The 10 Best Canister Vacuums

Updated December 14, 2017 by Jeff Newburgh

10 Best Canister Vacuums
Best High-End
Best Mid-Range
Best Inexpensive
We spent 45 hours on research, videography, and editing, to review the top choices for this wiki. If you're doing spring cleaning, picking up after your furry friend, or are responsible for maintaining commercial premises, make light work of this chore by using one of these canister vacuums. As an alternative to upright models, they offer compact designs with powerful suction and plenty of attachments for reaching tight spaces where dirt and dust tend to collect. When users buy our independently chosen editorial picks, we may earn commissions to support our work. Skip to the best canister vacuum on Amazon.

10. Hoover CH32008

With its high-capacity dust bin, the Hoover CH32008 is perfect for cleaning restaurants, offices, or any other commercial space. Operating at a noise level of just 62 decibels when set to hush mode, it can be used during normal business hours without causing disturbances.
  • price is affordable
  • eco mode saves on electricity
  • it's very bulky
Brand Hoover Commercial
Model CH32008
Weight 19.8 pounds
Rating 3.7 / 5.0

9. Oreck XL Pro 5

The Oreck XL Pro 5 includes a 30-foot long extension cord, a comfortable handle with an easy-access power switch, an adjustable extension wand, and disposable bags, all of which help to facilitate the rapid cleanup of large areas. However, it tends to be noisy.
  • comes with 11 accessories
  • good option for cleaning stairs
  • the shoulder strap breaks easily
Brand Oreck Commercial
Model BB900-DGR
Weight 11 pounds
Rating 4.0 / 5.0

8. Eureka Mighty Mite

Weighing less than 9 pounds, the Eureka Mighty Mite is super easy to transport to any room in your home. In addition to its suction power, the onboard blower port can clear away leaves and dust, making it a formidable option for cleaning the garage as well.
  • has a 12-amp motor
  • auto shutoff functionality
  • it's on the loud side
Brand Eureka
Model 3670G
Weight 11.8 pounds
Rating 3.7 / 5.0

7. Soniclean Galaxy

The German-made Soniclean Galaxy boasts a powerful 1,150-watt variable speed motor for strong suction that easily picks up pet hair, making it a worthy alternative to upright vacuums. Its large rubber wheels glide smoothly over any surface, making cleanup a breeze.
  • built-in clog indicator light
  • nozzle attachment for crevices
  • filter bags are a pain to replace
Brand Zenith Technologies, LL
Model GC-1150
Weight 20 pounds
Rating 3.6 / 5.0

6. Bissell 1547

Attack your biggest vacuuming projects by arming yourself with the Bissell 1547. Its specialized turbine foot attachment is tough on dirt without damaging your hardwood floors, while the integrated tank conveniently opens from the bottom for quick dust disposal.
  • extension cord is retractable
  • very easy to carry
  • not ideal for removing pet hair
Brand Bissell
Model 1547
Weight 18.2 pounds
Rating 4.0 / 5.0

5. Electrolux UltraFlex

Delivering 3 levels of height adjustments, cyclonic suction, and a self-cleaning brush roll, the Electrolux UltraFlex is a dependable option for use on plush carpeting. Its HEPA filter can be washed and reused, eliminating the need to constantly replace it.
  • can store horizontally or vertically
  • tools attach neatly to the handle
  • the hose is a bit stiff
Brand Electrolux
Model EL4335B
Weight 25.3 pounds
Rating 4.4 / 5.0

4. Shark Rotator Lift-Away

The Shark Rotator Lift-Away features a powered floor nozzle equipped with LED headlights for illuminating and cleaning those dark and hard-to-reach areas around your home, such as under furniture or in closets. But its small dust container requires emptying often.
  • easy-swivel steering
  • 5-year limited warranty
  • the wheels aren't very durable
Brand SharkNinja
Model NR96
Weight 29.4 pounds
Rating 3.8 / 5.0

3. ProTeam ProVac

The commercial-quality ProTeam ProVac offers an impressive 10-quart capacity for dust and dirt, equaling 3 times that of most upright vacuum cleaners. The flexible hose and telescoping wand can reach up to 7 feet above the floor to clean stairs, vents, and light fixtures.
  • 50-foot power cord
  • extremely sturdy construction
  • good for restaurants and offices
Brand ProTeam
Model 107154
Weight 28 pounds
Rating 5.0 / 5.0

2. Dyson Multifloor

Setting the Dyson Multifloor apart from the competition is its ability to self-right in the event it topples over. Its ball-shaped structure houses most of its core components, ensuring smooth and extremely responsive turns on most floor surfaces around your house.
  • high-capacity dust bin
  • stiff bristles remove deep-down dirt
  • hypoallergenic hepa filtration
Brand Dyson
Model 205779-01
Weight 21 pounds
Rating 4.6 / 5.0

1. Miele Complete C3 Cat & Dog

Ideal for large rooms with deep carpeting, the Miele Complete C3 Cat & Dog is equipped with a 6-speed motor and convenient foot switch controls for adjusting its level of suction power. The active charcoal filter helps to absorb and eliminate unpleasant pet odors.
  • ergonomically-designed handle
  • parquet twister for smooth surfaces
  • 5 levels of height adjustment
Brand Electrolux
Model EL6986A
Weight 21.1 pounds
Rating 4.7 / 5.0

The Importance Of Being A Fan Of Suction

A vacuum cleaner needs suction like 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 on December 14, 2017 by Jeff Newburgh

A dedicated writer and communications professional spending his days lost in the intricacies of both proposal and freelance writing. When not sharing the knowledge of both fully and self-insured medical benefits to employer groups of all industries within California, Jeff Newburgh can be found at home spending time with his family and 3 dogs, pondering the next chew toy to be thrown, while kicking back and relaxing with a nice glass of red wine.

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