Last week, we covered some of the best all-purpose vacuums that you can get, no matter if you prefer an upright or a canister model. This week, we’re going to finish our coverage of the best vacuums of 2017 by taking a look at the outliers in the vacuum world. Here are the best weird and wonderful vacuums of 2017.
Best Robotic Vacuum: Roomba 960
In the world of robot vacuums, there are Roombas and then there are other manufacturers trying to catch up. While 2017 saw a lot of stellar entries from solid contenders, such as the Neato Botvac D5 and the Dyson Eye, Roomba still pulled ahead of the pack with a range of robot vacuums from the Roomba 690 to the high end 980. Our pick for the best, however, falls in the middle with the Roomba 960.
The Roomba 960 has a ton of features that make it an excellent value for the price. It includes a navigation camera that lets the vacuum watch where it’s going so it doesn’t run into furniture. If you’re interested in where your vacuum has been, there is a smartphone app that allows you to view maps and details on when the vacuum was cleaning. You can also set one virtual wall in your home as a way of cordoning off a section or a room. The virtual wall ensures that the robot vacuum won’t cross while trundling about.
One of the truly amazing things is that you can pair the Roomba 960 with Amazon’s Alexa and Google Home. If you need to send the vacuum back to its charging station or ask it to start or stop cleaning, or even ask where the vacuum is, the answer is just one simple query away. The filters on the Roomba are easy to change and swapping in an extra battery is a snap.
Best Vacuum for a Pet Owner: Dyson Ball Animal 2
There’s one thing that pet owners know – unless you own one of those hairless cats – and that is you’re going to have to deal with fur, hair, feathers, or whatever at some point. Unless you own stock in a packing tape company or you like manually plucking hair from your furniture, you need a decent pet vacuum. And one that will remove hair quickly and efficiently and not leave you looking like you rolled in a bag with your cat.
It’s no surprise that our pick for the best pet vacuum is a Dyson. Dyson’s newest pet vacuum is the Dyson Ball Animal 2, and it has the strongest pickup of any animal vacuum we’ve seen. There’s a myriad of features that pull the Dyson Animal 2 ahead of its competitors, but the strongest two are the ease of emptying the bin and the turbine tool that comes with it. The tool makes it a cinch to get your furniture de-furred. It’s also no slouch when it comes to cleaning other surfaces either. The suction bar automatically adjusts to the level of your floor ensuring that you’re getting maximum cleaning across its wide swath.
The Dyson Animal 2 isn’t cheap, but holiday sales and the inevitable newer models coming out have seen the price drop down to a reachable range at the end of this year. If you’re constantly frustrated about pet hair, this is the pet vacuum to have.
Best Vacuum for a Starving Artist: Bissell 9595A CleanView Bagless
Let’s face it. Not everyone can afford a $400 vacuum. And not everyone needs a vacuum that is going to run itself, turn a fancy pirouette, or cook you dinner on command. However, if you have carpet in your house, room, or apartment, you need a vacuum to keep it clean. So the best inexpensive vacuum for people just starting out or living as a starving artist is one that’s ideally under $100 and still cleans well. There are other considerations, but for the money, an upright is going to offer the best power and cleaning than a portable or stick vacuum.
That’s why we chose the Bissell 9595A CleanView Bagless. The vacuum has a washable and reusable filter, which even though it’s not a HEPA filter, still does a passable job. It comes with a full assortment of accessories, including a turbo brush which is great for upholstery and stairs. Most importantly, this vacuum has great power for the price. The dust container is a little unwieldy and awkward to empty, but that’s a small price to pay for an exceptional value.
You’re also going to save money because the vacuum is bagless. That may mean that there’s a little more dust when you empty the bin, but you don’t have to buy bags. The filters for the 9595A are also very inexpensive, so replacing them once every six months isn’t a huge money strain either.
Best Portable Vacuum: Black and Decker Max Lithium Flex BDH2020FL
Portable vacuum cleaners fill a necessary niche in our lives. After all, nothing is handier than being able to get out your vacuum and spot clean when necessary. The best portable handheld vacuum must have two key features: excellent suction power and long battery life. Of course, any extra bells and whistles are nice too.
The Black and Decker BDH2020FL is a portable handheld that offers all of this in one attractive package. Not only does it have excellent suction and a host of tools, it also has a flexible and detachable 4-foot hose. The hose gives this vacuum that extra edge over its competitors, however. The accessories slip onto the hose easily.
The upholstery pet hair brush is a great way to spot clean the pillows and chairs before company arrives. Also included is a crevice tool, and a 2-in-1 brush and dusting attachment. Even with the attachments, the vacuum only weighs about 3 pounds, so it’s easy to carry around and maneuver.
While the battery life from the 20-Volt lithium battery is only 16 minutes before recharging, you do have to make some sacrifices. And quite honestly, with the suction power that this portable gives you, you won’t need more than that to vacuum your entire car.