There are a variety of different types of canister vacuums to choose from, which can make research a bit more complicated. We’ll assume you’ve already settled on a canister vacuum as opposed to a different style altogether, and that’s a great choice, it makes the most sense in most cases.
Now, your next big decision will be whether you should get a canister vacuum with a bag, or a bagless option instead. There are pros and cons to each, let’s go over them briefly.
Ultimately, you’ll end up spending more if you use bags, because the bags cost money. It’s not a huge cost, maybe a buck or two each, but it definitely adds up over the course of the lifetime of your vacuum. Also, you can’t buy too many in bulk to save money unless you go with a very high-end vacuum that’ll be worth the repair bill when things start to break down.
A nice thing about the bagless variety is that it’s actually easier to just take out the canister, dump it, and pop it back in place than it is to take out the bag, throw it in the trash, and then try to fidget around to attach a new bag. Many will say that bag vacuums are lower maintenance, but at the end of the day it really doesn’t make a huge difference, and it comes down dumping out the canister vs trying to attach a new bag. It’s more or less a toss up.
One of the advantages of bagged vacuums is that the bags can have a filter that’ll help with allergies. There are also bagless vacuums that do a good job of this, but if you want to absolutely minimize dust exposure, bagged is probably the way to go, unless you’re careful when emptying it.
Bagless vacuums are nice because, well, you don’t need bags. They’re ready to go whenever you’re ready. Having a visible dirty canister lets you see how soon you need to empty it, and how effective your vacuum is working in general, too.
If you decide to go the bagless route, you really can’t go wrong with any of the vacuum suggestions that we’re about to feature. Here are five of the top choices, with something for every budget. Starting around $60, and going all the way up to the highest end of the spectrum, we’ve chosen the best vacuum in each price range to help you with your research.
$100 – $200 Options
Anker HomeVac Duo 2-in-1 Cordless Vacuum Cleaner
This versatile vacuum is cordless, and detaches into a handheld unit. It’s not going to be the most powerful vacuum you’ll ever use, but if that still suits your needs and a lower budget – it’s a good choice. It’s nice being able to detach it for a quick cleanup, without having to haul out the entire vacuum.
This vacuum comes with an 18 month warranty, which is reasonable considering the low price of it. Don’t expect it to last years and years and years, and you won’t be disappointed, and will likely be pleasantly surprised. In any case, it’s a nice vacuum, and if you don’t have a huge budget, you could do a lot worse than this one.
Bissell Powergroom Multicyclonic Bagless Canister Vacuum
Unlike the other option in our $100-$200 category, this Bissell vacuum isn’t cordless. It doesn’t transform, or do anything all that fancy, it’s just a solid workhorse that’ll do what you’d expect. It’s super easy to empty, you just press a button and the bottom of the canister opens up while you’re holding it over the garbage.
A lot of the settings are right at your fingertips, so you don’t have to bend down anytime you want to change something. The brush roll is motorized, to help pick up all sorts of debris, dust, and dirt. This vacuum cleaner weighs 10 pounds.
$200 - $300 Options
Shark Rotator Powered Lift-Away Canister
If the Dyson vacuum that we’re going to feature at the very top of this list is just a bit outside of your price range, this Shark Rotator is a very nice option. You can clean a variety of floors with this one, from carpets, rugs, and bare floors. The canister just lifts away whenever it’s full, which you can easily tell because it’s transparent.
It’s light enough to carry as you’re doing stairs, although it’s still one of the heavier units on this list, coming in at just over 20 pounds. Still, it’s not a deal breaker, since it’s not like you’re going to be carrying it around all day. It can still sit on the floor, and the wand part is as light as any others out there.
Electrolux Access T8 Bagless Canister Vacuum
The big selling point of this vacuum is that it’s quieter. Notice it’s not quiet, just quieter. No vacuum is going to be quiet. If you have pets that lose their minds when you turn on the vacuum, this might help a bit. It’s also good for an apartment if you don’t want to disturb your neighbors, especially if you make a mess at night time and don’t want to wait until morning.
It’s very lightweight, and has settings you can adjust so that you can get more power when you don’t mind making more noise. The telescopic wand and attachments will help to reach tough places. The cord retracts, which is always a nice feature to have.
$300 – $400 Options
Dyson DC39 Multi Floor Canister Vacuum Cleaner
Before we dig into this one, which is the most expensive on our list, realize that there are plenty of more expensive models out there. You can get a bagless canister vacuum for over $1000, but at those higher prices you’re starting to get into the commercial grade. As far as something for at home, the DC39 by Dyson works on a variety of floor types, and comes with a 5 year warranty.
This vacuum can turn on a dime, making it very easy to maneuver. It has a lot of small details that are just handled nicely, for lack of a better term. It comes with a special tool for vacuuming your stairs, and a variety of other tools for versatile and hassle-free cleaning.
The bin is clear, so you know when it’s time to empty it, and it’s a breeze to empty. Despite not having a bag, this vacuum by Dyson still does a good job of trapping allergens. The Multi Floor tool is also equipped with a HEPA filter.