- Why You Should Have a Canister Vacuum?
- Signs of a Good Canister Vacuum
- Best Canister Vacuums Review in 2020
- 1. Miele Classic C1 – Best to Buy Canister Vacuum
- 2. Eureka Mighty Mite 3670M – Best Value Canister Vacuum
- 3. Eureka NEN110A – Best Canister Vacuum for Pet Hair
- 4. Oreck Commercial BB900DGR – Best Hardwood Canister Vacuum
- 5. Miele Complete C3 for Soft Carpet – Best Canister Vacuum for Carpets
- 6. Sanitaire S3681D – Best Bagged Canister Vacuum
- What Are the Differences Between Commercial and Consumer-grade Canister Vacuums?
If you are on the lookout for a new vacuum cleaner, a canister vacuum is worth considering. Maneuverable, versatile, quiet, and not at all lacking in the power department, the best canister vacuum will serve you and your family well for years.
Our buyer’s guide will tell you everything you need to know to make an informed purchase decision. The review section has several best-rated canister vacuum models for you to sift through at your own pace.
Why You Should Have a Canister Vacuum?
The most significant selling point of canister vacuums is their design. The wheel-equipped canister houses the heavy motor and the dirt storage component (either a dust cup or a disposable dust bag depending on the type of vacuum.)
Tugging is far more convenient and easier on your muscles than pushing around a bulky upright. Additionally, instead of carefully leaning your vacuum against the wall, a canister vacuum can stand on its own. A canister vacuum typically isn’t heavy either, so even when you need to carry it (such as up and down the stairs), it won’t be too much of a challenge.
Cleaning with a canister vacuum is as simple as holding and maneuvering the suction wand and hose across your home’s surfaces. The wand and hose combination is significantly lighter than a full-size vacuum. It also provides you with much greater flexibility and reach as well. That is a remarkable advantage if you often have to clean stairs or in hard-to-reach places like the ceiling or underneath furniture.
Signs of a Good Canister Vacuum
Information about a vacuum’s performance is important. But unfortunately, it can be tough to guesstimate how well a vacuum will perform without physically trying it out.
Technically, the suction performance of a vacuum is indicated in the user’s manual or technical data sheet as a CFM (Cubic Feet per Minute) or Airwatt (AW) rating. But many manufacturers don’t include these numbers in their manuals because suction power can vary depending on multiple factors.
For example, if you run the vacuum with a filter or a dust bag on, suction will be reduced. Even attaching a cleaning head onto the vacuum can decrease suction power. As a result, a vacuum’s suction rating can never be 100% consistent or reliable, which is why so many manufacturers forgo printing out the numbers.
If you want to know the suction power of a vacuum, you will have to do the testing yourself with a manometer in a lot of cases. And if you merely want to know how well the vacuum of your choice will perform, base your expectations on past customer reviews.
Bagged vs. Bagless
A bagged vacuum funnels all of the dust, dirt, and debris it captures into a disposable dust bag. When the bag is full, all you have to do is detach it from the vacuum and throw it into the trash. If you have an allergy or respiratory condition, a dust bag can help you avoid direct contact with the dirty contents. It further helps that high-quality dust bags have their own filtration and sealing system to keep the contents from leaking out.
The only downside to bagged vacuums is that you will have to buy new bags to replace the used ones regularly. But if the advantages of having disposable bags sound appealing to you, it will be worth it.
On the other hand, a bagless vacuum uses an internal dust cup to store everything that is collected. Rather than replacing the entire bin, you only need to remove it from the vacuum, dump the contents into the trash, and reinstall the cup back into the vacuum.
The cost advantage is a given, but the downside is that it is messier to use than a bagged vacuum. Because you will be in direct contact with the dirty contents when you’re emptying it, bagless vacuums can be bad for your health. If you’re sensitive to dirt or allergens that may be inside of the cup, a bagless vacuum may not be the best for you.
It is not uncommon for people to develop back pains or achy muscles from a poorly-designed vacuum. That is why focusing on how well the vacuum is designed can save you a lot of grief.
Most canister vacuums are equipped with wheels for more natural movement. However, it’s good to look for models with large wheels to avoid being stuck inside of carpeting or impeded by obstacles. The less effort you have to put into tugging the canister, the better.
Most canister vacuums are between five to fifteen pounds in weight. The heavier the vacuum, the more difficult it is going to be for you to tug around. If your house has a lot of stairs, a heavy canister will be a nightmare to carry up and down all day long.
But that doesn’t mean having a feather-light canister vacuum is always right. Remember that the lighter the vacuum, the smaller the motor, so you will most likely end up with lesser suction power. Instead, try to find a middle-ground between performance and weight.
Power Cord Length
The length of the power cord should be longer than 20 feet.
That is the industry average and will provide you with a decent range to reach electrical outlets around the house. But if you have a large house to clean, a longer power cord from 30 to 40 feet will be helpful.
Although there are some models of extension cords on the market that claim to work well with corded vacuums, we highly recommend against using them for that purpose. Using an extension cord with a vacuum is almost taboo because of how easy it is for the vacuum to short-circuit. Furthermore, extension cords have also been known to cause internal wall fires because of arcing. It is best to avoid it altogether unless you have no other choice.
A sound filtration system is needed now more than ever before. It won’t just stop dust and dirt from escaping back into the environment through the air exhausts, it will also trap allergens, bacteria, and viruses. Quality filtration systems like High-Efficiency Particulate Air (HEPA) can help reduce harmful virions in the environment, including the Coronavirus, according to health research.
Do watch out for low-quality “HEPA” filters, though. A filter can only be considered HEPA if it captures 99.97% of particles smaller than 0.3 microns (166 times smaller than a human’s hair.) Despite this requirement, many manufacturers still market their filters as “HEPA” while only capturing 70% to 80% of the particles passing through.
Typically, canister vacuums are shipped with a combination tool, which is designed to work on both bare floors and carpet. The control panel will usually have a button or a switch for you to change the setting based on the floor type you’re cleaning.
Other standard accessories include a crevice tool to extend the vacuum’s reach into difficult places and spaces like room corners. For dealing with delicate materials like suede, leather, or other upholstery, an upholstery tool will usually be included too. A dusting brush is also a popular complementary tool.
Best Canister Vacuums Review in 2020
With all of that out of the way, here are our selections of the best canister vacuums. Whatever you need a new canister vacuum for, our list will have something for you.
- Miele Grey Classic C1 – Best to Buy Canister Vacuum
- Eureka Mighty Mite 3670M – Best Value Canister Vacuum
- Eureka NEN110A – Best Canister Vacuum for Pet Hair
- Oreck Commercial BB900DGR – Best Hardwood Canister Vacuum
- Miele Complete C3 for Soft Carpet – Best Canister Vacuum for Carpets
- Sanitaire S3681D – Best Bagged Canister Vacuum
|Name||Suction Power||Filtration Type||Dust Storage Capacity||Warranty|
|Miele Grey Classic C1||140 CFM||HEPA||3.5 liters (118.3 ounces) dust bag||7-year parts and labor; 1-year motor and casing|
|Eureka Mighty Mite 3670M||135 CFM||HEPA||5 liters (169 ounces) dust bag||1-year warranty and 30-day return|
|Eureka NEN110A||Unspecified||Non-HEPA||2.6 liters (87.9 ounces) dust cup||1-year warranty|
|Oreck Commercial BB900DGR||Unspecified||Non-HEPA||0.94 liters (32 ounces) dust bag||1-year warranty|
|Miele Complete C3 for Soft Carpet||158 CFM||HEPA||4.5 liters (152.1 ounces) dust bag||7-year warranty for casing and motor; 1-year for other components|
|Sanitaire S3681D||65 CFM||Non-HEPA||2.8 liters (96.8 ounces) dust bag||2-year warranty|
1. Miele Classic C1 – Best to Buy Canister Vacuum
Despite having a small size and compact footprint, the Miele Classic C1 carries a capable suction motor that affords it the suction strength of an upright. For this reason, the C1 can work on a wide range of surface types and against various kinds of debris, dirt, and dust. Rich in features and without too expensive a price tag, it will be a good fit for those who seek a well-balanced canister vacuum for their home.
- Powerful performance
- Customizable suction power
- Wide cleaning radius
- Well-designed wheels
- Excellent dust bag design
- HEPA filtration
- Short power cord
The Classic C1’s in-house vortex motor can produce a steady suction flow of 140 CFM. But the best thing about the motor is not its high suction. Miele has made its vortex motor surprisingly flexible and customizable. Depending on the surface you are cleaning, you can fine-tune the vacuum’s performance accordingly using the mode selection knob on its body.
If you want to avoid damaging the upholstery or fabrics, you can set the cleaning mode to “Curtains & Lightweight Fabrics” or “Upholstery & Cushions.” These modes will cut back suction power to treat these delicate materials right. For cleaning thick carpets that will require maximum power from the vacuum, you can set the knob to “High pile carpet & rugs.” The vacuum will then be spurred into high gear to suck everything out from the piling.
Notably, there is also a silent running mode (‘Energy Saving mode‘) for when you want to clean the house early in the morning or late at night. All in all, the C1 gives you six power modes to use.
But the vacuum’s performance doesn’t just stop at the motor’s strength. It is also shipped with a combination floor tool designed to work on both bare floors and carpets. The transition between either type of flooring is simple with a convenient foot pedal.
This synergy between motor performance and well-designed accessories is how the Classic C1 has achieved popularity among consumers.
The vacuum is heavier than the average canister vacuum, clocking in at 16.1 pounds (7.3 kilograms.) Regardless, the overall design remains compact and is by no means bulky.
The power cord is rather short, being only 18 feet long. Thankfully, when combined with the stretchy suction hose and stainless steel wand, the Classic C1 will give you an impressive cleaning radius of 29.5 feet. The power cord also has an automatic rewind to save you from having to struggle with cord storage.
A set of wheels is built into the underside of the vacuum for easy maneuvering. They roll smoothly even on high-pile carpets. On hardwood or bare floors, most customers reported they hardly had to exert any effort at all to get the vacuum to move. A huge plus if you have a large house to clean often.
While most other canister vacuums require some assembly, the Miele Classic C1 arrives already assembled. All you have to do is attach the hose, wand, and accessories, plug in the cord, and you’re ready to go.
Bag & Filtration
The dust bag of the Classic C1 has a total volume of 3.5 liters (118.3 ounces.)
Replacing the dust bag is safe and straightforward. It has a string-loaded collar that will automatically seal up the bag when removed from the vacuum. The bag itself is made to be durable with a 9-ply construction and randomly-spun fibers. The fibers’ random weaving is an imitation of a HEPA filter’s structure, which is also composed of randomly arranged fibers. Thus, the bag by itself also has filtration property separate from the vacuum’s primary filtration system.
It is also electrostatically charged to ensure that even when there’s a small leak, the dust and dirt particles will not be released into the environment.
The Classic C1 sports a robust filtration system with three tiers of filtration, including a pre-motor and a post-motor filter. Both of which are made from randomly-spun fibers for durability and greater filtration efficiency. The third tier consists of a HEPA filter that will trap all of the microscopic particles in the airstream.
As great as all of these components are (the bag and all three filters,) they will all have to be replaced annually, which can add up the costs.
Accessories & Warranty
Accessories include a combination floor tool, a parquet floor head for cleaning hardwood floors without damaging the surface, a dusting brush, an upholstery tool, and a crevice tool.
Miele’s warranty policy is extensive: seven years for parts and labor, one year for the motor, and the vacuum’s casing.
2. Eureka Mighty Mite 3670M – Best Value Canister Vacuum
The Eureka Mighty Mite 3670M will be an appealing vacuum if you’re on the lookout for a machine with a long reach, wide cleaning radius, and affordable price tag. The remarkably long suction hose and wand are perfect for cleaning hard-to-reach or tight spaces. Furthermore, its light weight and compactness are a bonus that can satisfy consumers who love portability in their day-to-day vacuum.
- Wide cleaning radius
- High suction
- Lightweight and compact
- Retractable cord
- Quality dust bag
- HEPA filtration
- Inefficient against carpeting
The Mighty Mite can generate a suction flow measuring 135 CFM with its 12 amp motor. The high suction gives it the much-needed versatility to tackle dirt, dust, and debris on different floor types such as hardwood, rugs, and carpeting.
Overall, you can use the vacuum in combination with the floor cleaning tool to scoop up dust, dirt, and smaller particles like cat litter from off of hardwood, low-pile, and even high-pile carpeting. Most of the positive words about its performance are directed toward its effectiveness on hardwood or other types of bare floor.
However, the vacuum visibly struggles when it is pitched against carpeting and rugs, especially the thicker, high-pile types. Because the vacuuming head sinks into the piling, large debris is pushed on top and over instead of being sucked up. As a result, customers have reported having to lift the vacuuming head and place it directly on top of the stubborn piece of debris to clean it up.
For households with a lot of rugs and carpetings, having to always do this can tire out or even injure your back. So if your house has a lot of carpeting, this may not be the most optimal choice.
The Mighty Mite weighs roughly 11.6 pounds (5.2 kilograms,) which makes it relatively lightweight as far as canister vacuums go. You won’t have much trouble carrying it up and down the stairs, if you have a large, multistory house to clean. But on the off chance that you do, you should get the optional shoulder strap. With the vacuum strapped to your body, you no longer have to bother with hauling it around or tugging it with you. Your hands will both be free to do more work, as well.
The power cord is 20 feet long and doesn’t have a cord retracting mechanism. You will have to wrap the cord around the vacuum’s body for storage. Other than the power cord, you also have a 5 feet long suction hose and a 5 feet extension wand to increase the maximum cleaning radius. All in all, you have a reach of up to 30 feet with all parts assembled.
The vacuum features two large wheels for mobility. Other than the fact that it is made from plastic (which isn’t very durable,) most people found the wheels to be smooth-rolling. The canister requires little to no effort from the user to move around.
Bag & Filtration
The vacuum is shipped with five standard dust bags in the box. Each one has a maximum capacity of 5 liters (169 ounces).
The bag has its filtration system, which can trap 99.97% of micro-particles and prevents them from leaking out. The in-built filtration inside the bag will work in tandem with the Mighty Mite’s pre-motor filter and a HEPA filter to cleanse the airflow.
Eureka recommended emptying the dust bag after every cleaning session and replacing it once every one to two months. The five complimentary bags will last you about ten months before you need to put in an order for more. The pre-motor filter should be replaced once every three to four months and the HEPA filter every six months.
Accessories & Warranty
The vacuum comes with three accessories in the box: a floor cleaning tool, a crevice tool, and a dusting brush.
Eureka’s warranty policy includes a 1-year limited warranty and a 30-day return period.
3. Eureka NEN110A – Best Canister Vacuum for Pet Hair
For dealing with your furry friends, this entry-level canister vacuum can do the job surprisingly well. The fact that it has a lightweight and compact design has no bearing on its cleaning performance when cranked to its fullest potential. It will be able to brush the floor clean of pet hair, dust, dirt, and other debris types in no time at all.
- Lightweight and compact
- High suction
- Controllable suction
- Well-designed tools
- Retractable cord
- Spacious and hygienic dust cup
- Short power cord
- Small and loud wheels
Eureka doesn’t disclose the data on the vacuum’s performance. Regardless, customers have reported that the motor can serve out a high suction flow. The user is given a free choice in adjusting the amount of suction they want from the vacuum. The multi-surface suction control panel is built into the handle. Depending on what kind of surface you’re cleaning (hardwood, carpeting, or upholstery,) you can set up your suction level accordingly.
But suction is only part of the vacuum’s noteworthy performance. The primary floor head attachment is what contributes most to the vacuum’s overall cleaning performance. This attachment has a foot pedal that you can use to switch in-between floor mode and a carpet mode.
In floor-cleaning mode, the stiff bristles are extended to agitate stubborn dirt and debris embedded onto the floor. Besides that, it can also be used to sweep up pet litter on the bare floor.
In carpet mode, the bristles are retracted, and the vacuum runs purely on its suction power. Although it does an excellent job at dusting or pulling out dirt from in-between the piling, because there’s no brush, its efficiency at debris (including pet hair) is more limited. But most customers reported that it still managed to do a wonderful job at picking up pet hair.
For cleaning in hard-to-reach places like the small corners around the house, the ceiling, or high shelves, the vacuum also comes with a crevice tool and a brush tool. Unfortunately, the vacuum doesn’t come with a specialized upholstery tool. However, the upholstery suction mode was reviewed to be able to do a good job regardless of sweeping stray hair and other knick-knacks from off the couch.
The NEN110A weighs 8 pounds (3.6 kilograms). It is much lighter than the vast majority of canister vacuums on the market. If you are aiming for a portable machine, the NEN110A is an ideal option to consider.
A significant design flaw of the NEN110A is its short power cord. The cord is only 16 feet in length, which also makes it the vacuum with the shortest cord on the list. It does feature an automatic cord retraction mechanism, though.
For transportation, the vacuum has two plastic wheels underneath the canister for more effortless movement. The tread of the wheels is smooth and won’t scratch up your hardwood floor. But because the wheels aren’t very large, some customers found that it is a bit more challenging to pull the vacuum across carpeting and rugs. It’s also been reported to be quite loud.
Fortunately, because the vacuum is very light, it won’t be too much trouble for you to pick it up. You can carry it by the handle on top of the dust cup.
Dust Cup & Filtration
The NEN110A is a bagless vacuum equipped with a spacious 2.6 liters (87.9 ounces) dust cup. The cup is transparent, making it much easier to see whether the cup is full and ready for emptying.
The process of detaching the dust cup from the vacuum is straightforward, needing only a button press. The dust cup is designed to be emptied from the bottom, which is safer and more hygienic than top-emptying.
The vacuum isn’t very impressive in terms of filtration. It uses a cyclonic filtration system to separate dirt and dust from the air along with a non-HEPA washable foam filter. The foam filter can last you several years and potentially up to the end of the vacuum’s lifespan as long as you keep it well-maintained. According to the manual, you should wash it with cold water every two months or so and leave it to air dry for 24 hours before replacing it into the vacuum.
Make sure that the filter is completely dried before you put it back into the vacuum. Operating the vacuum with a wet filter could potentially break your vacuum and void your warranty.
Accessories & Warranty
The main floor cleaner head is included along with a crevice tool and a brush tool. All of the tools are click-fit into place with a lock so you can remove and replace them at will.
The vacuum has a 1-year limited warranty period.
4. Oreck Commercial BB900DGR – Best Hardwood Canister Vacuum
Although the Oreck Commercial BB900DGR is designed with professional users in mind, the vast power potential of the vacuum can still be appreciated by the average consumer.
It is compact enough for most adults to carry without much of an issue. The strong suction and excellent floor cleaning tool make bare floor cleaning a quick and painless process. As a result, the BB900DGR is highly ideal if you have a large house with flooring mostly composed of hardwood.
- Relatively affordable
- Powerful suction
- Great on hardwood
- Compact and lightweight
- Long power cord
- Quality dust bags
- Small-capacity dust bag
- Short and stiff suction hose
- Non-HEPA, non-reusable filter
The High Vortec motor can generate a large amount of suction. The motor that the BB900DGR uses is a modern revision of Oreck’s old-generation corded vacuum.
In an old advertisement for supposedly the same High Vortec motor, the company has claimed that it can pick up a 16-pound bowling ball. Some customers have complained that the BB900DGR would most likely not be able to achieve such a feat. But regardless, everyone agrees that the suction power is still exceptional for its size.
The suction combined with the floor tool can do a beautiful cleaning job on bare floorings such as hardwood, vinyl, and tile. All of the dust, dirt, and debris will be wicked away with one or two passes. Its light weight and flexibility can also be employed for stair cleaning as well as cleaning in tough-to-reach and cramped spaces like the top of shelves and inside the pantry or the closet.
Unfortunately, the vacuum has rather lackluster performance when it comes to carpet. When pitched against high-pile carpets, its strong suction and wide array of tools lose their effectiveness immediately.
As a result, the BB900DGR is a vacuum that is strictly for households with a lot of hardwood and bare flooring.
The vacuum weighs about 5 pounds (2.26 kilograms) without the hose and any attachment. It strikes a beautiful balance between portability and performance, making it our recommended choice for those who need a lightweight vacuum because of health conditions like arthritis or chronic back pain.
The power cord is 30 feet long. You will no longer have to feel anxious about not being able to reach an electrical outlet thanks to the extra length. But although the power cord is long, the suction hose is the exact opposite. Customers have criticized the short and stiff suction hose (5 feet) for getting in the way when they try to reach high places like the ceiling and top shelves. If you need more range than the 5 feet the hose offers, you have to attach the telescopic extension wand to the nozzle.
The BB900DGR does not come with wheels. Instead, you will have to carry it with you everywhere you go. But the light weight makes it not that big of a deal for most people.
Dust Bag & Filtration
The dust bag has a maximum capacity of 0.94 liters (32 ounces.) Although it may not sound a lot, keep in mind that the BB900DGR is a very compact unit with no internal space for a high-capacity dust bag. The bags are all hypo-allergenic and are double-walled to prevent leaks.
A non-HEPA motor filter handles filtration. It is not washable, so just like the dust bag, you will have to replace it periodically. Fortunately, the company ties one filter into each purchase of dust bags, so the costs don’t add up as much.
Accessories & Warranty
One of the best things about the BB900DGR is its wide range of accessories. It includes 11 tools overall: a combination floor tool for both bare floor and carpeting, a crevice tool, an upholstery tool, and a dusting brush. If you need extra range, there’s also a telescopic extension wand.
The vacuum comes with a 1-year warranty.
5. Miele Complete C3 for Soft Carpet – Best Canister Vacuum for Carpets
The C3 series of Miele is designed for high-end users, and all of its capabilities reflect this sentiment. Miele’s C3 vacuums have powerful suction packaged inside of an attractive design that’s both maneuverable and compact.
- Powerful suction
- Relatively portable
- Six speed suction settings
- Manually adjustable nozzle height
- Retractable cord
- Excellently-built dust bags
- High-grade HEPA filtration
- Extensive warranty
- Disappointing cord length
The suction motor is rated for 158 CFM. The high suction alone makes it easy to suck up dust, dirt, and debris of all types and sizes.
Like on the Miele C1, you can manually set the amount of suction power that you want the motor to output depending on the type of surface you are cleaning. There are six speed settings, all of which can be set from the control panel using a simple plus-and-minus dial.
The lower suction power is for dealing with lint, dirt, and dust on delicate materials like upholstery. A little more for hardwood and other types of bare floors, and then the highest suction settings are reserved for thick carpets and rugs.
The C3 Soft Carpet is equipped with an Electro Plus floorhead to comb through carpeting. The internal brush is electrically-driven and can dig through the thickest piling to suck up dirt, dust, and debris from the bottom.
The vacuuming head’s height can also be adjusted with the five-level manual height adjustment lever to streamline the whole vacuuming process. Setting the optimal height (not too high, not too low) is crucial for carpet vacuuming. Too high and the piling will block the suction, too low, and the vacuum will be stuck. The lever will give you the flexibility that you need to do the job quickly and efficiently.
For bare floor cleaning, you can use the parquet floor head with soft bristles to avoid damaging the floor’s surface.
The vacuum weighs 11.9 pounds (5.3 kilograms). While it is not the lightest vacuum on our list, it is still light enough to be considered portable.
The power cord measures 22 feet. While it is longer than average, it is pretty disappointing for the price. An automatic cord rewind mechanism makes storage far simpler.
Fortunately, you won’t be carrying all this weight around all the time. The vacuum has a set of wheels on its underside. You only need to tug onto the suction hose, and the canister will follow you around. Most customers said that the wheels are smooth and are not troubled by obstacles and carpet piles.
Dust Bag & Filtration
Miele’s dust bag has a maximum capacity of 4.5 liters (152.1 ounces). It has its internal filtration system that’s quite close to HEPA (94% of 0.3-micron particles.) It is durably constructed from randomly-spun fiber and a multi-ply design to prevent leakage.
Aside from the bag’s filtration system, the vacuum itself also features an AirClean HEPA filter, effective against 99.95% of particles as small as 0.1 microns. It’s worth noting that to be considered HEPA-rated, a filter only has to maintain near-perfect (99.97%) filtration efficiency down to 0.3 microns. Miele’s AirClean filter effectively blasted through this requirement that many other vacuums still struggle to meet.
Accessories & Warranty
Standard accessories include an Electro Plus floorhead for Soft Carpet, a Parquet Twister floorhead, a dusting brush, a crevice tool, and an upholstery tool.
As with all other premium vacuums, Miele has an extensive warranty package for the C3: 7-year warranty for the vacuum’s casing and motor and one year for all other components.
6. Sanitaire S3681D – Best Bagged Canister Vacuum
Last but not least, the Sanitaire S3681D is a reliable bagged vacuum with a high-performing motor packed inside of a portable and convenient casing. It has the versatility needed to handle all typical household cleaning jobs such as floor cleaning, stair sweeping, cleaning the upholstery, and pulling built-up dirt from out of nooks and crannies around the house.
This vacuum is perfect for those looking for a dependable bagged vacuum for their home without any other bells and whistles than pure cleaning power.
- Adequate suction power
- Lightweight and portable
- Large cleaning radius
- Difficult to maneuver on carpeting
- Flimsy wheels
- Non-HEPA filtration
The Sanitaire S3681D is capable of generating about 65 CFM of suction power.
As mediocre as it may sound, when combined with the revolving brush roll, the S3681D may surprise you with how well it performs. On hardwood, it can clean up all dirt, dust, and debris in its path. For more stubborn dirt entrenched between the boards, you may need a few more passes to get everything out, but generally, it won’t take long.
Some customers have noted that the S3681D works almost too well for cleaning rugs. The high suction makes the vacuum cling to the carpet’s piling. Customers have reported needing two hands just to maneuver the wand and nozzle around. Although it takes a bit more effort, the carpeting is usually left spotless afterwards.
You have an upholstery tool for cleaning upholstered furniture. The vacuum doesn’t come with a pet hair tool. However, most customers who are pet owners found the vacuum worked well with cleaning pet hair on both open floors and carpeting even without a specialized tool.
The vacuum weighs 8.9 pounds (4 kilograms) and is small enough to sit snugly on top of a stair. If your house has a lot of stairs that you need to clean daily or carry the vacuum up and down, the low weight will be a tremendous asset.
An optional shoulder strap is also available for the S3681D. It is recommended if you have a large, multi-story home to clean. It will make transporting the vacuum more comfortable and gives you more flexibility by freeing your hands for more meticulous cleaning work.
The power cord is just about average at 20 feet long. Still, the 7 feet hose, when coupled with the telescopic wand, will give you a large cleaning radius beyond 30 feet.
The vacuum is equipped with a pair of small plastic wheels for maneuvering with smooth tread to keep your flooring from being damaged. The wheels’ durability is a huge concern, however. People have reported the wheels breaking after some time. Fortunately, replacement wheels are available for cheap and can be easily re-installed.
Dust Bag & Filtration
The Sanitaire S3681D accepts both Eureka or Sanitaire Style MM paper bags. These have a maximum capacity of 2.8 liters (96.8 ounces).
The dust bag partly handles filtration, and the vacuum’s filter handles the other part of the job. The bag has an internal filter that claims to be able to trap 99.9% of particles down to 1 micron (which is not HEPA). The rest will be filtered through a non-HEPA motor filter.
Accessories & Warranty
The box includes a combination tool for both floor and carpet, a dusting brush, and an upholstery nozzle. You also get a tool caddy that latches to the side of the suction wand to store all three tools.
Sanitaire has a 2-year limited warranty policy for the S3681D from the date of purchase.
What Are the Differences Between Commercial and Consumer-grade Canister Vacuums?
The vacuum market is distinctly separated into two segments: commercial and residential. Although our product listing is geared towards the average consumer, affordable commercial-grade canister vacuums such as the Oreck Commercial BB900DGR are still excellent for household use.
So, what are the differences between a commercial vacuum and a residential vacuum, then?
Commercial vacuums are designed to clean large, commercial buildings. As a result, they tend to have much longer and more elaborate power cords (30 to 40 feet 3-wire grounded cords are common) and pack a lot more suction power. Their dust bag or internal dust cup has a higher capacity, as well.
In return, they tend to be much more expensive than residential-grade products. Still, there exist affordable models like the previously mentioned Oreck Commercial BB900DGR.
Residential vacuums are the models that you are familiar with using and seeing everywhere. Although they are less powerful, not as durable, and don’t have as much dust storage capacity, they are cheaper and more accessible.
We hope you have already found your next best canister vacuum and that this guide has helped you form a purchase decision!