Best canister vacuums to help keep your home spotless

Best canister vacuums to help keep your home spotless

These vacuums are so easy to use you might actually enjoy cleaning.

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Every product here is independently selected by Mashable journalists. If you buy something featured, we may earn an affiliate commission which helps support our work.

Sure, you combed through hundreds of paint swatches to find the perfect shade of blue for your walls. You browsed Etsy countless times in search of a coffee table (made from reclaimed wood obviously) that will complete your living room. And you even splurged on 1,000 thread-count sheets to ensure you’re enveloped in total comfort while you sleep. But know this: your home will never be complete until you purchase a canister vacuum.

What makes canister vacuums so great? For starters, they offer a good deal of maneuverability. Unlike traditional upright vacs, the head and the body are separated by a long hose. This allows you to clean hard-to-reach places (which we know you love to do) and offers ease of use when vacuuming stairs or upholstery. Canister vacuums also tend to be lighter weight than uprights. And they are ideal for hard floors and low-pile carpets.

All right, we’re pretty confident that we’ve now sold you on canister vacuums. But before you roll up to the store, there are a few factors you should consider:

Bag vs. Bagless: Look, we know this is a hotly debated topic. But we aren’t afraid to weigh in. There’s no denying that bagless vacuums are more cost effective; you won’t need to periodically purchase replacement bags after all. However, these vacuums collect dirt in a chamber that you have to empty manually. And, when doing so, you risk sending dust and other pollutants (that you just cleaned up!) back into the air. Conversely, bagged vacuums securely trap all of that debris into said bag. When it’s ready for disposal, you simply remove and toss it into the garbage. There’s no fear of any dirt or mites escaping. While the choice ultimately comes down to personal preference, bagged vacuums are definitely better for people with allergies or other health concerns. 

Large Dirt Capacity: Regardless of whether you go bag or bagless, try and find a vacuum with a large dirt capacity. This will cut down on the number of times you’ll need to spend emptying it. 

Attachments: Many canister vacuums are sold with a variety of accessories. These may include dusting brushes, crevice tools, and floor brushes. Make sure the attachments align with your cleaning needs. Why pay for pet tools if you don’t own a pet?

Weight: Canister vacuums often weigh anywhere from 9 to 24 pounds. Of course, the lighter the vacuum, the easier it is to maneuver (even if you can bench upwards of 500 pounds).

Cleaning Path: Most canister vacs have a cleaning of path 10 to 15 inches. A wider path can cover a larger area and therefore lessen the number of times you have to vacuum a specific area. But you probably already realized that.

Filtration: Getting a vacuum with a good filtration system is a no brainer. After all, this will help ensure dust and particles are trapped, improving air quality, and leading to a cleaner home in general. We should note that better vacuums often have multiple filtration levels. 

Length of hose and power cord: Despite what some people say, length matters—at least when it comes to vacuums. A longer hose certainly offers more reach, allowing you to clean more quickly and efficiently. Similarly, a longer power cord lets you move around more easily. You won’t have to keep changing outlets. We recommend choosing a vacuum that has a power cord that’s at least a minimum of 20 feet. You’ll also want one with a cord wrap. And, in an ideal world, your vacuum would even have a retractable cord.


Lightweight • Solid suction • Durable

Not great on carpet • Noisy

All-purpose vacuum that’s as good in the kitchen as it is in the garage.

1. Eureka Mighty Mite 3670G

All-purpose vacuum that’s as good in the kitchen as it is in the garage.

  • Weight:
    11.9 pounds
  • Cord Length:
    20 feet
You won’t have any issue moving around your house with the Eureka Mighty Mite. After all, the vacuum is light and compact. And it’s great if you’re looking for a quick and efficient way to clean. Nevertheless, we should note that it performs way better on hard floors than it does on carpeting.
Fortunately, the Mighty Mite comes with some great features and accessories. For starters, an auto shut-off function prevents the vacuum from overheating. And the power-touch handle is conveniently designed with easy-to-use fingertip controls. The Mighty Mite also has an extension wand, deluxe floor brush and bare floor nozzle. There’s even a blower port which comes in handy when you want to clean out debris that’s piled up in your garage.   
Amazon customer writes:

“Great little vacuum. I was looking for something small yet good for my hardwood floors and didn’t need anything for carpeting since we don’t have any. Most vacuums seem to be uprights and aren’t good for my hand huned hickory floors, which scratch easily. Most canisters just seem too heavy. My friend had one of these for 12 years and loved it. I happened to be at her house when a delivery came in for her new one. She and her husband couldn’t say enough about how great this was and how much less it cost so I bought one, making sure it was the one made in the US like hers was, which, while adding a few dollars, was still just $100. I have to admit that I too like this little but powerful vacuum … I am very happy with my purchase of this small but mighty vacuum. I only wish I had known about it years earlier so I wouldn’t have wasted my money on those other vacuums!”


Excellent suction • Great on stairs

A great vacuum that allows you to clean every area with ease.

There’s a reason why Dyson is a leader in the vacuum world. After all, their devices are smartly engineered and well-made. And this certainly extends to the Cinetic Big Ball. To begin with, it’s the only vacuum that’s able to get right back up when it accidentally topples over—saving you time and energy. Just as impressive, it has a carbon fiber turbine head which easily picks up fine dust coupled with stiff nylon bristles that handily remove ground-in dirt. Further, both the handle and wand have 360 degree articulation, granting you total control.
We know—your mind is blown. However, be prepared for it to be blown a second time; the Cinetic Big Ball contains a hygienic bin emptying mechanism that quickly drives out dirt and dust. And it does this so efficiently that you never have to wash or replace the filter. Sound too good to be true? Well, then we should probably assure you that this vacuum is HEPA-certified for asthma and allergies. 
Amazon customer writes:

“Absolutely love this monster. I’ve had it for about a month, purchased this model to replace my DC07 Animal Upright that we used for 10 years. Let me start by saying this, Dyson has only gotten better with their product. Known for their incredible suction, this vacuum does not disappoint. While the canister capacity is not comparable to the uprights, this thing makes up for that shortcoming by the incredible suction it delivers. Mainly using this on hardwood floors, some rugs, and bedroom carpets, this vacuum is an absolute pleasure to use. The read from canister to vacuum head is absolutely fantastic, and can’t be touched by any upright. The compactness is excellent for storage when not in use. If you are on the fence about purchasing a canister versus upright, do yourself a favor and purchase this canister vacuum….you won’t regret it.”


Large dustbin • Quiet Operation

Not the strongest filtration system

Wide cleaning path and relatively strong suction mean it’ll get the job done.

Even if you actually love vacuuming, there’s a good chance you still find the noise bothersome. Thankfully, the Bissell C4 Cyclonic Vacuum cuts down on that irritating hum. One of the quietest canisters on the market, the C4 Cyclonic offers a powerful suction and a brush roll with an on/off switch. This allows the vacuum to simultaneously clean and protect your floors. It’s also designed with fingertip controls for ease of use. One quick tap and this Bissell seamlessly transitions from carpets to hard floors.
What’s more, the C4 comes with integrated, one-click tools for a customizable cleaning session. These include a wand as well as dusting and upholstery tools. Virtually no area remains out of reach. We should also mention that the dustbin is rather large and easy to empty. However, since the vacuum is bagless, you are likely to end up with a dust cloud come disposal time. Moreover, though there is a filtration system, it’s not designed to eliminate the tiniest of particles. If you, your roommates or partner suffer from allergies, this might not be the best vacuum for your home.

Powerful airflow • Fairly quiet

Replacement bags can be pricey

This is a top quality product made with top quality materials.

Though it’s on the pricey side, there’s no denying that the Miele Complete C3 Marin is an impressive vacuum. Armed with six different speed settings (controlled by foot pedals), the C3 Marin is set to tackle any room. It works on all floor types and its Electro Comfort electrobrush makes sure that even your carpets will receive the deep clean they need. 
A rather savvy machine, the vacuum has an automatic, self-adjusting setting. This allows the C3 to knowingly reduce or increase suction depending on the floor surface. The vacuum is also designed with a swivel neck, 5 different height adjustments and can be rotated 180 degrees – you better believe you’ll be able to reach every nook and cranny with the C3! As if that wasn’t enough, Miele’s AirClean filtration system captures and retains 99.9 percent of particles. 
Finally, the C3 Marin is made with a telescopic, stainless steel wand as well as a long electric cord equipped with automatic rewind. These features provide a cleaning radius of 36 feet. And, as a fun bonus, there’s an LED light at the front of the device. So you can indulge in your love of vacuuming in the dark.
An writes:

“I’ve had a Dyson for many years, and thought that was a ‘good’ vacuum. When it went out I started doing lots of research and realized that bagless models are pretty useless at filtration. Everybody seemed to be talking about Miele so I checked them out and after extensive research this is the model I ended up with. Expensive yes, but as an allergy and asthma sufferer who has been in a state of miserable for 20 years I told myself it is a health issue and somehow that makes the cost seem ok 🙂

This thing is terrific, having used an upright for so long I didn’t realize how annoying vacuuming was until I saw what this guy could do. For example, the hose is 2-3 times as long as my Dyson, no more holding the vacuum up in the air to get more reach on the hose! The handle goes at a pretty low angle so you can get all the way under a bed or couch and get all that dust that is normally forgotten without moving furniture. The attachments are terrific and you can tell a lot of thought was put into them, I am excited to clean now almost. I used to not be able to go into a room after vacuuming for a bit because all the stirred up dust/pollen would send me into a sneezing fit, I haven’t had that problem with the Miele. I’m guessing between the filter bag, the pre filter, and the hepa filter it is catching everything. Going over a room I vacuumed thoroughly with the Dyson I picked up a ton that it left behind, it is night and day.”


Strong suction • Adjustable height

Short brush bristles • Rather loud

A breeze to maneuver and store.

If you’re a pet owner in the market for a new vacuum, we recommend checking out this Kenmore model. It does a spectacular job on hard floors and offers a good amount of flexibility thanks to its telescopic wand and 7-foot hose. That’s right—this baby makes it easy to clean everything from stairs to drapes. In fact, the vacuum is manufactured with an exclusive stair grip which allows the machine to rest on the staircase while cleaning.
We know that all sounds great but you’re probably wondering why we said it’s ideal for pet owners. Well, that’s because this Kenmore is sold with the Pet PowerMate and the Pet Upholstery Tool, both of which excel at removing pet hair from furniture. As if that wasn’t enough, it also has a HEPA filter to provide cleaner exhaust air and ensure no dander is left behind. Plus, the vacuum’s built-in electronic performance indicator alerts you when the bin is full or when there might be a clog in the filter.
Amazon user writes:

“I have used this vacuum for about 3 weeks now and so far I am very impressed. I especially wanted it to remove pet hair. I have two cats and one dog that shed continually and their hair just seems to be impossible to remove from my couch. The attachment that was provided does a great job and more than meets my expectations. I am also using it in the car since the dog rides with me. I also like the vacuum as it is lightweight and easy to maneuver. It has easy accessible switches to go from carpet to bare floor or to change the level of the carpeting. The attachments are located within the canister so are not falling off while you are working. I would recommend this product.”


Long cord for easy movement

Not the fastest • strongest suction

What it lacks in power, it makes up for in maneuverability.

Lightweight and compact, the Simplicity Wonder is a solid little vacuum. Though it might not work as quickly or efficiently as some of its competitors, the Simplicity attacks most surfaces with aplomb. Moreover, it’s long cord allows you to clean large rooms/spaces without any hassle. Between the cord, telescopic handle and 6.5 foot hose, you can reach just about anywhere you need. The vacuum also comes with a crevice tool and two-in-one upholstery/dusting brush—no speck of dust is impervious! 
The Simplicity is also a great option if you suffer from allergies. The vacuum uses self-sealing HEPA media bags and filters. No dust or pollen is going to escape the Wonder! This also makes waste disposal simple and guarantees you can avoid any excess mess or dirt cloud. Even better —the full bag indicator alerts you as to when it’s time to change bags. Of course, the downside is that you will have to buy replacements at some point. 

A breeze to use on stairs • Very quiet

Not amazing on hardwood floors

You won’t tire out using this vacuum.

For most people, cleaning is enough of a drag. You don’t want to be lugging around a huge machine as you tidy up. And that’s precisely why the Fuller Brush Home Maid vacuum is on our list. Though perhaps not a household name, the Home Maid is certainly on the lighter end of the scale. Its weight coupled with a relatively long cord (which also winds itself) makes it very simple to maneuver. When you factor in the low noise factor, the Home Maid becomes a downright pleasure to use. You almost forget you’re vacuuming. Almost. 
Not convinced yet? It also has a wand that stands on its own. Hence you can walk away if need be and the vacuum will be fine. We should caution, however, that the Home Maid is not the fastest. It will do the trick… eventually. But you will need some patience. 
Amazon customer writes:

“I really like this vac. I replaced my still running Bissell Pet Hair Eraser with it. My husband and and I got tired of lugging around the heavy, awkward, always-something-wrong-with, pain-to-clean-out-all-the-filters, vacuum. We also have 3 American Eskimo dogs and require a proper working cleaning machine. I grew up using an Electrolux canister vacuum. The thing worked for 50 years, no kidding! I can’t outlive another one, so why spend the money again! I can’t rate this little lightweight Fuller Brush on the same level as that machine. If I did, you’d know it was bologna! However, this is a good little vacuum. Fairly quiet as machines go and the motor in the hand tool is light as a feather. It almost feels like a toy, I actually smiled while I vacuumed. It reached under my coffee table much easier than my upright did and the stairs are a breeze. The only reason I didn’t give it 5 stars is the fact I have to go over some areas more than once every now and again to get the dog hair and I have to order the bags online. Over all we are both very happy with our purchase of this Fuller Brush.”



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