These Vacuums Are Essential If You Have Allergies — & Here’s Why

by Lisa Fogarty
Originally Published: 

If you have allergies, then you know there's nothing worse than an unexpected sneeze attack, but fear not! The best vacuums for allergies are must-own tools for preventing those uncomfortable moments. These vacuums are better at eliminating dust mites, pet dander, and other common allergens, and adding them to your cleaning arsenal will help keep your sniffles at bay.

Advancements in vacuum technology made the world fall in love with bagless vacuums, but if you have allergies, get this: Bagged vacuums are actually a better choice overall. Why, you ask? Because there's no way for dust to escape the bag when it's time to swap it out — a stark contrast from those inevitable dust spills that occur when emptying a bagless filter — and therefore you have less contact with attack-inducing debris.

As you search for the right vacuum, you might want to look for one with a sealed or HEPA filtration system, which effectively traps allergens. However, it's not a fool-proof solution, as vacuums with HEPA — especially ones that are upright versus canister-style — can sometimes leak dust, too. You should also be thinking about your floor type. If you have mostly carpeted floors, for instance, an upright vacuum is a great option for you; whereas, canister vacuums are ideal for hardwood floors. There are, of course, exceptions to this rule, but knowing this will help guide your search.

Below, you'll find a list of the best vacuums to combat allergies including bagged options and ones for unexpected places. Go ahead, take a deep breath, because your search for the best at-home allergy defense just got a little easier.


The Best Affordable Vacuum Cleaner: VonHaus Bagless Stick Vacuum Cleaner

If you're looking for the cheapest option that still, you know, works, go for this two-in-one corded stick vacuum that's compatible with hardwood floors and some carpets. With a removable hand vacuum for sucking up quick messes, this hypoallergenic vacuum is a solid pick if you can't quit bagless vacuums, thanks to its HEPA and sponge filtration. They work together to trap as many tiny dust particles as possible. Though it's pretty simple when compared to higher-end models, you still get some helpful accessories with this one including a crevice tool and a small brush.

Helpful review: "I love this little vacuum. The problem I had was cat hair. Balls of cat hair every day on my hardwood floor ... This vacuum has no brush. It just sucks the hair into the canister and there ya go. Job done. The floor head is small so you can get into tight places like under the dinning room table. The handle and floor head come off super easy and it becomes a hand held power vacuum. It comes with a little hose that you just push in to the bottom where the floor head was and now you have a perfect portable vacuum ... My house is much cleaner now since I got this. It's affordable and practical."


The Best Canister Vacuum: Eureka Mighty Mite Corded Canister Vacuum Cleaner

Another affordable option, this Eureka canister vacuum is compact, lightweight, and perfect if you've got a small space or stairs to climb. Weighing less than nine pounds, this small-but-fierce bagged vacuum that can handle wood floors, bare floors, and tiled floors. Its powerful suction and thin hose provide painless access to stairs and hard-to-reach areas (like behind furniture). Plus, its telescoping wand is made for cleaning often-ignored ceilings and doorways.

Helpful review: "This lightweight little canister sucks better than my huge, upright vacuum and that's what I was looking for. I actually had to open the little valve on the handle to release some of the suction so it would slide a little better on my wood floors. I'll take that situation any day of the week."


The Best AAFA-Certified Vacuum: Kenmore Pet & Allergy Friendly Upright Vacuum Cleaner

This upright vacuum is certified by The Allergy & Asthma Foundation of America (AAFA). It's easy to see why considering the powerhouse comes packed with a HEPA filtration system, sealed bags for easy cleanup, and a separate pet-hair-eliminating attachment. With just a press of a button, this hypoallergenic vacuum can transition between cleaning hard floors and carpets, and it has a 10-foot telescoping wand for cleaning up high. Yes, it's a little pricier than the first two, but knowing it's backed by the AAFA makes it worth the extra money.

Helpful review: "If there was a Nobel Prize for housekeeping, I'd nominate the person who designed this vacuum. I have always had problems with the hoses ripping after a short time with other vacuums. This model has an extremely sturdy hose and the attachments are sturdy as well. The extension wand is extendable, so there is no need to fiddle with multiple parts. The performance is exceptional for both carpet and bare floors, and it transfers to either mode with one switch. Although there is no such thing as a quiet vacuum, this is the quietest one I've ever owned."


The Best Cordless Stick Vacuum: Black + Decker Powerseries Pro Cordless Stick Vacuum

In the same price point as Kenmore's AAFA-certified machine lies this two-in-one cordless stick vacuum cleaner from Black + Decker. Unlike the more affordable corded stick option above, it can run for up to 60 minutes with each charge, making for an incredibly mobile cleaning experience. Even better, this vacuum features a removable, dust-collecting canister with an anti-allergen filter capable of capturing 99.99 percent of dust. Its "Filtersense" technology alerts you when it's time for a new one, so you don't even have to think about it as you maneuver handy accessories like a 6-inch nozzle, a crevice tool, and an upholstery brush.

Helpful review: "We've only had this vacuum for a week, but I can tell you I was reserved at first, once using it, it became apparent that someone has thought about this. 1) So easy to use. 2) light weight 3) We have two huge golden retrievers, sucks that hair in like there is no tomorrow. 4) SO easy to clean 5) Don't have to worry about switching from bare floor to carpet."


The Best Investment Worthy Vacuum: Dyson Ball Allergy Upright Vacuum

It may not be cheap, but Dyson fans are familiar with the next-level tech features that set this upright vacuum apart, especially for allergy sufferers. Specs like "Radial Root Cyclone" technology make it an expert dirt and debris collector (seriously, it captures microscopic dust) — on any floor type. The entire machine uses HEPA filtration, and its self-adjusting cleaner head means that you don't even need to push a button as you move between hardwood floors and carpet. Though this is a bagless vacuum that will require some filter cleaning, you can feel good about the quality accessories you're getting for the price: a carbon fiber soft dusting brush, a reach under tool, and a telescopic wand.

Helpful review: "Picks up the grossness our other vacuum left behind. Pet hair, whoosh! Dust whoosh! I will get the upholstery pet attachment, kind of pricey but it you have tweed or similar, you need a little extra to make the job go faster. Especially if you have a sectional."


The Best Handheld Mattress Vacuum: Housmile Anti-Dust Mites UV Vacuum Cleaner

Do not underestimate the amount of allergens sleeping with you at night! Your mattress harbors dust mites, bacteria, and microorganisms that just might be aggravating your symptoms. Enter: This powerful handheld vacuum designed specifically for mattresses. Like the above upright model from Dyson, this Housmile model has whole-machine HEPA filtration made for capturing tiny particles — but there's even more to love about this mobile vacuum. It has UV tube sterilization and a slightly heated temperature that kills 99.7 percent of mites, bacteria, and even bed bugs. Sold.

Helpful review: "I have a terrible dust mite allergy, am constantly sneezing and congested, I had a massive reaction to them when I got allergy tested ... So I got this contraption and just did my mattress, pillows and sheets. When I emptied it, it was kinda gross (skin cells and such) but didn't seem like much dust. However, holy smokes did my allergies go bananas when I opened it to dump the collection. Sneezing, drippy nose, itchy roof of mouth immediately. Proof that this thing sucked up a bunch of stuff I'm allergic to from my bed."

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