The 7 Best Vacuum Cleaners of 2021

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.

best bagless upright vacuum


If you're looking for a traditional vacuum that’s easy to empty and maneuver, you'll definitely want to take a look at the Shark NV352 Navigator Lift Away Upright Vacuum. This 2-in-1 vacuum easily converts from a traditional upright to a canister vacuum with the push of a button, allowing you to get to hard-to-vacuum areas like stairs for a good cleaning. When in upright mode, the upright vacuum switches from carpeting to bare flooring with ease, and its built-in swivel steering means getting around corners and furniture is no problem. This Shark vacuum comes with a HEPA filter to keep dust and allergens inside the vacuum, as well as an upholstery tool and two crevice tools for deeper cleaning.


Ideal for: Those who want a powerful vacuum they can use in multiple places around the home. 











  • Price: ~ $170
  • Type: 2-in-1 Upright & Canister Vacuum
  • Weight: 12.5 lbs
  • Power: 25-foot cord
  • Floor Type: Carpeting and bare flooring
  • Dirt Collection: Bagless
  • Filter Type: HEPA
  • Included Accessories: Upholstery tool and two crevice tools (short and long)


Pros:










  • No vacuum bags required
  • Transitions from an upright to a canister vacuum with the push of a button
  • HEPA filter locks in allergens


Cons: 










  • A bit heavy
  • Corded


Best Bagged Upright Vacuum: Kenmore Elite 31150 Pet-Friendly Bagged Upright Vacuum

~ $300 on Amazon 


An upright bagged vacuum great for not only everyday dirt, but removing pet hair as well. 

best bagged upright vacuum


One of the coolest upright vacuums we've ever seen and one of the best vacuums for pet hair, the Kenmore Elite 31150 Pet-Friendly Bagged Upright Vacuum has a futuristic-retro look that would have made both Alice from The Brady Bunch and Rosey the Robot from The Jetsons swoon. Whether you have pets or not, this upright bagged vacuum will make quick work of debris on both bare flooring and carpeting. When it detects rubbish in its way, the vacuum's infrared dirt sensor will turn on an LED headlight to help you see it more clearly, so you don't miss any bit. Its triple HEPA filter makes sure to hold on to 99.97% of all trapped dirt and allergens like dander and pollen. And if you do happen to have furry kids in the house, the vacuum comes equipped with a precision suction attachment to make removing pet hair from upholstery and the car an easy job.


Ideal for: Traditionalist vacuumers who want a bagged upright vacuum that looks as good as it works.











  • Price: ~ $300
  • Type: Upright Vacuum
  • Weight: 21 lbs
  • Power: 35-foot cord
  • Floor Type: Multi Surface
  • Dirt Collection: Bagged
  • Filter Type: HEPA
  • Included Accessories: Pet Handi-Mate, telescoping wand, and combo dusting and crevice tool


Pros:










  • Infrared dirt sensor and LED headlight helps you find debris
  • Triple HEPA filter keeps dirt and allergens locked in
  • Pet Handi-Mate attachment is great for removing pet hair from furniture and cars


Cons: 










  • Bag that needs to be changed
  • A bit heavy to roll around


Best Canister Vacuum: Eureka NEN110A Whirlwind Bagless Canister Vacuum Cleaner

~ $73 on Amazon 


A budget-friendly bagless canister vacuum cleaner with a cult following.

best canister vacuum


With a price of less than $100 and more than 14,500 ratings and 4.5 stars on Amazon, there's no wonder why the Eureka NEN110A Whirlwind Bagless Canister Vacuum Cleaner is our top pick when it comes to canister vacuums. Weighing only 8 pounds, this vacuum is easy to move around your house, and its three power settings allows it to be used on not just carpeting and bare flooring, but for vacuuming upholstery as well. The vacuum is bagless and its filter is washable, making for even less that you have to invest in.


Ideal for: Those looking for the maneuverability and flexibility of a canister vacuum while on a budget. 











  • Price: ~ $73
  • Type: Canister vacuum
  • Weight: 8 lbs
  • Power: 16-foot cord
  • Floor Type: Carpet and bare flooring
  • Dirt Collection: Bagless
  • Filter Type: Washable filter
  • Included Accessories: 2-in-1 integrated crevice tool, dusting brush


Pros:










  • Very lightweight
  • Filter is washable
  • Crevice tool is integrated into the hose handle


Cons: 










  • No HEPA filter
  • Cord is a bit small


Best Corded Stick Vacuum: Bissell 2033 FeatherWeight Lightweight Stick Vacuum

~ $30 on Amazon


A lightweight corded stick vacuum that also converts to handheld and stair vacuums. 

best corded stick vacuum


With over 53,000 reviews and 4.5 stars on Amazon, you really can't go wrong with the Bissell 2033 FeatherWeight Lightweight Stick Vacuum. Whether you own a small home or apartment and don't need a large vacuum, or just want a budget-friendly way of cleaning up random messes, this corded stick vacuum has you covered. The vacuum includes three suction modes for carpeting and bare flooring and can be used as a stick vacuum, handheld vacuum, or a stair vacuum with its included floor nozzle. This bagless vacuum is easily emptied and is available in four colors: purple, black, blue, and lime green.


Ideal for: Small home and apartment dwellers who want a budget-friendly and efficient stick vacuum.











  • Price: ~ $30
  • Type: Stick vacuum
  • Weight: 2.6 lbs
  • Power: 15-foot cord
  • Floor Type: Carpeting and hard flooring
  • Dirt Collection: Bagless
  • Filter Type: One stage filter
  • Included Accessories: Crevice tool and floor nozzle


Pros:










  • Very budget-friendly
  • Extremely lightweight
  • Can convert to both handheld and stair vacuums


Cons: 










  • Cord is a bit short
  • No HEPA filter


Best Cordless Stick Vacuum: JASHEN V16 4-in-1 Cordless Stick Vacuum Cleaner


~ $190 on Amazon


A highly-rated cordless stick vacuum with lots of features for less than $200.

best cordless stick vacuum

With over 7,300 reviews and 4 stars on Amazon, the JASHEN V16 4-in-1 Cordless Stick Vacuum Cleaner is an all-around popular pick. This 4-in-1 cordless stick vacuum comes with a wide variety of accessories for cleaning all around the home, including crevice, dusting, and  upholstery tools, as well as soft and bristle rollers that can be easily swapped out for different types of flooring. Featuring three power modes, the vacuum collects dirt from carpeting and bare flooring that is trapped in its high-efficiency filtration system and HEPA filter. Depending on which power mode you're using, the vacuum cleaner can run for an impressive 40 minutes on one charge, and you can keep track of how much battery life you have through its LED display.


Ideal for: Those looking for a proficient cordless stick vacuum that works on several different types of flooring and that won't break the bank. 

  • Price: ~ $190
  • Weight: 7.48 lbs.
  • Battery Size: 2500mAh
  • Battery Charge: Up to 40 minutes per charge
  • Floor Type: Carpet and bare flooring
  • Dirt Collection: Bagless
  • Filter Type: HEPA filter
  • Converts to Handheld: Yes
  • Included Accessories: Crevice, dusting, and upholstery tools


Pros:

  • Under $200
  • Run-time of up to 40 minutes on one battery charge
  • Lots of attachments provided


Cons: 

  • Filter needs to be replaced every three months
  • Brush roller needs to be changed when moving from carpeting to bare flooring and vice versa.


Best Handheld Vacuum: Black+Decker CHV1410L Dustbuster Cordless Handheld Vacuum


~ $60 on Amazon


The OG of handheld vacuums that still ranks high with homeowners.

best cordless stick vacuum


With over 7,300 reviews and 4 stars on Amazon, the JASHEN V16 4-in-1 Cordless Stick Vacuum Cleaner is an all-around popular pick. This 4-in-1 cordless stick vacuum comes with a wide variety of accessories for cleaning all around the home, including crevice, dusting, and  upholstery tools, as well as soft and bristle rollers that can be easily swapped out for different types of flooring. Featuring three power modes, the vacuum collects dirt from carpeting and bare flooring that is trapped in its high-efficiency filtration system and HEPA filter. Depending on which power mode you're using, the vacuum cleaner can run for an impressive 40 minutes on one charge, and you can keep track of how much battery life you have through its LED display.

Ideal for: Those looking for a proficient cordless stick vacuum that works on several different types of flooring and that won't break the bank. 

  • Price: ~ $190
  • Weight: 7.48 lbs.
  • Battery Size: 2500mAh
  • Battery Charge: Up to 40 minutes per charge
  • Floor Type: Carpet and bare flooring
  • Dirt Collection: Bagless
  • Filter Type: HEPA filter
  • Converts to Handheld: Yes
  • Included Accessories: Crevice, dusting, and upholstery tools

Pros:

  • Under $200
  • Run-time of up to 40 minutes on one battery charge
  • Lots of attachments provided

Cons: 

  • Filter needs to be replaced every three months
  • Brush roller needs to be changed when moving from carpeting to bare flooring and vice versa.


Best Handheld Vacuum: Black+Decker CHV1410L Dustbuster Cordless Handheld Vacuum

~ $60 on Amazon


The OG of handheld vacuums that still ranks high with homeowners.

best handheld vacuum


First introduced by Black+Decker in 1979, this dustbuster still ranks high as a dependable and efficient handheld vacuum for small cleaning jobs around the house. The vacuum uses cyclonic action for powerful suction, and its wide mouth ensures even larger debris is sucked up. The lithium-ion battery recharges quickly and will hold a charge for up to 18 months(!), so it’ll be ready whenever you need it. Both the filter and dirt bowl of the handheld vacuum are removable and washable, and since the dirt bowl is translucent, you'll always know when it's time to empty it.


Ideal for: Homeowners who want a time-tested handheld vacuum that delivers on efficiency and ease-of-use.











  • Price: ~ $60
  • Type: Handheld vacuum
  • Weight: 2.2 lbs
  • Power: Lithium-ion battery
  • Floor Type: Carpeting and bare floors
  • Dirt Collection: Bagless
  • Filter Type: Washable filter
  • Included Accessories: Crevice tool and flip-up brush


Pros:










  • Time-tested for 40 years
  • Battery will hold a charge for up to 18 months
  • Dirt bowl and filter are washable


Cons: 










  • No HEPA filter



Best Robot Vacuum Cleaner: eufy RoboVac 11S

~ $196 on Amazon


A super-affordable entry point into the world of robotic vacuums. 

best robot vacuum cleaner


One of the top picks from our round-up of the best robot vacuum cleaners for 2021, the eufy RoboVac 11S is an affordable and highly-ranked entry-point into the world of robot vacuums, with almost 47,000 ratings and 4.5 stars on Amazon. The sleek and slim profile of this robot vacuum allows it to slip under low furniture to get all the dirt hiding underneath. Infrared sensors help it navigate around your house, and its drop-sensor will stop it from falling down the stairs. Specialized technology will increase suction when it detects an extra-large cleaning job. The RoboVac is surprisingly quiet and will clean for up to 100 minutes on a single charge of its battery, and then will return to its charging base when its power is low. 


Ideal for: Those who like the idea of the floors vacuuming themselves.











  • Price: ~ $196
  • Type: Robotic vacuum
  • Weight: 5.73 lbs
  • Power: Battery with 100-minute run-time
  • Floor Type: Carpeting and bare floors
  • Dirt Collection: Bagless
  • Filter Type: Combined dual-layer filter and high-performance filter
  • Included Accessories: Charging base


Pros:










  • Vacuums on its own without any attending needed
  • Can boost its suction power when it detects an extra-large cleaning job
  • Slim profile means it can get under low furniture


Cons: 










  • Dust bin is smaller than conventional vacuums
  • Works best on low- to medium-pile carpeting and bare flooring


How to Get the Most Out of Your Vacuum Cleaner

Now that we've helped you narrow down the field for your next vacuum cleaner, here are some tips on how to make sure it stays in tip-top shape for many years: 










  • Read Your User Manual — So many times people forget this simple step and it can make a big difference. Even if you think to yourself, "I know how to use a vacuum," the product manual can tell you all about your new vacuum and, most importantly, how to keep it clean and running smoothly.
  • Keep the Bag or Bagless Canister Empty — Emptying the vacuum bag or bagless canister can be easily overlooked, and if there's too much debris already collected, the vacuum will not use its optimum suction power. Make sure to keep an eye on it and empty it frequently to keep your vacuum cleaner running well. 
  • Accurate Use of Attachments — Another bonus of reading the product manual is you'll learn about all the attachments your vacuum cleaner comes with and how to use them correctly. Those crevice tools or special brushes for upholstery can help make a huge difference in how easy it is to clean your home. 
  • Keep it Clean — Keeping your vacuum cleaner clean is a great way to ensure it continues to work efficiently for many years. Make sure to keep the body and hoses clean by wiping them down, and check for any clogs that may be blocking hoses or wands. And also check the main brush roll on the vacuum — many times, human and pet hair or long fibers can get wound around those and may need to be snipped out with scissors. And keep your filter clean by washing or replacing as necessary.


Do you have a particular vacuum cleaner that you love? Tell us about it in the comments below!

Frequently asked questions

Have a question about this project?

Comments

Join the conversation

Next