The Best Canister Vacuums

Like most people, you’d agree that keeping the home clean can be extremely tedious; especially when it comes to dealing with dusty carpets, stained floors, getting beneath hard-to-move furniture and having stairs that require frequent cleaning.

This has made canister vacuums one of the most valuable tools for homeowners. And to the regular person out there that just wants a vacuum, the question would be; why is that?

Well, due to its extended functionalities. In the vacuuming arena, canister vacuums are a relatively modern innovation and they give extra usability; making it easy to clean the entire house. Its versatility and efficiency has made it a popular choice, compared to other vacuums.

Some functions that have endeared it to homeowners are:

Flexibility: Canister vacuums are flexible and easy to maneuver. Its flexible hose makes it easy to reach inaccessible areas and keep them clean.615oelao9ul-_sl1500_

Weight: They are light and can be easily carried from one room to another without tiring you out. This comes in handy for those who live in a multi-floor house and need to carry a vacuum from one floor to the other.

Power: Canister vacuums have a much stronger suction power, making them more effective in getting rid of dirt hidden away in carpets, tricky corners in-between hard-to-move furniture and other hard-to-reach places. Its augmented flow rate also makes cleaning faster and better.

Noise: Canister vacuums have a good amount of sound insulation and unlike traditional vacuums; most of them are virtually silent under normal operating conditions.

Additional Tools: Canister vacuums often come with additional fittings such as crevice nozzles, upholstery and mechanized brush, etc that makes them more efficient and by extension, make cleaning easier for you.

However, picking the best canister vacuum among the plethora of options that are available can be overwhelming. This article aims to guide and help you make the right decision in choosing the best canister vacuum to fit your lifestyle.

First Things First – Which is More Suitable for You?

Try shopping for a canister vacuum right now, and you’ll be dazed at the wide array of options that get thrown at you. But hold on, before falling for all the glitzy marketing whose sole aim is for you to grab your credit card; you need to do first things first!

Meaning, before choosing one, you need to objectively ascertain your home requirements and individual needs. This is important because, while the overall design of a canister vacuum is quite uniform, some are configured to suit specific needs. And you don’t want to purchase a canister vacuum that ends up in the garbage or gets stuffed in a storage closet because it doesn’t fit your needs.

Below are some considerations you may want to run through while you shop to help you make the best decision.

  1. Apartment Size

Having your apartment size in mind while deciding on a canister vacuum comes in handy for two main reasons.

Firstly, to help you decide on whether to choose a plug-in or cordless canister vacuum!

As it turns out, small apartments tend to have less space between large items, such as sofas, tables, appliances, etc. And while canister vacuums by virtue of their flexibility help to get under these hard-to-move furniture and appliances; getting a cordless one can make doing this much easier.

This is simply because cordless vacuums are free-roaming and they get around this furniture more easily. However, Plug-in vacuums on the other hand get their cords hung up on the corners or edges of those big objects, and can’t turn as quickly. And trust me, this can be frustrating!

However, if your apartment is much bigger and requires more than 15 minutes to get done with the whole vacuuming, then the plug-in would be the best choice.

Secondly, if your apartment isn’t too big, the obvious choice would be to go for a canister that takes up less space in storage.

  1. Pets

If you own pets, then you can be sure their hair, dander, fur, etc will often be found everywhere. This happens to be a constant source of dust, dirt & allergens and cleaning it up can feel like a never-ending battle. Some pet hair stick to upholstery and other surfaces where it cannot be removed unless you roll over it with a lint brush.

Hence, if you own a pet, it will be a smart move to get a canister vacuum that works better in picking up pet hair. These types come with a bunch of tools that pull almost every bit of pet debris from those hard to reach spaces like your furniture and floors. It’s not uncommon for users to marvel at the amount of pet hair, dust, and actual dirt they find in the dust cup or bag after using these types of vacuums.

And talking about bags, if you have a lot of hairy pets, you might want to avoid bagged vacuums entirely (we’d talk more about bagged or bagless vacuums further down the article). Pet hair fills the bagged compartment fast, and the cost of having to frequently replace them can add up to your costs.

  1. Flooring

You should put your flooring into consideration too. Most wood and tile floors are very hard; such that no vacuum will scratch them. However, there are instances where your flooring is not the very hard type. Such softwood floors are prone to scratches and if that’s what you have in your apartment, you may want to get a canister vacuum with a parquet floor tool.

This reduces the risk of causing accidental scratches and scuff marks on your floor. Also, bearing in mind that not all canister vacuums are lightweight; you want to find one that’s preferably lightweight so as to reduce the risk of damaging your soft floor.

In the same vein, by choosing a machine that’s not specifically designed for hardwood cleaning, you’re subjecting yourself to a risk of damaging your floor.

Additionally, if you have thick carpet flooring, then you’ll want to go for a canister vacuum that adequately caters for that; bearing in mind that high-pile carpets such as cable, shag, saxony, frieze, or long plush tend to pose a problem for some vacuums.

So, it’s basically a balancing act and you want to know what your specific need is before hitting the market.

  1. Allergies

Allergic concerns; especially when aggravated by dust are something you also want to consider when deciding to get a canister vacuum. In the instance where you or a family member is asthmatic or have allergies, you would most definitely want to go for a bagged vacuum, instead of a bagless one.

This is simply because bagged vacuums are better at holding dirt intact than bagless vacuums. Bagless canister vacuums can be messy to empty; exposing you to allergens and irritants.

I need to explicitly state that there’s nothing wrong with bagless vacuums. They do an excellent job of cleaning, but if you’ve got allergic and asthmatic concerns, you need to consider all the dust you will be exposed to when maintaining the bagless vacuum. Many of them use filters that need brushing or washing to remove trapped particles. These filters can return into your apartment the dirt and allergens you just removed.

On the other hand, bear in mind that bagged canister vacuums require frequent replacement of dirt bags and the costs could add up pretty quickly, while bagless vacuums only require emptying and cleaning of the dirt cup/canister.

  1. Multi-floor apartment

Canister vacuums are generally lightweight; when compared to their upright counterpart. They have smaller canisters that make them ideal for homes with more than one storey. Their weight makes it easy to manoeuvre them around a room or move up and down the stairs.

However, just because it’s designed to be “light” doesn’t mean that it’s light for you. You need to consider your present physical condition, especially if you live in a multi-floor apartment.

Are you strong enough to lift, squat, or bend-over while vacuuming? Put this into consideration when sourcing for your canister vacuum. You want to pick one that you can easily cope with when it comes to weight.

Answering the above questions about your specific needs objectively makes sifting through the plethora of choices much simpler. You can now make informed decisions that will meet those needs. Let’s now take a look at features to look out for in selecting the best canister vacuum for you.

Deciding On the Best

  1. Performance & Power

Canister Vacuum AttachmentsIdeally, the performance of a canister vacuum can be measured by the number of passes needed to clean a surface. And this is dependent on the suction power.

The more the suction power, the fewer the passes required. Insufficient suction power will result in inefficient cleaning performance. Hence, it is important to make sure that the model you are choosing has the right amount of power to clean your home.

Research has shown that air watts are the most accurate measurement for a machine’s cleaning power. Hence a vacuum with over 200 air watts is a good indication that it will be a powerful cleaner.

You may also want to pick a canister vacuum that’s a got power selector; this lets you reduce power consumption when not required or increase it if necessary to prevent multiple passes.

  1. Attachments

Canister vacuum cleaners come with various accessories and attachments that enhance the machine’s cleaning power. Some of these tools are dusting brushes, floor tool, rocker switch, crevice tools, upholstery tools, pet hair removal tools, etc.

However, there’s a high probability you won’t need them all, but just have to find out which one you need. The reason you need to have objectively ascertained your home requirements and individual needs.

You basically just need to check out if the model you decide to settle for includes the attachments you need when you go through the product description.

If your flooring is mostly bare floors:

You would want to get a canister vacuum that comes with a bare-floor brush. You also want to choose one that allows you to turn the brush roll off; to prevent scratching your hard floor surface.

If you have a lot of wall-to-wall carpeting:

You want to go for a vacuum that has special power brushes that reach deeper into your carpets and rugs, removing more dust and stains than common vacuum cleaners. You also want to go for one with an adjustable-height brush to ease pushing across the carpet.

Additionally, you may want to pick up models that have dirt sensors to ensure the tiniest grime is picked up without lots of extra back-and-forths.

If you have stairs:

You want to go for a canister with a long hose and attachments for getting in and around railings. Also, if you only want one vacuum for the entire house, select a lightweight machine; bearing in mind that you have to move it from one floor to another. Or you could just buy an additional, less expensive model that would be stationed upstairs.

If you want to additional things vacuumed:

You should go for models that have specially designed extras for removing pet hair, dusting ceiling fans and even cleaning mattresses. You’ll also want to go for one that’s got a power selector; allowing for variable suction, which is helpful for cleaning delicate items without damaging them.

If you or any of your family members suffer from allergies:

You would want to choose a canister vacuum that’s both sealed and has a HEPA filter, which traps 99.97% of dust, dander, pollen, and mould spores in the machine. If you choose one with poor filtration, it’ll end up scattering irritants that make you sneezy.

If you prefer quick cleanups:

You could go for the cordless that aren’t tethered to an outlet. You should be fine as long as the cleaning doesn’t require more than 15 minutes to get done with the whole vacuuming; because the batteries run for minutes(not hours), before needing a recharge.

If you’re considering a bagged vs. bagless:

Well, as I pointed out earlier; there’s nothing wrong with bagless vacuums. They do an excellent job of cleaning, but if you’ve got allergic and asthmatic concerns, you need to consider all the dust you will be exposed to when maintaining the bagless vacuum.

Bagged vacuums are less messy, but you need to have replacements on hand. And the cost of getting those replacements could add up pretty quickly.

In addition to all the above, you may want to look out for models with extra long cords to extend your reach even more.

  1. Air Quality

Dust tends to accumulate in homes through various means over time. Also, for those who own pets, dander may get embedded in their furniture or carpets. As a result of this; a persistent issue homeowners tend to have when vacuuming is dust particles and allergen circulation. During vacuuming, these small dust particles are sent directly to the lungs of the user.

And this is a major concern; especially if you or any member of your household suffers from allergies.

Hence, you want to get a canister vacuum with an allergen filter; so you can effectively rid your home of dust and allergens. There are many models that come specifically equipped with filters to ensure that all particles and allergens are removed along with all the dirt.

The best filtration is provided by the HEPA filter and it’s highly recommended you purchase a canister that has them. It filters 99.97% of dust particles and is designed especially for allergic people.

Bear in mind, however; canister vacuums with the HEPA filter are more expensive, but the additional features that they have more than compensate for the price.


  1. Durability and Warranty

To ensure you’re getting the best bargain; you want to get a canister vacuum from a manufacturer that offers a warranty and a good support team. This is important because the warranty protects you against malfunctions or manufacturer defects.

Most warranty usually ranges from 1-7 years and it’s an indication of the trust the manufacturers have in their own product; thus giving you additional peace of mind. The general rule is; the more durable and reliable the brand is, the longer the warranty and coverage you get.

However, you want to pay attention to the thin lines. You don’t want to find yourself in a situation where the warranty you thought would cover your vacuum cleaner is, in fact, worthless! Hence, you want to generally evaluate the post-purchase landscape associated with a particular canister vacuum cleaner; including of course, the overall company reputation.

  1. Price

Just as with other things you purchase, the price is something that almost always needs to be considered. And with respect to canister vacuums; there are powerful and efficient choices available at many different price points.

They range in price and can cost several hundred dollars for a top-quality model. And as a general rule; you will pay more for a vacuum with more power, durable design, better warranty, and special features and attachments.

However, being low on cash is not a deterrent when it comes to picking a top quality choice. You basically just need to decide what features you simply must have, and then find models that have these features and are priced within your set budget. You can shave off some dollars by looking out for the bundle options that come with extra attachments or on-board tools.

  1. Ease of Handling

This is something that’s extremely important to consider when choosing the best canister vacuum for you. And the ease of handling is a resultant effect of a combination of factors.

First off, the weight of the canister vacuum you pick determines a lot when it comes to ease of handling. Admittedly, canister vacuums are generally lighter that their upright counterpart, but you need to consider your present physical condition so as to avoid potential problems like back pain and fatigue. The weight would also determine the ease with which you maneuver your vacuum around a room or move it up and down the stairs. Ideally, most people are comfortable with up to about 15 lbs. Over that weight and it will feel too heavy.

Also, larger wheels come in handy if you have thick carpet flooring in your home; as it will make it easier to manoeuvre the canister vacuum. Small wheels make moving around tedious as you’d practically be dragging the vacuum on the carpets. They could also get jammed by power cords instead of simply rolling over them easily.

Secondly, if you have large rooms, you want to consider picking a canister vacuum with a power cord that is at least 20 feet long. This is convenient and saves you the trouble of having to continually switch from one power outlet to another. Bear in mind that the power cord length will vary according to the model and make of the vacuum.

Thirdly, if you want to vacuum more than the floors; look for telescopic wand attachment. The telescopic wand seamlessly adjusts the optimal distance in reaching high places, furniture or floors; making cleaning them much convenient than stretching.

Lastly, get a canister vacuum that has easily accessible controls. This is convenient, as you don’t want to have to be searching for them. Depending on where the controls are; you may be able to use your foot to turn it on and off; without having to bend over to turn on and put off the vacuum.

  1. Noise

If you live in an apartment where you’re concerned about disturbing your neighbours, then you want to specifically purchase a vacuum that will run quiet, but still be super efficient when it comes to cleaning. The best way is to check the product specification to ascertain the decibel level (dB). A vacuum with a decibel level in the 60-65 dB range will be extremely quiet and may be what you’re looking for.



There you have it! As you can see; there’s one size fits all; you’re going to have to ascertain your personal needs and requirements to choose the best canister for you. I hope I’ve been able to help?

If you have any further queries, feedback or suggestions then feel free to leave a message in the comment section below. I would love to hear from you!

Jenny Carlow

Jenny Carlow

I’m the owner and probably who’s writing you will mostly read here (sorry in advance!), after testing over 100 vacuums, I’ve got the knack of pretty much within the first 5 minutes being able to tell you how good a vacuum is. Some say it’s a super power…