The 10 Best HEPA Vacuums

Updated March 11, 2017 by Brett Dvoretz

10 Best HEPA Vacuums
Best High-End
Best Mid-Range
Best Inexpensive
We spent 40 hours on research, videography, and editing, to review the top selections for this wiki. Don't you hate it when you try and do a good deed by vacuuming the house, but end up with a nasty smell everywhere? Time to ditch that old system and switch to one of these modern HEPA vacuums that feature advanced filters to prevent pet dander, dirt particles, allergens and dust from getting recirculated into the air you breathe. When users buy our independently chosen editorial picks, we may earn commissions to support our work. Skip to the best hepa vacuum on Amazon.

10. Oreck Ultimate CC1600

The Oreck Ultimate CC1600 is surprisingly powerful for its small size. It has a flexible 60" hose and comes with a crevice tool that makes it easy to get into tight spaces. Though it is lightweight, at just 5lbs, some users may get tired of having to carry it all the time.
  • onboard tool storage
  • three-year warranty
  • poor quality shoulder strap
Brand Oreck
Model CC1600
Weight 9.1 pounds
Rating 3.6 / 5.0

9. Hoover Anniversary WindTunnel

The Hoover Anniversary WindTunnel allows you to select hard or carpet floors, and then even take it a step further by adjusting for low, medium, and high pile carpet. Additionally, it is self-propelled so you won't wear yourself out while vacuuming.
  • indicates when floors are clean
  • includes two extension wands
  • replacing bags can get costly
Brand Hoover
Model U6485900
Weight 24.5 pounds
Rating 3.7 / 5.0

8. Atrix VACBP1

If you're tired of damaging your walls and furniture with other clunky, unwieldy vacuum cleaners, consider the Atrix VACBP1. It's designed to be carried around like a backpack and is surprisingly comfortable once the straps are customized to your torso.
  • good for split-level homes
  • can be converted into a blower
  • requires an extension cord
Brand Atrix
Model VACBP1
Weight 17.8 pounds
Rating 4.2 / 5.0

7. Shark Navigator Lift-Away NV356E

The unique design of the Shark Navigator Lift-Away NV356E offers the power and convenience of an upright model with the versatility of a carried vacuum. Conveniently, its telescoping wand can be completely removed to use it in tight areas, like on stairs or under cabinets.
  • can turn the brush roll on or off
  • large dust storage compartment
  • two-step filtration
Brand SharkNinja
Model NV356E
Weight 23.6 pounds
Rating 3.6 / 5.0

6. Eufy RoboVac 11

Lazy homeowners, or some might say smart homeowners, will certainly benefit from the Eufy RoboVac 11. It automatically cleans your floors using a combination of powerful suction, a rolling brush head, and side brushes that pull dirt out of tight corners.
  • uses an ir sensor to avoid obstacles
  • auto returns to the docking station
  • not suitable for thick carpet
Brand Eufy
Model AK-T2102111
Weight 9.4 pounds
Rating 3.8 / 5.0

5. Kenmore 22614

Because of its large rear wheels and compact body, the Kenmore 22614 won't get caught up on tight turns and easily follows you around from room to room as you clean. Also, it comes with a helpful dedicated pet hair attachment.
  • doesn't require bags
  • never tips over
  • canister fills up quickly
Brand Kenmore
Model 22614
Weight 27.5 pounds
Rating 4.1 / 5.0

4. Soniclean Galaxy 1150 Canister

From plush or shag carpets to hardwood floors, the Soniclean Galaxy 1150 Canister will get the job done well with one of its five interchangeable heads. Also, its hose rotates a full 360 degrees, making it easier to maneuver as needed.
  • adjustable suction power
  • made in germany
  • rubber wheels won't damage floors
Brand Zenith Technologies, LL
Model GC-1150
Weight 20 pounds
Rating 4.1 / 5.0

3. Dyson V8 Absolute

From the company that revolutionized the industry comes the Dyson V8 Absolute. It is their most powerful cordless model and includes two cleaner heads, one for hard floors and one for carpets. Pet owners will appreciate how effective it is on stubborn animal hairs.
  • converts into a handheld model
  • highly responsive trigger
  • easy and hygienic dirt ejection
Brand Dyson
Model 214730-01
Weight 12 pounds
Rating 4.7 / 5.0

2. iLife V3s

Cleaning your floors doesn't have to be a chore with the robotic, and surprisingly affordable, iLife V3s. It has a slim body to slide underneath furniture, where dust and hairballs often hide, and it can climb over 15mm obstacles to transition between floor types.
  • quieter than many other vacuums
  • battery lasts nearly two hours
  • four different cleaning modes
Model ILIFEV3S04
Weight 9.7 pounds
Rating 4.6 / 5.0

1. Miele Complete C3 Calima

The Miele Complete C3 Calima features an air-driven rotating brush that makes it capable of pulling up stubborn dirt from carpet and hard floors, especially when paired with its adjustable six-stage suction capability. It also has a long cord and a handy telescoping wand.
  • appealing bright yellow color
  • automatic cord rewind
  • comes with three accessories
Brand Miele Complete C3 Calim
Model pending
Weight pending
Rating 4.7 / 5.0

Understanding The HEPA Vacuum

For years people have been vacuuming their homes thoroughly, and not understanding why their allergies would still act up. It was most likely because their vacuum cleaner was leaving tiny particles behind. A High-Efficiency Particulate Air filter vacuum can pick up any molecules as small as 0.3 microns. HEPA is really a type of filter more than it is a vacuum, and can even be found in many air purifiers. It can trap particles that are so small the human eye cannot see them. These particles hide in people's carpets long after they've been exposed to a regular vacuum. A piece of cat dander, for example, can be as small as one micron.

Many vacuums contain filters that cannot hold a particle that small. As a result, statistics show that 100 percent of American households test positive for some amount of pet dander. Other particles that HEPA vacuums are very effective at sucking up include mold spores, dust mites, and pollen, each of which is a common allergy and asthma trigger. The HEPA filter consists of very small fiberglass fibers. The vacuum's suction forces particles into the fiberglass mesh, but once they are in there, they cannot escape.

The filters in standard vacuums often have large enough openings that they allow particles out after they've sucked them in. For this reason, people often feel that the air quality in their home has improved immediately after vacuuming, but deteriorates quickly within the next day. A HEPA filter keeps contaminants from traveling out of the vacuum and back into the air and carpet. It can contribute to overall better air quality in a home and peace of mind that one's vacuum is doing a thorough job.

What To Look For In A HEPA Vacuum

If eliminating all allergens and bacteria in the home is already a concern, it's important that one's HEPA vacuum can reach into the tightest spaces. Even if people do not eat or even spend time in certain areas, that doesn't mean that allergens don't travel there. Think about fleas, for example, which do not stay in one place. Many of them hide under couch cushions and furniture after they hatch. Households with pets should purchase a HEPA vacuum that is either very compact or has slender attachments that can reach into tight places.

Spending the day vacuuming the entire house can be very tiresome, and it can cause back pain. Many HEPA vacuums come with shoulder straps and allow the user to wear the filter portion on their back, like a backpack. This not only relieves some strain on their back and shoulders but also leaves both of their hands entirely free to move the suctioning portion of the vacuum. It's not always easy to see if one has collected all of the dust in dark corners, which is why some HEPA vacuums include a lighted nozzle that illuminates the floor while you work.

Environmentally conscious homes might appreciate a bagless HEPA vacuum cleaner. These eliminate the need to throw away a bag after every vacuum cycle, contributing to the already massive amounts of waste households produce each year. While powerful, HEPA vacuums can also be very quiet. Those who live in small apartment buildings and don't want to disturb their neighbors should look for one with a 65-decibel or less rating.

History Of HEPA

The HEPA filter does not have its roots in domestic cleaning but rather in nuclear weapons. In the 1940s, the United States was involved in the Manhattan Project, a development initiative that created the first nuclear weapons during World War II. The HEPA filter's first job was to filter microscopic particles that had been contaminated by radioactive sources. The team behind the Manhattan Project discovered that the condensation of gasses and liquid aerosols created tiny solid particles about 0.3 microns in size, which is why modern HEPA filters can trap molecules of that size.

HEPA filters did not become available for non-war purposes until after World War II. In the 1950s many medical facilities like pharmaceutical labs and surgical rooms began using them. HEPA filters are in fact required for the cleanup of asbestos, the removal of toxic lead and any sort of chemical cleaning. They're even utilized in computer chip manufacturing.

HEPA filters were a critical part of the first U.S. moon landing. This technology provided the air supply and recirculation astronauts need to survive in space. Without the HEPA filter, the development and testing of many devices, including the first silicon chip, would not have been possible. Today manufacturers recognize the value of HEPA filters in air purifiers, vacuums and other home devices.

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Last updated on March 11, 2017 by Brett Dvoretz

A wandering writer who spends as much time on the road as behind the computer screen, Brett can either be found hacking furiously away at the keyboard or perhaps enjoying a whiskey and coke on some exotic beach, sometimes both simultaneously, usually with a four-legged companion by his side. He hopes to one day become a modern day renaissance man.

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