The 4 best vacuum cleaners we tested in 2021 for carpet, hardwood, and even pet hair

Insider Picks writes about products and services to help you navigate when shopping online. Insider Inc. receives a commission from our affiliate partners when you buy through our links, but our reporting and recommendations are always independent and objective.

The best vacuumsThe best vacuums
The best vacuums
Amazon/Business Insider

  • Our favorite vacuum overall is the Miele C2 Electro+, which is extremely powerful, long-living, and is well-outfitted with several brushes, crevice attachments, and an easy-to-change filter/bag system.

Vacuums aren’t things most of us like to spend too much time doting over. They’re loud, often clunky and temperamental. While some of us keep up on our maintenance of this 0h-so-precious yet oft underappreciated appliance, most of us neglect them until it’s too late, or they simply start to underperform over time. Maybe your vacuum has begun to leave undesirable matter behind, leaving you with dreams of a newer, more efficient appliance — or, at least, a cleaner floor. Maybe it’s time for a new vacuum.

Like most electronics these days, there are more than enough options to drive you mad in your search for the best replacement. There are light-weight cordless vacuums, canister vacuums, upright vacuums that are beholden to wall outlets, handheld dustbusters, and of course, robotic vacuums. So which do you choose?

The best vacuum for your home depends on a number of things, the most important being the size, floor plan, floor material, and the inhabitants of your abode.

How big is your home?

If your home, or the space you’re planning to vacuum is anywhere over about 1000 sq. ft, and you don’t want to have to clean in shifts between plugging into your charger, then a cordless vacuum may be out of the question. But, if storage is tight, maybe it is worth vacuuming in shifts to save on the closet space a larger vacuum would consume.

What kind(s) of surfaces will you be vacuuming?

The vacuums we recommend are for all surfaces, and some even have settings for particular types of carpet and other flooring, but before you buy a vacuum, make sure its well-suited for at least the predominant flooring in your household.

How often do you vacuum?

If you always like to have your floors squeaky clean — that is, if you vacuum daily, or almost daily — you might want to consider the Miele C2 Electro+, which will stand up to regular use much better than a cordless vacuum with a battery that won’t last nearly as long with heavy use.

Do you have pets?

If you have pets, then maybe stay away from vacuum cleaners with bags, which are not only inherently wasteful and potentially costly but can clog your machine when they begin to fill with hair.

You also might want to skip out on the sensational new robotic vacuums — sorry, but imagine what might happen when your dog or cat decides to leave you a present and your new Roomba encounters it, only to stage what might appear to be a horrific crime scene — as Wirecutter says, this sort of thing is „not rare.“

Here are our picks for the best home vacuums you can buy:

Read on in the slides below to learn more about our picks.

The best vacuum cleaners you can buy