Our Guide to Finding the Best Canister Vacuums for Carpet After 2015
Canister vacuums may not be as popular as their upright counterparts, but they tend to be quieter, are easier to maneuver and often offer more suction power. If you’ve decided to take the plunge and invest in a canister vacuum, you may be wondering which model is the right choice for you.
Panasonic MC-CG917 “OptiFlow” Bag Canister Vacuum Cleaner
Our favorite for 2020
Eureka AirExcel Compact No Loss of Suction Canister Vacuum
A very close runner-up
Miele Classic C1 Olympus Canister Vacuum Cleaner
A great model from Miele
When comparing models, there are a few things that you should look at:
- Canister type: Bagged and bagless models are available, so consider your personal preference here. Bagless models are convenient and don’t require you to spend extra money on bags, but bagged models are easier to empty because they don’t make a mess. The bags also keep dust, dirt and allergens trapped inside.
- Extra tools: What attachments and tools are included? If you have pets, you may consider a vacuum model that includes a motorized brush for easy cleaning of upholstery. Some models may also have special tools for cleaning hard flooring.
- Hose length: Unlike upright vacuums, canister models have a hose that connects the floor brush to the canister. It’s important to ensure that you choose a model with a hose that’s long enough to suit your needs.
- Weight: Most people choose canister models because they’re more compact and lightweight, so keep the weight of the vacuum in mind. Remember, you will need to either wheel the vacuum behind you, or carry it with you as you work.
Keep these four things in mind when comparing models. If you’re unsure of where to start your search, we’ve gathered the five best canister models on the market, so you can narrow your choices down to the right one for you.
These five models excel in performance, price and customer satisfaction, and include all of the key important factors listed above.
Bissel Zing Bagged Canister Vacuum – Bissel is a leader in the vacuum industry, and while they’re better known for their upright models, the company also offers excellent canister vacuums. The Zing is our favorite because it’s not only affordable, but just as powerful as an upright.
The Zing offers powerful suction that’s ideal for rugs, hard flooring and above floor cleaning. Just flip a switch, and you can transition from one floor type to another instantly. This model is lightweight (just 12.5 pounds) and compact, too, which makes it great for small homes and apartments.
We also loved that this vacuum includes:
- Automatic cord rewind
- Telescoping wand
- Suction control
- A full bag indicator
This is a bagged model, so you’ll need to purchase replacement bags in the future. However, the bags are extremely affordable and last quite a long time.
If you’re on a budget and don’t want to sacrifice on suction power, we highly recommend the Bissel Zing.
Panasonic MC-CG917 “OptiFlow” – Panasonic may not be known for their vacuums, but the OptiFlow canister model is an exception.
The great thing about the OptiFlow system is that it keeps the vacuum running at top efficiency even when the bag is full – or close to full. The 6-foot hose lets you get into those hard-to-reach areas, and it swivels for added maneuverability.
The MC-CG917 comes with an array of on-board tools, including a telescopic wand and tailored cleaning tools. There’s an upholstery and dusting brush that makes it easy to you clean your furniture and tabletops, while the crevice tool is great for in between couch cushions, and the pet hair air turbine is quick and efficient at removing pet hair from furniture.
A HEPA filter is included, too, to remove household allergens.
If you’re looking for the best canister vacuum for pet hair, this is it.
Eureka AirExcel Compact NLS – The Eureka AirExcel is a compact model that features a 9amp motor and a multi-cyclonic system that helps the machine maintain its suction. Weighing less than 8 pounds, this model is a pleasure to use.
Like the other models on our list, the AirExcel can be used on both bare and carpet flooring. A cord rewind system is also built-in to keep your cord neat and tidy when you’re done cleaning.
The one thing that sets this model apart from the others on our list is that it’s bagless. The canister empties from the bottom, which prevents messes. And there’s a HEPA filter built-in to remove up to 99% of dust and allergens in your home.
The Eureka AirExcel is the best bagless canister vacuum, and it comes at an exceptionally affordable price.
Miele Classic C1 Olympus – The Classic C1 Olympus from Miele may come at a higher price, but this model’s durability puts it a step ahead of the rest. German-engineered, each vacuum is tested to last 20 years without losing performance.
The nice thing about this model is that you can use it on all floor types. There’s a dial on the front of the machine that lets you change the speed of the motor, and a robust filtration system helps keep your home free of dust and allergens.
Three accessories are included that help you clean all of those hard-to-reach areas, and a telescopic wand allows you to reach up to 29.5 feet.
If you want a vacuum that will last at least two decades, this model is an excellent choice.
Electrolux UltraSilencer EL6986A – One of the biggest complaints with vacuums – upright or canister – is noise. Some models can be exceptionally loud, but as its name suggests, the Eureka UltraSilencer is extra-quiet. In fact, this model only produces a 65 dBA noise level, so you can clean quickly and quietly.
Easy to maneuver and store, this model is designed for low-pile carpeting and hard flooring.
The front of the machine features a convenient dial that allows you to adjust suction power from “gentle” to “powerful,” and a HEPA filter to remove dust and allergens from your home.
The included telescopic wand makes it easy to clean high or difficult-to-reach places, while the included attachments allow for easy dusting and cleaning of furniture.
If you’re looking for an extra-quiet canister vacuum, the Electrolux UltraSilencer is the right choice.
Buyers Guide – How to Choose the Best Canister Vacuum Cleaner for Carpet
Which canister vacuum is the right choice for you? We’ve supplied five great models, but which one should you choose? There are quite a few things to consider when narrowing your choices:
- Needs: Your needs are the first and most important thing. How often do you vacuum? Do you have pets? Homes with pets and children will require more suction power and additional tools to remove hair or dirt from upholstery and stairs. In this case, you’ll need more than just a basic machine.
- Price: Your budget will also determine which model you choose. Remember, this is an investment in your home and your health, so choose the best quality model that you can afford. The cheapest model may save you money, but it may leave behind a mountain of dirt, hair and allergens.
- Type: Do you want a bagged or bagless model? We discussed this briefly earlier, and it will be a major factor in what model you choose. Bagless is convenient, but bagged is less messy.
- Size and weight: The size of the vacuum and its weight is also important, especially if you have stairs or difficulty lifting heavier objects. Fortunately, most canister models are exceptionally lightweight. Size is another consideration, especially if you have a smaller home. If you’re short on space, consider a more compact model, like the Eureka AirExcel.
Buying a canister vacuum isn’t a decision you should make lightly. You’ll be using this tool to keep your home clean and healthy for years to come, so it’s often best to invest in a higher quality model that will last. All five models on our list are affordable, durable and high-performing.