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Vacuum Cleaner Reviews

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Bissell 1668

Avg. consumer rating =81/100 

The Bissell Zing 1668 is a small, bagged canister vacuum.  It is lightweight, compact and easy to carry.  It is designed for bare floors, rugs and carpet but performance on carpet isn’t particularly good as the floor nozzle does not have a brushroll.  It does perform fairly well on bare surfaces however and the unit is very affordable at well under $100.  This vacuum is very similar to the Bissell Zing 4122, and we believe it is actually the replacement for the 4122.

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Hoover BH52210PC

Avg. consumer rating =85/100 

Is the new Cruise cordless vacuum Hoover’s answer to the Dyson V8?  Judging from the design and features it certainly looks like this is what Hoover intends.  But is it a good alternative to the popular Dyson stick vac?  Well, yes and no.  Consumers are very pleased with the vacuum’s light weight, long run time and affordability (it is a fraction of the cost of a Dyson).  It is also a 2-in-1 vacuum and the ability to quickly convert to a handheld unit is an asset.  However there are reports that the suction is not very strong and that the cleaning head isn’t that easy to control.

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Best Vacuums 2016

We have collected all of our “best vacuum cleaner lists" for 2016 and put them on one page.  This includes bagless vacuums, bagged vacuums, uprights, canisters, stick vacs, lightweight vacuums, pet vacuums, cordless vacuums, vacuums under $100 and vacuums under $200.  Please consider that prices have been estimated from Amazon over the course of 2016 and have a tendency to go up and down.

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Bissell OptiClean

Avg. consumer rating =72/100 

The Bissell 1535 OptiClean canister vacuum is adored by some owners but disliked by others.  Folks who are happy with their machine point to its light weight, ease of use, and compact size, however those less enthusiastic allude to problems with suction, poor performance on carpet, and limited cleaning reach.  Overall consumer ratings for the 1535 are a little disappointing but the vacuum is quite affordable.

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Bissell Air Ram

Avg. consumer rating =86/100 

The Bissell 1984 Air Ram vacuum is a cordless, bagless upright.  Its extreme light weight and swivel steering make it very maneuverable and easy to lift.  It is designed for carpet and bare floors and most owners are pleased with the suction power.  The dust canister is easy to empty and also has a feature to push dust/debris out.  It has a respectable run time of about 30 minutes on a charge.  It is not great on deep pile carpet however and it does not come with a HEPA filter.  Also, the Air Ram is compact and it may be better suited for a small home, dormitory or apartment.

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Shark HV382

Avg. consumer rating =92/100 

The Shark Rocket Complete TruePet with DuoClean (HV382) is an interesting vacuum. In many ways it adheres to typical vacuum design but in some ways it does not. First, it is something of a hybrid between a stick vac and an upright. Second, it has 2 brushrolls in the main nozzle, and comes with an odd looking “under-appliance” wand. Differences aside, does it work? In our testing & analysis the vacuum works quite well. It is versatile, has great suction, includes useful tools, and has a long power cord. But it does have a few drawbacks - there's no HEPA filter and it won't stand on its own.

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Bissell 1650A

Avg. consumer rating =87/100 

The Bissell Pet Hair Eraser (model 1650A) is a bagless, corded upright vacuum cleaner.  As the name suggests it is designed for households with pets and while it can also be used on bare floors, it excels at removing pet hair from carpet.  Specialized features include an effective tangle-free brushroll, a system that separates hair from debris which helps when emptying the dust canister, a Febreze filter for removing pet odor, and a sealed filtration system.  These all work fairly well and result in a good pet hair vacuum, however this machine is quite heavy and the hose & wand assembly is a little short.

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Dyson V8

Avg. consumer rating =94/100 

We just got our hands on the Dyson V8 Absolute cordless stick vacuum and have been running the machine through its paces.  For the most part, we’ve been impressed.  The V8 is a lightweight vacuum that is both a stick vacuum and a handheld.  It is maneuverable, easy to empty and very powerful for a cordless (in High Power Mode).  It includes an assortment of tools in addition to 2 specialized cleaning heads; one for carpet and one for bare floors.  It also sports a HEPA filter and a new hygienic system for removing debris from the dust canister.  Is it better than the still-popular Dyson V6 Absolute?  In our opinion, in many ways it is.

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Tom Gasko Curator Vacuum Cleaner Museum Tom Gasko of the Vacuum Cleaner Museum

We recently had the opportunity to sit down with Tom Gasko, curator of the Vacuum Cleaner Museum and Factory Outlet in Saint James, Missouri.  Tom has years of experience with vacuum cleaners and has had the opportunity to work with the likes of Rainbow, Kirby, Electrolux and Filter Queen.  He has also provided design input to manufacturers and even has a vacuum series named after him!  

Tom has seen all sides of the industry and has been involved in vacuum cleaner design, sales, repair and collection.  His vacuum cleaner collection is comprised of a staggering 800+ machines and includes some of the most interesting and important vacuums manufactured over the past 100 years.  We were excited to ask Tom some questions...

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Hoover WindTunnel 2 Rewind

Avg. consumer rating =75/100 

The Hoover WindTunnel 2 Rewind bagless upright vacuum (model UH70825) is a very affordable machine and can often be found for under $100.  It is fairly basic and comes with HEPA filtration and several tools.  But its claim to fame is the retractable power cord – something not very common in uprights.  This is a feature that consumers are very pleased with.  However the vacuum itself doesn’t get stellar reviews from owners and it is a bit on the heavy side.  It also has no brushroll on/off control and it has an annoying propensity to clog and to shut off.

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Miele Complete C2

Avg. consumer rating =93/100 

The Miele Complete C2 Limited Edition canister vacuum is a favorite with owners.  It gets very good ratings and comments and is a great fit for homes with bare floors, low pile carpet and some area rugs.  The machine is not such a good fit for those with deeper pile carpet.  It is a quiet, well built vacuum with variable suction and an auto-rewind power cord.  However genuine Miele bags are not cheap and some folks feel that the power cord is too short resulting in the need to frequently plug and unplug the vacuum when moving from one area to another.

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Bissell 1782

Avg. consumer rating =89/100 

The Pet Hair Eraser Cordless Hand Vacuum (model 1782) is designed for households with pets.  It comes with several tools one of which is a motorized brush tool that excels at pulling up pet hair from carpet and upholstery.  The vacuum is not too loud and is also quite lightweight.  However, it doesn`t come with a stand and it takes about five hours to fully charge the battery when it is out of juice.

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In our most recent interview we speak with John Long of Pittston, Pennsylvania.  John is an avid collector of all things Hoover, especially

vacuum cleaners, and has traveled across the country in his pursuit of elusive vintage machines.  John is also the Vice President of the Vacuum Cleaner Collectors Club and he makes annual pilgrimages to North Canton, the birthplace of Hoover.

We took the opportunity to ask John some questions about vacuum cleaner collecting and Hoover...

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Hoover C2401

 Avg. consumer rating =87/100 

The Hoover C2401 backpack vacuum gets fairly good reviews and ratings from owners.  Many feel that its efficient design reduces cleaning time and that the machine is something of a workhorse.  It is also considered by most to be quite comfortable to wear.  It comes with a HEPA filter and also excels on bare floors, but is not particularly good on carpet (no brushroll).  In addition, the unit comes with a reusable bag but this requires frequent cleaning and emptying.

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Top 10 Upright Vacuum CleanersIn this infographic we highlight the top 10 upright vacuum cleaners on the market in 2016.  We’ve reviewed all of these vacuum cleaners and found them to be the best of the uprights.  Brands include Shark, Miele, SEBO, Dyson, Bissell, Oreck and Hoover.  Prices range from below $100 to close to $800.  Shark has managed to get 3 machines in the top 10 list while Oreck has 2.  You can see the key vacuum features of each vacuum in the infographic.

You can also see our detailed writeup on these upright vacuums here.

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Alex Taber Vacuum Cleaner CollectorWe recently had the opportunity to discuss vacuums with a passionate collector from Pennsylvania.  Robert Alexander Taber, or just “Alex” as he prefers, has made vacuum cleaners his life. As a child, when other children were playing with toy cars, Alex was pulling apart vacuum cleaners.  

At the early age of 17, when standing outside an Electrolux office looking at the new machines, he noticed a help wanted sign.  Shortly thereafter he began selling vacuums for Electrolux.  In 1975 he started selling for Kirby and worked with them for over 20 years.

Alex is now retired and lives on a farm in Pennsylvania but the vacuum obsession still runs strong.  He is the founder of the Vacuum Cleaner Collectors Club and continues to work on his private collection.  In our discussions with Alex it is apparent that he is a fountain of knowledge when it comes to vacuums and is also something of a historian on the topic.  

We asked Alex some questions about vacuums and collecting.

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Top 10 Canister VacuumsIn this infographic we highlight the top 10 canister vacuum cleaners on the market in 2016.  We’ve reviewed all of these vacuum cleaners and found them to be the best of the canisters.  Brands include Miele, Electrolux, SEBO, Bissell, Hoover, Eureka and Dyson.  Prices range from below $100 to close to $1000.  The list of canister vacuums is dominated by Miele which has managed 4 placements in the top 10.  You can see the key features of each vacuum in the infographic.

You can also see our detailed writeup on these machines here. 

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Shark NV682 Pros ConsThe Shark NV682 is a popular bagless upright vacuum cleaner and it has achieved a very high score on our site, placing it near the top of our Vacuum Cleaner Finder tool.

We have done a very detailed review of this machine which can be found here – Shark NV682 Review – but we thought it would be helpful to put together a short article with 2 quick videos highlighting the vacuum’s pros and cons.  A video is worth a thousand words.

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SH30050

 Avg. consumer rating =69/100 

This is a rather futuristic-looking bagged canister vacuum cleaner designed for both bare floors and carpet.  It is fairly quiet and it has strong suction, a retractable power cord, two cleaning heads, and suction controls.  It is also equipped with HEPA-level filtration.  However, consumer comments and ratings to date are not particularly encouraging.  The ergonomics seem lacking and owners often complain of awkward features and tools that do not perform as well as expected.

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Eureka AS3030A

Avg. consumer rating =84/100 

The Eureka Airspeed Unlimited Rewind (model AS3030A) is a bagless upright vacuum cleaner.  It performs fairly well on carpet and bare floors and the powered brushroll has on/off controls.  In addition, it comes with a retractable power cord and 5 nozzle height settings.  Consumer ratings are reasonable but common complaints include that the machine is rather loud and that it suffers from poor build quality.  The MSRP on this vacuum is about $130 but you should be able to find it for under $100.

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Vacuum Cleaner Finder Tool

We’ve just launched a new tool called Vacuum Cleaner Finder. It's designed to help you quickly find the best vacuums by weeding out the underperformers and showing you the top rated machines. The tool also allows you to filter by vacuum type, brand, feature, cost and even consumer rating. Putting this together has required a tremendous amount of time and effort and we hope you find it easy to use and helpful.

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Shark Lift-Away Speed

Avg. consumer rating =97/100 

The Shark Rotator Powered Lift-Away Speed (model NV682) is a 3-in-1 vacuum cleaner. It can be configured to operate as an upright, a canister and a handheld.  It has plenty of great features including HEPA filtration, a sealed system, a 30 foot power cord, 2 floor cleaning nozzles, and a very lengthy 7-year warranty. The NV682 is a good looking vacuum and is easy to use and maintain – it is bagless and all 3 filters are washable. The NV682 is lighter and smaller than its big brother the NV752 and as a result is easier to move but also has a shorter hose and smaller dust canister.

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Bissell 1543A

Avg. consumer rating =89/100 

The Bissell Symphony Pet Vacuum and Steam Mop (model 1543A) is popular and getting great ratings from owners. You can actually vacuum and mop at the same time with this machine.  It has 3 cleaning modes: Steam, Vacuum, Steam & Vacuum.  It is a good choice for households with pets and excels at picking up pet hair and removing paw prints. It doesn’t require any chemicals or detergent and cleanup is fairly easy.  Vacuum suction is not spectacular however and it doesn’t mop tight into corners.

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Best Bagged Vacuum Cleaners for 2016The bulk of non-commercial vacuums manufactured today are bagless, however there are still a large number of bagged vacuums on the market (this is especially true with canister vacuum cleaners).

The question of which approach is better - bagged or bagless - abounds on forums and blogs. However there is really no correct answer and it comes down to consumer preference. Some people prefer a bagless machine because they do not wish to buy and throw away bags. Others like the cleanliness of bags which can be removed, disposed of and replaced.

We have reviewed many bagged and bagless machines over the last 8 years, and following is our list of the best bagged vacuums.

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Bissell Aeroswift

Avg. consumer rating =85/100 

This model, EL2055B, is a cordless 2-in-1 stick and handheld vacuum cleaner.  Consumer ratings are good and the vacuum sports over 20 minutes of run time with a 4 hour recharge time.  The vacuum is lightweight and quite maneuverable.  It also has the ability to stand upright so you don’t have to find a place to lean it (often a bit of an annoyance with stick vacs).  The dust canister on the EL2055B is quite small however and it requires frequent emptying.  A number of owners also lament the fact that this model does not include a charging base.


Category: Advisor

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