How to Choose The Best Vacuum Cleaner For YOUR Needs – Getting Started

Hi, I’m Garrick – founder of the “Best Cordless Vacuum Guide” blog. I originally started this site to cover only cordless vacuums but as I got along reviewing these amazing tools, I noticed that corded vacuums have evolved as well so I could not resist the urge to take a look and see what these new products have to offer so I started writing about these as well.

By the way you can click here for the latest reviews.

I’m here to help you out in your search for the right vacuum that will fit your specific needs but before you start asking the question what is the best, I suggest that you start by reading this buyers guide I’ve prepared for you to help you better understand the different types of vacuum cleaners, how each one works and what area it will excel in and also their weak points.

This guide will help you get an idea on the different terminologies that manufacturers like to use and the different types of cleaners from lightweight handhelds to large upright vacuums. Make sure to read that carefully before making any purchase.

But wait there’s more…

Click on the links to jump to the section of your choice:Budget Options, For Pet Lovers, For Stairs, Stick Vacuums, Handheld, Upright, Robot Vacuums, Surface Specific

Budget Options


I’ve also prepared in-depth guides for specific needs and I know some of you guys are looking for great deals so I’ll start by featuring the best under $100 and $200.

The winner for the best under $100 is the Eureka Airspeed. This strong upright vacuum packs a punch with a 12 amp motor and despite the long 27 foot cord it still has a cord rewind feature that lessens the time that you spend tidying up cords after vacuuming.

For the vacuums under $200, the Shark Navigator NV252 takes the cake because of the versatility it brings to the table. Aside from being a full sized upright capable of deep cleaning carpet, it also doubles as a canister vacuum thanks to its “Lift Away” feature that basically separates the body from the floor tool.

For Pet Lovers

pet dog

I’m pretty sure a lot of you guys either have a pet cat or dog in your home and one of the toughest challenges with these dear creatures is the amount of hair they shed. I’ve featured 5 vacuums in this list that will help you (right now I only featured cordless products but I’ll add a corded section, please stand by for that) clean up pet hair.

At the top of the list is the Black + Decker BDH2000L – one of the most versatile handhelds right now thanks to its flexible hose that allows you to dig in upholstery and reach tight spots that other handheld will struggle with.

I’ll soon update that guide and added corded options – please stand by for that!

If you’re looking for an upright, I could recommend either the Shark Navigator or the Dyson DC41, both have great suction and agitation to pick up pet hair on carpet and both have pet hair tools that you need to clean up upholstery. If your home has a lot of carpet, these are the first two products I’d recommend. If money  isn’t an issue, I’d go with the Rainbow vacuum.

For Stairs


One of the toughest parts to clean inside the home is no doubt the stairs. With an old school upright vacuum it is almost impossible to clean this area because of the sheer size and weight but fear not, with the help of innovative product designers cleaning this tough to clean area is easier.

In this list I’ve featured 5 of the best vacuums that will help you clean stairs, again you will notice that I’ve only featured cordless options but don’t worry, I’ll add also add some corded options too.

My pick was the Dyson DC59 (this is the same as the V6 MotorHead) primarily because of its versatility. When you take off the extension wand, you can directly attach the MotorHead (Dyson’s fancy term to the motorized brush) on the vacuum itself and have better control cleaning stairs.

Run time is around 20 minutes and charge time around 3 hours but run time should not be an issue cleaning stairs unless you’re using the Max feature that boosts power up to 100 air watts.

For corded options, I’d recommend the Shark Rocket because it has a similar design to the Dyson V6 but it has a cord – while it is nimble enough to clean stairs, the dust bin is on the small side so this isn’t a practical choice if you have a large home. A cheaper option would be the Bissell 1683A Trilogy.

If you need both power and nimbleness – let me again recommend the Shark Navigator Powered Lift Away. It’s lift away feature allows you to separate the body from the main motorized brush and handle that basically transforms this full sized upright into a canister vacuum, the great part about it is it will still give you full sized upright power but with the versatility of a canister.

Stick Vacuums

Stick vacuums are in basketball terms a tweener – not enough power to deep clean but it is light enough for quick clean up type chores. This type of vacuum is great for smaller homes with mostly hardwood floor where suction power isn’t top priority but footprint is.

After much thinking and deliberation, I had to give the pick again to Dyson DC59 (or the V6 MotorHead) because of the versatility, all things being equal but make no mistake the Hoover Air Cordless 3.0 is a very worthy opponent thanks to the 50 minute run time it gets from the 2 lithium ion batteries and the long 5 year warranty.

You cannot go wrong with either of the two products.

If you need a stick vacuum that is strictly a floor cleaner, take a look at the Hoover Stick Cyclonic. This is basically the same vacuum as the Linx Stick but only with the cord. It is pretty good on carpet and you are not restricted by the short run time.


If you’re looking for something that will help you clean up small messes, look no further than the handheld vacuum. The lightweight and nimble tools will come in handy when you only need to clean up that dropped bowl of chips or biscuit or your pet dog accidentally spills their food on the floor or poops.

And my pick out of the bunch would be the Black + Decker BDH2000FL mainly because of the flexible hose that gives this handheld unparalleled flexibility in terms of what you can clean plus the added reach.

If you need a little more power the B + D BDH2000PL will fit the bill thanks to its 35 air watts on tap (7 more than the Dyson). But this will have trouble sucking in larger bits of debris because of the narrow cleaning tool. This is great for picking up small to medium sized debris – particularly on vents.


This is the granddaddy of vacuum cleaners in terms of power and deep cleaning capability. These machines usually pack the most suction power and the strongest agitation. If you have a home with medium to plush carpeting this is the machine you want to buy.

If you’d buy an upright 10 years ago, you’ll probably get a machine that weighs more than 15 pounds that’s hard to maneuver but thanks to the innovation lead by companies like Dyson and Shark, upright vacuums are more versatile than ever before and you’ll a small sample of this versatility in this list.

And the best of the bunch right now is the Shark Professional Lift Way thanks to its innovative lift away feature than transforms this upright to a canister. The unique feature not found in other “lift away” vacuums is that you can use the main motorized floor tool even in canister mode.

This allows you to clean difficult to clean areas that other uprights cannot reach like areas under the bed or tables. And it also has enough power to deep clean (though not as strong as a Rainbow Vacuum).

And since this is a site that first talked about cordless vacuums, I have to share to you these cordless uprights that could possibly be the precursor to the future of home cleaning – the Bissell PowerGlide Cordless Upright and the Hoover Air Cordless Lift.

While these two products will not match the suction power of a corded upright, these are still decent options if a corded vacuum isn’t practical. Both have extended 45 minute run time thanks to their lithium ion batteries – Hoover has two while the Bissell has one large 36 volt battery.

Robot Vacuums

The first robot vacuum was invented in the late 1990s by Electrolux for busy bees who don’t have enough time to do mundane tasks like vacuuming our home.  The first generation of Robotic vacuums weren’t didn’t really do much, navigation was suspect and cleaning was less than acceptable.

But after more than 2 decades of trial and error, the robotic vacuum has evolved to what it is today – a pretty efficient decent cleaning helper that will clean on schedule and will help you maintain a cleaner environment at home without you lifting a finger.

Remember though that the technology is not perfect and it will still not match a more traditional vacuum in terms of power but that lack of power is made up with autonomy. Top brands like iRobot and Neato allow you to schedule it to clean once a day for 7 days a week.

It is not completely a hands-off deal as you will need to empty the dirt bin yourself and prepare the area it will clean to give it the best chance of success in terms of not getting stuck.

The best of the bunch right now is the Neato BotVac 80 thanks to its efficient cleaning pattern, pretty good suction power and not so expensive price tag. The biggest improvement from the previous Neato robotic vacuums is the addition of the side brush which improves it’s edge cleaning – something that a lot of consumers complained about.

iRobot has recently launched its latest product the Roomba 980 and it followed Neato’s lead and now uses a more predictable back and forth pattern which makes it more efficient than the previous Roomba robots but this one is gonna cost you – around $900 to be exact.

Surface Specific

Not every home is the same and with those differences in mind there are different tools that will fit different surfaces. This section is dedicated to home owners looking for a specific tool that will fit a specific floor type in their home.

For Hardwood Surfaces

Hardwood surfaces are deceivingly though to clean, while you don’t need as much power as you need cleaning carpet, you will still need a tool that has enough suction to clean up dirt even inside cracks and crevices.

While a cordless stick vacuum is a no-brainer choice for smaller homes, it may not be a smart choice for larger homes cause of the lack of run time. That’s why we need something that has both power and range but at the same time is nimble enough to move around.

These 5 models are a mix of upright and (mostly) canister vacuums that will help you keep your hardwood floors dust and allergen free.

Garrick Dee

Garrick is the founder of the Cordless Vacuum Guide that originally focused on cordless vacuums but he has now expanded to reviewing corded vacuums and carpet cleaners to be able to provide a more complete guide in terms of choosing the right cleaner.

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