The 9 best vacuum cleaners to buy in 2024 — robot, cordless, handheld, and more

Our pick of the best vacuum cleaners tried and tested by the Real Homes team

Three Dyson cordless vacuums and one upright Dyson vacuum on a low pile white and gray mottled carpet against wooden cabinets
(Image credit: Crate & Barrel)
Best Vacuum Cleaners: Quick Menu

1. The list in brief ↴
2. Best overall: Shark Stratos IZ862H
3. Best for small spaces: Tineco Pure One S12
4. Best wet and dry vacuum: Tineco Floor One S5
5. Best robot vacuum: iRobot Roomba S9+
6. Best handheld vacuum: Proscenic S1
7. Best affordable vacuum: Levoit VortexIQ40 Flex
8. Best Dyson vacuum: Dyson V15 Detect
9. Best canister vacuum: Miele Blizzard CX1
10. Best upright vacuum: Dyson Ball Animal 3
11. Comparison
12. What to consider
13. FAQs
14. How we test

Give your home a deep clean with one of the best vacuum cleaners for fab results. Real Homes has done the heavy lifting to determine the best model for you. We've tested these machines in our own homes to find the best bang for your buck.

If you live in a small space, a handheld vacuum might be all you need. But if you have furry friends at home, we've included vacs that can handle fur, dander, and other pet messes. 

Everything on this list (including the best cordless vacuums) has been thoroughly tested in our homes and rated four stars or higher. There's something for everyone, whether your budget is $300 or $1,000, with reviews to help you make an informed decision based on cleaning needs, price points, and durability.

Best vacuum cleaners 2024

Why you can trust Real Homes Our expert reviewers spend hours testing and comparing products and services so you can choose the best for you. Find out more about how we test.

The quick list

Here's a quick look at all of our favorite vacuum cleaners, and a summary of why we think they're worthy of a purchase.

The best vacuum cleaner you can buy

Shark Stratos Cordless with Clean Sense IQ IZ862HReal Homes Rated Gold badge

(Image credit: Shark)
Top-rated for suction and convenience, plus it's our best pick for pet owners

Specifications

Type: Stick
Bagless?: Yes
Cordless?: Yes
Weight: 8.9 lbs
Capacity: 0.9 L
Size (in.): H51.18 x W10.24 x L13.78
Charge time: 4 hrs
Battery life: 1 hr/battery
Price: $499.99

Reasons to buy

+
Great for pet hair pickup
+
Emits a nice scent as you clean
+
Folds to store
+
Can buy additional batteries
+
Bends under furniture
+
Sustainable packaging
+
Washable brush roll and filter

Reasons to avoid

-
Long charge time
-
$499.99 price tag (if it's not on sale)
-
Attachments must be removed before emptying 

I've been using this vacuum to clean my home ever since it was released, and my pug has given this Shark vacuum a run for its money. It's a lot cheaper than our top-rated Dyson and built to last.

With very few buttons — this vacuum is so easy to use. I always pop it on auto mode which adjusts its suction based on how dirty or clean it detects your floors to be. Admittedly, it does try and eat thinner rugs, but works great on carpet and high-pile rugs.

It suctions up pet hair easily in one go, and its LED headlights are great for illuminating dirt you might not otherwise see. I can use it two to three times to clean my entire two-bedroom apartment before it needs charging.

This vacuum has a bendable stick to reach underneath furniture. This also makes it easy to store (at half its height) as it stands upright with its main unit folded and facing the floor. It works with recyclable pods to emit a nice smell as you clean, which is great for busting pet odor and preventing that awful vacuum cleaner smell. This model comes with two tools — a duster crevice tool and an anti-allergen dusting brush. You'll also get a bag for keeping all the tools together and one battery (though you can buy additional units separately).

Read our full Shark Stratos IZ420UKT review.

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Test results
AttributesNotesRating
DesignEasy to use, simple to store.★★★★★
PriceNot the cheapest but fairly priced considering the brand and its features.★★★★★
SuctionAmazing, on all floor types and on pet hair.★★★★★
FeaturesHandy extra features, especially the bendable stick.★★★★★

The best vacuum cleaner for small homes

Tineco Pure One S12 cordless vacuum cleanerReal Homes Rated Gold badge

(Image credit: Tineco)
It's lightweight and great for cleaning smaller spaces — it even guides you where to clean next

Specifications

Type: Stick
Cordless?: Yes
Bagless?: Yes
Capacity : 0.6 L
Weight : 6.35 lbs
Charge time: 4.5 hrs
Battery life: 50 mins
Size (in.): H44 x W10.3 x L8.8
Price: $499.99

Reasons to buy

+
Detects hidden dust and debris and auto-adjusts suction power
+
Color ring tells you where to concentrate
+
Impressive suction
+
The lightest full-size vac on our list
+
Great range of tools with clasps that lock them into place and release them with a touch of a button
+
Washable stainless steel filter
+
Empty bin with one touch of a button 
+
Self-explanatory buttons

Reasons to avoid

-
Not the largest dust cup
-
Gets clogged with hair
-
Doesn't fold to store

The Tineco Pure One S12 offers similar features to our top pick from Shark, though it has a slightly shorter battery life and a smaller dust cup. Although the 0.6-liter dustbin looked small, it was surprisingly roomy. However, the brush roll gets tangled with hair, so our reviewer had to get her scissors out to deal with this.

Tineco's signature iLoop Smart Sensor technology detects hidden dust and debris and auto-adjusts suction power. The LED ring changes from red to blue to indicate clean floors and guides you along. It's a true standout feature that gives a visual confirmation that your floors are getting cleaner. It's not necessary, but the onboard LED display can be connected to your phone via the Tineco app, to monitor cleaning progress, battery levels, and suction performance for additional insight into your cleaning experience.

It comes with a suite of tools that are thoughtfully designed. Included are a mini power brush, a 2-in-1 dusting brush, a soft dusting brush, and a crevice tool. It will fit inside a compact closet or docked on a wall (where it can also be charged). 

Read our full Tineco Pure One S12 review.

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Test results
AttributesNotesRating
DesignEasy to use and store.★★★★★
PriceNot the cheapest but fairly priced considering the brand and its features.★★★★★
SuctionGreat on all floor types. It suctions pet hair but it gets stuck in the brush.★★★★★
FeaturesAuto adjusts suction for ease, and it can be linked with your phone.★★★★★

The best wet and dry vacuum cleaner

Tineco Floor One S5 wet and dry vacuum cleaner with handheld attachment displayedReal Homes Rated Gold badge

iLoop Smart Sensor on Tineco Floor One S5

(Image credit: Tineco)
It cleans dirt and debris and mops your floors at the same time — with WiFi

Specifications

Type : Wet and dry
Cordless?: Yes
Bagless?: Yes
Capacity: 0.7 L (dirty) / 0.8 L (clean)
Weight: 9.92 lb
Charge time: 4–5 hrs
Battery life: 35 mins
Size (in.): H43.3 x W10.6 x D9.8
Price: $499.99

Reasons to buy

+
Easy to maneuver, self-propelling model
+
Dirty and clean tank
+
iLoop sensor detects how much dirt and debris is on your floors
+
Built-in wi-fi, audio alerts, and self-cleaning cycle
+
Max mode deals with heavy messes and spills

Reasons to avoid

-
Requires maintenance after each use
-
Struggles to reach underneath furniture
-
Can't be used as a handheld vacuum

If you're looking for a wet and dry vacuum to clean your floor of debris and simultaneously mop, then the Tineco Floor One S5 is your best buy.

Our reviewer, Alex, raved about this multifunctional model, saying that it's so easy to use and it managed to reach most corners of her 1,600 square-foot home. She enjoyed using its digital display, which detects and displays how much dirt, grime, and debris covers your floors by displaying a color-coded circular band. Optionally, you can connect the S5 to your phone via an app to see cleaning stats. Though this vacuum does have a self-cleaning button on its handle, which takes only five minutes to complete, it requires additional maintenance after each use.

Because this is a wet and dry vacuum, it doesn't come with handheld attachments and can't be used in a more compact form. It does, however, come with a small charging base that can hold an extra brush roller, HEPA filter, and a 3-in-1 cleaning brush. We also reviewed the Tineco Floor One S3 (its predecessor), but this model has a larger tank and new technology making it easier to use.

Read our full Tineco Floor One S5 review.

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Test results
AttributesNotesRating
DesignEasy to use, bulky to store by nature but looks great.★★★★★
PriceNot the cheapest but fairly priced considering the brand and its features.★★★★★
SuctionOnly for hard floors but it's superior.★★★★★
FeaturesAuto adjusts suction for ease, and it has a self-cleaning mode.★★★★★

The best robot vacuum cleaner

iRobot Roomba S9+ vacuum cleanerReal Homes Rated Gold badge

(Image credit: iRobot)
Self-emptying and charging, this clever robot vacuum even reaches into corners

Specifications

Type: Robot
Bagless: Yes
Cordless : Yes
Weight : 0.4 L
Capacity: 13.53 oz
Charge time: 2 hrs
Battery life: 2 hrs
Size (in.): L12.25 x W12.25 x H3.5
Price: $999.99

Reasons to buy

+
Empties itself 
+
Cylindrical design and protruding brush excels at corner cleaning 
+
Controllable via app
+
Super convenient
+
Cleans under furniture

Reasons to avoid

-
Expensive price
-
Can be noisy
-
The roller brush gets clogged with hair
-
Not great with certain rugs
-
Needs to be near a power socket for continuous charging

The iRobot Roomba S9+ is great at picking up dust and more around the house, and navigating corners, making it the best robot vacuum you can buy. You need to download the iRobot app and from there it will walk you through the process. It will first go around your entire house to capture a map so that it knows where it is at all times.

Our reviewer found that this iRobot vacuum was easy to use, with the app or manual controls on top of the unit. It managed to collect an incredible amount of dust and can get right into the corners, plus, it does pick up hair. However, it wraps hair around its brush roll, and she had to attack it with scissors a few times. 

She was amazed that when it's done cleaning, it returns to its station, to empty and charge. She noted it could empty itself around 30 times before she needed to change the bin. It can clean rugs, but it will get stuck on tasseled designs and can be tricky to navigate over long-pile mats.

It's pretty slim so it should be able to fit underneath most of your furniture for cleaning. It automatically adjusts its suction when cleaning carpets, ensuring it preserves battery power when gliding across hard floors.

Read our iRobot Roomba S9+ review.

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Test results
AttributesNotesRating
DesignFits under furniture, squared edges to reach corners.★★★★★
PriceNot the cheapest but fairly priced considering the brand and its features.★★★★★
SuctionGreat on all floor types, especially carpets and rugs.★★★★★
FeaturesCharges and empties itself, also can be scheduled to clean.★★★★★

The best handheld vacuum

Prosenic S1 handheld vacuum cleaner with attachments and accessoriesReal Homes Rated Gold badge

(Image credit: Prosenic)
This lightweight vacuum is the perfect addition to your arsenal — for top-up cleaning and tackling spillages

Specifications

Type: Handheld
Bagless?: Yes
Cordless?: Yes
Weight: 1.39 lbs
Capacity: 1.2 L
Charge time: 2.5 hrs
Battery life: 30 mins
Size (in.): H16.65 x W2.6 x D2.6
Price: $99

Reasons to buy

+
Great battery life
+
Powerful suction
+
Docking station for charging and display
+
Versatile attachments

Reasons to avoid

-
Side stream of air can blow debris

This handheld vacuum is rated our top model for smaller jobs, and it comes with tools included for less than $100. Our reviewer Millie found the two suction modes were plentiful for dealing with an array of messes, though choosing the lower power setting helped the vacuum run for much longer.

It has two modes — press the power button once for regular mode and again for boost mode. A third press will turn the machine off. In the box came a crevice nozzle (with a moveable brush) and a brush nozzle. The brush nozzle was excellent for cleaning upholstery, while the crevice nozzle was unrivaled for reaching corners in her high-ceiling home. It also comes with a charging stand if you have somewhere to place it.

It has a running time of 15–30 minutes depending on the mode that you're using it on. While this might not sound long enough, it is the longest of the handheld vacs that we've reviewed. When it comes to charging, the S1 can be housed on its charging dock or via its USB-C cable. Oddly, a strong gust of air emerges from either side of the handheld vacuum when in use.

Read our full Proscenic S1 handheld vacuum review.

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Test results
AttributesNotesRating
DesignSmall, lightweight, easy to use.★★★★★
PriceUnder $100.★★★★★
SuctionGreat for small jobs, only has a 30-minute max battery life.★★★★
FeaturesTwo modes, two tools included as well as a charging dock.★★★★★

The best affordable vacuum cleaner

Levoit VortexIQ™ 40 Cordless Stick Vacuum cleanerReal Homes Rated Gold badge

(Image credit: Levoit)
For less than $300, this vacuum is gerat value for money

Specifications

Type: Stick
Cordless?: Yes
Bagless?: Yes
Capacity: 0.6 L
Weight: 7.1 lbs
Battery life: 40 mins
Charge time: 4–5 hrs
Size (in.): H46 x W9 x L10
Price: $299.99

Reasons to buy

+
Affordable price
+
Flexible stick to reach under furniture
+
LED headlights
+
Full dust bin alert
+
Auto adjusts suction
+
Quietest on our list
+
Wall mount included for storage

Reasons to avoid

-
Long charge time
-
Only comes with two attachments

If you only have a couple of hundred dollars to spend on a vacuum, then consider this one from Levoit. Yes, it's ideal for smaller spaces but our reviewer Courtney tested it in a family home with no problem. It even managed to collect pet hair in the process.

Courtney rated its suction to be impressive on both carpets and hard floors, and the fact it automatically adjusts its suction based on how dirty your floors are was a game-changer for her. Courtney found it handy that the LED screen displays "max" when the dust bin is full but does admit this can be a little messy to empty.

For $299.99, this vacuum offers so many incredible features. It comes with an add-on for its stick which allows it to bend underneath furniture with ease, and with that, its headlights illuminate your path. It only comes with two attachments — a telescoping crevice tool and a 2-in-1 dusting brush — but for the price, you can't complain. If you have a large home, this would be a great secondary vacuum for spot cleaning. Its filter is washable and the vacuum is easy to detach for cleaning.

Read our full Levoit VortexIQ40 review.

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Test results
AttributesNotesRating
DesignLightweight and easy to use, it has a bendable stick to reach under furniture.★★★★★
PriceLess than $299.99, super reasonable.★★★★★
SuctionBest for smaller homes, it only has a 40-minute max battery life.★★★★
FeaturesIt auto adjusts suction but only comes with 2 tools.★★★★

The best Dyson vacuum

Dyson V15 Detect Cordless Vacuum CleanerReal Homes Rated Gold badge

(Image credit: Dyson)
The best Dyson vacuum cleaner

Specifications

Type: Stick
Bagless?: Yes
Cordless?: Yes
Weight: 6.79 lbs
Capacity: 0.9 L
Size (in.): H49.6 x W9.8 x L10.5
Charge time: 4.5 hrs
Battery life: 1 hr
Price: $749.99

Reasons to buy

+
Green laser illuminates dust particles invisible to the eye
+
Incredible suction
+
Lightweight
+
Comes with versatile attachments
+
Alerts you when the dustbin needs to be emptied
+
Great for pet hair pickup
+
Sustainable packaging

Reasons to avoid

-
Laser only works on hard floors
-
The trigger needs to be held for continuous operation

As one of the best-rated Dyson vacuums, our reviewer loved the range of attachments it came with, and the fact it weighs under seven pounds made it so much easier to lug up her stairs. It has three power modes, but she recommends using the max power mode in short bursts as it quickly decreases the battery life.

The LCD screen lets you monitor your vac's stats and alerts you when the bin needs emptying or if an air channel is clogged. As you'd expect for the price, this vacuum comes with a huge range of tools, including a digital motor bar and a laser slim fluffy cleaner head. The former is designed so that it doesn't get clogged with pet hair, and the latter is what you need to use to see the beam.

Though the laser only works on hard floors, the Piezo sensor still collects dirt whether you're on carpet or hard floors, and assures you that your vacuum is still picking stuff up. Dyson DLS technology automatically senses a change in floor type if you move from hard floors to carpeted areas.

Read our full Dyson V15 Detect review.

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Test results
AttributesNotesRating
DesignSleek with an LCD screen but it has a small dust cup and you need to continuously hold the trigger.★★★★
Price$749.99 which is expensive, but Dyson is a big brand and it does have the latest technology.★★★★
SuctionGreat on both flooring types and it sucks up hair with ease.★★★★★
FeaturesCool laser to detect hidden dirt, a sensor to count allergens and dust, and a whole suite of tools.★★★★★

The best canister vacuum cleaner

Miele Blizzard CX1 Cat & Dog Vacuum CleanerReal Homes Rated Gold badge

(Image credit: Miele)
For larger homes and messy spaces, this canister vacuum excels at cleaning

Specifications

Type: Canister
Bagless?: Yes
Cordless?: No
Cord length: 21 ft
Weight: 19.2 lbs
Capacity: 2 L
Size (in.): L20 x W12 x H12
Price: $999

Reasons to buy

+
Bagless and easy to empty
+
Great on pet hair
+
Great suction
+
Telescopic tube
+
33-foot operating radius
+
Great for large homes
+
On-board tool storage for upholstery and  crevice nozzle
+
Self-cleaning function
+
HEPA lifetime filter is ideal for asthma or allergy sufferers
+
Half-gallon dust tank capacity

Reasons to avoid

-
Quite heavy
-
Expensive
-
Not the best on stairs
-
Not for smaller homes

Normally, you'd find that most cylinder vacuums are bagged, which can be annoying to some. But the Miele Blizzard CX1 Cat & Dog PowerLine isn't, and it's so easy to empty. It's best for anyone with a large family home (ideally with pets) but it does come at a hefty weight and price. 

Our reviewer Sarah used this vacuum to clean tiled, carpeted, and parquet floors, and loved how changing from one type of surface to another just needed a flip of the foot control to adjust the floorhead brushes. Hard flooring was easy to clean, but carpets required slightly more effort and suction adjustment.

Sarah found the suction impressive, vacuuming everything from dried mud to large debris with relative ease. She did note that it wasn't the best for cleaning her staircase, because it's quite heavy and was difficult to maneuver around each step. 

The adjustable telescopic tube prevents the need for users to frequently bend down, and she noted that it was easy to empty. The mains cable retracts via a switch you operate with your foot, which is a handy back-saver. The vacuum has a self-cleaning function that can also be manually activated if you’ve tackled a storm of dust.

Read our Miele Blizzard CX1 review.

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Test results
AttributesNotesRating
DesignBulky design, long cord, bendable stick.★★★★
PriceAt $999.99, it's one of the most expensive on our list.★★★★
SuctionGreat on both flooring types and it sucks up hair with ease.★★★★★
FeaturesRetractable cord, bendable stick, self-cleaning function.★★★★★

The best upright vacuum cleaner

Dyson Ball Animal 3 vacuum cleaner front on and side perspectiveReal Homes Rated Gold badge

(Image credit: Dyson)
A solid choice for homes with pets, busy family homes and larger spaces

Specifications

Type: Upright
Bagless?: Yes
Cordless? : No
Cord length: 35 ft
Capacity: 1.7 L
Weight: 17.4 lbs
Size (in.): H42.2 x W11.02 x L15.5
Price: $399.99

Reasons to buy

+
Powerful suction that's great for carpet and hard flooring
+
The ball makes it easy to move
+
Long cord
+
Great for busy homes
+
Good for larger spaces
+
Great for pet owners

Reasons to avoid

-
Can be noisy
-
On the heavier side
-
Loud
-
No cord storage
-
Not great on stairs

The Dyson Ball Animal 3 was an easy vacuum to use once you got the hang of it. This vacuum impressed our reviewer when cleaning carpets, as she said it removed hairs and embedded dirt she couldn't even see was there. On hard floors, it was much easier to use and she claimed it outperformed any other vacuum she has tested. Its suction was so strong it managed to get into crevices in her solid wood floors.

Its ball made cleaning easier as this vacuum was easy to maneuver around furniture. Although it doesn't bend or have a telescopic handle, Paige still managed to use it for cleaning underneath furniture. She did note it would only slide underneath things by about three inches. While the brush bar automatically rotates when the vacuum is reclined, there is a button to turn this bar off. The brush head also features three settings and a slider, so it’s easy to change the setting to reflect the surface type that you’re working on.

The Dyson Ball Animal 3 comes with two tools: a stair tool, and a combination tool. She didn't find the stair tool particularly helpful, but she used the combination tool for cleaning baseboards and removing cobwebs from ceiling corners. It doesn't have cord storage, although all accessories can be stored on the vacuum for ease. Its two filters require cleaning monthly and need to be left to dry before using again.

Read our Dyson Ball Animal 3 review.

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Test results
AttributesNotesRating
DesignBulky design, long cord, easy to maneuver.★★★★
PriceOnly $399.99, super affordable for a Dyson.★★★★★
SuctionGreat on both flooring types and it sucks up hair with ease.★★★★★
FeaturesNot many, quite basic.★★★

Compare these vacuum cleaners

Swipe to scroll horizontally
VacuumOur verdict
Shark Stratos IQ IZ862HA great all-rounder, for all size homes, at under $500.
Tineco Pure One S12Best for smaller spaces and apartments.
Tineco Floor One S5A wet and dry vacuum for deep cleaning hard flooring.
iRobot Roomba S9+The best robot vacuum, and it empties and charges itself.
Proscenic S1A great handheld model that's under $100 and is easy to use.
Levoit VortexIQ40 FlexOur best pick if you're on a budget — at $299.99.
Dyson V15 DetectThe best Dyson vacuum, with the newest technology inside.
Miele Blizzard CX1A huge canister vacuum for busy families and large, messy homes.
Dyson Ball Animal 3The best upright vac for larger homes with pets.

What to consider when buying a new vacuum cleaner

  • Weight — If you have stairs, bear this metric in mind. If not, then still choose something lightweight if you want to use it as a handheld model with its accessories.
  • Capacity — The bigger your home, the bigger you want your dustbin capacity to be. Corded vacuums usually have the biggest capacities. Robot and handheld vacuums naturally have smaller dust bins. If you have a pet, go for a bigger dustbin.
  • Size — If your storage closet is small, then this will inform the floor space required for your new vacuum. Some models fold to store and have onboard storage.
  • Charge time — Only applicable for cordless vacuums. If you're someone who vacuums every day, then go for a vacuum cleaner with a short charge time. If you don't mind charging yours overnight or you vacuum just twice a week, charge time isn't a big deal.
  • Battery life — Only applicable for cordless vacuums, but you should consider the size of your home and how often you'd be happy charging your vacuum.
  • Cord length — Only applicable for corded vacuums, but check how many sockets you have and check the length of the cord will reach around your home.
  • Price — You probably have a budget in mind already, so choose your vacuum and then patiently wait for Amazon Prime Day or Black Friday home deals in the hope that the price will drop.

Types of vacuum cleaner

If you're not sure where to start when choosing a vacuum cleaner, here are a few things that you'll need to look out for.

Upright vacuum cleaners are usually heavier, but lightweight models do exist. They tend to have a larger capacity, meaning you have to empty them less frequently than a cylinder or small handheld vac. Corded models are best for prolonged use in larger spaces as you can use them for as long as you require.

Stick vacuums are a lot more common these days, and are quite slimline, resembling a broom. Commonly they are cordless, but they usually can't stand upright on their own. They are known for being lightweight, easy to maneuver, and simple to store. They'll usually come with some sort of wall dock for easy hanging in between cleaning sessions and with lots of tools as the majority of them convert to be a handheld vacuum.

Canister vacuums (aka cylinder vacuums) tend to be less energy-efficient but are best for deep cleaning as they usually have large dust bins and are corded so that you can clean them for as long as you like. When it comes to storage, they can often be taken apart so they can squeeze into tight spaces. They are also usually bagged, so they're great for allergy sufferers. 

Handheld vacuum cleaners are great for picking up light messes, and many of today's stick and cordless models convert to easy handheld designs. A vacuum that's specifically only handheld will be a lot smaller than its 2-in-1 counterpart. They also usually come with a stand and they're quite affordable at around $100.

Bagless vacuum cleaners can be messy to empty depending on the size of their canister. However, the ongoing cost of bags for traditional bagged models will make them more expensive in the long run (not to mention this waste is not very good for the environment). Despite this, most people with allergies opt for a bagged vacuum cleaner as they seal the dust and allergens as soon as they are cleaned up.

Cordless vacuums are a good buy for small homes; they're often lighter and slimmer, so easier to store and navigate than bulkier models. Their battery life is much better than a decade ago and they make quick cleaning very convenient. Larger, more powerful vacuum cleaners tend to be corded, and these are what you want to choose for larger homes or if you need a really powerful vacuum cleaner. These (typically heavier) vacs are normally bagged and will take up more storage space.

How we test vacuum cleaners

Shark Stratos Anti Hair Wrap Plus Pet Pro vacuuming short pile rug in bedroom

(Image credit: Future/Annie Collyer)

All of the vacuums featured have been tested by one of our in-house or contributing editors for at least a fortnight. We've tested 60+ vacuums, but the nine models in this guide are our favorites. We use the following criteria to rank them and compare each vacuum with its competitors. 

1. How easy is it to set up? We assemble all of our vacuum cleaners by ourselves. If the vac needs to be connected to an app, we'll evaluate how easy it was to connect.

2. How easy is it to use? How many modes does it have? Sounds pretty straightforward, and for those vacuums with only one or two modes — it is. But for anything a little more technical (ie. the Dyson V15 Detect) we test every single feature and mode, comparing one to another and on different floor types. The ease of use test also includes how heavy it is to lift it upstairs and how easy it is to clean underneath furniture and maneuver around furniture legs. We also check if it has LED headlights for illuminating dark spaces.

3. What is its battery life like? How long is its cord? How big is its dust cup?  Manufacturers provide these specs, but we always verify these details, by timing how long each vacuum can be used, measuring the power cable, and vacuuming until the bin is full to check its capacity.

4. How easy is it to store and maintain? Some vacs are a lot easier to clean than others. Many have washable filters and we always note how easy it is to empty each vacuum cleaner's dust cup. When it comes to storage, this will be dependent on the type of vacuum it is. Stick vacuums are typically more compact, making them a good option for a small apartment.

5. What attachments are included? We test out all of the accessories that come included with our vacuum cleaners and explain what we used each one to clean. As a general rule, vacuums usually come with a crevice tool for reaching corners and a brush tool for cleaning baseboards and surfaces. Less is usually more, as you need to think about where you're going to keep these accessories when not in use. Many vacuums have onboard storage factored into the design.

We carry out pantry tests with each model, challenging these vacuums with cereal, rice, and sugar across different floor types. This is a great way of demonstrating a vacuum's capabilities in a domestic setting. But, if you want to know even more about how we test vacuum cleaners, we've got a transparent run-down of our process. You can rest assured that we are only showing you the best of the best.

Meet our freelancer vacuum reviewers:

Millie Fender, Head of reviews headshot
Millie Fender

Millie is our former head of reviews across Future's Homes titles. She has tested many vacuums in her South London apartment, including the handheld Proscenic S1.

Jaclyn Turner illustration
Jaclyn Turner

Jaclyn was previously ecommerce editor across Future homes titles, including Real Homes. In this guide, Jaclyn has reviewed the Dyson V15 Detect. Jaclyn's home features a mix of hardwood floors, carpets, and area rugs. A small non-shedding dog lives in the house but still manages to track in his fair share of dirt. 

Image of Sarah Warwick, freelance contributor
Sarah Warwick

Sarah reviewed the Miele Blizzard CX1 Cat&Dog PowerLine. She lives in the UK and in her home you can find all types of flooring, from parquet to tiles and carpet, making it the perfect vacuum testing space.

Linda Clayton head shot
Linda Clayton

Linda tested the iRobot Roomba S9+ in her busy home in Devon to find out how well they perform across various floor types and how well they cope with busy family life and her three super-fluffy, world-class-molting dogs. 

Courtney Irwin head shot
Courtney Irwin

Courtney is a mom of three young kids and a dog, so reviewing the Tineco Pure One S12 and the Levoit VortexIQ40 Flex was right up her alley. She lives in a four-bedroom home with all types of flooring (carpet, hardwood, and tile), the ideal environment to test and challenge a cordless vacuum.

alex temblador real homes contributor
Alex Temblador

Alex is a contributing editor for Real Homes,