Two important questions to ask when buying a vacuum cleaner are: Is it easy to handle and maneuver and can it really remove dust and dirt from all areas of my home? The Good Housekeeping Cleaning Lab is here to help, only recommending vacuums on this list that passed Lab tests with flying colors. But choosing the best vacuum cleaner for you and your home means thinking about more than just that. Consider what surfaces you’ll be vacuuming, how your home is laid out and how much time you have for cleaning up. Keep reading to see why these vacuums made the cut to win our distinction of the best vacuums of 2022.
If you prefer bagless vacuums, but still want a model that filters out tiny particles, the Shark APEX is a great option. In our last Cleaning Lab test, it exhibited very good cleaning performance on both carpeting and bare floors and was one of the quietest models we tested.
Because it converts from an upright to a canister with the press of a button, tackling stairs and nabbing pesky dust bunnies lurking in corners or hiding behind furniture is easy to do without missing a step. We like that the entire vacuum is sealed for better dust retention and that the HEPA filter, unlike others that need replacing, is washable. Pet owners will appreciate the brush roll that's designed to minimize messy hair tangles.
Best Vacuum Cleaner for Pet Hair
Bissell Pet Hair Eraser Turbo Plus Upright Vacuum Cleaner
This vacuum addresses all the vacuum cleaner issues that pet owners face, and it comes fully loaded with features that'll suck up every last bit of pet hair. A tangle-free brush roll keeps pet hair from clogging the bristles, and a hair spooling system inside the canister contains the mess so emptying is easier and cleaner.
Its sealed allergen system traps fine particles and the filter uses Febreze technology to eliminate those stale odors that vacuuming up pet hair can generate.
This Miele earned our Good Housekeeping Seal for its ability to effectively clean every type of flooring. It's equipped with a telescoping wand, dusting brush, upholstery tool and a crevice tool to tackle any type of flooring.
Even hard-to-clean carpets are no match for the power nozzle and brush roll that adjust to from low to medium pile to make easy work of lifting up dirt, dust, and pet hair. Allergy sufferers will love the high filtration bag and AirClean filter that prevents dust from being released back into the air.
This GH Seal-holding cordless stick vacuum ran for full 37 minutes in our lab tests and was among the quietest we tried. We also like that the handle lays flat on the ground (by rotating it at the base), which makes it easier to vacuum under furniture and other tough-to-reach places and the dust cup is well-placed and easy to empty. Just keep in mind that it doesn’t come with any attachments or convert to a handheld vacuum, but for simplicity and performance, it's a winner.
While this new Dyson V11 Outsize bears a striking family resemblance to its V10 Absolute cousin below, it has some significant updates that are worth considering if you have a large home with expansive floor surfaces to clean. Most obvious are its extra wide cleaning head and extra large dust bin. This means you'll be able to cover more floor with fewer passes and have to empty the dust bin less often.
Three power levels — eco, medium or auto, and boost — allow you to adjust the suction up or down to grab heavy dirt or protect delicate rugs you come across in your path. In auto mode, the vacuum senses whether it's on bare floor or carpet and adjusts the power and runtime accordingly. In our GH Cleaning Lab review, we found the suction impressive and the head easily maneuvered around furniture legs and into tight spaces. Between it being cordless and its back-up battery pack for up to two hours of runtime, the only reason you'll need to stop cleaning is because the job is done!
Despite its slim look, this 2-in-1 cordless machine rivaled the full-size upright vacuums in our test when it came to pulling embedded dirt out of carpets. The Dyson stick vac is super easy to use and it comes with two heads — one for carpets and one for bare floors.
This model is super lightweight and with the wands removed, it converts to a handheld vacuum for even more versatility. It has three power modes and includes a crevice tool and a combination dusting/upholstery tool, a mini soft dusting brush and a mini motorized tool with a rotating brush for cleaning fabric and carpeted stairs.
Not your typical handheld vac, the WORX model has a unique compact, boxy shape, removable battery that fits into other WORX tools and a top handle. Its crevice and brush tools store right on it, and a built-in flexible hose reaches four feet.
A top performer in our cleaning tests, this model easily picked up all the debris and pet hair we put down, even without using the max power setting. The hose makes it easy to reach into tight spaces, and it ran for 23 minutes at standard power on one charge. Although it's a little heavier than other handheld vacuums, you don't need to hold it up to use it.
Many of the visitors to our GH Cleaning Lab complain that upright vacuum cleaners are just too heavy to push and carry. Our recommendation to them is the Oreck Magnesium. This vacuum was tops in our test of lightweight cleaners and weighs in at just under 8 pounds.
Fortunately, what it lacks in heft doesn’t compromise its cleaning performance. It did a great job deep cleaning our test carpets and bare floors. The Oreck does use a self-sealing bag to contain allergens but doesn’t come with any attachments on-board. The speed of the brush roll is adjustable — fast for carpets, slow for bare floors — via a switch on the handle. We like its low profile and that it lays flat to more easily clean under furniture and the bed.
In our Cleaning Lab tests, the 9+ picked up 99% of the uncooked oatmeal, sand, baking soda and small nuts and screws we spread on hard floors. It can map and remember multiple rooms and floor plans and it beat all other robot vacuums for quickly and effectively spot cleaning a small area. It detects carpet automatically to ramp up suction only when needed, and its dual rubber roller brushes won't clog with pet hair like bristles have a tendency to do.
When it's finished cleaning, the vacuum returns to its charging base and dirt is automatically transferred into a large-capacity bag for mess-free disposal: it seals completely before you toss to keep dust and dirt contained.
Carolyn FortéHome Care & Cleaning Lab Executive DirectorCarolyn Forté brings more than 40 years of experience as a consumer products expert to her role as executive director of the Good Housekeeping Institute's Home Care and Cleaning Lab.