Best Vacuum Cleaners of 2017

Are you a floor cleaning fanatic? After evaluating over 115 different models, we bought the 12 best vacuum cleaners available today and tested them side-by-side to see which one swept away the competition. We ranked and scored the performance of both upright and canister models, assessing how well they cleaned carpet and hardwood floor, as well as other hard and soft floor types. In addition, we also judged how easy it is to clean non-floor areas of your home and how easy each product is to use in general. It can be quite hard to find the perfect vacuum, with prices ranging from $50 to $500 and tons of different types and features available. Take a look at the complete review below to see if the performance of that premium-priced vacuum is really worth it and to see which one is the best fit to keep your floors sparkling.

Read the full review below ≫

Test Results and Ratings

Displaying 1 - 5 of 12 ≪ Previous | View All | Next ≫
Rank #3 #4 #1 #2 #8
Product
Kenmore Elite Pet Friendly
Miele Compact C1 Turbo
Shark Rotator with DuoClean
Dyson Ball Animal 2
BISSELL Zing
Awards  Editors' Choice Award    Editors' Choice Award    Best Buy Award 
Price $350 List
$199.99 at Amazon
$400 List
$399.00 at Amazon
$300 List
$189.99 at Amazon
$500 List$50 List
$49.99 at Amazon
Overall Score
100
0
69
100
0
68
100
0
73
100
0
70
100
0
59
Star Rating
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Pros Best at cleaning carpet, easy to use, exceptional at picking up pet hairDid very well at picking up pet hair, light, maneuverableFantastic cleaning power, easy to use, easy to handleGreat at cleaning carpets and hard floors, nimble, fantastic at picking up pet hairAgile, maneuverable, cleans decently well
Cons Heavy, hard to handlePriceyFalls over easily, average reachExpensivePoor performance in the pet hair pickup test
Ratings by Category Kenmore Elite Pet Friendly Miele Compact C1 Turbo Shark Rotator with DuoClean Dyson Ball Animal 2 BISSELL Zing
Carpet Cleaning - 35%  
10
0
8
10
0
7
10
0
7
10
0
7
10
0
6
Ease Of Use - 25%
10
0
7
10
0
6
10
0
7
10
0
6
10
0
6
Handling - 20%
10
0
4
10
0
6
10
0
7
10
0
7
10
0
7
Hard Surface Cleaning - 10%
10
0
6
10
0
7
10
0
9
10
0
7
10
0
6
Pet Hair - 10%
10
0
9
10
0
9
10
0
8
10
0
9
10
0
3
Specs Kenmore Elite Pet Friendly Miele Compact C1 Turbo Shark Rotator with DuoClean Dyson Ball Animal 2 BISSELL Zing
Vacuum type Upright Canister Upright Upright Canister
Model Number 31150 SCAE0 NV800W 227635-01 4122
Bag Type: Bag Bag Bagless Bagless Bagless

Analysis and Award Winners


Review by:
David Wise and Austin Palmer

Last Updated:
Tuesday
October 17, 2017

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Updated October 2017
There hasn't been anything particularly new or noteworthy in the world of vacuums as of late, so there aren't any new products to add to the review. While there have been some new additions to the Shark lineup, these new Apex models don't appear to be radically different than our current award winners, only having a wider brush roll and an "Advanced Anti-Allergen Complete Seal Technology" compared to the "Anti-Allergen Complete Seal Technology" on our current award winners. These models cost $50-$100 more than our current recommendation, so we aren't sold on them yet, but they might be something to consider if you are particularly sensitive to airborne allergens or if you have large expanses of carpet to clean and will benefit from a wider brush roll. We'll keep an eye out for anything else that looks promising, but the following vacuums are the best you can get at the moment.

Best Overall Vacuum Cleaner


Shark Rotator with DuoClean


Editors' Choice Award

$189.99
at Amazon
See It

Great at hard surfaces
Good at pet hair cleanup
Great at cleaning carpets
Average reach
Falls over relatively easy when using hose attachment

Earning the best score of the entire group, the Rotator with DuoClean by Shark earned an Editors' Choice award for its outstanding performance in our tests. This model dominated our tests, delivering a particularly impressive showing when it came to cleaning hard floors. This product is supremely easy to use, with its Lift-Away features making it possible to clean every aspect of your home — even the ceiling! It's nimble and maneuverable, with strong performances in almost every single one of our tests. It is the perfect option for those that can't abide for anything less than spotless when it comes to the cleanliness of their homes and thoroughly earned the title of Best Overall.

Read review: Shark Rotator with DuoClean

Best for Carpet Cleaning


Kenmore Elite Pet Friendly


Editors' Choice Award

$199.99
at Amazon
See It

Unparalleled carpet cleaning ability
Fantastic at pet hair
Cleans close to edges
Hard to maneuver
Heavy

Standing out from the rest of the pack with its unmatched carpet cleaning capabilities, the Elite Pet Friendly from Kenmore also earned an Editors' Choice award. This bulky bagged vacuum cleaner is a little bare bones when it comes to extra features and functions, but it can't be beaten when it comes to cleaning performance. It is definitely a hefty product and a little less maneuverable, but it is the clear choice for carpeted homes that have need heavy-duty cleaning. It also does a solid job at keeping hard floors cleans and is definitely something to consider if you want a vacuum that can keep up with even the messiest pets or kids.

Read review: Kenmore Elite Pet Friendly

Best Bang for the Buck


Shark Navigator Deluxe


Best Buy Award

$99.00
at Amazon
See It

Great at pet hair
Fantastic value
Short reach
Average maneuverability

Searching for a fantastic vacuum cleaner but find the idea of spending over $300 absurd? The Shark Navigator Deluxe is an awesome vacuum cleaner at an even better price. This model did reasonably well across the board, even taking home the top score in our pet hair collection challenge. This bagless vacuum is highly maneuverable and is a fantastic value. The Navigator is easy to use with plenty of convenience features and only struggled with our hardest cleaning challenges. For those that want the best without spending a ton of cash, then this is the vacuum for you!

Read review: Shark Navigator Deluxe

Best on a Tight Budget


BISSELL Zing


Best Buy Award

$49.99
at Amazon
See It

Inexpensive
Handles great
Subpar at picking up pet hair
Short reach

This inexpensive canister vacuum isn't the top model by any means, but it did decently well in our tests. It scored above average in every set of tests besides pet hair collection and cost a fraction of the price of the top models. This no-frills model is very nimble and maneuverable for cleaning in tight places, can keep both carpet and hard floors suitably clean, and doesn't weigh too much. For those that want a bare-bones option for a tight budget, then the Zing is a great pick.

Read review: BISSELL Zing

Best Canister Vacuum


Miele Compact C1 Turbo



$399.00
at Amazon
See It

Great at cleaning carpet
Very maneuverable
Fantastic at pet hair
Expensive

While the performance of the Miele Compact C1 Turbo didn't merit an award, we felt that this vacuum cleaner still deserved some recognition. This canister vacuum is easy to use and setup, highly maneuverable, and one of our favorite models for quick cleanup — especially in cluttered areas. The Miele earned the highest score of all the canister vacuums in our test, making it a solid choice for those that have a strong preference for this style of vacuum over an upright model. Unfortunately, this bagged vacuum is quite expensive — one of the pricier models of the entire group. While Miele vacuums do have a solid reputation for longevity and durability, it still is a formidable chunk of change to spend on a vacuum that didn't take home the top score.

Read review: Miele Compact C1 Turbo

select up to 5 products
Score Product Price Our Take
73
$300
Editors' Choice Award
Earning the top score in our test, the Rotator with DuoClean is for those that want the very best
70
$500
The Ball Animal 2 from Dyson delivered a second-tier performance at a top-tier price
69
$350
Editors' Choice Award
The Kenmore was unmatched when it came to cleaning carpet
68
$400
For those with a strong preference towards canister vacuums, the Miele Compact C1 is the best of the best
63
$180
Best Buy Award
The Navigator offers the best bang for the buck of the entire bunch
62
$500
The Dyson Cinetic Big Ball did well in our tests, but not well enough to justify its exceptionally high price
59
$90
The Eureka did an acceptable job, but was a little pricey for its performance
59
$50
Best Buy Award
For those that don't want to spend a ton of money, you can't go wrong with the Bissell Zing
53
$200
Regardless of the infomercials, the Oreck XL failed to excel in our tests and we don't really recommend it
48
$70
This compact, bagless canister vacuum is alright if you only have to clean up light messes and don't want to spend a ton of cash.
48
$100
You could get a much better vacuum for the same price
45
$80
Earning the lowest score of the bunch, the 9595A wasn't our first choice, or second choice, or third choice

The top vacuums on the market  ready for some head-to-head testing.
The top vacuums on the market, ready for some head-to-head testing.

Analysis and Test Results


To rate these products, we put them through a series of challenging tests designed to push them to their limits. We conducted over 20 different tests for each vacuum, equating to hours and hours vacuuming up pet hair, oatmeal, flour, cereal, and rice from different types of carpet and hard floors. These tests were divided among 5 weighted rating metrics: Carpet Cleaning, Ease of Use, Handling, Hard Surface Cleaning, and Pet Hair. Each product received a score from 0-100, with the following sections giving more details about how each product performed and why it scored.

The Kenmore Elite was the top performer when it came to cleaning carpets.
The Kenmore Elite was the top performer when it came to cleaning carpets.

Carpet Cleaning


By far the most common use for these products and the first thing that comes to mind when thinking about vacuums is cleaning carpets. Consequently, this metric accounted for the largest portion of the score, weighing in at 35% of the total score. We used oatmeal, cereal, rice, and flour as our sample types of debris, spreading each out on the low and medium-pile carpet and pressing it in with a floor roller, then running each vacuum over it. We compared the results, counting the number of passes to get the floor visually clean, as well as comparing the amount of debris picked up in a single pass to determine scores, shown by the following chart.


As shown, the Kenmore Elite Pet Friendly took home the top score, earning an 8 out of 10 for its exceptional performance. This model did an amazing job collecting rice, only requiring two passes to clean the everything up, on both low and medium-pile carpet.

The Kenmore continued its excellent performance when it came to cereal and oatmeal, leading the group. However, it did take a few more passes (6-8) to get the oatmeal out of the fluffy, medium-pile carpet satisfactorily. Unfortunately, the performance dropped when it came to flour — while it still maintained its top spot when cleaning the flour out of the medium-pile carpet, the Kenmore dropped to the middle of the pack on the low-pile carpet, outperformed by both Shark vacuums and the Hoover WindTunnel.

The Kenmore struggled slightly with the flour on low-pile carpet  dropping to the middle of the pack.
The Kenmore struggled slightly with the flour on low-pile carpet, dropping to the middle of the pack.

Following the Kenmore, a trio of vacuums all tied for the runner-up position, with the Shark Rotator with DuoClean, Dyson Ball Animal 2, and the Miele Compact C1 all earning a 7 out of 10 for their superb carpet cleaning skills.

The Shark Rotator did an excellent job at collecting the rice — on par with the Kenmore — even getting the vast majority of the rice in a single pass on the medium-pile carpet.

The Rotator collected the vast majority of rice with a single pass.
The Rotator collected the vast majority of rice with a single pass.

The Shark Rotator performed on par with the Kenmore for cereal, requiring 2 or fewer passes to sufficiently clean the carpet, and even did the best out of all the vacuums at collection flour from low-pile carpet, tying with the Dyson Cinetic Big Ball. However, the performance of the Rotator dropped to third overall when collection flour from fluffy carpet and didn't really impress at collecting oatmeal, requiring 10 passes to sufficiently clean the carpet.

The Dyson Ball Animal 2 matched the performance of the Shark Rotator at collecting rice, though it did take a few more passes to match the amount of material collected. However, it did relatively poorly at collecting flour — dropping to the middle and the lower half of the pack for this test — tying with the Hoover on the flat carpet and performing second-worst in the fluffy carpet test, only beating the Oreck.

This model did somewhat poorly  taking plenty of passes and leaving plenty of residual flour behind.
This model did somewhat poorly, taking plenty of passes and leaving plenty of residual flour behind.

It performed on par with the Rotator for collecting cereal and oatmeal on low-pile carpet, but slightly worse on the fluffier, medium-pile tests.

The Miele did quite well at collecting flour, tying for the overall runner-up position in both of the tests.

The Miele did quite well at collecting flour from flat carpet  earning the runner-up position for its performance.
The Miele did quite well at collecting flour from flat carpet, earning the runner-up position for its performance.

However, its performance dropped slightly in the remaining three tests — delivering an above-average, rather than exceptional performance. It did slightly worse than the Dyson Ball Animal 2 at collecting oatmeal on low-pile carpet but slightly better on fluffy carpet, doing as well as the Kenmore. It did reasonably well in the cereal and rice test, performing well on the flat carpet and average on the fluffy carpet.

Next, the Shark Navigator Deluxe and the Bissell Zing earned a 6 out of 10 for their overall above average performance at cleaning carpets.

The Shark Navigator didn't quite match the Rotator when it came to collecting rice, performing similarly on flat carpet but lagging behind on the fluffy carpet. The Navigator left more rice behind than the Rotator after completing more passes. The same pattern emerged in the flour test, with the Navigator coming in a very close second to the Rotator and the Dyson Cinetic Big Ball on the low-pile carpet, but finishing in the middle of the pack in the fluffy carpet test.

The Navigator did very well  but it was still bested by the Rotator.
The Navigator did very well, but it was still bested by the Rotator.

Once again, the Navigator did better at collecting cereal from the low-pile carpet, only requiring an extra pass to match the Rotator or Kenmore, but requiring multiple passes to clean sufficiently, as it tended to "snowplow" the Cheerios around, rather than sucking them up. However, the Navigator did do very well in the oatmeal test, matching the performance of the Rotator.

The Bissell Zing delivered a solid performance across the board, doing particularly well in the flour and cereal test. While it did alright at the low-pile carpet, it tended to do much better on the fluffy carpet — breaking a trend for these products. In fact, it almost tied the Kenmore's performance at collecting flour from the medium-pile carpet. It delivered an average performance in the rice and oatmeal tests.

The Zing did quite well at collecting rice  though it took a few passes and would occasionally pile it up.
The Zing did quite well at collecting rice, though it took a few passes and would occasionally pile it up.

Next, the Dyson Cinetic Big Ball, Eureka Mighty Mite, and Hoover WindTunnel 2 all earned a 5 out of 10 for their acceptable carpet cleaning performance. The Dyson Cinetic Big Ball led this trio in the rice test, outperforming both the Eureka and the Hoover. However, it still couldn't come close to the performance of either Shark model or the Dyson Ball Animal 2. However, the Dyson Cinetic Big Ball did do exceptionally well in the flour test, receiving the top score overall on low-pile and the third-highest on medium pile carpet.

The Dyson Cinetic did the best of the entire group at the flour on flat carpet test.
The Dyson Cinetic did the best of the entire group at the flour on flat carpet test.

The Eureka and the Hoover did a slightly sub-par job at collecting rice, leaving behind a significant amount of rice. Their performance didn't improve in the flour test, only collecting the flour on the surface of the carpet.

Moving on to the cereal test, the Eureka actually did quite well, doing an above average job on par with the Bissell Zing. The Hoover did about average, while the Dyson Cinetic Big Ball did an abysmal job, clogging up from the crushed Cheerios.

The Cheerios proved too much for the Cinetic Big Ball  clogging it almost immediately.
The Cheerios proved too much for the Cinetic Big Ball, clogging it almost immediately.

The Dyson Cinetic did redeem itself slightly in the oatmeal test, doing an average to an above-average job, only leaving a few flakes behind. The Hoover followed closely, leaving a little bit more behind, with the Eureka leaving the most oatmeal remaining of this trio.

Finishing at the back of the group for our carpet cleaning tests, the Oreck XL, Bissell Zing Rewind, and the Bissell 9595A all earned a 4 out of 10 for their subpar performance. The 9595A and the Zing Rewind did very poorly at collecting rice, with the Oreck performing even worse, leaving plenty of residual rice after multiple passes.

The Oreck and Bissell 9595A both finished at the back of the pack in the flour rest, earning the worst and second-worst score respectively. Performance improved slightly with cereal and oatmeal, with both models scoring average, or just below. The Rewind actually did quite well at collecting flour, matching the performance of the Shark Navigator or the Kenmore. However, its performance plummeted when it came to collecting Cheerios, tying for the worst score of the group due to it repeatedly clogging.

In our Cheerios test the Zing got over eager and ended up getting clogged. It would be easier to pick up the Cheerios without the brush attachment on.
In our Cheerios test the Zing got over eager and ended up getting clogged. It would be easier to pick up the Cheerios without the brush attachment on.

It did a little better at collecting oats, but not by much.

The Eureka Mighty Mite was exceptionally convenient and easy to use.
The Eureka Mighty Mite was exceptionally convenient and easy to use.

Ease of Use


Ranking behind carpet cleaning performance, our Ease of Use metric ranked next in terms of importance, accounting for 25% of the final score. We compared the noise of each vacuum cleaner, its maximum reach, the ease of cleaning close to edges and under furniture, as well as how each vacuum handled transitioning between different surfaces. You can see how each product performed in the following chart.


There wasn't as much of a stark contrast in performance in this metric, with a trio of models — the Shark Rotator DuoClean, Kenmore Elite Pet Friendly, and Eureka Mighty Mite — earning the top score of 7 out of 10. The Eureka and the Shark Rotator both handle surface transitions exceptionally well — though not quite on par with the Dyson Ball Animal 2. The Eureka has a button on the head, while the Rotator had a button on the handle, with a hard floor option that will slow down the rotating brush.

The Rotator has a button on the handle to switch between hard and soft floors.
The Rotator has a button on the handle to switch between hard and soft floors.

It was a little hard to adjust the Kenmore, requiring you to adjust a knob on the front of the vacuum. However, the Kenmore was the beat of the entire group at cleaning in close to the edge, leaving the least residual debris.

The Kenmore did exceptionally well in this test  leaving practically no debris behind.
The Kenmore did exceptionally well in this test, leaving practically no debris behind.

The Eureka also did well at edging — better than the Shark Rotator. The Shark Rotator did do very well at cleaning under furniture, reaching 10.5" without the lift-away function and completely cleaning underneath when using it. The Eureka matched the performance of the Rotator, while the Kenmore only made it about 7" under our test "sofa".

The Kenmore didn't reach particularly far under our test "sofa".
The Kenmore didn't reach particularly far under our test "sofa".

The Kenmore did well in our maximum reach test with its max range of 37', exceeding the 32' and 30' of the Shark and the Eureka. The Kenmore and Shark Rotator are also some of the quietest models of the group, with the Eureka being slightly louder.

Following the top performing models, the majority of the pack all were about the same to use, with the Bissell Zing, Bissell Zing Rewind, Dyson Ball Animal 2, Dyson Cinetic Big Ball, Miele Compact C1 Turbo, Oreck XL, and Shark Navigator Deluxe all earning a 6 out of 10 for their above average performance.

The Dyson Ball Animal 2 is the best at switching between flooring types, automatically transitioning, with the option to turn off the brush. The Bissell Zing and the Zing Rewind are identical to the Eureka when transitioning, with a button on the head that you step on.

The Bissell has a convenient stomp switch to transition between floor types.
The Bissell has a convenient stomp switch to transition between floor types.

The Dyson Cinetic will automatically transition between surfaces, but the brush can't be stopped. However, you can hold a trigger down to release suction to avoid sucking in long fibers from rugs or high-pile carpets. The Shark Navigator doesn't adjust for different floors, but allows you to turn the brush on or off. The Miele requires you to swap heads for hard floors, while the Oreck lacks all adjustability.

The Dyson Ball Animal 2 did the best of this group at edging, just barely being outperformed by the Kenmore. Next, the Shark Navigator and the Oreck got the next-closest to the edge, both leaving a small amount of debris in the tight corner.

The Oreck also did exceptionally well in our edging test.
The Oreck also did exceptionally well in our edging test.

The Bissell Zing, Zing Rewind, Dyson Cinetic Big Ball, and Miele were all about average, leaving more debris in the corner and missing a few spots here and there.

The Miele, Dyson Cinetic, Bissell Zing Rewind, and the Zing did exceptionally well at reaching under furniture, with this quartet of canister vacuums completely cleaning the area under our test "sofa". The Oreck also did very well, especially for an upright model, reaching between 10"-11" under the furniture. The Shark Navigator and the Dyson Ball Animal 2 did alright, reaching about 6" under.

The Dyson Ball Animal 2 doesn't clean particularly far under furniture.
The Dyson Ball Animal 2 doesn't clean particularly far under furniture.

The Oreck XL had the longest reach of the group at 37', with the Bissell Zing and the Shark Navigator having the shortest at 27'. The Miele and Dyson models were in the middle, ranging from 30' and 32'. The Zing Rewind had an unusually short reach, topping out at about 24'.

The Shark Navigator, Bissell Zing, Zing Rewind and Miele were on the quiet side — on par or just slightly louder than the Kenmore. The Dyson models were about average, similar to the Eureka, and the Oreck XL was a bit loud.

Finishing out the bottom of this metric, the Bissell 9595A and the Hoover WindTunnel once again earned the lowest score, meriting a 4 out of 10 for their subpar performance.

Both of these models have a knob in the front to adjust the height for different floors, but neither of these models allows you to stop the brush. These vacuums didn't excel in the edging test, leaving a small strip of rice behind.

The Hoover left a trail of debris behind in our edging test.
The Hoover left a trail of debris behind in our edging test.

The Hoover did alright at reaching under furniture, making it about 7" — on par with the Kenmore. The Bissell 9595A only made it about 5", making it the worst of the entire group. Both the Bissell 9595A and the Hoover have a comparatively short reach of 27' and were on the louder side.

The Zing was one of the best when it came to handling.
The Zing was one of the best when it came to handling.

Handling


Comprising 20% of the total score, our Handling metric encompassed maneuvering each vacuum around common obstacles, cleaning stairs, and the pushing/pulling effort required from each model to clean. You can see how each vacuum scored in the chart below.


The Eureka Mighty Mite actually snagged the top spot, earning an 8 out of 10 for its exceptional performance in this metric. This highly maneuverable little vacuum easily cleans stairs, reaching up to 9 standard step before requiring you to move the canister.

The Eureka only reached 9 steps  but made up for it by being very easy to move.
The Eureka only reached 9 steps, but made up for it by being very easy to move.

It's also very light, so it's not too much effort when you actually move the main body of the vacuum cleaner. This canister vacuum also scored well in our maneuverability test, though the **Shark Rotator* and both Dyson models did navigate the test course with just a little bit more finesse. The Eureka was less effort to push and pull, requiring the least exertion of the entire group.

Following the Eureka, the Shark Rotator, Dyson Cinetic, Dyson Ball Animal 2, and the Bissell Zing all earned a 7 out of 10 for their maneuverability performance. The Bissell Zing and the Dyson Ball Animal 2 were the best of this group at cleaning stairs. The Zing could only reach 7 steps with its hose, less than the 12 the hose of the Dyson Ball Animal 2 could, but the Zing is much, much lighter and easier to move.

The Dyson Ball Animal 2 has an exceptional reach  able to clean the entire flight of stairs without needing to be moved.
The Dyson Ball Animal 2 has an exceptional reach, able to clean the entire flight of stairs without needing to be moved.

The Shark Rotator and the Dyson Cinetic reached about as far as the Zing, but were considerably heavier. However, the Shark Rotator, Dyson Cinetic, and Dyson Ball Animal 2 earned the highest marks overall in our test course, maneuvering through it flawlessly.

We found the Bissell Zing to be the hardest to maneuver of all the canister vacuums, but it did require minimal effort to push or pull. The Dyson Cinetic was a little more work than the Zing, but not as much as the Shark Rotator or the Dyson Ball Animal 2.

The Cinetic Big Ball took the most work to push or pull out of the canister vacuums.
The Cinetic Big Ball took the most work to push or pull out of the canister vacuums.

Next, the Miele, Oreck XL, Bissell Zing Rewind and Shark Navigator all earned a 6 out for their overall handling. The Shark Navigator can reach up to 12 steps with its hose and is even lighter than the Dyson Ball Animal 2, putting it at the top in our stair cleaning test. The Miele could reach about one step further than the Bissell Zing and the Dyson Cinetic, but is heavier than the Zing and lighter than the Dyson. This put the Miele slightly above average at cleaning stairs, while the Oreck was the worst, lacking a cleaning hose. The Zing Rewind is exceptionally light, but it can only reach about 7 steps before you have to move it, making it about average difficulty to clean a flight of stairs.

The Miele did maneuver very well through our test course, on par with the Eureka Mighty Mite. The Oreck XL and the Shark Navigator handled alright, but were substantially clunkier than the Shark Rotator or Dyson Ball Animal 2. The Oreck did take a little less effort to push or pull than the Shark Navigator or Miele — on par with the Dyson Cinetic. The Zing Rewind matched the Zing in terms of maneuverability, but it took a little more work to push or pull, as the bristles in the Rewind's brush head were a little stiffer and dragged on the ground.

A comparison of the brush heads on the Zing and the zing Rewind.
A comparison of the brush heads on the Zing and the zing Rewind.

Moving up in the ranks slightly, the Bissell 9595A and the Hoover WindTunnel tied for the second to last position in our Handling metric, both earning a 5 out of 10 for their average showing. Both of these vacuums had decently long reaches, making it up 8 stairs and weren't terribly heavy.

The reach on the Hoover was alright.
The reach on the Hoover was alright.

However, this pair weren't the most maneuverable, clunkier and more cumbersome to steer than the Oreck XL and the Shark Navigator. The 9595A and the Hoover weren't too difficult to push or pull around, on par with the Dyson Ball Animal 2.

Finishing out the bottom of our Handling metric, the Kenmore Elite earned the lowest score of 4 out of 10. This model only reached up 6.5 stairs before you needed to move it — a pain, as it is exceptionally heavy. This model is big and clunky, making it hard to maneuver through our obstacle course, and requires significant effort to push or pull.

The front brush on the Rotator helped collect debris on hard floors  rather than spraying it around.
The front brush on the Rotator helped collect debris on hard floors, rather than spraying it around.

Hard Surface Cleaning


Making up 10% of the total score, our Hard Surface Cleaning test is essentially identical to our carpet cleaning tests, with hardwood floor swapped for carpet. Once again, we spread oatmeal, flour, cereal, and rice on the floor and vacuumed it up, evaluating the performance of each model. Our results are shown in the table below.


The Shark Rotator DuoClean earned the top score in this metric, receiving a 9 out of 10 for its excellent performance. Using the hard floor setting, the Rotator collected practically all of the rice in a single pass — even sucking in rice that was wider than the brush head, drawing it in. This model also did a fantastic job at cleaning flour from the hard floor, even cleaning it out of the cracks and crevices — though it took about 10 passes.

The Shark Rotator did an excellent job in our flour test.
The Shark Rotator did an excellent job in our flour test.

This model carried its excellent performance over to our cereal and oatmeal tests, doing the best job at cleaning of the entire group with only a single pass.

After the Shark Rotator, the Miele and the Dyson Ball Animal 2 earned the next highest score of 7 out of 10. The Ball Animal 2 picked up all the rice on the first pass, similar to the Shark Rotator, while the Miele required two passes to match its performance. However, the Miele did match the performance of the Ball Animal 2 and the Shark Rotator in our flour test, with all three of these vacuums receiving a perfect score.

The Miele matched the performance of the Rotator in our flour test.
The Miele matched the performance of the Rotator in our flour test.

The Dyson Ball Animal 2 did outperform the Miele at collecting Cheerios, once again only needing a single pass to the **Miele*'s two. However, the Dyson would occasionally push the Cheerios around and pile them up, rather than sucking them up. The Dyson finished this metric with a reasonably good score in our oatmeal test, only leaving a few pieces behind that fell into the cracks between boards. The Miele did alright, tending to push stuff around more often than collecting it.

The bulk of the vacuums came next, with the Bissell Zing, Dyson Cinetic Big Ball, Eureka Mighty Mite, Kenmore Elite, and the Shark Navigator all earning a 6 out of 10 for their hard floor cleaning abilities.

The Shark Navigator did the best of this group in the rice cleanup test, only needing a single pass to collect everything, compared to the two passes it took the rest. However, the Shark Navigator's performance dropped in the flour test, as the wheels would pick up plenty of flour. The Kenmore also suffered from a similar problem.

As shown  the Kenmore substantially struggled with this test.
As shown, the Kenmore substantially struggled with this test.

The Dyson Cinetic did an excellent job, receiving a perfect score. The Bissell Zing would collect the flour out of the cracks if you really pushed the bristles of the brush head in, but nothing could be done to clean the flour out of the cracks with the Eureka.

The Eureka got most of the surface flour  but would only get the flour out from the cracks with significant pressure and scrubbing.
The Eureka got most of the surface flour, but would only get the flour out from the cracks with significant pressure and scrubbing.

The Kenmore led this group in the Cheerio collection test, doing a fine job. This vacuum was closely followed by the Shark Navigator, Bissell Zing, and Eureka Mighty Mite. The Navigator would have some Cheerios trapped in its brush, while the Eureka and Zing would push the cereal around, rather than collecting it when moving the brush forward. These canister vacs would collect the cereal when you pulled the head towards you, leaving enough of a gap for the Cheerios to be sucked up.

The Dyson Cinetic did an absolutely terrible job at collecting Cheerios, crushing them up and immediately clogging.

Moving on to our oatmeal pickup test, the Kenmore and the Shark did fairly well, performing similarly to the Dyson Ball Animal 2. The remaining three canister vacuums (Eureka Mighty Might, Dyson Cinetic, and Bissell Zing) all struggled with collecting oatmeal, instead preferring to push it around into piles.

The Zing would push the oats around  rather than collecting them.
The Zing would push the oats around, rather than collecting them.

Tying for the second to last position in this metric, the Oreck XL and the Zing Rewind both earned a 4 out of 10 for their mediocre hard floor cleaning efforts. The Oreck did about average at collecting rice, though it did fling some around. It also did quite well at collecting flour, even getting some out of the cracks, performing on par with the Eureka. However, it did terrible at collecting cereal and oatmeal. The Cheerios were just pushed around, while the oatmeal test ended in mild catastrophe. The Oreck flung oats everywhere, rather than collecting them.

The Zing Rewind did a good job at collecting flour, matching the performance of the Zing and exceeding that of the Oreck, but it severely struggled on the larger debris types. It only pushed the Cheerios around, failing to collect any until we removed the brush head and used the bare hose. Rice and oats were also problematic, accumulating in the brush head only to fall out at a later time and create a new mess.

Last, in this set of tests, the Hoover WindTunnel earned a 2 out of 10 for its abysmal performance. This model did the worst of the bunch at collecting flour, leaving much more behind than other models. However, it was in the rice, cereal, and oatmeal tests where the Hoover demonstrated how terrible it is. This model flung rice everywhere, much to our dismay.

The Hoover caused an oat-pocalypse. We were not amused.
The Hoover caused an oat-pocalypse. We were not amused.

A similar thing occurred with Cheerios, while the oats were spread even more than the rice, creating a sizeable oat-pocalypse.

One of our pet hair donors overcame his paralyzing fear of vacuums long enough to pose for a photo  mainly motivated by plenty of treats.
One of our pet hair donors overcame his paralyzing fear of vacuums long enough to pose for a photo, mainly motivated by plenty of treats.

Pet Hair


Finishing out our set of tests, the Pet Hair metric is responsible for the residual 10% of the final score. We spread 5 grams of pet hair on the medium-pile carpet, then pressed it in. We ran each vacuum over it, calculating the percentage collected to determine the final scores, as shown below.


Five vacuums received the top score of 9 out of 10 in our test: the Dyson Ball Animal 2, Dyson Cinetic Big Ball, Kenmore Elite, Miele, and Shark Navigator. These top-tier vacuums all collected 90% or more of the pet hair, with the Shark Navigator doing the best job overall at 96% of the hair collected.

Finishing just behind these top models, the Bissell 9595A, Hoover WindTunnel, Oreck XL, and Shark Rotator all earned an 8 out of 10 for their good performance. This trio collected most of the pet hair, but left just a little more, getting 86%, 89%, 89%, and 88% of the hair respectively.

Doing a somewhat awful job, the Bissell Zing, Zing Rewind, and Eureka Mighty Mite failed to collect the majority of the pet hair, earning them a 3, 3, and a 2 out of 10 respectively. The Bissell Zing picked up 33% of the hair, while the Eureka only got an abysmal 19%. The Rewind performed identically to the Zing.

The best vacuum cleaners you can get today.
The best vacuum cleaners you can get today.

Conclusion


After all that testing and research, hopefully, this review has made it a little easier for you to find the perfect vacuum, whether you are looking for a top of the line model to make your floors sparkle or an economical option to keep your budget on track. If you want to know more, then you might want to take a look at our How We Test article for a breakdown of our testing procedures and how we scored.
David Wise and Austin Palmer

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