The Compact C1 filtering system prevents fine dust and dirt from escaping, earning our cleaning expert's approval.
Six suction power settings accommodate multiple floor types. Vacuum bag included. Designed with AirClean Sealed System to prevent the release of fine dust and dirt.
Not ideal for berber carpeting.
At a fraction of the price of other models, the Bissell Zing canister vac is a great choice for the budget-conscious consumer.
Bissell is a trusted brand in the industry that offers versatile cleaning power and powerful suction on the ground, on countertops, and on furniture. Dirt cup has a capacity of 2 liters. Features a 15-foot cord that can retract with the press of a button.
May not perform as well on carpet.
A commercial-grade canister vacuum that's light enough to carry by its shoulder strap.
This commercial canister vacuum is lightweight and easily portable at 10 pounds. Long 20-foot power cord. Comes with combination carpet/hard floor head as well as a crevice tool, dusting brush, and telescoping wand. Also includes a shoulder strap.
Some note the sound output is loud, and the components can be awkward to store.
A bagless vacuum that uses advanced technology for advanced cleaning.
It can switch between 4 suction power settings for use on different surfaces and captures all coarse and fine dust. It has a maintenance-free hygiene filter and a fine-dust filter, and the click-to-open reservoir makes it easy to empty.
The suction power is so strong that even some large objects can be picked up, so it's best to clear everything in its path beforehand.
This pet-friendly vacuum has easy-access controls and offers deep cleaning on various surfaces.
HEPA filtration picks up 99.97% of dust particles, and vent inlets make it easier to maneuver the vacuum. It has an LED light for low-light environments and 360-degree swivel action for thorough cleaning.
It's heavier and louder than other canister vacuums.
We recommend these products based on an intensive research process that's designed to cut through the noise and find the top products in this space. Guided by experts, we spend hours looking into the factors that matter, to bring you these selections.
Every home needs a vacuum cleaner, but which one is right for you? One thing is certain: The ability to clean floors quickly and easily is a top priority in your home. And if you have hardwood floors, you know just how luxurious and beautiful your home can look when your bare floors are cleaned right.
Finding the best vacuum cleaner for your home is not a straightforward process when you consider all of the available options. Would an upright vac from a traditional brand like Hoover or Eureka suit your needs best? What about a lightweight stick vac with a swivel head? Or perhaps a canister vac with an array of cleaning tools and powerful suction would render the cleanup you’re looking for.
When it comes to cleaning hardwood floors and other bare surfaces, a canister vacuum is hands-down the best choice. Bear in mind that the versatile canister vac can also clean up carpets and rugs with ease, so the various rooms in your home would all be covered by one machine.
In short, a canister vac would make a great standalone purchase for any home — especially a home with hardwood flooring. It would also be a fantastic complementary addition to any cleaning arsenal.
When it comes to basic floor care, there are three common types of vacuum cleaners: upright vacuums, stick vacuums, and canister vacuum cleaners. Each type offers its own strengths and weaknesses.
An upright vacuum is probably the best choice if you have a home that’s mostly carpeted. A high-quality upright vacuum cleaner delivers powerful suction and, generally speaking, a wider cleaning path than a canister vacuum cleaner. The best uprights have settings that allow them to clean both high-pile carpets and low-pile carpets. On the downside, upright vacuums are heavy and sometimes clunky, making them difficult to maneuver and tricky to manipulate in tight spaces and on staircases.
A stick vacuum is best reserved for quick cleanups. Furthermore, unless you live in a very small home, a stick vacuum isn’t an ideal replacement for your regular vacuum cleaner. For most people, it’s a complementary purchase rather than a primary cleaning tool.
A stick vacuum is suitable for vacuuming up crumbs, last-minute cleanup to make your home presentable before company arrives, and the ongoing task of sucking up pet hair. Many stick vacs have swivel heads that make them easy to maneuver, especially in tight spaces.
The drawbacks of stick vacs include a comparative lack of power, a smaller dustbin, and not-so-powerful suction on carpet, particularly in rooms with high-pile carpeting.
As mentioned, canister vacuum cleaners excel at the task of hard floor cleaning. Depending on the model, they also do a fair job cleaning up low-pile carpeting. Canister vacs are easier to maneuver than upright vacuum cleaners. They reach further underneath furniture, and because of their design, they feel much lighter in the hand.
If your home has a staircase, you’ll appreciate the long hose and separate head of a canister vacuum cleaner. Plus, with the right cleaning tools, you can use a canister vac on drapes, upholstery, and even the interior of your car.
There are a few drawbacks to canister vacuum cleaners. Many cannot compete with an upright vac when it comes to cleaning carpeting — particularly high-pile carpeting. The smaller head of a canister vacuum takes longer to cover a large expanse of floor, and it’s more difficult to store a bulky canister vacuum than it is a sleek upright vac.
Still, if your home has stairs, lots of hard flooring, tight spaces, or furniture raised on legs (as is common with mid-century modern design), a canister vacuum cleaner could well be worth your while.
In the battle of bagged canister vacuums versus bagless canister vacuum cleaners, owners are evenly divided in terms of preference. Both sides offer benefits and drawbacks, of course, so the answer to which one is better is a definite “it depends.”
Bagged canister vacuum cleaners hold collected dirt and dust in a bag that is tossed in the garbage when full. Many bags have a HEPA filter that greatly cuts down on allergens and prevents dust from collecting inside the vacuum or blowing back into the room.
Cons: You’ll need to buy bags, and most vacuums start losing their ability to pick up debris as the bag becomes full.
A bagless vacuum has a plastic chamber, a dustbin, that collects dust and debris. You empty the dustbin when it becomes full. Frequently, this is a messy process that exposes the user to all the allergens and grit inside the chamber.
Canister vacuum cleaners come with a wide array of possible features, and some of those features might satisfy your needs better than others. Here’s a list of the most common features to consider.
Unless you live in a tiny space, vacuuming your entire home generally means unplugging and replugging your vacuum cleaner cord at least once or twice as you work. A power cord length of 20 feet or longer is ideal. This generous cord length cuts down on the number of times you would need to repeat this action.
Cord rewind is a handy feature that automatically rewinds the power cord at the push of a button or with a slight tug of the cord.
While many canister vacuums have a hose that is 5 or 6 feet long, a long hose (greater than 5 or 6 feet) simplifies the task of accessing tight spaces and underneath furniture.
Every vacuum cleaner has at least one filter, but some have more than one. And some have HEPA filters to catch even the tiniest allergens and dust particles. In the case of bagged vacuums, the bag itself serves as a filter.
Bagless vacuums have a plastic dustbin container for collecting dirt. If this dustbin sports a compact design, note that you will have to stop working and empty it frequently.
Cleaning high-pile carpets is no problem if you have the best vacuum cleaner for the job. There is usually a lever or knob that allows you to set the roller brush height for different piles of carpet.
If you want additional cleaning power in a shorter amount of time, check out the width of your chosen vacuum head. The wider the floorhead, the less passes you must make to cover the entire floor.
While you won’t be lifting or pushing a canister vacuum cleaner in the same way you would an upright vac, it’s still easier to work with a reasonably light vacuum cleaner. Take note of the weight of any potential canister vac you might purchase.
Some canister vacuums allow you to make adjustments to the power level so you can use lower suction while working on delicate surfaces and higher suction when cleaning carpets and big messes.
The roller brush, also called a beater brush, loosens and lifts grime and hair out of carpeting. However, it could potentially scratch wooden flooring or other hard-surface flooring. Some canister vacuums have a switch that allows you to turn the roller brush off while cleaning your wooden floors.
When the roller head is powered by electricity instead of air, you’ll get much more powerful and effective suction on carpet and rugs.
If you have pets, you probably deal with pet hair and dander on a regular basis. Canister vacuums marketed as “for pets” generally come with a powered pet hair head, which is basically a miniature vacuum head that excels at picking up pet hair and dander from carpets, upholstery, and drapes.
Resist the urge to pick up small metal items like paper clips or coins with your vacuum. It’s also smart to avoid picking up leaves shed from potted plants, balls of paper, and other large items with a vacuum cleaner. Attempting to pick up these items would likely clog the hose or damage the motor fan.
More common on upright vacuums than canisters, a headlight is highly convenient when vacuuming underneath furniture and beds.
Vacuum cleaners are noisy; there’s just no getting around it. That said, some models and brands are put out a little less noise than others.
Your canister vacuum will probably include a set of accessories. Typically, a hose extender, upholstery brush, and crevice tool are in this set. Higher-end vacuums may include other useful accessories, as well.
As a general rule, canister vacuums are more expensive than upright vacuums. However, you can certainly find some compact canister vacuum cleaners that are priced under $80. Two quality companies with several superior offerings in this price range are Eureka and Bissell.
Between $80 and $150, you can find mid-range canister vacuums from the likes of top companies like Hoover and Oreck. Though the vacuums may or may not be cordless at this price range, they employ a few more desirable features than the cheapest of canister vacs. Helpful clean up tools are usually included with these options, such as an attachment for bare floors and swivel steering. Some of these choices offer an air filtration system, as well.
If you want a canister vac with many desirable bells and whistles — HEPA filtration system, powerful suction, cordless capabilities and/or a long power cord — be prepared to spend $150 or greater. In our research, we have discovered high-end canister vacs from the likes of Miele, Dyson, and Kenmore that cost several hundred dollars.
A. For many homes, a weekly session with the canister vacuum is enough. If you have pets, kids, lots of foot traffic, or live in a dusty area, however, you’ll probably need to vacuum two to three times a week. And in some households, daily vacuuming is necessary to keep all areas sparkling clean.
A. It’s recommended that you replace your canister vacuum bag when it’s approximately two-thirds full. Beyond that point, your vacuum will start losing suction power.
A. An upholstery tool is an attachment that allows you to clean items other than your flooring, such as your couch cushions, curtains, and mattresses. Some people take their canister vac outside and use their upholstery tool to clean the inside of their cars. But Hoover isn’t the only company that makes this handy attachment. Look for an upholstery tool in any vacuum cleaner product’s list of included cleaning tools before you consider making a purchase.