Our Pick for Best Canister Vacuum 2021
Miele Classic C1For the best canister vacuum of 2021, the winner is the Miele Classic C1. This canister vacuum is a solid value considering its excellent cleaning performance and includes a number of on-board tools. For a well-rounded canister vacuum that’s suitable for all floor types, the Miele C1 is the clear winner. Check Price
Canister vacuums are a popular way of cleaning floors, upholstery and furniture. They have the suction power of a traditional upright, but the portability of a lighter vacuum.
This guide is going to highlight the absolute best canister vacuum cleaners for 2021.
Each of the models below has been put to the Modern Castle test, as we analyze design, features, usability, maintenance, maneuverability, overall cleaning performance, etc.
Find which canister vacuum is best for you as we dive in — let’s get started!
RELATED – Want something even lighter? Check out our top recommendation for the best cordless stick vacuums.
What are the best canister vacuums?
The list below are top 8 canister vacuums based on our tests and research. Click the links below to jump to the extended description.
- Miele Classic C1
- Dyson Big Ball Canister
- Miele Blizzard C1
- Miele Complete C3
- Bissell Hard Floor Expert
- Eureka Mighty Mite
- Hoover PortaPower
- Bissell Zing
Some homes requires specific cleaning jobs more than others…like removing pet hair, cleaning hardwood floors, carpets, etc. We’ve created extended explanations on the best canister vacuums for each of these tasks below (click link to jump to the section).
- Best canister vacuum for pet hair
- Best bagless canister vacuum
- Best bagged canister vacuum
- Best canister vacuum for hardwood floors
- Best canister vacuum for carpet
The Best Canister Vacuums
The list below features all of the top canister vacuum models that we’ve reviewed to date.
Find which vacuum is right for you.
1. Miele Classic C1
The Miele Classic C1 is a full-size canister vacuum with an extra long hose, various on-board attachments, bagged debris, and powerful suction.
It comes with two different cleaning heads for various floor types — one with a spiral bristle brushroll for low-medium carpet and hard plastic parquet floor head for hard floors.
Best Canister Vacuum Overall
Miele Classic C1The Miele Classic C1 canister vacuum is an excellent option for an all-around well performing canister. It strikes a nice balance between features, cleaning performance, and price.Check Price
The results of the cleaning tests for the Compact C1 were simply flawless, cleaning 100% of all debris types tested from all floor types.
- Excellent cleaning performance
- Holds three on-board accessories (dusting brush, crevice brush, upholstery brush)
- Bagged system may be better for allergy sufferers
- Bagged system is more difficult to empty and requires higher maintenance costs
- Control dial icons are a little confusing to understand
2. Dyson Big Ball Multi Floor
It has a large clear dust bin and a long navigation hose with rigid wand and floor cleaning head, with the same powerful suction as the Dyson Multi Floor 2 upright vacuum (250 AW).
Best Canister Vacuum Overall
Dyson Big Ball Multi Floor CanisterThe Dyson Big Ball Multi Floor canister vacuum is a large canister vacuum that self-rights itself when it topples over and has solid cleaning performance (better on carpet than hardwood floors). Check Price
It includes the following accessories:
- Crevice tool
- Dusting brush
- Stair tool
- Wand rotation tool
There is also a self-adjusting cleaning head that takes the guesswork out of adjusting this canister vac.
RELATED – Looking for a Dyson canister vacuum that you don’t need to wash or replace the filter? Check out the Dyson Cinetic Big Ball Animal canister vacuum.
One word of caution — the Dyson floor cleaning head is very low profile and too low to capture large debris with this tool. Of course, it could capture this debris by swapping to one of the other attachments with a wider nozzle.
Read our full Dyson Big Ball Canister review here.
- Same 250 AW suction power as the Dyson Multi Floor 2 upright vacuum (read our review here)
- Self-rights itself if it topples over
- Lighter in-hand than traditional upright vacuums
- Despite being lighter in-hand, the overall weight is still a little heavy, at 17 pounds
- Struggled to clean large debris (using the cleaning head alone)
- Can be a little awkward to maneuver if you’re more used to traditional upright or stick vacuums
3. Miele Blizzard CX1
If you like the performance of the Miele, but are looking for a bagless system, like the Dyson, you may want to check out the Miele Blizzard CX1.
This canister vacuum has HEPA filtration and a variety of accessories (tools vary depending on exactly which model you get).
One attachment that all Miele Blizzard CX1 canister vacuums come with is the plastic parquet hard floor cleaning head as well as a spiral brushroll head.
Best Bagless Canister Vacuum
Miele Blizzard CX1The Miele Blizzard CX1 is an excellent canister vacuum if you’re specifically looks for a bagless vacuum without sacrificing suction or features. The Miele is easy to use and brings powerful suction on all floor types. It looks a big industrial, but really built to last. Check Price
This series comes in the following sub-models:
- Turbo | includes the largest variety of accessories, including a crevice tool, upholstery tool and dusting brush as on-board attachment options
- Cat & Dog | designed for home with pets and includes a brush specifically for tackling pet hair
- Pure Suction | best for hard floors and low pile carpet
- Electro | includes special power brush head that seamlessly transitions from varying floor types without having to swap heads
- Bagless design is easier and less expensive to maintain
- Excellent suction on all flooring types (see Miele C1 tests here)
- Heavier than the Dyson Big Ball canister, coming in at 19 pounds
- Higher price point than many comparable canisters
4. Miele Complete C3
For the decked-out version of the Miele canister vacuum, we present the Miele Complete C3. This is the most advanced Miele currently on the market and here’s what it brings to the table.
Best Bells & Whistles Canister Vacuum
Miele Complete C3The Miele Complete C3 has a few advancements over the Miele C1 series. First, the C3 has foot-petal suction control, an automatic cord rewind feature, and larger capacity dust bag. Check Price
The C3 also comes with 2 floor cleaning head in most cases (only 1 head included with the C3 Alize) and various attachments and on-board tools.
The Miele Complete C3 comes in a few different sub-models, including:
- Brilliant | arguably the most advanced C3 on the market; includes underbody LED lights, hard parquet floor brush, combination brush, and Electro brush, with suction controls integrated into the handle of the vacuum and self-adjusting suction
- Alize | comes with basic tools, no hard parquet floor tool, LED light on the handle with foot-activated suction controls and has self-adjusting suction
- Marin | probably 2nd most advanced in this series, but lacks the combination floor brush and underbody LEDs. Also controls suction using foot controls instead of handle controls; still able to auto adjust suction as needed
- Calima | basic tools, includes comfort floor tool and hard parquet floor tool, with suction controlled by food and no auto adjusting suction
- Cat & Dog | designed for homes with pets, including a few extra pet accessories like the mini turbo floor brush and the mini turbo hand brush, suction controlled by foot and lacks auto adjusting suction
- Kona | only model to include a 14″ wide brushroll for XL cleaning path, foot-activated suction controls and lacks auto adjusting suction
- Soft Carpet | specially designed model specifically for carpet; includes a soft carpet setting and foot-activated suction controls, but lacks auto adjusting suction
- 6-stage motor with variable speeds based on floor type
- Can be controlled via handle (C3 Brilliant model only) or controlled via foot controls (all other C3 models listed above)
- Strong suction from a 1,200 Watt motor
- Bagged canister system could mean higher maintenance time and costs
- Heavier body style, at just over 19 pounds
5. Bissell Hard Floor Expert
The Bissell Hard Floor Expert canister vacuum is a bagless canister vacuum with a wheeled base, designed specifically to tackle messes on hard floors.
Best Canister Vacuum for Hard Floors
Bissell Hardwood Floor ExpertIf you primarily have hardwood floors, the Bissell Hard Floor Expert can be a solid option. It’s lightweight, has a wide cleaning path, and comes with a variety of accessories. Check Price
Accessories include — two floor cleaning heads (hard floor tool and multi-surface tool), rigid wand, flexible hose, crevice tool, and a dusting brush.
NOTE: One interesting fact we noticed during our cleaning tests – when we cleaned hardwoods with the hard floor tool, the Bissell canister only captured 73%, really struggling with cereal and rice. But when we cleaned hardwoods with the multi-surface tool, cleaning performance was 99% or higher for all debris types. We would recommend using the multi-surface tool for all floor types.
Read our complete Bissell Hard Floor Expert review here.
- Lightweight body at only 13 pounds
- Good for all floor types
- Value-conscious price point
- Tends to clog with larger debris types (especially large debris on hardwoods with the hard floor tool)
- Only has one suction mode
6. Eureka Mighty Mite
The Eureka Mighty Mite canister vacuum is a lightweight canister with limited bells and whistles, but sufficient suction, basic attachments, and good cleaning performance.
Best Budget Canister Vacuum
Eureka Mighty Mite CanisterFor a versatile canister vacuum at a reasonable price, the Eureka Mighty Mite canister vacuum is a real contender. This vacuum has the option to suck up debris or blow it out depending on where the hose is plugged into the body of the canister. Check Price
Accessories include — a floor cleaning tool, crevice tool, dusting brush, floor cleaning head and flexible hose.
NOTE: This is a bagged canister vacuum, which can be great for allergy sufferers or a nuisance for users who want quick and easy maintenance (with minimal cost).
The flexible hose on the Mighty Mite is about 7′ long with a 20′ cords and an extending rigid wand for great maneuverability.
There is a carrying handle to easily move this vacuum from space to space as well as an area in the back of the vacuum for storing on-board tools.
Read our full Eureka Mighty Mite review here.
- Ultra-lightweight body, at only 8.6 pounds
- 2-way suction allows you to suck up debris or blow it out
- Struggles a bit with large debris, especially on hardwoods
- Adjusting the variable suction is a little difficult
- Bagged system may mean more maintenance
7. Hoover PortaPower
The Hoover PortaPower canister vacuum is one of the only canisters in this guide designed more for commerical use. While it’s not a pretty vacuum, the bare-bones style makes it a good pick for quick large scale cleans.
Best Canister Vacuum for Commercial Use
Hoover PortaPower CanisterThe Hoover PortaPower is a commercial-grade canister vacuum with a shoulder-carrying strap, good suction and a range of included accessories. Check Price
If you are looking for a basic canister with limited bells-and-whistles, but one that will stand up to commercial-grade use and provide 98% cleaning performance (on average), the Hover PortaPower could be a good choice.
Accessories include — a hard floor cleaning head, multi-surface cleaning head, crevice tool, dusting brush, upholstery tool, shoulder strap, and cord wrap.
Read the entire Hoover PortaPower canister vacuum review here.
- Great cleaning performance
- High-quality parts to stand up to commercial-grade use
- Wide range of included accessories
- Not very user-friendly
- Shoulder strap can be a bit awkward depending on user’s height
8. Bissell Zing
The Bissell Zing canister vacuum (2156A) is a bagless canister vacuum with a lightweight body, simple usability, and basic accessories for a great price.
Best Canister Vacuum Under $50
Bissell Zing CanisterThe Bissell Zing 2156A canister vacuum is an ultra-low-budget canister option that has a bagless design, wheeled base, and long extension hose / wand. It is easy to use, has a compact body, and nice maneuverability. Check Price
Accessories include a crevice tool, dusting brush, and a multi-surface floor tool. The floor tool allows you to flip a switch to adjust suction for varying floor types.
Although we haven’t personally tested this upgraded version of the Bissell Zing, we have tested the previous model, the Bissell Zing Rewind.
This model performed well on all floor types, capturing 94-100% of debris, with the one exception being large debris (like cereal), where it really wasn’t able to capture much of anything.
That being said, the included crevice tool would be more than sufficient for cleaning up large debris messes.
See our complete Bissell Zing canister review here.
- Low price makes this canister a great value
- SImple design and very easy to use
- Includes a nice selection of basic tools
- Floor cleaning head is unable to capture large debris
- Relatively mall dust bin capacity
What’s the best canister vacuum cleaner for me?
Depending on what exactly you’re looking for in a canister vacuum, you may find that certain models are more appealing and appropriate than others.
I’ve included some quick recommendations below based on what exactly you’re looking for:
If you’re looking for…
Best Canister Vacuum for Pet Hair
For the best canister vacuum for pet hair, we’ve got to give it to the Dyson Cinetic Animal canister vacuum.
Our Pick for Best Canister for Pet Hair
Dyson Cinetic AnimalThis canister vacuum has a large capacity bagless dust bin, a variety of handy attachments, and it’s one of the only canister vacuums on the market with no filter to wash or replace. Check Price
As an added bonus the Dyson Big Ball Cinetic canister can also right itself back up if it topples over, a features it shares with the Dyson Big Ball Multi Floor canister vacuum.
Best Bagless Canister Vacuum
If you’re looking for a bagless canister vacuum, but don’t want to sacrifice quality or performance, the winner here would be the Miele Blizzard CX1 canister vacuum.
Our Pick for Best Bagless Canister
Miele Blizzard CX1 CanisterThe Miele Blizzard CX1 has a similar cleaning performance to the Miele Classic or Compact CX1, but with the added benefit of a bagless system. This means lower maintenance costs, easy usability and a simple design to know when the canister is full.Check Price
This Miele canister has a simple 4-control dial in the middle of the vacuum, a foot-controlled on / off pedal and an automatic cord rewind switch.
The Blizzard CX1 comes in four different sub-models which each have a slightly different variety of features and tools.
The sub-models include:
Best Bagged Canister Vacuum
For users who don’t mind (or maybe even prefer a bagged canister vacuum system, I would recommend the Miele Classic C1 canister vacuum.
Our Pick for Best Bagged Canister
Miele Classic C1The Miele Classic C1 is a bit more of a basic model, but does not lack in cleaning performance. It has six manual suction modes, automatic cord rewind, and on-board tool storage for 3 accessories (crevice tool, dusting brush, and upholstery tool. Overall, this vacuum is a great choice if you’re looking for a bagged canister vacuum. Check Price
The Classic C1 has many of the same sub-models as the Miele Blizzard model above. C1 sub-models include:
Best Canister Vacuum for Hardwood Floors
For excellent cleaning performance designed specifically for hardwood floors, the winner has to be the Bissell Hard Floor Expert canister vacuum.
Our Pick for Best Canister for Hardwoods
Bissell Hard Floor ExpertThe Bissell Hard Floor Expert is a lightweight canister vacuum that performs well on hardwood floors (when using the multi-surface tool). It is reasonably priced and is well equipped to tackle carpeted floors as well, as needed. Check Price
The overall design of this canister makes it easy to traverse hardwood floors and it includes a good amount of accessories and tools.
As mentioned above, if you’re cleaning hardwoods be sure to use the multi-surface tool as we found that head to actually yield better performance results than the cleaning head meant for hardwood floors.
Best Canister Vacuum for Carpets
Last but not least, if you’re looking for the best canister vacuum for carpets, we’ve got to give it to the Dyson Big Ball Multi Floor canister vacuum.
Our Pick for Best Canister for Carpet
Dyson Big Ball Multi Floor CanisterDyson’s Big Ball Multi Floor canister vacuum is a great option if you’re looking for a good cleaner on carpeted floors. It offers 250 AW of suction power, uses the patented Dyson cyclone suction system, and has great usability. Check Price
Although this vacuum did struggle a bit cleaning hardwoods, it was very efficient at cleaning carpets. It cleaned about 99% of debris from the low pile carpet and 100% of debris from the high pile carpet (excluding cereal).
We are excluding cereal for this test because that was a point of struggle for this vacuum, but considering this canister has a number of attachment tools that would effortlessly clean cereal and other large debris.
Canister Vacuum Reviews
The following table includes a complete list of all canister vacuum cleaner reviews on ModernCastle.com.
All of the models shown below went through our in-house testing series where we analyzed performance, usability, and other features of the vacuum.
Interested in how we test and score each vacuum cleaner? Click here to see our vacuum review and testing process.
|Miele Compact C1||99%||$$||Read Review|
|Bissell Hard Floor Expert||95%||$$||Read Review|
|Dyson Big Ball Multi Floor||93%||$$||Read Review|
|Eureka Mighty Mite||92%||$||Read Review|
|Hoover PortaPower||90%||$||Read Review|
|Dirt Devil Easy Lite||89%||$||Read Review|
|Bissell Zing||83%||$||Read Review|
Related Reviews & Guides
Below we have listed a selection of related reviews, guides, and comparisons on canister vacuums. Scroll through, research, read, review, and find the perfect canister vacuum for you.
- Dyson Big Ball Multi Floor Canister Vacuum Review
- Hoover PortaPower Canister Vacuum Review
- Bissell Zing Canister Vacuum Review
- Bissell Hard Floor Expert Canister Vacuum Review
- Dirt Devil Easy Lite Canister Vacuum Review
- Dyson Vacuum Reviews
- Bissell Vacuum Reviews
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- June 24, 2019 – Initial version of the page published