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Canister Vacuums: Expert and User Reviews

By: Kelly Burgess on May 24, 2017

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Best Canister Vacuums Our Sources

Canister Vacuums: Ratings of Sources

Editors of ConsumerReports.org, Not Dated

ConsumerReports.org conducts ongoing vacuum cleaner testing. In this latest update, nearly 30 canister vacuums, bagged and bagless, are rated for performance on bare floors, carpet and pet hair. Total airflow, noise, emissions and ease of use are also considered. Canister vacuums are then ranked by total score; some are Recommended, some are Best Buys.

Editors of Reviewed.com, As of May 2017

Reviewed.com looks at a number of canister vacuums, considering factors such as effectiveness of included accessories, handling and performance. Every tested vacuum gets a thorough overview, including comparisons to comparable vacuums, as well as an overall score out of up to 10. Top products are clearly identified by Editors' Choice and Best of Year designations. In the case of canister vacuums, several of the highest-scoring Miele vacuums are ranked based upon the review of the Miele Complete C3 Kona, one in the C3 series.

Liam McCabe, March 20, 2017

Liam McCabe combines hours of research to narrow down hundreds of top-rated vacuum cleaners to three top picks, two uprights and one canister vacuum. The canister vacuum is a limited edition Miele that is no longer being manufactured; but a runner up to that model is named in an accompanying chart explaining the different models in the Miele line. Vacuums are tested for performance, durability and maneuverability.

Contributors to Amazon.com, As of May 2017

Amazon.com sells a variety of canister vacuums, including several compact models and a few designed to perform better at pet-hair pickup. A number of models accumulate a few hundred consumer reviews, while others have thousands. Many owners come back after months or years to update their posts, offering an excellent overview of long-term durability and customer service experiences.

Contributors to BestBuy.com, As of May 2017

BestBuy.com sells a good variety of canister vacuum cleaners, including some designed for heavy-duty commercial use. Many receive just a handful of comments from users. While others get dozens of reviews. Top-reviewed vacuums are easy to spot, and customers can indicate if they would recommend the vacuum to a friend.

Contributors to Walmart.com, As of May 2017

A search for canister vacuums at Walmart.com turns up hundreds of different models, including a few with hundreds of user reviews. Compared to Amazon.com, vacuums generally receive higher overall ratings here and owner comments are more positive, albeit shorter and less detailed. Higher-end vacuums tend to get fewer -- and lower -- ratings.

Contributors to HomeDepot.com, As of May 2017

HomeDepot.com sells a good array of canister vacuums, several of which attract feedback from dozens of owners. Although some of the models that pop up in this category are designed for commercial use, we found the most positive reviews for Dyson, Eureka and Hoover vacuums. Some reviews include ratings for factors such as quality, value and features. Many reviews come from HomeDepot.com customers, but others come from manufacturer web sites and can be seen on other sites as well.

Contributors to Lowes.com, As of May 2017

Lowes is another home improvement store that carries canister vacuums, and some get a few dozen reviews, others get a few hundred -- though that number is often skewed by reviews originally posted at makers' sites. Dyson and Bissell are top rated here. From the search page, you can see the total rating of each canister vacuum, as well as a brief description and the option to compare each canister vacuum to other products.

Contributors to Sears.com, As of May 2017

Sears.com is the best destination to find reviews on the Kenmore brand of vacuum cleaner -- which is a Sears' label. However, Sears also sells most of the top brands of vacuums -- more than 500 upright vacuums and related products -- either itself or through Marketplace sellers. Ratings for comparable vacuums tend to be lower here than we see elsewhere.

Contributors to Kohls.com, As of May 2017

Kohls.com carries fewer canister vacuums than other retail sites, just about two dozen. Many look like they have accumulated a good number of owner-written reviews -- though, again, many originate elsewhere, such as the manufacturer's web site.

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