10 Best Canister Vacuums | March 2017

We spent 33 hours on research, videography, and editing, to review the top choices for this wiki. For those with an aversion to upright models, these canister vacuums are powerful enough to make light work of one of the most tedious of household chores. We've included compact models suitable for apartments through to commercial grade machines perfect for any business. Skip to the best canister vacuum on Amazon.
10 Best Canister Vacuums | March 2017


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Best High-End
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Overall Rank: 10
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10
For the garage and car, grab the Eureka Mighty Mite and use its twenty-foot cord, extra-long hose, and extensions to clean every crevice. This model features rear wheels, so it will follow you along as you vacuum floors or any large area.
9
The Hoover CH32008 is ideal for cleaning your restaurant, office, or any other commercial space. Operating at a noise level of just 62 dB when set to hush mode, it can be used during your busiest hours with less interruption.
8
Make cleaning an effortless task with the stylish Bissell 1547. The specialized hard floor turbine foot is designed for dirt removal without damaging floors, while the long hose and wands will reach far under any piece of furniture.
7
The Panasonic MC-CL943 is the perfect cleaning solution for families with furry friends. It comes equipped with a double roller, telescoping wands, and gliding pet brush that grabs and removes stubborn hair better than most other models' attachments.
  • hepa filter does not require a bag
  • lightweight and quiet
  • more expensive than most
Brand Panasonic
Model MC-CL943
Weight 24.1 pounds
6
The German-made Soniclean Galaxy boasts a powerful, yet quiet, 1,150-watt motor, making it an attractive upright replacement. Its extra-large rubber wheels glide smoothly over any surface to make cleaning more enjoyable, and the strong suction works well on pet hair.
  • sealed hepa filter
  • adjustable power setting
  • attachments stored in separate bag
Brand Soniclean
Model GC-1150
Weight 20 pounds
5
The Oreck XL Pro 5 is the ideal solution for those who need to clean large areas very quickly. It comes with a 30-foot-long extension cord, no frills handle with on/off switch, high-vortex motor, and disposable bags that all add up to rapid clean-up.
  • shoulder strap frees up hands
  • detailing attachments for every job
  • perfect for cleaning stairs
Brand Oreck Commercial
Model BB900DGR
Weight 11 pounds
4
The Electrolux UltraFlex is a great option for plush carpet thanks to its 3-level height adjustment and brush roller. With its low center of gravity design, it can twist and turn around furniture with ease, freeing you up to simply control the wand.
  • store it horizontally or vertically
  • tools attach neatly to the handle
  • washable hepa filter
Brand Electrolux
Model EL4335B
Weight 25.2 pounds
3
The premium Dyson Ball Multifloor is the only canister vacuum with a central steering mechanism, and captures more dirt and microscopic dust than any other cyclone. The bin can be emptied with the push of a button and will not require bag replacement.
  • handle controlled brush bar
  • stiff bristles remove deep dirt
  • folds down for compact storage
Brand Dyson
Model 205779-01
Weight 21 pounds
2
The lightweight Bissell Zing 4122 is loaded with features at a price that you can afford. This multitasking tool is easy to maneuver, has extremely powerful suction, and works well on any surface, making it the best vacuum for quick clean-up of small messes.
  • well-designed attachments
  • variable suction control
  • reaches into narrow areas
Brand Bissell
Model 4122
Weight 12.6 pounds
1
The Miele Compact C2 works so well that it seems to do everything for you, all you have to do is come along for the ride. Even with the stainless-steel wand, the vacuum weighs only 14 pounds, and the extremely powerful motor is far quieter than most.
  • smooth one-touch cable retraction
  • over 30 foot range from power outlet
  • easy to replace bags and filters
Brand Electrolux
Model EL6986A
Weight 21.1 pounds

The Importance Of Being A Fan Of Suction

A vacuum cleaner needs suction like a a pitcher needs a good fastball.

That suction is created in a pretty fascinating way. Generally, a vacuum is like a high-powered fan designed to do a less than ideal job at blowing air.

Sure, there's some outflow of air. You can feel that if you put your hand up against any vacuum cleaner's exhaust port. That's where that burning animal smell comes from if you have pets that shed and you neglect to clean your vacuum's filter.

The other side of the fan is what's of interest to us in a vacuum, the side through which air is drawn. This draw, this suction, creates the action of your vacuum.

From there, it's all bells and whistles: bags and bins, retractable cords, extendable arms and hoses for reaching that suction action into the deepest, darkest crevices of your home.

That suction power is measured in something called air watts, which is the result of a simple little formula.

Take the amount of air that a vacuum cleaner can move through a two inch opening and measure it in cubic feet per minute (CFM). That's your air flow.

Then, see you how many inches of water said vacuum can pull up vertically through the same two inch hose. That's your vacuum measurement, or water lift.

Multiply those together, and divide it by 8.5 and I'll bet I can guess the number you were thinking of! Oh, I mean, then you get your air watts.

If, for example, you have a vacuum cleaner with an air flow of 55 CFM and a water lift of 10 inches, then it's 55 x 10 / 8.5 = 64.7 air watts.

Why 8.5? Come on, I'm a writer, not a physicist!

Clean Your Kids To Sleep

I was one of those kids who slept better with a constant noise in the background. Movement helped, too.

I ride a motorcycle now because driving a car is too reminiscent of the car rides my mom used for putting me to sleep as a baby.

Seriously, stick me in a car or an airplane, on a boat or a pool float, and I'll be asleep in minutes. Not too safe for driving, but it's great for insomnia.

When she couldn't load me into the car (either because she couldn't commit the time or because gas prices were on the rise), she would simply run the vacuum cleaner.

It didn't matter much if anything really needed to be cleaned; the sound put me down, and quickly.

She didn't need to worry too much about whether her vacuum was an upright or a canister, whither it had a retractable cord or a guidance system that could rival a sidewinder missile. All she really needed was for it to make some noise.

You might have a kid just like me in your home right now, but, by the percentages, anyway, you probably don't. And that's good for you; I was a terror.

Either way, you have so much more to choose from in your vacuum cleaner options than my mother did.

Honestly, first and foremost, I'd recommend that you ask yourself where you plan to store it. The size differences from one unit to the next aren't that immense here, but they might just be the thing that puts you over the edge toward one particular cleaner.

When you do get one into your home, turn it on and lay down. See if it puts you out.

How Do You Say, "Vacuum," In Pittsburgh?

I went to college outside of Pittsburgh, PA, and if you aren't familiar with the dialect of the region, you're a lucky one. Stay that way.

If you've experienced so-called Pittsburghese, you may have heard terms like 'gum band' used in lieu of 'rubber band,' or you may have even tasted a 'sammich' from Primanti Brothers.

You've also definitely heard vacuum cleaners referred to as 'sweepers,' a denotation that confounded me from the first.

Where is the sweeping action? It's just suction. If you looked up the respective definitions of the two words 'vacuum' and 'sweeper' you'd find no congruence.

Unfortunately, it turns out that the true deficiency here lies not within the dialect of Allegheny County, but rather with the etymological and historical research done by the writers of online dictionaries.

Before the advent of the electric vacuum cleaner, manual versions existed that created minor amounts of suction as their users moved them across the floor. They worked much the same way a manual lawnmower works.

And they were called 'carpet sweepers.'

So, the Pittsburghers aren't wrong, they're just more deeply in touch with the roots of our household appliances than the rest of us.



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Last updated: 03/24/2017 | Authorship Information

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