Best Canister Vacuum Cleaners of 2021

By Jeneva Aaron Updated December 6, 2021

Can you do it? Yes, you can-ister!

Best Canister Vacuum Cleaners of 2021

Are you tired of using a heavy upright vacuum? Do you have trouble picking up all the dirt and dust on stairs and carpeting? Trust us — we know how you feel.

Canister vacuum models are easy to maneuver, offering great flexibility on both bare floors and carpets. You can pick up debris and pet hair easily with great suction and a good powerhead.

We’ll help you find the best canister vacuum for your home, so you’ll get a versatile tool to keep every inch of your house sparkling.

Our Top Picks

The HouseWire earns a commission through the following independently chosen links at no additional cost to you.
Best Canister Vacuums of 2021 
Miele Classic C1 Bagged Canister Vacuum, Lotus WhiteBest Bagged

Miele Classic C1

Miele Classic C1 Bagged Canister Vacuum, Lotus White

  • Quiet operation.

  • Easy storage.

  • Very light.

Dyson Cinetic Big Ball Animal Canister VacuumBest Bagless

Dyson Cinetic Big Ball

Dyson Cinetic Big Ball Animal Canister Vacuum

  • Strong suction.

  • Efficient carpet tool.

  • Easy to maneuver.

eureka WhirlWind Bagless Canister Vacuum Cleaner, Lightweight Vac for Carpets and Hard Floors, BlueBest Budget

Eureka WhirlWind Bagless

eureka WhirlWind Bagless Canister Vacuum Cleaner, Lightweight Vac for Carpets and Hard Floors, Blue

  • Extremely lightweight.

  • Great value for the price.

  • Easy to store.

Kenmore BC3005 Pet Friendly Lightweight Bagged Canister Vacuum Cleaner with Extended Telescoping Wand, HEPA, 2 Motors, Retractable Cord, and 4 Cleaning ToolsBest for Pet Hair

Kenmore BC3005 Pet Friendly

Kenmore BC3005 Pet Friendly Lightweight Bagged Canister Vacuum Cleaner with Extended Telescoping Wand, HEPA, 2 Motors, Retractable Cord, and 4 Cleaning Tools

  • Long power cord.

  • Strong suction.

  • Light sensor.

Bissell Hard Floor Expert Multi-Cyclonic Bagless Canister Vacuum, 1547 - CordedBest for Hard Floors

Bissell Hard Floor Expert

Bissell Hard Floor Expert Multi-Cyclonic Bagless Canister Vacuum, 1547 - Corded

  • Relatively quiet.

  • Good value.

  • Easy to empty canister.

Bissell Hard Floor Expert Multi-Cyclonic Bagless Canister Vacuum, 1547 - CordedBest for Hard Floors

Bissell Hard Floor Expert

Bissell Hard Floor Expert Multi-Cyclonic Bagless Canister Vacuum, 1547 - Corded

  • Relatively quiet.

  • Good value.

  • Easy to empty canister.

Oreck Super-Deluxe Compact Canister Vacuum CleanerBest Portable

Oreck Super-Deluxe

Oreck Super-Deluxe Compact Canister Vacuum Cleaner

  • Easy to carry around.

  • Sturdy and long-lasting.

  • Powerful suction.

Hoover ONEPWR 20V Utility 3 Gallon Wet Dry Cordless Vacuum Cleaner, High Power, BH57105, WhiteBest Wet/Dry

Hoover ONEPWR

Hoover ONEPWR 20V Utility 3 Gallon Wet Dry Cordless Vacuum Cleaner, High Power, BH57105, White

  • Pick up large debris.

  • Huge dust cup capacity.

  • Easy to empty.

BISSELL SmartClean Canister Vacuum Cleaner, 2268, Black with Pearl White/Electric Blue AccentsBest for Long-Reaching

BISSELL SmartClean Vacuum

BISSELL SmartClean Canister Vacuum Cleaner, 2268, Black with Pearl White/Electric Blue Accents

  • Extra-long reach.

  • Relatively quiet.

  • Large dust cup capacity.

What to Look for in a Canister Vacuum

Keeping an eye out for these features will help you figure out the best canister vacuum for your home and lifestyle.

accordion_icon

Suction Power

There are many different ways to measure cleaning power. Unfortunately, there is no official industry standard.

Some manufacturers will talk about amp, RPM, or Pa. Amp is a measure of the power of the motor, while RPM measures how quickly the motor turns. Pa is a measure of the pressure differential that a vacuum creates. None of these, however, deal with suction.

When talking about suction power, the most important measure to look at is airflow. This is usually measured in cubic feet per meter, or CFM. Airflow measures how much air moves through the vacuum at any given point in time.

The higher the CFM, the better the vacuum. High CFM ratings usually come with higher price tags, too.

You may see a measurement called air watts, but this is generally just used by Dyson.

The use of different and confusing measurements makes it hard to compare different brands and models. For example, these two models only use amp measurements. The Eureka Mighty Mite has an amp rating of 10, while the Bissell Zing Bagless Canister Vac has a rating of 9.

accordion_icon

Size and Weight

The layout of your house and your physical strength will determine the size and weight of the best canister vacuum for you.

If you have multiple floors, look for a vacuum that is lightweight and easy to transport for when you need to go up and downstairs. It will be more convenient to carry, and it lowers your risk of tripping or falling.

If you only have one floor to clean, however, weight isn’t a big issue. The majority of the vacuum’s weight will be in the canister on the floor, so you don’t have to carry it.

When you’re comparing models, keep in mind that bigger vacuums can hold more dirt and dust. This means you won’t need to empty the canister as often. On the other hand, larger models can be more difficult to store, while small ones will fit in closets more easily.

accordion_icon

Bagged or Bagless

Both a bagged and a bagless canister vacuum will keep your house spotless. But there are a few differences to keep in mind.

Bagged

A bagged canister vacuum is a great option for allergy sufferers. All of the debris picked up by the machine is sealed into the vacuum bag. This means you can throw away the bag (or empty it carefully) without exposing yourself to allergens, like pollen and dust.

Keep in mind that you will have to replace your vacuum bags when they get full. This does add an extra cost and inconvenience, but most supermarkets carry replacement bags.

This Miele is an example of a bagged canister vacuum.

Bagless

Bagless canister models do exist! These vacuum cleaners are a great solution for people who want to be environmentally friendly, or simply don’t want to be bothered to buy extra bags.

The canisters on these vacuums are generally clear, so you can see how much you’ve picked up and when you need to empty the dirt.

For example, this other Miele Blizzard CX1 Cat & Dog model is a bagless canister vacuum cleaner.

accordion_icon

Filters

Any vacuum you buy will have a filter system built-in. However, some filters are more effective than others.

The best filter you can buy is called a HEPA filter. HEPA filters are certified to meet very high standards. This includes trapping 99.97% of all particles that are larger than 0.3 microns (1).

In particular, a HEPA filtration system is a great option for people who suffer from allergies. However, a HEPA filter is truly a great investment for anyone who wants to keep dust out of the air.

Regardless of the brand, vacuum filters are usually easy to access and simple to clean or replace. Make sure you stay current with your filter maintenance. Using a vacuum cleaner with a dirty filter can put allergens and dust particles back into the air.

Look for canister HEPA vacuum cleaners, like this Miele Complete C3, that comes with a HEPA filter.

accordion_icon

Cord Length

Almost all canister vacuum cleaners are corded models. Because of this, having sufficient cord length is very important. With a long cord, you can reach the corners of a large room without needing to unplug and move the vacuum cleaner to find another outlet.

If you have a short cord, you may need to plug and unplug the appliance multiple times as you clean. You could also invest in an extension cord.

Cord length varies by brand and model. This Dyson, for example, has a 21-foot cord.

accordion_icon

Attachments & Accessories

Canister vacuums come with a variety of attachments for cleaning different surfaces. This makes the appliance very versatile. However, make sure you know what tools you’re looking for, because you don’t want to pay extra for unnecessary attachments.

Accessories are available for a variety of applications. However, some of the most common tools include a dusting brush, crevice tool, and upholstery tool.

Here are some things to consider when looking at attachments:

  • Carpet: If you have carpets, you’ll need powerful suction to remove the debris that gets stuck in the fibers. Keep an eye out for models that offer motorized carpet brushes so you can deep clean.
  • Wood floors: If you have hardwood, make sure you find a floor brush that won’t scratch it. You can even find some vacuums that are made specifically for bare floors. If you have both hard floors and carpeting, look for a model that allows you to switch between modes for both.
  • Pet hair: Some models come with a special brush pet hair. This allows you to remove stubborn hairs that wouldn’t come out with the vacuum’s normal suction.
  • Upholstery: Some vacuums come with specialized nozzles to clean chairs and sofas. These tools gently clean the fabric without damaging it. You can also find mini motorized nozzles for this task.
  • Hard to reach areas: Crevice tools are the perfect accessory for hard to reach places. You can easily remove dirt and debris from skirting boards, between seat cushions, and along the sides of appliances.
  • Tight spaces/elevated areas: Extension hose attachments increase the reach of the vacuum. These are particularly useful for places like the corners of high cabinets or cleaning stairs.
accordion_icon

Brands

There are many different manufacturers of canister vacuum cleaners, and they all have different features. These are some brands that make quality, powerful vacuums:

  • Eureka
  • Oreck
  • Dyson
  • Miele
  • Kenmore
  • Hoover
  • Electrolux
  • Panasonic
  • Sanitaire

The Best Canister Vacuum Cleaners Of 2021

Now that you’re familiar with the features to look for in a canister vacuum, here’s our list of the best models of 2021. We’ve spent hours comparing brands and specifications to bring you a comprehensive list that will make choosing easy.

1. Miele Classic C1 Bagged Canister Vacuum

When you’re vacuuming lots of dust and debris, you want all of that dirt to stay out of your house. A bagged canister vacuum is great at sucking up all of those particles and trapping allergens inside a bag for easy disposal.

This model from Miele vacuums picks up everything you need it to, and then you can throw out the bag when it’s full. It also uses the Miele AirClean Sealed System, which keeps particles out of the air. The filter system is specifically designed to neutralize pet odors with activated charcoal.

The 5-level height adjustment system means you can easily move from one surface to another in your house. And if you have hard floors and carpeting, you can clean them all with one appliance.

The 6 suction settings give you added versatility. You can choose how strongly you want the vacuum to suck, depending on whether you’re on laminate floors or high pile carpet.

This model also comes with 5 accessories for different applications, including a dusting brush, upholstery tool, and crevice tool. In particular, if you have pets, the handheld turbo brush will efficiently remove pet hair around your house.

PROS:
  • Convenient on-board tool storage
  • Quiet operation, even on highest suction setting
  • Easy storage with auto-retract cord feature
  • Very light and feels “ergonomically correct”
  • Practical on/off foot pedal controls
CONS:
  • Relatively short power cord — you may need to buy an extension cord
  • Tips over easily

Additional Specs

Weight 16.1 pounds
Cord Length N/A
Bag/Bagless Bagged
Bin Volume N/A
Mess Type Everyday Dirt, Heavy Traffic Dirt, Pet
Surface Type Bare floors, Carpet and Rugs, Pet Beds, Stairs,Upholstery and Fabric

2. Dyson Cinetic Big Ball Animal Canister

Buying vacuum bags can be a pain. You need to make sure you always have an extra on hand in case yours fills up. And sometimes you can’t find the one you need at the store. But with a bagless vacuum, you don’t need to worry about replacements. Plus, it’s more eco-friendly!

This Dyson model has a bagless dirt container. You can see through the clear canister to know when it’s full. Plus, the container has a built-in mechanism to drive out the dirt, so you don’t get your hands dirty when you empty it.
If you move around a lot while cleaning, the canister may tip over. But this Dyson model self corrects!

Instead of having a filter, this model uses Dyson Cinetic science to capture dust and small particles in its cinetic tips. That means you don’t have to worry about cleaning or buying replacement filters!

The turbine floor tool that comes with this Dyson canister vacuum uses carbon fibers to pick up fine particles and debris. And the brushes on this tool rotate in opposite directions, so hair doesn’t tangle around them.

PROS:
  • Strong suction
  • Efficient carpet tool
  • Excellent for picking up hair
  • Easy to maneuver
CONS:
  • Relatively expensive, compared to the competition
  • Need adaptors to connect some tools
  • Noisy

Additional Specs

Weight 17.64 pounds
Cord Length 6.6 meters
Bag/Bagless Bagless
Bin Volume 1.6 liters
Mess Type Everyday Dirt, Heavy Traffic Dirt, Pet
Surface Type Bare floors, Carpet and Rugs, Pet Beds, Stairs, Upholstery and Fabric

3. Eureka WhirlWind Bagless Canister Vacuum

Some vacuum cleaners are very expensive, but you can still find an excellent canister vacuum on a budget. With this Eureka model, you don’t need to sacrifice suction power or functionality.

This appliance has three airflow settings so that you can use one machine to clean multiple surfaces. The three settings make cleaning upholstery, carpet, and hard floors very efficient.

The swivel steering feature lets you easily maneuver around furniture, and the extension wand gives you access to hard to reach places.

This canister vacuum also uses a dual-cyclone filtration system to keep particles out of the air. It effectively filters debris without sacrificing suction power.

You can wash all the components of this vacuum, so you don’t need to worry about buying replacement filters or bags. When the filter gets dirty, simply rinse it, and then you’re ready to start working again. The bagless canister is also easy to empty, and it can be rinsed or wiped down if it gets too dirty.

The accessories for this vacuum, including a crevice tool and dusting brush, snap together to firmly secure them to the wand. This means they won’t come off while you’re working.

PROS:
  • Great value for the price
  • Extremely lightweight at 8 pounds, making it easy to maneuver
  • Very sturdy, including parts made of heavy-duty plastic
  • Easy to store
CONS:
  • Hard to maneuver on carpeting
  • Short 16-foot cord

Additional Specs

Weight 8 pounds
Cord Length 16 feet
Bag/Bagless Bagless
Bin Volume 2.5 liters
Mess Type Everyday Dirt, Heavy Traffic Dirt
Surface Type Bare floors, Upholstery and Fabric

4. Kenmore Pet-Friendly Canister Vacuum

Pet owners know that when you have lots of pets — or one pet that’s very fuzzy — you need a vacuum that will pick up all of the stray fur on your floor and furniture. A canister vacuum with the right attachments will allow you to pick up all the pet hair without clogging the appliance.

This Kenmore canister vacuum cleaner uses a 2-motor system for lots of power. This, combined with the rotating brushes, gives you a deep clean, particularly on carpet.

The motorized attachment, in particular, is great for pet owners. It pulls up pet hair much more efficiently than a standard suction nozzle.

The wand on this vacuum cleaner extends up to 9.5 feet, so you can pull up the pet hair from under furniture or in high corners. It also has a quick-release feature between the upper and lower halves, so you can rapidly change from cleaning the floor to the ceiling.

The 26-foot cord gives you a wide cleaning area, and it auto-retracts for easy storage.

There are 4 height adjustment levels on this canister vacuum, so you can clean a variety of surfaces, including hard floors and carpets.

This model boasts a triple HEPA filtration system. The HEPA filter will keep dirt, dust, and debris inside the vacuum and out of your air.

PROS:
  • Long power cord means you can work longer without unplugging the appliance
  • Strong suction
  • Conveniently-located on/off switch on the handle
  • Light sensor tells you when you’ve hit a patch of dirt
CONS:
  • Bulky and heavy
  • Stiff hose

Additional Specs

Weight 24.4 pounds
Cord Length 26 feet
Bag/Bagless Bagged
Bin Volume N/A
Mess Type Everyday Dirt, Heavy Traffic Dirt, Pet
Surface Type Bare floors, Pet beds, Carpets and rugs, Upholstery and Fabric

5. BISSELL Hard Floor Expert Multi-Cyclonic

It can be hard to find the right vacuum cleaner for hard floors. Some models push dust around without actually picking it up. Others can scratch delicate surfaces like laminate. This Bissell canister vacuum is specifically designed for hard floors, so it will work efficiently and safely.

This Bissell model features a hard floor turbine foot that’s designed to tackle stuck-on dirt while being gentle on your floors. It works well on all hard floors, such as tile, laminate, and hardwood. You can even see the brushes working because of the clear housing.

For area rugs and low pile carpets in your house, the multi-surface foot on this bagless canister will effectively pick up dirt and large particles.

The multi-cyclonic technology of this canister vacuum cleaner gives you excellent suction power.

You can store extra accessories on board for quick access while you’re working and convenient storage. The cord also auto-retracts.

PROS:
  • Relatively quiet
  • You can wash the filter
  • Good value
  • Easy to remove and empty canister
CONS:
  • Not very effective on rugs or carpeting
  • Hair tangles in the vacuum head
  • Not good for pet hair

Additional Specs

Weight 8.3 pounds
Cord Length 18 feet
Bag/Bagless Bagless
Bin Volume 67.6 ounces
Mess Type Everyday Dirt, Heavy Traffic Dirt
Surface Type Bare floors

6. Oreck Super-Deluxe Compact Canister Vacuum

A vacuum cleaner can take up a lot of space — especially a high-powered canister vacuum cleaner. Because of the design of a canister vacuum, the body and wand can be difficult to store in small spaces or storage closets. They can also weigh a lot.

That’s when you need a compact canister vacuum! This Oreck, for example, only weighs 4 pounds. Its sleek, compact design makes it an ideal appliance for small spaces, such as dorm rooms, cars, RVs, and boats. But you don’t have to worry about sacrificing power for size because this compact canister vacuum is strong enough to pick up a 16-pound bowling ball.

This vacuum cleaner is especially good for hard-to-reach areas, such as high ceilings, ceiling fans, or window blinds. You can either carry the light canister body in your hand, or you can wear it over your shoulder with the shoulder strap.

This Oreck is a bagged canister vacuum. It uses disposable bags to keep all of the vacuum’s debris sealed up for easy disposal.

The 4 attachments that come with this vacuum cleaner allow you to clean a variety of surfaces. Along with two different floor brushes, the kit even includes a mini tool for cleaning computers and other delicate, intricate objects.

This compact canister vacuum can also be converted into a blower for even more versatility.

PROS:
  • Easy to carry around, including up and down stairs
  • Sturdy and long-lasting
  • Powerful suction
CONS:
  • Accessories do not attach firmly and may move or come off while cleaning
  • Short, inflexible hose
  • Brush bristles may scratch hardwood or laminate

Additional Specs

Weight 4 pounds
Cord Length 20 feet
Bag/Bagless Bagged
Bin Volume N/A
Mess Type Everyday Dirt, Heavy Traffic Dirt
Surface Type Hard to reach areas, Upholstery

7. Hoover ONEPWR Wet/Dry Canister Vacuum

A big mess calls for an extremely powerful vacuum cleaner. And this is especially true if you are working in the automotive industry or have a workshop with lots of dirt and large debris. A wet/dry canister vacuum cleaner will clean up your mess easily!

This Hoover works with both wet and dry messes, so you can easily remove water, dust, or large particles like wood shavings. The tank holds six gallons, so you can pick up huge messes before you need to empty the machine. It also runs with up to 65 CFM, so it has very powerful suction.

The canister has both small and large wheels, designed in such a way that it won’t tip. You can turn the vacuum 360 degrees, and it won’t fall over.

This bagless canister vacuum is a cordless model, so you don’t have to worry about tripping over a cord or finding an outlet. Just make sure you keep the battery charged!

The accessories are stored on board, so you can quickly switch from vacuuming the floor with the main head to cleaning out your car seats with the crevice tool.

PROS:
  • Durable for picking up large debris
  • Maneuvers well, and it’s light for a shop vac
  • Huge dust cup capacity
  • Easy to empty
CONS:
  • Battery only lasts about 10-20 minutes before it needs recharging

Additional Specs

Weight 18.4 pounds
Cord Length Cordless
Bag/Bagless Bagless
Bin Volume 6 gallon/22 liters
Mess Type Everyday Dirt, Heavy Traffic Dirt, Auto and Garage
Surface Type Auto and Garage, Hard floors, Pets

8. BISSELL SmartClean Canister Vacuum Cleaner

Some rooms are difficult to vacuum because the ceilings are high or there are too few outlets. In this case, you either need a battery-powered model or a very long cord. Battery-powered vacuums often have lower suction than corded models. So a canister vacuum like this Bissell model will allow you to clean large spaces without sacrificing power.

The 30-foot power cord on this bagless canister vacuum, combined with the long hose and wand, gives you a 40-foot operating radius. This means you can clean a large area without needing to unplug the canister vacuum to find another outlet.

You can also easily clean different surfaces with this one appliance because it has three suction control speeds. The LED display lets you know which setting you are on.

In addition, the multi-surface floor nozzle works on both carpet and hard surfaces, such as tile floors. The Edge Cleaning Bristles even help remove dirt from cabinets and baseboards.

When you need to clean under furniture, the wand on this canister vacuum cleaner lays flat.

If you’re cleaning soft surfaces such as upholstery, the integrated dust brush picks up dirt and hair.

When it comes time to empty the canister, the Multi-Cyclonic Spooling System makes the debris fall right out, so you don’t need to reach in with your hands.

PROS:
  • Extra-long reach
  • Relatively quiet
  • Large dust cup capacity
CONS:
  • Heavy
  • Brush bristles may scratch delicate flooring
  • No spinning brushes for carpeting

Additional Specs

Weight 18.1 pounds
Cord Length 30 feet
Bag/Bagless Bagless
Bin Volume 2 liters
Mess Type Everyday Dirt, Heavy Traffic Dirt, Pet
Surface Type Hard floors, Low pile carpet and rugs, Upholstery

Canister Vacuum Comparison Chart

ProductWeightCord LengthBag/BaglessBin VolumeSurface Type
Miele Classic C1 Bagged Canister Vacuum16.1 poundsN/ABaggedN/ABare floors, Carpet and Rugs, Pet Beds, Stairs, Upholstery and Fabric
Dyson Cinetic Big Ball Animal Canister17.64 pounds6.6 metersBagless1.6 litersBare floors, Carpet and Rugs, Pet Beds, Stairs, Upholstery and Fabric
Eureka WhirlWind Bagless Vacuum8 pounds16 feetBagless2.5 litersBare floors, Upholstery and Fabric
Kenmore Pet-Friendly Canister Vacuum24.4 pounds26 feetBaggedN/ABare floors, Pet beds, Carpets and rugs, Upholstery and Fabric
BISSELL Hard Floor Expert Multi-Cyclonic8.3 pounds18 feetBagless67.6 ouncesBare floors
Oreck Super-Deluxe Compact Canister Vacuum4 pounds20 feetBaggedN/AHard to reach areas, Upholstery
Hoover ONEPWR Wet/Dry Canister Vacuum18.4 poundsCordlessBagless6 gallon/22 litersAuto and Garage, Hard floors, Pets
BISSELL SmartClean Canister Vacuum Cleaner18.1 pounds30 feetBagless2 litersHard floors, Low pile carpet and rugs, Upholstery
Jump to the Full Canister Vacuum Reviews

Keep These Factors in Mind Before Buying a Canister Vacuum

While a canister vacuum can be a great tool in many applications, there are some drawbacks to keep in mind.
For instance, it can be very difficult to move a canister vacuum cleaner on large areas of high pile carpet.

Also, storage can be an issue. The wand and hose make a canister vacuum cleaner take up more space than an upright or stick vacuum.

Also, when considering a canister vacuum, think about how you will be moving around in the space you’re cleaning. With a canister vacuum, you will be dragging part of the machine behind you. This means you’re essentially moving two pieces, rather than one.

And if you’re in a small space, you usually don’t have to move the canister much at all — all you are moving is the wand.

Additionally, with a canister vacuum, you’ll almost always need to worry about the cord. Since most models are corded, you need to think about how many outlets you have and where they are placed. You also run the risk of tripping over the cord while you’re working, which makes corded vacuums less safe than cordless models.

Because of the cord and relatively large size of a canister vacuum, it can feel like a pain to bring out the appliance for a small mess. They are more of a nuisance if you need to clean out your car or transport the vacuum somewhere.

Jeneva Aaron

About the Author

Jeneva Aaron

Jeneva has over years of passion for home decorating and cleaning. She is the founder and CEO of thehousewire.com where she provides honest and objective reviews on home and cleaning products.

Related Reading

Comments are closed here.