It’s hard to believe that we’re already standing on the threshold of autumn. Before you know it, chilly weather will be knocking at the door and we’ll be closing up all of the windows. That means more time spent inside, which means more kids playing on the carpet and more pets sitting on couches. And that makes autumn the prime time for buying a new vacuum cleaner. A vacuum is often your best defense against the dust and dirt buildup that increases during this season.
These days, picking out a vacuum can be an exercise in frustration, thanks to the myriad options available (we have more than 85 vacuum cleaners available on Abt.com) and the decisions you’ll need to make. Do you go with a canister or upright vacuum? Plug-in or battery powered? Stick vacuum or handheld? While it would be great to give you a one-size-fits-all answer, the truth is that any answer is going to depend on your particular needs. To try and help with your search for the right vacuum cleaner for your own needs, we assembled this list of our 10 top vacuums for particular use cases.
- The best affordable vacuum — If you don’t often have a lot of vacuuming to do, but still want something dependable for your infrequent home cleanings, we recommend the Shark NV360. This vacuum cleaner works well on hard floors and carpeting, plus it comes with a pet hair attachment and large, bagless dustbin.
- The best high-end vacuum — If your home is filled with carpeted floors, and you are willing to pay for the best, there’s not much better than the Miele C3 Brilliant. With hand mounted controls, an ultra quiet motor, and led lighting on the canister and vacuum head, this is the Rolls Royce of vacuums. There’s even a velvet bumper strip around the canister to avoid scuffing furniture and walls. The Miele C3 vacuum cleaner also has an auto mode that self-adjusts the power level based on the type of floor you’re cleaning.
- The best vacuum for allergies — The transition to fall can be especially tough on those who suffer from seasonal allergies. With a variety of integrated anti-allergen measures—like a HEPA filter to clean the air and an anti-allergen seal around the dustbin—the Shark NV352 offers allergy protection for an affordable price.
- The best “smart” vacuum — No list of the best vacuums can ignore the utility of robotic vacuums, which get smarter and better at cleaning with every new generation. Our current favorite is the iRobot Roomba s9+, the smartest vacuum available. With a high-tech navigation system, the s9+ learns the layout of your home and automatically decides the most efficient way to clean it. And you can easily mark certain rooms off-limits in the accompanying app. The s9+ can also empty its own canister, return to its base when it knows it needs a charge, and will be able to add future features thanks to regular software updates. It’s also compatible with Google Assistant and Alexa so you can use voice commands to control it.
- The second best all-around robotic vacuum — For hands-off floor cleaning at a more affordable price than the Roomba S9+, it’s hard to beat the iRobot Roomba i7. While it is a little less powerful than its older sibling, and doesn’t have automatic dustbin emptying feature, you still get lots of the other good stuff: intelligent room mapping with settable “Keep Out Zones,” the ability to clean both carpet and hard floors, and Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa integration.
- The best vacuum for pets — As any pet owner can attest, there’s no winning the battle against hair everywhere. But you can make a valiant effort to mitigate the mess. The Dyson V11 Animal cordless vacuum excels at cleaning up after pets, thanks to the famous Dyson suction power and whole-machine filtration that removes even microscopic bits of pet dander. And because it’s so compact, it’s also the perfect way to keep your car clean after your furry friend rides with you.
- The best cordless vacuum — Ever since Dyson revolutionized the handheld vacuum category with their high-power cordless digital motor, there has been no looking back. The Dyson V11 Torque cordless stick vacuum from Dyson is powerful, lightweight, and long lasting. You can expect to get 60 minutes of vacuuming on a single charge (the integrated LCD screen will let you know exactly how much time is left). An assortment of attachments makes it a cinch to clean any surface in your home.
- The best handheld — Everything great about Dyson’s cordless stick vacuums also applies to their handheld models. Ultra compact and lightweight, the Dyson V7 Car And Boat handheld vacuum is designed to go anywhere. From every corner of the house, to your car or your boat, it can clean just about anywhere. It’s compact, lightweight, and has a powerful motor. Plus it comes with a 12v car charger for charging on the go.
- The best upright vacuum — Thanks to its unparalleled level of maneuverability, the Dyson Ball Animal 2 Total Clean gets our pick for the upright vacuum to beat. It has plenty of power and all of the accessories you’d need to clean any surface, while the ball system helps you squeeze it into places a normal upright vacuum might not fit. If you’re willing to pay a premium price, it’s hard to go wrong with this Dyson vacuum cleaner.
- The best lightweight upright — With great power often comes great weight. But if it’s a chore to lug around your vacuum, you’ll be less inclined to use it—regardless of how well it cleans. The Shark NV501 offers a compromise. It’s a great all-around vacuum for when you need the power and unlimited run time of a corded vacuum, but it’s also a relative lightweight. Weighing just under 16 pounds, it’s easy to bring from room to room and up or down stairs.
Of course, if none of these models exactly fit your needs, we’re happy to make other suggestions. Are you local to our Glenview showroom? Stop by and get a hands-on test with any of these models—we’ll supply the carpet and crumbs so you can get a real-world experience. Or, you can contact us via phone or online chat to connect with one of our vacuum cleaner sales pros.