How to find the right vacuum for your home

Like many things in life, there is no one best item when it comes to the right vacuum for your home. Different types and models will be best for different needs and families. So, my advice for finding the best one is to figure out which features are nice to have versus which you can’t live without.

My mom and I both have vacuums from the same company: Dyson. Our family likes how easy it is to buy replacement parts directly from the brand, which made the brand itself a simple choice for us. However, the right vacuum for each of our homes was different. Her can’t-live-without-it feature is a large, bagless canister, which is a must-have for her larger home. She didn’t want to have to empty her vacuum canister partway through a cleaning job, and she didn’t want to get stuck in a loop of buying bag after bag for the canister, either. So, she went with a canister vacuum, and she’s been very happy with it through the years.

My can’t-live-without-it feature was weight. I have fatigue and joint issues, so weight and ease of use are the biggest factors for me. Because of that, I love the feel and ease of use of a stick vacuum. Compared to other vacuum types, stick vacuums are lightweight and easy to use, and because my home is smaller, canister size isn’t an issue for me.

iRobot Roomba i8+ (Plus) Wi-Fi Connected Robot Vacuum with Automatic Dirt Disposal

The best vacuum type for scheduled cleaning

When convenience or weight are the largest factors in play, I like to guide my friends and family toward two things that I personally love: robot vacuums and stick vacuums. They aren’t the largest or most powerful type of vacuum available on the market, but they’re exactly the right vacuum for one thing in particular. Both robot and stick vacuums are great for making sure the job gets done.

One of the best (edited) pieces of advice I’ve ever received is that if something is worth doing, it’s worth doing partway. This is to say that if something is important, then it’s better do do a medium job of it than to not do it at all. Your floors don’t have to be flawlessly, sparkling, professionally cleaned every time—the most important thing is that they get cleaned. A floor that’s vacuumed to 75% perfection every day is more enjoyable and more liveable than a floor that’s vacuumed to 100% perfection once a month.

What I love about robot vacuums is that they can complete your vacuuming jobs without you. It’s easy to find a model that you can set on a schedule and leave to its own devices. That way, you can get your floors nice and clean as often as needed; you don’t even have to be awake or at home when it happens. Then, whenever you need a deep clean, you can take your time scheduling it in knowing that your floors will still stay tidy until it happens.Dyson Cyclone V10 Motorhead Cordless Stick Vacuum

How to choose the right vacuum for touchups and apartments

Stick vacuums are great for very similar reasons. They can’t vacuum your home without your assistance, but they’re slim, lightweight, and easy to store and use. A great stick vacuum takes a lot of the hassle out of vacuuming, so it’s easier for you to get to it on a regular basis.

Cordless stick vacuums have a small canister and battery life compared to plug-in or upright vacuums, so they do have their downsides. I recommend them primarily for detail cleans and hard floors. They’re great for apartments and condos, and can be a really easy way to quickly zoom through a high-traffic area like a kitchen, dining room, or boot room so that those areas can stay tidy every day.

Since switching to a stick vacuum, my floors have been cleaner than ever—and they’ve stayed that way. With no cord to plug in or hose to lug around, stick vacuums make cleaning small areas a breeze. I can easily vacuum my entire kitchen in the time that it takes for a kettle to boil, or tidy up around my cat’s litter box every time she uses it.

Hoover WindTunnel Max Capacity Pet Upright Vacuum - Purple

The best vacuum for a deep clean

If you really related to my mom at the start of this post, then a deeper clean is likely what you’re seeking. For larger areas, carpeted areas, and more, the right vacuum is very likely one that plugs directly into the wall.

Look toward central vacuums, upright vacuums, and canister vacuums for this deeper, stronger clean. Upright vacuums are known for their powerful motors and convenient shape, while canister vacuums offer extremely high airflow and suction power for the deepest clean possible.

In order to find the right one for your home, consider how you’ll be using your vacuum. Upright vacuums with washable filters and HEPA filters are a popular choice for families with pets, and are common in multi-level homes as they’re easy to move around. Canister vacuums, on the other hand, store their motor and turbines in a separate unit from their hose and head. This means that they are typically more powerful with deeper suction capabilities, allowing them to capture more dust—and allowing you to switch out different attachments for things like corners, upholstery, and drapes. They’re bulkier, but for families with lots of carpet or allergies, the extra effort pays off.

Tineco iFloor 3 Cordless Wet/Dry Upright Vacuum - White

The right handheld or wet vacuum for your home 

Finally, when selecting the right vacuum for your home, you should consider what you’ll be cleaning up. So far, we’ve discussed surfaces, schedules, and convenience, but that doesn’t really have to do with what the vacuum will be cleaning up.

Beyond where and how you’ll use it, figuring out what you’ll be cleaning is another important step of selecting the right vacuum for your home. If you have a lot of spills or sticky messes in your home, consider looking for a multi-function vacuum that’ll be able to handle them. Wet/dry vacuums don’t offer the same suction capabilities as traditional vacuums, so they’re not an ideal standalone vacuum to have at home—but they’re perfect for cleaning up things like spilled cereal milk and potty training accidents. You can even find robot mops that will follow the cleaning path of your robot vacuum, so your hard floors can stay sparkling clean all week long.

No matter what kind of everyday mess is on your floors, there’s a vacuum out there that’ll be perfect for cleaning it up. To find the right one, all you need to do is figure out which feature your home needs the most.

Shop for the right vacuum for your home online at Best Buy.

Rae Chen
Rae Chen covers everything from handbags to speakers here on the Best Buy Plug-in Blog. They can also be found at, where they've been writing about beauty & wellness since 2007.