Vacuum Comparison Reviews of 2017: Best Rated Good Lightweight Cleaners for Wood Floors, Tile, & Carpet

Shopping for a new vacuum online can be incredibly confusing and time-consuming. With all the different brands and models on the market, the sheer variety is overwhelming. Plus, there are so many conflicting reviews about every model!

Which reviews can you trust? It’s hard to know.

That’s where we come in. We’ve done comprehensive research to compare dozens of top models.

We read all the professional lab reviews we could find from experts at Consumer Reports, Good Housekeeping, and other publications. Then, we took the time to read hundreds of reviews from previous buyers. We wanted to see which of the top-rated vacuums were actually winners in the real world, especially after a couple months on the job!

After examining all of the options, we chose the ones we’re confident are the best overall. We’ve combined all our findings into our own in-depth reviews. They’ll take you through everything you need to know about our favorite models, from features to specs, and explain who each model is best suited to.

This site is designed to help you find the perfect one for you. We’ve sorted our favorite models into a few different guides by category, like canister, handheld, and more. You’ll find all the links you need on this page. We’ve also provided a summary and a featured review for each guide, so you can get a quick sense of what you’re looking for for your home.

Check out the winners!

Best Seller

Shark Freestyle

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Best Overall

Miele Titan

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Best on a Budget

BISSELL CleanView

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Best Vacuum Cleaner Reviews by Category

Canister vacuums are the most maneuverable type of full-sized model. Their low-profile floor heads and long extension wands/hoses make them much easier to use around furniture and other obstacles than a big bulky upright.

We also love canisters for their versatility! While uprights are ideal for deep carpets, their spinning brushes and high floor settings cause them to struggle pretty significantly on hardwoods and tiles.

A good canister model can handle hardwoods and carpets equally well. That’s because canisters have multiple floor heads, so you don’t have to compromise quality in any area. While canisters are more expensive than uprights, they’re more maneuverable, more versatile, and more ergonomic to use!

Miele Titan

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Our favorite canister model on the market today is the Miele Titan. It’s versatile, powerful, and very user-friendly. There are a number of great features we love about this machine.

First, it’s extremely versatile. The suction is completely adjustable. There are 6 different settings to choose from. This helps you optimize performance on different surfaces.

Second, it comes with two great floor heads. One is a wide parquet attachment with thick, soft bristles for all your hard floors. It helps you cover ground quickly, and protects your floors as it works.

The other is a fully motorized brush head for handling all your carpeting and rugs. We love it because it’s very low-profile and fits easily around furniture.

It’s also great for people with allergies. This one is a bagged canister, and it has complete air filtration built in. We really like the self-sealing, combination filter bags, which let you switch out both at once.

The biggest selling point on this model is the build quality. It’s made in Germany, from high-end materials. The extension wand is stainless steel, the casing is hard, tough plastic, and the wheels are rubber coated. The brushes are natural fibers. Overall, it feels like it’ll last for years. Plus, with a 7-year warranty, it’s guaranteed to!

You can read more about the Miele Titan and see our other favorites on our review for the Best Canister Vacuum!

Cleaning up after pets can be one of life’s greatest challenges. Whether you’ve got cats or dogs, you know the frustration of the waves of hair coating your house. Pet hair clumps in corners, gets ground between floorboards, and ends up adding another layer of weave to your carpeting.

With the wrong machine, pet hair can be a nightmare. It can clog brushes, jam hoses, and stop air flowing to your filters. However, with the right one, you can avoid all those issues and get your fur problem under control in no time.

When we were searching for our favorite models, we made sure to find a few that were ideal for people with pets. We looked for powerful suction, air filtration, and useful attachments for scrubbing pet hair off of fabrics and other tricky surfaces.

Dyson DC39

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The Dyson DC39 is one of the most popular vacuums on the market for pet owners. It’s designed specifically to deal with pet hair. It’s powerful, versatile, and has quite a few smart features that we think come in mighty handy for tackling your furry predicament.

One of the most impressive aspects of this model is the suction. It’s a great balance between brains and brawn. The DC39’s canister is designed around Dyson’s signature cyclonic suction system. This model uses a series of layered cyclones to create a serious whirlwind inside its chamber.

That keeps all the captured dust, dirt, and especially pet fur to the edges of the dust chamber. Normally, they’d go straight to the filter, which is an instant suction-killer. The cyclones help this one achieve higher suction, and more of it!

The convertible floor head works on both carpets and hard flooring. We really like the air-powered design, which eliminates the need for a belt. That cuts out the most annoying and unreliable part on any carpet head.

The whole thing is sealed and HEPA-certified to reduce airborne allergens and dust particles. Plus, it’s bagless. That can be a big advantage when you’re cleaning up lots of fur on a regular basis.

The best part of the bargain for pet owners is the added turbine brush for cleaning fur off upholstery and carpeted stairs.

Want to read more about the DC39? You can find our complete review of the Best Vacuum for Pet Hair and see more of our favorite models for pet owners!

A lot of people think that carpets are the hardest floors to clean. They can pose plenty of their own problems, but we wanted to draw attention to the challenges of cleaning hardwood floors.

Hardwoods attract dust and fur like nobody’s business, and that’s just the dirt you see. Between the floorboards, you might have years’ worth of ground-in dirt and hair. To clean hardwoods properly, you need a machine with powerful suction. You want a model that will pull dust bunnies to you, so you don’t have to chase them around.

You also want something with enough oomph to yank the ground-in crud out of your floors. The big challenge is finding a powerful machine with a gentle touch. Hardwoods scratch easily, so you’ll need one that can clean thoroughly without leaving tracks behind.

It’s hard to find a good compromise, but we’ve found a few models that will do the trick nicely! Here’s a review of some of the Best Vacuum for Hardwood Floors

Miele Olympus

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The Olympus is a great solution for people with lots of hardwoods. It has powerful suction, as well as plenty of protective features to keep your floors safe as you clean.

The canister as well as the floor head has rubberized wheels to give you better maneuverability without scratching your floors a bit. The wide floor head has a velour strip instead of brushes. That helps create a better suction lock on the floors, without allowing the plastic to make contact with the wood. The velour also loosens up surface dirt.

We love the adjustable suction settings on this model. There are 6 different power levels to choose from, with settings for rugs, curtains, and floors among the options. We love having this kind of flexibility, especially compared to other machines at the same price, which only have one option.

It’s also extraordinarily well-built. Miele engineers and manufactures all their products in Germany, so you can be assured of a very high level of quality control. All the parts are durable and sturdy, and previous buyers said they felt like this machine would last them a very long time. It’s covered by a 7-year warranty, and has an excellent record for reliability.

Cleaning out your car is a lot easier if you have the right vacuum. However, vehicles are inherently difficult to maneuver. They’re full of nooks and crannies, and are cramped enough to thwart most full-size models.

Plus, they have countless different surfaces, from floor mats to car seats and instrument panels. We went on a hunt for the best car-cleaning options on the market. We looked for machines that were compact enough to maneuver around a car, but still powerful enough to remove dirt and hair.

Eureka RapidClean

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One of the best models we found is the Eureka RapidClean. It’s a very affordable handheld which is versatile enough to clean all the parts in your car. We also think you’ll find lots of uses for this one around your house!

The most impressive feature on this model is the powered brush head. It’s essentially a miniature version of the carpet brush you’d find on a full-sized upright model. We absolutely love it for cleaning car seats, especially plush covers. It’s also the ideal tool for cleaning carpeting around seat-wells.

This model is also one of the only hand vacuums on the market to feature an attachment hose. It allows you to use the included crevice tool, or any standard size attachments you like on your full-sized vacuum. We love that it wraps around the body, so it’s out of the way while still being accessible.

We like the Eureka’s corded design because it gives you all the cleaning time you need. Cars are tricky, and can take a lot longer to clean than you might think. Cordless models give you 15-20 minutes tops, and nobody likes working on a timer. Plus, with a 25-foot tool, you won’t exactly be lacking range!

Find out more about the Eureka, and see the rest of our favorite options for cleaning your vehicle in our Best Car Vacuum Reviews !

Stairways can be another big challenge for many machines. Between narrow steps, steep inclines, and tight corners, you need a supremely maneuverable tool to get them clean. You’ll need a maneuverable versatile vacuum with exceptional ergonomics and plenty of tools to work at odd angles.

We went looking for a few different solutions. We chose vacuums with plenty of range, either with long power cords or battery packs. We also looked for models that you can adjust to vacuum at different heights. That’s a big plus for vacuuming stairs in front of you, where a long wand can be a pain to use.

Our recommendations also included a few options for both carpeted and hardwood stairs. And, of course, they’ll handle the rest of your house, as well!

Sanitaire

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One of our most affordable choices in the stair department is the Sanitaire. It’s actually a commercial vacuum, but that name tag means it only comes with better durability, stronger power, and a lower price!

This is a canister vacuum, but we love that you can also use it with a shoulder strap. Being able to carry the vacuum along with you makes cleaning stairs much less trying on your body.

It also has the flexibility of a telescopic wand. That helps for vacuuming close to your body on steps, as well as in high corners of a stairwell for nabbing cobwebs.

There’s also a lot to love about the canister itself. It’s bagged, but the bags are sized for commercial cleaning, so they don’t fill up in a hurry. You’ll have fewer allergens in your air, and less of a mess when you empty the vacuum. It’s also much more powerful than the normal household model (made by Eureka). Previous buyers were very impressed by the suction power, especially compared to more expensive vacuums.

The convertible floor head works on all your low carpets and hard floors, and there are plenty of attachments for nooks and crannies. Best of all, this one will only cost you around $100!

Read more on our Best Vacuum for Stairs.

Shopping for a budget vacuum can be a delicate business. You want to save money, sure, but you don’t want to end up with a subpar vacuum.

Many cheap models have poor suction, clumsy features, and badly made parts that break after just a few months of use.

We went hunting for decent vacuums that won’t break the bank. Our options range from $50 right up to $100, and we made sure to pick models for hard flooring as well as carpets. We looked for strong suction power, sturdy build quality, and simple, effective designs.

BISSELL CleanView

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Our top budget choice for people with lots of carpeting is this BISSELL. It’s a powerful upright vacuum with motor brushes and cyclonic suction for extracting every last grain of dirt from your floors.

The most impressive feature on this model is the suction. The BISSELL uses a layered cyclonic system like you’d find on a high-priced Dyson vacuum. That keeps all the dust and debris you suck up away from the motor filter. It means less frequent cleaning for you, and more constant suction power as the canister fills up.

We’re also impressed by the sturdiness of this one overall. Most vacuums at this price are made from flimsy plastics, but the BISSELL feels solid. It’s not deluxe, but it’s miles away from other cheap models.

This one also comes with a few extra conveniences that you don’t usually find for well under $100. There’s a powered turbo brush tool for getting hair off upholstery and carpeted stairs, and automatic cord rewind when you’re done cleaning.

Read our full review, and find more of our top picks for buyers on a budget on Cheap Vacuum Under 100!

Hand vacuums are convenient tools for quick cleanups and projects around the house. They’re also great for cleaning out the car. We love them for supplementing your full-sized vacuum, especially at times when you don’t want to go through the hassle of hauling out the big machine.

However, lots of handheld vacuums have weak suction and cheap build quality. We wanted to find the models that could handle tough tasks and last for years of service.

Black & Decker MAX Lithium

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One of our all-time favorite handheld vacuums is the Black & Decker MAX Lithium. It’s a powerful cordless vac with incredible maneuverability.

We really like it because it’s much more powerful than the handheld vacs you’re used to. This model has a brand new lithium ion battery pack, which provides fade-free power for all your cleaning tasks. Unlike older battery types, this one won’t dip in suction until it dies completely. The MAX Lithium also uses a smart cyclonic system to keep filters clean and airflow steady.

The pivoting nozzle is also a big highlight. It’s very wide and narrow, so it provides plenty of coverage while managing to fit in nearly any space. We love the pivot feature, which lets you rotate the nozzle to pretty much any angle you could need. That’s perfect for vacuuming in awkward spaces, especially around a vehicle.

On the whole, we think this model offers a lot of other conveniences that really set it apart from other handheld options. The attachments are stored inside the nozzle, so they’re ready whenever you need them.

The charging base doubles as a space-saving stand, and it shuts off automatically when the battery is charged up.

Read our full review of the MAX Lithium, and see more of our favorite and Best Handheld Vacuum!

Cordless vacuums are the ultimate in convenience and maneuverability. They’re a great choice for people in smaller houses and apartments who can get through their cleaning pretty quickly.

They also make vacuuming much less of a process. the only time you need to spend is on the actual vacuuming, not wrapping up cords and hauling a bulky vacuum out of the closet.

Cordless models are also incredibly maneuverable, since you’re not limited to cleaning near a power outlet. We like them for cleaning on stairs, and in the car.

Dyson V6 Animal

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The Dyson V6 Animal is a cordless model that’ll clean your car, your stairs, and your whole house! It’s powerful, versatile, and does just about everything a full-sized vacuum can do.

More than anything, the suction on this one impresses us. That’s down to two parts–the battery pack, and the motor itself. The batteries are lithium ion, which we love for their fade-free power. The suction also keeps your power constant. It’s Dyson’s signature layered cyclonic type, just like they use on their full-sized models. The cyclones keep dust and dirt from the filters, which keeps suction high as the vacuum fills up. It also keeps the filters clean longer.

The Animal also has a great carpet attachment. It’s a motorized roller brush like you’d find on an upright or canister vacuum. What we like most about this one is that it’s direct-drive. That means there’s no belt to slip, stick, or jam. The belt-less design also gives you 75% more power for digging into thick carpets!

Since it’s a convertible stick vacuum that can work in three different modes, we’re hard-pressed to find any cleaning tasks you’d need another vacuum for! The Dyson will do it all easily!

Read the full review, and have a look at some other great cordless models in our guide on the Best Cordless Vacuum!

Shark vs. Dyson

Shark and Dyson are two of the biggest players in the vacuum market today. They’re constantly in competition with each other.

One of the biggest challenges to anyone shopping for vacuums is figuring out what the hype is all about for each brand. We’ve devoted a whole guide to comparing the two!

We’ve looked at all the models in each brand to see what they’re each offering. We picked our favorites from both Shark and Dyson in a number of categories. Then, we wrote our own in-depth reviews of all of them to see how they stacked up!

Featured Review:

Navigator

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The Shark Navigator Professional is Shark’s best selling vacuum of all time! It’s a crossover model that combines a powerful upright vacuum with a lift-off feature to give you the maneuverability of a canister vacuum. Best of all, it’s extremely affordable.

As an upright, the Navigator is fully prepared for all your carpeting. It has a motorized brush head that can handle even deep pile.

In Lift-Away mode, you can swap the motor head for a hard floor DustAway attachment. It combines a wide suction head with a sweeper pad behind it. We love this one for hardwood floors, since the microfiber gives your floors a buffing as you vacuum.

Overall, the Navigator ticks all the big boxes for Shark: it’s very lightweight, it has lots of hybrid features, and it’s extremely affordable.

See the full review, read about more of our favorite models from Shark and Dyson, and see how they stack up to each other in our dedicated guide here!

 What’s Next?

Want to see the other vacuums that buyers love the most? Check out the best sellers on Amazon!