While high-tech self-cleaning robot vacuums make it seem like vacuum cleaners are a purely modern household appliance, these floor-cleaning machines date back to the early 1900s. Vacuums were very different then, consisting of a huge horse-drawn contraption that cost a small fortune to hire. Now, vacuums are as ubiquitous as household appliances like coffee makers, dishwashers, washing machines, and dryers. If you’re in the market for a new vacuum cleaner, our rating of the Best Vacuums of 2022 can help you narrow down your options.
Best Vacuums of 2022
Dyson V11 Animal Vacuum: One of several Dyson models in our ratings, the V11 Animal Vacuum places first with a score of 4.2. It’s a cordless stick vacuum that charges using a wall-mounted dock, giving it a small storage footprint. Its relatively light weight, and multiple attachments mean you can use it for more than just floors, which may make it a good option for pet owners looking to clean fur from pet beds, upholstery, and stairs. It features three different cleaning modes and an LED screen to switch between modes and check battery levels. At $600, though, it might be out of many shoppers’ price range.
Dyson V15 Detect Cordless Vacuum: Another vacuum from Dyson, the V15 Detect Cordless Vacuum ties for second place. This vacuum boasts a green laser on its cleaning head that makes tiny dust particles visible, allowing you to vacuum up spots you might have previously missed. The vacuum also measures and counts the particles it collects and self-adjusts its suction power accordingly while displaying performance stats on an LCD screen. It comes with several attachments, including specialized anti-tangle brushes for picking up hair, and it has three power modes. Professional reviews praise its cleaning ability and versatility, though its high-tech features might not be useful to everyone.
Bissell Pet Hair Eraser Turbo Upright Vacuum: Also tying for No. 2 is the Pet Hair Eraser Turbo Upright Vacuum from Bissell. It’s an upright vacuum cleaner that comes with a crevice tool and two tools designed to pick up pet hair. It also has an Extension Wand that functions like a stick vacuum with small attachments for above-the-floor cleaning. The Bissell Pet Hair Eraser has a brush system designed to prevent pet hair from tangling, and a Cyclonic Pet Hair Spooling System that balls the hair in the canister. Bissell says this system combined with an easy-to-open canister means you don’t have to pull hair and dirt from the canister by hand. Compared to the other vacuums in our rating, the Bissell Pet Hair Eraser is a mid-price vacuum for everyday cleaning.
Dyson Ball Animal 2 Vacuum: The Ball Animal 2 Vacuum is designed for deeper cleans in homes with pets. It comes with three attachments – neither the most nor the least in our rating – but it boasts powerful suction and a large capacity. Its Ball technology is designed for easy steering, though professional reviews say it’s not as easy to maneuver as smaller vacuums. While its weight and size might make it inconvenient for everyday cleaning in smaller homes, those with larger living spaces may find it the right choice for deep, ground-in debris and tough messes on multiple floor surfaces.
Bissell FeatherWeight Lightweight Stick Vacuum: At just $34, the Bissell FeatherWeight Lightweight Stick Vacuum is far and away the cheapest vacuum in our ratings. It’s also the lightest, weighing 2.6 pounds. It can be used as an upright vacuum, a hand vacuum, or a stair vacuum. It’s a suction-only vacuum that doesn’t have a spinning brush roll at the base, so it’s not well-suited for thick carpets. And while it’s not large enough to provide a deep clean to a whole house, professional reviewers recommend it as a low-cost option for quick cleaning on hard floors, stairs, and low-pile carpets.
Hoover WindTunnel 3 High Performance Pet Upright Vacuum: The WindTunnel 3 High Performance Vacuum from Hoover is one of the largest and most powerful vacuum in our Best Vacuums of 2022 rating. It’s also the only model in our rating to feature HEPA filtration, catching 99.97% of particles as small as 0.3 microns. Professional reviewers praise its powerful suction and ability to deep clean multiple surfaces. Its size might be a dealbreaker for those living in small spaces and looking for convenient storage. Though it’s likely too large to fit under most furniture, it might be a good choice for those willing to maneuver it for a deep clean.
Miele Triflex HX1 SMUL0 Vacuum: The Triflex HXI is the first cordless stick vacuum from Miele. It uses a lithium-ion battery and can run for up to an hour. Miele touts the Triflex’s versatility, convenience, and useability, as it has a small footprint, can be mounted to a wall for storage, and can be used in three different configurations. Weighing 8 pounds, it’s heavier than models in our rating that are specifically designed to be lightweight, though professional reviews like its ergonomic design, ease of use, and powerful cleaning abilities. It retails for $499, making it roughly the average cost of all the vacuums in our rating.
iRobot Roomba s9+ Robot Vacuum: The Roomba s9+ Robot Vacuum from iRobot is the only robot vacuum in our Best Vacuums of 2022 rating. Like other Roomba models, the s9+ is a programmable vacuum that responds to voice commands, adapts to its surroundings, and empties itself. The s9+ builds on the design of previous Roombas with more powerful suction, advanced sensors, and technology designed for improved corner cleaning. While the automated features of the iRobot Roomba s9+ Robot Vacuum set it apart from the other vacuums in our rating, it’s also the most expensive. With a base price of $1,100, it’s several hundred dollars more than the next most-expensive model on our list.
Cordless vacuums have come a long way since Black & Decker’s DustBuster of the 1970s. While they were previously limited to small handheld devices meant for small messes, today’s cordless vacuums may replace corded models in the right home.
Cordless vacuums tend to be smaller and lighter than other vacuums, as they’re meant to be portable and convenient. You can take a cordless vacuum up and down stairs, under and around furniture, or out to your car without worrying about a cord. The tradeoff for this convenience is mainly price: the cordless models in our rating are some of the most expensive on our list. You may also find that a cordless vacuum doesn’t provide quite the power or capacity your home needs.
Best Cordless Vacuums of 2022
One type of vacuum that’s growing in popularity is the robot vacuum. These autonomous vacuum cleaners are appealing because they require little to no effort on your part. You can program a cleaning schedule so the vacuum will automatically clean your floors whenever you like.
Most robot vacuums are disc-shaped and only a few inches tall. This design allows them to maneuver under pieces of furniture that other vacuums might not be able to reach. This low profile means less room for powerful motors and dust cup capacity, though. Robot vacuums are usually recommended for everyday cleaning on hard floors or low carpets, so they’re not the best choice for homes with thick carpeting. They’re also some of the most expensive models on the market.
Best Robot Vacuums of 2022
Vacuum cleaners on the market today come in various form factors with lots of different features. Even among the handful of vacuums in our rating of the Best Vacuum of 2022, there’s a great deal of variance, with prices ranging from $34 to over $1,000 for upright, handheld, cordless, and robot models. As with many household products, the question you should keep in mind while shopping is not which vacuum is best, but which vacuum is best for you.
To get you started, here are some factors to consider when shopping for a new vacuum for your home.
First off, consider your living space. This can help establish the kind of work you want the vacuum to do. For example, a large space with mostly hardwood floors and area rugs may be suited to a robot vacuum, but a home with wall-to-wall high-pile carpet and stairs is not. Also, think about whether or not you want to use your vacuum for surfaces other than floors. If you want to be able to vacuum upholstery, dust baseboards, or reach hard-to-clean areas, you’re going to need a vacuum with a hose or wand and attachments. You should also consider the noise. Some vacuums can be very loud, which may not be suited to apartment living.
In addition to the physical makeup of your home, you also want to consider the people who live there. If you have a large, active family, your floors may require more thorough cleaning than the home of a single person. Pets are also a major factor, as evidenced by the number of vacuums specifically designed for homes with pets. Pet hair can be a hassle, both on the floor and on soft surfaces, so you may want a vacuum built with your furry friends in mind. If someone in your household has allergies, you may want to consider a vacuum with a HEPA filter, like the Dyson V15 Detect Cordless Vacuum. The CDC recommends vacuums with HEPA filters to help clean and disinfect business spaces.
Size and Weight
One factor you may forget when browsing vacuums with new technological features is the vacuum’s size, weight, and shape. After all, a vacuum is useless if you never want to use it. For example, upright and canister vacuums tend to be powerful and have large capacities, but they’re also bigger and heavier than stick models. Also consider storage. Stick vacuums have a small footprint and can even be mounted to a wall for storage.
Lastly, cost is a big factor, and vacuums cover a wide range of price points. In our rating alone, the least expensive vacuum is $34, while the most expensive is $1,100. Generally speaking, robot vacuums tend to be the most expensive. Weigh the pros and cons of the products you’re considering and decide whether certain features, like the ability to program your vacuum to clean while you’re away, are worth the price.
Vacuums come in a variety of shapes and sizes and are suited to different spaces and situations. Our Best Vacuums of 2022 rating contains a mix of upright, stick, and robot vacuums. If you’re shopping for a new vacuum, consider which type is best suited to your needs.
Upright vacuums are common and may be the type you think of when picturing a vacuum. They consist of a tall main section and a large base. The machine’s body allows for a higher capacity – historically, vacuum bags, though most models now are bagless, opting instead for plastic containers. Upright vacuums can clean large areas quickly and are generally easy to maneuver by walking and pushing them back and forth. They’re usually best for carpet cleaning and often have attachments for above-floor areas. They also tend to store fairly easily as they can stand up on their own. Three of the vacuum models in our rating of the Best Vacuums of 2022 are upright: the Bissell Pet Hair Eraser Turbo Upright Vacuum, Dyson Ball Animal 2 Upright Vacuum, and Hoover WindTunnel 3 High Performance Vacuum.
Canister vacuums consist of a tank that houses the majority of the vacuum’s equipment attached to a hose with a cleaning head on the end. These vacuums are more versatile than upright models, as you can easily switch from cleaning the floor to cleaning stairs, upholstery, or curtains. They can be more cumbersome than upright or stick models though, as their two-piece build can make them difficult to store or maneuver around a house. There aren’t any canister models in our rating.
Handheld vacuums are lightweight, portable vacuums. They’re meant for cleaning up small messes and are useful on non-floor surfaces. They’re not meant to be used as a replacement for a large floor vacuum, though some models, like the Bissell FeatherWeight Lightweight Stick Vacuum, can be used as a handheld or a stick form factor, making them a great low-cost option for small spaces like dorm rooms. Most upright and canister vacuums come with attachments that allow them to clean the same spaces that a full-size vacuum head couldn’t reach, although they don’t offer the convenience of a small, battery-powered device.
Stick vacuums combine the light weight of a handheld vacuum with the tall body and handle of an upright vacuum, allowing for a versatile vacuum that’s easy to carry and store. Stick vacuums can either be corded or cordless, but a corded model means you don’t have to worry about the battery running low. However, even corded stick vacuums, in general, don’t replace the deep-cleaning abilities of a full-size vacuum. Half of the vacuums in our rating are stick vacuums: The V11 and V15 from Dyson, the low-priced Bissell FeatherWeight, and the Miele Triflex HX1.
Robot vacuums have increased in popularity, with the name Roomba becoming virtually synonymous with the product category. The one robot vacuum in our ratings is the Roomba s9+ from iRobot. Though expensive, robot vacuums are appealing because they do the job of vacuuming all on their own with nearly no human action needed. Their small size means they’re not meant for tough jobs, but if you hate the chore of vacuuming, an everyday robot vacuum might be worth it.
Much like the range of vacuum forms, vacuum costs can vary greatly. Small handheld or stick vacuums can cost under $30, while new top-of-the-line models can cost over $2,000. Generally speaking, robot vacuums tend to be more expensive, though some stick models outpace self-cleaning vacuums. Stick vacuums can also be very inexpensive, consisting of a stick frame with a handheld device providing the power. Upright and canister vacuums generally fall in the middle, though, like stick models, there’s a lot of variance.
Other Ratings From 360 Reviews
Why You Can Trust Us: 44 Vacuums Researched
At U.S. News & World Report, we rank the Best Hospitals, Best Colleges, and Best Cars to guide readers through some of life’s most complicated decisions. Our 360 Reviews team draws on this same unbiased approach to rate the products that you use every day. To build our ratings, we researched more than 44 vacuums and analyzed 10 reviews. Our 360 Reviews team does not take samples, gifts, or loans of products or services we review. All sample products provided for review are donated after review.
The following describes our 360 approach to researching and analyzing vacuums to guide prospective consumers.
1. We researched the companies and products people care most about.
U.S. News analyzed and compared a variety of publicly available data, including internet search data, to determine which vacuum Americans are most interested in. We found 44 vacuums that stand out in terms of volume of searches and research among consumers, as well as across the different rating sources.
We then compared the available vacuums provided by our top vacuum companies across several criteria, including cost, form factor, weight, charge time and run time, dimensions, surface recommendations, smart, and whether or not they were handheld and or cordless. Research shows that these are the most important criteria for people shopping for a vacuum.
2. We created an objective 360 Overall Ratings based on an analysis of third-party reviews.
U.S. News’ 360 Reviews team applied an unbiased methodology that includes opinions from professional reviews as well as consumer reviews.
Our scoring methodology is based on a composite analysis of the ratings and reviews published by credible third-party professional and consumer review sources. The ratings are not based on personal opinions or experiences of U.S. News. To calculate the ratings:
(a) We compiled two types of third-party ratings and reviews:
- Professional Ratings and Reviews. Many independent vacuum evaluating sources have published their assessments of vacuum companies and their products online. We consider several of these third-party reviews to be reputable and well-researched. However, professional reviewers often make recommendations that contradict one another. Rather than relying on a single source, U.S. News believes consumers benefit most when these opinions and recommendations are considered and analyzed collectively with an objective, consensus-based methodology.
- Consumer Ratings and Reviews. U.S. News also reviewed published consumer ratings and reviews of vacuum cleaners. Sources with a sufficient number of quality consumer ratings and reviews were included in our scoring model.
Please note that not all professional and consumer rating sources met our criteria for objectivity. Therefore, some sources were excluded from our model.
(b) We standardized the inputs to create a common scale.
The third-party review source data were collected in a variety of forms, including ratings, recommendations, and accolades. Before including each third-party data point into our scoring equation, we had to standardize it so that it could be compared accurately with data points from other review sources. We used the scoring methodology described below to convert these systems to a comparable scale.
The 360 scoring process first converted each third-party rating into a common 0 to 5 scale. To balance the distribution of scores within each source’s scale, we used a standard deviation (or Z-Score) calculation to determine how each vacuum’s score compared to the source’s mean score. We then used the Z-Score to create a standardized U.S. News score using the method outlined below:
- Calculating the Z-Score: The Z-Score represents a data point’s relation to the mean measurement of the data set. The Z-Score is negative when the data point is below the mean and positive when it’s above the mean; a Z-Score of 0 means it’s equal to the mean. To determine the Z-Score for each third-party rating of a vacuum, we calculated the mean of the ratings across all companies evaluated by that third-party source. We then subtracted the mean from the vacuums rating and divided it by the standard deviation to produce the Z-Score.
- Calculating the T-Score: We used a T-Score calculation to convert the Z-Score to a 0-100 scale by multiplying the Z-Score by 10. To ensure that the mean was equal across all data points, we added our desired scoring mean (between 0 and 10) to the T-Score to create an adjusted T-Score.
- Calculating the common-scale rating: We divided the adjusted T-Score, which is on a 100-point scale, by 20 to convert the third-party rating to a common 0-5 point system.
(c) We calculated the 360 Overall Score based on a weighted-average model.
We assigned “source weights” to each source used in the consensus scoring model based on our assessment of how much the source is trusted and recognized by consumers and how much its published review process indicates that it is both comprehensive and editorially independent. The source weights are assigned on a 1-5 scale. Any source with an assigned weight less than two was excluded from the consensus scoring model.
Finally, we combined the converted third-party data points using a weighted average formula based on source weight. This formula calculated the consensus score for each product, which we call the 360 Overall Rating.
U.S. News 360 Reviews takes an unbiased approach to our recommendations. When you use our links to buy products, we may earn a commission but that in no way affects our editorial independence.