Staying at home during the pandemic probably means there’s more dirt in your carpets and crumbs hiding in the corners. So what’s the best way to pick up the mess? Consumer Reports has tested hundreds of vacuums to find out which ones are the best to keep floors clean.
Robotic vacuums are good at picking up dropped snacks and dust bunnies. Consumer Reports recommends the Eufy 11S for $220. It’s an affordable robovac that’s slim enough to get under furniture.
But a robovac shouldn’t be relied on as your only vacuum. To reach embedded dirt, you need an upright or canister vacuum. Lightweight vacuums like robots, handhelds and sticks don’t have the strong suction or the brush-roll combination that the bigger vacuums do.
If carpet is king in your house, an upright vacuum is a great choice. The brush pushes down into the pile, loosening and sucking up dirt. The Miele Dynamic U1 Cat & Dog for $699 excelled in CR’s carpet tests.
If you have carpeted stairs, canisters are much easier to maneuver. Take advantage of the on-board attachments to reach drapes and high cobwebs. The Kenmore Pop-N-Go BC4026 for $279 does an excellent job cleaning carpets and pet hair.
Stick vacuums are handy for quick cleanups, and they’re good on bare floors. CR’s tests have found that the corded models outperform battery ones.
A top-rated corded model like the Shark APEX Uplight Lift-Away DuoClean LZ601 4275 for $275 is great for picking up pet hair and stray debris.
Cordless stick vacuums may be easier to use, but a Consumer Reports survey found that nearly a third have a battery problem by their fifth year, and it doesn’t currently recommend them.
A final tip from Consumer Reports: Your vacuum will run better and for longer if you don’t wait until the bag or bin is full before you empty it. When it’s full, your vacuum has less suction. Take care of your appliances and they’ll take care of you.