The Best Vacuum Cleaners

The Best Vacuum Cleaners

With Landis' post on managing dust in the home, and Cambria's tips on how to seriously improve indoor air quality, we've got cleanliness on the brain. Having a good working vacuum cleaner is key for removing smells, sucking up pet hair and demolishing dirt and dust. Leave it to the experts at Consumer Reports to determine the latest, greatest and affordable vacuums to do the job.

The Consumer Reports trained testers tried 91 leading small, upright and canister vacuums to see which ones made the grade. They based their evaluations on these characteristics: performance, noise, handling, and cycle times. Here are the types of vacuums they tested, what makes them stand out, and the top Consumer Reports picks:

Canister Vacuum Cleaner: Compared to upright vacuums, full sized canisters can be heavy bulky and more expensive. These models combine impressive deep-cleaning with strong airflow through the hose for use with tools for cleaning upholstery and drapes, however carpets remain their toughest challenge.
Small Vacuum: This is the most affordable category. According to Consumer Reports, the best small vacuums tend to be ideal for cleaning carpets, but when it comes to needing to deep-clean carpets, it's best to consider them as backup vacs.
Upright Vacuum Cleaner: These models are great at cleaning bare floors, but carpets can be their biggest challenge. Beware of echo sounds when using on bare floors and make sure you choose a model that is easy to carry and handle.

Here are the Consumer Reports Best Buys for the vacuums tested:

To see all the reccomendations in each vacuum type and for the full report, go to Consumer Reports online, or check out the latest print issue.

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