New Cleaner-Air Vacuums
More than just dust-suckers, this new generation of machines can filter out germs, mold, and allergens, too
Recent innovations have turned vacuum cleaners from simple dust-suckers into powerful tools in the war against dirt, germs, and allergens. Washable HEPA filters screen pollen, bacteria, and mold while cyclonic chambers spin the air as it travels through the vacuum, trapping particulate matter. Here, five worth a try.
Key features: An electrostatic dust bag with nine dirt-trapping layers holds up to 5.45 quarts. Remove the bag and a spring-loaded latch seals its chamber so that dust can't escape. A foam premotor filter and a HEPA filter trap the tiniest particles. Flattens to the floor for low clearances.
Price: About $500 and up; Miele
Hoover Floormate FH40010B
Key features: A washable pleated filter cleans the air as a 13-inch-wide head vacuums up dirt. Also gently scrubs and dries bare floors with angled plastic brushes. A dual- chamber tank separates dirty water from clean, which is meant to be mixed with Hoover's disinfecting solution. A squeegee and hot-air blower work together to dry floors.
Price: About $150; Hoover
Electrolux UltraSilencer Green
Key features: The rubber casing that houses the high-efficiency motor keeps this vacuum humming at 60 decibels, about the same volume as a dishwasher, so you should hear the phone ring. This eco-friendly vac is made from 55 percent recycled plastic; its washable HEPA filter should last two years.
Price: About $300; Electrolux
Dyson's DC25 Animal
Key features: Bristles on the motorized brush bar help pull dirt and pet hair from carpets. Telescoping wand extends to 16 feet, reaching high places that cats love; rotating ball helps reach tight spots. Has eight cyclone chambers, a washable HEPA filter, and a bottom-release dirt container to minimize messes.
Price: About $550; Dyson
Bissell Healthy Home Vacuum
Key features: This heavy-duty model has nine cyclone chambers, a replaceable HEPA filter, and a washable foam filter. The 6-quart bagless dirt container is lined with an antimicrobial coating to inhibit mold and bacteria, and releases with the touch of a button. Seven settings suit bare floors and every kind of carpet.
Price: About $230; Bissell