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If you’re familiar with The Kitchn, you know that we take cleaning very seriously. Whether we’re giving you the best strategy for a quick (but thorough) whole-house cleaning or testing out all of the top steam mops on the market, you can trust that our editors know what they’re talking about — and that we know which brands are worth investing in. There are a few items that we deem as cleaning essentials that every home ought to have — and I’m sure we can all agree that, to keep your space in tip-top shape, a quality vacuum is one of them.
Our team and that of our sister website, Apartment Therapy, have tried all kinds of vacuums over the years, putting them to the test so you don’t have to. Every year, AT reevaluates their list of editor-approved options, which fall into a range of subcategories, so you can find one that best suits your needs. For instance, in addition to “Best Overall,” they have vacuums that win for qualities like their ability to pick up pet hair. This time around, one brand in particular won out over all of the others, having different models come out on top more than once — and it might not be the one you’re thinking of.
If you’re on the hunt for the best vacuum money can buy, you truly can’t go wrong with Best List-dominating brand Shark. Allow me to give you the rundown of the three favorites so you can get them in time for New Year’s cleaning.
Starting off with the strongest pick: the Shark Cordless Detect Pro. The “Best Overall” winner impressed Best List editor Britt for a number of reasons, including its portability and automatic adjustment feature, which increases and decreases the suction depending on how much dirt it detects. When it plugs into its charging port, its dirt canister, which holds up to 30 days’ worth of debris, will empty itself, and it’ll be ready to run for up to an hour. It even cleans its own brush roll, too. Truly, getting your floors spotless and sparkling will have never been easier.
Another bonus is that it’s small-space-friendly. “What I really love about this model is that it has a tall dock that takes up less space, so it’s easier to fit in narrow areas of my home,” Britt said. “The vacuum is so much quieter than I expected it to be and has done a great job picking up pet hair from my two dogs.”
If you have pets that shed, you know the struggle of finding an effective vacuum that’ll pick it all up off of your floors and upholstery. Well, look no further than the Shark PetPro, which is the best vacuum we tested for tackling exactly that issue. It’s slim and lightweight, but it has a shocking amount of suction power. Courtney, AT’s creative studio senior writer, said that one go over her couch removed a ton of pet hair.
“Like embarrassing, is-my-couch-a-shade-lighter-now? amounts,” she said. “It’s so much easier to use on my staircase runner than my bulky vacuum. It’s so small and easy that I vacuum more often, too, which is a bonus!”
Another superhero when it comes to pet hair is the Shark Stratos Cordless Vacuum. It features the brand’s Clean Sense IQ, which picks up on unseeable dirt and debris, and boasts odor neutralizer technology that’ll leave your floors smelling fresh. Most importantly, Shark claims the Stratos has the most powerful suction out of all of their offerings, despite being the lightest out of all three picks. AT contributor Savannah, who has two shedding dogs, was more than impressed.
“It holds its charge for a while and the vacuum works so well that I don’t have to use it for long,” she noted. “The Shark is also very sleek in stature, so I can toss it in a small coat closet or tuck it in a corner without it taking up too much space. I definitely recommend this vacuum.”