Top Picks: Consumer Reports Puts Vacuum Cleaners To The Test

Magazine rates top picks for various price points.

ByABC News
February 23, 2011, 8:45 PM

Feb. 24, 2011 — -- A vacuum cleaner is a major purchase, and like other budget-conscious consumers, you'll want to find the best one for your money.

Consumer Reports magazine put 89 vacuums to the test, tackling more than 3,000 miles of dirty carpet. From upright models to canisters, bagged to bagless, the magazine rated its top picks.

Mandy Walker, the magazine's special projects editor, appeared on "Good Morning America" today to share the magazine's findings.

Click HERE to see more Consumer Reports vacuum cleaner reviews.

She explained how Consumer Reports conducted its testing: They ran the vacuums and measured the decibels. They used them to determine how easy they were to push around, and tested how well they cleaned carpets by running them repeatedly over carpet into which dirt had been pressed.

They evaluated how the vacuums worked on pet hair and sand on a floor, and also tested how much dust and dirt was left in the air so people with allergies could be aware, she added.

Top Pick: Kenmore Intuition 31100, $260.

Walker said this was the best buy because it was very good on floors and carpets. An upright cleaner with a bag, the Intuition has excellent tool airflow so you'll get good performance when you use a tool to clean your drapes or upholstery.

Best Bagless Upright

Because you will need to replace bags, this will mean an added expense, but although some bagless vacuums can be messy to clean up, this one was good, Walker said. It worked well on floor and carpets. Walker said the magazine had stopped recommending Hoover vacuums because many of its replacement parts can be expensive if a repair ever needed to be done. But the magazine recommends this model, she noted.