single unit, conveniently stand on their very own, and are typically simpler to stow away in a closet or nook than a canister mannequin. Canister vacuums are available in two related components: a wand with a hose and a pod or canister that accommodates the motor and dustbin or bag.

While it might really feel bizarre to make use of a canister vacuum at first, we’ve recognized many longtime upright customers who made the change as a result of canisters really feel lighter to steer and are simpler to maneuver up and down stairs. They are likely to clog much less usually and are simpler to unclog. Unlike upright machines, most canisters include a handy automated wire rewind.

Bagged vs. bagless vacuums: Bagged vacuum cleaners acquire mud and particles in a sealed, replaceable bag, whereas bagless fashions collect it straight in a dustbin, which you empty into the trash.

While bagless machines don’t require you to purchase costly baggage, they want extra upkeep than their bagged counterparts. In addition to emptying and cleansing the dustbin, the filters of bagless machines should be washed and changed recurrently to keep up cleansing energy.

James Brown, service specialist and museum curator at Mr. Vacuum Cleaner, instructed us that positive mud, comparable to talc and plaster mud, tends to construct up inside bagless fashions over time. “Even HEPA filters can fail and get oversaturated,” Brown added. “Even if the mud hasn’t began penetrating the filter, it might minimize down the airflow. Air stress builds up and goes across the filter and seals.” As a outcome, the vacuum loses suction and also you danger damaging the motor, he defined.

Bags can assist a vacuum last more however should be changed a number of instances per yr. (The non-generic ones can value greater than $6 every.) Bagged fashions are additionally higher for individuals who have allergy symptoms or bronchial asthma as a result of they maintain mud and allergens sealed away. Bags are simpler to discard with out by accident spilling a pile of mud or particles again into your face.

HEPA vs. S-class filters: Some vacuums include both HEPA or S-class filters, which are perfect for indoor allergy victims. HEPA filters are customary within the US and are able to capturing at the very least 99.97% of 0.3-micron particles (the scale of mud, pollen, and mildew, for instance). SEBO’s S-class filters are able to absorbing negligibly fewer particles (99.9% right down to 0.3 microns), based on van Leuven.

Photo: Sabine Heinlein

In our most up-to-date spherical of testing, we tried 16 upright and canister vacuums. Here’s how we evaluated them:

Suction and airflow: We measured every vacuum’s airflow with an anemometer and evaluated its suction with a specialised suction gauge. You want excessive airflow as a result of suction alone can’t transfer particles up the wand and into the bin, based on vacuum service specialist James Brown. “If I put a penny on my hand, put the nozzle over the penny, switched the machine on, switched it off and let it wind down, the penny would nonetheless be there as a result of there’s no air shifting down the tube to take it to the place it must go. But you’ll be able to nonetheless really feel the stress of it pulling your hand to the nozzle.”

Cleaning efficiency: We then tried every vacuum on several types of rugs and on naked flooring strewn with Cheerios, fur, baking soda, chicken seed, and glitter.

  • We sprinkled baking soda near partitions and corners to see how nicely every machine picked up mud in tight areas. (Note: We don’t suggest that you just vacuum giant quantities of baking soda or superfine mud, as it could injury the motor, notably in bagless machines.)
  • We unfold 50 grams of sand on a 2-foot-by-3-foot part of low-to-medium-pile carpet and vacuumed it vigorously for 30 seconds. We then measured how a lot of the sand the vacuum collected. We evenly distributed rabbit and cat fur on the carpet to evaluate how a lot effort it took for every machine to take away it.
  • We ran the highest performers in a multi-person, multi-pet, multi-rug dwelling for a number of weeks to see how they dealt with stairs, in addition to quite a lot of surfaces and messes (bunny hay and cat litter included).

Cleaner head design: We paid particular consideration to the design and performance(s) of every cleaner head.

  • We most popular fashions with a motorized brush roll that propels itself, which makes it simpler to push and maneuver the machine. A motorized brush can be necessary as a result of suction and airflow alone don’t take away dust as completely. “You want agitation, which is what the brushes do,” defined Brown. “They vibrate and sweep the carpet and dislodge the dust. The airflow takes it away.”
  • We vacuumed up hair extensions and checked whether or not brush rolls could possibly be simply eliminated for detangling and cleansing.
  • We checked every cleaner head’s flexibility, whether or not it was peak adjustable, and if it had headlights and/or indicators that signify clogs, full baggage, and/or the necessity for half substitute.

Comfort, versatility, and ease of use: We examined the consolation and maneuverability of every vacuum with a spread of testers of various heights and sizes, together with people in wheelchairs and with shoulder, hand, and arm points.

  • We famous how straightforward it was to take away every vacuum’s bag or empty the dustbin.
  • We famous whether or not you would alter the peak of the vacuum wand (canisters) or deal with (upright machines). We assessed how the deal with felt, and whether or not the wand and cleaner head might rise up on their very own (on canisters). We additionally famous whether or not the mannequin felt mild, versatile, and straightforward to maneuver or heavy and clunky.
  • We appeared on the placement of its wire storage and controls. We most popular vacuums with a clean auto-rewind perform, with their on/off buttons and suction controls on the deal with versus the physique.
  • We checked out how a lot house every vacuum would take up in storage.
  • We measured every vacuum’s noise degree with the SPLnFFT app.
  • We tried out its above-floor attachments on bookshelves, between seat cushions, and on several types of upholstery.

Warranty, customer support, and reliability: We appeared for fashions with a confirmed observe report and good buyer care.

  • We favored fashions with at the very least a three-year guarantee and examined every firm’s guarantee exclusions.
  • We checked whether or not a vacuum’s hose, which is commonly the primary part to crack, appeared robust and versatile, and whether or not a machine’s housing was produced from sturdy plastic. We dominated out vacuums whose components broke throughout testing.
  • We scoured a whole bunch of buyer evaluations on Amazon and Best Buy, and analyzed hundreds of evaluations utilizing the AI device DiscoverOurView to establish necessary themes and points.
  • We known as customer support for every of our high performers to expertise the method and to find out how straightforward it was to order components.
Photo: Marki Williams

Our choose

SEBO Felix Premium

The finest upright vacuum

This trendy, bagged upright vacuum has formidable cleansing energy and is adjustable, versatile, and agile. It ought to final for a decade or two.

Buying Options

For upright fanatics who need all of it, the SEBO Felix Premium provides wonderful cleansing energy and filtration, comfy dealing with, and an extra-long guarantee. It additionally has quite a lot of totally different designs and capabilities that you could select from.

It’s an distinctive cleaner. Whether offered with glitter, positive mud, fur, or cereal, this mannequin hungrily scarfed up extra particles than nearly another vacuum we examined. It was the highest performer in each the upright and canister classes at choosing up sand (solely the a lot heavier, costlier Riccar Tandem Air Deluxe did higher), and it excelled in our baking soda check. While its electrical cleaner head struggled with baking soda near baseboards, its parquet brush, designed for delicate naked wooden flooring, picked up baking soda in a single move (each parallel and head-on, which is uncommon).

It comes with two efficient, well-designed cleaner heads. The SEBO Felix comes with a motorized cleaner head with a self-propelling brush that helps dig up and agitate dust and ferret it up into the vacuum. You can alter the cleaner head to 4 heights, which helps it work successfully on naked flooring and low-pile, medium-pile, and thicker carpets. (Other upright vacuums we examined tended to jam on thicker carpets.)

The Felix additionally has a warning mild that flashes if the peak must be adjusted or the cleaner head turns into clogged, a handy characteristic that the majority different vacuums we examined lacked. It is especially straightforward to take away the comb roll if it does get tangled: It pops out with the clicking of a button, whereas different machines require instruments and finagling.

The non-motorized parquet brush has tender horsehair bristles designed for delicate wooden flooring. Although not fairly as versatile and nimble as that of the Miele Complete C3 Calima PowerLine, in our exams, the Felix’s parquet brush labored nice at eradicating baking soda from naked flooring and alongside baseboards the place the motorized cleaner head struggled.

It’s comfy, light-weight, and quiet. The SEBO Felix feels mild and cozy to maneuver. Its self-propelling cleaner head glides easily throughout all kinds of carpets, rugs, and thresholds. Unlike different machines we examined, the Felix didn’t make wheel tracks or streaks, leaving the carpet in pristine situation.

The height-adjustable deal with hugs your hand, making it extra comfy to carry than these of the opposite uprights we examined. Its wire wrap is positioned excessive sufficient so that you don’t need to bend right down to bundle up the wire. And its hose storage doubles as a handy carrying deal with, so you’ll be able to tote the machine sideways, which makes it simpler to haul up and down stairs.

It converts to a handheld vacuum, with helpful attachments. By eradicating the hose and attaching one in all its two instruments, the Felix immediately transforms from an upright flooring vacuum into a transportable handheld. Its pod detaches and has a snug aspect deal with. Our 5-foot-4 tester discovered the prolonged hose with the included extra-long crevice device enough to succeed in her 8-foot ceilings.

In addition to the crevice device, the Felix comes with a triangular mud brush that swivels 360 levels and is nice for each bookshelves and tight corners. If you steadily clear pet fur off of upholstery, you may wish to take into account getting an upholstery brush or a turbo brush attachment. Or you should purchase the pet package, which additionally features a pet grooming device. (SEBO attachments are inexpensive than equal Miele attachments.)

It’s straightforward to empty and to vary the filters. The Felix’s bag and filters are accessed from the highest of the pod, so that you don’t need to squat to change them (most upright vacuums require you to succeed in additional right down to take away clips or press buttons). Its beneficiant 1-gallon baggage are barely bigger than these of our canister choose.

The Felix makes use of S-class filters, which should be exchanged solely each 10 to twenty baggage however filter a tiny bit much less particles than HEPA filters.

It’s trendy and will be dressed up. With its curvy, retro form the Felix appears nicer than most different vacuums we tried. It is available in three colours (crimson, blue, and white), every with a coordinating patterned “skirt.” The skirt is definitely an exhaust filter, and you should buy further patterned skirts (flowers, plaid, cheetah print, and geometric designs, amongst others) to vary up your Felix’s look.

It’s sturdy, with a wonderful guarantee and nice customer support. Service specialists we spoke to typically love the German-made SEBO machines. SEBO is brief for Semigewerkliche Bodenpflege (Semi-commercial Floorcare). “From its DNA, it’s a industrial vacuum cleaner firm,” mentioned John van Leuven, CEO of SEBO America, explaining that the corporate was based in 1978 however solely began promoting residential machines in 1999.

Based on interviews with vacuum specialists and restore technicians, we’ve got proof that SEBO fashions can final for many years with correct care and upkeep. (“Twenty years will not be uncommon,” Van Leuven instructed us.)

SEBO additionally provides essentially the most beneficiant and complete warranties of our picks. Parts and labor are coated for 5 years and the motor for seven years. The guarantee routinely will increase to seven years and 10 years respectively, in the event you register your vacuum with SEBO. (The machine have to be bought from a licensed vendor or straight by means of SEBO.)

SEBO’s customer support is great. When we known as, a cordial and educated agent picked up the cellphone throughout the minute and helpfully—and appropriately—answered our questions. (Unlike Shark, maker of our price range choose, SEBO may also be reached through electronic mail.)

Flaws however not dealbreakers

It’s an upright. The Felix shares its largest flaws with most different upright machines. Compared to a canister vacuum, it might really feel heavy in your arms and wrists, and it lacks an automated wire rewind.

It’s dear. We examined upright vacuums starting from $30 to $1,200. At round $750, the Felix is costlier than many of the vacuums we tried, nevertheless it carried out higher and may final for much longer.

It’s tough to regulate the deal with size. The Felix’s deal with peak will be adjusted by pulling on a plastic lever on the bottom, however our testers struggled to make it work correctly.

It’s a bit noisy. Due to its {powerful} motor, this mannequin was noisier than many of the cheaper uprights we examined. (Only the extra {powerful} Riccar and the Dyson Ball Animal 3 Extra had been louder.) If noise is a matter for you, we suggest you go for one in all our canister picks, which are typically quieter.

It’s not as broadly out there as different vacuums. You need to order SEBO vacuums from SEBO’s web site or purchase them on-line from a licensed vendor. SEBO fashions aren’t out there at main division or big-box shops, so it could be tough to select one up in your space (verify SEBO’s vendor locator). Note that Amazon and Walmart aren’t licensed sellers; machines purchased by means of these websites received’t include a guaranty.

Though SEBO has greater than 400 licensed sellers and repair specialists within the US (rather less than Miele, maker of our runner-up canister choose), it’s possible you’ll not be capable of discover one in your space: There are none in Manhattan and solely a handful in Brooklyn and Queens, for instance. But faulty machines will be despatched on to SEBO’s US headquarters in Colorado. SEBO pays for delivery each methods through the guarantee interval.

Photo: Marki Williams

Budget choose

Shark Navigator Lift-Away NV352

An inexpensive, well-rounded upright

Though removed from good, this bagless upright is likely one of the finest vacuums you should purchase for lower than $200. We’ve been recommending it since 2014.

Buying Options

Though it lacks the ability and further options of our high choose, the Shark Navigator Lift-Away NV352 vacuum cleaner is the simplest and dependable under-$200 vacuum we’ve tried. But it doesn’t do nicely on thicker carpets and rugs, and its guarantee is extraordinarily restricted. If something breaks (aside from the motor), you’re out of luck.

It’s a succesful cleaner (for smaller particles). Thanks to its spectacular suction and airflow, the Navigator sucked up greater than two-thirds of the sand we unfold out, whereas its rivals in the identical value vary solely acquired about half or much less. It additionally did nice on fur and glitter. Tons of buyer evaluations, even some negative ones, agree that the Navigator is an excellent cleaner. (Pet-hair pickup particularly earns vast reward.)

But it struggles with bigger particles. Because of its low-riding cleaner head, which isn’t height-adjustable like that of the SEBO Felix, the Navigator snowplowed Cheerios and chicken seeds.

And it chokes on thick carpet and rugs. While the Navigator is comfy sufficient to maneuver on dense, low-pile carpet, we struggled to push it on our fluffy, low-pile testing carpet, even after opening the mechanical suction bleed all the way in which. Our DiscoverOurView evaluation revealed that many clients have problems pushing the Navigator throughout carpets and rugs. (Other Navigator fashions seem to undergo from the identical situation: More than 20% of consumers complain that they’ll’t comfortably push the nearly similar Shark Navigator 360 on carpets and rugs, for instance.) We requested Shark concerning the situation, and whereas we had been requested to reply a listing of questions (which we promptly did), we by no means obtained a response.

Several restore specialists have instructed us that Shark’s cleaner heads usually break prematurely.

It’s straightforward to maneuver. The Navigator is barely lower than a pound heavier than our high choose—and its swiveling cleaner head, which is narrower than that of our different picks, makes it straightforward to steer in small corners and round obstacles. But due to its weight distribution, this mannequin tends to tip over in the event you yank the hose.

It converts right into a handheld cleaner and has helpful instruments. While not extraordinary anymore, the “lift-away” characteristic makes cleansing up above floor straightforward: You can take off the pod and set it down, so that you’re left with simply hose, deal with, and hand device. Basic crevice and fabric instruments are included with all Navigator fashions. The latter does nicely on stairs and fabric. But not like our high choose, a dusting brush doesn’t come included—you must purchase it individually.

It’s extra sturdy than most price range vacuums. Owners report that they’ve had this machine for a few years, and a few even replaced their previous one with the same model. Wirecutter staffers who’ve owned the Navigator for seven or eight years instructed us that it nonetheless performs prefer it did on day one.

But the guarantee isn’t as beneficiant because it seems. At first look, Shark’s five-year guarantee on the motor appears reassuring. However, no different components are coated beneath the guarantee, so if the rest breaks, you’re on the hook. Fortunately, substitute components, just like the dustbin, hose, nozzle, and deal with, are available and restore specialists are normally conversant in the model.

The brush roll is tough to take away. Unlike these of the SEBO Felix and Airbelt K3, the Navigator’s brush roll is difficult to take away. It requires a particular torque-star safety screw bit. (To make issues worse, every Shark cleaner necessitates a different-size device.) If hair tangles across the brush roll, we suggest chopping it out with a razor for a better repair.

It suffers from different small design flaws. Its three-way change (off/suction/brush curler) is positioned on the pod as a substitute of the deal with, forcing you to bend right down to make changes. (On the plus aspect, if the deal with will get broken over time, it received’t have an effect on the ability provide.) Its mud cup is secured with clips that some users complain not hold tight after prolonged utilization.

While its measured decibel degree equaled that of our high choose, the Shark Navigator sounds extra grating.

It has a tiny dustbin. Storing lower than one quart of particles earlier than suction drops off, the Shark Navigator must be emptied steadily, notably you probably have a number of bushy pets. (In comparability, our high choose shops nearly a gallon of particles.)

Photo: Marki Williams

Our choose

SEBO Airbelt K3 Premium

The finest canister vacuum

This bagged canister vacuum excels on each naked flooring and carpets, and has many adjustment choices and helpful attachments. It ought to final for the lengthy haul.

Buying Options

View at Amazon

7-Year Standard Warranty

10-Year Extended Warranty

Even in the event you’re a diehard devotee of upright vacuums, the {powerful}, versatile, and whisper-quiet SEBO Airbelt K3 might flip you right into a canister convert.

It’s acquired wonderful cleansing energy. The Sebo Airbelt K3 was a high performer in our cleansing exams, gobbling up glitter, birdseed, fur, and Cheerios extra completely, and in fewer passes, than nearly all its rivals. In our sand check, it outperformed our runner-up canister choose, the Miele C3 Calima however ran (negligibly) behind its upright cousin, the SEBO Felix. Its electrical cleaner head struggled to take away the entire baking soda on naked flooring near the baseboards, however its parquet attachment excelled at this.

Its electrical cleaner head is one of the best we’ve examined. The SEBO Airbelt K3’s 12-inch electrical cleaner head has a motorized brush roll that lifts and agitates dust into the tube. Because it’s self-propelled, it glides simply on several types of flooring and over thresholds and requires much less effort to push than the opposite canister vacuums we examined (actually, typically it’s so speedy you’ll need to play catch up).

Like the SEBO Felix, the Airbelt K3’s cleaner head will be adjusted to 4 heights, serving to it run easily on several types of flooring.

Its electrical cleaner head can be simpler to keep up than these of different vacuums. As with the SEBO Felix, the comb roll will be eliminated for cleansing with the push of a button, and a small flap on the cleaner head permits for straightforward clog removing. (We haven’t skilled clogs with this mannequin.)

Video: Marki Williams

It’s comfy and versatile. At 21 kilos, the SEBO Airbelt K3 is heavier than our upright picks, however its weight distribution—break up between its compact wheeled canister, wand, and cleaner head—makes it extra comfy to hold and maneuver.

Its ergonomic deal with was comfier to carry than that of the Miele C3 Calima, and its adjustable wand allowed testers of vastly totally different heights to hoover simply. Fully prolonged, the machine’s hose and wand have a radius of as much as 11 toes, so likelihood is you’ll solely need to carry the wheeled canister when getting it out of storage or when shifting it up and down stairs.

It has helpful attachments. The SEBO Airbelt K3 will be outfitted with three helpful attachments: a skinny, extra-long crevice device (nice for cleansing radiators or alongside baseboards); an upholstery device that works nicely on fur; and a triangular horse-hair dusting brush that swivels 360 levels and is useful on bookshelves and in tight corners.

SEBO sells much more attachments on-line, together with a pet package with a mini turbo brush and a grooming device.

It has nifty additional options. The Airbelt K3’s crevice device slots away cleverly behind the machine. The canister sports activities a spongy shock absorber (the “Airbelt”) to guard furnishings from nicks and scratches. Its “tug-and-retract” wire rewinder reels the wire in routinely when pulled. (It takes some follow to get the movement proper.)

It’s whisper-quiet. The SEBO Airbelt K3 measured the identical on the decibel scale because the Miele Complete C3 Calima, however its hum felt nicer to our ears.

It’s acquired wonderful filtration. Like the SEBO Felix, the Airbelt K3 has three filters. Its bag captures nearly all of the particles and dirt sucked up by the vacuum. Its S-class pre-motor and exhaust filters make the Airbelt K3 a wonderful alternative for allergy victims.

It’s acquired an excellent guarantee and wonderful customer support. The SEBO Airbelt K3 provides a five-year guarantee for components and labor, with seven years of protection for the motor. Registering the vacuum extends these intervals to seven years and 10 years respectively (relevant solely when the vacuum is bought through licensed sellers).

SEBO has a good community of restore specialists, however you can too ship the vacuum to the producer without cost repairs beneath guarantee, with delivery coated each methods.

SEBO’s customer support is top-notch. Quick and educated cellphone assist is accessible, and, not like Shark, SEBO may also be contacted through electronic mail.

Flaws however not dealbreakers

It’s costly. The Airbelt K3 prices thrice as a lot as our price range choose, the Shark Navigator Lift-Away NV352. However, it has a for much longer life expectancy, it’s extra versatile, its components are simply replaceable, and it’s a lot nicer to make use of.

Its parquet brush is middling. The Airbelt K3’s parquet brush is inferior to that of the Miele Complete C3 Calima PowerLine, missing flexibility and smoothness. Its electrical powerhead, nevertheless, works nicely on all kinds of flooring, making the change to the parquet brush pointless for essentially the most half. Just change off the motorized brush when utilizing it on delicate hardwood flooring.

We most popular Miele’s parquet brush (proper) over the Airbelt K3’s. Photo: Sabine Heinlein

It’s much less broadly out there than different canister vacuums. SEBO solely has about 425 licensed sellers and repair specialists within the US, whereas Miele has 550. It’s additionally not offered on Amazon or at big-box shops. So making an attempt out a SEBO in individual will not be attainable in all components of the nation. On the plus aspect, faulty machines will be despatched on to SEBO’s US headquarters in Colorado, and SEBO pays for delivery each methods through the guarantee interval. (Note: Amazon and Walmart aren’t licensed sellers, and machines purchased by means of these web sites don’t include a guaranty.)

Photo: Marki Williams


Miele Complete C3 Calima PowerLine

Reputable canister, some caveats

This confirmed bagged mannequin has nice suction energy and excels on naked flooring and (most) space rugs. It works on low-pile carpets however balks at thicker ones.

Buying Options

If you have got primarily naked flooring with just some rugs and also you need a {powerful} vacuum cleaner made by an organization with a wonderful popularity, the Miele Complete C3 Calima PowerLine is a good alternative.

It’s a wonderful vacuum—on the correct surfaces. Boasting the best suction and airflow of all of the machines we examined, the C3 Calima is a robust cleaner, notably in terms of positive mud, fur, and sand on onerous flooring and sure space rugs. (We discovered it labored nicely on our author’s Persian and Nepalese wool rugs.) It particularly shines on delicate onerous flooring: Its swiveling, soft-bristled parquet brush was nicer to maneuver and gentler on delicate surfaces than any cleaner head we examined. In our check, it cleaned baking soda alongside baseboards extra easily than another brush we tried.

Since none of its cleaner heads are peak adjustable, the C3 Calima snowplows Cheerios and different giant particles. (A easy answer: Pick the cleaner head off the bottom for a second or two—it’s lighter than a stick vac.)

This mannequin’s non-electric TurboTeQ cleaner head labored comparatively nicely on our writers’ heirloom rugs nevertheless it balked at our fluffy, low-pile check carpet, making it onerous to push. (A great variety of Amazon reviewers additionally complain that it may be onerous to maneuver on carpets.)

George Tjoumakaris, product supervisor at Miele, admitted that the pile of carpet and its really feel affect efficiency. “Density is one issue, and the precise really feel and softness is one other,” he defined. “That’s what’s inflicting the vacuum to typically sink down or get bogged up.” Tjoumakaris really useful customers flip down the machine’s six-tier digital suction setting and open the bleed valve on its energy brush head. (We tried the sand check with these changes, and whereas the cleaner head turned simpler to maneuver, the machine picked up considerably much less sand than earlier than.)

It’s handy, comfy (beneath the correct circumstances), and straightforward to keep up. While we desire controls on the deal with of a vacuum (like on all SEBO machines), Miele’s foot-control pedals are the subsequent smartest thing. Located on high of the canister, its pedals management suction energy, flip the machine on and off, and rewind the wire. Miele’s auto-rewind perform is smoother than that of the SEBO Airbelt K3 and notably handy in comparison with the guide wire hooks of most upright fashions.

The Miele Complete C3 Calima’s attachments are conveniently saved contained in the canister. Photo: Marki Williams

Unless you end up on a floor your Miele objects to, this canister mannequin, with its low-riding, swiveling cleaner heads and its height-adjustable tube, is comfy to deal with and navigates easily round and beneath furnishings. Its three helpful instruments—crevice, upholstery, and a  mud brush that swivels 360 levels—are neatly saved on board the canister.

Miele canister vacuums are among the many quietest vacuum cleaners out there. In our exams, solely the SEBO Airbelt K3 rivaled the three Mieles we tried.

Miele vacuums aren’t recognized for clogging usually (which may occur to any sort of vacuum), but when they do they arrive aside in any respect the most important joints. Unfortunately, you do want a screwdriver to open  its TurboTeQ brush head.

It’s acquired wonderful filtration. The C3 Calima’s sealed system has three filters: its bag, its motor consumption filter, and its S-class exhaust filter. The baggage are self-sealing, too: When you swap out an previous one, its rubber flap closes, so mud and allergens don’t escape. Multiple Amazon reviewers write that they’ve seen noticeable enhancements for allergy sufferers after they began utilizing a Miele.

It’s acquired an outstanding popularity. Technicians, salespeople, fanatics, vacuum collectors, and common individuals all love Miele vacuums. Senior employees author Tim Heffernan’s 15-year-old Miele “nonetheless runs like new and has by no means had a single situation,” even after he mistakenly vacuumed up loads of plaster mud with out a bag in place. Deputy editor Christine Cyr Clisset has used hers for almost a decade.

George Tjoumakaris, product supervisor at Miele, instructed us that the corporate exams all its canister vacuums for a service life expectancy of 20 years.

But its guarantee is skimpy. Longevity apart, in 2020, Miele scaled again its guarantee to a few years for its Complete collection and one yr for its Classic collection. Miele maintains that they haven’t made any adjustments to its C3 line aside from having up to date its turbo brush head and out there colours.

It has a good authorized-dealer and repair community. Sold on Amazon and at P.C. Richards, Miele vacuums are extra broadly out there than SEBO fashions. The firm lists 550 licensed service suppliers (of these, roughly 400 are additionally licensed sellers). As with SEBO vacuums, you’ll must buy your Miele from a licensed vendor to acquire guarantee protection. If you’re involved about shopping for from the mistaken supply on-line, purchase your Miele in individual.

Photo: Marki Williams

Miele canister vacuums can be found in lots of variations and value ranges.

If you have got wall-to-wall carpeting you may take into account upgrading to a mannequin with an electrical cleaner head, just like the Complete C3 Kona PowerLine. You can even purchase the considerably dear electrical cleaner head individually—it suits each the C3 Calima and the Classic C1.

For a inexpensive various to the C3 Calima and the C3 Kona, take into account the Classic C1 Turbo Team PowerLine (for onerous flooring and low-pile rugs) or the Classic C1 Cat & Dog. The latter consists of an electrical energy brush head particularly for carpets and a mini turbo brush for pet hair on upholstery.

The brush roll on this Miele energy head is pushed by a geared belt, which ought to final for a few years with out shedding rigidity. Photo: Liam McCabe

We examined the Miele Classic C1 Turbo Team PowerLine and located its cleansing energy corresponding to that of the Miele Complete C3 Calima. It had the identical airflow and suction in our exams and cleaned up about in addition to its pricier cousin. But it’s a bit louder, and its filtration isn’t fairly pretty much as good. Also, the Classic C1 line’s guarantee is just one yr (in comparison with the Complete C3 Calima’s three years).

If you have got primarily naked flooring with a number of rugs you may also wish to take into account the Miele Classic C1 Pure Suction, essentially the most fundamental, lowest-priced vacuum in Miele’s intensive lineup of canister vacuums. Although it doesn’t work nicely on thick rugs, it’s exceptionally efficient and cozy to make use of on naked flooring. Miele Classic C1 Pure Suction has a common floorhead, which options rubberized wheels and bristles that you could prolong or retract, so it’s wonderful on naked flooring and stable on flat-weave or low-pile rugs, too.

The Miele Boost CX1 is a robust and stylish little machine that will work nicely in a small house with onerous flooring and some rugs. It has nice cleansing energy (besides in terms of fur), nevertheless it doesn’t have baggage, so subsequently its filtration is inferior. We suppose for this value you’d be higher off shopping for the Miele Classic C1 Pure Suction or the Classic C1 Turbo Team PowerLine.

Photo: Marki Williams

If you need an ultra-powerful vacuum and don’t thoughts some noise: The Riccar Tandem Air Deluxe was arms down essentially the most {powerful} vacuum cleaner we examined. No fleck or speck, nevertheless giant or small, escaped it. It has a seven-year guarantee and it’s superbly and neatly designed with a protracted, clean hose for above-floor cleansing, a horsehair brush device, and a height-adjustable cleaner head with headlights. But its heft and noisiness damage our shoulders and ears and reminded us of the vacuums you see utilized in resorts and airports.

If you need a respectable, mid-priced vacuum and are prepared to take some dangers: The Shark Stratos Upright Vacuum may enchantment. We thought of making it our new high upright choose for its wonderful cleansing energy and ease of dealing with at a comparatively reasonably priced value (round $400 for the primary mannequin, or $500 for the pet model). Its {powerful} suction and airflow make it an environment friendly cleaner, and its self-propelling brush roll, which works nicely on all kinds of flooring, makes it straightforward to steer and maneuver.

However, a disproportionate variety of Amazon reviewers reported brush roll issues, and a number of other restore specialists instructed us that brush roll issues are frequent in Shark vacuums. The cleaner head, like most of its components, will not be coated beneath Shark’s restricted five-year guarantee, which implies that if the comb roll fails, you’ll need to buy a brand new one for $90 (it was out of inventory on Shark’s web site for months, however is accessible now). Shark didn’t reply to a number of requests for remark concerning the reported brush roll points on its vacuums. We’ll proceed long-term testing the Stratos and monitoring whether or not Shark addresses the issues.

The Stratos is actually one of the best upright vacuum beneath $500 we’ve examined—no different mannequin in that value vary got here near its energy and comfort. But the danger of brush roll failure, and the price of changing the half, is unacceptable. That mentioned, in the event you’re prepared to roll the cube, and if you could find it at a deep low cost, it could be a sound alternative.

The Dyson Ball Animal 3 Extra did nice in our cleansing exams and was the one vacuum we examined whose brush didn’t get entangled regardless of the size of the hair. But a $550 vacuum cleaner ought to be simpler to assemble and take aside. Its motor “ball” made it awkward to maneuver in small furnished rooms, and we discovered the Ball Animal 3 Extra onerous to push on our check carpet.

The new Hoover WindTunnel TangleGuard is less complicated to maneuver throughout carpets than the Dyson Ball Animal 3 Extra, nevertheless it didn’t measure as much as our picks in its sand pickup. It additionally felt excessively noisy, and complaints about breakage and Hoover’s customer service are rampant.

The Kenmore DU5092 was quieter and extra comfy to maneuver than the Hoover WindTunnel, however its cleansing efficiency wasn’t any higher. And regardless of its declare of eliminating hair on its brush roll, it did terribly with 18-inch-long hair.

The Bissell SurfaceSense Allergen Pet Lift-Off Vacuum screeched and screamed, and it underperformed in most of our cleansing exams.

There’s normally a motive a vacuum cleaner prices lower than $200: Its components break simply and/or it could lose motor energy and suction after just some months. The Bissell Swivel Pet Vacuum Cleaner appears cheaply made and feels large and clunky. The Eureka WhirlWind appears low cost, cleans mediocrely, and takes up loads of house. The Bissell Featherweight Lightweight Stick Vacuum dumped Cheerios again out after shutoff, and its primitive cleaner head feels scratchy on onerous flooring. None of those vacuum cleaners are value your cash.

Regular cleansing and upkeep are key to holding your vacuum in good working order. Our article on the best way to clear each a part of a vacuum goes in-depth, however listed below are three steps it is best to take to keep away from shedding suction:

  • Empty the bin or exchange the bag recurrently. This is necessary: A stuffed bin prevents airflow, and airflow is crucial on your machine’s cleansing energy. A bagless vacuum requires you to empty the canister after a run or two. On the identical be aware: Don’t wait to switch the bag of your Miele or SEBO till it’s utterly stuffed.
  • Wash or exchange the filters. When a vacuum’s filters get clogged with mud, it loses suction. Check the guide to see which filters to wash or exchange and the way usually (the recommendation varies broadly by producer). And in the event you’re washing a reusable filter, let it dry completely earlier than placing it again within the vacuum.
  • Clear out clogs and tangles. Over time, hair and different fibers will wrap across the vacuum’s brush roll; use scissors or a blade to chop these off and maintain the comb rolling freely. If your vacuum out of the blue loses suction, disconnect the hose, wand, and cleaner head and search for clogs in every half. Use your fingers, a pipe cleaner, or a skewer to wash out caught particles. Removing the hair with out opening the comb housing requires a razor blade or scissors.

Sarah Bogdan, Liam McCabe, and Michelle Ma wrote earlier variations of this information, which was first printed in 2013. This article was edited by Courtney Schley and Ingrid Skjong. 

  1. James Brown, service specialist and museum curator at Mr. Vacuum Cleaner, Video interview, December 30, 2022, and electronic mail interview, August 21, 2023

  2. John van Leuven, CEO of SEBO America, Video interview, April 26, 2023

  3. George Tjoumakaris, product supervisor at Miele, Video interview, August 29, 2023

  4. Doug Blocker, senior worth engineering supervisor at Tacony Corporation, Video interview, August 1, 2023

  5. Tom Gasko, vacuum cleaner collector and restore specialist and proprietor of Mid Missouri Vacuum, Video interview, February 1, 2023

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