Best Vacuum Cleaners

Tests show the best vacuum cleaners really suck.

| June/July 2006

A growing body of scientific evidence shows that indoor air can be more polluted than the air outside. Frequent vacuuming can help reduce levels of allergens such as dust and other particulate matter. That’s especially important if members of your household suffer from asthma or allergies. But some vacuums perform better than others, without emitting dust and dirt back into the air. The more sensitive the members of your household, the more important it is to find a model that not only cleans well but also releases fewer emissions.

We’re providing a chart of the 10 Best Vacuum Cleaners as evaluated by Consumer Reports magazine (CR). All have low emissions, filter bags and high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filters.

Match the Task

For the best results, match your vacuum to your cleaning needs. Nearly any vacuum cleans bare floors well, but some types work better on carpets, and others are handier for curtains, upholstery and cleaning underneath sofas. Consider the following factors when looking for the best type of vacuum for your situation:

Upright vacuums are better than canister models for cleaning carpets. They also cost the least overall and are easy to store.

Canister vacuums are better for cleaning drapes, upholstery, under furniture and other spots that require a hose and tools.

Cordless vacuums are best for light-duty jobs, but typically don’t clean carpets well, although some models do handle bare floors nicely.

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