If you have an allergy or share your home with someone who does, a HEPA vacuum cleaner is essential. But how do you know which one to pick for the best results?
Help is at hand! Here we review seven of the best HEPA vacuum cleaners on the market today. Check out the features and arm yourself with all the information you need to make the right choice.
At a Glance: Our Top 7 Picks for HEPA Vacuums On the Market
Best Overall : Eureka 3684f-Violet HEPA Vacuum
“ The dust bag is designed to capture both pet fur and dander, it captures an impressive 99.97% of dust particles.”
Best Upgrade: Kenmore Elite 21814 HEPA Vacuum
“Allergy sufferers will be comforted by this cleaner’s accreditation by the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America.”
Best Upright: Hoover UH30310 WindTunnel HEPA Vacuum
“It’s HEPA filter removes 99.9% of dust particles and a carbon filter means any odors will be absorbed too.“
Best Canister: Miele Compact C1 HEPA Vacuum
“The wand here is good and long. You can reach a radius of 29.5 feet without moving the canister. That makes it great for cleaning curtains.“
Best for Pet Hair: Kenmore Elite 31150 HEPA Vacuum
“This is accredited by the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America.”
Best Bagged: Hoover UH30300 HEPA Vacuum
“This clever upright cleaner has a Clean Drop bag system which means you never have to touch a dirty bag.”
Best Robot: IRobot Roomba I7+ HEPA Vacuum
“The iRobot Roomba i7+ will zip around your room while you relax with a good book.”
The Best HEPA Vacuums on the Market of 2020
1. Best Overall: Eureka 3684f-Violet HEPA Vacuum
The catchily named Mighty Mite from EUREKA is a small canister cleaner that packs a big punch. It comes in a standard version and the Pet Lover on the market, the latter being the one with the HEPA filter.
The Pet Lover has a 10 amp motor, making it more powerful than the standard version too. And it comes with an additional removable head that contains a beater bar, brilliant for removing pet hair. Just make sure not to use it on loop pile carpets as it can damage the finish.
You can, though, use it on both hard floors and rugs. The height is easily adjusted so that it will keep traveling smoothly over either surface.
The HEPA filter means the dust stays within the canister. EUREKA say it captures an impressive 99.97% of dust particles. The dust bag is designed to capture both pet fur and dander.
The wand is telescopic, so it’s easy to reach awkward spots. If you plan to vacuum curtains, you’ll find you have plenty of reaches.
The vacuum head delivers a generous 10-inch cleaning path, helping you get finished more quickly. It comes with extra tools for upholstery and dusting too. And if you’re looking for something to clean up your garage or workshop, you’ll love the blower port. It will clear debris out of the way in no time.
At just under nine pounds, this is light enough to carry anywhere. And the hose is flexible so it won’t kink easily as you move it around.
So are there any negatives? Well, just a few.
The first is that this is a corded cleaner, so you’ll have to negotiate a trailing cable as you clean. At twenty feet long, it won’t stretch that far from the powerpoint either. And when you’ve finished, you’ll have to wind it back in yourself – there’s no automatic rewind function.
The other issue is that the dust collection bags aren’t huge. You’ll need to empty them regularly to keep the vacuum sucking up effectively.
What We Like
- HEPA filter captures 99.97% of dust particles
- Beater bar is great for removing pet hair
- Very lightweight and easy to maneuver
What We Don’t Like
- The cord isn’t as long as it could be and you’ll need to wind it back up manually
- Bags need to empty regularly to maintain suction.
2. Best Upgrade: Kenmore Elite 21814 HEPA Vacuum
If you’ve got a bigger budget, the Kenmore Elite 21814 is worth a look for its range of clever features.
First up, there’s the power. This cleaner uses a two-motor system, and the design generates 20% more airflow than a standard Kenmore vacuum. That gives you powerful suction whether you’re cleaning hard floors or deep pile carpet.
There are separate nozzles for the two surfaces, and switching between them is easy. It also comes with a separate motorized attachment for pet hair. It has a unique design that means you’ll never have to untangle hairs from the brushes.
It also includes an infrared sensor to spot dirt trapped at the base of your carpet and an array of accessories. As well as the standard floor brush, you’ll get tools for cleaning ceiling fans, upholstery and crevices. There’s a second bare floor tool too.
The wand is aluminum, so it’s robust yet light, and it telescopes out to eleven feet. There’s also an LED light to show you when the bag is full.
But what about that all-important HEPA filter? Like all HEPA vacuums on the market, this one will eliminate 99.97% of dust particles. The cleaner also comes with a motorized “Pet PowerMate” attachment to lift pet hair and dander from surfaces.
Allergy sufferers will be comforted by this cleaner’s accreditation by the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America. Kenmore advises using their own-brand HEPA bags for the best results.
So is there anything not to like?
Well, all the gadgets mean there are lots of compartments on the cleaner. Unfortunately, they don’t all stay securely shut. Bump down a few steps, and you may well find one pops open. Some customers have resorted to taping them closed.
The hose is also attached vertically to the canister. That means you’re applying stress as you pull it around, risking damage.
What We Like
- Comes with four accessories, including a motorized brush to remove pet hair
- Infrared sensor shows when dirt has been detected
- Accredited by the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America
What We Don’t Like
- Compartments on the body of the cleaner tend to flip open
- The design of the hose attachment isn’t ideal
3. Best Upright: Hoover UH30310 WindTunnel HEPA Vacuum
If you’re looking for a cleaner with bling on the market, check out this funky upright with gold accents from Flamen. This is the kind of vacuum to dance around your living room with, pretending you’re in Saturday Night Fever.
But on to the specifications.
This is nice and easy to maneuver, with 180-degree horizontal rotation to get into all those nooks and crannies. It will also rotate through 90 degrees vertically, so you can get down nice and low. That’s handy for hoovering under tables and chairs.
There are different settings for hard and soft floors, and it’s easy to switch between the two. Press the power button once for low suction and again for higher suction. A third press turns the cleaner off. Bright LEDs light your way as you work.
The HEPA filter removes 99.9% of dust particles, and a carbon filter means any odors will be absorbed too.
We particularly like the way the central section can be removed and used as a cordless cleaner. It works brilliantly in your car and it’s lightweight for ease of use – less than three pounds.
This is a cleaner that can also cope with liquid spills. There’s a container in the base to collect the liquid and it comes with a mop attachment. That sits alongside a brush attachment and two crevice tools.
If you want to avoid getting covered in dust when the container is full, the design works well. A single touch of a button will release the dust directly into the trashcan. There are no bags to mess around with here.
A downside is that this is corded, so your reach is limited to 30 feet from a powerpoint. And although the vertical rotation is good, an upright design won’t be quite as flexible. This is louder than many other vacuum cleaners too. If you’re sensitive to noise, it won’t be the best option.
What We Like
- HEPA filter removes dust particles of just 3 microns across
- Can be used to clean up liquid spills
- Take out the middle section and you have a useful handheld vacuum cleaner
What We Don’t Like
- Not as convenient as some for vacuuming in tight spots
- The reach is restricted by the 30-foot cable
- Not the quietest cleaner on the market
4. Best Canister: Miele Compact C1 HEPA Vacuum
This powerful vacuum cleaner from German manufacturers Miele is a great option for clean air.
It uses a 1,200 Watt motor to lift dirt and dust, and you can choose from six power settings. These are selected by a simple dial, complete with pictures to show you what uses they’re best suited to. There’s even a quiet setting for people looking to vacuum in relative peace.
The floorhead can be used on hard floors or rugs. Just press down on a footswitch to change the setting. The soleplate is made of metal, so it will glide easily over either surface. And there’s no need to worry about scratching wooden floorboards with the rubber wheels.
Bear in mind, though, that it takes a bit more effort over carpets with thick pile. If that’s what you have in your home, you may find a vacuum with a different head is more effective.
Three extra accessories are included as standard: a dusting brush, crevice tool, and upholstery tool. Each of them clips neatly around the end of the hose, so they’re easy to reach when you need them. They can, though, be prone to falling off as you clean.
The wand here is good and long. You can reach a radius of 29.5 feet without moving the canister. That makes it great for cleaning curtains.
But the real selling point here is the attention to detail that’s gone into trapping that dust. This is achieved through the combination of a dust bag and filters for the exhaust and motor. The dust bag has a self-sealing collar, so once dirt and dust are inside, that’s where it stays.
Miele pride themselves on the durability of their machines. Each cleaner is tested to last for 20 years’ use, vacuuming for 45 minutes once a week on maximum power. Impressive.
What We Like
- Excellent air filtration
- Choice of six levels of suction
- High-quality build, designed to last for decades
What We Don’t Like
- Not recommended for carpets with deeper pile
- Accessories are prone to falling off the hose during use
5. Best for Pet Hair: Kenmore Elite 31150 HEPA Vacuum
Like the other Kenmore cleaner to make our list, this is accredited by the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America. If you find that comforting but prefer an upright to a canister model, this could be the one for you.
The Elite 31150 uses a powerful motor to generate 20% higher airflow than a conventional upright cleaner on the market. Together with the beltless design, this means you won’t lose suction power when the bag is getting full.
It’s effective at picking up dust, dander and pet hair, and can be used on hard and soft surfaces. And like its cousin, the Elite 21814, there’s a dirt sensor. This takes the form of a handy red light that illuminates to show when dirt is present.
There’s a generous cleaning path of 12.75 inches to make vacuuming a faster job. The telescopic wand will extend up to 10 feet. And although there’s a cord, at 35 feet it’s longer than many other cleaners on this list.
The hose is flexible, so it won’t kink and impede the airflow. And the cleaner can be adjusted to five different heights to cope with different environments.
There are different attachments too – a second tool for bare floors, a crevice tool, and a dusting brush. Most valuable to allergy sufferers is the Pet HandiMate. Attach it to the wand and the roller brush will spin fast to lift hair easily from upholstery and stairs.
There are just a couple of issues to bear in mind with this one.
The first is that the hose is on the short side. If you’re trying to clean inside the bottom of drawers above waist height, for example, you may struggle.
The second is that the exhaust is positioned to blow recirculated air to the sides of the cleaner. Because the motor is so powerful, dust and hair to the side of the vacuum path will be blown around. It would have worked much better if the exhaust was at the back of the machine instead.
What We Like
- Very powerful motor produces excellent suction
- Dirt sensor shows when an area is clean
- Decent cord length of 35 feet
What We Don’t Like
- The hose could be longer
- Awkwardly positioned exhaust blows dust to the side of the vacuum path
6. Best Bagged: Hoover UH30300 HEPA Vacuum
If you want to stay well away from dust whilst vacuuming, check out the T-Series WindTunnel cleaner from Hoover.
This clever upright cleaner has a Clean Drop bag system which means you never have to touch a dirty bag. Just press a lever to discharge it straight into the trash. There’s also an effective HEPA filter that captures 99.97% of dust particles. Nothing 3 microns or bigger will escape its clutches.
It uses what Hoover call WindTunnel technology to create streams of suction. These lift dirt and debris from the surface of hard floors and between carpet fibers.
It comes with a range of accessories. There’s a hand-held tool for hoovering up pet hair and a separate attachment to lift hair from upholstery. Add to that an extension wand and a crevice tool and you’ve got a vacuum with bags of versatility.
Other nice touches are a bumper to prevent damage to furniture as you work, and headlights to show up dirt.
On the downside, this is a corded cleaner, so you’ll have to keep an eye on the cable as you go. And the 30 feet long will mean unplugging and re-plugging if you have a larger home. There’s no automatic cord rewind either, which is a bit of a pain.
But if you can cope with the cord-related issues, this is a solid cleaner at a good price on the market.
If you are interested in bagged vacuums, you can read our post: Best Bagged Vacuum On The Market
What We Like
- Clean Drop bag system means you never have to touch a dirty dust bag
- Excellent hand-held tool for hoovering up pet hair
- Effective HEPA filter captures 99.97% of dust
What We Don’t Like
- The cord may be inconveniently short for larger spaces
- No automatic cord rewind function
7. Best Robot: IRobot Roomba I7+ HEPA Vacuum
image: iRobot Roomba
If you have deep pockets, why not entrust your cleaning to a robot pal? The iRobot Roomba i7+ will zip around your room while you relax with a good book.
It’s a squat, disc-shaped little gizmo, with rubber brushes that adjust so they’re in constant contact your floor. It will cope with both hard floors and carpets and moves over joins between them easily.
The high-efficiency filter will trap 99% of dust. And at only about three inches high, it can fit under low furniture and the bottoms of kitchen cupboards.
Just like other Roomba on the market, it navigates using Smart Mapping, and you can tell it which rooms to clean and when. It’s compatible with Alexa and Google Assistant too. Say, “Roomba, clean my kitchen,” and your work is done. You can schedule cleaning when you’re not there too. It really is the stuff of science fiction.
It’s powerful, delivering more than ten times the power of earlier versions of the Roomba. Emptying it is a breeze. It docks itself at a false wall, where it clears out everything it’s gathered. You’ll need to empty the container perhaps once a month.
So what are the limitations? Well, it can’t crawl up curtains or furniture, or navigate stairs. (Though it does have a clever sensor to stop it from taking a tumble if you’re using it upstairs.)
And if you have long hair or a pet that sheds a lot, you may need to give it a hand to empty itself out. Lots of hair can clog the port between the wall unit and the machine.
What We Like
- Vacuuming doesn’t get more effortless than this
- Empties itself after every clean
- Fits into tight spaces, like along kickboards beneath kitchen cupboards
What We Don’t Like
- This is strictly for floors – you’ll need another cleaner for upholstery and curtains
- Lots of hair can interfere with the self-emptying function
- The most expensive cleaner on our list by a country mile
Still wondering which of these is the HEPA vacuum cleaner for you? Take a look at our buying guide to help you make the right choice.
Consider the bag as well as the filter
If you suffer from a dust allergy, a HEPA filter will be a big help – but it’s not the only thing to consider. Emptying out the dust bag can be a real problem, so here are few things to check.
First of all, consider the size of the bag or dust compartment. The smaller it is, the more often you’ll have to empty it. That means more occasions with the potential to come into contact with dust and hair.
Scour the market for a vacuum cleaner, some cleaners have clever design features that mean you don’t have to touch the bag at all. That can compensate for smaller containers. The Flumen and Hoover models on our list are good examples.
And if you have the money to spend, the Roomba empties itself at the end of every clean. Just remember, you’ll still have to empty a bag from the wall unit every so often.
Lastly, if the cleaner uses a bag, check out how securely it keeps in dust. Some use valves to stop it escaping. That can make the job of emptying them much less messy.
Think about the environment you’ll be cleaning
Do you have large rooms where a short cord will be a nuisance? Do you need a wand with a long reach to get to the tops of curtains? What about a hose long enough to reach into drawers?
Do you live in a flat or bungalow, or will you need to vacuum stairs? Separate attachments can make that job much easier. The same goes for upholstery.
Do you need a cleaner for hard surfaces and rugs? Or one that can easily transition between the two? Will it need to cope with deeper pile carpets? If you have carpets with loop pile make sure any beater bar can be turned off to prevent damage.
Remember too that different cleaners will cope differently with tight spaces. If that’s an issue in your home, look for options with crevice tools or narrower heads. And check the rotation of the head too, so you know it will be easy to maneuver.
Finally, remember that vacuuming under furniture can be more challenging for some cleaners. If you’re looking for an upright vacuum from the market, in particular, look for models with good vertical rotation.
Remember the person doing the cleaning
Whether it’s you or someone else, consider the physical impact of cleaning. A lighter weight cleaner will require much less effort to use. Look for footswitches that can be operated without bending and models where the cord can be rewound automatically.
And don’t forget noise levels too. A quieter cleaner can be a real bonus for the person who uses it regularly.
Ready to choose?
We hope you’ve enjoyed our round-up of the top seven HEPA vacuum cleaners on the market out there today.
Our top pick is the Mighty Mite Pet Lover from EUREKA. This lightweight, competitively priced cleaner has a first-class HEPA filter and handles pet hair with ease.
And if you’re looking to upgrade, consider Kenmore’s Elite 21814. We love its infrared dirt sensor and powerful motorized brush for removing pet hair.
Whichever model you choose, dust and allergens will soon be a thing of the past. Enjoy your new allergy-free environment!