Best vacuum cleaners 2021: 6 dust-busting vacuums for sparkling floors

Upgrade your floorcare with the best vacuum cleaners of 2021 from Samsung, Dyson, Miele and Shark.

Best Vacuum cleaner
(Image credit: Dyson)

When it comes to vacuuming, people usually fall into two categories: they either love it and find it therapeutic or put it off as long as possible. Luckily, the best vacuum cleaners of the moment are so beautifully designed, that they may just put some spring into your vacuuming technique. Or, may we suggest choosing a robot vacuum that lets you offload this specific cleaning duty to technology. 

From traditional uprights to lightweight stick vacuums and long-lasting cordless designs to robot vacs, we've ranked the best vacuums that are worthy of your consideration. They're ready to tackle any surface for dust and particle-free carpets and smooth, shiny floors. Many of which are also loaded with smart technology, HEPA Filtration, and capable of ridding your home of lingering pet hair.  

Keep reading to discover the best vacuum cleaners that will fit your lifestyle and deliver a new level of clean to your home.  

  • Once you've made sure your floors are spic and span, consider your home environment with our picks for the best air purifier.   

samsung jet completeLivingetc badge – tried, loved

(Image credit: Samsung)

1. Samsung Jet 90 Complete Stick Lightweight Vacuum

Best vacuum cleaner overall

Dust bin capacity: .8 liter
Weight: 6.28lb
Power: 200W
Battery life: Up to 60 minutes
Warranty: 1 year
Reasons to buy
+Exceptional cleaning on all surfaces including hard-to-reach areas we often miss+Versatile with loads of accessories and attachments+Telescoping wand for varying length/reach+Can purchase a separate wet clean attachment
Reasons to avoid

The Samsung Jet 90 Complete Stick Cordless Vacuum has a number of noteworthy features that contributed to its first-place position. It features design-savvy features like a telescoping wand that extends reach, excellent suction performance, and a 5-layer HEPA filtration system that traps the most microscopic irritants and particles from escaping. A sleek digital display that makes it easy to track how your vacuum is doing with notifications on your vacuum for power level and brush type, and it sends alerts such as airflow issues, clogs, missing filters, and more. 

It's extremely lightweight, just over six pounds, making it extremely easy to maneuver. We also don't mind having this unique structurally shaped vac on display, with its accompanying dual-charging stand, though you can also install it to the wall via a wall dock. 

It also includes a separate, self-standing dual charging station that can charge two batteries at once in just 3.5 hours, though the separate battery is sold separately and a separate wall dock for storing the vacuum off the ground.

best cordless vacuum dyson outsizeLivingetc badge – tried, loved

(Image credit: Dyson)

2. Dyson Outsize

Best cordless vacuum cleaner

Dust bin capacity: 0.5 gallon
Weight: 7.85lb
Dimensions: 12.5"H x 50.63"L x 11.7"W
Battery life: Up to 120 minutes
Warranty: 2 years
Reasons to buy
+Incredible suction+Quick charging, and long lasting battery+Easy to handle+Versatile attachments
Reasons to avoid
-Top-heavy-Not Great on Area Rugs

The Dyson Outsize is Dyson's flagship model, so if you want the best Dyson, the Outsize is the one that brings the power and capacity for long stretches of clean. It's without a doubt the most powerful cordless in terms of power, capacity, and run time, and fully compensates for what a traditional corded model could accomplish. 

 Dyson Outsize features an unprecedented (for a cordless) half-gallon dust bin, two removable batteries that both provide up to 60 minutes of power, and twice the suction power of any other cordless vacuum, according to Dyson. 

Let's talk tech and power: the Dyson Hyperdymium motor rotates at over 125,000 rpm combined with Radial Root Cyclone tech that generates forces of 79,000g to fling dust into the bin without clogging the filter.  It's also engineered to absorb vibrations and dampen noise, to keep sound levels down.   Beyond having to hold down the power trigger, and maybe changing from Eco or Boost from Auto, the Dyson DLS technology automatically senses and adapts to changes in floor type, so you can pass through hard floors to carpets without having to fumble with any switches. 

Roborock S6 MaxV Robot Vacuum Cleaner

(Image credit: RoboRock)

3. Roborock S6 MaxV Robot Vacuum Cleaner

Best robot vacuum cleaner

Dust bin capacity: 460mL
Weight: 12.1lb
Max dB: 67dB
Battery life: Up to 180 minutes
Max Power: 66W
Warranty: 1 year
Reasons to buy
+LiDAR navigation allows efficient route planning and a connected Smart app allows you to see what the vac sees+Obstacle recognition avoids small items like pet bowls or shoes left out+Multi-level floor mapping+Also mops+HEPA filtration
Reasons to avoid
-No self-emptying base

The highly-rated Roborock S6 MaxV Robot Vacuum Cleaner is truly everything you could ever want in a robot vacuum... and it mops.  We don't blame you for wanting to put your feet up and watch the vacuum cleaner for you, and when you're not able to watch it in real life, Roborock lets you see what it sees and its cleaning path via a connecting smart app. 

In addition to the ability to set no-go boundaries, special software using twin cameras called ReactiveAI enables the Roborock to identify possible obstacles like pet bowls, shoes, or power strips that may have been left out, so the typical prep work that goes into making sure there are as few obstacles as possible in the way of the robot is no longer a factor. It also uses LiDAR navigation to map your home and plan an efficient route. Once a map is made, you can save up to four different floors worth of floor plans that it will remember as well as name rooms and direct which rooms you want to be cleaned and when.  Compared to other Roborock models, the S6 MaxV offers 2500Pa suction, which is 25 percent higher, and is able to adjust automatically depending on hard floors or carpets. 

While the S6 MaxV has a 460 mL dust bin,  to mop, you will clip in a 297 mL water tank and attach the microfiber cloth for smart, genius mopping. 

Dyson V15 DetectLivingetc badge – tried, loved

(Image credit: Dyson)

4. Dyson V15 Detect

Best high-tech vacuum cleaner

Dust bin capacity: 0.2gal
Weight: 6.8lb
Max dB: 76dB
Battery life: Up to 90 minutes
Warranty: 2 years
Reasons to buy
+Green Laser dust detection on Fluffy brush roll illuminates dust particles invisible to the eye +Piezo sensor and LCD screen shows the size and number of dust particles collected in real-time+New anti-tangle hair screw keeps pet hair from getting stuck+Incredible suction+Versatile attachments
Reasons to avoid
-Green laser only shows dust on hard floors, harder to see in bright daylight-Must hold trigger for continual operation

Dyson's just launched the Dyson V15 Detect to buzzy fanfare and this high-tech vacuum brings scientific precision to your cleaning routine, revealing just how much dirt is on your floors. How so? The addition of Laser dust detection, a built-in green laser on Dyson's signature Fluffy cleaner head, illuminates dust particles invisible to the eye on hard floors. A Piezo sensor then measures microscopic dust particles as small as 10 microns in real-time, giving physical proof of a deep and effective clean. The sensor converts vibrations into electrical signals, displaying precisely the size and number of particles sucked up on the LCD display.  Unsettling? Perhaps. Enlightening? Most definitely. 

While the fluffy head works on both hard floors and carpets, the Green Laser dust detector only applies to hard floors, but the Piezo sensor still tracks the dirt that is being collected, particle by particle. 

The launch of the V15 Detect also brings about new technology that pet owners will love: an Anti-tangle conical brush bar that spirals hair off and into the bin. This feature can be found on the separate High Torque Cleaner Head with the anti-tangle comb (similar to the Outsize) as well as a mini hair screw tool made just for pets.

Best Shark Vacuum Shark Vertex Upright Vacuum with Powered Lift-awayLivingetc badge – tried, loved

(Image credit: Shark)

5. Shark Vertex Upright Vacuum

Best vacuum cleaner for pet hair

Container capacity: 1 quart
Weight: 16.38lb
Dimensions: 12" L X 15.09" W X 46.25" H
Cord Length: 30ft
Max Power: 1344w
Reasons to buy
+Powered Lift-Away motor and accessories offer flexible cleaning options for cleaning stairs, under furniture, and tight corners+Ample dust-bin capacity+Hair doesn't get caught in self-cleaning brush roll+HEPA filter 
Reasons to avoid
-Heavy to operate-Fumbled with attachments that didn't want to pop out-2 out of the 3 included accessories store on board, and are easily knocked off

Billed as Shark's most powerful vacuum, and we agree, it is really powerful and jam-packed with design features like Powered Lift-Away, DuoClean Powerfins, a Self-Cleaning Brushroll, Hypervelocity Accelerated Suction, and Anti-Allergen Seal Technology. Together, embedded pet hair (and well your own strands) are toast. 

But not in a way that will your vacuum will sacrifice itself for your clean floors. Hair never wrapped around the self-cleaning brush roll or clogged the vacuum shaft, and coming from a pet-owner, this vac is pet parent-approved.

Now, being a traditional upright, the Vertex is loaded with features that make it versatile for cleaning a range of spaces, but I admit I struggled with its weight (over 16 pounds) and fumbled with the Lift-Away features.  But, beyond its performance, I am enamored with the rose gold accents that give it a luxe design and sizeable one-quart capacity that got me through all of my cleaning tests before having to pause to empty... another major win.  

Miele Triflex HX1 ProLivingetc badge – tried, loved

(Image credit: Amazon)

6. Miele Triflex HX1Pro

Best design-forward vacuum cleaner

Dust bin capacity: 0.5ltrs
Weight: 9lb
Battery life: Up to 120 minutes
Max Power: 185W
Warranty: 2 years
Reasons to buy
+Flexible design+Battery life+Epic suction
Reasons to avoid
-Small dust canister

The Miele Triflex HX1 Pro is easy to use, well designed, and impressively powerful on floors and more. Its 0.5-liter capacity is on the small side, but the process isn't messy for sake of convenience and those with allergies. 

The Triflex HX1 Pro has a 3-in-1 design, meaning the power unit can be attached to the top or bottom of the vacuum for flexibility of where you want the weight of the unit distributed, as well as used as a handheld device. Other noteworthy features are its HEPA filtration, an 11" Extra-wide electrobrush Multi Floor XXL that covers more ground with less work, BrilliantLight LED lighting to guide the way and automatic floor detection.  We think it's powerful enough to be your one and only vacuum cleaner. 

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