8 Best Canister Vacuums for Cleaning Hardwood Floors and Banishing Pet Hair

published Oct 24, 2023
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someone vacuuming home rug
Credit: Joe Lingeman

There’s a nearly endless list of reasons why a canister vacuum is a smart investment for keeping your home neat and tidy. 

Thanks to their design, canister vacuums can reach tight corners, and with their numerous attachments, can clean drapes, furniture, cars, and more. They tend to be lighter and easier to move than a traditional upright vacuum. Yet a good canister vacuum is also super powerful, thanks to room for a larger motor. 

While they can clean almost any surface, they are especially effective on bare or hardwood floors, where even the most stubborn grime and pet hair are no match for their superior suction. (That also means quicker cleaning — with no need to double back over the same spot.)

When buying a canister vacuum, you’ll want to consider factors like the types of attachments you need, noise level, and weight. Another feature to think about is the cord length — particularly if you live in an apartment with sparse outlets.

Whether you’re already a canister vacuum devotee or looking to be converted, here are eight of the best models to choose from.

1 / 8
was $279.99

This workhorse Kenmore model is perfect for homes with multiple floor surfaces: It’s designed to tackle carpets and upholstery, but when you add the hardwood attachment it tackles bare floors with equal precision. Weighing in at 20 pounds, it’s not the lightest, but it has a two-motor design that means no speck of dust will be left behind. Other features include four height adjustments, a 26-foot cord, and a 9.5-foot extendable wand to access all of those tricky nooks and crannies.

2 / 8
was $469.00

The lightweight design of this Miele canister vacuum means you can keep your floors pristine without pulling any muscles. It’s just under 15 pounds, and it’s designed to be easily maneuverable to cruise around and under furniture. There’s also plenty of versatility, with six different suction settings to adjust according to the floor surface. Plus, the compact canister makes it easy to store in tight spaces.

3 / 8
was $399.99

On this Shark model, the handle wand itself flexes and bends for effortless cleaning under sofas, chairs, or coffee tables. The slim canister means seamless storage, while the self-cleaning brushes prevent hair clumps from tangling up the rolls. But it doesn’t just clean floors and furniture: With a HEPA filter and an anti-allergen seal, the vacuum traps 99.9 percent of dust, dander, and other allergens, purifying the air in your home, too.

4 / 8

If you’re looking for a portable floor cleaner — or simply need to lug one up and down the stairs — then this Eureka canister vacuum was made for you. Weighing in at a svelte 8.6 pounds, this vacuum can be toted anywhere in your home with ease. But this compact beauty doesn’t sacrifice any power — with a 12-amp motor, it will pack a punch against your floors and is well-suited to even the deepest cleaning projects.

5 / 8

Dyson’s vacuums are all about innovation, and this orb-centric canister design is no exception. The Big Ball allows the device to follow naturally behind you as you clean — no awkward dragging, pivoting, or stopping required. And if the Big Ball is knocked over? It’s designed to roll itself back up into the correct position. With 250 air watts of suction power, carbon fiber filaments that trap the finest dust, and stiff nylon bristles to lift out ground-in grime, this model stands up to the full spectrum of cleaning needs. But the best part is probably the hygienic dirt ejector: At the push of the button, all of the dust and grime is emptied into the trash, with no need to touch sooty filters or root around in other chambers.

6 / 8

Bissell’s Zing Canister Vacuum switches from hardwood floors to carpets at the flip of a switch. With a nine-amp motor and 15-foot cord, it will ensure that crumbs, dust, and pet hair are banished from your home. The dirt-chamber design means you can forget about buying and replacing cumbersome bags. With Bissell’s Easy Empty Dirt Cup, you simply push the button to release all of the debris from the chamber — no fuss, no muss.

7 / 8

The “turbo pet brush” accessory will pick up any pet hair, lint, or crumbs from rugs and furniture, while the floor-brush bristles — deployed by stepping on the footswitch — ensure any dirt is captured from hardwood floors. With 150 watts of suction, even the most stubborn ground-in dirt will be vanquished. Despite all that power, this vacuum is ultra-quiet, emitting as little as 72 decibels of sound.

8 / 8
was $999.00

Those with a home full of fur babies will appreciate the powerful design of the Miele Blizzard. The handheld Turbo Brush was designed specifically for removing clingy pet hair from upholstery, and the HEPA Lifetime Filter traps all of the dander from your cuddly creature, leaving the air refreshed. And, of course, it cleans floors, too. Switch to the Electro Plus Floorhead or the Parquet Twister Floorhead to rid rugs and hardwood of any debris.