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What's behind our vacuum cleaner Ratings?

Experts at our National Testing and Research Center tested 175 models in vacuum cleaners to see which ones perform best.
We look for:
  • Overall score
    Based mainly on cleaning performance and ease of use. The displayed score is out of a total of 100 points.
  • Carpet
    Indicates how much embedded talc and sand a vacuum lifted from a medium-pile carpet.
  • Bare floors
    Shows how well a vacuum picked up sand without dispersing it on bare floors.
  • Tool airflow
    Indicates the strength of airflow through the hose.
  • Noise
    Based on measurements in decibels.
  • Emissions
    Our measurement of the quantity of wood-flour particles a vacuum released under two conditions: first, when only the motor was turned on, and second, while vacuuming.
  • Handling
    Reflects how easy it is to push, pull, and carry a vacuum.
  • Pet hair
    Reflects how well a vacuum picks up pet hair from medium-pile carpet.


Vacuum cleaner user reviews

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Recommended vacuum cleaners

Recommended vacuum cleaners are standout choices with high scores. They include CR Best Buys, which offer exceptional value. When narrowing your choices, weigh features, price, and attributes that matter to you.
  • Buying Guide
  • Price & Shop
Consider your cleaning needs when choosing between a canister and an upright vacuum cleaner. Try it before you buy it to make sure you can maneuver the vacuum cleaner comfortably and that it is not too noisy. If you're looking for information about vacuum cleaners, Consumer Reports is your best resource. Consumer Reports’ vacuum cleaner reviews will give you honest buying advice that you can trust. Use our vacuum cleaner buying guide to discover which features are most important to consider. We also provide unbiased ratings and vacuum cleaner reviews to help you choose the best vacuum cleaner for your needs.

Recently reviewed vacuum cleaners

Power Stick SD12530
The Dirt Devil Power Stick SD12530 is corded, converts to a hand vac and comes with a crevice tool and an electric powered brush tool.  

Vacuum cleaner buying guide

Sleek shapes and trendy colors such as sienna, taupe, and goldenrod are turning some of the latest vacuums into fashion statements. Our tough tests of more than 100 models show that when it comes to cleaning, beauty can be more than skin-deep.

Our tests using more than 16 miles of carpet and floors also show that some pricey vacuums deliver less than their price tag suggests, and some of the lightest models are light on performance or features.

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