Updated: June 8, 2015
Canister Vacuum Reviews:Canister vacuum cleaners are the preferred choice of homeowners with hardwood floors since they clean better on that surface than upright vacuums do. A standard canister vacuum has a cleaning path width from 12 to 15 inches and the ideal selection for people with more than 50% hardwood floors in their house. A canister vacuum can do much more than just clean hardwoods, they are great on stairs, drapery, upholstery, and shelving. You will have the option of going bagless, which is what most experts agree is the best decision. If you will be vacuuming on carpets, make sure you find a model that has a power brush nozzle which works great on carpets (not all come with this). Common attachments should be a dusting brush, bare floor brush, a wand, and upholstery or crevice tools. Other features to consider are buying a model with an edge cleaner for difficult to reach corners, a long electrical cord (over 15'), a True-HEPA filter system that will cut down on allergens in your home, and a hose that is over 5 feet so you aren't so attached to the canister/base.
Canister vacuums are gaining ground on the ever popular upright vacuums because features like the powerhead brush roll that allow the canister to function like an upright yet it can be turned off so you can safely clean bare floors. The biggest advantage of the canister vacuum is that it can transition from carpets to wood or tile floors every easily. Also, many users say you get a more thorough cleaning with the canister vacuum than you would with the upright. The tools and attachments on the canister let you dust furniture, vacuum bathroom and kitchen tile floors, clean car upholstery, and even computer equipment. I personally own a canister vacuum and an upright and essentially use them for specific cleaning chores. The top brand names for canister vacuum cleaners are Hoover, Eureka, Miele, Bosch, Electrolux, Dirt Devil, Dyson and Oreck. The Miele and Bosch canister vacuums are expensive imports from Europe and cost much more than our brands in America, although they rated very well in consumer reviews. We thought that Dyson and Oreck would have scored better in consumer feedback, but surprisingly the reviews were very mixed (both positive and negative) so we have left their top models off of our "best of" list below. You should be able to buy a budget canister vacuum for less than $100 (won't get all the bells and whistles), while the mid-range canister vacuums cost will be closer to $200. We researched the most popular and best selling brands online at Amazon.com, read Consumer Reports latest feedback on canister vacuum cleaners, and read comments in online forums for vacuums to determine just which models delivered the best cleaning powerful for the fairest price. See our results below. You can view the list of best-selling canister vacuums here.
Best Canister Vacuum:There were actually 3 models that stood out to us as the best overall canister vacuums for the price. The Hoover S3765-040 WindTunnel Electronic Bagless Canister Vacuum ($230) is top rated and gets unbelievably positive praise from almost all reviewers. The bagless canister vacuum features WindTunnel technology for the most efficient cleaning. The powerful Hoover works well on both floors and carpets, and the finger-touch variable speed control lets you instantly power-up or tone down the suction. Comes with a HEPA filter and a 1 year warranty. Perfect for those with pets and having to clean up endless amounts of dog or cat hair from hardwoods or tile flooring. The 2nd selection in this category is the Electrolux EL6985A Harmony Ultra Quiet Canister Vacuum ($200) with a telescopic wand for cleaning all those hard to reach areas of your house, office or car (all Electrolux models here). You can quickly adjust the vacuum to handle various floor surfaces with the motor speed control and turbo nozzle. Owners say this vacuum performs "brilliantly" and they love the "design and simplicity" of the Electrolux. Users also say it is perhaps one of the quietest canister vacuums they have ever used. Lastly, the Kenmore Progressive 25615 ($300) is slightly more expensive than the Hoover and Electrolux listed above, but you get features like a HEPA filter (great for people who suffer from allergies), a full-bag indicator so you always know when to dump the dust/dirt bin, and a brush roll that can be turned off when you want to vacuum bare floors. Owners say the Kenmore works great on upholstery and stairs, using the attachments and hand tools. Since the Hoover came in at the cheapest price with the best overall performance, we would recommend that model over the others.
High End Canister Vacuum:Miele makes some of the more expensive canister vacuums you will find anywhere with some priced as high as $1200. We wanted to focus our attention on the Miele S4210 Antares S4 Galaxy Series Canister Vacuum Cleaner ($480) because it still delivers exceptional performance at a much cheaper price than say the Miele S558 Red Velvet ($1200). The Antares has dial power controls that range from 200 to 1200 watts and a suction control on a rotary dial. The six power levels let you switch between bare floors, rugs, and carpets without missing a beat. The filter system is 2nd to none and owners say the maneuverability makes it simple to pull around your house. The Miele is both powerful and lightweight leaving you feeling less tired after doing all the household vacuuming say many users (view all Miele models here) . The Bosch Formula Electro Duo is another expensive model that gets great customer reviews and is worth a look if you want to compare the Miele to something in a similar price range.
Budget Canister Vacuum:The Eureka 3670 Mighty Mite Canister Vacuum ($80) is a "great value" say almost all the reviews we read online. It's a lightweight 9 amp canister vacuum that efficiently cleans your bare-floor surfaces. Comes equipped with a bare-floor nozzle, deluxe floor brush, and fingertip controls. The 20 foot cords lets you vacuum up a wide range of flooring without having to move or unplug the canister. There is even an auto shut-off that will protect this unit from overheating. Your on board tools include a crevice tool, upholstery nozzle, and a dusting brush. The Mighty Mite has large, easy roll wheels and maneuvers through furniture with no hassles. Owners say this canister vacuum beats out any upright in terms of sucking up dust and dirt on hardwood floors and it's powerful enough to clean wool rugs. The one issue we found against the Eureka canister vacuum is that finding replacement vacuum bags can be a bit difficult. Many people say they had to go online to find the proper bags that fit the vacuum since local stores didn't carry them. Otherwise, the vacuum works "like a charm" and gets good results.
Get detailed information on specific brands - Miele Vacuum Reviews