Buying Guide: What is the Best Vacuum Cleaner to Buy?

A quality vacuum cleaner should be versatile enough to clean a variety of surfaces and durable enough to perform well for many years.

With so many different choices and price points, how do you know which vacuum cleaner to buy? Whether canister or upright, bagged or bagless, the best models have features that work together to maximize airflow and agitation. We’ll help you narrow your search with great advice from an expert who has 40 years of vacuum savvy.

Bags vs. Bagless

The best cost $400 to $600

At this price point, the vacuum will have a tightly sealed system outfitted with rubber gaskets to keep dirty air from leaking back into your house. It will also include a long warranty (often five to seven years if you buy it from an authorized dealer). Most will also have features like wheels that pivot 360 degrees, a long cord, washable filters, HEPA filters and cloth bags.

Spending more than $400 to $600 will buy convenience features but won’t improve a machine’s cleaning ability. If you spend less, you’ll probably end up with more repair bills and a shorter life span.

Upright vs. canister—Which is best?

Choose a vacuum style geared toward your primary cleaning task.

Avoid flat rubber drive belts

Look for a chevron roller bristle pattern

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