Best Bagged Vacuum Cleaner

 What’s The Best Canister Vacuum Cleaner?
Reviews, Ratings, HEPA. Bagless Guide And More


The choice of the best canister vacuum cleaner really depends on your individual needs and preferences. That’s why I’ve put together this review for you all – to help you identify your needs and to help you choose the best possible vacuum within your budget and needs. You have to focus on three major components to help you make the best choice – suction power, bagged vs bagless and of course, accessories included and what are the cleaning heads depending on the floor surface.

How To Choose A Canister Vacuum Cleaner?

So let’s take a look at some of the most important questions to ask yourself when choosing your next canister vacuum cleaner:

Bagged Versus Bagless – What’s Best? 

Bagged vacuum cleaners collect dust and dirt in a disposable, usually paper or plastic, bag. On the other hand, bagless vacuum cleaners collect all the dust and debris in a container that you can easily clean and empty on a regular basis.

Vacuum cleaner bag replacement

Bagged vacuums have to have their disposable bags replaced once they’re full. That can be a major inconvenience because they tend to clog up and more importantly – run out when you most need them. You need to stock up on bags and hope that you don’t run out of bags in the middle of a clean. Also, the bag can break or tear inside the vacuum and make a massive mess out of your cleaning routine. Bags cost money too.

On the other hand, bagless vacuuming containers are reusable, there is nothing to constantly buy and replace and you can see it clearly when it needs emptying. There are filters to clean every once in a while, but they are usually washable and don’t need replacing often if ever.

To us, bagless vacuums are the clear winners in this situation. they require less maintenance, less money to be spent on them, and most importantly – the possibility of the mess of a torn bag is nearly impossible.

HEPA Filtration 

High-Efficiency Particulate Air (HEPA) filtration eliminates 99.97 percent of all dust particles and allergens with a diameter of 0.3 microns or bigger. Pollutants like pollen (0.20 to eight microns), hairspray (three to 10 microns), and dust mite waste (five to 20 microns) can not return back to the air via the vacuum cleaner’s exhaust once they have been filtered hence preventing allergy reactions and indoor air pollution.

People with allergies should definitely opt for a HEPA filtration vacuum cleaner. It prevents allergies from triggering and reduces new incidents since it can clean more than just one type of allergen – it eliminates them most.

HEPA filtration is found on nearly every modern vacuum cleaner because of the level of protection it offers to allergy sufferers and the like.

It is a very important feature to have and we highly recommend avoiding vacuums without it.

Suction Power

Canister vacuums are an upgrade for most people with upright vacuum cleaners. Unlike uprights, who have limited power due to their design, canisters can have as much power as needed up to regulations.

The large motor can be left stationary since you don’t need to drag everything around like the case with the uprights. Some motors can adjust its power based on the task at hand, called variable suction power. It is a useful thing to have too.

Canister vacuum cleaners are easier to relocate and drag around because they usually have wheels underneath. They are also quieter than uprights due to their solid body that traps the sound in. You can keep them on the highest setting without worrying about its sound disrupting others around you.

Tools And Attachments

Canister vacuums usually come with the following attachments and tools:

  • Crevice tool – a skinny nozzle that fits in tight corners
  • Dusting brush – has soft bristles for delicate surfaces
  • Ceiling fan tool – a golf club shaped attachment that cleans the top of fan blades
  • Mattress tool – a tighter, smaller tool for cleaning beds and mattresses
  • Upholstery tool – a wide nozzle that catches dust and lint trapped inside sofas, chairs, and cushions.
  • Extension wand – increases your hose’s reach, allowing you to clean ceilings and curtains.
  • Turbo brush – has rotating bristles for deep cleaning upholstery and car linings.
  • Pet grooming tool – used directly on your pet’s fur, if the pet allows it, of course.

Vacuum Size – Big Vs Small 

The Best Canister Vacuum Cleaners made by Dyson

A smaller canister cleaner might be easier to store and move around, but a larger one can have more much more suction power and it will need emptying and cleaning far less often too. Of course, it will be a much bigger nuisance to move around when you need to switch rooms.

You’ll have to decide for yourself what here is a priority – compact size that is easier to navigate around a larger house or something bigger that will require emptying and maintenance a lot less often. Chances are, it’ll be much better at cleaning too.

It also comes down to the size of the house you will be cleaning on a regular basis too – a smaller apartment or a studio might benefit from a smaller vacuum while a larger, multi-story house might require a bigger one that will not require to be emptying in the middle of the cleaning cycle.

Noise Level – Quiet VS Noisy

Canister vacuums tend to be much quieter than their upright counterparts due to their body design. The enclosure tends to trap noise inside and prevents them from going supersonic like some of the uprights. They’re still noisy, don’t get me wrong, but the sounds are a bit more pleasant and it rarely exceeds 70dB.

Some vacuums have variable suctions speed, which depends on the surface you’re cleaning. Hard floor surfaces usually require far less suction power compared to high-pile carpet, for example, and the vacuums can automatically adjust depending on the surface it is cleaning.

Most manufacturers declare the sound levels for each model so if you’re on the market for a somewhat quiet vacuum, look around for one that is rated for 70dB or less. It might be a bit more expensive than others, but the kids won’t go ballistic everytime you decide to vacuum the living room.

Types Of Floor Surfaces To Clean

Let’s take a look at what are the requirements for each floor and how does the vacuum choice changes depending on it:

  • Stone and tile floors – Use a bare attachment only. Don’t use bristles and brushes, as stone and tile floors scratch easily.
  • High Pile Carpet – Use the low suction setting only to clean its long fibers. Don’t use the high setting to avoid pulling them out. It might not clean very efficient on a low setting so increase if needed.
  • Low Pile Carpet – Use high suction setting only to clean its short fibers. Unlike high pile carpets, its fibers are short and cannot be ripped out easily.
  • Hard Wood – Use a bare attachment only and wheels that leave no marks behind. Wooden floors are more sensitive than stone and tile. Be very careful not to scratch and damage them.

So What Is The Best Canister Vacuum Cleaner For 2018?

Once we spent a week with each vacuum and went through our rigorous testing process, we unanimously agreed which is the best vacuum cleaner overall, which works best in certain scenarios and few other bits as well. Let’s take a look at our findings:

1. Best Bagged Canister Vacuum Overall – Miele Compact C1 Turbo Team

Miele Compact C1 Turbo TeamMiele vacuums have a certain reputation for excellence and there is a very good reason for that too. They are smart, reliable and overall excellent vacuum cleaners for a bit of a steep price if I have to be honest. The C1 Turbo Team is no different.

It has a 1200-watt, Miele-made vortex motor that uses the highly effective AirClean Sealed System to collect more than 99.9 percent of dust particles and allergens from the air and keep them inside too. Although it doesn’t come with certified HEPA filtration, the Miele C1 is great for allergy sufferers since it doesn’t release any dust, mites, and allergens back in the air when vacuuming.

The C1 Turbo Team comes with two different floor attachments: an SBB Parquett-3 hard floor nozzle and an STB205-3 turbo nozzle. The first one has soft bristles for scratch-free hardwood, tile, and laminate floors vacuuming. The other one – the turbo nozzle – uses a brush roll turned by suction for area rugs and low pile carpets. The extra nozzle makes all the difference in hard to reach and dug in areas.

Another key feature of the Miele Turbo Team is the six-setting rotary dial. It can be adjusted according to the surface it is cleaning. Unfortunately, the suction power is not automatic so you’ll have to adjust it by hand. This can be a bit annoying compared to some of the cleaners we have on a review below, but the Miele is worth considering given its suction and cleaning power.

The Miele Compact C1 comes with three extra attachments – a dusting brush, an upholstery tool, and a crevice tool. They are here to help you clean better and more efficiently.

The Turbo Team It is a bit on the expensive side, but it is a well-regarded vacuum with a solid, made in Germany reputation. It is as reliable as ever and it offers consistent suction power, cleaning performance and air filtration for a reasonable price.

2. Best Canister Vacuum For Hard Floors – Bissell Hard Floor Expert

Bissel Hard Floor ExpertThe Bissell Hard Floor Expert is a vacuum made with the best user experience in mind.  You can easily modify the suction power of it with the help of its digital fingertip controls. It is much more convenient than analog switches and dials because they can be difficult to adjust with wet hands, especially when they get stuck. And more often then not they do, too.

Though canister vacuum cleaners are easier to move around, the Bissell Hard Floor Expert can be left stationary and you can just clean around with the help of its extension hose. The hose can extend up to eight feet, allowing you to reach upholsteries and ceilings without the need to lift the vacuum and having to place it on top of a table, for example. It is a very useful feature since you can easily clean most size rooms without the need to move the vacuum around as you do.

At nine pounds, it’s lightweight enough and easy to roll on most surfaces. It won’t scratch floors because it uses non-marking rubber wheels and a brush with extra soft bristles. This mobility enables users to clean areas quickly and safely. It really is the ideal vacuum for composite and hardwood floors – it is the most gentle one from the list as it tends to protect them better than anything we tested on this list.

Bissell includes four specialized cleaning tools with the Hard Floor Expert – a dusting tool, crevice tool, telescoping extension wand, and low pile carpet tool. They can make your life much easier while cleaning different floor types and surfaces.

The Bissel Hard Floor Expert has an Easy Empty dirt tank, which releases dirt particles from underneath the vacuum. It prevents spillage and makes the vacuum emptying an efficient and clean process.

However, the Bussell Hard Floor doesn’t feature HEPA filtration. It has its own proprietary filtration system but, unfortunately, it is not a HEPA grade. They claim that it eliminates most allergens and fine dust particles, but it isn’t HEPA certified so it must release some of the trapped allergens back into the air.

Storage is easy and convenient for the Bissell – Its hose can automatically rewind for easier storage, making it more compact to move around and roll around.

3. The Best Bagged Canister For Allergies – Kenmore 81414 400 Series 

Kenmore 81414 400 Series Vacuum allergy vacuumThe Kenmore 400 series canister vacuum has been around, in one version or another, for decades. My mom had a very similar cleaner to the 400 series when I was little and it lasted over 15 years. Kenmore has really nailed it with it and there is no reason to really stop producing it, being the superb product it actually is.

Yes, I know what I said about bags in vacuums earlier and I would stick to it too if it wasn’t for the Kenmore 400. It has a super HEPA filtration, and what’s more, it seems that the bag helps to trap airborne allergens much better than anything else we have on review today.

The Kenmore comes with one of the longest reaches as well – the electric cord is 26 feet long. The hose and the telescoping wand can give you additional 9.5 feet of reach – one of the best in class.

The attachments that come with the Kenmore 81414 are very useful too – the crevice tool can help you clean hard to reach places, the dust and upholstery brush does exactly what it says and the are floor tool can clean virtually any floor surface that you can think of.

The design is pretty simple and pretty comparable to most vacuums in these reviews, except for the bright red color of the Kenmore. I do understand if that’s not everyone’s cup of tea, but I personally really like it – it reminds me of a well though cleaning hot road.

4. Best Bagless Canister Vacuum Cleaner – Bissell Powergroom Multicyclonic

Bissell Powergroom Multicyclonic BaglessThe Bissell Multigroom Multicyclonic canister vacuum is one of the easiest bagless cleaners to use.  Since it is a bagless cleaner, it does not use a paper bag to store dust and dirt, it saves you time and money. Once you’re done cleaning the house, you can just empty its Easy Empty ™ dirt cup and be finished with it. You’ll know when to empty it because it’s transparent and you clearly see how full it is during the cleaning process. It has a maximum capacity of 2.2 liters, which allows you to go for the extra mile.

This Bissel Multicyclonic is well designed to clean hard surfaces, upholstery, and carpets. Variable suction can lessen the amount of power it produces, allowing you to vacuum sofas and curtains without messing up the fabric and sucking them all in. You don’t have to touch a button or change any attachments to take advantage of the variable power options.

For further cleaning precision, the Bissell Powergroom has additional dusting brush and a crevice tool. Though it only has two additional specialty tools, its ability to throttle strength enables it to operate on the hardest and most fragile of surfaces without causing any damages or scratches along the way.

The Bissell Powergroom also has features that make cleaning fun and simple. Its floor head can swivel, covering more area for multi-level filtration. It can clean large spaces thanks to its 19-foot, automatically retracting power cord and five-foot hose. These make the Bissell usable from any distance and require little to no effort to clean most sized room without having to drag and reposition the vacuum around.  

5. Best Canister Vacuum For Wood Floors – Dyson Ball Multi Floor

Dyson Ball Multi Floor PriceThe Dyson Ball Multi Floor vacuum is a hassle-free cleaner that is ideal for wooden and hard floors. Just like the Big Ball above, It uses Radial Root Cyclone™ technology to generate powerful centrifugal forces and create a massive suction power.

The Dyson Ball Multi Floor houses all of its important components inside a ball-shaped container, much like the Cinetic Big Ball. It has the useful function of picking itself up after it’s knocked down to its side. If you by accident knocked the vacuum over, it will pick itself up so you can continue cleaning uninterrupted.

The Multi Floor is best for wooden floors mostly because of its specialized motorized head that doesn’t cause any scratches or mark on soft wooden floors. It is similar to the Fluffy head others Dysons have – it has a soft, fluffy roller that is as gentle as possible to wood and other scratchable surfaces.

The downside of the Multi Floor is that it isn’t as suitable for cleaning animal hairs and fur like the Cinetic Animal above. It’s perfect for floors and hard surfaces, but it’s slacking specialized attachments for other surfaces.

6. Best Vacuum For High Pile Carpet And Rugs – Electrolux Ultra Flex

Electrolux Ultra FlexThe Ultra Flex uses Electrolux’s FlexPro Performance System and three-level height adjustment so the vacuum can be as efficient as possible on any floor surface. It has an upholstery and bare floor nozzle that can be swapped with each other when needed, but still, the main strength of the Electrolux canister vacuum are carpets and rugs.

Ultra Flex can reduce or increase suction power on demand, depending on the surface you are vacuuming. Variable suction power is important to have when cleaning dug in pet hair in high pile carpets, for example. It increases power when needed, but then saves energy and reduces sound level when you don’t really need all that power.

Pet hair can be very problematic for most vacuums because it varies in length and thickness. But not for the Ultra Flex — suction power will always be consistent and will remove even the most stubborn pet hair from both high pile carpets, rugs and any other floor surface that you have.

You can store the Ultra Flex both horizontally or vertically making it much easier to transport around the house as well. The cord winds up automatically.

7. Best Cheap Canister Vacuum Cleaner Under $100 – The Dirt Devil Featherlite

Dirt Devil FeatherliteYou don’t really need to spend more than a  $100 to get the optimal vacuuming experience. The Dirt Devil Featherlite is a testament to this, with features that you would not have expected to be in a vacuum that affordable.

Its hose can extend up to 10 feet, allowing you to reach ceilings and drapes without stepping on a chair or climbing a ladder for a height boost. Coupled with cyclonic filtration, you can clean various surfaces easily without exerting too much effort.

You don’t need to spend too time cleaning the same area over and over – the Dirt Devil rarely needs more than a single pass to ensure the area is spotless. The Featherlite uses cyclones for consistent suction power. Its level of power will not decrease if you use its two-in-one crevice of the brush tool.

Consistent power does not just make vacuuming surfaces easier. It also vacuums all of the dust and reduces its size to 0.3 microns, or 99.97 percent of its original size with the Quick-Rinse HEPA filter.

At 10.21 pounds and 17.8 x 12.8 x 11.1 inches, the Dirt Devil Featherlite is one of the most lightweight and compact cleaners in the market. It can fold up easily, especially its power cord, using the One-Touch Cord Rewind.

It’s cheap, it works, it’s light and powerful enough to clean some of the most contaminated areas too. What more could you ask from a vacuum?

8. The Best Canister Vacuum For The Garage – Numatic Henry

Numatic Henry For The GarageThe Numatic Henry has a bit of a cult following and for a very good reason too. It has a unique design that allows you to vacuum both solid particles, dust, and liquids too. It is the ideal garage companion and here is why.

It has a motor that can go from 600 watts (low setting) to 1200 watts (high setting). Henry’s variable range allows it to work efficiently, adjusting power when needed. Power will ultimately depend upon the task at hand, or at what pace the user wants to vacuum the garage.

The motor powers Henry’s high-efficiency dust filtration system. It can eliminate dust particles bigger than 0.3 microns, which is quite necessary for a garage that might have chemicals and pollutants lying around. This makes the Henry a solid performer and an allergy protector inside the garage.

Henry also has one of the largest bins for a canister vacuum too. Nearly half of its whole body is one massive dustbin, ideal for woodworking, metalworking and other fun garage activities. It is big enough to fit a whole day’s worth of dust and debris.

The Henry can be moved easily on the floor on its wheels or carried upstairs thanks to its foldable handle. Numatic installed three sets of wheels on the Henry to make it easier to roll it around the garage as needed. That, coupled with a long hose, allows it to operate freely almost any type of room or surface.

It is a great product that every house with garage needs. True, it’s not really an industrial strength vacuum, but it will do the job for most medium households.

9. Best Canister Vacuum For Pets And Dog Hair – Dyson Cinetic Big Ball Animal

Dyson Cinetic Big Ball Animal PriceDyson is all about power, technology, durability, and ease of use. For a price, of course.

The motor of the Big Ball has 35 Dyson Cinetic tips that oscillate at 5,000 Hertz. They prevent particles from clogging airflow and reducing suction power. They limit particles to one micron only and have great filtration properties too. Having unhindered airflow at all time guarantees consistent suction power all the time.

The Cinetic Big Ball comes standard with a carbon fiber turbine tool with 1,644,000 filaments and 6,124 stiff nylon bristles. These remove fine dust and ground-in dirt from hard floors and carpets easily. Pet hair is no problem either since it is a Dyson Animal model, after all.

If the Big Ball vacuum topples, it can easily pick itself up. It is monostatic cleaner a that uses a low center of gravity to bring it back to its stable resting point. It can do this easily because all of its heavy components, like the motor, are located low near the floor.

Instead of filters, it uses cyclones to catch and store fine dirt particles, with suction power that is as strong as the first day it was used. It never gets clogged or has its power reduced by a clogged bagged or dust and grime buildup near the filter.

Probably the best feature of the Cinetic Big Ball is its articulating wand and the motorized head that it is attached to it. The motorized head can be tilted in three directions for almost a 360 degrees total clean cover.

On top of its great features, The Dyson Cinetic Big Ball has zero parts to replace or maintain, since it does not collect dirt using a filter or а bag. Instead, it uses a convenient one-click bin system to release all the fine dust and particles that it has collected.

Also, it features a HEPA filtration system to prevent fine dust particles and allergens from being released back to the room when cleaning. It is a very useful feature to have, especially if you suffer from allergies – it catches all the allergens that it comes with contact with and safely stores them away.

10. Best Silent Canister Vacuum – Hoover Quiet Performance 

Hoover Quiet PerformanceThe Hoover Quiet Performance canister vacuum is a silent, but powerful cleaning machine. It is amazingly quiet at even its max setting from the five-speed suction control level. You can keep it at maximum power during cleaning hard to reach or dug-in pet hair, for example, but if max suction power is not required at all times the Hoover can dial it down due to its variable speed suction control. It is all automatic and the cleaner knows when more power is needed and it adjusts accordingly, minimizing noise levels in the process.

Hoover Quiet Performance has a Multi-Floor Power Nozzle that adjusts the vacuum’s suction power based on the surface it is cleaning. We have a bit more details about how it all works in our detailed review of the Quiet Performance too.

Sound-wise, it does not matter whether you use the power nozzle or the hard floor tool. It doesn’t matter what attachment is connected to the suction hose either – the Quite Performance is still quieter than anything else on this review list so far.

The vacuum uses WindTunnel 3 Technology to create three channels of suction, helping to remove dirt and pet hair from even the most stubborn from carpets and hard floors. All of the dirt particles it collects is filtered to 0.3 microns by a HEPA allergy filter. There are no allergens or fine dust particles released backed into the room after cleaning.

Lastly, the Hoover Quiet Performance is easy and fun to operate on any surface. It glides around obstacles and furniture with ease and grace.

Frequently Asked Questions

Let’s take a look at the most frequently asked questions people ask when choosing a canister vacuum: Are

Are Canister Vacuums Any good?

Canister vacuum cleaners are indeed very good because power is not as limited as is the case with most uprights. They tend to be quieter too. They are more durable too, especially some of the bagless models.

They are easily some of the most portable corded vacuums you can buy. Get a model with a long hose and you can clean virtually any size room without moving the vacuum’s body at all.

How Do Canister Vacuums Work?

It’s pretty simple, actually. They create suction by having a powerful electric motor inside the body of the cleaner. There is a dustbin inside of the body as well to collect dust and dirt.

Through a hose, you can suck up dirt, debris, and particles that are safely stored away in the vacuum. Once full, you can empty the bin and repeat the procedure over and over, hopefully.

Are Canister Vacuums Better than upright?

Canister vacuum cleaners can be better than uprights, especially when it comes to suction power, portability, and reach. Canisters usually have larger, but quieter motor compared to uprights. That means that canisters usually have much stronger suction and, respectively cleaning power than uprights.

They usually come with an array of attachments that most households will find incredibly useful. Stuff like crevice tools, specialized wood and hard floors cleaning heads and much more. Uprights can be a bit limited, but they have their strengths as well, especially when it comes to larger rooms to clean.

What Is Better – Wet And Dry Vacuum or Canister?

We wholeheartedly agree that canisters are simply better, especially if you live in a more humid climate than normal. Wet and Dry vacs can be major contributors to mold and mildew. Wet and Dry vacuums are also a lot heavier and clunkier than most modern canisters, meaning they are harder to transport and carry around during the weekly chores.

To us, the canister is the clear winner.

Why do people still prefer canister vacuums?

People prefer canisters vacuums mostly because they are powerful, easy to maintain, easy to transport and they provide more than an adequate suction power. They usually come with an array of attachments that can help you clean hard to reach surfaces, stairs, upholstery and more.

Do canister vacuums work well on carpet?

Yes, they do so perfectly. They work well on both carpets and hard floors too, given you’re using the right attachments and tools.

Where Are Miele Vacuums Made?

Miele vacuums are designed and manufactured in Germany. The company’s headquarters are in Gütersloh, Germany. Miele products are very high-quality vacuums but they come with a solid price tag, much like Dyson too. If you can afford the markup, they are usually better than most in the same category.

Are Canister Vacuums Better For Hardwood Floors?

Yes and No.
It really depends, to be honest. Hardwood floors can be really tricky to clean without marks or scratches, so it doesn’t really depend on the type of cleaner but rather on the attachment or the cleaning head used. There are some vacuums that are specifically designed for wooden floors, just like the Dyson Multi Floor reviews above.

Are Canister Vacuums Convenient For Car Cleaning?

They can be, but with a few conditions. If your car is stored in a garage and you have an easy way to plug your cleaner into an outlet then yes – it can be pretty convenient.

On the other hand, it is nowhere near as convenient as a portable or a handheld vacuum specifically designed for car cleaning. You can make your canister work, but if you park on a public parking and have to stretch extensions over 10ft long, you are far better off with a handheld, even at reduced suction power.

Can canister vacuums be damaged by accidentally sucking liquids?

Yes, they can get damaged beyond repair and you have to be very careful about it. Fortunately, there is the Numatic Henry which literally doesn’t even care what exactly it is vacuuming. Liquids, dust, wood chippings and debris – it’s all good for the Henry.

On the other hand, most households canister cleaners will get very moldy very quick, especially the ones with a bag. The bag traps moisture inside and it is an ideal breeding place for all sorts of bacteria and mold. It can lead to all sorts of bad odors around the house too.

Final Words

Canister vacuums have been around for decades and people still tend to prefer them over anything else due to their superb cleaning power, ease of use and the array of attachments they usually come with.

In this review, we’ve put ten of the best canister cleaners on the market to the test and the results are pretty clear. We wholeheartedly agree that the best overall canister is the Dyson Cinetic Big Ball Animal. It excels in almost everything and it does it better than the rest. Of course, it can’t compete with the Henry when it comes to the garage, but the Henry is almost an industrial type of vacuum compared to anything else on this review, really.

Every one of the models listed here is better than the rest in one thing or another, so we sorted them in categories and we really hope we helped you choose the best canister vacuum for your own personal needs.