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Quieter vacuum cleaners that blast away dirt

All vacuums make noise but some are more tolerable than others

Published: May 12, 2014 02:30 PM

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LG Hom-Bot Square LrV790R

There’s nothing quite like a raucous vacuum cleaner to foul up the next episode of “The Voice,” terrorize babies and pets, and otherwise disrupt your home life. Sadly, most of the best vacuum cleaners in Consumer Reports’ tests are far from quiet—and a few we’ve tested are roughly akin to a blender or a noisy restaurant. But at least some manufacturers are listening, and have managed to combine both cleaning prowess and relative quietness in one machine:

Upright vacuums. Upright vacuums cost less and clean a bit better overall than canister vacuums, though they’re also noisier as a group. And even the best typically make as much noise as a ringing telephone. Three models from Miele, including the Miele S 7210 Twist, $475, edged out other top picks in our noise tests (think of a TV at moderate volume). The Miele S 7210 Twist also aced our tough carpet-cleaning tests, and sucked up pesky pet hair with aplomb.

Canister vacuums. With their added stability, long hoses and tools, canisters are the vacuum cleaners to buy if you have to haul your vacuum up and down stairs and get cobwebs out of corners. The bagless LG Kompressor LcV900B, $400, is roughly as quiet as the Miele upright, with similarly impressive results on carpets and bare floors. The bagged Electrolux UltraSilencer DeepClean EL7060, $500, sold at Lowe’s is even quieter and better on pet hair, though lots of repairs for the brand in our brand-reliability surveys have kept Electrolux canister vacuums off our winners’ list.

Small vacuums. Looking for a compact vacuum that can tackle light jobs without a heavy racket? The Eureka Easy Clean 71B hand vacuum, $50, is the quietest of our picks, with superb pickup on the bare floors that typically define hand-vacuum cleaning. Impressive pet-hair pickup is part of that 5.5-pound package, though carpet cleaning—while okay—was a notch below our other top picks. Stick vacuums save you some bending and hands-and-knees maneuvers. The Hoover Platinum LiNX BH50010, $160, topped our scores overall, whisked away surface dirt and pet hair from carpets, and proved as quiet as the Eureka.

Robotic vacuums.
These Jetsons-like machines aren’t exactly cheap. But they let you take a hands-off approach to at least some of your vacuuming. The LG Hom-Bot Square LrV790R, $800, was the quietest of our two top picks and was very good at cleaning carpet and bare floors. The Roomba 760, $450, was a more diligent cleaner but made a bit more noise as it worked.

—Artemis DiBenedetto

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