I've compiled a list of the best residential portable vacuum in twelve of the most popular brands. Each machine was selected on the principle of the consumer getting the most for their money (bang for their buck). The expression, “You get what you pay for”, just isn't as true as it used to be, and hopefully this article helps to correct that. I understand that not everyone has the money to spend on top-of-the-line vacuums, and surprisingly, this list hits many price ranges.
Miele – S8390 Kona MSRP $899.00
Hands down, Miele makes the best canister vacuums on the market. The superior filtration of these machines should particularly interest asthma or allergy sufferers. This is a top tier company, which makes machines that outlast and outperform the competition. Miele’s slogan is 'immer besser', which translates to 'forever better', and they own up to it. The Kona in particular comes with the parquet floor tool and powerhead, which gives it the diversity to handle most cleaning needs.
Riccar – Vibrance Premium Plus $699.95
A brand of the Tacony Corporation, Riccar has a long history of making great upright vacuums. The Vibrance line is no different. The thing that sets the Premium Plus apart from the rest of the Vibrance line is the lifetime serpentine belt. In an earlier article, I wrote about tweaking a machine to improve on something that was already good, instead of completely reinventing it; this is a perfect example. It's going to do a great job cleaning and last a very long time.
Simplicity – Symmetry Premium Plus $699.95
This is basically the sister machine to the Riccar. A different brand, but still Tacony, and great for all the same reasons. Essentially the differences are cosmetic. My advice, decide between these two machines based on the service provided by the dealers in your area.
Sebo – Automatic X4 $679.00
This machine has automatic height adjustment, and a lifetime geared belt system. The 5 ½” low profile and 12” cleaning path gives it the ability to get through and under tight places. It's durable, user friendly, and has great consumer feedback.
Fuller Brush – Mighty Maid FB-MMPW4 $399.99
This is yet another product from the Tacony Corporation. I don't like it as much as the other two previous models, but it's a great machine at its price point. Thick plastic housings, metal components, big motor; highly recommended for the price.
Panasonic – Bagged Upright MC-UG223 $154.99
This is a clean air upright with on-board tools. There are two things I look for on a Panasonic that make them more durable, and less expensive; wood brush roller, and no foot pedal. This machine fits both criteria.
Royal – Everlast MRY8200 $669.95
Eureka – Boss 1934B $129.99
Both these machines are a throwback to how most vacuum cleaners used to be made. Direct air motors give them great cleaning power, and the simplicity of the design actually adds durability and ease of repair. The downfall is the lack of attachments and filtration, but those things aren't important to everyone, so they do fit a certain niche. The Royal is an all metal upright which will last considerably longer.
Dirt Devil – Featherlite M085590 $59.95
Hoover – Tempo Widepath U5140900 $99.99
Bissell – PowerForce 71Y7V $42.84
These are the best upright vacuums under $100. They all come with onboard tools, take bags, and have bypass motors. I feel like the brush roller on the Dirt Devil gives it a slight advantage, and that is usually the first thing to go on inexpensive vacuums.
Dyson – DC33 Multi Floor $399.99
It's the cheapest upright from Dyson, and the most durable. It has a clutch system to go from hard surfaces to carpet, on-board tools, and five-year warranty. If you are in the market for a Dyson, this is the one to get.