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Consumer Reports' Best in Show vacuums

Models from Kenmore, Miele, and Shark ace our tough pet hair tests

Published: February 10, 2014 05:00 PM

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There’s plenty of fur flying at the the 138th annual Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show in New York this week but when Consumer Reports tests vacuums it forgoes Fido’s fur and uses cat hair instead. Our vacuum testers take the long fur of the Maine Coon cat, rake it into carpeting and then make 14 passes with a vacuum to remove it. Even with so many chances, some vacuums fail the test. But the top dogs in our vacuum tests pick up the fur like a champ.

Canisters. Our top-rated bagged canister vacuum, the Kenmore Progressive 21714, $400, got excellent scores on our pet hair test. It was also excellent at cleaning bare floors and very good at carpeting. Other Kenmore canisters earned similar marks while the  Panasonic MC-CG937, $300, performed very well overall but fell a tad short on pet hair removal.

Uprights. Miele’s bagged uprights, however, got top marks for pet hair removal including the Miele S 7210 Twist, $475, and the aptly named Miele S 7260 Cat & Dog, $715. They were both beasts at getting carpet clean although the Cat & Dog model was better at bare floors. As a rule, uprights do better on carpeting because they have more weight over the powerhead.

Small vacuums. In our tests of hand and stick vacuums, the Shark Pet Perfect II SV780, $60, wasn’t quite so perfect at picking up pet hair but it did very well. Its brandmate, the Shark Navigator Freestyle SV1106 stick vacuum, $140, however, was excellent at pet hair pickup as was the top-rated Hoover Platinum LiNX BH50010, $160.

In New York, Kelso, a 7-year-old border collie from Maine won the first agility contest held by Westminster on Saturday night. The show continues tonight and tomorrow when Best in Show will be crowned in Madison Square Garden. Meanwhile we already have our winners at Consumer Reports where our vacuum testing goes on all year long.

—Mary H.J. Farrell

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