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A Guide to Choosing the Perfect Vacuum

Most people would rather watch paint dry than go shopping for a vacuum.


Walk into any Lowes, Home Depot, or Bed Bath & Beyond and you’ll be dumbstruck by the sheer number of vacuums available. Most major brands, from Hoover to Dyson to Miele, make several different iterations of each model: handheld, stick, robotic and upright. Which one you choose will depend on your budget and the space you’re trying to clean. Our picks for the best vacuum cleaners cover every category, so you’ll be able to find one that suits your needs and, hopefully, makes tidying your space less of a chore.

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Dyson DC34

Best Handheld: The DC34 feels like a power tool. It runs on a Dyson digital motor that spins 104,000 times per minute (five times faster than a race car’s engine) and sucks up household debris using the intense centrifugal forces created from Dyson’s patented Root Cyclone technology. The DC34 is bagless, quick to empty, lightweight (2.9 pounds) and comes with a two year warranty. The only real issue is its short battery life and a lack of tools for accessing hard to reach places. It’ll last 15 minutes on a normal setting (or 6 minutes when switched to its MAX power mode) before needing the charger. You can solve the latter problem by buying an accessories kit, but it adds $60 to an already pricey offering. Bottom line: this handheld is extremely efficient and powerful enough for cleaning up smaller messes, which is exactly what handhelds are designed for.

Buy Now: $178+

Hoover Platinum Collection LiNX Cordless Stick

Stick Pick: What distinguishes this Hoover is its simplicity. It’s a straightforward stick vacuum that doesn’t come with any attachments, two-in-one combinations or potential complications. It also works impressively well on all carpets (mid pile and low pile) and hardwood floors according to CNET and Good Housekeeping. The LiNX is powered by an 18V lithium ion battery system that can conveniently be removed to charge while the vacuum stays out of sight. It’s bagless, cordless, relatively lightweight (7.3 pounds) and affordable, making it a perfect pick for smaller residences.

Buy Now: $134

Miele Swing S7580

Best Upright Vacuum: The S7580 can do it all. With its patented SwivelNeck technology, it has no problem maneuvering around or completely under oddly shaped and low-faring objects. As for cleaning, it has a two-motor system: a 1,200-watt vortex motor and a 4,800 rpm brush roller motor. It comes with an L.E.D headlight, an integrated hose with 54 feet of reach and a few other gadgets for cleaning above the floor. Though ridiculously expensive by some standards, this German-designed vacuum does have a seven-year warranty and is the industry standard for clean air filtration. If its price is too steep, Wirecutter suggests the S7210 as a worthy alternative that includes many of the same core features.

Buy Now: $849

Neato XV Signature

Best Robotic Option: As far as robotic vacuums go, the iRobot Roomba 880 has this Neato beat. However, at a fraction of the price and with comparable cleaning ability, CNET says this is the better bang for your buck. The XV Signature comes with Neato’s patented laser-guided room-scanning technology; it’s simple to set up and schedule daily routines, and it can handle any type of floor or carpet (although Wirecutter suggests that it performs better on hard floors). It comes with two high-quality filters to help clean the air, but it’s louder than most. On the whole, this is a powerful, intelligent and affordable robotic vacuum that’ll literally finish your cleaning with the push of a button.

Buy Now: $311

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