By Corrie Pelc
Purchasing a vacuum cleaner can be a bit overwhelming. With so many options and prices out there today, it’s hard to tell which is the best option for your home. We’re here to help you narrow down all the choices by giving you the low-down on what we consider the best vacuum cleaners you can purchase in 2021. We’ve taken away a lot of the guesswork by providing you an extensive vacuum-buying guide with the details that matter the most — such as vacuum type, how much it weighs, bagged versus bagless, included accessories, and, of course, price — to help you make an informed decision.
Types of Vacuums
There are quite a few different types of vacuums out on the market today, and knowing which one is the best for you will be determined by your needs.
- Upright Vacuums: Considered the traditional vacuum, uprights are generally what you think of when you think of a vacuum cleaner. They tend to have quite a bit of power, making them a great option for cleaning all types of flooring, and can collect debris directly either through a vacuum bag or a bagless canister.
- Canister Vacuums: Canister vacuums are basically an upright vacuum that has been broken into two parts — the handle and brush roller on one side, and the canister that collects the debris on the other. Canister vacuums are a great option for those who want a dependable, all-flooring home vacuum that can be slightly easier to maneuver than an upright.
- Stick Vacuums: If you have a smaller home — such as an apartment, townhome, or RV — or want a more lightweight option for quick clean-ups, then a stick vacuum is your pick. They can be found corded or cordless (meaning they run on a rechargeable battery) and some can even transition into a handheld vacuum.
- Handheld Vacuums: These small, usually battery-operated handheld vacuums are great for cleaning up quick messes and cleaning small areas like cars.
- Robot Vacuums: Robot vacuums are the best option for those who would prefer the vacuum do all the work on its own.
What to Consider Before Buying a Vacuum
When buying your next vacuum cleaner, there are a few specifications that you should narrow in on to make a well-informed decision:
- Price: With so many vacuum cleaner options available today, price should definitely be part of your decision. While a higher price will normally mean more bells and whistles, there are a lot of excellent vacuum options that will not break the bank, and we tried to be conscientious of that with this guide — all the vacuum cleaners in our guide are priced at $350 or less.
- Type: Is the product an upright, canister, stick, handheld, or robot vacuum?
- Weight: The lower the weight of the vacuum, the easier it is to push, lift, and maneuver around the home.
- Power: Is the vacuum corded or cordless? Are outlets easily accessible in areas you need to vacuum in your home?
- Floor Type: Does this vacuum work better on bare floors or carpeting, or can it handle both?
- Dirt Collection (Bagless or Bagged): Vacuums collect and trap the dirt they suck up either through a vacuum bag you change when it gets full, or a bagless canister you have to empty when it gets full.
- Filter Type: What type of filter does the vacuum have? Many vacuums today have a HEPA filter that traps and keeps allergens out of the air of your home.
- Included Accessories: What types of accessories the vacuum comes with — such as brushes, crevice tools, and others — can help you get to every hard-to-reach area.
Without further ado, let’s take a look at our picks for the best vacuum cleaners for 2021.
Best Bagless Upright Vacuum: Shark NV352 Navigator Lift Away Upright Vacuum
~ $170 at The Home Depot
A traditional upright vacuum that easily transforms into a canister vacuum with the push of a button.