Do you have floor surfaces in your home? Are you tired of having to use different cleaning tools for each surface?
Luckily, a multi-surface vacuum can help! These versatile tools offer efficient cleaning performance across different surface types.
They’re great for navigating large areas and tight spaces. But, they’re also adaptable for car cleaning and upholstery.
Our Top PicksThe HouseWire earns a commission through the following independently chosen links at no additional cost to you.
What to Look for in a Multi-Surface Vacuum
Make sure you consider the following features when you’re shopping for the best multi-surface vacuum for your home.
Upright Vacuum Cleaner
Upright vacuum models tend to have onboard attachments that add to their versatility.
For cleaning across carpets and hard floors, look for an upright vacuum with height adjustment features or floor settings. This will make it easy to transition across your floor surfaces.
Or, consider an upright vacuum with a brush roll shutoff. This will stop the brush roller from spinning when you’re cleaning hardwood surfaces to avoid damaging them.
Most upright models have bulky designs, so make sure you look for the lightest option. Or, consider one with wheels.
Otherwise, you may struggle to maneuver them on thick carpeting or rugs. For example, see this Eureka PowerSpeed Upright Vacuum.
Stick Vacuum Cleaner
Stick vacuums are lightweight and offer the convenience of a hand vacuum cleaner but with the sturdy design of an upright vacuum. So they’re ideal for cleaning hardwood or hard floors.
A stick model is most ideal for quick cleanup areas. For example, they’re perfect for cleaning bathroom and kitchen floors.
Stick models are also great for light carpeting and small area rugs. However, they tend to have less powerful suction than other vacuum models.
So a stick model may not be the best vacuum for cleaning thick or high-pile carpet. For example, see this Dyson V15 Detect stick cleaner.
Canister vacuums have sleek frames like a stick cleaner. But, they offer the power of an upright vacuum cleaner.
These vacuums have a separate canister with wheels and a long wand. They’re perfect for cleaning carpets as well as bare flooring.
If you have hardwood surfaces to clean, make sure your canister has rubber wheels or bumpers to prevent damages. Hard or plastic wheels can cause scratches or dents on your hardwood floor.
A canister vacuum can feel difficult to maneuver on high-pile carpet or thick carpets. But their long wands make them suitable for a variety of different cleaning tasks such as cleaning upholstery or furniture.
For an example of a canister vac, see this Miele Complete C3 Alize PowerLine bagged canister vacuum.
Robot Vacuum Cleaners
Robot vacuum cleaners are high-tech units that do the work for you. So they require little effort from you for cleaning.
A multi-surface robot vacuum can save you a lot of time. But, they can also reach into places that traditional vacuums can’t, such as underneath furniture.
Most vacuums that are robotic also have sensors to detect and measure the cleaning environment. For example, they feature cliff sensors, bump sensors, and wall sensors.
Plus, some robot models feature mapping across many floors to make cleaning different surfaces even easier. These features are important to consider if you have different floor types in your home.
If you have hardwood floors, you should also make sure it has soft rubber wheels instead of plastic. Otherwise, your robot vacuum can scratch the surface as it cleans.
Finally, it’s important to note that most robot vacuums have a max height range. So they tend to be suitable for low-pile carpet and medium pile carpets.
But, they won’t work on high-pile carpets such as shag-pile carpet.
Handheld vacuum cleaners are small and compact cleaning machines. They’re best for quickly cleaning up small spills or messes.
A handheld vacuum cleaner is also ideal for cleaning hard-to-reach areas that traditional vacuums can’t access. However, they aren’t suitable for general floor cleaning as this would take a long time to clean with a handheld unit.
For example, see this Shark UltraCyclone Pet Pro+ handheld vacuum.
We recommend using an upright vacuum for multi-surface cleaning. An upright vacuum will be the most versatile option if they have the right settings or features.
In most cleaning situations, higher suction power is a good thing. However, it’s better to have less suction when you’re cleaning certain types of surfaces.
For example, lower suction is best if you have thick or shag carpets to clean. If the suction power is too strong it may cause your vacuum to get stuck in the long carpet piles.
For cleaning hardwood floors, suction that is too strong may be ineffective. Because there are no fibers for the suction to get into, it may cause a tornado effect.
In this case, a powerful bare floor vacuum may scatter debris and dust particles around your hardwood floors instead of picking it up. So, a vacuum with an adjustable suction setting is the best choice for multi-surface cleaning.
To measure the suction on your vacuum, look for the CFM rating. This indicates the cubic feet per minute of airflow from your cleaner.
This tells you how much force is used by your vacuum to pick up dirt and dust from your floors.
Air watts are another measure of flow. However, this measurement is often only used by Dyson.
Otherwise, you may struggle to carry a heavy vacuum up and down your stairs during cleaning. A heavier vacuum will also be harder to push on high-pile carpet.
So in this case, you should consider a stick or handheld model. These will be more lightweight than a canister or upright model.
For example, this Bissell Cleanview Upright Vacuum has a lightweight design for easy maneuvering.
Attachments & Extra Features
For example, when cleaning a variety of surfaces, consider a vacuum with a soft roller brush. A parquet brush or soft roller brush is the best multi-surface vacuum attachment for hardwood flooring.
The best vacuums designed for hardwood floors will have these features. For example, this Elite Multi-Floor canister vacuum has an extra soft brush to gently remove debris from hard floors.
You should also consider a vacuum with a beater bar brush. This is a rotating brush that reaches deep into carpet fibers to fluff them and remove embedded dirt and pet hair or debris during suctioning.
Another tool to consider is a duster attachment. A duster tool gently removes dust and debris from fabrics, upholstery, and other soft surfaces.
Lastly, a mini motorized brush can add a lot of versatility to your vacuum. These help to deep clean upholstery and fabric surfaces.
A great feature to look for if you have multiple floors is handheld conversion. Many stick cleaners can be easily converted into a handheld vacuum for cleaning tight or narrow spaces as well as stairs.
This feature allows you to detach the handheld vacuum from the main unit for quick clean-ups and spot-cleaning.
A mopping feature is also a versatile addition to have. But, make sure the mopping function is suitable for cleaning on both carpets and delicate floor types.
The Best Multi-Surface Vacuums of 2023
From hours of research and reading reviews, we’ve found the best multi-surface vacuums on the market. We looked at technical specs, features, and expert advice to find the top models.
Here are the 5 top multi-surface vacuums on the market!
1. Shark APEX UpLight
This corded Shark Apex UpLight combines all the quality features you need for cleaning multi-surfaces. And because it’s corded, you won’t have to worry about running out of power in the middle of your cleaning.
It’s the lightest model in Shark’s Lift-Away range of vacuums which provides a lot of portability for every cleaning job. So it’s easy to transport and maneuver across your floors.
It features a dual-brush roll system that helps with deep cleaning carpets and soft surfaces. But, it also automatically engages hard floors for an instant polished lift without needing to change the floor nozzle!
This makes it the perfect vacuum if you have both of these types of flooring in your home.
It also has a long, extendable built-in hose that makes cleaning underneath furniture or in tight spaces a breeze! Plus, you can attach the extendable hose to the vacuum wand for efficient above-floor cleaning.
What We Like
ConvertibleThe easy-to-use detachable pod means you can quickly convert this vacuum into a handheld model for spot cleaning. The detachable pod also has an extendable hose to reach tight or narrow spaces while you clean.
This is perfect for quickly cleaning stairs or underneath furniture on your floors.
Self-CleaningThanks to the self-cleaning brush roller, you won’t have to worry about any tangling. The brush roll ensures no pet hair or fine debris gets tangled while you clean.
HyperVelocity PowerAlthough this vacuum has a convenient slim stick design, it still offers the same power as an upright vacuum. It has HyperVelocity accelerated suction to effectively pick up dust and debris with every pass.
So you get all the benefits of powerful suction for an upright vacuum in a small and compact size.
Anti-Allergen HEPA FilterThis vacuum features an anti-allergen complete seal technology with a HEPA filter. So it traps all allergens and dust particles inside the vacuum.
This makes it ideal if you have someone with allergies or asthma in your household.
What We Don’t Like
LoudMany reviewers mention that this vacuum cleaner has a loud operation. This may be a nuisance if you have close neighbors or kids in the house.
|Bin Volume||21.1 oz|
2. Eureka WhirlWind Bagless Canister Vacuum Cleaner
And thanks to handy airflow control, you can use this vacuum on carpets, upholstery, as well as bare floors.
This allows you to switch between cleaning modes using the fingertip switch. So you can easily control the airflow to suit the surface you’re vacuuming without interrupting your clean.
Plus, it only weighs 8-pounds. So it’s easy to carry around when you’re cleaning different rooms in the house.
The automatic cord rewind can also save you time when you’re finished. You can automatically retract the cord with the press of a button.
Lastly, this vacuum has a cyclone filtration system with a dust cup, separator, and filter. It prevents dust and debris from entering the motor while you vacuum.
This filtration system ensures that you don’t lose any suction, even as the dust cup fills.
What We Like
Swivel SteeringWith a swivel steering floor-head, you can easily maneuver this vacuum around corners and obstacles while you’re vacuuming.
Large Dust CupThe large dust cup on this vacuum can hold up to 2.5L of dust and debris! So you can get a lot of vacuuming done before needing to empty the dust canister on this Eureka vacuum.
2-In-1 Built-In Crevice ToolThis Eureka vacuum has a 2-in-1 crevice and dusting tool built into the hose handle. So you can switch between a crevice tool and dusting brush whenever you need.
Washable FilterThis canister vac has washable filters for easy cleaning. You can quickly rinse the washable filter in the sink with clean cold water so it’s ready for the next clean!
What We Don’t Like
Short HoseSome reviewers find that the main hose on this vacuum is too short by itself. According to these reviews, you need to use the extension wand to achieve efficient cleaning results.
3. Tineco A11 Hero Cordless Stick Vacuum Cleaner
You can enjoy up to 40 minutes of cordless vacuuming with this model. This is plenty of time to clean multiple large rooms and surfaces in your home.
It features 3 power modes for adjustable cleaning depending on the surfaces you’re vacuuming. You can use the max power mode to deep clean low-pile carpet and rugs.
Or, you can use the gentle mode for cleaning hardwood flooring. But it also has a daily cleaning mode for everyday vacuuming and light cleaning on any hard surface.
This cordless stick vacuum also comes with a wall-mount charging dock for easy storage. So you can keep it out of the way and fully charged when you’re not using it.
What We Like
Versatile AttachmentsThis Tineco A11 Hero cordless vacuum comes with a range of attachments to suit any cleaning task. It includes a power brush for tackling stubborn or ground-in dirt on low-pile carpet.
It also has a mini power brush for cleaning hard floor surfaces and upholstery. Plus, it has a 2-in-1 dusting brush and crevice tool for cleaning hard-to-reach areas.
Ultra-QuietMany reviewers love the quiet cleaning with this cordless multi-surface vacuum. It has a brushless motor that reduces noise when it’s operating.
So it’s perfect to use if you have close neighbors, children, or pets in the house.
Front LED LightsIt has handy front LED lights to help you see hidden dust and debris in dark spaces. This is helpful to illuminate dust when you’re cleaning under furniture or in tight nooks.
HEPA Filtration SystemThis Tineco vacuum has a 4 stage HEPA filter that captures 99.97% of dust, dirt, and allergens on your floors. HEPA filters provide better air quality in your home, so they’re ideal for households with allergies.
Plus, the HEPA filter is also washable. So you can rinse and reuse the HEPA filter without needing to replace it with a new HEPA filter.
What We Don’t Like
Stiff Floor-HeadAccording to reviews, the floor-head on this cordless vacuum is stiff compared to other models. This can reduce maneuverability and make it difficult to clean around edges and corners.
4. iRobot Roomba S9
This iRobot Roomba uses vSlam navigation to map the cleaning environment in your home. This allows it to efficiently navigate and clean over different surfaces in each room.
It features a 3-stage cleaning system that lifts, loosens, and suctions debris on any surface. Plus, it automatically adjusts its power level for a deeper clean when it travels over stubborn dirt on your floors.
This multi-surface robot vacuum also has corner brushes built-in to the design for edge cleaning as it travels. These brushes reach deep into corners and along edges for an all-around efficient clean of your entire home.
What We Like
Automatic Dirt DisposalNot only does this iRobot Roomba vacuum your floors, but it cleans up after itself too! This vacuum has an automatic dirt disposal base that allows it to empty itself after every clean.
So it does all the work for you!
Keep Out ZonesThis robotic vacuum also comes with helpful keep-out zones.
With keep-out zones, you can tell your vacuum to avoid areas you don’t want it to clean. For example, you can automatically keep it away from any loose wires or cords on the floor.
Smart CapabilitiesIt also has smartphone app capabilities for easy scheduling and control during your cleans. You can use the iRobot app on your phone to schedule a clean while you’re away or on the go.
This means you can enjoy coming home to clean floors every day!
What We Don’t Like
Often Gets StuckMany reviewers report that this robot vac often gets stuck under furniture during cleaning. This can cause interruptions to the cleaning schedule as you’ll have to manually retrieve it to continue cleaning.
5. Bissell CrossWave Pet Pro
This versatile all-in-one Bissell vacuums and mops simultaneously. So you can tick off two chores in one, saving you a lot of time when you’re cleaning.
Reviewers are impressed with how well this vacuum cleans their carpets. But they also love the mopping feature for their hard floors.
It efficiently removes sticky spills or liquids in just one pass. So you can save a lot of effort not needing to go back and forth with your wand.
This vacuum is suitable for tile, wood floor, carpet, rugs, laminate floors, linoleum, rubber, and more! So you really can clean anything with this versatile, multi-surface vacuum.
What We Like
Two-Tank TechnologyThis wet/dry vacuum uses a technology to keep the dirty water away from the clean water. So you won’t have to worry about smearing dirty water around your clean floors.
Tangle-Free Brush-RollThe tangle-free brush roll is a great feature, especially if you have pet hair to clean in your home. You won’t have to worry about pet hair tangling or clogging up this vacuum.
Multi-Surface Pet FormulaThis Bissell CrossWave Pet Pro vacuum comes with two bottles of multi-surface formula cleaner. You can add it straight to the machine when you’re cleaning.
This not only removes odors and levels a pleasant Febreze scent, but it also deep cleans any surface. So you won’t have to buy any extra cleaning products with this wet/dry vacuum combo.
What We Don’t Like
StreakyAlthough reviewers love the mopping function on this vacuum, many say that it leaves streaks. This means you may have to mop a second time to remove the streak marks on your floors.
|Bin Volume||0.4-liter water tank, 0.8-liter dirt tank|
Multi-Surface Vacuum Comparison Chart
|Shark APEX UpLight||Stick||14.63 lbs||21.1 oz||Yes||No|
|Eureka WhirlWind Bagless Canister Vacuum||Canister||8.29 lbs||2.5L||Yes||No|
|Tineco A11 Hero Stick Vacuum Cleaner||Stick||11.46 lbs||0.6L||Yes||Yes|
|iRobot Roomba S9||Robot||8.2 lbs||N/A||Yes||Yes|
|Bissell CrossWave Pet Pro||Wet/Dry||11.5 lbs||0.4-liter water tank, 0.8-liter dirt tank||Yes||No|