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Today, that’s not the case because the manufacturers upgraded their technologies to provide more modern canisters. These units are now powerful, easy-to-use, and quite simple.
Nowadays, people search for feature-packed vacuums though those can often be overwhelming. For this reason, you might want to consider going back to the good, old canister vacuum.
This type of vacuum is effortless and straightforward to use. Its features and specifications are hassle-free, and the vac is usually quite straightforward.
Still, finding a quality canister vacuum cleaner isn’t always the easiest thing to do. The market is packed with so many different vacuums, which makes it tricky to select only one.
Continue reading as we discuss some of the best canister vacuums and how to choose one.
How to Pick The Right One
You should familiarize yourself with a few factors before you opt for any particular model. Consider things like weigh and noise level of your vac of choice and whether that’s the best option for your needs and preferences.
Check below for some useful information on the most critical factors you should consider before you buy a canister vacuum.
Canisters are usually quite versatile and able to clean everyone in your house/apartment. Because they have a hose and several accessories, canisters can reach different areas, nooks, and crannies that other vacs can’t get to.
A versatile canister vacuum has several accessories as well as a long hose and power cable. It’s what allows you to tackle different floors and areas that aren’t as easily accessible.
In most cases, these perform well on bare floors, hard floor, and carpets, though you should consider a canister vacuum with height adjustment settings for even more versatility.
Canisters usually weigh less than uprights, so they’re easier to maneuver with. However, many factors can impact this, and you should consider them all.
Weight is a significant factor that dictates whether a unit is easily maneuverable. Also, ergonomic handles help you move the vac around when you can’t pull it. It’s a useful little feature to consider if you have stairs.
You want a canister vacuum cleaner that has a sturdy wand and a durable hose since that’s what you’ll use to pull it. Speaking of the hose – there’s a sweet spot between a hose that offers extended reach and the one that gets tangled and is difficult to store.
As we mentioned, weight is quite important since it determines how easily you’ll maneuver with the canister vacuum cleaner. Canisters are designed to be pulled by the hose, and the last thing you want is to pull a heavy vacuum cleaner.
Also, you’ll probably have to pick up the vac or even carry it up and down the stairs. Units that are too heavy are also challenging to use regardless of the floor surface.
You should consider units weighing from 15 to 20 pounds maximum. Plenty of canisters are more lightweight than that, but feel free to use those numbers for guidance.
Canisters are designed to be used as main, full-sized vacuums. These aren’t meant for spot cleaning or maintenance like robot vacuums, for example. Though you could use it for spot cleaning, it’s far more convenient to get a more compact option such as a handheld maybe.
For a canister vacuum to be your full-time vac, it has to be powerful and provide continuous suction. Some of these cleaners have a suction-speed switch allowing you to control its suction a bit more. This is especially convenient for when you’re cleaning sensitive areas such as hardwood.
Suction power is that much more important if you have pets, due to persistent pet hair. And if that’s the case, we’ve recommended a couple of popular canister vacs for pet hair.
These are known as low-maintenance units, which is one of the reasons for their popularity. Most canisters have bags that you simply throw away when full. Though it’s not the most eco-friendly thing to do, it’s hassle-free.
However, make sure that extra bags are easy to find and aren’t too expensive. These bags are often quite large, so they don’t require as frequently replacing. In other words, you won’t have to spend lots of money on extra pieces.
The only other thing you’ll maybe have to deal with is the filtration system. If the filters are washable, you’ll have to rinse them now and then depending on how frequently you vacuum and whether you have pets, since you probably deal with persistent pet hair in that case.
All vacuums make noise, so it’s quite impossible to find a quiet canister vacuum cleaner. However, some are louder than others, so make sure to consider that before you decide for a cleaner.
Canisters are no exception, so some are loud while others aren’t as much. Either way, you can hear them all from the moment you turn them on until you turn them off.
In most cases, more suction power means more noise. On top of that, narrow accessories such as a crevice tool tend to make the operation louder than normally.
A warranty is always important, so make sure not to overlook it. What you want is a reliable brand that stands behind its product by offering a long-lasting warranty deal. Brands provide everything from 30-day trials, one-year warranties to 10-year warranties.
However, the duration isn’t the most critical thing here. People often think that the most extended warranties are the best, but what’s more important is to consider how limited the deal is.
In most cases, brands don’t really cover for anything other than faulty materials and manufacturing errors. The deal doesn’t cover things like belts, brushes, and bags. Also, most warranties don’t cover damage caused by unauthorized repair, misuse, neglect, and weather conditions.
Bagged or Bagless
Both bagged, and bagless units have their pros and cons. Which of the two is better depends on your needs and preferences, so make sure to think about that.
Bagged vacuums tend to last longer than those without bags. They’re less likely to clog and are easier to maintain. However, they’re not eco-friendly since you’ll continuously buy and throw away bags.
A canister vacuum cleaner might be a better choice for allergy-prone people as well.
Bagless cleaners are more cost-effective and eco-friendly. They have dust cups that you just empty when needed, so there are no additional costs.
Corded or Cordless
Cordless stick vacuums appear to be more popular nowadays because they eliminate the hassle of trying to store the cable.
However, these are battery-operated and as such, have a limited runtime. Though you won’t have to think about power sockets and cord wraps, you’ll have to consider charging time and remaining battery life.
Both types have their pros and cons, so you must consider your needs and preferences before you make the final decision. Keep in mind that canister vacuums are almost always corded.
|22.6 lbs||27.9 x 16.2 x 13.8 in||28 ft|
|11.9 lbs||9 x 17.5 x 11.6 in||20 ft|
|19.4 Ibs||19.5 x 11.2 x 8.9 in||22 ft|
|5 Ibs||13.5 x 5.2 x 8 in||30 ft|
|16.1 Ibs||18.2 x 8.7 x 11 in||18 ft|
|8.3 Ibs||N/A||33 ft|
|26 Ibs||24.5 x 15.5 x 16.9 in||24 ft|
|11.6 Ibs||17 x 11.5 x 13 in||21 ft|
|11 Ibs||11 x 16 x 11 in||3.5 m|
|10.9 Ibs||16 x 12 x 10 in||21 ft|
|13 lbs||12.9 x 19.2 x 15 in||18 ft|
Canister Vacuum Reviews
Kenmore is among the leading brands when it comes to canister vacuums. It’s been around for years already, offering a wide range of different appliances. However, its 600 canister vacuum is still one of the best-selling such vacuums.
It’s a bagged vacuum that features a swivel head and multi-purpose design. As such, this canister vacuum cleans all surfaces and kinds of messes.
It features a motorized attachment for stubborn dander, pet hair, and dirt that are embedded into your carpets. Also, its Pop-N-Go brush stores inside the vacuum and attaches to the handle for quick and easy use.
Kenmore 600 comes with an aluminum telescopic wand that’s adjustable and lengthens to provide another 10.5’ of reach. It also comes with two floor nozzles, a crevice tool, bare floor tool, and a dusting brush.
- HEPA filter
- 2-motor system
- Retractable cord
- It’s somewhat loud
Eureka Mighty Mite Canister Cleaner
The Eureka Mighty Mite is one of the best-selling models from this brand. It’s a unique canister vacuum cleaner that offers efficient and quick cleaning of different floor surfaces, including both hard floor and carpet.
This one is convenient for both indoor and outdoor use. You can use it to clean your car interior without worrying it might overheat because it has auto shut-off.
On top of that, the vac has a blower power allowing you to use it as a blower. This is ideal if you’re often working in your garage or have a workshop that requires frequent cleaning.
It weighs a little less than 12 pounds and comes with a few extra accessories. The package includes a bare-floor nozzle, deluxe floor brush, combination tool, crevice tool, and a turbo nozzle.
- Fingertip controls
- Easy to carry
- For indoors and outdoors
- On/off button takes a bit getting used to
Miele Complete Canister
This canister vacuum features the 1200-watt Miele Vortex motor. It’s powerful, provides continuous suction, and as such, it’s suitable for all floor types.
The vac is excellent for hardwood as it comes with a soft parquet brush and adjustable height settings. It features a telescopic tube, allowing you to reach different areas with 33’ operating radius.
It has a 6-stage rotary dial for suction control, which is excellent if you have multiple different surfaces in your home. On top of that, it comes with a 4.76-quart filter bag, AirClean filter, combination tool, parquet twister, crevice tool, and upholstery tool.
This one is ergonomically designed, and its comfortable handle allows extended use. It has castor wheels for more effortless mobility and the three-point maneuverability settings. Another feature worth mentioning is the automatic FilterBag positioning.
- Convenient suction control
- Plenty of attachments
- 33’ operating radius
- Not for thick carpets
Oreck Commercial BB900DGR
This compact commercial vacuum cleaner is easy to use and carry around. It comes with an integrated handle and a comfortable shoulder strap for portability.
Its 4-amp, two-stage bypass motor is powerful and quiet, so its suction is also continuous and doesn’t die over time.
This canister vacuum comes with an adjustable extension wand with a 4ft hose for extended reach. This allows you to get to ceiling fans, vents, and other such hard-to-reach places.
It’s also great for other above-floor surfaces such as stairs, upholstery, curtains, and all kinds of nooks and crannies. The vac is equally as suitable for different floor surfaces such as area rugs, bare floors, and low-pile carpets.
It weighs 5 pounds and has a 1-quart dust capacity. The BB900DGR features a 30ft power cord which allows you to clean for an extended period without changing sockets all the time.
- Ideal for above-floor surfaces
- Extended reach
- Some cheap plastic parts
Miele Classic C1
The Classic C1 is among the best canister vacuums for thorough cleaning of different surfaces. It’s a versatile canister vacuum that’s easy to use and carry around the house.
It’s powerful thanks to the 1200-W Miele Vortex motor which offers continuous suction and efficiency. The vac features a 6-setting rotary dial for suction control, allowing you to adjust its suction based on the surface you’re cleaning.
This one is great for both low-pile carpets and hard floors. It has a footswitch allowing you to switch from one surface to another with ease. On top of that, its metal sole plate and rubberized wheels allow smooth gliding across different surfaces.
The Classic C1 comes with a few standard accessories clipped to the hose. It includes a dusting brush, crevice tool, and an upholstery tool allowing you to reach all tight areas.
- AirClean Filtration System
- 29.5ft operating radius
- 4.76-qt dust bag
- Not for thick carpets
Hoover is well-known for their canister vacs, so this one might be what you’re looking for. It’s a commercial vac with a built-in blower allowing more versatility and indoor/outdoor cleaning.
The unit comes with a reusable commercial cloth bag although a paper option is also available. The canister is compact and easy to carry around since it weighs only 8.3 pounds.
It’s among the best canister vacuums for cleaning tight spaces and hard-to-reach areas inside your house or a vehicle. It comes with a long 33’ cable allowing you to cover larger areas without changing sockets as often. On top of that, its hose also stretches which adds even more to its reach.
The 7.4-Amp motor is powerful and offers continuous suction. It comes with a cleaning accessory pack which includes some of the most popular tools and attachments.
- Compact and lightweight
- Built-in blower
- 33’ power cord
- No cord storage area
Kenmore 22614 Bagless Canister Lightweight
If you’re a pet owner and you have to clean pet hair frequently, you might want to check out this Kenmore canister. It’s designed to make it easier to clean after pets, which will be particularly helpful if you’re struggling with pet hair.
Its Pet PowerMate attachment picks up pet hair, dander, and whatever else your pet might leave behind. On top of that, it comes with HEPA-certified filter that’s efficient in trapping even the tiniest allergens inside the unit, expelling only clean air.
This one is unique because it doesn’t feature any bags, but a dust cup, which is unusual for a canister vacuum. The innovative design saves you the cost of bags and is more eco-friendly.
It comes with a crevice tool, aluminum telescopic wand, motorized Pet PowerMate, dust brush/upholstery tool, and a 24ft power cord. The cord retracts into the unit for easier storage.
- HEPA filtration
- Pet tools included
- No accessory storage
Electrolux EL4335B Corded Canister
This versatile and compact canister vacuum is ideal for all floor types. It has a powerful motor and adjustable suction power for different surfaces.
Its brush roll is motorized, but you can shut it off for when cleaning bare floors and hardwood. The three levels of suction power and height adjustment settings allow you to go from one surface to another with ease.
It features a HEPA exhaust filter and dust capacity of 1.4 dry quarts. It’s cost-effective since you won’t have to keep buying dust bags all the time.
One of the best things is how convenient the unit is. All its controls are within reach and at your fingertips, providing hassle-free operation.
Its self-cleaning brush roll is ideal for people who have to vacuum frequently due to pet hair. On top of that, the unit comes with quite a few accessories to make the cleaning process more comfortable.
- Fingertip controls
- Cyclonic Action
- Easy-Empty Technology
- Stiff hose
COSTWAY Canister Cyclonic
If you’re looking for a bagless canister, you might want to check out this Costway vac. It features Cyclonic action and Multi-Level filtration with seven levels that protect you from pollution and allergens.
Thanks to its 1200W of power, the vac is ideal for cleaning different types of surfaces.
It comes with two tools, an extension hose and a telescopic wand for more versatility. On top of that, the adjustable suction power allows you to go from one surface to another with ease. It’s quite useful for cleaning tight areas, nooks, and crannies with embedded dirt.
It has wheels which make the unit easier to move around. Plus, the ergonomic handle is comfortable and great for carrying the vac up and down the stairs.
- Cord Length: 3.5 m
- Weight: 11 Ibs
- Motor Power: 1200 W
- Two hoses included
- 360-degree hose swivel
- Compact and portable
- Too powerful for area rugs
This Electrolux unit is compact, easy to use, and equally as simple to store away. It’s a small vacuum that features Silence Pro system allowing quieter operation with minimal noise that would disturb your household.
However, don’t let its size fool you because the EL4021A is powerful. It’s efficient on both carpets and bare floors, providing deep cleaning of embedded dirt.
Its HEPA filter captures and traps up to 99.97% of airborne dirt, dust, allergens, and pollutants. As a result, the air in your home is fresher and cleaner.
The package includes a dusting brush, crevice tool, and upholstery nozzle for easier above-floor cleaning of different surfaces.
Another thing worth noting is that the cleaner is bagless. It features a transparent dust canister with the easy-empty system allowing hassle-free use. The canister is quite small due to the overall size of the vac.
- Cord Length: 21 ft
- Weight: 10.9 Ibs
- Motor Power: 1080 W
- HEPA filtration
- Quiet operation
- Compact design
- Some flimsy plastic parts
Bissell Hardfloor Multi-Cyclonic Bagless Canister
Bissell is known for its compact bagless canister vacuums. One of the most popular ones is definitely the 1547 Multi-Cyclonic model.
Its Multi-Cyclonic technology provides continuous suction that lasts longer than with other Bissell canisters. Combined with such suction, the Hard floor Turbine foot picks up even the toughest and most embedded dirt.
Its 9.2-Amp power rating and 11-inch cleaning path work hand in hand to deliver the best performance from the brand.
On top of that, the unit comes with a multi-surface foot that works great on carpeted floors and area rugs. It has a tank that’s easy to empty and transparent so you can see when it’s full. The tank has a capacity of some 67.6 fluid ounces.
At first glance, you’ll notice how compact it is. Such size makes the unit easy to maneuver with and carry around.
- Compact design
- Multi-Cyclonic technology
- For bare floors and carpets
- Flimsy plastic parts
How Does a Canister Vacuum Work?
A basic canister vacuum has the motor, fan, filter, exhaust port, bag, wand/hose, intake port, and the rotating brush. Some might come with a few other things, but that’s generally that for most vacs.
What happens is dust gets tricked into the intake port. It’s then swept up by the brush, going up the hose and into the canister. In most cases, it ends up in the bag or trapped in the air filter.
To get a better understanding, you should know all its parts and how they work.
- The intake port – it’s where all the dust and dirt gets inside the vac. With canister vacuums, this port is at the end of your hose or wand.
- The rotating brush – it spins, and is located inside the intake port. Its primary role is to provide the extra little push for picking up certain pieces that might be a bit heavier. In most cases, it has bristles that encourage the debris to get closer to the port.
- The wand and hose – these work together, so most vacs usually include both parts. You can attach different accessories at the end of the hose/wand. You might want longer hose and wand since more length means extended reach.
- The motor – this is what makes the fan spin. A powerful motor spins the fan more quickly, and as a result, it provides better suction power. It’s what runs the vac and sucks in all the dirt and debris from your floors.
- The filter and exhaust port – the filter traps dust particles from the air before it goes out to the exhaust port. It’s an extra layer of protection. The exhaust port is where all the air leaves the vac, going back into your breathing space.
Difference Between Canister and Upright Vacuums
These two types are quite different in many ways. One of the most significant differences is definitely the design. Uprights stand tall, and you’re supposed to push them in front of you and canisters lay on the ground while you pull them.
For this reason, uprights are somewhat more popular when it comes to modern looks and attractive design. However, there’s more than just that.
Uprights are usually cheaper, but that depends on many other factors as well. Also, they have motorized brushes, allowing them to perform better on carpets.
However, they’re almost always louder than canister vacuums. Most uprights are heavy and aren’t as convenient to use in corners, nooks, and crannies.
Canister vacs are more versatile and tend to be more powerful. In most cases, they’re also more comfortable to maneuver with and carry around than uprights. They’re quieter than uprights and usually come with more attachments and accessories.
Still, note that with canisters, you’ll have to bend over from time to time, which is something you don’t have to do with uprights. Canister vacs usually have dust bags, while uprights have dirt cups though some exception can be found with both models.
Is Canister Better Than Upright?
It’s hard to tell which one is the best even though there are quite a few apparent differences between the two types. Both have their pros and cons, so you’ll have to think about what works the best for you.
Canister vacuums are ideal for hardwood and other bare floors, which is where uprights aren’t usually as impressive. However, uprights have motorized brushes and tend to be better on carpets, especially the thick ones.
Canister models are easier to maneuver with and carry around. On top of that, they’re usually more compact and easier to store away when not in use. In most cases, they’re also more powerful than uprights, but keep in mind that depends on several other factors as well.
They’re equally as versatile but might do better in avoiding obstacles and cleaning under furniture. Ultimately, it’s up to you to choose based on your needs and preferences since both types are quite impressive.
Q: Are Canister Vacuums Good for Hardwood Floors?
A: As we mentioned, these are among the top vacuums for hardwood, tile, and other bare floors. They usually don’t come with any motorized tools, so they’re gentle on these delicate surfaces.
However, if a motorized tool is included, make sure to check if it can be shut off. Also, you’re supposed to pull it behind you, so check its wheels and whether they could damage hardwood. Look for wheels that are rubberized and can’t scratch onto these surfaces.
Q: How Long do Canister Vacuums Last?
A: How long a vac will last usually depends on how well was it built in the first place. Does it feature quality parts or its components are flimsy and cheaply made? Ask yourself this simple question when trying to figure out how long the vac will last.
An average lifespan is some eight years, but only if you use the unit accordingly. All vacuum cleaners require maintenance and care
You should only use it per the manufacturer’s instructions. Misuse and neglect of its parts and components shorten its lifespan quite a lot. However, all brands and cleaners are different when it comes to longevity.
Q: Where Can I Buy One?
A: Canister cleaners are generally easy to come across. However, finding a quality and reliable model isn’t the simplest thing. If you want a long-lasting and quality canister vacuum, you should buy one from a reputable seller.
Some of the best places to buy this type of cleaner are Target, Walmart, and Lowes. Check which of these stores you have in the neighborhood and see if they hold the model you’re interested in.
Though many people consider canister vacuums outdated and old-fashioned, it’s almost always because they haven’t come across the right models.
Industry-leading brands offer plenty of canisters that range in size, efficiency, features, and accessories. In other words, there’s something for everyone if you know what to look for.
The models we reviewed above are the best of what the market offers. They’re quality-made but differ in features, ease of use, and efficiency.
Take a moment to also think about the crucial factors we discussed in our buyer’s guide. That information can help you understand what would work the best for your needs and floors types.
Sources and Resources
- Special Review Study Vacuum Cleaners
- Household Vacuum Cleaners Market Analysis By Product