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vacuum buying guide

Stick, upright, robotic, canister – how do you choose the best vacuum for you? This guide will provide a simple, step-by-step process for finding the vacuum that fits the size of your home and your lifestyle.

things to consider before buying a vacuum cleaner

How large is your home?

The best vacuum for small spaces is likely a cordless stick vacuum. In contrast, the best vacuum for a large house may be an upright with a wide sweep and long cord. If your home is multi-level, consider an upright vacuum with a long cord and plenty of accessories for hard-to-reach spots and a handheld vacuum for stairs.

What type of flooring do you have?

If your home features both carpeting and hardwood flooring, look for a vacuum designed to clean both. A multi-surface vacuum cleaner is a real time-saver because it transitions seamlessly between different flooring types. You can even select a multi-surface vacuum and mop combination for all-in-one cleaning.

What about bare flooring versus carpeting?

A bare floor vacuum focuses on removing dirt from smooth surfaces like tiled floor. The best vacuum for carpeting will have a motorized, rotating brush to loosen and remove more debris. For deep cleaning, consider a vacuum and carpet cleaner combination machine.

Does anyone in your household suffer from allergies?

The best vacuum for allergies uses a HEPA filter to keep your interior air cleaner and minimize allergies. A HEPA filter vacuum captures the dust and spores that can trigger respiratory distress in vulnerable family members. It helps with pet dander too.

What about house pets?

A pet vacuum can handle all that fur your pet seems to shed daily. Pet hair vacuums have special roller brushes that won’t get bound up by dog and cat fur. Robotic vacuums are a great choice for those with pets because they can be run on a schedule, meaning dander won't stick around for as long. Stick, upright, and canister vacuums are good options as well because they feature powerful suction, effectively removing hair and fur. They also come with attachments to make reaching pet hair easier, and you can find options with allergen filtration features.

What are the latest high-tech, time-saving vacuums?

Hard to fit cleaning into your schedule? Then consider a self-charging, self-emptying robot vacuum. These battery-powered smart vacuums clean automatically on your schedule. There are also options that aren't self-emptying but do include smart navigation and dual vacuum/mop features. Additionally, you can find high-tech vacuums that use lasers to detect microscopic dust on hardwood flooring or tiled floors.

Pro Tip: Be smarter about vacuuming. A once-over may not effectively clean your carpeting because the fibers bend only one way, concealing dirt. Instead, run your machine in at least two opposing directions to get the particles that you missed the first time.

what type of vacuum is right for you?

Stick vacuums boast slender, lightweight profiles that make them ultimately portable and storable. Choose from cordless, convertible models that double as handheld vacuums and corded models. What is the best stick vacuum? It’s the one with the features you need.

Upright vacuums come in many styles, including bagged and bagless. A bagged upright vacuum typically accepts both standard and HEPA filters for allergen control. If you need strong suction, adjustability for different surfaces, and a wider sweep, an upright vacuum is the answer.

Robotic vacuums are bagless, programmable, and rechargeable. A robot vacuum with laser technology can clean carpeted and hard surfaces, handle pet hair, access tight spaces, and avoid obstacles. Options include dual-function robot vacuum and mops and self-emptying robot vacuum cleaners. These vacuums can even be controlled via an app.

Canister vacuum cleaners feature powerful suction, wheeled portability, and lightweight wand attachments. They can be bagless or bagged. A canister vacuum comes with attachments for stairs and upholstery, plus it works well on pet hair.

Handheld vacuums are great for spot cleaning crumbs on the breakfast table. They are lightweight for easy handling and store in compact spaces. A handheld, portable vacuum cleaner is perfect for car, boat, and pet hair cleanup too.

Steam cleaners keep your floors sanitized and sparkling. Steam mops are similar in size to standard mops, but they create cleansing steam for a deeper clean. Steam cleaners are indispensable if you have infants, toddlers, or house pets underfoot.

Carpet cleaners provide professional-grade results. These machines come in stick, upright, and handheld styles. A carpet cleaner vacuum is a dual-function machine. Many have special features for handling pet shedding and stains. An added benefit, carpet cleaners improve your carpet's performance and prolong its life span.

Hard floor vacuums and cleaners remove dust, grime, and microorganisms from wood, laminate, tile, and other uncarpeted floor finishes. A steam mop for tile is ideal for the bathroom or kitchen floor. Have a spray mop on hand for quick spill cleanups.

Wet & dry vacuums are an ideal combination for mess removal. Spill a bowl of cereal? No problem. Wet dry vacuums are built to handle that. You can easily clean up liquids in addition to the usual solids and dust using a wet dry vacuum, and emptying them doesn't require much effort either.

Pro Tip: Carpet cleaners are meant to take care of embedded dirt and stains. While these machines are good for cleaning messes, it's best if you first vacuum the area and then use the carpet cleaner. Another benefit of dedicated carpet cleaners is that they can get rid of pollutants and allergens as well as prevent mold growth.

what are the popular features to look for?

Good for a pet household – A pet vacuum combines deep suction, self-cleaning roller brushes, and allergen filtration for effective removal of hair, fur, and dander. Options include corded or cordless, stick or upright, convertible to handheld, robotic, and special pet attachments. Stick Pet Vacuums | Upright Pet Vacuums | Robotic Pet Vacuums

Anti-allergy/HEPA vacuums – Air quality is a concern for everybody but especially for those with allergies. HEPA filter vacuums can remove 99 percent of triggering particulates from interior living spaces, so everyone can breathe easier. Shop HEPA Filter vacuums.

Multiple surface cleaning – Contemporary homes feature varied floor surfaces, and vacuums that can smoothly transition from hard flooring to carpeting make your life easier. They also mean you won't have to buy as many cleaning tools, saving you money. Shop Multi Surface Vacuums

Weight – A lightweight vacuum does the heavy lifting without unnecessary strain on you. The agility of a lightweight vacuum cleaner makes it perfect for stairs, multi levels, and varied flooring types. Shop lightweight vacuums

Pro Tip: Get the most from your HEPA or anti-allergen filter by leaving your vacuum running for several minutes once you are finished cleaning. It draws in and cleans more air, even when it is not in motion.

featured brands

Black & Decker Neato

which vacuum cleaner parts and attachments do you need?

Vacuum cleaner parts and accessories you may need, depending upon the vacuum you select, include:

Vacuum cleaner bags that match the particular make and model of your vacuum

Mop pad refills for use with a steam mop

HEPA replacement filters, which are typically recommended every 6 months

• Specialty tools and attachments like upholstery tools and dusting brushes

• Alternative brush rolls for pet hair or multi surfaces

Cleaning solution refills for carpet shampooers, wet dry cleaning vacuums, and steam mops

Pro Tip: Don't know what vacuum cleaner parts and attachments to get? Look to see what the vacuum comes with first. Our site also features a "this item is frequently purchased with" section to give you a better idea of what parts you may want to buy. Keep your home interior free from allergens and your floors sparkling with help from Bed Bath & Beyond vacuums, floor cleaners, accessories, and refills. Our helpful and knowledgeable staff members are here to help you make your final vacuum cleaner purchase decisions too. Stop by any of our locations or shop online today to find the best vacuum for your home and your lifestyle.