Vacuum cleaners have come a long way since they were first introduced in 1905 by Walter Griffiths. Through the years, various improvements have come, including beater bars, cyclonic action, HEPA filtration and even automated robotic units. So, now, 111 years later, what are the best vacuums you can get on the market?
It really depends on what you’re looking for. A vacuum that would suit a homeowner with four cats is not the best vacuum for a college student just starting out. So, here we have a list of five of the best vacuums for you, depending on what your needs are.
1. The Best Lazy Person’s Vacuum: iRobot Roomba 980
Isn’t living in this time great? We may not have flying cars or jet packs yet, but we do have handy little robotic servants that trundle around and pick up after us. If all you remember about Roomba vacuums is their ability to bump into walls and scare the cat, the new generation will surprise you. The iRobot Roomba 980 is the first Roomba to feature a camera. That camera, combined with the sensors on board, allows this vacuum to navigate not just in your rooms, but react to new obstacles in its path and know where it’s been. Combine this with a HEPA filter, an app for your smart phone that lets you tell the little guy when to start cleaning, and an intelligent self-recharging design (yes, if it senses it’s going to run out of battery before it finishes, it will go recharge itself and then go back to work), this is the vacuum to own if you’re normally too lazy (or busy) to vacuum your home without a robot’s help.
2. The Best Quick Fix Vacuum: Hoover LiNX
When you have a small mess that needs cleaned up, it’s handy to have a small cordless vacuum that can handle a mess. After all, who wants to pull out the entire upright or canister vacuum just to deal with a pile of Cheerios on the floor? There aren’t many ways that you can improve on the Hoover LiNX. This small handheld is part of Hoover’s Platinum Collection and it shows. This handy vacuum charges its 18-volt lithium-ion battery in just under three hours and lasts about twenty minutes per charge. But even more important than the quick charge and relatively long life is how well it picks stuff up. And the LiNX excels at that as well. From cars to upholstery, this handheld performs superbly. It’s also great at picking up pet hair, making it perfect for spot cleaning your chair or couch. The suction is also extremely strong, with tests showing the vacuum able to pick up and hold 7 ounces easily.
3. The Best No More Sneezes Vacuum: Shark Navigator Lift-Away Pro (NV356E)
For those of us that suffer from allergies, we know that there are certain things we have to have in our vacuums. Otherwise, a bout of cleaning is going to leave us coughing and sneezing with watery eyes, vowing never to do the chore of vacuuming ever again. So, not only do we need something that will vacuum well, we need something that doesn’t let dust and allergens leak back out into the air. This Shark vacuum fits the bill perfectly. The Navigator Lift-Away Pro has Anti-Allergen Complete Seal Technology, which traps just over 99 percent of all dust that goes through the vacuum. Combine that with a full HEPA filtration system that is washable and easily replaceable, a bin which comes away from the main unit easily and dumps the refuse with one button press, and you’ve got a winner. Add in the wide variety of attachments available to facilitate cleaning your entire house and great maneuverability, and this vacuum comes out ahead of pretty much every vacuum you can get for keeping your allergies in check.
4. The Best Just Starting Out Vacuum: Eureka Airspeed Bagless Upright AS2113A
When you’re moving into your first apartment or house, there are a lot of expenses you have to watch out for. So, you may not want to spend $500 on a vacuum cleaner. This vacuum comes with an allergen filter that does a good job and is easy to replace. The Airspeed comes with a wide variety of attachments, including a crevice tool, a dusting brush, and an upholstery brush. The vacuum has five different height adjustments as well, allowing you to transition from hard surface floors to carpet with ease. It has a retractable cord and an easily removable dust canister. As an inexpensive vacuum that does a good cleaning job on a variety of surfaces, the Airspeed does a great job. There are a lot of vacuums that clean a lot better, but you’re also going to pay a lot more for them. The Airspeed is a great value for your dollar and well worth being your first vacuum cleaner.
5. The Best Shop Vacuum for Wet and Dry Messes: Shop-Vac 9633400
If you have a garage or a basement, you know that you run into messes that you don’t want to subject your regular vacuum to. Whether it’s an oil spill from your car or a washing machine that’s gone awry, you need the ability of a wet/dry vacuum to get things back in order. The Shop-Vac 9633400 (no cute nicknames for these vacuums) is a 12-gallon capacity vacuum with a 6.5 HP motor that will handle whatever you ask of it. The tank is made of a ballistic plastic that doesn’t dent and won’t rust. This vacuum comes with all of the accessories you will need, including 2-2.5 inch extensions, a 14” flat head nozzle, a crevice tool, and a gulper nozzle. It also comes with a single filter bag and a cartridge filter with retainer. This wet/dry vacuum also transitions easily into a blower, perfect for taking care of yard work. The non-retractable cord is 18-feet long, and the 2.5-inch hose is 8 feet long, giving you plenty of reach for your work.
So there you have the top vacuums for the first half of 2016. Remember that all vacuums that have filters need them replaced every six months at the minimum, and you should inspect and change your belts at least once every 18 months. Read here for information on best practices and preventive maintenance of your vacuum. We at Crucial wish you a great Fourth of July holiday weekend!