Best deep clean vacuums 2022

Best deep clean vacuums 2022
(Image credit: Getty)

Figuring out which of the best deep clean vacuums is right for you can be a chore in itself. The good news is that help is at hand. We’ve reviewed the best deep clean vacuums including models from top brands like Dyson and Shark to keep your home looking spick and span. These deep clean models deliver even better results than the best vacuum cleaners for home (opens in new tab)

You can narrow your search by considering the flooring in your home. If you mainly have carpets, then you may want to opt for a model with effective suction so you can get a thorough clean and remove all dirt, dust, and pet dander from deep within the fibers. Another factor you’ll need to take into account is weight. Stick vacuums are ultra-light and Shark models are cleverly designed to split into two more manageable parts.

You’ll want to weigh up whether you would prefer a bagless or bagged model. Bagged designs make a great choice for people with allergies to reduce spillage of dust and pet dander when it comes to emptying the machine. Bagless models, however, can take away the hassle of having to change the bag. If you want to bypass the cleaning altogether, you may want to check out the best robot vacuums (opens in new tab).  

Finally, you can choose between cordless and mains-powered vacuums. Cordless models save you the hassle of having to plug and re-plug in the machine. You’ll want to take into account though that most models offer up to 40 minutes of cleaning time, so consider whether that will be sufficient for the size of your home to avoid being caught short. 

Here are our top picks for the best deep clean vacuums to take your cleaning regime to the next level. 

1. Shark APEX DuoClean: Best deep clean vacuum overall

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Best deep clean vacuums: Shark APEX DuoClean review

(Image credit: Home Depot)
The best deep cleaning vacuum overall

Reasons to buy

Tools are stored on-board for easy access
Strong on both hardwood and carpeting
The pull-apart design makes cleaning stairs easy

Reasons to avoid

Emptying the dustbin creates a large dust cloud

For this comparison, we tested vacuum cleaners that are designed to deeply clean your home. The Shark APEX DuoClean Powered Lift-Away was noticeably faster and more powerful than most others. Many of the competitors took more than twice as many passes to clean as much as the APEX.

There were only a few that came close to the same performance. This is an especially good option if you have a variety of flooring in your home. It was the only one that got a perfect score for hardwood floor. Competing units flung kitty litter and cereal in every direction, requiring lots of passes to get it all cleaned up. The APEX quickly cleaned it all.

This is a very versatile machine. It pulls apart to give you a canister vacuum for cleaning stairs or furniture. It also comes with a long hose and lots of attachments that are stored on the body of the machine.

However, this vacuum is not perfect. The cleaning path is narrow and the main body is pretty bulky, so it can’t lay perfectly low and flat for cleaning under the bed. Also, bagless models such as this are cheaper for maintenance, but they always create a cloud of dust when it is time to empty – not the best for those with allergies.

2. Dyson Ball Animal 2: Best deep clean vacuum for power

Best deep clean vacuums: Dyson Ball Animal 2

(Image credit: Dyson)
This is the most powerful deep cleaning vacuum out there

Reasons to buy

Strong on carpets and pet hair
Super powerful suction
Lightweight design

Reasons to avoid

Struggles to reach under low furniture

Dyson is an iconic vacuum cleaner brand when it comes to creating high-power and lightweight vacuums, and the Dyson Ball Animal 2 is no exception. This vacuum cleaner was the most powerful vacuum cleaners we tested, making light work of both large and small messes. We also found that this vacuum cleaner worked faster than many models we reviewed, clearing debris in fewer passes than average. 

For a deep clean vacuum, the Dyson Ball Animal 2 is somewhat lightweight and boasts a slim design for easy storage. One of the problems we encountered was its inability to reach under low-lying furniture such as some couches and beds. This is because the ball element would force the head to lift off the ground, which is not ideal. Although the ball has its drawbacks, it also makes this vacuum one of the most maneuverable we tested.

3. Bissell PowerForce Helix: Best deep clean vacuum on a budget

Best deep clean vacuums: Bissell PowerForce Helix

(Image credit: Amazon)
This best budget deep cleaning vacuum we reviewed

Reasons to buy

Great for pet hair
Good warranty

Reasons to avoid

Struggled with large debris 

The Bissell PowerForce Helix had a pretty average performance when it came to deep cleaning carpets and hardwood floors. It performed particularly well when it came to pet hair, though, and it is very low in price for a heavy duty vacuum. 

One of the major drawbacks we encountered was when it came to cleaning up large debris such as cereal. A common occurrence among the vacuums we reviewed was that they could spray this around, instead of cleaning it up, and the Bissell PowerForce Helix was no different.

We would expect a budget vacuum to have a basic warranty of one year, but the Bissell PowerForce Helix has an impressive two years of coverage. This vacuum cleaner is bagless, so you may find that some dust escapes as you empty it, but you’ll be spared the chore of buying vacuum bags. 

4. Miele Dynamic U1: Best for carpets

Best deep clean vacuums: Miele Dynamic U1

(Image credit: Amazon)
This is a great deep cleaning vacuum cleaner for carpet and pet hair

Reasons to buy

Its bag holds dust particles well
Runs quietly
Easily maneuvered 

Reasons to avoid

Very heavy

As a vacuum with a bag, the Miele Dynamic U1 is ideal for allergy-sufferers. Bagged vacuums hold dust particles securely and eliminates them getting back into the air when you switch the bag out. Comparatively, vacuums with a dust cup tend to release a cloud of dirt back into the air around your garbage can. 

Miele even sells high end HEPA vacuum bags to contain even the tiniest of allergy-causing particulates. This vacuum is also incredibly quiet given its size, but it’s not very portable. It’s also very good at cleaning all floor types, especially carpets, and gets under beds easily. This means you can use it to get rid of the stuff that makes you sneeze, even in hard to reach places.

5. Shark Navigator Lift-Away Pro: Best lightweight

Best deep clean vacuums: Shark Navigator Lift-Away Pro

(Image credit: Amazon)
The best lightweight model we tested, and it also works well on hardwood

Reasons to buy

It functions as an upright and canister with the pull-apart design
Brushroll for cleaning hard woods
Comes with a lot of tools 

Reasons to avoid

Some machines have longer cords 

The Shark Navigator Lift-Away Pro is remarkably versatile. Even though it is lightweight and compact, it manages to do the duty of three machines – a strong upright, a canister, and a hand vacuum cleaner. 

This machine has one of the Shark designs that pull apart, giving you a canister for taking up and down stairs or into other hard-to-reach areas. This vacuum has a long hose that can make it easy to clean tall draperies and cobwebs along the ceiling. It also comes with a lot of tools for multiple cleaning tasks – a crevice tool, pet power brush, dusting brush, turbo brush, and hard floor attachment. 

The Dust Away tool has a microfiber pad that is designed to capture dirt from your tile and hardwood floors. There is also a brushroll control so you can clean on hardwoods without flinging debris everywhere.

Machines like this with a dust cup instead of a bag are not really known for their ability to trap allergens, but this one is designed with that in mind. It has a HEPA filter, and the vacuum’s components are designed to fit snugly together to seal in messes. The five-year warranty is an added bonus.

Today's best prices on deep clean vacuums

Best deep clean vacuums FAQ

What are the benefits of using a deep clean vacuum cleaner?

You might be wondering whether it’s worth investing in a deep clean vacuum as compared to an ordinary model. Sure, your average vac can make short work of the surface-level dirt and help keep your home looking clean. Yet the best deep clean vacuums take it to another level by tackling the deeply ingrained dirt that may have been lingering there for weeks or months. 

So the best deep clean vacuums offer the ultimate in cleaning. This is thanks to the higher suction power and nifty attachments that target particular types of dirt. Whatever your cleaning needs, there’s likely an attachment for it, with many models including a pet power brush, an extension wand, a head for upholstery, and a crevice tool. Deep clean vacuums also offer the bonus of improving the longevity of your furniture and can even prevent mold growth. 

If you suffer from allergies, a deep clean vacuum can be worth the extra investment as they offer a much more thorough clean to remove dust and pet hairs. If this is you, you may also want to check out our guide to the best air purifiers (opens in new tab) to improve air quality at home. 

Deep clean vacuums vs standard vacuum cleaners

Can’t decide whether to go for a deep clean vacuum or a standard vac? It’s the suction power that distinguishes a deep clean vacuum from your average vac. It’s thanks to this extra power that it can rid dirt from deep within the fibers of carpets. The other key difference is the variety of attachments you can expect with a deep clean vacuum with tools like an extension wand, crevice tool, and turbo brush common. This can help reach spots that your normal vacuum cleaner might miss.

Unlike standard vacs, many of the best deep clean vacuums offer different cleaning options designed for every surface, from hard floors ranging to shaggy rugs. When you change the mode, the suction power adjusts as well as the brushes used. The options provided by an average vac tend to be more limited. Deep clean vacuums tend to be more expensive and the prices reflect these additional features. 

How to choose a deep cleaning vacuum cleaner

It can be difficult to judge the most important feature of any vacuum before you buy – its cleaning power. Keith Quimby, a Utah-based vacuum dealer, and repairman with more than 30 years of experience said the best way to evaluate a vacuum's cleaning ability before you buy it is to get a demonstration in a shop that services vacuum cleaners. 

Those are the people who know what will break first on a vacuum, and they know the reliable products and brands. However, it's not always possible to get an in-person demonstration, which is why we put all of the vacuum cleaners in our guide to the test to make sure they live up to expectations.

Maintenance also plays a major role in determining how well your vacuum is cleaning, especially as it gets older. Cleaning filters and dust cups regularly can make all the difference, according to Caitlin Wagner, product manager for upright vacuums at Shark. Ignoring maintenance can lead to less suction or even the total loss of a vacuum cleaner. "That's when you do see a lot of malfunctions in a vacuum," said Wagner.

How much do deep cleaning vacuums cost? 

The deep-cleaning vacuums we tested cost an average of $288 and our tests proved you don’t have to spend a lot to get a good vacuum. Several of the $200 vacuums we tested outrank those costing $400 or more.

Best deep clean vacuums: Shark Navigator Deep Clean Vacuum

(Image credit: Shark)

Should you vacuum hardwood floors? 

If you have a prized hardwood floor, you may understandably be concerned about running a powerful deep clean vacuum over the surface. You may have heard that the stiff rotating brush can wear down the finish over time. This hasn’t been the case in our experience of testing all of these vacuum cleaners on different kinds of hard surfaces. You’ll be pleased to know we didn’t see any scratches or nicks. We assume that it’s only an issue for the most delicate of flooring. It’s also possible that the older style metal wheels did scrape surfaces but this is a thing of the past as many are now made with softer materials that are gentler on your floors. 

The bigger snag with hardwood floors is that it’s tough to give them a thorough clean compared to other surfaces. This is because the suction is often not close enough to the surface to draw up all of the dust. The other common issue is that the rotating brush can move dirt too far away from the suction path. In this scenario, it’s a good idea to choose a vac that is specially designed to tackle these issues if you want sparkling results. The good news is that our best pick overall has a soft rolling brush on the cleaning head, making cleaning hardwood floors a breeze. 

What to consider when buying a deep cleaning vacuum cleaner

For our deep vacuum tests, we considered any machine that is specifically designed to clean more deeply than normal vacuum cleaners – that can include either upright or canister-style designs. Our comparison includes bagged and bagless models. 

Both have their advantages: Bagged units are generally better for containing dust at all points in the cleaning process, but they do add a layer of expense because you have to keep buying bags for the lifetime of the machine. 

Bagless machines can sometimes create a dust cloud when being emptied, and are generally not as good at containing allergens during the cleaning process either, but you don't have to worry about buying bags.

The very best deep cleaning vacuums can cost more than $1,500. Our research indicates that most people are not willing to pay that much, though, even for a vacuum that is designed to have better than average cleaning power. 

We decided to stay in a more universally accepted price range – right around $350 and below – and found some great vacuums for the money.

Whether you decide to use an upright or canister, bagged or bagless, you want a machine that gives you the right accessories. Look for the ones that come with brushes and other tools to help you clean furniture, draperies, stairwells and other surfaces besides carpets. 

Features like a wide cleaning path and a long cord can add convenience by allowing you to cover more area quickly and to hunt for new outlets less often.

Help and support
All products are better with good customer support from their manufacturer. We looked for the ones that have long warranties and lots of ways to get answers when you need them.

Millie Fender
Head of Reviews

Millie Fender is Head of Reviews at Top Ten Reviews. She also works on our sister sites: Real Homes, Ideal Home, Homes & Gardens, and Livingetc. As Head of Reviews, Millie is on a mission to make sure that we are reviewing all of the latest and greatest products for you and your home, whether it's a vacuum cleaner or an inflatable hot tub.

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