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Best Vacuum Cleaners 2019: Top Picks for Your Home

Hoover BH50020PC Linx Signature cordless stick
(Image credit: Hoover)

In sci-fi depictions of the 21st century, everything always seems so clean and dust-free. The reality is something different. Dirt, dust bunnies and debris all conspire to make our homes less than spotless.

Fortunately, vacuum cleaners have become better and more versatile cleaning, both in terms of the size and the nature of the mess. There are cordless vacuum cleaners for quickly picking up small messes and wet-dry vacs for the not-so-small messes. Many of the vacuum cleaners on this list include filters to help keep allergies at bay, too.

The future is here. These are our picks for the best vacuum cleaners for all needs and budgets.

How we picked

To come up with our list of the best vacuum cleaners, we spent more than 20 hours looking through online reviews at such sites as CNet, Wirecutter, Consumer Reports and Reviewed, also looking at user comments and reviews at major online retailers. To pick the best robot vacuum cleaner picks, we spent more than 180 hours testing more than two dozen models, both in our labs and in a home environment.

Great at picking up everything

Shark Navigator Lift-Away NV352

Shark Navigator Lift-Away NV352 (Image credit: Shark)

1. Shark Navigator Lift-Away NV352

This time-tested model is great at picking up everything

Vacuum type: Bagless | Weight: 12.5 pounds | Power: 1,200 watts, 10 amps | Cord length: 25 feet

Great performance at an affordable price
Swivel head for multidirectional cleaning
Able to tone down the suction for small rugs and delicate fabrics
Brush roll isn't removable
A little heavy and clunky to disassemble and reassemble

The Shark Navigator Lift-Away NV352 isn't the newest upright vacuum cleaner on the market, but its market longevity shows that it is one of the best. Numerous reviews of this budget-friendly vacuum note its excellent suction on both carpets and bare floors. In lab tests, it picked up pet hair and cereal with equal aplomb. One of the neater features on the Navigator Lift-Away NV352 is the suction-release valve, which reviewers say comes in handy when vacuuming small rugs and shag carpets. 

Though it looks and functions like an upright, the NV352 comes with several hose attachments, so it can convert to a cannister-like vac for reaching small spaces or drapes. Because its main body lacks wheels, you'll have to carry this vacuum around, but there's a well-placed handle for just this reason.

What reviewers say:

Wirecutter: "[I]t was consistently good at every common cleaning task." "This Shark is also the only vacuum in the running that has a swivel joint in the brush head, which allows the Shark to pivot around furniture and other obstacles."

Pricey but powerful

Shark Apex DuoClean with Zero-M Powered Lift-Away

Shark Apex DuoClean with Zero-M Powered Lift-Away (Image credit: Shark)

2. Shark Apex DuoClean with Zero-M Powered Lift-Away (AZ1002)

A pricey but powerful bagless vacuum cleaner

Vacuum type: Bagless | Weight: 17.1 pounds | Power: 1,350 watts, 11.3 amps | Cord length: 30 feet

Excellent pet-hair pickup
Two rollers, one just for bare floors
Relatively quiet
Main body topples easily in cannister mode
Short hose

The Shark Apex DuoClean (AZ1002) is loaded with features, including two separate rollers — one with brushes for rugs and a soft, brushless one for hardwood floors. Like the Navigator NV352, the Apex DuoClean works as an upright but also converts into a canister-like vacuum cleaner, with several attachments for cleaning hard-to-reach places. Unlike its budget-minded sibling, the Apex DuoClean has three separate suction settings plus LED lights on the handle and floor nozzle that illuminate the dirt in front of it.

In addition to receiving high marks for cleaning a variety of surfaces, the Apex DuoClean got excellent reviews for picking up pet hair without getting it wrapped around the brush roll. Reviewers also praised the included motorized pet attachment for cleaning up cat hair on furniture. 

What reviewers say:

Amazon TechGearLab: "This vacuum handles all types of messes on both hard and soft floors with ease, cleaning up everything from rice to flour with ease."

The Shark Apex has over 400 reviews on, with an average rating of 4.7 stars. One reviewer said, "It left my wood floors dust free with almost a polished look. On carpet, it gets most dirt on the first pass. On the low-pile setting, I think it would suck the spots off a Dalmatian."

Heavy but effective

Kenmore Elite 31150 Pet Friendly

Kenmore Elite 31150 Pet Friendly (Image credit: Kenmore)

3. Kenmore Elite 31150 Pet Friendly

A heavy but effective vacuum cleaner

Vacuum type: Bagged | Weight: 21 pounds | Power: 12 amps | Cord length: 35 feet

Great performance on carpet
Good edge cleaning
Long cord
Not easily maneuverable

Closely resembling what The Jetsons robot maid Rosie would use to clean, the Kenmore Elite 31150 looks like an old-school upright, but it's got a few tricks up its nozzle. Reviews praise this vacuum cleaner's carpet-cleaning prowess, while noting that it picked up nearly all of the debris on bare floors, too. The crevice, brush and roller attachments also earn high marks for their suction. The vacuum is a bit heavy, and it's not as maneuverable as other uprights, but it excels at cleaning along edges.

What reviewers say:

Consumer Reports: "It's not the cheapest model you'll find, but this impressive performer is certainly among the best vacuums we've tested."

Amazon TechGearLab: "Stand[s] out from the rest of the pack with its unmatched carpet-cleaning capabilities."

Pricey bagged vacuum cleaner

Miele C3 Complete Calima

Miele C3 Complete Calima (Image credit: Miele)

4. Miele C3 Complete Calima

Pricey bagged vacuum cleaner picks up everything

Vacuum type: Bagged | Weight: 19.4 pounds | Power: 1,200 watts | Cord length: 22 feet

Excellent for wood floors
Good for people with allergies
Attachments securely stored onboard
Takes up more space than an upright

Canister vacuum cleaners mean business. Traditionally, they have been more powerful than upright vacuums but also more of a production to use — especially when it came to wresting the hose, attachments and main body out of the closet to clean up Fluffy's fur in the living room. Wirecutter praises Miele's C3 Complete Calima canister vacuum's tight rubber seals, HEPA filtration and bagged design, calling this the ideal vacuum for allergy sufferers. 

Evaluations of different models of the C3 Complete line, including the Kona and Marin, note how well the vacuums pick up embedded pet hair and dust on both bare floors and carpet.

What reviewers say:

Wirecutter: "It's a bagged vacuum, which traps dust and dander better than bagless, and it's one of the tightest-sealed machines out there."

Consumer Reports: "It's a champ at bare floors and embedded pet hair but also excels at capturing dust particles."

Wallet-friendly stick vacuum

Hoover BH50020PC Linx Signature cordless stick

Hoover BH50020PC Linx Signature cordless stick (Image credit: Hoover)

5. Hoover BH50020PC Linx Signature cordless stick

Wallet-friendly stick vacuum cleaner

Vacuum type: Bagless | Weight: 10 pounds | Power: 18-volt lithium-ion battery | Cordless:

Good performance on wood floors
Can't be used as a handheld
No attachments
Short battery life

Sometimes a mess isn't big enough to warrant pulling out a full-size vacuum cleaner, or maybe your hardwood floors just need a quick once-over before company arrives. That's where the Hoover BH50020PC Linx cordless stick vacuum cleaner shines. This wallet-friendly upright doesn't take up a lot of space in the closet, and it's light enough to easily move between floors. Reviews praise this vacuum's performance on wood floors and its ability to stand upright freely, unlike other stick vacuums that have the motor near the handle. 

The Linx is available with or without an additional battery, and based on Amazon reviews, you might want that feature, as several reviewers report that the battery lasts from 15 to 25 minutes.

What reviewers say:

Wirecutter: "The Linx has been available for about a decade, acquiring a long track record for holding up well under regular use."

Referring to the previous model (BH50010), CNet said, "[T]his simple stick vacuum offers classic, intuitive design and extremely impressive performance and usability."

The Linx has an average of 4 stars in more than 825 reviews on Amazon. One reviewer noted, "I actually look forward to cleaning. It's so easy to whip it out to clean up a quick mess or just do a clean sweep of the house to stave off the dust bunnies and overall dingy look when crumbs and dust accumulate." 

Great at pet hair

Dyson V7 Motorhead cordless

Dyson V7 Motorhead cordless (Image credit: Dyson)

6. Dyson V7 Motorhead cordless

This cordless vacuum cleaner is great at pet hair

Vacuum Type: Bagless | Weight: 5.45 pounds | Power: Rechargeable battery | Cordless:

Excellent performance on carpet
Great pet-hair pickup
Easily converts to handheld
Whole vacuum must be docked or plugged in to charge
Unable to stand on its own

The cordless V7 Motorhead is the least expensive stick vacuum sold by Dyson, but that doesn't mean it skimps on suction. Reviewers praised its superior ability to extract pet hair and dust from carpet, and users extoll its light weight and 30-minute battery life. The V7 Motorhead further sets itself apart from the staid beige vacuums of our youth with its fuschia, purple and red color scheme.

There are more wallet-friendly stick and full-size vacuums available, but the motor-on-handle design along with the included crevice and 2-in-1 brush tools give the V7 Motorhead a second life as a handheld vac.

What reviewers say:

Wirecutter: "In our tests, the base-model Dyson V7 Motorhead was a clear cut above its competitors when it came to pulling deeply embedded dust and pet hair out of rugs."

The Dyson V7 Motorhead is one of the bestselling vacuums on and has received an average of 4.4 out of 5 stars in almost 800 reviews. One reviewer said, 

"We have 11 cats, a German shepherd and a house full of kids. It [the V7] gets every bit of hair, even from upholstery and even hay bits brought in from the farm that my other vacuum would NEVER suck up."

Vacuum for small messes

Black+Decker Dustbuster cordless vacuum, 16V (CHV1410L)

Black+Decker Dustbuster cordless vacuum, 16V (CHV1410L)  (Image credit: Black+Decker)

7. Black+Decker Dustbuster cordless vacuum, 16V (CHV1410L)

A handy hand vacuum for small messes

Vacuum type: Bagless | Weight: 2.6 pounds | Power: 16-volt lithium-ion rechargeable battery | Cordless:

Great for quick cleanups
Narrow crevice tool is useful in small spaces
Lackluster pet-hair removal from upholstery
Battery isn't user replaceable

Sometimes, the littlest messes are the biggest hassles, such as a box of spilled rice or kitty litter tracked through the house. While a full-size vacuum will get the job done, it can be a pain to lug around. This basic handheld vacuum charges in about 4 hours and will run for about 12 minutes on a charge, according to Wirecutter.

While reviewers note that it's not the best option for cleaning Garfield's spot on the couch, this Dustbuster is ideal for eradicating the dust bunnies hiding out in the corner of the living room. 

What reviewers say:

Wirecutter: "The 12-minute, no-fade runtime is decent, and the recharging time is faster than on a lot of similar models." 

This model is one of the most popular vacuums on Amazon, with more than 16,800 reviews and a rating of 4.1 stars out of 5. One reviewer notes, "It quickly and easily sucks up crumbs, hair, dust, litter and all those other little items that plague our surfaces, and [it] makes our space look soooo much nicer."

Our favorite robot vacuum

Shark Ion R85

Shark Ion R85 (Image credit: Shark)

9. Shark Ion R85

Our favorite robot vacuum

Vacuum type: Bagless | Weight: 5.1 pounds | Power: Rechargeable battery | Connectivity: Android and iOS app control

Great pet-hair performance
Dustbin is super easy to clean
Easy app setup and notifications
Can get stuck on thick carpet

The Shark Ion R85 is the reigning Tom's Guide Editor's Choice for robot vacuums, thanks to its excellent performance in our lab tests and its impressive results in our home. It features three cleaning modes and a no-fuss dustbin.

MORE: Best Robot Vacuums 2019

The Ion R85  is seemingly possessed by a will to leave no surface unvacuumed, and though it wasn't the fastest robot vac we tested, we appreciated its thorough cleaning.

What our reviewer said:

Tom's Guide: "The Ion Robot performed well in our lab tests, picking up an average of 94% of all debris on both carpet and hardwood surfaces."

Best budget robot vacuum

iLife V3s Pro

iLife V3s Pro (Image credit: iLife)

10. iLife V3s Pro

The best robot vacuum for those on a budget

Vacuum type: Bagless | Weight: 4.5 pounds | Power: Rechargeable battery | Connectivity: N/A

Excellent at cleaning pet hair
Fantastic hardwood performance
Inconsistent cleaning pattern

The iLife V3s Pro is, without a doubt, our favorite budget robot vacuum and a Tom's Guide Editor's Choice. While it lacks the bells and whistles of fancier robot vacuums, the V3s Pro cleans house and does it well. Though it struggled a bit on thick rugs, it's ideal for homes with bare floors or thin rugs and multiple pets. In our lab tests, it picked up nearly all the pet hair we left for it, outperforming other vacs that cost three times as much.

What reviewers say:

Tom's Guide: "[T]he iLife V3s Pro was nearly perfect on our hardwood floor tests, picking up an average of 99.8% of the Cheerios, kitty litter and pet hair we threw at it. That score is the single best hardwood test-result average of any robot vacuum we tested."

Best wet/dry shop vac

DeWalt 9-gallon 5HP shop vac DXV09P

DeWalt 9-gallon 5HP shop vac DXV09P (Image credit: DeWalt)

11. DeWalt 9-gallon 5HP shop vac DXV09P

This wet/dry shop vac is made for big spills

Vacuum type: Bagless | Weight: 22.5 pounds | Power: 5-horsepower motor | Cord length: 10 feet | Capacity: 9 gallons

Excellent build quality
Rubberized casters allow for confident maneuverability
Accessory bag keeps attachments all in one place
More expensive than vacuums of a similar size

Hopefully, you'll never need to use it to clean out a wet basement, but if you do, the 9-gallon DeWalt wet/dry shop vacuum (DXV09P) will be your secret weapon. Its nimble enough for smaller homes but large enough for cleaning up watery messes. 

This vacuum comes packaged with two extension wands; crevice, floor and utility nozzles; and a bag for all of them that attaches to the rear of the vacuum. Reviewers complimented the shop vac's superior build quality and excellent suction on everything from broken glass to wet carpeting.

What reviewers say:

Pro Tool Reviews: "The build quality here is clearly a step above the rest."

This wet-dry vac has garnered a 4.5-star rating in over 100 reviews on Amazon and a perfect 5 in over 45 reviews on One Lowes reviewer said, "[I]t's absolutely, hands down an investment worth every penny. Easy to use, tough, powerful and surprisingly quiet for its size."