The Best Vacuums


About this Review

 After putting in hundreds of hours of research on 330 different vacuums, and testing dozens of them over the past three years, we’ve found that the Shark Navigator Lift-Away NV352 is by far the most effective, reliable vacuum for the price, and will be a great fit for most people in most homes. 

Our Pick's

Bench Mark Product Name Model Name Key Features Price
Winner Shark Ninjaamazon  NV352 38.1 x 29 x 115.6 cm,5.67 Kg ₹26,029
2nd Shark Ninjaamazon  NV360 38 x 29 x 115.6 cm, 5.9 Kg ₹42,993
Competitors Black & Decker amazon  ACV1205 40 x 10 x 15 cm, 898 g ₹2,599
Competitors Karcheramazon  WD 3 34 x 38.8 x 50.3 cm, 8 Kg ₹6,237
Competitors American Micronic amazon  1600WDx 57.6 x 38.1 x 40.6 cm ₹7395
Competitors Oreck Commercialamazon  XL2100RHS 15.2 x 33 x 88.9 cm,3.72 Kg ₹32,756
Bench Mark Product Name Model Name Key Features Price
Value For Money Shag amazon  silver vacuum3 30 x 11.8 x 10 cm, 572 g ₹980
Value For Money RNG EKO Greenamazon  RNG-2001 34.3 x 8.9 x 8.9 cm, 449 g ₹1464
Value For Money Eureka Forbes amazon flipkart Trendy Zip 30 x 21 x 18.5 cm, 2.5 Kg ₹3199
Value For Money Black Decker amazon  BDKVH780 35.5 x 34.5 x 23.2 cm, 5.86 Kg ₹3299
Value For Money American Micronicamazon  10Dx 37.5 x 31 x 26 cm ₹3340
Value For Money Eureka Forbes amazon flipkart Forbes Trendy Nano 21 x 30 x 18.5 cm, 2.5 Kg ₹3629
Value For Money Kent amazon flipkart KSL-153 38.3 x 26.6 x 22.3 cm, 4.6 Kg ₹4039
Value For Money Eureka Forbes amazon  EEFBVC01 390 x 230 x 235 Weight: 2.00 kgs ₹4139
Value For Money Kent amazon  KSL-160 40.8 x 29.5 x 27.5 cm, 5.1 Kg ₹4899
Bench Mark Product Name Model Name Key Features Price
Value For Money Prestige amazon  42655 35.5 x 36.5 x 38 cm ₹5400
Value For Money American Micronic amazon  1600WDx 50 x 34.5 x 31 cm ₹5880
Value For Money Bissell amazon  2026E 41 x 41 x 59.7 cm, 7.21 Kg ₹7990
Value For Money Eureka Forbes amazon  Euroclean X-Force 45 x 26 x 27 cm, 8.85 Kg ₹8810
Bench Mark Product Name Model Name Key Features Price
Value For Money Philips amazon  FC8474/02 47 x 30 x 29 cm, 4.9 Kg ₹10299
Value For Money Bosch amazon  GAS 15 51 x 46 x 31.6 cm, 9.36 Kg ₹12046
Value For Money Shark Rocket amazon  HV300IND 28 x 22 x 116 cm, 6.3 Kg ₹12330
Value For Money Eureka Forbes amazon  Euroclean WD 41.5 x 41.5 x 44 cm, 10.1 Kg ₹12900
Value For Money Black Decker amazon  WV1400 37 x 42 x 47 cm, 9.28 Kg ₹13666
Value For Money Shark Rocket amazon  HV320IND 30 x 20 x 84 cm ₹14677
Value For Money Bissell amazon  11327 23 x 118.1 x 28 cm, 4.4 Kg ₹14990
Bench Mark Product Name Model Name Key Features Price
Value For Money Karcher amazon  B00IU9332U 38 x 42 x 62.5 cm, 8.2 Kg ₹15299
Value For Money Karcher amazon  B00JU53C92 38 x 42 x 67 cm, 9.48 Kg ₹23999

Final Winner in this Category - Shark Navigator Lift-Away NV352

About Shark Shark is one of several housecare brands developed by Euro-Pro Operating, LLC. Euro-Pro has worked hard to be a pioneer of innovative cleaning solutions and small household appliances which are designed to fit the needs of today's consumer. One of the leading pros in the housewares industry, Euro-Pro developed the Shark brand to provide easy-to-use and innovative solutions to quickly clean up life's daily messes. Shark is recognized as the pioneer and market leader of steam-cleaning technology which has replaced the need for using harmful chemicals. Priding itself on innovation, ease of use, and competitive pricing, Euro-Pro provides a wide variety of products designed to make life a little bit easier. Antiallergenic Seal technology for a healthy environment. Traps 99.9% of dust and allergens. Cleans both carpeted and hardwood floors. Swivel steering provides easy mobility. 25-ft. cord.

  Brand - Shark Navigator Lift-Away   Model - NV352
  Item Weight - 6 Kg   Package Dimensions - 38.1 x 29 x 115.6 cm
  Color - Lavender   Shipping Weight - 8.9 Kilograms

 

In all our years of covering vacuums, the Shark Navigator Lift-Away is far and away the most well-rounded vacuum we’ve come across at its price. It’s an effective, versatile cleaner, able to suck up most kinds of debris (including pet hair) from bare floors and most carpets, with a lightweight frame, easy handling, and a complete set of attachments that can reach hard-to-clean areas. The key distinction is that this vacuum lasts longer than others in its price range. Not only are the parts superior and the maintenance minimal (apart from the need to clean the filters and clear occasional clogs and tangles), but the vacuum is also covered by a five-year comprehensive warranty, complete with flexible and responsive customer service. Having that guarantee makes the Navigator Lift-Away an excellent value in addition to being a stronger performer than its competitors (and even some pricier vacs, too).


Budget pick - Shark Navigator Lift-Away Deluxe NV360

  Brand - Shark Navigator Lift-Away Deluxe   Model - NV360
  Item Weight - 6 Kg   Package Dimensions - 38 x 29 x 115.6 cm
  Color - Blue   Capacity 45.47 in high x 11.42 in wide x 14.96 in long

This Shark Navigator Lift-Away Deluxe combines the power of an upright vacuum cleaner with lightweight portability for tight spaces, stairs and above-floor cleaning. This bagless vacuum has a sealed system that traps 99% of dust and allergens inside the vacuum canister. It comes with a detachable canister, Pet TurboBrush, dusting brush, crevice tool, long-reach hose and motorized floor-brush nozzle. Some assembly is required, but no tools are needed.

If the NV352 is sold out, this is a model we love for all the same reasons. It has an extra wand for reaching low under things, but functionally it’s almost identical. If the Shark NV352 is sold out or the price rises, get the NV360, or any other models in the NV350, NV360, or NV370 series. They’re essentially the same vacuum, with nearly identical performance and only minor differences in their tool sets, bin sizes, colors, and button placements. We’ve found that the NV360 is currently the easiest to nab for a good deal, so start there.

Table of contents

 

Why You Should Trust Us

I’ve covered vacuums for The Sweethome for more than three years, logging hundreds of hours of vacuum research and testing in that time. I’ve personally tested at least 50 vacuums (that I can remember) of all types (cordless, robots, handhelds, and the traditional plug-ins covered here) in several homes with varied floor plans. And I have at least passing knowledge of hundreds more vacuums.

Other trivia: At the time of writing, I counted 17 vacuums in my condo, and I might have forgotten a couple. I once took a suitcase filled with small vacuums from Boston to New York. The superintendent at my old apartment building used to greet me as “Ayyyy, the vac guy.”The superintendent at my old apartment building used to greet me as “Ayyyy, the vac guy.”This update covers new vacuums released since mid-2015, which was the last time we fully updated this guide. Based on reader feedback, we’ve also decided to combine our old “best cheap vacuums” guide into this one, so it now encompasses all plug-in vacuums at all prices. For this particular update, I put in an additional 15 hours of research into about 50 new models, plus dozens of additional hours of using our favorite vacuums to clean my own home. (And other Sweethome staff members have used them at home, as well.)

Although we do our own testing, we also think it’s important to keep our ears to the ground for what other people have to say about a category. So we’ve interviewed a bunch of vacuum experts over the years, including:

  • Justin Haver, vice president of GoVacuum.com and 19-year veteran of the vacuum industry

  • Denis Spindler, owner of Mr. Sweeper Sew & Vac in Waltham, Massachusetts, since 1984 (and an employee there since 1977)

  • Brian Driscoll, a vacuum service technician and shop manager known as the Vacuum King of Reddit from his series of popular AMAs

  • Jeffrey May, indoor air-quality consultant and author of My House Is Killing Me!

  • Brian Oliver, brand manager (at the time) of the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America

  • Rob Green, reliability manager for Dyson

  • Anthony Del Gaudio, a product manager for Miele

  • Keith Barry, editor of the appliance sections at Reviewed.com

  • Rich Brown, executive editor of appliance reviews at CNET

I’ve also made a point to listen to as many of our readers as possible, through comments on our guides, emails, Twitter exchanges, and message-board posts. And I also like to read other reviews of products that I cover, including customer reviews (I’ve easily read more than 1,000) as well as reviews by other editorial sources such as Consumer Reports, CNET, Good Housekeeping, and Reviewed.com.

Who Should Get this

This focus of this guide is limited to plug-in vacuums. A cordless vacuum or robot vacuum might be a better fit for you, but we think plug-in vacuums are a safe bet for most people and have several key Plug-in vacuums cost less and last longer than other types of vacuums with similar cleaning abilities. For example, our Shark plug-in pick costs about half as much as our favorite Dyson cordless and is under warranty for an additional three years.

Plug-in vacuums aren’t hampered by a limited battery life, so they can work in homes of all sizes. If you have a home that’s bigger than 1,200 square feet, a plug-in will almost always be the best choice. The average new home in the US is 2,200 square feet, which is well beyond the capabilities of most battery-powered vacuums but no problem at all for a plug-in vac to clean in one session. The best plug-in vacuums are always stronger cleaners with tighter filtration than any other types of vacuum. So if you have allergies or asthma and need the best possible indoor air quality, or otherwise feel strongly about dust-free carpets, your only good option is a plug-in vacuum.

If your place is small enough and cords get hung up on every corner, however, a cordless vacuum can be a life-changer. Since the prices and owner expectations are so different, we maintain a separate guide to the best cordless vacuums.

If you’re a regular reader of The Sweethome and you’re wondering why our former “best cheap vacuum” is now just our “best vacuum,” it’s because we figured out—based on lots of feedback—that it makes more sense for us to combine two guides so that it’s easier for readers to see all the choices in context. The way we used to have things set up, most readers would come only to our “best vacuum” guide, where we focused exclusively on models that cost $400 and up—and that’s a lot of money. Many readers never noticed that we recommended the $150 Shark somewhere else, so we ended up giving the impression that we were not in touch with what most people would pay for a vacuum cleaner. The current version of this guide is arranged like other Sweethome guides: The main pick is a strong all-arounder for most people, and the upgrade pick is a great step-up option if you can afford it.

Also Read : Go Clean Your Room

How We Picked

We started by making a list of every plug-in upright or canister vacuum we could find—seriously, all of them, from every brand. Over the years we’ve assembled a spreadsheet with 330 different vacuum models (though a chunk of them are now discontinued).

For our main pick, we aimed to find a plug-in vacuum that could work well on almost any kind of bare floor and carpet. We wanted a model that could pick up pet hair or just about any other kind of noticeable debris in a couple of passes—and preferably some of the less-noticeable fine dust and hair that collects deep in carpets. We wanted a vacuum that offered strong cleaning performance over a long life span, without much maintenance or ongoing costs of ownership. Most vacuums work fine when they’re brand-new, but loads of them lose their cleaning ability after a year unless their owners maintain them (and most people do not).

We also favored upright, bagless vacuums, because they’re convenient and familiar to most people in North America, and market research tells us that’s the style most people here prefer. Canister vacuums can be great, too, though. Canisters and uprights are not inherently better or worse than each other, and we think most people can get used to either type.

We further narrowed in on models by looking for several other criteria.

  • A brush roll : Suction is not very effective at cleaning carpet on its own, so you need a brush roll to agitate the carpet fibers, loosening up debris so the vacuum can suck it up.

  • A geared belt : For a vacuum to clean at its best, you need a taut belt connecting the brush roll to the motor. Flat rubber belts lose tension over time, but a geared belt with interlocking teeth stays tense. “They will eventually wear out, but you’re looking at probably 10 years instead of six months,” said Denis Spindler, owner of Mr. Sweeper Sew & Vac in Waltham, Massachusetts.

  • Reusable filters : Clean filters are essential to strong suction. Disposable filters have some advantages, but most people will have a better experience with the reusable type. It’s easier and cheaper to wash or shake those out than it is to buy new filters every few months.

  • A swiveling joint at the cleaning head : This feature makes a vacuum easier to steer, with less pressure on your wrists.

  • Strong customer ratings : We’ve found that customer ratings averaging four out of five stars can be a pretty accurate cutoff in determining owner satisfaction. Any lower than that, and it’s usually a sign of a design flaw or quality-control problem.

  • A hose and attachments : Most of the time you’ll be cleaning your floors, but it’s handy to be able to clean windowsills, shelves, curtains, ceilings, upholstery, and tight spaces around furniture and appliances, too.

When it comes to pricing, we’ve found that the sweet spot for a reliable, effective plug-in vacuum is around ₹3500. Once we got down to a short list of contenders in that price range, we checked for reviews at CNET, Consumer Reports, Good Housekeeping, Reviewed.com, and a few smaller websites, just to winnow out any obvious clunkers. And then we did some testing of our own.

As for other prices Plug-in vacuums that cost less than our main pick usually work well for a couple of months, but the performance drops off sharply after that and isn’t easy to recover. We’re also not excited about vacuums that regularly cost between ₹12000 and ₹25000, because they’re in a sort of no-man’s land, with extra features that don’t do much to improve cleaning, reliability, or longevity. But if you’re willing to step up above ₹25000, you can get a plug-in vacuum that will clean the hell out of your house and last for decades.

How We Tested

For this particular update, which covers vacuums released between May 2015 and November 2016, we did not find any new models that had the specs to seriously challenge our long-standing favorites, so we didn’t end up doing a whole lot of testing (aside from testing and dismissing a new budget-pick candidate).

In previous versions of this guide (and in our other vacuum guides), we’ve used a set of ever-evolving in-house tests to measure cleaning performance, handling, and ease of maintenance. These include cleaning trials using cat litter, baby powder, cat hair, steel-cut oatmeal, and lentils, testing the machines’ performance on wood floors, laminate floors, tile floors, low-pile area rugs, low-pile knit carpets, and medium-pile rugs. We gauge side-suction cleaning by tossing debris into corners and against baseboards, and we try to measure the strength of a vacuum’s airflow by seeing how much debris the machine can clean up without actually driving over it. We also make sure to use each vac, when we can, for “above-floor” cleaning—upholstery, countertops, windowsills and curtains, stairs, and even the ceiling.

For handling, we run each model through a timed slalom course to get a feel for steering and maneuverability. We drive through a few rooms, around and under a bunch of furniture, and over a mix of bare floors and rugs. The point is to gauge how each vacuum handles in a real-world apartment with a tight floor layout. Racing a vacuum through an obstacle course isn’t exactly how you would use one of these, naturally, but it clues us in on a few frustrations and flaws that might annoy vacuum owners, like how certain models can bunch up area rugs or struggle to get around corners.

Our favorite tests are the stress tests, which give us the best idea of how each vacuum stands up to the dumbest operator errors (we’ve all made them). Basically, we try to clog and tangle each machine with tough debris like shredded copy paper, balls of cat hair, sawdust, and socks. And if we succeed in jamming them up, we figure out how to unclog them. The fewer tools and the less time needed, the better.

Our Pick - -Best Vacuums- Shark Navigator Lift-Away NV352

About Shark Shark is one of several housecare brands developed by Euro-Pro Operating, LLC. Euro-Pro has worked hard to be a pioneer of innovative cleaning solutions and small household appliances which are designed to fit the needs of today's consumer. One of the leading pros in the housewares industry, Euro-Pro developed the Shark brand to provide easy-to-use and innovative solutions to quickly clean up life's daily messes. Shark is recognized as the pioneer and market leader of steam-cleaning technology which has replaced the need for using harmful chemicals. Priding itself on innovation, ease of use, and competitive pricing, Euro-Pro provides a wide variety of products designed to make life a little bit easier. Antiallergenic Seal technology for a healthy environment. Traps 99.9% of dust and allergens.

 

The Navigator Lift-Away is a strong all-around vacuum, but the reliability and durability are what put this model above its competitors (and some pricier options). It needs less maintenance than other vacuums at this price, and it has essentially no ongoing costs of ownership thanks in part to a nearly comprehensive five-year warranty that’s easy to make a claim on. That near-guaranteed longevity alone puts the Navigator Lift-Away ahead of most cheap vacs. It’s a very capable cleaner, too, able to pick up any debris (including pet hair) from almost all kinds of flooring. Handling is smooth and light, emptying it is easy, and its owners tend to love it, often comparing it favorably to their old vacuums—even models that were much more expensive.

The Navigator Lift-Away’s longevity and low maintenance come from a belt and filters designed to last the life of the vacuum. Most other vacuums at this price use flat rubber belts, which stretch out and need to be replaced at least once a year. Many use disposable filters, which have to be swapped out a few times per year. Most people don’t replace those worn-out parts, so cleaning performance takes a nosedive after about a year. The Navigator Lift-Away is different: It uses a geared belt, which doesn’t lose tension and should last about 10 years (before it gets brittle and cracks).

Another reason you’ll be able to use the Navigator Lift-Away longer than other vacuums at this price is its five-year warranty. That’s an incredible warranty period for a vacuum with such a reasonable cost. And it’s not some lip-service coverage, either: Shark makes (most) claims very easy. You say what’s broken, Shark sends you the replacement part, no BS. In a May 2015 review, Amazon customer NikNak says that after four and a half years of regular use, several important components of the Navigator Lift-Away gave up the ghost but all it took was one call to Shark, and the company shipped all the necessary replacement parts.We had a good experience with Shark customer service, too. When we first reviewed the Navigator Lift-Away in early 2014, we cold-called the company’s hotline a few times to make a claim on a cracked hose.

 

Keep in mind a few warranty-related caveats: The warranty doesn’t cover replacement filters if yours suffer damage. In reviews, several owners say that Shark made them pay for shipping costs on motor-related failures (which are uncommon). It’s a good idea to buy the Navigator Lift-Away from a Shark-authorized retailer, to ensure that the company won’t make you jump through hoops if you try to make a warranty claim. We’ve taken pains to make sure that the links in this guide point only to authorized retailers, but you should double-check before you hit the checkout button. Also, note that accessories such as the mini motor brush (for stairs and furniture) are not covered under the warranty.

If your vacuum is outside of warranty coverage, Shark sells replacements for every part and accessory on the Navigator Lift-Away. You won’t even need tools to swap the new parts in. And for what it’s worth, Consumer Reports (subscription required) ranks Shark as one of the least repair-prone brands of upright vacuums. All vacuums can clog, but the Navigator Lift-Away is easier to unclog than most. It comes apart in more places than any of its competitors—dirt cup, cleaning head, handle, hose, pretty much every joint—so finding and clearing are quick and painless, and usually involve no tools. For what it’s worth, we couldn’t even clog the machine with our clogging mixture in the first place.

The Shark Navigator Lift-Away is also a capable cleaner. In our testing, it performed well above its price tag by picking up the most common shapes and sizes of debris in just a few passes, from the variety of flooring types that you’d find in most homes. We were impressed by how quickly and completely it picked up cat litter from a bare floor (in a single back-and-forth pass) and from plush carpet (two and a half passes). It picked up more pet hair than we expected to find in our short-knit area rug. Its side-suction performance stood out: It picked up almost all of the lentils and cat litter we scattered into a corner and up against baseboards, outperforming even some high-end vacuums we’ve tested in that regard. It didn’t beat every similarly priced vacuum in each of our tests every time, but it was consistently good at all of the common tasks.

Consumer Reports (subscription required) rated the Navigator Lift-Away as Very Good for carpet cleaning and Excellent for floor cleaning. The testing house also determined that this vacuum was merely Fair in pet-hair pickup, though in our experience (and that of many owners) it’s a solid pet-hair cleaner. All told, in the Consumer Reports assessment the Navigator Lift-Away earned an overall score of 63 and Recommended status—a great outcome, beating out several models that cost ₹25000 or more.Owners tend to be very happy with the Navigator Lift-Away’s cleaning performance, too. We looked at a couple hundred customer reviews from Amazon and Google Shopping, including those voted to be “most helpful” and some others with the lowest scores, to get an accurate picture of the vacuum’s strengths and weaknesses.

Tons of customer reviews, even a bunch of the negative ones, mention that the Navigator Lift-Away is an excellent cleaner. (Reviewers often write that it has “great suction,” which doesn’t technically translate to great cleaning power, but based on the context we understand the wording to mean that the reviewers are happy with how much debris the vacuum picks up from their floors.) Pet-hair pickup in particular earns wide praise. Amazon reviewer Cambria says, “I cannot believe how much dog hair it picked up.” Another review is titled “Crazy cat lady approved!” and reviewer Cosmo says that it does a “fine job” picking up after three dogs.

Several reviewers mention that when they first bought the Navigator Lift-Away, they were surprised by how much debris it picked up compared with their previous vacuums. Among them is Amazon reviewer Gary A. Blomquist, who writes that “the Lift-Away again sucked up tons of dirt/sand/dust/hair that the Kirby couldn’t.” (Kirby makes expensive upright vacuums that should outperform anything in the Shark’s price range, though the reviewer’s unit may have needed maintenance.) B. Anderson writes that an old vacuum had left behind so much debris over the years that picking all of it up took three months’ worth of weekend vacuuming with the Shark. Since then, B. Anderson says, the Shark’s dust bin no longer gets so full, and less dust is settling on furniture around the house.

What makes the Navigator Lift-Away clean better than other vacuums at this price? We’re pretty sure that the secret ingredient is the cleaning head. It sits at a fixed distance from the floor, but right at the happy medium where the airflow is strong enough to suck up small, static-clinging particles from a bare floor yet the brush roller still has enough clearance to agitate a carpet without getting blocked by the fibers. Ideally, you’d like to see an adjustable height setting to handle thicker carpets. But Amazon reviewer LILass, in the customer-voted “most helpful” review of the Navigator Lift-Away, says that “I haven’t missed [adjustable height] on the varied height rugs I have, and it’s not beating up my taller piles.” LILass says it even rolls across a shag carpet as long as the beater is turned off and the suction vent is open. If you have lots of high-pile carpet in your home, you might want to consider a different vacuum. But it’s good to know that the Navigator Lift-Away can at least avoid choking on a shag carpet if you need to deal with that in only one small room.

Handling and maneuverability are another bright spot for the Navigator Lift-Away. It weighs about 12 pounds, which is much lighter than most full-size upright vacuums (17 pounds is pretty typical). Combined with a swiveling joint at the cleaning head, that relatively light weight makes it easy to steer around corners or to haul up the stairs. The lift-away feature helps it get under furniture that many other uprights will just bash into, and although the cleaning head is narrower than that of your typical upright (more on that topic later), that design proves to be helpful for getting the vac in between chairs. It ran our slalom course in about 1 minute, 30 seconds, which is on the quick side of typical for a plug-in upright. Hundreds of Amazon and Google Shopping reviewers praise it for its lightweight frame and easy handling.

As for air quality, the Navigator Lift-Away does a decent job of filtering out dust and other allergens. Not only does it have three filters (four if you count the mesh cone in the dust cup), including a post-motor HEPA filter, but the transfer points are also sealed with rubber gaskets. This very thorough review (on an air-purifier-enthusiast website) found a similar Shark to be sealed pretty well, releasing less than 2,000 particles sized 0.5 micron or larger per cubic foot (0.5 micron is about the size of a single grain of talcum powder). For most people, that’s good-enough filtration. If you’re sensitive to dust and other allergens, you may want to consider a high-end bagged vacuum like one that we recommend later in this guide.Emptying the Navigator Lift-Away’s dust cup is easy: You just hold it over the garbage can and press a button, and the debris falls out of the bottom of the bin. Sometimes pet hair can get a bit wedged around the edges, but usually you have no need to get your hands dirty, and the risk of spills is minimal. Unlike with some other vacs, the Shark’s dust cup can open at the top as well as the bottom, so you can easily free hair or debris caught deep in the chamber.

The Navigator Lift-Away comes with an ample set of accessories, all of which attach to the pull-out wand. The most important one is the mini turbo brush, which is helpful for cleaning stairs and upholstery, especially if you have pets. (Some versions of the NV352 and other Navigator Lift-Away models don’t come with this brush for reasons we can’t figure out—double-check to make sure you’re getting one.) Also included are a long crevice tool, a short crevice tool, and a utility-brush tool for cleaning windowsills, ceilings, or anywhere else the open-ended hose won’t quite work. Some versions of the NV352 come with a dusting tool, but the unit we received for testing did not. Other configurations of the NV350 series come with different tool bundles as well, so confirm that you’re buying the model with the tools you want.Owners also generally think that the Navigator Lift-Away is relatively quiet compared with other vacuums. With the brush roller turned on, we measured it at about 79 decibels—that’s actually pretty loud compared with the best high-end vacuums, but quieter than other cheap vacs we’ve tested, which regularly break 80 decibels. And it operates at more of a midrange hum than a high-pitched whine, so it’s not as grating.

Flaws But not Dealbreakers

All vacuums have to find a way to balance cleaning performance, durability, weight, and price. Among all the sub-₹12500 vacuums out there, the Navigator Lift-Away makes the wisest set of compromises.High-pile carpets, such as shag or cable cuts, pose a problem for the Navigator Lift-Away. Long fibers can sometimes plug up the intake or tangle in the brush roller, and the vacuum won’t work. But most homes don’t have any high-pile rugs, so this is a nonissue for most people. And if you do run into resistance on your thicker carpets, you have a workaround: Twist open the release valve on the hose, and the suction will drop off enough to allow the vacuum to roll smoothly without choking on the carpet fibers.

Another side effect of the fixed-height cleaning head: The Navigator Lift-Away sometimes “snowplows” large particles (as in the size of Froot Loops cereal), pushing them around with the cleaning head rather than sucking them up. Snowplowing is an issue with many vacuums —even the top-of-the-line, ₹38000 Dyson upright does this sometimes.

Since the Navigator Lift-Away is predominantly plastic, some of its parts can get brittle and crack over time. The chief complaint seems to be the accordion hose; it’s a little stiff to begin with, and the constant flexing can wear it out. Other reviewers point out that the clips attaching the dust cup to the rest of the main assembly can break off after a couple of years of use, particularly if you carry the assembly by the handle in lift-away mode.Some repair technicians don’t like Shark very much, either. In a now-famous Reddit AMA from 2013, vac-shop manager and repair technician Brian Driscoll called out the Shark brand as repair-prone.

But the evidence we’ve seen leads us to believe that the Navigator Lift-Away is actually more reliable than most vacuums in this price range. A Consumer Reports reader survey suggests that Shark is one of the most reliable brands. Thanks to the lifetime belt and reusable filter, performance shouldn’t decline much over time. The five-year, easy-to-claim warranty gives us every reason to believe this vacuum will last at least that long for most people who own it. Like any product, the Navigator Lift-Away has some bad owner reviews.

One of the most common design complaints (that is, gripes about a feature that’s present on purpose and not a problem that results from a part breaking) is that the Navigator Lift-Away has a tendency to tip over if you yank the hose too hard. Since the cleaning head is relatively narrow and the body is top heavy, this machine does fall over more easily than some other vacuums do. If you find tipping to be a constant problem, you can lift away the main assembly and set in on the floor for a sturdier base.The narrow cleaning head also means you’ll need to make more passes than you would with a wider cleaning head. But on the flip side, it can get into corners and between chair legs more easily.

Another legitimate gripe is that the cleaning head does not easily disassemble, so if long hair or string tangles around the brush roll (and it will, because that’s a natural thing that happens with a vacuum), you can’t really pull it out to cut away the hair as you would with many other models. An easy workaround: Run a razor blade along the roller. The cord length: It’s 25 feet, which is respectable. But many owners say that they had difficulty adjusting from the longer cables that they were used to on their old vacs.The curved shape of the handle: Some owners find it uncomfortable to wield when using attachments.

The capacity of the dust cup: The recommended maximum capacity is about 1.2 cubic feet, though it has room for much more—the suction simply drops off gradually. Folks with several hairy pets might have to empty the cup midclean, which is inconvenient (though less inconvenient than replacing a bag).The tool holders: They’re really just plastic nubs, and they don’t always do a great job of securing the attachments.

The button placement: The three-way switch (off, suction, brush roller) is on the main assembly, so pressing it to adjust the vacuuming action isn’t as effortless as if the button were located on the handle. On the plus side, that means no wiring is running through the handle, so if the handle gets damaged over time, it won’t affect the power supply.Your mileage may vary on all of the above points. All vacuums represent a compromise to some degree, and we think that the Navigator Lift-Away makes those compromises in a way that’ll make most owners happy.

Long-term Test Notes

When I wasn’t actively testing it, I used the Shark Navigator Lift-Away occasionally between January 2014 and September 2015. (I was living in a small apartment at the time, so I favored cordless models when it was time to clean up.)I didn’t put too much strain on the Shark, but it did hold up well. The only sign of wear I noticed was that the dirt cup got perma-dirty after a couple of months, similar to a foggy wine glass that no one has cleaned properly in a while. But that’s mostly cosmetic, and any bagless vac with a clear cup will have that problem.

We shipped the Navigator Lift-Away to Sweethome editor Harry Sawyers for long-term testing in late 2015. At first it felt heavier and more difficult to get under furniture than the cordless vacs Harry’s family had gotten used to, but over the course of a year it has proved itself many times, cleaning several rugs clearly deeper than the cordless vac could manage. Now they find it maneuverable and easy to empty, and they also like how easily it transitions between floors and carpets.

If you’re looking for a more long-term perspective, some Amazon reviewers have been wonderfully diligent about updating their reviews every year—sometimes into the fourth or fifth year of ownership! Bless those folks.

Budget Pick - Bass on the Cheap - Same Shark, different setup

 

If the NV352 is sold out, this is a model we love for all the same reasons. It has an extra wand for reaching low under things, but functionally it’s almost identical. All of the Shark Navigator Lift-Away models in the NV350, NV360, or NV370 series are essentially the same vacuum, just with minor differences in their tool sets, colors, and button placements. We tend to recommend the NV352 because it’s typically the best value at our favorite retailers. But any of the other models are good choices, as well. We’ve found that the Navigator Lift-Away Deluxe NV360 is the easiest to nab for a good deal these days, and it’s the same as the NV352 except for the shape of the handle and the placement of the power button. The NV350 and NV351 are the same as the NV352, with different accessories. The NV355 and NV356 are the “pro” models, with slightly larger dust cups, and the NV370 is the “pro” model with the different handle and placement of the power button. Go wild, and pick whichever one you can get for the best deal with all the tools you need.

 

About Cheaper Vacuums

We’d like to suggest a very cheap vacuum for people on tight budgets, but after researching dozens and testing a few new contenders, we haven’t found anything that we’re comfortable recommending. All the vacuums we’ve tested (so far) in the lower price ranges are too compromised in too many ways for us to throw our word behind them.

Cheap uprights may work pretty well for cleaning carpets at first. But unlike our main pick, every inexpensive model we’ve come across needs its belts or filters or both replaced at regular intervals to maintain the cleaning performance. You need to pay for those replacements and do the maintenance yourself, too. If you don’t take care of a cheap upright, it’ll lose most of its cleaning ability in about 12 to 18 months. If you do take care of a cheap upright, it’ll end up costing more than our main pick after a few sets of new belts and filters—that is, if the brittle plastic body parts even last that long. With the Shark Navigator Lift-Away guaranteed to last five years on warranty alone, the math proves that paying a little more for it will almost always save you money over time, and meanwhile, you’ll have a vacuum that’s easier to maintain and use.

Another low-cost option is a suction-only vacuum—that is, one with no brush roll. Such vacuums are simple machines that work fine on bare floors. But they can’t really clean carpets or rugs effectively, which to us is a major reason to use a vacuum (if you’re cleaning only bare floors on a budget, use a broom or a dust mop).However, if you still think you want to take a chance on a very cheap vacuum, here are two models that came the closest to getting our recommendation.

For carpets, an okay option that could work for some people is the Bissell CleanView 1330. It usually costs around $80, and as of this writing it has one of the best overall customer ratings for the money at Amazon, 4.4 out of five stars based on 940 reviews. (Its predecessor, the Bissell 9595A, is still one of the best-selling vacuums at Amazon, too.) The Bissell 1330 is actually a very strong cleaner when it’s new, and it comes with a bunch of useful tools, including a mini turbo tool that can brush hair off upholstery.

But the Bissell 1330 has all same the drawbacks we laid out for cheap uprights above, and the cleaning performance, at its peak, is almost too strong in some ways. The brush roll, for starters, is always on, which means it can scatter midsize debris on bare floors. In our testing, the Bissell 1330 bunched up every area rug we used it on and even stripped some fibers out of one rug (and we’re not the only ones that has happened to). This model is also a heavy vacuum, with no swiveling joint, so it handles with all the finesse of a brick on wheels. The warranty is good for only two years, and owner reviews suggest that customer service is not so helpful. And we managed to crack the plastic base plate on the first day of use as we were trying to go in for a closer look at the brush roll. Our conclusion: Buyer beware, though we don’t see any obviously better options at this price, either.

For nothing but bare floors, the Eureka Mighty Mite is an option we’ve tested that works fine. This bagged canister vacuum can suck up crumbs, pet hair, and whatever else is on your floors. The other popular option is the Bissell Zing line, which comes in bagless and bagged versions. We have not tested these models, but they’re so similar in design to the Mighty Mite that we’d expect them to perform at about the same level.

The Competition - Shark Rotator Professional Lift-Away NV500

 

 

  Brand - Shark Rotator Professional Lift-Away   Model - NV500
  Item Weight - 91 g   Package Dimensions - 12.7 x 10.7 x 11.7 cm
  Item Part Number - Shark nv500   Shipping Weight - 90 Grams

One exception is another Shark, the Shark Rotator Professional Lift-Away NV500 (and NV501 and NV502—same vacuum, different retailers). We like it for the most of the same reasons as we do the Navigator Lift-Away NV352. The NV500 has a sleeker design that some people prefer, and it has a little rolling base for the lift-away component (that none of us have been able to find a good use for). It tends to cost more than the Navigator models, but if you find a deal, go for it.

The Competition - Panasonic MC-CG902

  Brand - Panasonic   Model - MC-CG902
  Item Weight - 12 Kg   Package Dimensions - 72.4 x 43.8 x 39.4 cm
  Item model number - MCCG902   Colour - Burgundy
  • Full-size canister vacuum with 12a motor

  • Power head and onboard tools

  • 14Nozzle width

  • 24ft cord with Reel

  • Powerful 12AMP motor system which includes a Motor Protection System that bypasses the motor and fan and directs the dirt right into the bag

  • Quick Draw Tools on-board for easy access that includes: 2 Standard Wands, Crevice Tool, Dusting Brush and a bonus feature "Air Turbine", Headlight

  • 15" Cleaning Path, 24 Foot Cord length with Automatic Cord Reel, 12.5 Foot Attachment reach, Automatic Carpet Height Adjustment for proper setting for any carpet type. Please refer the User Manual

If you have a patch of long, thick carpet in your home (or if you just prefer bagged vacuums or canister vacuums), the Panasonic MC-CG902 (also known as the Kenmore Progressive 21514) can be a good alternative to our favorite Shark vacuums for about the same price. Its adjustable-height cleaning head can handle shag, saxony, and other long-fiber rugs without choking or tangling, unlike most vacuums at this price. Some other canister models hit the same marks for similar money, but the MC-CG902 has a strong reputation after years of availability, and it tends to cost less, too. We used to recommend it as a runner-up in our (now-retired) guide to cheap vacuums, and we still think it’s solid. But we have space here for only so many recommendations, and the canister style is just not popular anymore.

The Competition - Oreck XL2100RHS

 

 

  Brand - Oreck   Model - XL2100RHS
  Item Weight - 3.72 kilograms   Package Dimensions - 15.2 x 33 x 88.9 cm ; 3.7 Kg
  Item Model Number - 2100RHS   UPC - 743808229012

Upright vacuum cleaner with 12-inch-wide cleaning path is better suited for cleaning low pile carpets than typical canister vacuum cleaners and takes up less space for storage.Helping Hand handle has received Ease-of-Use Commendation from Arthritis Foundation; on/off switch is located in handgrip for convenience. Automatic floor adjustment enables the vacuum cleaner to move between carpets and hard surfaces without changes to manual settings.Powerful, high-speed, balanced brush roll with double helix brushes whirls at 6,500 RPM and move debris toward the vacuum inlet for cleaning.

Readers ask us about Oreck vacuums pretty regularly, particularly the Oreck XL2100RHS. These vacuums are durable, affordable machines that may have been the best option back in the 1990s when Mr. Oreck himself was hawking them during every

cable-TV commercial break. But as solid as they are, they aren’t as versatile or effective as our main pick. They’re bagged, for one thing, so you have ongoing costs that make them more expensive to own than a Shark. Repair technicians consider Oreck models to be easily repairable, but you’ll still need to take your Oreck into a shop, whereas a Shark model is easy to fix at home since all the parts pop in and out with no tools required. And Oreck models work only on carpets and floors—no hose, no lift-away feature, so you can’t vacuum your sofa or ceiling. But if you want something light and simple, an Oreck is a fine choice.

The Competition - Samsung VU3000

Samsung lift & clean vu3000 Bag less with lift and clean detachable pod and cyclone force multi technology - red. For previous versions of this guide, we tested the Samsung VU3000 and Eureka Boss Smart-Vac 4870MZ (the latter of which was our top affordable recommendation prior to the Shark). The Samsung looked a lot like our Shark pick on paper but was a hassle to use. The Eureka was a powerful vacuum in our tests, but it uses bags, stretchy belts, and disposable filters—we just don’t think you should have to do all that maintenance.

  Brand - Samsung   Model - VU3000
  Capacity - Standard   Primary material- Others
  Item model number - AZB017103   Colour - As Shown in the image

Care and Maintenance

We’ll have a more thorough article on this topic, covering a wider variety of vacuums, coming soon. But in a nutshell: Keep your filters clean according to manufacturer directions. Empty the bag or dust bin when it’s full. Check for clogs and tangles if the vacuum is having trouble cleaning.