Top 5 Best Canister Vacuums: Complete Buyer's Guide and Review
Normally when you’re buying a new product for the home, you want to do careful research to make sure that you end up with a product that doesn’t completely suck. Today, the opposite is true. When you’re shopping for the best canister vacuum, you want to end up with the product that’s going to suck the most.
We can guarantee you two things by the time that you get to the end of this article.
First of all, there won’t be any other lame vacuum puns. Secondly, by the time you’re done here, you’ll know a lot more about shopping for a canister vacuum and how to choose one that’s going to be suitable for your unique needs, and also one that fits your budget.
We’ll start by covering many of the basics when it comes to choosing a canister vacuum for your home. We’ll go over some of the things that you’ll want to keep an eye out for, and why they matter. Finally, we’ll show our top picks for a variety of budgets and uses, so that no matter how much you’re looking to spend on a vacuum, and no matter what you plan on using it for, you’ll be able to find the best choice.
Things to Consider When Buying A Vacuum
Pets: Some vacuums will include features that help with pet hair. If you don’t have pets, that won’t really matter to you. If you do have pets, you’ll be glad to have them.
Allergies: If smaller particles and allergens are an issue, you can look for a vacuum that addresses that. A vacuum that supports HEPA filters will be able to lock in smaller particles to remove them from your air and your home.
Bags: There are bagless options where you’ll simply need to rinse out the canister (or just dump it), and there are bagged canister vacuums where you’ll just toss the bag when you’re done. Bags can cost a buck or two each.
Flooring: If you’re going to be vacuuming exclusively on hardwood flooring, or exclusively on carpets, or a combination of both, you’ll want to adjust your purchase accordingly.
By now, you’re probably going over some of what you’ve been reading in your head, figuring out how it applies to your unique situation, and even if you don’t realize it, on a subconscious level you’re already in a better position to make an informed purchase.
If you’d like some help, or at least to be pointed in the right direction, stick around because we’re about to feature all of our top choices. Before you continue, it’s worth taking a moment to explain how we choose which vacuums are the best. If it was just about overall quality, we’d have a list here of vacuums that cost thousands of dollars, but value is also very important to consider.
There’s a perfect balance when it comes to getting what you pay for, getting a quality product, and not hitting the point of diminishing returns where you end up spending more money but not getting a reasonable increase in quality. We’ve selected each of these vacuums based on their value (Is it worth the money you’ll be spending?), based on how well they have served for other people who gave them a try, and we’ve made sure to include a variety of products for different types of applications, from hard wood floors to shag carpets.
Best seller: Hoover CH30000 PortaPower
This is the best seller, due to the price and quality. You get a lot more than you pay for, just as long as you don’t have any really intense cleaning to do. You’ll be foregoing the typical look of an at-home vacuum for a solid, entry level commercial unit. This unit isn’t too big, so it’s great for an apartment or anywhere else that you have limited space.
If you’re expecting a solid little vacuum and don’t have super heavy requirements for it, this is a great choice in this price range. It weighs just over 8 pounds, and the 2.2 peak horsepower gives quite decent suction for this price range.
The positive to a smaller unit is that it takes up less space and it’s much easier to carry and move around, but as we mentioned earlier, the downside is that you’ll have to empty the canister more often. If you have a large area that needs a lot of vacuuming, you should look for something larger. If you’re just looking for a great little vacuum at a more-than-fair price, you can’t go with this one from Hoover.
Best for hard floors: Bissell Hard Floor Expert
This corded canister vacuum hits a lot of important boxes on our checklist when it comes to choosing the best options for the most people. If you’re looking to clean carpets, just skip this one. If you’ve got hard wood to clean, this is a great choice. It’s limited compared to models that can do all types of floors, but there are advantages to having a single focus – like being able to do it better. If you only have one type of floor, why would you choose a vacuum that does a slightly worse job, but on a wider variety of floor types? You only need one type!
Higher end: Electrolux UltraFlex
We’ve looked at a couple great vacuums so far, both of them well under $200 in price. If you’re looking to spend a bit more than that, but only on something that’s actually worth the money, we’ve got you covered right now. The UltraFlex by Electrolux has hundreds of positive reviews, it works great on anything from hard wood to a super plush carpet.
It’s only about three pounds heavier than the two previous models we’ve looked at. You can turn down the suction power for vacuuming more delicate things like fabrics and your curtains. You won’t need a bag; you can easily dump out the canister. It doesn’t hold a TON of stuff, but it’s so easy to empty that it doesn’t really matter.
The brush roll (You know, that thing that’s always getting a bunch of hair and stuff wrapped around it, until it causes the motor to work too hard and overheat?) Well, with this unit here, it’s self-cleaning so you won’t find yourself having to take apart your vacuum to get in there with scissors or anything crazy like that.
Air filter, classic design: Miele Complete C3 Limited Edition
This vacuum has a special air filter for people who suffer from allergies, and just anyone who wants smaller particles to get picked up and despised of. It works on rugs and floors, and has a 36 foot radius, making it great for a variety of room sizes. There’s a rotary dial which lets you determine the suction power, and it has a really nice looking style to it. The handle on top makes it easy to move around.
There are many happy owners of it, overall very positive reviews, and it’s a great mid-range option that’s well past the entry level, without breaking the bank. If you want a step up in overall performance, but don’t want to spend anywhere near $1000, this is a solid choice.
Super high-end: Miele Complete C3 Marin
Here’s the highest-end vacuum that we’re featuring today. There are plenty of more expensive items out there, but at that point you’re starting to get into commercial-style units that are much more heavy-duty, heavier, and meant for putting in serious, serious work. They’ll be the loudest, bulkiest, more durable… but for at home, or at the office, or whatever – that’s a bit overkill, if you aren’t doing commercial vacuuming work. This is a great choice, if you want the high-end of the consumer spectrum without the downfalls of a lower-end commercial unit.
This is the heaviest unit on the list, and by far the most powerful. It’s also one of the quieter vacuums, which is another benefit of paying more for a higher quality vacuum. Obviously, it’s still going to be noisy, it’s a vacuum, but it’s also going to run more efficiently.
The reviews are incredible (4.7 out of 5 stars) which means a lot at this price point. People are going to expect a lot more from a unit in the $1000 range than from a vacuum that costs a fraction of that, so that fact that people are so happy with it really carries a lot of weight.
It includes a HEPA filter, works on all flooring types, has a 36 foot operational radius, and footswitch controls. The telescopic wand helps you reach places that aren’t easy to reach, and there’s hidden on-board storage for the various attachments.
If this unit fits within your budget, it’s the obvious choice. If it’s out of your price range, don’t worry about it, there are other great options featured on this page.
Common Vacuum Related Questions
You probably have some questions in your mind already, and after reading a bit more about some of these products, chances are you’ll have some new questions. We’ve done our best to address many of the most commonly asked questions right off the hop, but if there’s anything you’re still curious about that isn’t answered here, make sure that you get in touch because chances are that you aren’t the only person who was wondering the same thing.
Question: How much do I need to spend to get a quality vacuum?
Answer: There isn’t really a set price-point where you suddenly cross over from low-quality to high-quality. The first thing to consider is what your needs are. Just because one vacuum might not be as powerful, that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s lower quality – it just means that it’s suited for lighter use. So, for someone who only needs a vacuum for lighter use, that’s a great choice because they can get a quality item without spending more than they need to.
After you have assessed your needs, and have a rough idea what you would like your budget to be, you can go from there. You may find that meeting your requirements costs less than you expect, but sometimes you’ll have to spend more than you planned to (Unless you can make some sacrifices in terms of features that might not be mandatory for you.)
Question: What types of features are there, and which ones should I be concerned with?
Answer: The features, along with overall quality and power, and the main things that dictate the price of a vacuum. Of course, certain brands are able to charge more because they’re popular or have great reputations, on top of everything else. When you’re buying a vacuum, you don’t want to just be paying for a name, but sticking to reputable brands is a good idea none the less.
- A wider cleaning path can be desirable because it means you have less work to do. It can be a bit trickier to maneuver, and depending on the design you could end up with slightly less suction power but over a larger surface.
- A long power cord makes it easier to get around the whole house. It can be a huge pain to have to plug it in and unplug it, or to have it come in at a foot or two short to reach your entire area. On that same note, a retractable cord can be a handy feature so that you don’t find yourself having to wind it up all the time.
- A longer hose means you can reach more places. There are attachments on many vacuums for reaching difficult places, and a longer hose will make that even easier.
- A larger capacity in the canister means you can get more work done, and that you can spend less time emptying it. However, a larger canister will weigh more. If you’re going up and down stairs a lot, or simply want a lighter vacuum, a smaller cannier may be one of the sacrifices you’ll have to make.
- Some will come with more attachments than others, so if this is deal-breaker for you, make sure you pay close attention to what you’ll be getting.