The Best Upright and Canister Vacuums for 2023 Reviews by Wirecutter

We docked a point from its overall rating for its cleaning effectiveness, but it can still get the job done—on average, it cleaned up the cereal, popcorn kernels, and strands of hair in just three to five passes. At 3.5 quarts, the dust bin of this upright vacuum is larger than most, too. Our testing team loved this feature and found the dust bin to be super easy to empty.

As you browse through the models, consider which vacuum would work best for you in terms of weight, versatility across different surfaces, noise level, and reliability. You can find more criteria and how we rated models for each factor in our comprehensive canister vacuum ratings. Sure, a $340 Dyson vacuum won’t need new bags or filters or other replacement parts, shark robotic vacuums its five-year warranty is solid, the customer service is great, and Dysons do a great job of cleaning the most common types of flooring. And compared with a $600 Miele canister vacuum, the Dyson might last half as long (10 years), if you’re lucky. The main reason we love Miele canister vacuum cleaners is that they’re impressively sturdy, without feeling clunky.

These are the features that a vacuum cleaner needs in order to clean your entire home (bare floors, carpets, and some surfaces off of the floor, too) and to work reliably for more than a few months at a time. For excellent cleaning performance designed specifically for hardwood floors, the winner has to be the Bissell Hard Floor Expert canister vacuum. Accessories include — a hard floor cleaning head, multi-surface cleaning head, crevice tool, dusting brush, upholstery tool, shoulder strap, and cord wrap. Some vacuums perform better on certain types of flooring, so this is something to consider as you select a model for your home. For instance, the Shark SV1106 Navigator Freestyle Upright Stick Vacuum performs well on both hard floors and carpeting, making it ideal for homes with a combination of both.

shark canister vacuum

In addition to sucking up pet hair quickly, we also love this vacuum’s large dust bin because you won’t have to worry about emptying it mid-clean. When it is time to empty the dust bin, keep in mind that it’s a little tricky to pull apart. We found that if we didn’t properly place shark dustbuster the two pieces together, the vacuum lost suction power once restarted. We also had to pull some hair out of the dust cup from crevices that did not initially empty. This Shark model is a little bulky for a handheld vacuum, but we think the extra-large dust bin makes it worth it.

If you regularly forget to empty your vacuum’s dustbin, the Shark Wandvac Self-Empty System takes this important maintenance step off your hands, ensuring your vacuum is always ready to start cleaning. During testing, this handheld vacuum performed best on hard surfaces, easily sucking up both large and small pieces of debris. It did work on carpeting, but several additional passes were needed to pull up dirt and debris from the rug. The brand doesn’t list the vacuum’s runtime, but we found that it generally lasts for around 25 minutes per charge. There’s only one power setting available, but overall, we found it delivered impressive suction that’s more than enough for small cleaning jobs.

Although the vacuum cleaner is relatively lightweight and easy to steer, we did find that the handle was prone to standing itself back into an upright position while we were pushing the vacuum across bare floors. Canister-style vacuums are less common than uprights in the US and Canada, but are popular in Europe. It can feel weird to use one at first, since you’re pulling a little pod around behind you with a long hose. Canisters usually feel lighter to steer because most of the weight is on the ground, not in your hand.

If you do take care of a cheap upright vacuum, after a few sets of new belts and filters, it will end up costing more than our main pick. With the Shark Navigator Lift-Away guaranteed to last five years on warranty alone, the math proves that paying a little more right now will almost always save you money over time. For an upright vacuum that works well on carpets and bare floors, look no further than the Shark NV151 Navigator Swivel Pro Complete Upright Vacuum. This model has adjustable suction levels and brush roll speeds to maximize your cleaning efforts.

Whether it’s finding great products or discovering helpful advice, we’ll help you get it right (the first time). In a now-famous Reddit AMA from 2013, vacuum-shop manager and repair technician Brian Driscoll called out the Shark brand as being repair-prone. Allow the hose to sit and soak for a while to loosen the grime in the areas you cannot shark dustbuster reach easily. Finish by running clean water from a faucet through the hose until it comes out clean and clear from the other end. Take the hose to your sink or tub of soapy water and drop it in so it can fill with water. They must be completely dry first or prepare for mildew and mold—the last thing you ever want growing inside a vacuum.