Last updated on November 22nd, 2018 by Garrick Dee

When I started this site in 2013, I only covered cordless vacuums. But I could not ignore the innovation that came with corded vacuums. So I eventually wrote about these as well.

How To Choose The Best Vacuum

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.

This will help you better understand the different types of vacuum cleaners, how each works, pros and cons and much more.

You’ll also learn the different terminologies that manufacturers use. I’ll cover all sorts of vacuums from lightweight handhelds to 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

money

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 a great option because it comes with a 12 amp motor. And despite the long 27-foot cord, it has cord rewind that makes tidying up easy.

For the vacuums under $200, the Shark Navigator NV252 takes the cake because of the versatility it brings to the table.

Aside from being an upright capable of deep cleaning carpet, it morphs into a canister vacuum thanks to the “Lift Away” feature.

This is one of the innovations I’m talking about that drew me to these types of vacuums.

Shark was the first to introduce this feature and other brands eventually copied it like Bissell and Hoover.

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.

You can check out this list of 5 vacuums that’ll help you deal with 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. This gives it more reach and apply more pressure on upholstery to pick up stubborn hair.

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 have pet hair tools capable of cleaning upholstery.

For homes with a lot of carpet, these are the two products that’ll do well. If money isn’t an issue, I’d go with the Rainbow vacuum.

For Stairs

stairs

One of the toughest parts to clean inside the home is no doubt the stairs.

With an old school upright, it’s almost impossible to clean stairs because of its sheer size and weight. But fear not, with the help of innovative brands, cleaning this area is easier.

To learn more about the best vacuums for cleaning stairs, you’ll need to check this guide where I feature 5 different products and compare them. Soon, I’ll add corded options.

Why the DC59?

My pick was the Dyson DC59 (this is the same as the V6 MotorHead) primarily because of its versatility.

Take off the extension wand, you can attach the MotorHead direct on the vacuum. This feature gives you more control and actually makes the task easier.

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.

Dyson alternative

For something with a cord, 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. Shark has another option they call the ION Rocket that has the same design as the Rocket minus the cord.

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) thanks to it’s versatility.

All things being equal, the Hoover Air Cordless 3.0 is a another good option because is has similar versatility. And it comes with a 50 minute run time and a 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’s good on carpet and it run time will not be a concern because it has a cord.

Handheld

If you’re looking for something that will help you clean up small messes, look no further than the handheld vacuum.

This lightweight and nimble tool will come in handy when you clean up a bowl of chips, biscuit or pet litter.

And my pick out of the bunch would be the Black + Decker BDH2000FL mainly because of the flexible hose.

This feature gives this handheld better head and maneuverability in tight spots.

If you need a little more power the Black & D BDH2000PL will fit the bill. It has 35 air watts on tap which is 7 more than the Dyson V6 in normal mode. But one big disadvantage would be the narrow suction chamber that will not accommodate larger debris.

This is great for picking up small to medium sized debris – particularly on vents.

Uprights

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.

Newer uprights have better versatility

But thanks to the innovation lead by companies like Dyson and Shark, upright vacuums are more versatile than ever before. Check out this list for our list 5 best uprights in this guide.

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.

One unique feature with the Lift Away Professional would be the ability to use the main 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).

Since this site is about cordless vacuums, let me share with you different upright options minus the cord. These options include the Bissell PowerGlide and Hoover Air Cordless.

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. Main issue would be navigation that is suspect and cleaning isn’t as good.

Newer robots are better

But after 2 decades of trial and error, new robot vacuums are better today. These tools will function well as an in-between cleaner that will clean on schedule and prevent dirt from piling up. The best part is you don’t have to lift a finger as these machines will do it for you.

Top brands like iRobot, Neato, ILIFE and Xiaomi allow you to schedule it to clean once a day for 7 days a week.

Remember though that the technology is not perfect. You will need to do your part like tidying up wires, remove chairs and stuff to maximize it.

It is not completely a hands-off deal as you will need to empty the dirt bin yourself.

Neato BotVac

The best of the bunch right now is the Neato BotVac D7. It’s their newest robotic vacuum that no comes with “No Go” zones that’s similar to a virtual wall that blocks the robots path from “No Go” zones.

The biggest improvement of the BotVac D7 and BotVac Connected over earlier variants would be the addition of a side brush, lithium ion battery, WiFi and smartphone app.

These upgrades were a necessity because a lot of people now have smartphones. And this device allows you to control it even when you’re not physically at home.

Don’t sleep on Roomba

iRobot has recently launched its latest product the Roomba 980. And it followed Neato’s lead in terms of navigation.

This new robot now comes with the S.L.A.M. algorithm that has a more predictable back and forth pattern.

Surface Specific

Not every home is the same and with those differences in mind there are different tools that will fit different surfaces.

Surface type plays a role in the type of vacuum you’ll buy.

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.

3 thoughts on “How to Choose The Best Vacuum Cleaner For YOUR Needs – Getting Started”

  1. Thanks for the post. We have a dog that sheds like crazy. We bought a vacuum a while ago but it just isn’t doing a good enough job at picking up the dog hair. I really appreciate you posting that list of vacuums that are the best for cleaning up the hair. This will give me something to consider.

  2. My husband and I are looking for a new vacuum for our home. I had completely forgotten that a robotic vacuum was an option! I appreciate your advice that if we use one of these, we should plan to use it once a week.

  3. Hi Garrick, we have several oriental rugs. Our vaccum’s beater head pulls out too many fibers. Looking for good suction, non-beater. A refurbished Rainbow? Thanks.

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