Vacuum cleaner manufacturers are fond of trumpeting the virtues of their new offerings and it’s not surprising when such pronouncements refer derisively to the competition in a collective way. So when Eureka decided to take on Dyson in a head-to-head comparison, it caught our attention.
That’s why we had to purchase and test Eureka’s $100 AirSpeed AS1000A upright, which Eureka says “cleans carpets better than Dyson DC14, DC17, and DC25 at one-third the price.” Eureka says an independent lab performed comparative, industry-standard tests that measure the removal of embedded dirt from carpeting. Our own tests tend to closely track with the industry-standard ASTM test. So we were especially curious about how the models stacked up.
The Eureka, part of our continuous-testing program for vacuums, turned out to be among the best of six uprights and five canisters we’ve just added to our Ratings. Bagless uprights tend not to do as well as bagged models for carpet cleaning, but it did as well as most—and indeed cleaned carpets more deeply than the $550 Dyson DC25 Ball All Floors. It also outperformed the Dyson DC17 and DC14 at carpet-cleaning, but comparison to those models is moot since they’ve been discontinued.
Out of newly tested bagged models, we also liked Miele’s S7260 Cat & Dog. As with some other models targeted at pet owners, it has a carbon filter for odor removal. It also has a power-brush attachment not found on all Miele uprights. Another Miele, the $900 S5281 Callisto, outperformed other bagged canisters of this brand.
Some vacs, however, were less impressive. You might expect the bagless Hoover WindTunnel Pet Rewind Plus UH70086, $160, to perform comparably to the previously released Hoover WindTunnel Pet Cyclonic UH70085, $200. But the newer model did significantly less well at cleaning carpets and bare floors—and, ironically, at picking up pet hair. Among canisters, the only bagless Electrolux we’ve tested, the $450 UltraActive DeepClean EL4300A, would have scored well but for an exhaust filter that clogged, blocking all suction, during our tool-airflow test.
Before shopping for any vacuum, be sure to check out our buying advice for vacuums. In addition to noting which are best at floors and carpets, our Ratings also call out the best vacuums for pet hair.