Table of Contents
Affiliate Disclosure: I am grateful to be of service and to bring you content free of charge. In order to do this, please note that when you click links and purchase items, in most cases I receive referral commissions. Eventually, I may earn enough to buy a beer or two 🙂
Best Canister Vacuum Cleaners 2021
Let’s face it, most of us hate vacuuming. I love the look of clean carpets but I never look forward to the task of extracting dirt from them. Thankfully the choice of vacuums, to clean the house quicker, is more abundant than ever. Nowadays, the improvements in technology and the convenience of modern canister vacuums means that you can get the job done with the least effort.
What type of canister vacuum should you buy? This depends on your budget, the type of home and your cleaning requirements. We’ve shortlisted 7 of the best canisters that have outshined the competition in 2021. Whether your preference is for a bagged or bagless vacuum, we’ve got you covered.
Here are some of the things to consider when deciding on the type of canister vacuum to buy:
Powerful suction is essential to ensure that the dirt buried deep down your carpets is lifted effectively. Ideally, you want to find a canister with up to 250 aw of suction power. You should also consider root cyclone technology to amplify the centrifugal force that catches dirt and dust particles and separates it from the air.
The size of your canister vacuum is an important factor not to be overlooked. If storage space is an issue in your home then there’s a good selection of compact canisters to choose from. In fact, all of the vacuums on our shortlist are portable and don’t compromise on cleaning performance despite their portability.
A great selection of attachments is just as important as suction power. Modern canisters are usually supplied with turbo tools (to lift out stubborn dirt), crevice tools for small gaps, stair tools, dusting tools and tangle-free tools for vacuuming pet hair. A good range of attachments transforms your canister into a versatile cleaning beast to tackle all areas of the house.
A high-quality filtration system does 2 things. It cleans the air as it passes through the machine, separating dust, allergens and expelling cleaner air. The Filtration system also seals the dust inside the machine and ensures that it doesn’t escape back into the atmosphere. If possible you should buy a canister with HEPA filtration to catch airborne allergens. Be on the lookout for washable filters to reduce the cost of replacement.
The size of the dirt bin determines the frequency at which you empty dirt. Most compact canisters are cleverly designed in such a way that the bin is the biggest part of the machine. The bin capacity should be about 2 litres and should house an easy-emptying mechanism that can hygienically dispose of dirt in the least amount of time.
#1. Miele Compact C1 Pure Suction Canister Vacuum
Our no.1 canister vacuum cleaner is the Miele Compact C1 Pure suction. If you’re looking for a portable vacuum that delivers exceptional cleaning on wooden and tiled floors as well as carpets then look no further.
This is the best bagged canister which captures and keeps dust sealed inside the dirtbag with zero chance of it escaping back into the air.
C1 Pure Suction is ideal for medium to large sized homes and has settings that can easily be adjusted as you transition between different floor types.
Don’t mistake the Miele C1’s small size for lower performance, you will be surprised with the power behind this machine. The suction power beats most of the upright vacuums that I’ve tested and remember that those vacuums are much larger than the C1. The dirtbag has a large capacity and can hold 3.5 litres of dust and dirt without affecting the suction power. In addition to floor cleaning, there’s a bristle dusting tool that is extremely effective at cleaning furniture, window frames and other areas of the house, once the dust is caught it is not coming back out.
The control switches for the suction, power and to cable retraction can be found on the main unit. I was impressed with the Miele C1’s low noise level whilst in operation, even when the suction was at its strongest setting. The Miele vacuum is one of the quietest vacuums on my shortlist and it performs quieter than most of the uprights vacuums that I’ve tested without compromising on performance.
The Miele C1 is perfect for hard flooring and low-pile carpet. In my opinion, you won’t find a better canister vacuum for hard floors. A slight drawback is that it doesn’t come with powered tools, such as a rotating cleaner brush bar. You’ll also need to ensure that you buy spare bags when purchasing the Miele C1 as it comes with just 1 dirtbag and filter.
Here’s a quick summary of the features found on the Miele canister:
- 100% sealed system that traps dirt and dust and keeps it hygienically sealed away.
- The turbo brush lifts lint and hair efficiently without fuss.
- Swivel wheels provide easy handling and transportation of the canister.
- Powerful 6 stage variable suctions speeds.
- Large capacity dirtbag that holds up to 3.5 litres of dirt.
- A stainless steel telescopic wand and a rug & floor nozzle are provided as standard.
Product Rating 8.7/10
#2. Dyson DC39 Animal canister vacuum cleaner
The Dyson DC39 Animal is the best canister vacuum for pet owners. A big advantage of using a canister is that it can reach more areas easier than an upright especially underneath furniture where pets venture to. Pet hair, dust and dirt are a bad combination but with the DC39 you can clean hard floors and carpets like a champ.
There are several benefits of buying a Dyson vacuum such as root cyclone power which optimizes centrifugal force and delivers suction power that never fades, you also get a variety of attachments for various cleaning tasks and to vacuum different floor types. DC39 Animal does all the things an upright vacuum can do but enables you to do them at a faster rate. The machine is extremely light to steer around the house or to carrying up a flight of stairs. It is much easier to use than an upright. There’s a clever switch to turn off the brush head swivelling so that you can vacuum hard floors or rugs.
The canister follows you without needing to tug on the hose to pull it along. DC39 has been cleverly designed so that it doesn’t topple over. It goes wherever you go and will turn around corners and navigate over rugs without fuss.
A special turbine head lifts up pet hair efficiently and there’s a smaller version of the turbine tool to clean edges and smaller areas.
Additional attachments are supplied including a crevice tool with a brush attachment for delicate surfaces. There’s a stair tool that makes the dreaded task of stair cleaning much easier. The tube can be pivoted to different angles and is height adjustable.
The turbine head sits on top of a Dyson ball for precision steering into corners and around furniture. The turbine head also allows the tube to bend to a flat angle to clean spaces beneath furniture. The DC39 will eliminate dust as it goes along your floors.
This is the perfect canister for anyone with joint and back problems. It is so effortless to move with it around the house and doesn’t need you to bend your back excessively.
You can switch the appliance on and off and retract the cord with your foot. The brush head can be turned on and off using the controls at the handle. Say goodbye to the days of bending over to adjust the settings from hard floor to carpet and vice versa.
Dyson vacuums are not the cheapest option but in my opinion, they are worth the money for the level of features provided, they are very low maintenance and will save you money in the long run because of their sheer durability.
My old Dyson still vacuums just as good as the day that I first turned it on, I’ve used it for over 7 years and it has never broken down.
If you are after a reliable canister vacuum that meticulously cleans pet hair and any other type of dirt then the DC39 is a strong choice. It provides premium filtration and is certified asthma & allergy friendly by Allergy Standards Limited. The bin emptying system is hygienic and conveniently quick to get rid of dirt.
Product Rating 8.5/10
#3. Miele Complete C2 Hard Floor Canister Vacuum Cleaner
Third on the list is another Miele. This brand is so good that it featured twice on our shortlist. The Miele C2 Canister is a great choice for rooms that are primarily hard floored or fitted with low pile carpet. The C2 is lightweight and a breeze to move around the house. The machine noise is on the quieter side yet it performs with incredible suction power.
The Miele C2 Canister is equipped with a special tool which makes light work of hardwood floors and tiles. This large brush is time-saving and it glides across hard surfaces quickly and flawlessly. The suction is powerful and doesn’t usually need to be at its highest setting but it’s nice to have more power at your disposal should it be required for tougher jobs.
The advantage of using a bagged canister is that there’s less chance of dust escaping back into the air unlike with a bagless machine. With the Miele C2 there’s zero chance of dirt escaping thanks to the sealed system. The long wand simplifies awkward tasks and aids easier reach in tight spaces. The canister glides easier across surfaces and the smooth wheels never cause scratch marks on hard floors. Miele manufactures high-grade products and the C2 feels premium throughout, every detail is of top quality right down to the control knobs.
The only thing I would like to see improved on the C2 is the power cord could be a bit longer and an area on the wand to store the attachments for easier access. These are just a few minor drawbacks that don’t really take away from the great cleaning experience provided by the Miele C2 vacuum.
Overall, the Miele C2 Canister boasts a strong set of features and incredible suction. This vacuum is built to a very high standard, operates quieter than most vacuums and has an average lifespan of 20 years usage! The variable speeds will also guide you to choose the correct level of suction for specific floor types. If the floors in your home are mostly tiled, laminate or wooden flooring then I’d highly recommend the Miele C2 Hard Floor canister. If you are vacuuming a lot of high pile carpet then you should consider the Dyson DC39 instead (it’s no. 2 on our list).
Product Rating 8.4/10
#4. Kenmore 81614 Bagged Canister Vacuum with Pet PowerMate
Next up is the Kenmore 81614 bagged canister. After its initial success, Kenmore has been updating this vacuum for decades and its popularity has continued to grow. Similar to its predecessors, you can expect this vacuum to last for an average of 14 years as its built to a similar high standard. The powerful 2-motor system enables this canister to provide a comprehensive cleaning experience throughout your home.
HEPA filtration is provided as standard and the Kenmore vacuum rivals most canisters due to its versatility, Motorized pet hair brush, additional tools and a competitive price point. The machine weighs just 22.6 pounds and is easy to move around the house. The benefit of using a bagged canister over a bagless is that you are not going to get dust escaping back into the air when disposing of dirt. This Kenmore canister will provide you with years of consistently strong suction as long as you change the bags and filters at the specified intervals.
I like the attention to detail and the great design behind the Kenmore canister. It doesn’t topple over when the hose is overextended or when you are trying to reach an awkward area, the hose is extra long for added convenience, it easily attaches and detaches from the machine without causing a fuss.
Vacuuming your hard floors with an upright can be troublesome and unnecessarily difficult. The Kenmore makes this task very easy, simply press a button with your foot and the telescopic wand comes out. As mention earlier pet owners will be happy to know that a motorized Pet PowerMate tool is provided to lift up stubborn animal hair and dander in no time.
I would recommend the Kenmore 81614 bagged canister for busy households that require frequent cleaning of the mess caused by kids, pets and lots of traffic. The long hose and telescopic wand are great for high areas such as cleaning cobwebs from the ceiling. Reach underneath sofas and furniture and catch hidden dust that has been gathering up with the aid of the low-profile power head and the wand that can pivot to be completely flat against the floor. The cleaning head works on both carpets and hard floors without requiring to change attachments, simply transition between floors using the same tool.
The Kenmore canister is compact and vacuums up stubborn dirt that would take longer to clean with other canisters.
My dog sheds a lot of hair around the house and getting rid of it can be challenging if I don’t use the right appliance.
The Kenmore vacuum excels at picking up pet hair with very little effort and the results are pleasing.
If you’re looking for an affordable canister with a very long shelf life of over 10 years then you should consider buying the Kenmore 81614 bagged canister.
The low maintenance costs and durability of this machine will save you money in the long run.
Product Rating 8 / 10
#5. Bissell Hard Floor Expert Deluxe Canister Vacuum Cleaner
If the majority of your home is kitted out with hard floors it might be a good idea to buy a canister that expertly vacuums hard floors. The Bissell Hard Floor Expert Canister is a great vacuum for the job. Wooden, Tiled and laminate floors are much easier to clean with a canister because it is less cumbersome than an upright and better to handle. You can reach underneath and work around furniture much better and faster with the Bissell canister.
The vacuum glides across floors with ease and sometimes you can forget that it’s there, purely because of how easy it manoeuvres. The lightweight body ensures that the Bissell doesn’t get caught on electric cables laying around. The machine has 2 convenient handles i.e. one underneath the machine and the other one on top, near the power button, to lift and carry the machine easier.
You are supplied with a hardwood cleaning head that does an amazing job on wooden floors and laminate flooring. The head is portable enough to clean around furniture but still big enough to get through your floors in a minimal amount of time. I would recommend using the hardwood head on hard floors only because it doesn’t do a great job on carpets.
There’s also a tool provided for carpet cleaning which gives excellent results on low pile carpet but struggles to clean high pile carpets and thick rugs. If you need a canister primarily for carpet cleaning then you’re better off with the Dyson DC39 further up on this list.
The Bissell Hard Floor canister is a great choice for keeping hard surfaces clean. It is built using durable materials and doesn’t feel flimsy. The filters are easily reachable and even easier to clean.
The dirt-lifting abilities of this machine are impressive and this is one of the best canister vacuums that costs less than $130 to clean hard floors.
Overall, the Bissell Hard Floor Expert is a brilliant and affordable canister for hardwoods or smooth flooring. It will not scratch your floors and handles superbly around furniture and corners.
Product Rating 7.8/10
#6. Oreck Commercial BB900DGR XL Pro 5 Super Compact Canister Vacuum
The Oreck Commercial is the best heavy-duty compact canister vacuum that can be used either commercially or domestically. This is one of the smallest canister vacuums that I’ve seen but don’t be fooled by its size, this thing is a monster. Inside its tiny body is a powerful 2-stage bypass motor which provides better vacuuming capabilities than single-stage motors. This machine is so robust that it can be used in offices, building sites and shop floors.
Whenever I’m asked about a heavy duty vacuum cleaner, the Henry range pops into my head but it is a much larger appliance compared to the Oreck Commercial. If you are looking for a portable canister that can cope with demanding environments then you won’t find a better vacuum. Save yourself the hassle of lugging around a bigger machine and get the same brilliant results in less time. If you’re a workman who needs a vacuum that can always be kept in the truck without taking up too much space then this is the perfect solution.
The Oreck Commercial has a simple rectangular design with a shoulder strap and integrated handle for easier usage. It comes with an adjustable extension wand and 4-foot hose to vacuum areas above floor level. The power cable is extra long to clean a bigger area without worrying about changing plug sockets.
The biggest advantage of the Oreck Commercial is that it’s always there by your side whenever required, it doesn’t get in the way of your job and can be used to vacuum wood shavings, sawdust and any other debris from the work area. The canister can be conveniently used whilst the job is underway and once it’s completed to keep the area clean.
This Oreck vacuum has received a lot of praise from workmen that work in environments where sawdust is a byproduct. Cleaning sawdust from floors is not easy but the Oreck’s large floor attachment sucks up all of those fine dust particles in a single swoop. You can also use the floor attachment’s brush function to clean hard floors without scratching surfaces. The Oreck cleaner vacuums everything and leaves the floors looking immaculately clean.
If you encounter a stubborn patch of dirt then you just need to go over it a few times to agitate the dirt and the Oreck will do the rest. Usually, you can clean most areas in a single swoop. There is also a crevice tool for small gaps and a round brush for delicate surfaces such as newly fitted cabinets, lampshades and window sills.
The Oreck Commercial currently costs less than $90 and the replacement bags are very good value costing less than 40 cents per bag. This is a very affordable heavy-duty canister that is about the size of a shoebox. You can store the different attachments on the machine and 2 extra replacement bags can be kept inside the machine (where the vacuum bag goes) to save you the hassle of searching around for a spare bag.
Product Rating 7.6/10
#7. Bissell Hard Floor Expert Multi-Cyclonic Bagless Canister Vacuum, 1547
The final canister on our list is the Bissell Hard Floor Expert Multi-Cyclonic bagless vacuum. This is the ideal vacuum for anybody looking to switch from an upright to a canister.
If you’re tired of hauling around your large upright why not try out this lightweight, compact Bissell which is equipped with a range of attachments for the majority of house cleaning tasks.
Handy attachments include a crevice tool for small areas, an upholstery brush for couches and furniture, a hard floor cleaning head and a carpet cleaning head with spinning brushes. When the wand is attached to the cleaning head it can be pivoted to a virtually flat position so that you can reach beneath furniture and underneath bed frames. The suction strength is very powerful and suitable for all types of floors including thick carpets.
Dirt disposal is simple and the canister is designed in such a way that the process is quick and convenient. The Bissell seeks out and picks up a substantial amount of dirt in a short amount of time. It works its way through different floor types with great ease and provides an unswerving clean on both hard floors and carpets. When cleaning is done the cable can be retracted back into the machine with the push of the button, this saves you from bending your back unnecessarily.
The Bissell canister is conveniently portable for easier storage and the design is very user-friendly. The handle, that controls the wand, is very comfortable to use and the unit feels sturdy. Overall, the Bissell Hard Floor Expert exceeded my expectations because although it’s meant to be used specifically on hard flooring it also cleaned carpets to a very high standard.
Product Rating 7.5/10
That sums up our list of the best canister vacuum cleaners for 2021. Whether you’re considering a bagged or bagless machine or maybe you need a canister specifically for hard floors? There’s plenty of choice on our shortlist and I’m confident that you will find the perfect canister to suit your needs and your budget.
Vacuum cleaner manufacturers are constantly under pressure to improve suction performance whilst keeping their machines portable and lightweight but that’s good news for the customer because it means that you can buy better products at competitive prices.
Are you considering buying one of the canister vacuums from our list or do you already own one? Please leave your comments in the section below. I’d love to hear from you.
Our List of the Best Domestic Appliances
- The Best Home Steam Cleaners
- Best Backpack Vacuums
- Best Window Vacuums
- Best Leaf Blower Vacuum Mulcher
- Best Wall Mounted Vacuum Cleaners
- Best Fireplace Ash Vacuum Cleaners
- Best Commercial Wet & Dry Vacuum Cleaners
- Best Affordable Robot Vacuums
- Best Canister Vacuum Cleaner
- Best Robot Vacuums for Pet Hair
- Best Upright Vacuum Cleaners
- Best Cordless Vacuums Cleaners
- Best Upright Vacuums