8 Best Vacuum Cleaners of 2021 According to Consumer Reports

Oil changes and regular tune-ups are an important part of car maintenance, but so is keeping the interior clean. A good hand vacuum cleaner will keep your car’s carpeting fresh and increase its longevity. You should also have a full-size vacuum on hand for cleaning your RV.

Fortunately, Consumer Reports breaks down the best vacuum cleaners by category, price, and overall customer satisfaction. CR also performs extensive tests on each model to determine noise level, ease of maneuverability, and power. From canister to upright, corded to cordless, and bagged to bagless, here are the eight best vacuum cleaners of 2021 per Consumer Reports.

Bagged canister: Miele Complete C3 Marin

Miele vacuum cleaners in a showroom in May 2019
Miele vacuum cleaners | Friso Gentsch/picture alliance via Getty Images

Canister vacuums are more powerful than standard upright vacuums, which means they come with heftier price tags. The Complete C3 Marin got perfect marks for removing pet hair, cleaning hardwood floors, and lifting stubborn debris from carpeting. With suction control, it can be used over blankets and drapes without worrying about damaging the material. However, it’s a little awkward to maneuver and costs at least $1,095.

Bagless canister: Miele Blizzard CX1 Cat & Dog

This bagless canister lives up to its name, removing pet hair from bare floors with no problem. It earned high marks for emissions, but CR tells people with allergies to take caution while manually emptying the canister. It comes with many of the Miele Marin’s features, but it’s also difficult to maneuver. Still, it’s slightly cheaper at $899.20.

Bagged upright: Kenmore Elite Pet Friendly 31150

This bagged upright costs $319.99, making it one of the more expensive vacuums on this list. However, CR was impressed with its suction abilities over carpet and hardwood flooring. This vacuum lifts pet hair without any issues and boasts powerful airflow on the tool attachments. However, it might be too bulky and noisy for some customers.

Bagless upright: Shark Navigator Powered Lift-Away NV586

You can buy this bagless upright vacuum only at Target, where it retails for $299.99. It does its best work sprucing up kitchen floors and removing pet hair. Because it’s so lightweight, it’s easier to navigate around corners and tight spaces. The long extension cord is also a plus, but CR cautions that this vacuum is noisier than other bagless upright models.

Corded stick vacuum: Shark APEX UpLight Lift-Away DuoClean LZ601

CR’s favorite corded stick vacuum earned a perfect score in every category, even reliability and customer satisfaction. It can also cleanly wipe debris from walls and comes with several attachments that can be neatly stored on the vacuum. At 11 pounds, it’s easy to carry and stands upright when stored in a closet. It’s available for $299.99 at most major retailers.

Cordless stick vacuum: Tineco Pure One S11

This stick vacuum also garnered perfect scores in all of CR’s testing, but this one eschews that potentially troublesome cord. It’s more expensive at $349.99, but rest assured you won’t need a new one anytime soon. It also has a fancy LED panel that displays available battery power, dust detection, and clog alerts.

Robotic vacuum: iRobot Roomba S9+

You might be skeptical of the performance of such a tiny robotic vacuum cleaner, especially one that costs $1,099. Fortunately, the Roomba cleans all types of flooring efficiently and quietly. It empties its canister by itself and barely takes up any space in your home. However, it scatters debris easily, and the dirt canister is predictably small.

Handheld vacuum: Shark Ion W1 WV201

CR’s favorite handheld vacuum costs only $119.99. Although it’s best suited for hardwood floors, its portability makes it an excellent car accessory. All its crevice tools are useful for finding forgotten snack crumbs between the seats. It’s surprisingly quiet despite its large exhaust fan, but it can also easily scatter debris while cleaning. 

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