Are HEPA vacuum filters really better than normal filters?

Published: April 12, 2015 08:00 AM
Illustration: Kelsey Dake

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Q. I’ve noticed that HEPA filters are advertised as being better than normal filters for new vacuum cleaners. Are they really better, and is it worth it to buy a vacuum that has one?—Dillon Yanick, Seattle

A. If you’re concerned about a vacuum’s emissions, buying one with a HEPA (high-efficiency particulate air) filter is a good choice. But many vacuums without one are just as good. Check our vacuum Ratings and choose a model that scored well for emissions. Two that fit the bill are the Kenmore Elite 21814 and the Panasonic MC-CG937—both bagged canister models.

For more information on vacuum cleaners check our extensive vacuum buying guide and watch our video below.

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Editor's Note:

This article also appeared in the May 2015 issue of Consumer Reports magazine.

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