Best Canister Vacuum For Carpets of 2018 & Buying Guide

If you’re buying a new vacuum then there are a few things you should probably figure out before going to the store. Sure, you can just go pick one according to the tag and the advertised features. But that means you’re relying on the selection that’s available at your local store.

There are hundreds of different vacuums out there and each one has different features and is suited for different tasks. If you’re buying a vacuum for long-term use then you’re going to want to know which one will suit you best. This way you won’t find out along the way that your vacuum isn’t well-suited for you and have to spend extra money to get a new one.

What should I look for when buying a canister vacuum for carpets?

If you’ve already managed to decide to buy a canister vacuum then that means that you already know a lot of the downsides to getting an upright vacuum or a stick vacuum.  However, maybe you’re just buying a canister vacuum because you don’t have the storage space for a different kind. Here are a lot of the things that separate canister vacuums from the other types.

  • Canister vacuums are smaller than upright vacuums and thus require less storage space. Depending on the type you get, they can be easier to store than stick vacuums, as well (though some stick vacuums can be mounted on the wall which probably won’t work for any canister vacuums.)
Dyson Cinetic Big Ball Canister Vacuum

Dyson Cinetic Big Ball Canister Vacuum

Shark Rotator Powered Lift-Away Canister

Shark Rotator Powered Lift-Away Canister

  • Since canister vacuums are smaller than upright vacuums, it’s common for them not to have the same suction power as some of the high-end models. That doesn’t mean canister vacuums can’t be powerful, but chances are you’ll have to look for very expensive models. However, canister vacuums are great for cleaning carpets and stairs, which can be difficult with other types of vacuums.

These are two of the things that separate canister vacuums from most other units. However there are a lot of different components and features that vary from vacuum to vacuum, and considering these things is what really makes the difference. Some of the most immediate considerations for buying a canister vacuum are the following.

  • The suction power. Suction power varies immensely between vacuums. As we’ve mentioned, the average canister vacuum doesn’t have the same amount of power as your average stand-up. If you really need high suction power, though – if you’re cleaning thick matter off of hardwood floors, for example – then you’re going to have to shell out the extra cash.
    • Some vacuums have a variable switch that you can use to adjust the suction power. Vacuums with these types of variable switches are great for cleaning all sorts of different floor types.
    • Some vacuums have automatic adjustment for their suction. These are great because you don’t have to deal with pushing or flipping a switch to change the level of suction. Finding canister vacuums with auto-adjustment can be difficult but they are out there.
  • The filter systems. Filtration is the other key aspect for people buying vacuums if they’re concerned about health. You can buy vacuums with weaker filters, such as cloth or foam ones, that are likely to be cheap but they also don’t provide much quality. Your best bet is to get a HEPA (high efficiency particulate air) filter.
    • HEPA filters are designed to get much more dirt and allergens out of the air than other types of filters. The standard should be able to remove 99.7% of microns out of the air before cycling it back through to be breathed.
    • Also, pay attention to the position of the vents on the vacuum unit. A lot of vacuums position their filtration vents on the bottom of the vacuum which just blows dirt and dust around and makes it more difficult to clean up. Some brands, like Miele, put the vents near the top. Since they have powerful filters, the dust isn’t blown out towards you.
  • Many vacuums have additional tools that you can use. These will consist of any number of attachments that can be attached to, or extend the use of, your vacuum hose.
    • Canister vacuums often come with a crevice tool. Crevice tools are used to get in between tough spots like beside your couch.
    • Some vacuums have upholstery tools which you can use to clean pet hair or other bits of debris off of furniture that would otherwise be damaged by a powerful vacuum.
    • Extension wands enhance the length of your house by allowing you to stick a plastic hose that’s a few feet long on the end.
    • Pet hair attachments allow you to easily suck up pet hair which can be very resilient to the regular suction involved in a vacuum.

How do I know my canister vacuum is good quality?

You can’t always expect the price to be a good indicator of quality, either. Certain brands are known for making extremely high quality units but their prices are quite affordable.

Other brands have made a name for themselves producing reliable products, and have seen fit to reduce lower-quality products with the same price tag since they’re already established as a good brand name.

The best way to assess the quality of a vacuum is to read user reviews and detailed explanations of the product. That’s why we’re here.

We’ve extensively reviewed quite a few vacuum cleaners and have deduced that these ones are the highest quality canister vacuums you’ll find for cleaning your carpet.

The best canister vacuums for cleaning your carpets

Sebo Airbelt D4

Sebo Airbelt D4

Now that you know exactly what makes a canister vacuum good for cleaning carpets, it’s time for you to decide on which one to buy.

Instead of having to go to the store yourself or do hours of research online, we’ve reviewed the best canister vacuums for cleaning different types of carpets. You’ll surely find something to suit your needs here.

Best Canister Vacuum For Carpets  Reviews

1. Miele Complete C3 Marin Canister Vacuum Cleaner Review

Miele is a German company that has made themselves quite a popular name in North America. One of the reasons Miele vacuums are so popular here is because European cleaning standards are higher than those in America, so this vacuum automatically complies with better health standards than other units.

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One of the most important things about Miele vacuums is their filtration ability. Miele vacuums are known to eliminate a higher number of particles than any other type of vacuum on the market. Unfortunately, the price reflects it – these are also some of the most expensive units you can buy.

This particular unit is great for cleaning medium to thick carpet, the latter of which can be very difficult to clean. If a vacuum doesn’t specify its efficacy at cleaning thick carpets, you’re probably better off choosing a different one.

One of the cooler features about this vacuum is the LED light that allows you to see the floor directly in front of you to see if it’s already cleaned, or if you need to do a second sweep. Fortunately, you won’t need to do a second sweep with this unit unless your floor is extremely thick.


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    Great for medium to thick carpets
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    Has an LED headlight
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    Has the reliable filtration systems Miele is known for
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    Has high cleaning standards
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    Easy to move


  • Expensive
  • Heavier than some other units

2. Shark Rotator Powered Lift-Away Canister Review

The Shark brand undoubtedly deserves a spot on any list about canister vacuums thanks to the ingenuity of their lift-away system. This system allows basically any Shark vacuum to be lifted into a handheld unit that makes it easy to use on all sorts of different areas.

Even without the lift-away system, this vacuum would be a great option for cleaning carpets. The nozzle head is capable of providing powerful suction and it can be swivel-steered, allowing you greater access to difficult areas that other vacuums couldn’t access.

This vacuum is very lightweight and thus easy to store. It’s not very tall, and can be easily carried up and down stairs and to different rooms.

Speaking of different rooms, this vacuum isn’t made just for carpets. You can use it to clean hardwood floors as well, and thanks to a number of attachments, you can also use it to clean furniture, curtains, and tough-to-reach areas.

The unit has an automatic cord rewind which will save you time instead of having you gather up a tangled cord from all over the room.


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    Lightweight and easy to move
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    Great for cleaning stairs
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    Can handle carpets as well as hardwood floors
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    Has a powerful level of suction
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    Comes with a lot of cleaning attachments


  • Should be purchased locally due to unreliable packaging and customer service

3. Sebo Airbelt D4 Black Premium Canister Vacuum Cleaner with ET-1 Powerhead and Bare Floor Brush Review

While this vacuum may advertise its bare floor brush, that doesn’t mean it’s exclusively designed to clean hardwood floors. In fact, this premium canister vacuum (from a lesser-known brand) is highly capable of cleaning many types of floors, including carpets.

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It’s not just good at cleaning floors, either. Thanks to a bunch of attachments integrated into your purchase,  you’ll be able to clean furniture and upholstery, as well as cleaning up dreaded pet hair which can be a serious hassle if it gets clumped and matted in your carpet.

The unit uses a high class filtration system that’s on par with those that Miele uses, promising to capture 99.7% of dust particles. This is great, especially when cleaning carpets which are known to harbor tons of dust and dirt.

The unit has a cleaning range of up to fifty feet, thanks to the long cord and the long reach of the nozzle. The vacuum can be further adjusted thanks to a dial on the unit that allows you to adjust the suction speed, letting you cater to different types of floors that need to be cleaned.

The key factor here for carpet cleaning is the ‘adjustable height brush’ which takes a lot of the difficulty out of cleaning carpets. You can easily switch the thickness to tackle thick carpets or thin ones.


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    Very versatile unit
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    Comes with a lot of integrated attachments
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    Boasts a strong filter system to clean over 99% of dirt and dust particles
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    Long range
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    Comes with an adjustable brush for cleaning different types of carpet


  • Not the most durable

4. Dyson Cinetic Big Ball Canister Vacuum Review

This isn’t just one of the best canister vacuums, it’s one of the best vacuums, period.

This is the only vacuum on the market right now that can right itself if it falls over. This vacuum has a hygienic dust can emptying system that shoots dust and debris into the garbage so you don’t breathe it in while fiddling with bags or canisters.

You don’t need to wash the filters – the dust separation unit included in the vacuum ensures that all tiny particles are filtered through a different system and won’t clog the vacuum.


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    Self-righting vacuum
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    Very good filtering system
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    Able to clean many types of floor
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    High power suction


  • Somewhat expensive

So which one’s the best?

Again, Dyson wins by providing the best canister vacuum for cleaning carpets – the Dyson Cinetic Big Ball. while not specifically marketed for cleaning carpets, this unit boasts enough features and function to be more capable than most of the other models you’ll see on the market today.

All this is available for a standard Dyson price, which isn’t terrible expensive compared to more prestigious vacuums. If you’re looking for a good all around vacuum that also excels at cleaning carpets, here’s your best bet.