Long has the upright vacuum reigned supreme in homes and workplaces, popular for its motorized, belt-driven brushes that whisk dirt and debris out from between carpet fibers. Nowadays however there’s more variety in the vacuum market than ever before, and if you’re looking for something different than a traditional upright, we humbly submit canister vacuums as a compelling alternative. Among the subtle advantages afforded by a canister are a quieter user experience (the motor is housed inside the body instead of the head), and this isolation allows the motors to be more powerful as well. Another huge plus is that they weigh much less than their upright cousins, which means that you can easily carry them while cleaning—perfect for stairs, bigger rooms and storage. For a more seamless cleaning experience, look to a canister.
Here are a few of our favorite canister vacuums you can buy right now.
Mean Cleaning Machine
Variable suction control and one-touch emptying. Amazon
This Zing canister vacuum from Bissell is a bagless design with a two-liter capacity dirt cup. It weighs less than eight pounds, and the integrated handle makes carrying it while cleaning a breeze. Its two settings are tailored for cleaning either carpet or hardwood floor, and the dirt cup includes washable and reusable dust filters to trap nasty allergens and keep them off your floors and blinds. It includes a handful of head attachments including a crevice tool and a dusting brush which are perfect for furniture and other irregular surfaces.
Easy Cord Storage
Lightweight and doubles as a plus leaf blower. Amazon
The Eureka Mighty Mite canister vacuum comes in two colors and uses 2.5-liter capacity disposable dust bags. The quick-release retractable power cord is 20 feet long, making this vacuum great for larger spaces. Telescoping extension wands take this flexibility even further, allowing you to clean high ceiling corners, moldings, curtains and drapes with ease. It weighs less than nine pounds but still packs a powerful 12-amp motor. This vacuum doubles as a shop cleaner and leaf blower—simply attach the vacuum arm to the blower port.
Thoughtful German Engineering
Wrap it up with a 29.5-foot retractable cable, stowable accessories, and you’ve got a device that just might make cleaning fun. Amazon
This canister vacuum from Miele pulls no punches in the design and function departments, sporting six power settings and a 1,200-watt motor in a compact, 11-pound package. The AirClean technology onboard filters the air as you vacuum, ensuring not only clean surfaces, but also a clean breathing environment. The bags hold 4.76 quarts of debris, and the combination head has settings for hardwood floors and low-pile carpets.
Easy To Lug Around
Over-the-shoulder vacuum domination. Amazon
This little canister vacuum from Oreck packs a wallop in a minuscule five-pound package. The 8 x 6 x 15-inch case houses a one-liter bag, making this vacuum perfect for small apartments or cleaning out your car. It sports a four-foot extension tube for cleaning hard-to-reach areas, a 30-foot power cable that will reach your driveway, basement or attic, and it even has a shoulder strap to free up your hands while cleaning. The whole package is rounded out by an impressive selection of 11 accessories, making this little guy just as versatile as it is tiny.