Best Vacuum Cleaners in 2014

Finding the best vacuum cleaner for your needs isn’t the easiest endeavor. With so many options on the market, choosing one isn’t easy, especially since you’re not really sure what all the specs mean. The manufacturers and sellers spout numbers that make no sense to you. All you want is a vacuum cleaner that will get the job done. Don’t worry, I understand perfectly because I’ve been there, which is why I’m going to make your life easier.

You’ll find five different vacuum cleaners here which were chosen as the best vacuum cleaner in their respective category based on performance, ratings and user experience. I’ve done my research and even tested a few of the models out myself, so I’ll give you the facts straight up. If I didn’t like something about a certain unit, I’ll tell you about it. That way, you’ll be able to make an informed decision when purchasing your new vacuum cleaner.

Hoover WindTunnel T-Series Rewind Upright Vacuum, Bagless, UH70120

Hoover WindTunnel T-Series Rewind Upright VacuumHoover WindTunnel T-Series Rewind Upright Vacuum

First off, I think it’s important to tell you that I’m not a fan of upright vacuum cleaners. I’ve always found them a pain to use. However, a friend of mine recently bought this Hoover WindTunnel and couldn’t stop extolling it’s virtues. So, in the interest of all humanity—well, those of us who need to vacuum at least—I asked her to lend it to me so I could test it out.

Now, I won’t say that it completely changed my view on upright vacuums, but I have to admit I’m starting to soften a bit. So, first off, I have to admit that the Hoover WindTunnel has great suction. Seriously, at one point I was pretty sure it was going to suck the carpet right up off the floor.

What’s really awesome is that it handles pet hair really well. One problem with other vacuum cleaners is that they tend to blow pet hair and dust all over the floor when you’re cleaning a hardwood floor, but the Hoover’s powerful suction picked everything up in a snap.

Hoover advertises that this unit will never lose its suction power due to the multi-cyclonic cleaning core technology it incorporates, but there’s no way to really prove it since it can take many years for a vacuum to start losing power.

Besides the suction, I have to admit that I like the fact that it also has a hose attachment, an extension wand, an upholstery brush and a crevice tool. Without those, I’m pretty sure I’d never buy an upright vacuum because they’re simply too unwieldy and getting into corners and cleaning narrow areas is practically impossible. However, thanks to all the extras this unit comes with, I have to say that cleaning was a breeze.

One of my pet peeves with vacuums is the cord rewind mechanism. Some of them don’t have a mechanism at all and you have wind the cord up yourself, but I swear that it’s sometimes better to do it manually than have to deal with the ones where you’re supposed to pull on the cord and it winds up automatically.

Have you noticed that it never does? It stops after a foot or two, and then you tug on the cable again, and then it winds up another foot, and you tug again and so on and so forth for 25 feet! It’s irritating. This is one thing this Hoover excels at. It’s got a great little pedal which you press down with your foot and in a few seconds the cable’s all wound up. No bending over, no tugging, no threatening to cut the cable off. Nothing. Just a cable that winds up and disappears in a few seconds. Yes, I really liked that feature, as you can tell.

So, while I wasn’t as blown away by the Hoover WindTunnel T-Series Rewind Upright Vacuum as I was by the Roomba, it’s still a very good machine, especially considering it’s just under $100. Read the full review of this vacuum to decide whether it’s the one for you.

The iRobot Roomba 770 Vacuum Cleaning Robot for Pets and Allergies

iRobot Roomba 770iRobot Roomba 770

Every household should have a robotic vacuum cleaner. It really does do all the cleaning by itself, which is why I think it’s the best vacuum cleaner money can buy. And this particular model from Roomba is designed for homes with pets, meaning you’ll never have to be embarrassed about your home being covered in dog hair ever again.

The iRobot Roomba 770 has a special cleaning head that allows it to pick up as much as 98% of the pet hair, dust and dirt on your floor. Its shape allows it to get into the difficult spots as well, including under the couch where all the dust bunnies and hair balls like to gather.

This Roomba is also designed to prevent allergic reactions from breathing in fine dust as it is equipped with dual HEPA air filters. Thus, the air that comes out of the unit is dust free and completely fresh. Furthermore, it’s also equipped with Dirt Detect Series 2 technology, which lets it identify dirtier areas that need a higher level of cleaning, thus making sure the entire floor is cleaned properly.

And you don’t have to worry about your floors being clean when you bring company home from work because you can schedule the iRobot Roomba 770 to clean the floors while you’re away from home. You can set it to run every day while you’re at work or out shopping and you’ll have the cleanest floors you can imagine. Thanks to the touchpad it’s equipped with, controlling this robot vacuum cleaner is a cinch.

The unit is also equipped with iAdapt Responsive Cleaning Technology, which is a highly advanced software system that enables the Roomba to clean an entire area effectively. Thanks to this software, the Roomba can:

  • navigate around obstacles;
  • avoid falling down stairs;
  • clean up against walls;
  • recognize a soft barrier and go through it, like couch skirts;
  • sense cords and fringes on carpets;
  • switch cleaning modes automatically for hardwood floors, carpets, and linoleum.

Furthermore, the Roomba comes with remote control, which you can use to control it without leaving the couch. You can also designate certain areas the Roomba shouldn’t tackle thanks to the Virtual Walls software system.

Essentially, the iRobot Roomba 770 is the perfect cleaning assistant. While it is pricey at just under $500, it’s well worth it considering the amount of time you save. And then there’s the fact that you’ll never have to do the vacuuming yourself again, which is what makes it the best vacuum cleaner in my book. You can read more about the iRobot Roomba 770 here.

Dirt Devil Simpli-Stik Lightweight Corded Bagless Stick Vacuum

Dirt Devil Simpli-Stik Lightweight Corded Bagless Stick VacuumDirt Devil Simpli-Stik Lightweight Corded Bagless Stick Vacuum

Yes, I know I said I wasn’t a fan of upright vacuums, but the Dirt Devil Simpli-Stik was under $50, so I decided to give it a go. And to be honest, I really liked the look of it. Then there were all the great reviews and I decided I could use a light-weight vacuum cleaner for a quick clean throughout the week.

The first thing that struck me with this vacuum cleaner was that you can take it apart and use it as a handheld vacuum for detail cleaning. Now, it’s not quite as powerful as a standard vacuum cleaner, but it’s perfect to pick up messes you’d otherwise have to sweep up. And since you’ve probably discovered that sweeping merely moves the mess around rather than cleaning it up properly, I’m sure you’ll understand why I’d rather use a stick vacuum.

I have to admit that I love how light it is because I can pick it up and be upstairs in a flash, which means I don’t procrastinate as much. And it does a pretty decent job with pet hair as well. Of course, it can’t get down deep into the carpet to get the hair up, but it does a good job with surface hair so I can do a quick clean before guests arrive.

So, for the price, it’s a pretty decent unit. However, I wouldn’t keep it as my main vacuum cleaner, though it would be perfect for someone who lives alone or has a small space. If you are still undecided if this little machine is right for you, read my detailed review to know what it’s capable of.

Miele S2121 Olympus Canister Vacuum Cleaner

Miele S2121 Olympus Canister Vacuum CleanerMiele S2121 Olympus Canister Vacuum Cleaner

I’ve had canister vacuum cleaners my entire life. It’s what I grew up with and so I stuck with them. They’re easy to maneuver around the house and I can clean under furniture and in corners with relative ease. But I’ve never tried a Miele before. I had heard of them and knew the brand was considered to be great for any sort of appliances, but I could never find a good enough excuse to invest more than $300 in a vacuum.

Luckily, my sister-in-law got one as a gift—yes, she has great parents—and she said I could have it to test it out. Now, at first glance, I wasn’t impressed. It looked like any canister vacuum cleaner that I could get for less than a $100, though probably a little lighter than what I was used to.

When I tried it out, I discovered that it is a really nice machine, though I’m not sure it’s necessarily the best vacuum cleaner. It has six different settings, so I can change the power depending on the surface I’m cleaning. What I really like is that the wheels aren’t fixed in place, like with most canister vacuums. This means I can move it around without complicated maneuvers. It goes wherever I want it to go easily and quickly.

I also liked the fact that it’s pretty quiet, at least in comparison to other vacuum cleaners I’ve had. It also comes with various accessories that you can use for cleaning awkward spots, upholstery and even delicate items. But don’t let the ad fool you because they’re pretty much the same accessories you get with any vacuum cleaner.

I have to admit, though, that it does a really good job at cleaning the house. It did reasonably well with pet hair as well, despite the fact that it doesn’t have a brush roller. The Miele certainly made it to the top of my list and almost won the spot for the best vacuum cleaner overall. However, I was still stuck on the Roomba, which does everything by itself. But in terms of canister vacuum cleaners, the Miele definitely stands out as the best vacuum cleaner. Still can’t decide? Dive in to find out more information about the Miele.

Dyson DC65 Animal Complete Upright Vacuum Cleaner

Dyson DC65 Animal Complete Upright Vacuum CleanerDyson DC65 Animal Complete Upright Vacuum Cleaner

When my boss told me about the Dyson DC65 and how amazing it was, I want it to try it out right away. But how do you ask your boss if you can borrow her vacuum cleaner? It’s a little weird. So, I tried hinting at the idea that I was on the market for a new unit, and she was very kind to offer hers to me for the weekend. Yes, I’m about as subtle as a sledgehammer, but it worked.

Now, I have to admit that I hadn’t checked this vacuum cleaner out online yet, so I had no idea that it was over $600. In other words, my opinion was completely unbiased by price, which is probably why I fell in love with it so quickly, despite it being an upright vacuum cleaner.

I could wax poetic about all its features, but I’m sure you’re more interested in how well it worked. Well, let me tell you that with this vacuum cleaner, you will never, ever have to worry about pet hair again. I’m pretty sure it could suck pet hair out of the air without you ever having to lift it off the floor.

It works wonderfully on both carpets and hard floors, and is specially designed to pick up pet hair. The brush bar will pick up even the shortest hairs, though you will have to clean it regularly to get longer hairs out. My daughters and I all have long hair, which can be a pain to pick up with a regular vacuum. The Dyson, however, can handle any hair and I can’t tell you what a relief it is to finally stop worrying about people leaving my home covered in dog hair. To know all the features that the Dyson DC65 has to offer, read my full review.

For me, the iRobot Roomba is really the best vacuum cleaner simply because it does the work on its own. However, the other vacuum cleaners I’ve mentioned are pretty awesome too. In fact, if my husband hadn’t decided to get me the iRobot Roomba as a gift, I’d have probably gotten the Dyson.

P.S. If you want a second opinion or are looking for vacuums designed for a particular use, my friend Patricia did a really good job reviewing the best vacuum cleaner for hardwood floors and pet hair.

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