The Kenmore Progressive 21714 is the top scorer in one professional test of 39 canister vacuums. It works well on carpets, bare floors and pet hair, and comes with a special pet-hair attachment for better performance. With a variety of attachments and HEPA allergen filtration, the Progressive 21714 is easy to maneuver and versatile for multiple cleaning tasks. Some owners report problems related to broken parts and malfunctioning units, typically after the one-year warranty expires.
Excellent multi-floor vacuum. The Kenmore Progressive 21714 is the top-rated bagged canister vacuum in one expert roundup, beating out 25 other bagged canister vacuums and earning a higher score overall than any bagged model tested. The Progressive earns an excellent score for bare-floor performance and its ability to pick up pet hair, plus a very good score for carpet cleaning. Owners posting reviews at sites such as Amazon.com and Sears.com say it's great for cleaning stairs and furniture thanks to its many tools and attachments, as well as its 8-foot hose reach and wide, 14-inch cleaning path.
Tons of attachments, including a special pet-hair tool. The Kenmore Progressive 21714 uses a swiveling design for easy maneuverability around furniture and through hallways. A variety of attachments -- including a crevice tool, combination dust brush/upholstery tool, bare-floor tool, pet-hair catcher and telescopic wand -- add versatility to this canister vacuum, making it possible to clean every nook and cranny of your home with one vacuum appliance. It also comes with a Pet PowerMate, designed specifically to aid in pet-hair removal. Professional tests give this canister vac good scores for handling. The dirt collection bag is a breeze to switch out and doesn't create a mess.
So-so noise level. In one test conducted by a professional consumer testing organization, the Kenmore Progressive 21714 earns mediocre scores for noise, but this is likely due to its robust airflow. User feedback at Amazon.com and Sears.com doesn't have much to say about the Progressive's noise level. While we read no complaints that it's too loud, only a few owners say it's quiet.
Excellent HEPA allergen filtration. The Kenmore Progressive 21714 is certified Asthma and Allergy Friendly by the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America, using two layers of filtration and HEPA filtration technology to reduce emissions and remove allergens from the air. Vacuum cleaners aren't rated by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for energy efficiency, so no canister vacuums have an Energy Star rating. The Progressive 21714's double-layer HEPA filtration system does help to improve air quality, however.
Insufficient warranty, low cost of ownership. The most common consumer complaint at retail websites such as Sears.com and Amazon.com is durability. A number of reviews report broken parts and malfunctioning vacuums, several within a few weeks or months of the warranty's expiration. The Kenmore Progressive 21714 uses HEPA cloth dust collection bags (Est. $16 for an 8-pack), although generic replacement bags can be purchased for about half the cost. That said, generic bags may not contain the same HEPA filtration features as the proprietary bags designed for this model.
The Kenmore Progressive 21714 is among 26 bagged canister vacuums and 12 bagless canister vacuums evaluated in this latest round of vacuum cleaner testing at ConsumerReports.org. Canister vacuums are rated for noise, performance on carpet, bare floors and pet hair, emissions, airflow and maneuverability.
Review: Canister Vacuum Cleaner Ratings & Reliability, Editors of ConsumerReports.org, Updated September 2012
2. J.D. Power and Associates
J.D. Power and Associates conducts an annual customer satisfaction survey for vacuum cleaner brands. Kenmore is among 10 brands rated for performance, ease of use, styling, features, warranty and price. Kenmore earns high ratings for price and features, with a good score for overall satisfaction. Individual models are not evaluated.
Review: 2013 Vacuum Customer Experience Benchmark Study Results, Editors of J.D. Power and Associates, March 16, 2013
The Kenmore Progressive 21714 earns an overall rating of 3 stars out of 5 in more than 130 owner reviews. They say it's easy to use and is loaded with convenient onboard attachments. There are some durability concerns, however, and several users report broken parts within a few months.
Review: Kenmore Progressive Canister Vacuum Cleaner – Red, Contributors to Sears.com, As of December 2013
Just more than 20 owners contribute to an average rating of 3.3 stars out of 5 for the Kenmore Progressive 21714 at Amazon.com. Owners like the price and say it's powerful, but some complain about vacuums that break down frequently or quit working altogether.
Review: Kenmore Progressive Canister Vacuum Cleaner, with Swivel + Steering System, Red Color, 21714, Contributors to Amazon.com, As of December 2013