Best Vacuums of 2019

These upright, canister, stick, robotic, and handheld vacuums excel in CR's tests

Someone vacuuming hardwood floors in the kitchen.
Project leader Sue Booth at work in the vacuum lab.
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With vacuums available at prices from under $50 to well over $1,500 and in configurations ranging from a slim stick to a beefy canister, it can be difficult to choose the best one for your home.

Cordless stick vacuums are getting better than ever, and the performance of robotic vacuums is improving while their prices keep dropping, making them worth a look. But while these convenient contenders may deserve a place in your cleaning arsenal, they still can’t replace your trusty upright or canister, according to Consumer Reports’ vacuum tests.

“For some people, it might make sense to have multiple vacuums for different situations,” says Frank Rizzi, a senior lab technician who tests vacuums at CR. “A robotic vacuum can help with maintaining your pristine floors, and a stick can help with quick messes alongside your bigger upright or canister.”

Below, you’ll find reviews of the best vacuums you can buy right now, from each of the types we test.

How We Test Vacuums
To find out how well a vacuum picks up dirt, how much debris it retains, how easy it is to maneuver, and how noisy it is, CR’s engineers put vacuum cleaners through a set of tough tests. We embed talc, sand, and pet hair into carpet before vacuuming. We use the same type of litter on bare floors and observe whether the vacuum picks it up or scatters it about. And we maneuver the vacuum around the floor, just like you would, to judge how easy it is to operate.

The Overall Score for each model incorporates results for each of these tests as well as ratings for predicted reliability and owner satisfaction, which are based on our survey data about more than 80,000 upright, canister, and stick vacuums that CR members purchased between 2009 and 2019.

For even more information, see our vacuum buying guide and our complete vacuum ratings.

Go to Consumer Reports’ 2019 Holiday Gift Guide for updates on deals, expert product reviews, insider shopping tips, and much more.

Bagged Upright
Kenmore Elite Pet Friendly 31150
Kenmore Elite Pet Friendly 31150

    Kenmore Elite Pet Friendly 31150

    CR’s take: The midpriced Kenmore Elite Pet Friendly 31150 earns top marks on bare floors and scores well for tool airflow. That means it’s exceptionally powerful when used with its attachments, which include a crevice tool, bristle brush, and power roller. On bare floors it captures almost every particle, keeping debris contained in its disposable bag. And it’s no slouch at removing embedded dirt from carpet or tackling pet hair, either, although it’s a little louder and tougher to handle than some bagged uprights. It’s not the cheapest model you’ll find, but this impressive performer is certainly among the best vacuums we’ve tested. Kenmore uprights receive middling scores for predicted reliability and owner satisfaction. See our full upright vacuum ratings for other models.

    Bagless Upright
    Shark Navigator Powered Lift-Away NV586 (Target)
    Shark Navigator Powered Lift-Away...

      Shark Navigator Powered Lift-Away...

      CR’s take: A Target exclusive, this Shark Navigator has a 26-foot cord and weighs roughly 16 pounds. It receives an Excellent rating in both our pet-hair and bare floors tests but doesn’t fare as well on carpet (though it’s still pretty good). Our testers found that this vacuum handles well and is pretty easy to push, pull, and carry, but it’s noisy compared with other upright vacuums. Shark uprights earn a Very Good score for predicted reliability and get one of the highest scores for owner satisfaction among upright vacuums, meaning CR members who own them are highly likely to recommend them. Check out our full upright vacuum ratings for other great options.

      Bagged Canister
      Miele Complete C3 Marin
      Miele Complete C3 Marin

        Miele Complete C3 Marin

        CR’s take: Our top-performing canister vacuum, the Miele Complete C3 Marin, earns perfect marks in almost every test we throw its way. It’s a champ at bare floors and embedded pet hair but also excels at capturing dust particles. Powerful airflow makes its attachments especially effective. It’s also noticeably quieter than many models. It gets dinged a bit in our handling test, but that’s true of most canister vacuums, which trail behind you at the end of the suction hose. At more than $1,000, it may suck up a big chunk out of your bank account, too. Miele canisters earn top scores for both predicted reliability and owner satisfaction. See our full canister vacuum ratings for other high-performing options.

        Bagless Canister
        Miele Blizzard CX1 Cat & Dog
        Miele Blizzard CX1 Cat & Dog

          Miele Blizzard CX1 Cat & Dog

          CR’s take: This bagless canister is on the pricey side for vacuums, but it’s one of the best bagless canisters you can buy. It earns an Excellent rating on our bare floors test, proving that it can suck up 5 grams of Maine coon cat fur in no time flat. It’s not so great when it comes to cleaning carpet; canisters are better for bare floors. Allergy sufferers may appreciate that this vacuum also performs well in our emissions testing, releasing little debris back into the environment after sucking it up. Miele canisters earn top scores for both predicted reliability and owner satisfaction. See our full canister vacuum ratings for other high-performing options.

          Stick Vacuum
          Shark APEX UpLight Lift-Away DuoClean LZ601
          Shark APEX UpLight Lift-Away...

            Shark APEX UpLight Lift-Away...

            CR’s take: A newcomer to our ratings, the corded Shark Apex UpLight Lift-Away DuoClean LZ601 is a winner. It aces all our key cleaning tests—carpet, bare floors, and pet hair—and operates quietly and cleanly. It also cleans along the edges of the wall without leaving any debris behind. This vacuum is self-standing, making it easy to store, and has a self-cleaning brush roll, so you can avoid messy hair entanglements. It comes with several attachments that you can store onboard. Shark stick vacuums earn a Very Good rating for predicted reliability and an Excellent score for owner satisfaction. For other impressive choices, see our full stick vacuum ratings.

            Robotic Vacuum
            Eufy 11S
            Eufy 11S

              Eufy 11S

              CR’s take: You don’t need to shell out hundreds and hundreds of dollars for a good robotic vacuum. Typically selling for around $220, the Eufy RoboVac 11S earns a Very Good rating in our carpet cleaning test and does even better on bare floors. While it’s not the most efficient cleaner, and testers noted that it sometimes scatters debris, it gets the job done, operates quietly (like many robotic vacuums), and has a cliff sensor to keep it from tumbling down stairs. Check out our full robotic vacuum ratings for more great choices.

              Handheld Vacuum
              Shark Ion W1 WV201
              Shark Ion W1 WV201

                Shark Ion W1 WV201

                CR’s take: Not all handheld vacuums can tackle pet hair with aplomb, but the Shark Ion W1 WV201 aces that task, earning an Excellent rating. It’s also a champ at cleaning bare floors and getting into hard-to-reach places, and it’s not too shabby at cleaning carpet. The vacuum and all its attachments can be stored on the charging base, making it a real space saver. And at just 1.4 pounds, it’s the lightest handheld vac in our tests. The only downside to its small size is the small dustbin, which may have to be emptied more than once if you have a sizable spill. For more choices, see our full handheld vacuum ratings.

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                Mary H.J. Farrell

                Knowing that I wanted to be a journalist from a young age, I decided to spiff up my byline by adding the middle initials "H.J." A veteran of online and print journalism, I've worked at People, MSNBC, Ladies’ Home Journal, Good Housekeeping, and an online Consumer Reports wannabe. But the real thing is so much better. Follow me on Twitter.