Best Canister Vacuums

Electrolux UltraSilencer EL6986A

It’s tough to beat the power, capacity and sheer workhorse-ability of a good canister vacuum. That’s why they tend to be the model of choice for those seeking to vacuum large areas or handle difficult jobs, such as maintaining homes with lots of children and homes with  dust, dirt and pet hair issues.

Unfortunately, picking a good model can be a challenge and manufacturers have flooded the market with so many makes and models that it can be very difficult to even know where to start your search.  Nevertheless, the following are some key characteristics that should be sought in any good model.

Key Features of the Best Canister Vacuums

  • Compact Size & Lightweight:  while its great to have big time power, it won’t do you much good if you dread lugging the unit up or down the stairs. Likewise, a very bulk unit will be cumbersome to move around the home and dramatically restrict maneuverability.
  • Easy Dust Disposal:  another important feature is how quickly and effortlessly you can dump out the dust receptacle. If you have to fuss with too many snaps, latches or other retaining gizmos, it will end up increasing your cleaning time and plain irritate you – especially if you have a lot of ground to cover.
  • Good Carpet Cleaning Tools:  lots of power without effective cleaning tools doesn’t get you very far. Look for those models that have good motorized brush rolls and, if possible, optional attachments for things you care about, such as pet-hair upholstery cleaning, high/low pile carpeting, etc.
  • Advanced Air Filtration:  we all know how much dust and lint can get kicked up during vacuuming, but you may not realize just how unhealthy it is to breathe in these particles. Indeed, fine airborne particles that are typically suspended whenever you are cleaning around the home can exacerbate allergies or pose even more serious health issues for those with aggravated asthma or acute allergic reactions. Fortunately, most good canister vacuums come with air filtration systems. Among the best of these in our opinion are the High Efficiency Particulate Air filter – i.e., the “HEPA” filters. These filters use the same kinds of filter media as those in dedicated home air purifiers, which can take down particles less than a micron in size – the same size particles that can otherwise easily lodge in your lungs and airways.
  • Efficiency:  vacuums are definitely high-wattage appliances by any standard, typically using more than 1,000 watts of electricity depending on the size and capacity. As such, it does pay to look for more efficient models that generate good power without consuming lots of electricity that can easily add to your power bill, especially if you plan on vacuuming often.
  • Reliability:  this is obviously one of the most important features of any model, but can be the most difficult to assess when shopping. This is especially true given all of the brand new names that flood the market each year. Consequently, if ensuring that you can use your vacuum for many years is a primary concern, it usually pays to go for established names, such as Miele, which tests and designs all of its canister vacuums to last for 20 years!  The only downside of purchasing such a Cadillac-quality model is the typically high price tag.

Our Picks For Best Canister Vacuums

So, based on the considerations discussed above and our experience reviewing many types and models of canister vacuums, here are the models that we like the best for combing power, versatility, maneuverability and reliability.

***Click on the model name/image to read our product review:

Miele S8390 Cat/Dog Canister

Miele S8390 Cat & Dog Canister Vacuum

Miele S6270 Red Velvet Canister

Electrolux UltraSilencer EL6986A

Electrolux EL6986A UltraSilencer Canister Vacuum

 Electrolux Access T8 Bagless

Electrolux EL4071A Access T8 Canister Vacuum

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