We often get asked, "What's the best vacuum cleaner?" But the answer isn't that simple. Over the past five years, we've tested uprights, canisters, robots, cordless, and wet-dry vacuums, and we can tell you that each type has its own advantages and drawbacks.
Uprights, for example, tend to be best at cleaning carpets rather than upholstery. On the other hand, canisters can take up more space but get under furniture more easily. Then there are robot vacuums, which have to run every day to keep the dust bunnies at bay.
These are the best vacuums we tested ranked, in order:
- Bissell CleanView
- Eufy RoboVac 11s
- Dyson Cyclone V10 Absolute
- Miele Complete C3 Kona
- Craftsman 12004
- Miele Dynamic U1 Cat & Dog
If you want the most vacuum for the least amount of money, the Bissell CleanView is your best bet.
Our tests showed the CleanView offered a fantastic balance of performance and price. Pet owners might need something with even more suction—but the CleanView is a great generalist.
The CleanView picked up an impressive percentage of the test dirt we laid out for it, and we feel the included crevice tool, dusting tool, and turbo brush accessories will satisfy the needs of most households. At 77 dBa, it's louder than more expensive models, but still one of the quietest vacuums we've tested at this price.
Note this model lacks a retractable cord, doesn't carry all of its attachments on board, and isn't great for deep carpet. But user reviews praise its reliability and build quality.
**For more, check out our full affordable upright vacuum guide.**
Eufy RoboVac 11s
The Eufy Robovac 11S is the heir to the much-loved Robovac 11. This robot vacuum does its predecessor proud, offering excellent suction and improved navigation. The slimmer design allows the S to get its brushes into more places.
When we tested, the 11S picked up around 11.6 grams of dirt per run, more than what most iRobot models manage. We also noted that during operation, the 11S was quiet, rarely making enough noise to interrupt a conversation. The combination of good dirt pickup and quiet operation make the 11S one of our favorite robot vacuums. For under $400, though, the RoboVac 11s is an affordable and effective way to add a robot to your cleaning routine.
For more, check out our full affordable robot vacuum guide.
Dyson Cyclone V10 Absolute
When we first heard about the Dyson V10 Absolute, the details made us skeptical. Dyson announced that it would stop developing new corded vacuums because of how confident the R&D team was in the V10.
However, after spending time with the V10, we found the "absolute" moniker to be apt, since the V10 comes with absolutely everything: a unique, powered brush head that's designed for hardwood floors, a motorized mini brush for cleaning upholstery, a soft brush for hardwood, a combination upholstery/bare floor tool, a crevice tool, drive cleaner head, and a soft dusting brush for computers and delicate items. They all attach to a 5.6-pound wall-mountable package, making it one of the lightest cordless vacuums on the market.
The V10 puts all these tools to good use. In our testing lab, it picked up 89 percent of the dirt we left out for it, better than any other cordless. Even more surprising, the V10 also dominated the battery tests. On the low setting, it can run for 60 minutes, perfect for day-to-day maintenance. For intense cleaning jobs, you can run the Absolute for nine minutes on the highest setting.
The one major downside of the Absolute is that it's absurdly expensive. In fact, you could buy six of our best value pick for what you'd spend on this Dyson. Still, if you want no compromise in power or battery life, this is the cordless vacuum to get.
**For more, check out our roundup of the best cordless vacuums.**
Miele Complete C3 Kona
Because they can be unwieldy, bagged canister vacuums aren't as popular as they once were. Still, they're the go-to choice for serious cleaning. That's because their separate wands and many attachments make them easy to use under furniture, on a variety of floor types, and on upholstery and curtains. If you have mostly wood floors, a canister vacuum is your best bet.
At over $1,000, the Miele Complete C3 Kona bagged canister vacuum might be expensive—but our tests show it gets the job done. On bare floors and thick carpet, the Kona simply captures more dirt than its competitors. It does this with its powered brush head, which is powerful enough to propel itself forward.
When cleaning is done, all attachments store onboard—even the powered Electro Plus wand slots right into the body. And since it's a Miele, nothing but the best build quality will do—no cheap or wobbly panels here. Everything is fine tuned for balance so the unit won't fall over.
If you suffer from allergies or just demand a clean house, look no further than Miele's Kona.
For more, check out our full canister vacuums guide.
Wet/Dry vacuums are designed to pick up dirt, debris, and water. The Craftsman 12004 was our overall pick for the best wet/dry vacuum because it offered the most balanced combination of power, usability, and versatility. While it's neither the largest nor the most powerful wet/dry vacuum we tested, it picked up 1.43 gallons of water in just 10 seconds—better than any vacuum its size.
The six-gallon Craftsman also backed up its power with smooth operation. The hose was easy to attach and remove, but still felt secure even when we used it to drag a heavy, waterlogged vacuum. This Craftsman also boasted the easiest filter to remove. That's important since you have to to take the filter off before wet pickup.
The only weak spot is the Craftsman's lack of attachments. It comes with two extension wands, a floor squeegee for wet pickup, and a utility nozzle. That covers wet and dry pretty well—but some of the competition came with more.
**For more, check out our full shop vacuums guide.**
Miele Dynamic U1 Cat & Dog
Where To BuyClick for price Amazon Buy
If you like the idea of an upright vacuum but want something that's going to last, we recommend spending a little more on a Miele. No matter which model you pick, the Miele Dynamic U1 line of high-end upright vacuums look and feel like nothing else out there. Each vacuum contains weights so it resists tipping over, even when you're tugging on the hose.
But what's more impressive is that the Dynamic U1 models clean as well as they handle. When it comes right down to it, the U1 series picked up more dirt than any other vacuum we've ever tested. Yes, it is expensive—even the entry-level U1 Maverick starts at $399. But when you need a superior clean, Miele delivers.
How we test
Hi, I’m Jon Chan, the senior lab technician at Reviewed. If you clean with it, it’s likely I oversee its testing, whether you’re asking about a vacuum or laundry detergent. Over the years, I’ve gotten my hands on hundreds of vacuums and this article is about the best of every type I’ve tested. When it comes to the absolute pinnacle, it’s all about well each model can clean up a mess.
Full-sized vacuums: We hold uprights and canisters to the same standards. Each vacuum is subjected to a battery of tests on surfaces ranging from deep-pile carpet to bare kitchen floors. The carpet tests revolve around the ability of each vacuum to pick up embedded dirt and pet hair. On bare floors, we’re more focused on seeing if a vacuum can pick up large debris like uncooked rice and macaroni.
Aside from cleaning, we also test how easy to use each vacuum is. We check to see how easy it is to lug up the stairs, the length of the power cord, and even count the number of attachments.
Robot vacuums: Every robot vacuum that comes into our labs gets placed in our obstacle course. The course contains simulations of tight furniture legs, low shelves, high thresholds, and three different types of carpet. At each obstacle, we sprinkle in a custom-ground cork mixture. The mixture allows us to measure not only how much the robot picked up but also how far it can clean into each obstacle without getting stuck.
Aside from just suctioning up dirt, other, “softer” metrics interest us. We check out any available smart features, including Alexa and Google Home skills. Inside the box and online, we look for replacement parts and how easy they are to order. Finally, we make note of how easy the robot vacuum is to use, such as how often you need to empty the bin or when it requires human intervention.
Wet/Dry Vacuums: Shop vacuums differ from the rest on this list because they are more at home in the garage than your living room. To the wet part in wet/dry vacuum, we measured how much water each model could suction up in ten seconds and used that as a benchmark for their overall power. See, the horsepower rating on the box signifies only its peak horsepower, which quickly fades after startup. We also tested to see how well each model dealt with wet sand and metal bolts.
Moving away from cleaning, we made a note about how easy it was to use each vacuum. We checked to see if it was easy to assemble, empty, move, and swap out attachments.