When it comes to allergies, be it dust, mold, or pet dander, the carpet is one of the main culprits. A good vacuum with a filtration system is one of your best weapons against constant post-nasal drip or asthma attacks.
But which vacuums are specifically designed for allergies? What features should you look for?
Read on to discover our recommendations for features and some of our favorite models when it comes to the best vacuum for allergies.
Read on to discover the first step to breathing fresher air in your own home!
The Dyson V8 Absolute Cord-Free Vacuum is a rechargeable, battery-powered option that is a great choice for those who want the ability to go anywhere in their home without worrying about cord placement
This little guy is a mere 3.1 inches high to fit comfortably under most furniture, and it offers dual brushes for added cleaning power. For allergy sufferers, there’s a HEPA filter and an easy-empty dustbin
The Shark Navigator Lift-Away Professional NV356E is a light, versatile stick vacuum. Its clean, white modern design makes it a favorite for anyone who likes the IKEA aesthetic. With a clear, bagless canister right in the middle of the stick, it’s easy to see when it’s time to empty. This machine is an awesome vacuum for hardwood floors and also has the ability to cut through the dust on any carpet.
So how does the Shark Navigator LiftAway Professional stack up?
This is a small, light, flexible upright container vac that’s perfect for small spaces, various flooring options, and homes with pets.This little shark sucks a lot of dirt without sucking a lot of cash out of your wallet.
While it’s not the biggest or most powerful option, it does a good job of pulling impurities out of the air and the carpet and keeping your nose from running every time you vacuum.
Shark is a top quality name in vacuums
A good combination between small and light and powerful
Double HEPA filtration
Good price point
Double position power switch for bare floors and carpet
How does this little botvac compete with the rest of the machines in this category? You won’t believe it.
Robotic mapping and planning combined with great vacuum technology in a way that’s not just random bumping and changing directions. The Neato Botvac D80 Robot Vacuum for Pets and Allergies vacuum has a spiral brush blade, spinflow power clean system, a D-shape design to allow it to clean all the way against walls or in corners.
There’s an easy-empty bin that’s larger and easier to use than in round vacuums. To top it off, Neato works hard to get every customer to be a cheerleader- they work overtime to turn every review that’s less than 5 stars into a perfect score.
How does this little robot stack up?
This little Neato robot is as great as the concept. This little cordless is perfect for daily use, and many of the users say that it does as good a job as they do with a stick vac, if not better.
While some find that a bad battery causes some issues, a battery switch seems to do the trick in most cases. Those with pet hair are especially happy with it, which makes it a great choice if you’re looking to stay dander-free in your home.
Maps out the room to be sure it gets everything.
Great on pet hair
An excellent daily or weekly vac
Goes back out to clean if it runs out of battery
Large, easy-empty container
High-quality filter and air purifier
Needs a battery change about once a year to keep it working consistently
Another contender from the Shark company; this little rotator is a great option for one-handed multitaskers!
The Shark Rotator Professional Lift-Away Upright Vacuum is another choice with the Lift-Away feature that lets you choose between stick and canister vac modes. This is a slightly larger, slightly more powerful, slightly heavier vacuum than the Navigator. It offers similar features that are slightly more advanced.
So is the rotator a winner? Here are our thoughts:
This light, handheld Shark vac is one that is loved by many. This includes a number of professional housecleaners who like the power combined with flexibility, portability, and easy-dump containers.
Three washable filters plus a HEPA make this Shark tool an excellent choice for anyone who wants to instantly improve the quality of the air that they breathe. Nothing to complain about here – it’s an excellent machine all around.
An excellent option, isn’t it?
Great word of mouth
Light and versatile
Many attachments and room for bonus attachments like car care kits
The Dyson V8 Absolute Cord-Free Vacuum is a rechargeable, battery-powered option that is a great choice for those who want the ability to go anywhere in their home without worrying about cord placement. It’s light, powerful, and bag-free.
This innovative model is an excellent choice for apartments, small homes, and anywhere with a lot of stairs, twists and turns, limited outlets, or other situations where cords become tricky.
This handy little portable stick has a lot to offer- it’s the smartphone of allergy vacs!
There is a lot to love about this vacuum. Reviewers mention being able to vacuum a 2500 square foot home on a single charge. It’s light, powerful, quiet, and more. It’s strong enough to get a lot of pet hair. If you’ve got the cash to justify a $450 vacuum cleaner, owners consistently say how worth it they really are.
Highly versatile cleaning tool
Bagless vacuum means easy-clean
Great for cars
Easy-press button makes it simple for one-handed cleaning
Light and quiet
Only 2 of the attachments can be on the stand and the rest must be stored elsewhere
A little higher in price range
No ability to swap charged batteries like power tools
Animals and allergies are the specialties here- does it stand up to the rest?
The Dyson Cinetic Big Ball Animal Plus Allergy is a great vacuum from a great company. This is the only vacuum on the market that dumps all the dust rather than allowing it to clog a filter and lose suction. The difference that this makes is huge.
The large ball allows a pivot in any direction, much like a ball bearing caster, which means that you can turn it one-handed with an almost effortless motion. You can detach the wand and hose to get under tight spots and allow it to function like a canister vacuum – with no bags or filters to change, it’s one of the lowest maintenance vacuums on the market.
There are a lot of great things to say about this vacuum. It’s very powerful, filter-free, and a superior clean to many other vacuums.
Reviews are full of examples of owners who have cleaned their homes with one vacuum and found much more dirt on the initial cleaning with this new machine. It’s not lightweight, though, and the suction requires even more power to maneuver. The big ball bearing helps, but it still takes some power- the good thing is that it has a large capacity to seal and therefore get much more off of your floor.
Really an excellent tool.
Excellent suction power
One-hand release for dumping canister
Long, thick cord for lots of range
Comes with tote bag to store attachments
Some clogging and squeaking complaints
Can't store attachments on board
Strong suction power means it requires some muscle to maneuver
Even better, this laser-guided, mapping machine can also be controlled by an app on your smartphone or other device. D-shaped design lets it hug walls and offer a superior overall clean – dust and pet dander are no match.
This little vacuum is as Neato as the name suggests- here is our summary:
The Neato company has a lot going for it. It offers great programming options, an app to help find your missing, stuck machine, and more. It’s powerful, the dust and allergen filters do their job, and the vacuum will notify your phone if it gets stuck through the app. Overall, it’s a high-quality cleaning machine.
An excellent choice for the lineup!
Makes a plan for the room and can go back to the charge station to replenish before returning to the base
Good suction- excellent for dust and pet hair
Large container to empty - good cleaning capacity
Maneuvers around chair legs and stools with ease
Occasionally gets stuck
Considers bedskirts to be walls and won't go beneath
What does this low-profile robot vac have to offer? See for yourself!
Another entry into the robot vac category of cleaners, the PureClean low profile round robot vacuum falls into the second category of robot vacs- this is a randomized cleaner that essentially goes until it bumps into something, then changes direction and keeps going.
This is not as efficient as some of the other robot vacs on this list, but the strategy is relatively effective nonetheless and it allows you to get a less expensive robot vac if you don’t want all the electronic bells and whistles.
As far as how it cleans, this little powerhouse has dual brushes and is designed to be small enough to fit comfortably under beds and couches at only 2.9 inches high. There are a number of tricks it uses to get itself unstuck, and overall it’s a powerful little machine that cleans with a HEPA filter to get your air allergen-free.
Is this robot the winner in your book? Here’s what we thought:
If you want a HEPA filtration robot vac and this is your price range, you can’t really go wrong. It’s not a 400-500 dollar vacuum, but it doesn’t try to be.
Instead, it tries to take everything that’s good about a robot vac that can fit in a $150 package and deliver you a strong contender for daily use. If you want a vacuum that works, that filters well, and that doesn’t cost a huge amount, this is a great option.
Nothing wrong with that!
Small and easy to use with the push of a button
An hour of cleaning on a charge
Randomizes pattern to allow for areas to be cleaned that get missed
Works safely near stairs
No docking station; you need to plug it back in manually to recharge
Pattern is random, no guarantee it will always get that one spot that collects dust
Another contender from vacuum powerhouse Dyson – how does it do?
The Dyson Ball Allergy Upright Vacuum offers powerful suction to get that deep, embedded dust from your carpets. This is especially great if you’re looking to move somewhere with older flooring but can’t yet afford to switch your floors (or you have a landlord who won’t do it.)
The vacuum offers whole-machine HEPA filtration and claims that no vacuum expels cleaner air. All in all, it’s a powerful piece to consider.
How does this vacuum stack up overall?
Reviews of this puppy are all about people who have just vacuumed their home and use this to discover how much more they can pick up.
Overall, it’s really a great vacuum for getting as much ick out of your carpets as possible. One drawback about powerful suction is that it takes some work to maneuver it, and at 17 pounds, it’s not light. However, it works well and if you need a strong vacuum to take care of industrial size dirt, this is one powerful tool for the job.
This little guy is a mere 3.1 inches high to fit comfortably under most furniture, and it offers dual brushes for added cleaning power. For allergy sufferers, there’s a HEPA filter and an easy-empty dustbin.
There’s a lot to like about this smart little vac! Here’s what we thought:
This little PureClean robot is an excellent purchase for the price. It’s not fancy, it may not get everything off the first time, but you can program it to go out twice daily and keep a pretty impressive home.
There are many reviews out there by skeptical neat freaks who are highly impressed and have nothing bad to say about these little robots. If you want daily vacuuming to keep your allergies down but you don’t want to take the time, this is an excellent option. And at the price, it’s a steal.
Sensor slows for objects; bumper protects furniture
Randomized feature helps to get the places you miss with a manual vac
Fits easily under furniture
Climbs easily on and off rugs
A bit loud to some
Some concern about bumpers hitting things at full speed
Cleans hard floors well, cleans carpet adequately but not deeply in a single use
The last offering is from a manufacturer of quality power tools – and is a powerful tool when it comes to combatting allergens.
This innovative power tool has a number of unique features- this includes a dust compactor to allow you to go longer between canister changes.
The vacuum is full of onboard sensors, keeping you informed about dirt level, battery level, and sensing changes in floor type automatically to change the way it performs. This cordless vac offers about an hour of run time on a single charge, and like all Black & Decker tools you can switch out the battery to keep going if you wish. Extra accessories and a canister vac mode make this a great option overall.
While it’s not HEPA certified, Black & Decker has a lot of experience with dust filtration with their saws, so their high-efficiency filtration system really works.
These are really great vacuums – are they the best? Read on and find out:
So one thing about these Black & Decker vacs is that they’re excellent tools that seem to get sold out a lot. This is both great and terrible at the same time, as they’re excellent to use but they can be difficult to find.
A bonus, however, is that if you have a lot of Black & Decker tools, you’ll be happy to discover that your batteries that you already own for your leaf blower and cordless drill will work with them. Overall, they work great, both with cleaning and filtration.
What else should I know about allergy vacs?
Can change out the battery to keep going without waiting for a base charge
Cordless design to clean easily
Quality power filtration
Fibers don’t get tangled in the vacuum
A bit on the heavy side for a cordless
Attachments must be stored elsewhere
How We Tested
What are the methods used to choose the perfect vacuum?
All the vacuums in the lineup have excellent reviews in the hundreds to thousands. The testing method is based on a detailed reading of a large number of reviews, and a summary of the best and worst points from actual users.
How To Choose Best Vacuum For Carpets
The long hairs of fluffy carpet can be tricky – what kinds of vacuums make a difference?
There are a few things to consider when dealing with high pile and long carpet fibers. This includes:
And guess what else?
A spin brush that actively moves the fibers to allow for maximum clean
Maneuverability to counteract the high suction
A suction rate that can meet the thick pile
All good points to consider:
HEPA filters are the certified filter option that helps to keep 99.9 percent of particles absorbed from blowing back out into the air
The suction capacity needs to make a complete seal- this is especially crucial to prevent dust from leaking out anywhere
The vacuum needs to be able to pick up dust and pet hair to an adequate level
Care And Maintenance
How can you ensure that your vacuum works well for years to come?
Caring for your vacuum is a matter of making sure all the components are treated in a manner that is required to make sure they are long-lasting.
Filters need to be washed every few months if they are washable versions. They should be changed out if they are paper HEPA filters on a similar schedule.
Batteries on rechargeable models will often have a shelf life. Check the average lifespan on yours and be ready to change it out if you begin to find that your robot vac or rechargeable vac begins to perform in a sub-optimal manner.
Attachments should be dusted and cleaned before storage to keep the house especially allergen-free. This is especially important when it comes to dust. In most cases, they can be wiped down with a damp cloth after use.
The big name in allergen certification is HEPA. This acronym stands for “High Efficiency Particulate Air” and is a measurement that shows that a filter or device has demonstrated the ability to capture 99.7 percent of all particulate matter in the atmosphere around it when used.
To use this term, the filter or vacuum system must have been officially certified by a testing board to demonstrate its ability.
Weight And Size
What is there to know about portability?
When it comes to weight and size, there are typically some pretty basic tradeoffs. Smaller, portable vacs are often more versatile. Everyone can use them, and they’re easy to use every day without causing strain or other complications.
However, lighter and smaller vacuums may or may not have the capacity to pick up a lot of dust or to hold strong enough motors to do a good job. Because of this, it makes sense to first look for the level of capacity you want your vacuum to have and to make size a secondary priority.
Of course, if you are limited in your ability to vacuum in any way, you may want to switch the priority to make weight and size at the top of your list. Provided the vacuum is good for allergies like the ten on our list, they should be able to handle most of what you need regardless of weight.
For those who have a real problem with mobility, you may consider a robot vac as a solution to the issue. These little machines can maneuver themselves, saving you a lot of trouble with the exception of programming and emptying.
How does the way that a vacuum is made factor into your decision?
The design is often a matter of personal choice. Here are some of the questions you should be asking: What you decide is up to you. You’ll never guess what comes after this!
Do you want a robot or a manual vacuum?
Corded or cordless?
Do you care about the aesthetics of the vacuum?
Is budget a primary concern or is durability or brand recognition more important?
Are there features you can’t live without?
Do you have specific preferences about bagless or bagged?
Do you want a filtered or filter-free allergen control system?
Is the sound that a vacuum makes a concern for you? Here’s what to know:
Noise is once again a matter of personal preference. To a point. Loud vacuums can potentially cause some problems with hearing loss risk to a certain subset of people.
This includes those who use them often- like a hair dryer, this is not a sudden problem but happens over an extended period of time. The decibel level on a vacuum is less dangerous the lower the noise level is. Watch for brands that advertise themselves as being remarkably quiet- these are the best for protecting your ears during a lifetime of cleaning.
What other information is there to consider?
There are two ways to look at material when it comes to vacuum cleaners. The material that the vacuum will be cleaning, and the material that the vacuum itself is made from.
When it comes to cleaning materials, there are three kinds of surfaces most commonly cleaned with these allergen-proofing vacuums: carpets, hard floors, and upholstery. Not everyone will want to work with all three, but some will.
Vacuums that work with multiple floor types will typically have a head that works without a spinning brush for hard floors and with it for carpets. This is often the same head and a two-way switch. Upholstery cleaners are often motorized accessories that work as mini vacuums for couches and other soft surfaces.
These are great if you plan to take the time to use them. Like many bells and whistles, they’re perfect for those who want to make them a part of their cleaning plan, and not so much for those who won’t.
When it comes to materials that make up a vacuum, the big thing is metal versus plastic. Plastic is lighter, cheaper, but less durable. Metal is heavier but long-lasting. It’s usually more expensive. Often, you’ll need to figure out a compromise between the two to get the best cleaning implement your specific needs.
All good points! On to the next section!
What are the different accessory options to go with these vacuum cleaners?
There are a large number of add-on heads that can be found to go on the vacuums in this list as well as those in general. While some will come standard with your cleaner, others can be purchased as an additional piece. Some of these may be stored with the machine while others will need to be kept in a separate location. This depends on the design of the machine in most cases.
Common accessories include:
Crevice tools for tight spots and corners
Hard floor attachments that allow suction without a spin brush
Small tools for car cleaning
90 degree brushes for ceilings and corners
Pet upholstery cleaners
Most people find that there are a few brushes or attachments that they use often, though the specific accessories are unique to the user.
Durability & Warranty
How long should these vacuums last and what is there to do when they don’t last as long as they should?
Vacuums, like all machines, have a shelf life. Many of the vacuums in this list have a five-year warranty on motor parts, but this may or may not include things like reduced power of suction over time.
The vacuum may turn on, but it won’t give you the pickup you’re hoping for. This is the durability- reviews are a great way to see how long someone has had a machine and whether they still love it, or how long they owned it before looking for a new model.
As for warranties, it’s a good idea to read the fine print to see what they do and don’t cover. Additionally, take a look at customer service to see how well they honor their warranties and the lengths that they’ll go to to make things right for their customers.
For those who see a problem right away- check with your credit card company or the store where you bought it before going to the warranty- in many cases, there is a short-term buyer’s window where the store or credit card company will guarantee your purchase, no questions asked.
All great points! It’s good to be in such safe hands!
A certified program like HEPA is proven to get the particulates out of the air. While others can claim this, the only way to be sure is to use a certified product. Depending on the level of allergy you have, this might be a life-saving distinction.
Many of the vacuums here are hybrids between canisters and uprights. Simply put, canisters have a canister that rolls, attached to a tube and head that can fit into tight spaces and give a better clean. Large canisters allow for longer periods between cleaning, and in many cases, they use vacuum bags.
What was your favorite vacuum cleaner? Check out our favorite and the reasons why:
Our favorite vacuum in the category of best vacuum for allergies really came down to a few things. We wanted something that you could use a lot and that would be effective on all types of floors.
We wanted something that genuinely worked and that offered the effectiveness of HEPA filtration. It had to be easy to use, easy to clean, and easy to use quite often when allergy season was at the worst. We wanted something that was notably good on pet hair, as dander is such a common allergy. Finally, we wanted something that would be durable and last a long time.
While manual vacs are good to have on hand, we decided to choose a robot vac because of the ability to clean daily and even twice daily without causing an undue time strain on the owner. We wanted one that would work well, so we went with a higher end model. But we also stopped before we got to all the bells and whistles, as there are things that are nice but not essential.
It can be used often and is pretty smart about getting out of tricky areas. It can also use its exhaust to blow dust out of tricky corners too tight for it and get it on the next pass. If a big job causes it to run low, we loved that it would charge and then head back out to finish the job!