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5 Best Canister Vacuums (2023 Review)

Canister vacuums are versatile machines that clean up messes on most surfaces and remove allergens like dirt, dust, and pet hair. In this review, we look at the best canister vacuums on Amazon.

Eureka Bagged Canister Vacuum Cleaner and Bissell Canister Vacuum against a beige graph paper background

Canister vacuum cleaners offer powerful, sustained suction, a versatile set of attachments, and a sizable dustbin capacity. This combination of factors can add convenience to your cleaning process and deliver thorough results.

To help you select the model that's right for you, the This Old House Reviews Team researched the best canister vacuums on Amazon. Explore our top recommendations, learn what to look for when buying, and get answers to your questions below.

Compare Top Canister Vacuums

Product Cord Length Dustbin Capacity Frame Weight Motor Noise Level
Product Cord Length Dustbin Capacity Frame Weight Motor Noise Level
Eureka Bagged Canister Vacuum 20 feet 2.5 liters 8.6 pounds 10 amps 90 dBa
Oreck XL Pro Bagged Canister Vacuum 30 feet 1.2 liters 5 pounds 4 amps Not listed
Bissell Zing Canister Vacuum 15 feet 2 liters 10.2 pounds 9 amps 72 dBa
Hoover PortaPower Canister Vacuum 33 feet 3.7 liters 8.3 pounds 7.4 amps 66 dBa
Kenmore Bagged Canister Vacuum 26 feet 2.1 liters 24.4 pounds 12 amps 72 dBa

In This Guide: Top 5 | Buyer’s Guide | FAQs | Why Trust This Old House


Top 5 Canister Vacuums


Best Medium Capacity: Eureka Bagged Canister Vacuum

Eureka Bagged Canister Vacuum Cleaner

Eureka Bagged Canister Vacuum

  • $83

Prices taken at time of publishing.

This Eureka vacuum is designed for medium-duty cleaning tasks. It has a 10-amp motor, a 2.5-liter dust container, and a 20-foot power cord. It uses two wheels and a handle to transport its 8.6-pound frame, and it features a blower port to blow dead leaves.

Courtesy Amazon

Pros and Cons

✔ Compact form factor fits on stairs and in cramped spaces
✔ Includes a built-in blower port
✔ Features carrying handle and two wheels for portability

✘ Includes a limited number of attachments
✘ Bagged design is less convenient and may be cost more over time than bagless alternatives

What Customers Are Saying

Customers said that this vacuum worked for a variety of cleaning tasks. They also commented on its quality build and powerful suction. However, some dissatisfied customers said that the vacuum had a stiff hose.


Most Lightweight: Oreck Canister Bagged Vacuum

Oreck XL Pro Bagged Canister Vacuum Cleaner

Oreck XL Pro Bagged Canister Vacuum

  • $124

Prices taken at time of publishing.

A 30-foot power cord and a 5-foot slinky hose allow this small but powerful commercial vacuum to reach hard-to-reach places. Whether you need to clean your entire home or specific areas, you can carry the compact 5-pound unit by its handle or shoulder strap.

Courtesy Amazon

Pros and Cons

✔ Includes a complete set of detailing tools
✔ Features 30-foot-long power cord
✔ 5-foot hose extends total reach to 35 feet

✘ Storage caddy cannot accommodate all of the tools
✘ 1.2-liter dustbin requires frequent emptying

What Customers Are Saying

Most reviewers enjoyed the cord length and suction power of this machine. However, some customers indicated that the hose extension was shorter than advertised and fell off easily.


Best Dirt Disposal: Bissell Zing Canister Vacuum

Bissell Canister Vacuum

Bissell Zing Canister Vacuum

  • $80

Prices taken at time of publishing.

This bagless vacuum holds up to 2 liters of debris in its chamber. Once the canister is full, you can detach it from its base and push a button to empty it over a trash can. Flip a switch on the main brush head to alternate between carpet cleaning and hardwood modes.

Courtesy Amazon

Pros and Cons

✔ Bagless design saves time and money
✔ Features an automatic cord rewind function
✔ Purchases support Bissell's Pet Foundation

✘ 9-amp motor is not the strongest available
✘ The 15-foot power cord is shorter than many competing models

What Customers Are Saying

Most customers said that this Bissell model was durable. Several reviews also rated its suction power highly. However, some customers struggled to fasten the included attachments to the hose securely.


Most Accessories: Hoover PortaPower Canister Vacuum

Hoover PortaPower Canister Vacuum

Hoover PortaPower Canister Vacuum

  • $156

Prices taken at time of publishing.

This commercial vacuum balances utility with portability. It comes with seven attachments that range from extension wands to surface-specific nozzles. The accessory kit also includes a cord strap for storing the 33-foot power cord and a shoulder strap for carrying the frame.

Courtesy Amazon

Pros and Cons

✔ Features built-in blower and dusting brush
✔ Wands are made of chrome, not plastic
✔ Comes with a lengthy 2-year warranty

✘ Does not include a storage solution for attachments
✘ Design lacks wheels

What Customers Are Saying

Customers complimented this vacuum's maneuverability and versatility. However, a common complaint was that the suction power faded as the dustbin filled with debris. As a result, users had to dump the container more frequently than expected.


Best Filtration: Kenmore Bagged Canister Vacuum

Kenmore Bagged Canister Vacuum

Kenmore Bagged Canister Vacuum

  • $280

Prices taken at time of publishing.

The two motors on this 12-amp canister vacuum make it powerful enough to collect both small and large pieces of debris. The included filtration system keeps this debris in the dustbin instead of releasing it back into the air. To reach every surface, the vacuum offers swivel steering.

Courtesy Amazon

Pros and Cons

✔ 12-amp motor is one of the most powerful on the market
✔ Features swivel steering
✔ Offers four four height settings

✘ Form factor is larger and heavier than some competing models
✘ Operating noise level reaches 72 decibels

What Customers Are Saying

Customers said this machine effectively cleaned hardwood floors, especially when using the floor-specific attachment. However, some customers said the vacuum wasn't heavy-duty enough for professional use.


Buyer's Guide

Canister vacuums can vary in terms of power, weight, and more. This buying guide will help you determine which models and features suit your needs best.

Portability

By design, most canister vacs are portable and weigh less than 20 pounds. Portable models feature a handle, shoulder strap, wheels, or a combination of the three. Lighter units are also more maneuverable, allowing them to work well in tight spaces.

Filtration

A vacuum's filtration system determines how much dirt remains in the dustbin and how much reenters the air.

For the best filtration, choose a vacuum with a certified HEPA filter, as it contains 99.97% of particles.

Power

As with most electrical equipment, we measure vacuum cleaner power in amperes or "amps."

The average household vacuum draws around 10 amps, but with the many options available today, you can opt for more or less powerful units.

Power Cord

To achieve adequate and sustained cleaning power, the best canister vacuum cleaners on today's market are corded. Cord lengths range between 15 and feet in length. A longer cord gives you more reach, but it's more cumbersome to handle while you vacuum.

Throughout our research, we did not encounter a single battery-powered canister vac.

Dustbin

Canister vacuums will include bagged or bagless collection chambers. Bagged chambers require a liner bag that users must empty or dispose of and replace when it reaches capacity. For bagless canister vacuums, you usually detach the chamber, shake it over a trash can, and reattach it.

Regardless of the chamber type, most dustbins hold between 1–3 liters of dust.

Accessories

All canister vacuums come with at least a few accessories and attachments. Some standard features include the following:

  • Adjustable height mechanism
  • Bag or bagless dustbin
  • Brush roll
  • Cord strap
  • Crevice tool
  • Dusting brush
  • Extension wand
  • Filter
  • Retractable cord mechanism
  • Shoulder strap
  • Upholstery tool

Price

A high-quality canister vacuum can cost anywhere between $50–500. Smaller models with fewer features often sell for less than $100.

However, if you're looking for a high-efficiency vacuum with better ease of use or a higher-amp motor, it will have a higher price point.

Brands

Some of the most reputable canister vacuums brands include:

  • Atrix
  • Bissell
  • Black + Decker
  • Craftsman
  • DeWalt
  • Dyson
  • Eureka
  • Hoover
  • Kenmore
  • Miele
  • Oreck
  • RIDGID
  • Shop-Vac

Frequently Asked Questions

How often should I dump my canister vacuum?

Dump your canister vacuum after each use to ensure optimal performance, even if you only cleaned a small area.

How often should I change my canister vacuum filter?

How often you swap out or deep clean your vacuum filter depends on the specific kind of filter it uses. There are two commonplace types—disposable filters and high-efficiency particulate air ("HEPA") filters.

Most manufacturers recommend replacing disposable filters every six months on average. Note that the frequency with which you replace your filter will depend on how often you use the vacuum and the size of each cleaning job.

The maintenance protocols for HEPA filters are different from that of disposable filters. HEPA filters are either washable or non-washable, and most options last around a year, depending on usage. As always, refer to the manufacturer's instructions when tuning up your vacuum.

How can I fix my vacuum if it loses suction?

There are many potential reasons that a vacuum might lose suction over time. Maybe you need to empty its dustbin or change its filter. If you have tried both of these and are still struggling with the suction, contact the manufacturer for help.


Why Trust The This Old House Reviews Team

This Old House has empowered homeowners for more than four decades with top-notch home improvement content in the form of television programs, print media, and digital content on its website and social media platforms. The This Old House Reviews Team focuses on creating in-depth product and service review content to help inform your purchasing decision for just about any item or resource that you might need for your home. The This Old House Reviews Team has written over 1,000 reviews on products in the home space, from cordless drills to kitchen trash cans, lawn mowers, and dining room decorations.

We recommend products in each review using an intensive research process, spending hours combing through the best available models on Amazon. For a product to make our list of top picks, it must hold a solid sales record on Amazon, have consistently positive customer reviews, and offer unique features, among other factors. After narrowing down our list of recommendations, we conduct additional research and sometimes in-person testing to ensure that the products meet our standards. Once we conclude the research phase, we craft a well-rounded, user-friendly article that includes our recommended products and additional information to help homeowners like you make the right purchase.

To share feedback or ask a question about this article, send a note to our Reviews Team at reviews@thisoldhousereviews.com.