Frequently Asked Questions
UPDATED JAN 2021: We have been working with and testing vacuums for over 12 years. During that time we’ve looked at many different brands (Shark, Miele, Dyson, Bissell, Hoover, etc) but we've probably done more detailed reviews of Shark vacuums than any other brand. We have noticed during this time that some models are better-suited for bare/smooth flooring than others.
A few years ago Shark introduced a new technology to their cleaner heads - DuoClean Technology - and this took their hardwood floor cleaning to another level.
If you want to know the REAL difference between Shark vacuums and Dyson vacuums ask someone who actually has the vacuums. I have personally tested many machines from each company, and as the photo above shows I have a few. In this article we analyze some of the top vacuums from both companies, compare specifications and provide pros & cons.
UPDATED March 2023 - In this article we highlight everything you need to know to find the best pet hair vacuum. We cover uprights, canisters, stick vacs and handhelds. A quick summary of the best uprights and canisters is provided in the list:
UPDATED NOVEMBER 2022 - Over the past 14 years we’ve done many Shark Vacuum Reviews. We’ve reviewed mostly Shark upright vacuums but have also investigated steam mops, canister vacuums, stick vacs, and even Shark handheld units. We’ve analyzed the performance of these machines on carpet, on bare floors, AND on pet hair. The results for the best shark vacuums for pet hair - in order of effectiveness - are in the following list:
You can get a good vacuum for $200, $300, $400 or more but is it possible to get a good machine for under $100? The short answer is "YES" but if you want the best cheap vacuums you have to look carefully and do your research.
We've reviewed literally hundreds of vacuum cleaners and to help we've put together our 2017 list of the best vacuums for under $100 and it includes models by Hoover, Eureka and Bissell.
The list contains three uprights, three canister vacuums and three stick vacs. The models were chosen based on their features, performance, consumer ratings and low cost.
We recently published our 2017 list of Best Cheap Vacuums (units under $100) and it proved to be quite popular. The list provided good machines that are very affordable - but the $100 limit also cut out some great vacuums. Now we’ve moved the affordability bar up to $200 which has allowed us to capture vacuums with slightly better consumer ratings, longer warranties and even more good features.
In this short article we take a look at the differences between the canister vacuum and the upright vacuum. Both configurations have been around for years and most people have one or the other and sometimes both at home. But if you are in the market for a new vacuum cleaner which style is the right one for you? There are advantages and disadvantages to each. Even if you have a favorite brand, many manufacturers today make uprights as well as canisters. Weve also included some information highlighting the pros and cons of stick vacs and handhelds.
Finding the right vacuum for the right job today is a tough task. There are many different vacuums with many different features and each manufacturer will tell you their machine is the best for this or the best for that. How do you sort out the good ones from the bad ones or pick the best vacuum for your cleaning needs? Ultimately you need to do a lot of research and analysis. At Vacuum Cleaner Advisor we’ve done that work for you and we have found the 6 best vacuum cleaners for your hardwood floors.
We've put together some useful vacuum cleaner troubleshooting tips that should help you fix some of the more common problems you may run into. But remember - before performing any maintenance please turn the vacuum off AND unplug it!
HEPA filtration was first developed and used by the US Atomic Energy Commission to help protect scientists from airborne radioactive particles during the Manhattan Project. Since then it has found applications in many industries including health care, aerospace, optical, pharmaceutical, food processing and more. HEPA filters are now also commonly used in household appliances like air purifiers and vacuum cleaners. In these appliances they are used to remove the likes of tobacco smoke, dust mites, pet dander, pollen, mold spores, etc from the air. This is especially beneficial in homes with allergy or asthma sufferers.
Should you go bagged or bagless? This is a popular question because there are many vacuums of both types on the market. Most residential vacuum cleaners sold in the USA today are of the bagless variety but bagged machines still sell well and have a special place in the heart of many homeowners.
The bulk of non-commercial vacuums manufactured today are bagless, however there are still a large number of bagged vacuums on the market (this is especially true with canister vacuum cleaners).
The question of which approach is better - bagged or bagless - abounds on forums and blogs. However there is really no correct answer and it comes down to consumer preference. Some people prefer a bagless machine because they do not wish to buy and throw away bags. Others like the cleanliness of bags which can be removed, disposed of and replaced.
We have reviewed many bagged and bagless machines over the last 10 years, and following is our list of the best bagged vacuums.
What Does “Best Rated” Mean?
People often ask what is the best rated vacuum cleaner? So in this article we highlight the very highest rated vacuums on our site as of November, 2017.
Our picks for the best bagless vacuums in 2022. We’ve found 10 vacuums (to date) that we feel are worth highlighting, and we’ve undertaken detailed analysis of each machine. This year's list is dominated by Shark but it also contains vacuums from Miele, Dyson, and Bissell. These vacuums have all received very good ratings from consumers (generally from multiple sources) and many also come with a host of features and have respectably long warranties. These units all excel at cleaning, but take care – some are better than others on certain floor surfaces. Prices range from about 60 USD to 600 USD.
UPDATED DEC 2022 - We’ve been updating our list of Best Upright Vacuums every year since 2008 and the latest list for 2022 has just been released. The list is dominated this year by Shark machines.
Our choice for the Best Upright Vacuum (so far) in 2022 is the Shark Vertex, a powerful machine that does everything well. The new and extremely powerful Dyson Ball Animal 3 has taken the second spot. Last year our top pick was the Shark NV752 which has dropped to #3 this year - but it continues to be a strong consumer favorite. #4 in our list is the Shark Rotator Powered Lift-Away ZU632, a machine that is very similar to the NV752 but comes with a specialized cleaner head for pet hair. Slipping to #5 is the Dyson Ball Animal 2 which is a beast of a vacuum and subsequently one of our best vacuums for pet hair.
UPDATED JULY 2019 - This is our list of the best stick vacuums for 2019. After reviewing a large number of stick vacuums we have found the top 10. Vacuum cleaners were chosen after carefully considering our testing, consumer ratings and comments, as well as length of warranty, features and cost. Vacuums that stood out scored well in most if not all of these areas.
Stick vacuums range from inexpensive to somewhat pricey and as a result we have divided our list into three categories: top-end, mid-range and inexpensive. All choices this year are produced by only 5 manufacturers who seem to be making a real effort in the stick vacuum arena and are leaving quite a few other manufacturers behind. Our 2019 list includes units from Dyson, Shark, Hoover, Bissell and a machine from newcomer Tineco.
UPDATED NOVEMBER 2022 - Cordless vacuum cleaners have been around for some time but only started to become widely popular recently. They have historically been plagued by weak suction and short run times. However, current cordless machines have much more power and we are starting to see run times of 30 minutes or more on a single charge. Also, some of the outliers are reaching run times as high as 40–60 minutes (while still generating effective suction levels), and we believe this will be the norm in the coming months/years. This is being driven not only by new battery technologies but also by the relentless demand for cordless vacuums. Homeowners like the light weight, maneuverability and portability of these machines. Expect to find more and more of these appearing on the market.
People often visit our site and search for lightweight vacuums. We have reviewed many lightweight machines but specifications, like weight, are often buried in the articles. So we recently dug through our reviews to uncover the best rated lightweight vacuums. We hope the information is helpful.
We’ve been publishing scores for vacuum cleaners of all kinds and brands for approximately 10 years now. Each year we analyze all of our data in order to provide insights into the best vacuum brands. To date we have produced over 200 vacuum reviews and gathered price and consumer ratings data in each and every review. This data, as of November 2017, includes over 160,000 consumer ratings. The data has been “crunched” and put into several insightful charts.
What can we draw from these charts? Well, we don’t want to make any hard conclusions here as our data is not exhaustive (we have not reviewed every vacuum from every manufacturer), but clearly a combination of a high rating and a low cost is good. For the most part the charts speak for themselves. You should also consider that some brands have better ratings for certain types of vacuums - like Miele and canisters. The data below average all vacuum types per brand.