The Top 10 Best Canister Vacuums of 2016

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Canister Vacuums: Questions & Answers

What are the advantages of canister vacuums?

Canister vacuums have several benefits over upright vacuums. For one, they are usually much quieter. They are also generally more portable and come with a variety of cleaning tools for furniture, in corners, stairs, and on walls and ceilings. They are also able to clean hardwood and tile surfaces, which upright vacuums are not effective at. Overall, canister vacuums are more versatile and less bulky than upright vacuums.

What vacuums are on the quiet side?

There are quite a few canister vacuums that are designed to be quieter than both uprights and other canister vacuums. The Electrolux UltraSilencer (EL6986A) in particular is great for nearly silent cleaning. It has a sound dampener so you can clean without disturbing sensitive pets or sleeping children. Other quieter vacuums include the Miele S6270 Quarz and Miele Classic C1.

What are the pros and cons of bagged vacuums?

Canister vacuums come in both bagged and bagless forms, which each have their own advantages and disadvantages. For bagged vacuums, pros include easier and cleaner disposal. All the dust and dirt is contained within the bag that you just throw away. Bags with HEPA media also double as filters, so dangerous allergens are unable to escape the bag. On the other hand though, you do have to keep buying bags, and with some vacuums, they can be expensive, small, or hard to track down. You also should expect loss of vacuum suction as the bag gets fuller, which can extend your cleaning time.

What about bagless vacs?

Bagless vacuums have become very popular over the years and have some great features, as well as some cons. On the plus side, you don’t get the loss of suction you do with bagged vacuums. The centrifuges of air within the vacuum keep dirt and dust moving around so nothing gets clogged or stuck, which stops up the suction. It’s also more environmentally-friendly to just empty out the dust cup without also throwing out bags, which usually end up in landfills. The main problem with bagless vacuums is that when you empty the dust cup, you are exposing yourself to all that dirt and allergens. For people who are sensitive to dust or have lung conditions, this exposure can be dangerous.

What vacuum can I get for hardwood floors?

Canister vacuums are especially effective at cleaning smooth surfaces like wood and tile. The most notable vacuum is the Bissell 1161 Hard Floor Expert Deluxe canister vacuum. It has specific design features like non-marking, rubber wheels and soft brush bristles to keep your hard floors scratch-free and free from dust and dirt. Other great vacuums for smooth surfaces include the Miele S6270 Quartz and Eureka AirExcel Compact (990A). In terms of pricing, the Eureka AirExcel is the most affordable and comes with special attachment brushes for smooth surface cleaning.

Is there a vacuum that can handle a lot of pet hair?

Pet hair is one of the hardest things to vacuum up and causes a lot of frustration. Luckily, as a pet owner, you have several solid options for canister vacuums. The Dyson DC39 Animal canister is specifically designed for strong suction that can really dig deep into carpets where hair tends to hide. It also comes with a tangle-free turbine, so the vacuumed hair doesn’t wind around inside the turbine and cause blockages. Another (more affordable) vacuum that specializes in pet hair is the Kenmore Canister. This vacuum has a Pet HandiMate attachment and offers deep cleaning on carpets and furniture.

Is there a vacuum that can get rid of all the dust and allergens flying around in my house?

Most vacuums come with some kind of filter that will deal with tiny allergens found in dust and dirt. The filters will either be part of the bag itself or separate. Look for HEPA filters and bags with HEPA media, as HEPA is able to filter out 99.97% of allergy-causing pollutants. Some vacuums that include HEPA are the Eureka AirExcel Compact (990A) canister, the Electrolux UltraSilencer bagged vacuum, and the Miele Classic C1 Capri, that comes with both a bag and an AirClean filter. If you are especially sensitive to dust, a bagged vacuum will probably be best as it keeps all the dirt out of the air.

Is there a canister vacuum with enough power to deep clean carpet?

One criticism of canister vacuums in general is that they are not great when it comes to cleaning carpet. The suction power is just not there in the smaller motors, and the vacuum heads just swirl dirt around. Most canister vacuums are only able to clean low-pile carpet really well. However, there are at least two vacuums with very powerful suction that can dig into high-pile carpet. The Panasonic MC-CG937 “OptiFlow” has a power nozzle that really works out ground-in grime, while the Electrolux UltraActive DeepClean has a special powerhead and two motors designed specifically for deeper carpets.

Are there any vacuums designed specifically for smooth maneuvering?

Being able to easily move a vacuum is important. If it’s too heavy or awkward, you’ll dread vacuuming and probably put it off. There are lots of canister vacuums with cool features and technology that make maneuvering around furniture and stairs very easy. The Dyson DC39 Animal canister uses ball technology that provides superior balance and exceptionally smooth movement. All of the heavy parts of the vacuum (including the motor) are built within the ball for a low center of gravity. The Hoover WindTunnel (SH40070) has steerable technology so you can easily glide around obstacles like chairs or couches.

What features should I look for when I want to vacuum my wall and ceilings?

The big things to look for are extension wands, a wide cleaning radius, and attachments like wall brushes and crevice tools. With these features, you have a lot of freedom to get up high, reach ceiling corners, and vacuum your walls without scratching off the paint. Some canister vacuums with excellent above-floor cleaning tools include the Electrolux UltraSilencer canister (it has a wall brush), the Miele S6270 Quartz (33-feet radius), and the Hoover WindTunnel (11-feet above ground radius).

What features should I look for in a vacuum to make vacuuming stairs easier?

For stairs, you want a vacuum with a long power cord and long wand. This way, you don’t have to be constantly lifting the vacuum up and down the stairs and accidentally pulling out the plug. The Miele S6270 Quartz is especially effective for stairs because it has a wide cleaning radius, wand, and a long cord, making it easy to clean up the stairs without straining.

What’s the price range on canister vacuums?

Because of their versatile cleaning abilities, canister vacuums tend to be more expensive than uprights, but there is a wide range. The lower end includes vacuums like the Eureka AirExcel and Hoover WindTunnel, which are both at or under $200. The price steadily climbs with Panasonics and the Electrolux UltraSilencer at $300-$400. Dyson vacuums tend to be pretty expensive, and the Dyson canisters are around $500 and above. The most expensive canister vacuums (like the Miele Complete C3 Kona) can go up to $1000.

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