On Sunday, the red carpet at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood will take a beating as celebrities arrive for the 89th Academy Awards. Glitter, sequins, beads, and maybe an errant splash of champagne will fall to the carpet only to become ground in by the spiked heels of the next arrivals.

Instead of asking, “Who are you wearing?” Consumer Reports is asking, “Who’s going to clean up this mess?” See below for our list of winners and runners-up.


A standout in the light vacuum category, the cordless Dyson V8 Absolute, $600, nabbed first place in our tests of stick vacuums. Weighing a mere 5.6 pounds, the rail-thin Dyson was a top performer in our tests vacuuming carpet, cleaning bare floors, getting into corners, and picking up pet hair. And with its colorful styling, innovative features, and upscale advertising campaign, Dyson is the Dior of the vacuum world.
Other nominees: Bissell Air Ram 1984, $200; Shark Rocket Complete HV380, $240; Dyson V6 Absolute, $600; and the Dyson V6, $300.

Heavyweight Contenders

Miele has been a contender in our tests year after year. Typically, upright vacuums are better at cleaning carpet than other types of vacuums, and the bagged Miele Dynamic U1 Twist, $450, is no exception. It weighs 22 pounds and is loaded with such extras as a brush on/off switch, suction control (protects delicate fabrics), and carpet pile-height adjustment. Strong airflow for tools, clean running, and superb pet-hair pickup are other attractions.
Other nominees: Miele Dynamic U1 Cat & Dog, $650; Kirby Avalir, $1,600, Maytag M1200, $900; and the Hoover Platinum Bagged UH30010COM, $300.

Scene Stealers

This year two robotic vacuums are vying for the trophy in our tests. Leading the pack is the Samsung Powerbot SR20H9051 Series, $1,000, which excelled in all our vacuum tests—carpet, bare floors, ease of use, and low noise—although a few other robovacs were able to navigate a room better. As a plus, the Samsung appears in a selected short in a face-off with the Dyson 360 Eye.

The Roomba 880, $600, also left behind a clean carpet. It was a bit better at navigating than the Samsung but a little trickier to set up.

Carpet Cleaning Tips

To clean red carpet, or any other type, set the vacuum’s power head to the correct height for that particular carpet. Deep-pile carpeting needs a different setting than a flat-weave rug, for example. Some vacuums adjust automatically. Change the vacuum cleaner bag when it becomes full. An overstuffed bag impairs a vacuum’s ability to suck up the detritus.

Now about that champagne. To remove stains, blot—don’t rub—the area with a cloth dipped in a mixture of 1 teaspoon detergent added to 1 cup of warm water, then dab with plain water and let dry. When it's dry, roll up the red carpet until next year. It’s been a long night.