Regardless of whether you keep your shoes on or take them off indoors, our carpets always end up in just a matter of days. If only we could eliminate dirt, grime, and other pollutants from the earth, then… we’d have a whole range of other problems.
But that doesn’t mean you should live with the hard-to-clean filth that pollutes your beautiful carpets and rugs. With a handy canister vacuum cleaner, you can say goodbye and good riddance to sticky, muddy tracks that ruin carpet fibers.
So please join me as I talk about the top 12 best canister vacuum for carpet. I’ve selected models that fit different budget ranges so everyone can pick something. But you can rest assured that any model you get from my list will not disappoint.
- What is a Canister Vacuum?
- Canister Vacuum Versatility
- Best Canister Vacuum for Carpet Comparison Table 2020
- Best Canister Vacuum for Carpet Reviews 2020
- Canister Vacuum Buying Guide
- Canister Vacuum vs. Uprights and Sticks
What is a Canister Vacuum?
There are three main types of vacuum cleaners – uprights, sticks, and canisters. There’s also robotic vacuum cleaners and handheld units, but they belong to specific categories that serve very distinct purposes.
Canisters are the beast of the three main types. Their bodies house heavy-duty motors that supply much more suction pressure. And best of all, they’re noise production to suction power ratio outclasses that of uprights and sticks.
Canister Vacuum Versatility
But higher suction pressure isn’t the only area where canister vacuums have the upper hand compared to uprights and sticks.
Canister vacuums use a multitude of cleaning tools for different jobs. Spot-cleaning? No problem. Need to clean an entire carpet? A motorized vacuum head can get the job done with fewer passes!
This is also what makes canisters reliable in so many different settings. Whether you need to vacuum a carpet inside of your home or in your car, a canister vacuum with the right attachment can be wheeled wherever you need it.
Best Canister Vacuum for Carpet Comparison Table 2020
I get it. You’re busy and can’t spend all day reading lengthy reviews of 12 canister models. That’s fine; here’s a table that’ll give you a quick rundown of the key features and specs of my favorite canister vacuums.
|Best Canister Vacuums for Carpet||Bag/Bagless||Maximum Reach from Outlet (ft.)||Weight (lbs.)||Dust Capacity (liters)||Number of Attachments|
|Miele Complete Powerline C2 - Best Overall||Bagged||33||19||4.5||3|
|Dyson DC39 - Best Maneuverability||Bagless||32||16||2||2|
|Bissell Zing 4122 - Most Budget-Friendly||Bagged||22||8||2||3|
|Kenmore 81614 - Best Suction||Bagged||38||23||3.5||4|
|Oreck BB900DGR XL Pro 5||Bagged||34||5||10||4|
|Miele CX1 Blizzard Turbo – Most Cleaning Attachments||Bagless||23||19||1.1||5|
|Hoover SH30050 - Least Noise||Bagged||28||14||3.6||3|
|Miele Classic C1 – Best for Pets||Bagged||20||15||4.5||3|
|Eureka 3670G Mighty Mite - Simplest to Use||Bagged||26||9||2.5||3|
|Dyson Big Ball Animal Cinetic – Most High-End||Bagless||35||18||1.5||3|
Best Canister Vacuum for Carpet Reviews 2020
1. Miele Complete Powerline C2
Despite being an old-fashioned bagged canister, it offers a wide range of advantages like onboard storage for the tools and improved dust collection.
This mid-range canister by Miele is made to be as convenient and durable as possible. A highly efficient motor keeps the unit working at full capacity for long periods of time.
You can change between six different cleaning modes with a turn of a dial so you never deliver more or less power than you need. Your drapes, old carpets, and upholstery cushioning will thank you.
Although the dust bag is a filter in and of itself, the C2 also comes with an AirClean filter to keep dust flying out of the exhaust.
- Fantastic suction
- Ton of convenience-adding features
- Onboard storage
- A bit bulky
- No motorized tool for pet hair
This is a video overview of what the Complete C2 is about.
2. Kenmore 81414
If you’re looking for a feature-rich canister vacuum for your carpet, then the 81414 is worth looking at.
It comes with a pre-installed triple HEPA filtration system that retains most allergens from popping out of the exhaust. This is great for those who suffer from seasonal or pet allergies, or just don’t want dust mites living in their home.
It has a long reach of up to 35 feet from an outlet thanks to the long 26-foot power cord and 9-foot suction hose. Using any of the four attachments will help you spot-clean concentrated dust piles instantly.
Finally, features like onboard storage and an automatic cable reel make using this canister vacuum a joyful experience.
- HEPA Filter
- Long reach
- Great on all surfaces
- Plastic housing
- Hard to use on low-pile carpets
The following video of the 81414 was made by a happy customer.
3. Eureka NEN110A
The NEN110A’s main multi-surface vacuum head works extremely well on both carpeted and bare floors. a push of a switch changes its cleaning mode from carpets to bare floors instantly.
In order to preserve suction power for longer, the NEN110A uses a cyclonic filtration system that sifts fine from coarse debris. When the 2-liter dust cup has reached max capacity, a simple push of a button will open a latch for easy emptying.
To preserve maximum suction pressure for longer, the NEN110A uses a cyclonic filtration system to separate fine from large particles so the filter remains unclogged for longer. Any air exhausted into the room is practically free of debris.
- Lightweight for added portability
- Large dust cup
- Flawless filtration
- Quite noisy for its size
- Has trouble cleaning high-pile carpeting
This is a 7-minute video showing what the NEN110A looks like in action.
4. Dyson DC39
The DC39 may look a bit odd for a canister vacuum, but its spherical design actually plays a tremendous role in its maneuverability. Because of its ball shape, the DC39 will never tip over when towed around.
It doesn’t come with a wide range of cleaning tools. You only get the 2-in-1 crevice and dusting brush as well as a stair tool. The great thing is that both cleaning attachments fit snugly inside of its onboard storage compartment.
Please note that the stair tool does not come with a motor so it relies solely on suction power to get the job done.
In spite of a missing motorized beater bar, you can expect it to perform exceptionally well with its 280-air-watt suction.
- Ball design, never tips over
- Lifetime reusable filter
- Onboard storage
- Emptying the dustbin can be messy
- Cheap plastic feel
Dyson’s YT channel has a video showing off the DC39 that you can watch here.
5. Bissell Zing 4122
The Zing 4122 by Bissell is one of the most budget-friendly canisters I’ve ever seen.
It’s a bagged model, but it’s completely understandable considering its price tag. It weighs only 8 pounds on an empty bag, and it even has a full-bag indicator to let you know when it’s time to swap for a fresh one.
Its main cleaning tool is a multi-surface cleaning attachment that, as the name suggests, is used for carpeting (excellent) and bare floors (even better). The telescoping wand makes spot-cleaning drapes and above-ground surface a breeze.
This affordable canister vacuum sucks up all sorts of debris without any considerable problems. Sadly, its brush is not powered by a motor but its suction is powerful enough to get the job done.
- Power suction for price
- Non-motorized brush
This is an unboxing and quick video review of the affordable Zing.
6. Kenmore 81614
This canister vacuum from Kenmore is arguably one of the most powerful models you’ll ever come across. Plus, it’s as versatile as any other, making it a great piece to have for all kinds of floors.
Its dual motor setup ensures that it’ll never lose suction power despite how dirty your floors are. Everything from cereal to pet hair can be picked up in as little as two passes.
For those with pets, the Pet PowerMate attachment will make simplify the task of picking up fallen fur and dander. Those will pet allergies will definitely enjoy the 81614.
Equipped with a HEPA filter, debris as small as 0.3 microns will get trapped up to 99.97% of the time, ensuring allergens and small organisms never pollute your air.
- Tremendous suction power
- HEPA Filter
- Far reach
- Non-motorized brush
Want to see how the 81614 performs? Here’s your chance!
7. Oreck BB900DGR XL Pro 5
If you’re in the market for a vacuum cleaner that delivers commercial-grade cleaning power with an affordable price tag, then the XL Pro 5 by Oreck is worth your time considering.
This lightweight beast delivers a ton of suction power that cleans even the shaggiest carpets and rugs in a single sweep. Its bare floor cleaning tool, however, isn’t so good.
Those suffering from allergens will enjoy the HEPA filter that traps microscopic particles and prevents them from going airborne from the exhaust.
The effectiveness of this tool is unlike most of what you’ll find. If your place of business needs a vacuum cleaner, I’d highly recommend the XL Pro 5.
- Wide range of cleaning tools
- Extremely lightweight
- Powerful suction
- Stiff suction hose
- Not the best bare floor tool
If you have half-an-hour to spare, here’s what ibaisaic’s first impression of the XL Pro 5 was like.
8. Miele CX1 Blizzard Turbo
(Most Cleaning Attachments)
Although it’s not as powerful as the Kenmore 81614, the CX1’s feature that shines the most is its suction. To give you an idea of how well it sucks, it has a maximum airflow rating of 62 mph.
Best of all, it’s quieter than most canisters thanks to its insulation and motor housing.
When spot-cleaning curtains and other above-ground surfaces, you can switch to a lower suction speed to ensure nothing gets damaged in the process.
Its fine-dust filter works quite well at trapping most dust, but it does spit out a bit of debris through the exhaust from time to time. This isn’t a major issue, but it could’ve been built better.
- Quiet but powerful
- Great for pet hair
- Numerous cleaning attachments
- Not for high-pile carpeting
- Exhaust filter not the most effective
This video should give you a clear idea of what to expect with the CX1 Blizzard.
9. Hoover SH30050
Vacuum cleaners are notorious for being quite loud, but the Hoover SH30050 goes against all odds by producing just about 70 decibels at its highest speed. That’s about as quiet as they get.
The thing I absolutely love about the SH30050 is its swivel motorized vacuum head. You won’t need to angle your arm and shoulder awkwardly to get behind furniture and turn corners. Instead, let the swivel neck do the navigating for you.
A slight tap of your foot is all you need to switch between speed settings. The only way this could’ve been more convenient is by adding them onto the handle, but as is, there’s nothing inconvenient about it.
It comes with the standard cleaning attachments, including a crevice tool, dusting brush, and bare floor vacuum head. However, there’s no dedicated storage space for them.
- Swivel vacuum head
- Foot-operated controls
- Not ideal for edge-cleaning
- No onboard storage
Here’s a helpful video description of the SH30050.
10. Miele Classic C1
(Best for Pets)
With pets constantly shedding fur on carpets and furniture, taking care of their messes can be a challenge. But with the Classic C1 from Miele, you can leave your worries behind.
The magic of the C1 is its adjustable suction speeds which only add to its versatility. Choose between six different cleaning modes to ensure perfect cleaning performance on all types of surfaces.
The main cleaning tool is the pure suction floorhead that works on hard floors and carpets equally well. Its rubber wheels ensure your carpet’s fibers will never get ruined, plus it glides seamlessly across all surfaces with a light push and pull.
With the patented AirClean System, everything that enters the suction inlet stays in the bag and is never flung out through the exhaust.
- Best option for pet owners
- Great for tight spaces
- Powerful for its weight class
- Short cable
- Costly replacement bags
Curious of what the C1 looks like in action? Check this video out!
11. Eureka 3670G Mighty Mite
(Simplest to Use)
When it comes to keeping our floors clean, the last thing we need is a complicated canister with a ton of features that only leave its users thoroughly confused.
That is not the issue with the Mighty Mite – the simplest canister vacuum out there. And with great simplicity comes great convenience.
This lightweight canister vac comes with a wand extension to increase your reach by more than foot for getting dust and cobwebs off the ceiling.
Its most unique feature is the built-in blower port that shoots out copious amounts of air for moving dead leaves, dust, and other light debris out of garages. It can even be used to air-dry carpets if you so choose.
- Lightweight build
- Super-easy to use
- Built-in blower (practically unheard of in canister vacs)
- Missing auto cord rewind
- Only usable on low-pile carpets
You can thank YT users Dave and Lisa for this lovely video of the Mighty Mite at work.
12. Dyson Big Ball Animal Cinetic
Dyson has created some of the world’s best vacuum cleaners, and the Animal is a beast!
Weighing only 17 pounds, this unit is super-easy to navigate across all types of floors, and it excels at low-pile to shaggy carpets. It keeps all of the debris in its dust cup by using patented Cinetic technology.
Without a pre-filter, there’s nothing to clean, and the dust cup releases with a push of a button. It hardly holds any dust though so you’ll need to empty it in the middle of vacuuming (a pain in the neck).
It has the standard cleaning attachments, but its long-reach wand extends your reach by more than four feet. Plus, the wand can rotate up to 360° for improved control when spot-cleaning surfaces high off the ground.
- Worth the cost
- Sexy design
- Small dust cup
- Dust cup opens too easily
Dyson’s video tutorial will show you everything you need to know about the Cinetic.
Canister Vacuum Buying Guide
I’ve compiled a brief guide that will help you decide not only which canister vacuum to get but also why a canister vacuum is ideal.
Things You Need to Consider
Number of Cleaning Attachments
Canister vacuum cleaners use a wide range of cleaning attachments to keep carpets and bare floors as clean as humanly possible. The more cleaning attachments inside of the box, the better off you’ll be.
A motorized brush is great for ensuring that your carpet’s fibers are cleaned from root to tip. A rotating beater brush digs deep to extract the tiniest particles, leaving your carpets as fresh as the day you first brought it home.
Bagged vs. Bagless
Choosing between bagged or bagless models is a matter of personal preference, but I feel inclined to let you know that the cost of replacement bags will accumulate over time.
Bagless models are great but typically have smaller capacities compared to bagged models.
Onboard Tool Storage
Misplacing cleaning tools can be heartbreaking, which is why most of the items I described on the list of the best canister vacuums for carpets has onboard storage pockets. These dedicated compartments keep the tools safe and sound during storage.
Auto Cable Rewind
Automatically rewinding the power cord makes storing the canister vacuum a heck of a lot easier than manually reeling it in. If it doesn’t have this feature, you’ll have to spend a bit of time making sure the cable isn’t damaged during storage.
Maximum reach is defined as the movement radius from the outlet – essentially, the combined lengths of the power cord and the suction hose. More movement means improved convenience and less bending over the unplug the unit.
Speed Settings/Floor Options
The best canister vacuum cleaners have adjustable suction pressure that allows you not only to clean your carpets but also bare floors and auto interior. You’ll need to take some time to tamper with the settings to find the ideal one for a certain surface.
The final point of consideration is how much the unit weighs. Remember: you’re mostly towing the unit around and not lifting it so even a “bulky” model like the Kenmore 81614 is easy to use.
Canister Vacuum vs. Uprights and Sticks
I know what you’re thinking – since uprights are the most popular type of vacuum cleaner, and sticks are super-lightweight, why should I get a canister vacuum?
The answer is simple: for its versatility.
Canister vacuum cleaners come with several cleaning tools that make cleaning wide carpets, bare floors, and spot-cleaning above-ground surfaces extremely easy to do.
Plus, insulate sound a lot better than other types of vacuum cleaners. Their soundproofing abilities come not just from cushioning around the motor but also the motor’s housing itself.
Finally, the only time you have to deal with the actual weight of the unit is when moving up and down flights of stairs. For the most part, you’re only carrying the suction hose and cleaning attachment – the rest stays on the floor.
But like anything in this world, canister vacuums are not perfect. Their biggest drawback is the size of their motor housing. Finding a place in your closet to store a canister vacuum can be a challenge in and of itself.
To further help you with your search for the best canister vacuum cleaner, I’d like to take a few moments to answer some of the most frequently asked questions about them.
And that is the end of the guide. I hope you learned a lot about what canister vacuum cleaners are and the benefits of owning and using one.
In my list, I’ve provided you with a range of models by different manufacturers, but my favorite by far is the Miele, and their Complete Powerline C2 is definitely worthy of praise.