How to Buy the Best Canister Vacuum


Canister vacuums are considered the most multipurpose ones. They have a decent sound insulation and powerful motors.

Canister vacs offer a simple operation and oftentimes come with a set of helpful accessories and attachments. To put it simply, you can get a canister vac for pretty much any purpose, floor type, and cleaning requirements.

However, such a variety of highly functional and universal cleaners might make you feel lost. To make up your mind, you should consider all the important aspects of the canister vacuum purchase.

Types of Canister Vacuums

Pet hair

Having a furry friend in your house means dealing with pet hair 24/7, whether it’s your floor, furniture, or even clothes.

Thankfully, there are many canister cleaners that are designed with pet hair in mind. Such models feature powerful motors and hard rotating brushes. Oftentimes, they come with a set of extra attachments for your car salon and upholstery.

Now, in the majority of cases, canister vacs for pet hair feature a corded design, and there’s a reason behind that. You see, even while not offering a superb portability, corded canister vacs can maintain a powerful suction. This allows them to effectively pick up the hairs and debris, even the larger ones.


While being soft and pleasant to the touch, carpeted floors make the cleaning process a bit more challenging. Such surfaces can hide a lot of dust and debris in their shaggy fluff. However, there are canister vacuums designed specifically for such scenarios.

Typically, vacs for carpets feature a rotating brush. It goes through the fluff, brushing it and picking the mess that’s hiding there. A lot of canister models for carpets feature large wheels, which allow for maneuverability on thick carpeted surfaces.

The only aspect you might not like is the noise level. Because models aimed at carpeted floors are usually quite powerful, they make more noise when operating, which might annoy some users.

Hardwood floors

We all know that hardwood floors are quite tricky to clean. Thankfully, some manufacturers take it into consideration when making canister cleaners for this specific floor type.

Typically, vacs for wood flooring feature a soft cleaning brush. In some cases, they don’t have a brush at all and clean the floor surface with the help of the suction power only. Additionally, they are usually equipped with the anti-scratch wheels, such as rubber.

Some canister models offer a mopping feature as well. This is a great bonus for people who want to spend less time cleaning but prefer their floors to be shiny and fresh.

Laminate floors

Vacuums for the laminate flooring usually have the same features as the hardwood floor models. They either have a super soft brush (oftentimes removable) or no brush at all.

They might also offer a mopping option, to break up the dust and the dry debris that got stuck to the surface. And, of course, models for laminate floors also have the non-scratch wheels.

However, there is something extra some of them can offer you. We are talking about the handy steam mop function. It makes laminate surfaces perfectly clean and shiny, and you don’t even have to make much effort.

Bagless vacuums

Bagless canister vacuums are quite popular these days. They are powerful, easy to use, and effective. The dustbin eliminates the need to buy new bags (which can actually help you save a buck or two) or to wash the one you have (if it’s not a disposable bag).

Another characteristic feature of almost any bagless canister cleaner is the effective filtration system. The majority of modern models feature HEPA filters. They are an ideal option for people who are prone to allergies.

The main drawback of such machines is the fact that washing the dustbin and the filters might be a challenging (or tiring) process. You have to do it regularly! And this might be a serious inconvenience for some users.

What to Consider Before Buying a Canister Vacuum Cleaner

Before starting to search for the best canister vac, you need to consider some important aspects in order to reach the most informed decision:

  • What kind of surface are you going to clean? Do you need a model with a rotating brush for carpets or an anti-scratch one for hardwood floors?
  • Do you need something extra powerful for pet hair?
  • Will you require an extra long cord?
  • How many extra attachments do you need? Do you plan to vacuum clean your upholstery and other tough spots?
  • Do you want to save money on dust bags?
  • Are you prone to allergies (and what kind of filtration system would suffice)?
  • Do you need a wet cleaning function?

By simply answering these questions, you can decide what model you need for your particular cleaning requirements.