A self-propelled vacuum cleaner is a nifty appliance that has a motor installed in it. This motor is responsible for driving the brushroll and propelling the vacuum cleaner forward as it does its cleaning job. The best part is that you don’t need to apply any force to move it around, as it will do so all on its own.
- 1 How Consumer Reports Tests Upright Vacuums
- 2 Beginner’s Guide to Self-Propelled Vacuums
- 3 How Self-Propelled Vacuums Work
- 4 Do You Really Need a Self-Propelled Vacuum?
- 5 Is a Self-Propelled Vacuum Worth Buying?
- 6 Why a Self-Propelled Vacuum May Not Be For You
- 7 How to Choose a Self-Propelled Vacuum
- 8 Self-Propelled Vacuum Cleaners Buying Guide
- 9 What is the easiest vacuum to push?
- 10 Can self-propelled vacuums clean pet hair?
- 11 How long do upright vacuums last?
- 12 What is the difference between an upright vacuum and a stick vacuum?
- 13 How does a self-propelled vacuum cleaner work?
- 14 Are self-propelled vacuum cleaners more powerful than regular vacuums?
- 15 Can self-propelled vacuum cleaners be used on all types of flooring?
- 16 How do I maintain a self-propelled vacuum cleaner?
- 17 Can self-propelled vacuum cleaners be used on stairs?
Furthermore, some self-propelled vacuums come with sensors that enable them to detect obstacles and corners, thus making it easier for them to maneuver around. Regardless of the type of flooring, whether it’s carpeted, hardwood, or tiled, these vacuum cleaners are versatile and can clean them all.
To keep your self-propelled vacuum cleaner in tip-top shape, it’s important to follow the manufacturer’s instructions for regular maintenance. This typically involves tasks such as emptying the dustbin, cleaning the filters, and replacing the brushroll when necessary. Additionally, you should ensure that the vacuum cleaner stays clean by wiping it down with a damp cloth after each use.
#1.Dyson Ball MultiFloor Upright Vacuum
- Instant release wand
- Easily maneuverable design
- Advanced filtration system
- Canister is on the small side
WHY WE LIKE IT: You’ll appreciate the number of smart features packed into this vacuum, including the instant release wand. It’s also a highly maneuverable option that won’t wear you out while cleaning.
If you’re looking for a vacuum cleaner that can take your household cleaning game to the next level, then you might want to consider the one equipped with Radial Root Cyclone technology. With this feature, you can expect a powerful cleaning performance that surpasses that of competing models. It’s especially impressive when it comes to carpets, as it can provide an incredibly deep clean that leaves them looking brand new.
However, it’s worth noting that this model doesn’t come with a high-capacity dust canister. Therefore, it’s better suited to smaller living spaces like apartments than larger houses.
Thanks to the Ball technology, all it takes is a quick turn of the wrist to get this vacuum cleaner moving in the direction you want. This makes it incredibly maneuverable, which is great news for anyone who struggles with wrist pain after vacuuming. It also enables you to get into tight spaces or move around furniture with ease.
One of the standout features of this vacuum cleaner is its whole-machine HEPA filtration system. This ensures that your air stays much cleaner, even while the vacuum cleaner is kicking up dust during cleaning. All in all, if you’re after a vacuum cleaner that delivers an unbeatable clean while being easy to use, this one is definitely worth considering.
#2.Hoover Complete Performance
Dimensions: 15 x 15 x 47 inches | Weight: 9.28 pounds | Cord Length: 25 feet | Bin Volume: Not applicable | Cleaning Path Width: 15 inches | Compatible Floor Type: Hardwood, high-pile carpet, laminate, and tile
- Strong suction
- Effective on multiple surfaces
- Cumbersome on stairs
The Hoover Complete Performance Bagged Upright Vacuum is an exceptional appliance that features a robust design with powerful suction capabilities. Although it may be slightly bulky and challenging to use on stairs, it still stands out as the best choice, given its outstanding cleaning performance on carpets, hard floors, and even furniture. It efficiently picks up floor debris in just a couple of passes and removes hair from upholstered chairs in a matter of swipes, making it truly remarkable in terms of cleaning power.
Moreover, the vacuum’s HEPA system is a huge plus as it effectively traps dust, small particles, and potential allergens. Even if you’re accustomed to the more common dustbin, emptying this vacuum’s bags is a breeze. You can simply drop them straight into your trash can, and our tester rated the process 5 stars, as it’s simple and mess-free. This feature is particularly beneficial for individuals with allergies or pets, as it eliminates the need to come in contact with the debris you suctioned up.
The vacuum also comes equipped with a 25-foot power cord, which is long enough to clean a room without needing to plug and unplug multiple times. The 15-inch cleaning path, extendable hose that can reach up to 8 feet, and handy attachments, such as a crevice tool and pet brush, are additional bonuses that make this upright vacuum easy to use, efficient, and effective. Overall, the Hoover Complete Performance Bagged Upright Vacuum is a great appliance to invest in, given its affordable price tag and impressive features.
#3.Shark AZ2002 Vertex Powered Lift-Away Upright Vacuum
WHY WE LIKE IT: The inclusion of multiple different accessories makes this a great model for anybody on a budget. It also offers innovative cleaning technology that helps you get a cleaner home that much easier, especially with housepets.
- Multiple accessories included
- Innovative cleaning technology
- Great for homes with housepets
- Has a power cord
The self-cleaning brush roll is one of the standout features of this model, thanks to its innovative cleaning technology that efficiently picks up fine pet hair without the inconvenience of hair-wrap. This feature, coupled with the ability to use the model on all different types of flooring, makes it a highly versatile cleaning tool. However, it’s worth noting that this is a corded model, which may not be as convenient and efficient as cordless models for some users.
The DuoClean PowerFins is another impressive feature that ensures a more thorough cleaning experience, regardless of the type of flooring. It’s capable of digging deep into carpets to eliminate dirt and debris, leaving them spotless. The detachable pod allows for efficient cleaning in tighter spaces, such as underneath furniture. By detaching the lift-away pod and using the nozzle, you can reach every nook and cranny for a deeper clean. If you need to pick up both dirt and liquids, the top wet-dry vac can handle the task with ease.
Overall, this model offers a range of impressive features that make it a valuable investment for anyone looking for an efficient and versatile cleaning tool. Although it’s corded, the innovative cleaning technology and other features make up for it and deliver a thorough cleaning experience every time.
#4.Dirt Devil Endura Reach Bagless Upright Vacuum Cleaner
Dimensions: 11 x 11 x 42.5 inches | Weight: 9 pounds | Cord Length: 20 feet | Bin Volume: 1.9 quarts | Cleaning Path Width: 11 inches | Compatible Floor Type: Hardwood, high-pile carpet, laminate, and tile
- Spacious dust bin
- Suitable for high-pile carpet
- Awkward maneuvering
- Instructions are a bit unclear
If you’re looking for an affordable option for keeping your home clean, the Dirt Devil Endura Reach Upright Vacuum Cleaner is worth considering. Our tester found it to be fairly powerful, requiring only three passes to pick up materials from all surfaces. While it was quite noisy, the testing team gave it a 4-star rating for cleaning effectiveness. At just 9 pounds, this vacuum is lightweight and easy to maneuver.
While the location of the dust bin can make for awkward turning, this vacuum comes with attachments such as a crevice tool and dusting brush, so you can clean every nook and cranny of your home. The washable, reusable filter is a nice touch, but the instructions are a bit unclear, which led to a 3.5-star rating for setup. The 1.9-quart dust bin can hold a lot, making this pick efficient in addition to affordable.
#5.Oreck Elevate Conquer Bagged Upright Vacuum Cleaner
WHY WE LIKE IT: You’ll be able to choose between two different speeds when you go with this model, making it a more advanced option. The highly effective filter design will ensure that your air stays clean while vacuuming.
- Offers 2 modes for cleaning
- Highly effective filter design
- Extremely mobile option
- Not great on high-pile rugs
This model boasts an impressive high-capacity that can handle a large amount of dirt and debris, up to four times more than the average bagless model. This means that you won’t have to constantly stop to empty the dust canister during cleaning sessions. However, it’s important to note that this model may not be the best choice for high-pile rugs. If you have a lot of thick carpeting in your home, you might want to consider a different model.
One of the standout features of this model is the advanced HEPA filtration system. This ensures that up to 99.97% of unseen particulate matter, such as dust and mold, is kept out of the air. Additionally, this vacuum is lightweight, making it easy to maneuver and won’t wear you out while cleaning. Plus, the built-in swivel steering adds to the ease of use, allowing you to easily navigate around furniture and obstacles.
#6.Dyson Upright Vacuum Cleaner
Dimensions: 42.4 x 15.4 x 13.4 inches | Weight: 15.7 pounds | Cord Length: 30 feet | Bin Volume: 2.6 quarts | Cleaning Path Width: 13.4 inches | Compatible Floor Type: Hardwood, tile, laminate, vinyl, and carpet
- Easy to maneuver
- Extra-long power cord
- HEPA filter
- Not ideal for high-pile carpet
- Fluff and hair gets stuck in canister
The Dyson Ball Multi Floor 2 Upright Vacuum is an investment, but it’s worth every penny. With a self-adjusting cleaning head that works perfectly on a range of surfaces, including carpets, hardwood, vinyl, tile, and more, this vacuum is a versatile cleaning machine. Additionally, the ball feature improves stability and maneuverability. HEPA filtration is also included, which is an added bonus for allergy sufferers. The package comes with a stair tool, combo tool, and extension wand.
Although we didn’t test it at The Lab, our home tester found the assembly process straightforward with the help of detailed instructions. The transparent dirt canister contains Dyson’s Advanced Radial Root Cyclone technology, which maximizes suction while also looking like an upturned futuristic bundt cake pan. Our tester noted that the vacuum effectively picks up pet hair but warned against filling the dustbin too much as debris can get lodged in the filter system, making it difficult to remove.
#7.Hoover Commercial HushTone Upright Vacuum Cleaner
WHY WE LIKE IT: The advanced circuitry of this model ensures that you’re able to enjoy a long-lasting belt. This will keep you from replacing it as regularly as with competing models. It also has a 2-speed motor design.
- Cleans multiple types of floor
- 2-speed motor design
- Extended-life belt
- Wheels might come loose
This vacuum cleaner boasts a 2-speed motor, providing a lot more power than other models on the market. With two modes to choose from, you can select the quiet mode, which produces just 69 decibels of sound, or the boosted mode for extra power. However, some consumers have expressed concern about the vacuum’s durability, citing reports of loose wheels.
But, there’s more to love about this vacuum, as it also features advanced circuitry that protects the belt, ensuring it has an extended life, and shuts off the motor automatically to avoid breakage. This is a great option for those with allergies or asthma since it uses a sealed allergen system, which traps 99% of pollen, dust, dirt, and other particles as small as 0.5 microns. With the inclusion of Hexaguard technology, you can breathe cleaner air after vacuuming.
Also read:Best Vacuum Cleaner Under $200
#8.Tineco Floor ONE S3 Cordless Hardwood Floors Cleaner
Dimensions: 43.3 x 10 x 11.3 inches | Weight: 9.9 pounds | Cord Length: Not applicable | Bin Volume: 0.6 quarts | Cleaning Path Width: 10 inches | Compatible Floor Type: Hardwood, tile, laminate, and vinyl
Looking for a cleaning tool that can make your life easier? Consider the Tineco Floor One S3, a cordless wet-dry vacuum that tackles two cleaning tasks in one. While it may not be the best for high-pile carpets and rugs, our testers gave it a 5-star rating for its effectiveness on hard floors. We tested it on low, medium, and high-pile carpets in The Lab and found that it was designed only for hard floors. When used on carpets, our team received numerous error messages.
On the other hand, the Floor One S3 was a joy to use on hardwood floors. Our tester remarked that it runs quietly enough for you to carry on a conversation while it’s cleaning. Additionally, this vacuum has smart sensor technology that detects wet and dry messes on your floor and adjusts suction accordingly. Although it’s pricier than other vacuums, it has a battery life of 35 minutes on a full charge, making it a worthwhile investment for an afternoon of cleaning.
How Consumer Reports Tests Upright Vacuums
To rate upright vacuums, we lab tested dozens of models on how well they remove debris from carpet and bare floors, how easy they are to maneuver around (and under) furniture, how much suction they maintain, and how strong their airflow is. For example, we rigged each upright vacuum in our testing with a pressure gauge and measured airflow in three stages—with the vacuum bag or bin empty, with it filled with 100 grams of wood flour, and then with it filled with 200 grams of wood flour.
On top of these calculations, we factor in the reliability and owner satisfaction score of upright vacuums from surveys based on members’ experiences with more than 58,000 upright vacuums bought between 2012 and 2023. As with all products that CR tests, the ratings they earn across our battery of tests and our surveys inform an Overall Score for each upright vacuum.
Beginner’s Guide to Self-Propelled Vacuums
What Are Self-Propelled Vacuums?
Self-propelled vacuums are home cleaning appliances that give you the ability to clean up dirt, dust bunnies, pet hair, and dry food spills more easily. These vacuums are unique because they feature an extra motor for propelling the vacuum forward while you clean, making maneuverability much more convenient.
Self-Propelled Vacuums vs. Traditional Vacuums
Depending on the specific model you purchase, self-propelled vacuums offer the same general design and form factor as standard vacuums. They also work similarly, utilizing an electric motor and fan combination to create suction power. In fact, if you were to compare a self-propelled model to a traditional alternative, you may have a hard time differentiating between the two.
The main difference between the two then becomes a matter of the self-propel function. While all vacuums feature one motor for creating powerful suction, self-propelled options feature a secondary motor to create forward or backward movement for the vacuum. This means you won’t have to manually push the vacuum in order to clean, which often results in strained arm and back muscles.
While this additional propulsion motor allows you to maneuver your self-propelled vacuum more easily, it also means the vacuum itself ends up being heavier and bulkier than standard options. This is because the vacuum needs extra space to house the additional motor. If that bulky factor causes you some disinterest, there are slimmer vacuums on the market, like stick vacuums.
How Self-Propelled Vacuums Work
When it comes to cleaning functionality, a self-propelled vacuum is the same as any other type of vacuum. The appliance uses a combination of an electric motor, a spinning fan, and intake and exhaust ports to create a powerful suction effect that captures dust and other debris while you clean. Once you turn the vacuum cleaner on, the motor spins the fan, and air flows throughout the vacuum through the intake and exhaust ports, carrying debris into the dust canister.
The self-propulsion feature also starts operating as soon as you turn the vacuum on. The motor turns a drive mechanism connected to your vacuum’s wheels, propelling the appliance forward or backward based on your guidance. Some of the vacuum cleaners in this category are upright models that require your input, while others are robot vacuums that operate entirely autonomously.
Do You Really Need a Self-Propelled Vacuum?
Have you ever felt sore and tired after a particularly long cleaning session with your vacuum? This is because you’re most likely doing all of the manual work while you push and pull the appliance across your floors. The top self-propelled vacuums cleaners can help alleviate the stress on your body and make the overall cleaning process much easier. If you want a more convenient vacuuming experience, you can’t go wrong with a self-propelled model.
Is a Self-Propelled Vacuum Worth Buying?
- You Want an Easier Vacuuming Experience: Vacuuming your entire home can be rough on your body, especially if you’re using a large and heavy vacuum. If you’re looking for more convenience in your daily cleaning routine, then a self-propelled vacuum is an excellent choice for you. This is especially true for anyone who needs to vacuum large spaces or has a lot of thick carpet in their home.
- You’re Elderly: Vacuuming becomes even more challenging as you get older. If you find your age prevents you from cleaning your home as often, then we’d highly recommend purchasing a self-propelled vacuum. While using one of these models, you’ll be surprised at how easy it is to push around the house and complete your vacuuming much faster.
- You’re Injured or Have a Disability: People with injuries or disabilities particularly benefit from the aid self-propelled vacuums provide. The self-propulsion functionality enables you to clean your home more easily without third-party help or risking further injury to yourself.
Why a Self-Propelled Vacuum May Not Be For You
- You Need a Portable and Lightweight Vacuum: While self-propelled vacuum cleaners are easier to operate, they tend to be heavier and larger than other options. If you have trouble carrying your vacuum while it’s switched off, then you may want to consider a lightweight and compact option. Some alternatives include the best small vacuums, including handheld vacuums or cordless stick vacuums.
- You Have Hardwood Floors in Your Home: These models are best suited for cleaning carpets, where maneuvering a vacuum is harder by nature. However, if you have hardwood floors in your home, you may want to consider something like a multi-surface vacuum. The self-propulsion feature is more likely to scratch wood floors than other types of vacuums.
- You’re on a Budget: Self-propelled vacuums tend to be on the more expensive end of the price range. If you’re on a tight budget, you may need to sacrifice the convenience for something more affordable.
How to Choose a Self-Propelled Vacuum
As you start shopping for a new self-propelled vacuum for your home, there are a few key considerations to keep in mind. Before you start looking at options, make sure you have a budget in mind and identify some of the key features that are most useful for your individual needs and preferences.
All in all, as long as you’re purchasing an option with powerful suction, large dust cup capacity, and plenty of accessories, you’ll be sure to get a good experience. You should also consider the types of flooring in your home so you don’t choose a vacuum that will damage any of your floors.
Self-Propelled Vacuum Cleaners Buying Guide
Self-propelled vacuum cleaners are a convenient and efficient way to clean your home. They have a motor that drives the brush roll and helps the vacuum move across the floor on its own, allowing you to easily steer it around furniture and obstacles.
When shopping for a self-propelled vacuum cleaner, here are a few things to consider:
- Type of flooring: Make sure the vacuum is suitable for the type of flooring you have in your home. Some vacuums are designed for use on carpets, while others are better suited for hardwood or tile.
- Filtration system: Look for a vacuum with a high-quality filtration system to capture dust and allergens. If you or someone in your household has allergies, consider a vacuum with a HEPA filter.
- Suction power: The suction power of a vacuum is important for effectively picking up dirt and debris. Look for a vacuum with strong suction power, particularly if you have pets or a lot of foot traffic in your home.
- Bag or bagless: Decide whether you prefer a vacuum with a bag or a bagless design. Bagless vacuums are convenient because you don’t have to constantly replace bags, but they can be messier to empty.
- Corded or cordless: Consider whether you want a corded or cordless vacuum. Corded vacuums tend to have more powerful suction, but cordless vacuums offer more mobility and convenience.
- Price: Determine your budget and look for a self-propelled vacuum that fits within it. Keep in mind that higher-priced vacuums often have more features and better performance, but you can still find good quality options at a lower price point.
- Warranty: Check the warranty offered by the manufacturer to ensure you have protection in case of any defects or issues with your vacuum.
What is the easiest vacuum to push?
The easiest vacuums to push are either self-propelled vacuums or lightweight, cordless vacuums. Self-propelled options feature a motor that does the pushing for you, while cordless options are simply less heavy, making them easier to push around your home.
Can self-propelled vacuums clean pet hair?
Yes, most self-propelled vacuums offer powerful suction and large dust cup capacities, making them perfect for cleaning up tough messes like pet hair and pet dander.
How long do upright vacuums last?
Upright vacuums last for about eight years.Heavy or improper use, or a lack of maintenance, will most likely shorten a model’s lifespan. Be sure to maintain regular care and upkeep of your vacuum to potentially extend its lifetime. Your model of choice also may come with a warranty that covers repairs. Take advantage of any coverage to ensure your machine runs for a long time.
What is the difference between an upright vacuum and a stick vacuum?
Upright vacuums are a very traditional style of vacuum. They often have a dust bin or bag located near their floor head, and a bulkier design that matches their increased level of suction power. Stick vacuums, on the contrary, often feature a dust bin near the top of their handle. They feature a much slimmer profile that makes them lighter, easier to maneuver, and perfect for reaching tight spots in your home.
While both are effective at cleaning multiple surfaces—carpet, hardwood, vinyl, and laminate—upright vacuums aren’t as versatile. They can only clean through brush heads and hoses, and can’t often reach under furniture well. In addition, stick vacuums can be more gentle in their approach. However, if you’re looking to clean your entire home, larger messes, or carpet that needs more agitation, an upright vacuum is a tried and true choice.
How does a self-propelled vacuum cleaner work?
A self-propelled vacuum cleaner is equipped with a motor that drives the brushroll and propels the vacuum forward as it cleans. This means that you don’t have to push the vacuum yourself, as it will move on its own. Some self-propelled vacuums also have sensors that allow them to navigate around obstacles and corners.
Are self-propelled vacuum cleaners more powerful than regular vacuums?
Not necessarily. The self-propelled feature doesn’t necessarily affect the suction power or cleaning performance of the vacuum. It simply makes it easier to use by eliminating the need for you to physically push it around.
Can self-propelled vacuum cleaners be used on all types of flooring?
Yes, self-propelled vacuums can be used on all types of flooring, including carpets, hardwood, and tile. However, some models may be better suited for certain types of flooring, so it’s a good idea to check the manufacturer’s recommendations and customer reviews before purchasing a self-propelled vacuum.
How do I maintain a self-propelled vacuum cleaner?
To maintain a self-propelled vacuum cleaner, you should follow the manufacturer’s instructions for regular maintenance, such as emptying the dustbin, cleaning the filters, and replacing the brushroll as needed. You should also make sure to keep the vacuum clean by wiping it down with a damp cloth after each use.
Can self-propelled vacuum cleaners be used on stairs?
Some self-propelled vacuum cleaners are designed specifically for use on stairs, while others may not be suitable. It’s a good idea to check the manufacturer’s recommendations and customer reviews to see if a particular model is suitable for use on stairs.