Best Vacuum for Allergies
If you suffer from respiratory conditions like asthma, or frequently experience allergy symptoms caused by dust, then you really should consider investing in an effective vacuum.
I say effective, because getting the right vacuum isn’t easy, so it’s worth paying extra attention to the features of each model to ensure it’s the best fit for you.
Sometimes using a vacuum can seem like a pointless exercise, as if you aren’t really getting rid of anything. But if you get your hands on a solid vacuum fitted with a HEPA filter, then you’ll be more confident that what you’re doing is actually clearing the air and the items in your home of harmful particles.
Here are our top picks…
👑 Our Pick for Best Overall
⭐ Our Other Top Vacuum Picks
- Best for Allergies: Shark Navigator Upright Vacuum (B004Q4DRJW)
- Best for Pet Hair: Kenmore Elite 31150 (B075DZY7FR)
- Best for Asthma: Miele Complete C3 (B00R43I4EU)
Best Vacuum for Allergies Reviews
Shark Navigator Upright Vacuum (👑 Top Pick)
We find the Shark Navigator Upright to be the best vacuum for allergies. This vacuum is very reasonably-priced at around $170 depending on where you look, which is much less than some models that ask for more than double this sum.
Budget-friendly price aside, this vacuum comes equipped with a HEPA filter which will ensure that as many as 99.97% of dust and allergens are taken care of. It also has an anti-allergen seal, this means that once the particles are trapped there is little to no chance that they will escape again. It also includes a pet hair tool which is especially useful if you have a pet that sheds a lot. All of this should put your mind at rest as you know that once you’ve gone over one area with a vacuum, it should remain dust, allergen and pet hair free for a while.
The design of the Shark Navigator also makes it easy to – yes, you guessed it – navigate around your home. It’s reasonably portable since you can detach the canister with the press of a button, which means no nook or cranny will be able to hide dust particles from your reach. Wherever you want to go, this vacuum will come with you. It’s suitable for use on a range of surfaces, which include hard floors and carpets. It’s lightweight enough to carry around with you too, so it shouldn’t be an issue going from vacuuming the ground floor to any rooms upstairs.
- One button canister detachment
- Portable design
- Anti-allergen seal technology
- HEPA filter
- Works on multiple surfaces
- Includes wide upholstery tool, dusting brush, and crevice tools
IRobot Roomba 960
The vacuum for those who love sophisticated technology, the IRobot Roomba 960 has plenty to get excited about, which is rare for a vacuum if we’re honest.
To preface, the 960 Roomba is a much more complete model than its predecessors. Sporting as much as 5x more suction power and better performance trapping dirt particles, this is definitely the best version Roomba has to offer.
If you haven’t heard of smart vacuums before, then you’re in for a real treat. The Roomba 960 will navigate around the house without any human assistance necessary. It does so even better this time round, and is fitted with iAdapt 2.0 technology, and a vSLAM navigation system which means it creates smart tracking paths and avoids obstacles. Once you program in what you want it to do, it will go about its business, leaving you to go about yours. This makes it a very convenient option, especially for anyone who leads a busy lifestyle which makes regular vacuuming seem like a real hassle.
The only time you’ll need to intervene is when you want a different floor of the house cleaned, as unfortunately, the Roomba hasn’t yet learnt to climb stairs. You won’t even need to make sure it has enough battery life to soldier on, since it will automatically recharge when low and then finish the job.
As for how it performs, the Roomba 960 features a premium 3-stage cleaning system that makes this model extremely efficient. It will pick up not only dirt and dust, but also works very well for pet hair. This makes it a great purchase for those who suffer with allergies, as well as those with pets that leave hair and dander all over the house.
- iAdapt technology and vSLAM navigation
- Battery recharges automatically
- Can be connected to Alexa, Google Assistant, or the companion app
- 3-stage cleaning system
- HEPA filter
Dyson V8 Absolute Cordless
The Dyson V8 Absolute is one of our favourite cordless vacuums, which means it’s incredibly easy to use wherever you are.
This vacuum is widely praised for much more than its cordless design though. It is fitted with a powerful HEPA filtration system that should take care of the most irritating allergens and dust particles in your home that could be causing you frustration. As for how long it will run for before you need to charge it, you can expect around 40 minutes of continuous use with the basic attachment.
The suction of this vacuum is more than capable of deep cleaning on any carpet. The direct-drive motorhead will make sure that no dust particles or pet hair are left behind, so you can expect clean carpets every time. This feature is especially useful for those times when there are stubborn particles deeply ingrained in a carpet that won’t come out. As for hard floors, you can expect similar great results. The soft roll cleaner head attachment is perfect for capturing any particles residing on this harder surface.
If you thought being cordless was convenient, then you’ll love how easily the Dyson V8 folds up into a handheld vacuum. While most vacuums are either very difficult to lug upstairs with you, or require you to carry 2 different parts, this model can be turned into a very small handheld vacuum so you can clean the stairs, as well as any hard to reach places.
- Can be used as a handheld vacuum
- 40 minutes run time with standard attachment
- Direct drive cleaner head
- Whole machine HEPA filtration
- V8 digital motor
Best Vacuum for Pet Hair
Kenmore Elite 31150
The Kenmore Elite 31150 vacuum is our top pick for pet hair. While it’s quite a significant investment, this vacuum will ensure your home is free of pet hair so long as you commit to using it on a regular basis.
As well as premium performance which justifies the hefty price tag, this vacuum is versatile. You can use it on a lot of surfaces, such as carpets and hardwood floors. This is essential for dealing with pet hair build-up, since pets get about, and can leave a trail of hair behind just about anywhere. If it sounds like a chore slogging a large vacuum around your house though, don’t worry. The Kenmore Elite 31150 is self-propelling, so it will take care of the heavy lifting, saving you the energy it takes to manually push a vacuum around.
The triple HEPA filter is AAFA certified, and captures as much as 99.97% of dust, pet dander, and other pollutants. This is backed up by the powerful 3D Inducer Motor which grants the user up to 20% more power than similar models. This makes cleaning a breeze, and ensures that no harmful particles stick around after you’ve vacuumed.
Then there’s the array of attachments you’ll have at your disposal. This vacuum comes with the usual crevice tool, but also comes with a telescopic wand and Kenmore’s own Pet Handi-Mate attachment. This attachment is easy to set up with the vacuum, and does a great job at targeting stubborn stairs and floating pet hairs.
A common issue with a lot of vacuums is that you don’t know when you’re finished. There’s no indication of whether or not you’ve thoroughly cleaned the floors and gotten rid of all dust particles or pet hairs. However, the Kenmore Elite 31150 has a clever solution to this problem in the form of an onboard sensor which lets you know if the vacuum is still trapping dust particles or not. This is huge, and allows you to rest easy knowing that you’ve given the house a complete cleaning.
- Suitable for use on multiple surfaces
- Triple HEPA filter
- 3D Inducer Motor
- Includes several attachments
Best Vacuum for Asthma
Miele Complete C3
The Miele Complete C3 vacuum is a premium option, there’s no doubt about that, but it is hands-down the best model for anyone who suffers with asthma.
What do you get for your significant investment?
Six-speed settings, an efficient HEPA filtration system, adjustable height, minimal noise, and so much more.
Basically, if you have the funds and you want the most thorough cleaning of your floors to prevent issues with your asthma, then the Miele Complete C3 can have your back. This vacuum comes equipped with an impressive 1200W vortex motor, and should alleviate any fears of the particles escaping with its AirClean Sealed System Construction. It will also last you an impressive 20 years on average, so the big sum of money you paid will seem like a sound long-term investment.
The fact that this vacuum can operate with the power it does, while producing very little noise, is impressive to say the least. This is mainly due to the powerful motor, which allows you to vacuum the floors at any time of day. You can even do so while others in the house are asleep!
The Miele Complete C3 has been designed to get to every space in the house, no matter how small or tight. The parquet floor brush that comes included will allow you to vacuum under baseboards, furniture, and around chair legs. 90 degree rotation enables you to get stuck into cracks when necessary, and ensures that no unwanted dust particles stick around after you’re done vacuuming.
If you opt for the performance pack, which is an option on Amazon, you’ll also get 16 genuine Miele GN Airclean FilterBags, 1 Genuine Miele HEPA filter, and 4 pre-motor protection filters. This adds extra versatility, and makes sure that the initial investment will last you as long as possible. So long in fact, that this might be the only vacuum you need for the next few decades.
Finally, worthy of mention is the many Amazon users who have reported that using this vacuum has alleviated some of their asthma-related symptoms. This should be reason enough to consider the investment if you too, or somebody you live with, suffers from asthma.
- 1200W motor
- Quiet function
- HEPA filter
- 20 year average life span
- AirClean Sealed System Construction
- Includes attachments
- Adjustable height and rotation
What To Look For When Selecting A Vacuum For Allergies
If you want to make sure you get the best vacuum for allergies, asthma, and pet hair, then there are a few factors that you should pay extra close attention to.
Beyond being able to leave the house looking clean, you’ll want to ensure that the vacuum has the ability to trap allergens, and keep hold of them. All vacuums should have a HEPA filter to trap the majority of harmful particles residing on your floors, but there are other features that ensure the most thorough clean.
1. Allergen Seal
One such feature is an allergen seal.
Vacuums which are fitted with an allergen seal, like the Shark Navigator, guarantee the entrapment of particles. You might think that all vacuums do that already, and that the HEPA filter is all you need for a thorough cleaning. However, without some kind of allergen seal, it’s possible that the allergens and dust can bypass the filter and end up floating around in the air of your home.
As a result, if you’re looking for a vacuum that will more or less completely rid your home of allergens and dust after a round of cleaning, then keep your eyes peeled for an allergen seal.
By flexible, I mean how lightweight and/or portable the vacuum is. This is important for several reasons.
First, you don’t want to leave any area of the house collecting dust and harmful particles, so you need to find a vacuum that can be adjusted or packed down to be smaller so that it can get in every nook and cranny of every room. This is especially important when it comes to getting under and around furniture. If you are concerned about pet hair floating around the house, it’s crucial that you can cover the whole room.
Second, if the vacuum is too heavy or awkward to carry, then you’ll have a tough time getting it up the stairs if you have any. The last thing you want while vacuuming is to make it even harder than it needs to be. To solve this potential problem, look for vacuums that have portable adjustments, like the Dyson V8, or simply those which are light enough to be carried. Some models, like the Miele Complete C3 are highly adjustable, which is ideal if your house is like an obstacle course. Others, like the Roomba 960, will take all the manual labour out of vacuuming, though you will need to carry them upstairs yourself.
While features probably aren’t top of your list when it comes to picking out a new vacuum, there are some which can make a big impact.
Let’s start with the obvious: the smart vacuum. In this guide we took a look at the Roomba 960, a smart vacuum that will find its own way around your home, navigating its way around obstacles to ensure a thorough job is done. Vacuums like this one from Roomba can track their own paths, which takes all the manual work of pushing the vacuum out of your hands. It will even automatically recharge its batteries when it runs out, and pick up where it left off. These kinds of features might seem unnecessary to some, but if you have a busy lifestyle and you want to minimise time spent doing chores around the house then they could be very appealing.
Other features you can look out for tend to pertain to the adjustability of the vacuum, or the accessories that come included with it.
The Miele Complete C3, for example, comes with a parquet floor brush that is designed for those tricky to reach places behind furniture etc. It also has such a powerful motor that it produces minimal noise, which could be useful if you tend to clean while everyone else at home is asleep.
The Dyson model we reviewed has a V8 digital motor and a direct drive cleaner head, this gives you more control over the vacuum and more suction power. It can also be packed down into a handheld vacuum for getting to those small spaces, and easy transport from room to room.
4. Upright vs. Canister vs. Cordless
The last main factor worth considering is what type of vacuum is best suited to your needs. Smart vacuum aside, you’ll generally be looking at either upright, canister, or cordless models. Handheld models could also be included, but for best tackling allergens we’ve decided to exclude them in this guide.
The upright vacuum is one which will stand on its own, and usually has powerful suction. The advantage of using an upright model is that, although it’s corded, it will last you hours of continuous use. This is ideal if you have a large space you want to cover, and you don’t like the idea of your vacuum dying on you as you’re mid-flow. However, they are also quite a burden to carry around due to their size and weight, limiting their suitability for some situations.
Canister vacuums are the ones which have a separate unit which you drag along with you as you clean. This type of vacuum is also quite powerful, and the wheels make them easy to move around, especially on hard floors. Though, with this type of vacuum you’ll need to get down low and risk potential back pain.
Cordless models are to vacuums what wireless headphones are to wired ones. You get a lot of added flexibility in how you use them, but you might occasionally find yourself frustrated when the battery runs out on you. This type of vacuum is ideal for going freely up and down the stairs, as well as all over the house.
Frequently Asked Questions About Vacuums & Allergies
Are bagged vacuums better for allergies?
Yes, bagged vacuums are generally considered better for those who suffer from allergies.
This is due to the airtight seal of the bags, which make it especially difficult for the dust and allergen particles to escape once you’ve trapped them.
Are HEPA vacuums worth it?
Yes, HEPA vacuums are definitely worth the investment. If you have allergies and you’re looking to reduce your symptoms at home, then you’re best off finding a vacuum with a HEPA filter. They can trap as many as 99.97% of particulates that are 0.3 microns or bigger.
What is the best HEPA vacuum cleaner?
The Shark Navigator Upright is the best HEPA vacuum cleaner. We believe it’s the best vacuum for those who suffer with allergies. The HEPA filter and the anti allergen seal work well together to clean up your floors from dust and allergen particles.
What is the best brand of vacuum?
Shark is a widely praised brand of vacuum, and their Navigator model is a particularly great choice for allergy-sufferers.
Other strong brands include Dyson, and if you’re interested in smart vacuums, Roomba is a good option too. Each has their own unique features which can suit different lifestyles.
The Final Word from Wellness Nova
Picking out a new vacuum doesn’t need to be a chore. If you suffer from allergies, you could stand to gain a lot from getting your hands on a specialised vacuum. From smart to stick, there are a wide variety of different models to choose from, so you’re bound to find something to suit your needs.