Best Canister Vacuum Cleaner Buying Guide

Canister Vacuum CleanerThere’s nothing like a freshly vacuumed floor to make you really feel at home.

But, buying a new vacuum cleaner can be overwhelming for many people, especially if your goal is to find the best canister vacuum that’s available.

Walk into the nearest big box store, and you’re likely to get dizzy with all the options.

Bags? Bagless? Canisters? Upright?

Even the best canister vacuum reviews can’t help you if you don’t know what exactly you really need for your home.

Before you start looking at reviews, take 3-5 minutes to read this article and assess your real needs. By doing this quick and simple step first, you’ll be sure to walk home with the right kind of cleaner.

Signs You Need A Canister Vacuum

If you find yourself needing to get under hard-to-move furniture, have concerns about allergens, have a set of stairs that often needs cleaning, or you’re not vacuuming very frequently, then you probably need one.

Compared with upright models, canisters come out ahead on several counts:

    They are lighter in weight and usually easier to maneuver.

  • They are better for reaching underneath furniture and along staircases.
  • They are considered to be the best vacuum for hardwood floors and other hard floor surfaces.

On the other hand, a canister machine isn’t for everyone. Opt for an upright model instead if you’re looking for:

  • Larger dirt bags (which require less frequent changing).
  • Better maneuverability along hallways and around large open areas.
  • Ease of movement (for straight paths).

Selecting the Right Canister Model

If you’ve decided that you do need a canister cleaner for your home, you still have to narrow down your search a bit further.

Your first major choice is between a bagged or a bagless system.

Each model has advantages and disadvantages, depending on how you use it, how often you use it, your home economics, and how you prefer to discard all the collected debris.


vacuum-dirt-canisterThe obvious advantage of bagless vacuums is that you won’t need to buy bags, making it easier and cheaper to keep your home squeaky clean. Plus, if you get satisfaction out of seeing your progress, you’ll be glad to see just how much dirt you’ve picked up as the dirt chamber fills up.

Of course, the flipside is that you’ll then have to empty out that dirt chamber without the benefit of a tidy bag.

If you do opt for a bagless model, be sure to “practice” emptying it at the shop, to check how easily it empties. If you’re buying it online, then read as many customer reviews as you can and see if there are any issues that others have had to deal with. Brands like Dyson are well known for their bagless vacuums and their modular designs, which makes a broken vacuum quite easy to repair.


The appeal of having a disposable bag is obvious to anyone who’s emptied an unwieldy vacuum on a draughty day, or after a major clean. The simplicity of tossing an enclosed bag can’t be denied.

Plus, opting for a bagged cleaner improves your chances of finding one with top-notch filters. Many of them combine HEPA filters with additional filtration systems, which are built into the bags, making them ideal for allergy sufferers.

Additional Points to Consider

Hopefully, you’ve already narrowed down your search to isolate a handful of contenders.

Vacuum head design can make a huge difference to ease of use. Heads with spinning brushes are dynamite for cleaning carpeting, especially if you have any pets that shed.

To pick the best vacuum for the job, always note the special features that distinguish one model from another.

Don’t forget to check out customer reviews and read what others have had to say about it.

Top Rated Canister Vacuum Cleaners

Vacuum ratings are great for quickly comparing different models based on their most important aspects.

Just keep in mind that the best rated cleaners are not always the best choice for your home and situation. However, there is no better way to begin your research than by checking out a product that others have already purchased, used, and rated favorably.

Here is a quick comparison chart of the top 3 canister vacuums currently available:

Top 3 Canister Vacuum (Classic & New) Comparison Chart (2016):

 Top 3 Canister VacuumsOverall Rating (1 - 10)PricePowerPerformanceWeightFeaturesCustomer Feedback
Miele C3 Complete Alize Canister VacuumMiele Complete C3 Alize






BISSELL Hard Floor Expert 1161BISSELL Hard Floor Expert 1161






Dyson DC39 MultiFloorDyson Ball Multifloor DC39







*Click on any vacuum cleaner above to see customer feedback reviews and price on

If you want to learn more about a specific brand, check out: BISSELLDyson, Electrolux, Eureka, Dirt Devil, Hoover, Miele, Panasonic, Sanitaire, and Shark.

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