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When you think about the end of the year, you’re probably thinking about what the best vacuums of the year are. Which is one heck of a coincidence; because that’s what we here at ThinkCrucial were thinking about too. Of course, when you think about what the best vacuums of 2017 are, you have to divide any list into two sections: Canister and Upright.

That’s because there are always weirdos who swear by canister vacuums and other strange people who swear by uprights. We would like to think there’s room enough in the world for people to love both types, so we’re going to give you the three best vacuums from each category.

canister vacuum on hardwood floor

Best Canister Vacuums

Bissell Zing Rewind Bagless Canister – Quality at a great entry level price

A lot of canister vacuums get a bad rap as being hard to maneuver and unwieldy to clean with. That’s why we love this Bissell Zing Rewind. It upends that entire reputation and instead gives you a sleek little bagless number that’s able to zip around on two wheels. That’s right, it’s bagless, and has three stages of filtration to boot. The three filters – 2 prefilters and one post-motor filter – make this canister easy to use and easy to maintain. The filters are all washable and reusable, which combined with the lack of bags means you’re saving money too.

This vacuum weighs in at only about 8 pounds, meaning you can haul it up and down stairs without strain. The hose is 5’ long and there’s an extension wand that can extend your reach by another 4’. Combined with the 15’ retractable cord, you’ve got plenty of cleaning area at your fingertips.

This vacuum is also no slouch when it comes to cleaning a variety of surfaces. It’s easy to go from hardwood to carpet or use the attachments to vacuum drapes or corners. If there’s one quibble we have, it’s that like most canister vacuums, this one doesn’t have a beater bar. But for the price and the mobility, this is one of our favorite canister vacuums.

Dyson Cinetic Big Ball Animal Canister – Because All Vacuums are not Created Equally

Dyson makes some really interesting vacuums that push our conceptions of what a vacuum should be. Nowhere is this truer than with Dyson’s Big Ball Canister vacuums. Dyson packs all sorts of features into this vacuum, the flagship of their canister line. From the 21.7-foot retractable cord to the HEPA filter, this canister vacuum has one heck of a cleaning wallop.

This canister is bagless and incorporates Dyson’s new “Dust Ejection System” which scrapes the sides of the dustbin so nothing sticks to the side. Assisting in the cleaning is the patented Triggerhead brush bar that is controlled from the vacuum head. This lets you transition from hard surface floors to carpet quickly with the press of a button.

Another neat feature of the Big Ball is its ability to self-right. If you happen to be pulling it along and it tips over, it will automatically put itself in an upright position. Included with this vacuum is a mini turbine tool that sucks up pet hair quickly and efficiently. And despite all of its pick-me-up, it’s very quiet, thanks to the addition of sound insulation by the Dyson engineers. As a high-end canister vacuum, this one is sure to please.

Miele S2121 Olympus Canister – German Engineering and Luxury

This lightweight canister may only weigh in at 11 pounds, but that doesn’t mean it’s a slouch in the cleaning department. This canister comes with a Super Air Clean Filter with an option to change things up to a HEPA filter. Rubber wheels rotate a full 360-degrees, making this canister a cinch to navigate through even the most crowded of spaces and it also ensures that your hard surface floors won’t get scratched or marred.

The Miele Olympus is a bagged vacuum that can take either paper or cloth Type-GN bags. The bags have a generous 4.76 quart capacity that last quite a while depending on how frequently you vacuum of course. The Miele is a favorite of consumers and professionals everywhere, primarily because of its excellent cleaning power and durability. Like all Miele vacuums, the Olympus canister is tested to last at least 20 years with regular household use, garnering the coveted Good Housekeeping Seal of Approval.

Even though the S2121 doesn’t have a beater bar, it still excels at cleaning hard surface and low pile carpet floors. The retractable 21-foot cord gives this vacuum a total cleaning radius of 29-1/2 feet, so you can clean wherever you need to whenever. Also included in the package are a standard set of cleaning accessories, including a dust brush, an upholstery tool, and a crevice tool.

Woman With Upright Vacuum

Best Upright Vacuums

Dyson Ball Multi-Floor 2 – Superior Cleaning From Dyson

Dyson vacuums routinely make everyone’s top –insert number here – list. And there’s a reason for that. Since 1993, when James Dyson first broke into selling his own machine in England, people have loved the way Dyson vacuums clean, and that’s what’s important. The Multi-Floor Dyson uses a single ball instead of wheels, giving it the maneuverability and grace of a Julliard ballerina. Suction-wise, the Dyson is one of the best vacuums, routinely picking up debris and pet hair that lesser vacuums miss.

Of course, all of this cleaning power comes at a cost. The Dyson Ball Multi-Floor is fairly expensive, but it is also quite durable. One of our reviewers still owns one of the original DC15 vacuums that is still running strong after nearly 12 years. That’s a huge value, which is another reason why Dyson vacuums remain a favorite.

This model comes with a newly designed ergonomic handle, making it more comfortable to use. It has lifetime washable and reusable filters that offer HEPA-quality filtration. The dust bin has a 0.55 gallon capacity and uses Dyson’s one-touch release system, letting you dump the dust without touching anything. Cord length is 31-feet, and even though it’s not retractable, is easy to store on the vacuum body itself.

Hoover WindTunnel T-Series Pet Rewind Bagless – Hoover Quality in a Lightweight Package

The WindTunnel is Hoover’s best-selling vacuum for a reason. Years of knowhow have gone into this vacuum’s design and it shows. Some of the features that make it stand apart from other vacuums are a retractable cord and a carbon filter. There’s also an indicator to remind you when the filter is dirty and needs replaced. One of the best features is how the handle folds, making storing it even easier.

The WindTunnel is a little heavier than the other two vacuums in this list, but it’s still fairly light, coming in at just under 18-pounds. While you aren’t going to want to carry it around with you all day, for daily cleanings, it’s not a bad weight. The suction on this vacuum is excellent, and it is great at picking up pet hair and everyday dirt. Transitioning from carpet to hard surface flooring is simple, and there are five different height settings for the vacuum as well.

The WindTunnel Rewind model comes with an air-powered hand turbine tool that is perfect for stairs and a separate tool for dealing with upholstery. There is also a 12-inch extension wand for cleaning high ceilings and corners. The belt on this vacuum is easy to replace and cleaning the rest of the vacuum is also simple. For a lower priced vacuum with great cleaning, the Hoover WindTunnel Pet Rewind is a great vacuum.

Shark Navigator Lift-Away Professional with Microfiber Pads – Versatility and Convenience

One of the best features of the Shark Navigator Lift-Away is how it transitions from carpet to hard surface floors. You don’t flick a switch to turn off the beater brush; you lift the canister from the vacuum, attach a washable and reusable microfiber pad to the floor cleaning tool, and get to cleaning. It’s like a dust mop with the added power of suction behind it. You can also use this to clean walls, drapes, or anything while leaving the beater brush and carpet head behind.

Of course, all that fun doesn’t matter much if this vacuum didn’t clean carpets equally well. And it does. The vacuum’s brush roll digs well on medium and low pile carpet, giving you an extremely versatile cleaning machine. Included in the kit are a set of microfiber pads, a turbo brush for pet hair, and a crevice tool. The cord is 30-feet long, giving you plenty of room to clean anywhere you need. If you don’t feel like detaching the dust canister, you can also just turn the brush roll off and use it as a conventional vacuum.

One added feature for this vacuum compared to the others is the swivel steering wheels. While this vacuum isn’t quite as maneuverable as the Dyson, it also costs a lot less. The Shark Navigator Lift-Away comes with foam and felt filters that are simple to replace, providing near-HEPA quality filtration at an easy price. For an extremely versatile vacuum that won’t break your budget, this Shark is a great choice.


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