This reliable, effective, easy-to-use, and reasonably priced bagless upright vacuum cleaner will work well in most homes, and it’s been our pick for seven years running.
The Shark Navigator Lift-Away NV352 needs very little maintenance and has essentially no recurring costs. That’s because its parts are made to last the lifetime of the machine, whereas most affordable vacuums need fresh filters and belts to keep running well. If something does break, Shark’s customer service is generally good about honoring the five-year warranty. It’s rare to see such an affordable vacuum backed by a policy that basically guarantees this kind of longevity. In our testing, we found the NV352 to be a capable, well-rounded cleaner that can pick up all the typical types of debris (dust, crumbs, pet hair, and more) from almost any kind of flooring (including bare floors, and short and long carpets). Handling is smooth and light, the extra tools are useful and conveniently store onboard the vacuum, it’s easy to empty, and owners tend to love this vacuum.
If the NV352 is sold out, any model from the NV350, NV360, and NV370 series is essentially the same thing, with very minor differences.
*At the time of publishing, the price was $170.
Any other models in the Shark NV350, NV360, or NV370 series are essentially the same vacuums as the NV352. Performance is nearly identical, and the only differences are minor—their tool sets, bin sizes, colors, and button placements. So if our main pick is sold out, grab one of these. We’ve found that the Shark Navigator Lift-Away Deluxe V360 is currently the easiest to nab for a good deal, so start there.
Praised by nearly everyone as excellent, this nimble canister vacuum works on any kind of flooring, runs quiet, and should last for decades. This model is great for those with asthma and allergies, but it requires bags.
If you’re willing to upgrade to a vacuum that can clean the heck out of your home and last for decades, buy a Miele C3 canister vacuum cleaner. Every industry expert we’ve spoken with (even one from a competing brand!) has told us that these are excellent vacuum cleaners, and a few technicians have said they’re simply the best you can buy. The cleaning performance is impressive, and the vacuums feel great to use. The filtration is excellent, which is good for everyone, but especially great for people with asthma or allergies. Miele canisters are also among the quietest vacuums anywhere. That being said, this canister vacuum isn’t cheap, and you’ll also pay for new filters and bags pretty regularly (around $20 per year, if you buy online). But a Miele canister can last so long that it works out to be an excellent long-term value.
We tested many different Miele canister vacuums, each suited to different types of flooring. Check out our chart to see which one fits your needs the best. But we wanted to point out the Complete C3 Calima in particular; we found in our tests that the air-powered turbo brush head it comes with works better on rugs than the electrified head included with some other Miele models. The C3 Calima is the most affordable model with a turbo brush head in the Miele lineup, and like other Miele vacs, it has a crush-proof hose and a totally sealed body, for better dust control and quieter operation.