If you are allergic to dust, pet dander, or other common allergens, then you need a vacuum built to properly capture and contain these particles. The best vacuum for allergies will have at least one HEPA filter. Conventional vacuums tend to allow dust to escape from the exhaust port, which only ensures that you’re left sneezing and coughing as you vacuum.
We’re going to cover what to look for when buying a HEPA filter vacuum along with some of the best models to choose from. We have selected several different price points to ensure you can find one within your budget.
Factors to Consider
When choosing the best vacuum for allergies there are several factors to consider. Some of these are the same factors you’ll consider when buying any type of vacuum while others are specifically for those with HEPA filters.
These vacuums come in several different styles. There are the more conventional canister and upright models, and there are also stick vacuums in the case of Dyson. Upright or bag vacuums tend to be somewhat stronger and are ideal for thicker carpets while canisters are good for hard floors and smaller carpets and rugs. Stick vacuums are the lightest and most convenient, but sometimes lack power.
While a conventional vacuum will suck up some allergens, the HEPA filter is what will really capture them and prevent them from going into the air. The best vacuum for allergies is able to capture over 99% of allergens, which describes all of the vacuums we review later here. Expect to replace the filters occasionally throughout the year. Thankfully the filters are typically affordable and this shouldn’t cost much overall.
Weight and Maneuverability
This is especially true if you can’t lift beyond a certain weight limit. Upright vacuums tend to be the heaviest overall and the hardest to move around. Canister vacuums are usually lighter and easier to move, but some rival upright models in terms of weight, so be sure to check this. Lastly, stick vacuums are incredibly light and very easy to move.
This usually isn’t a top priority for most people, but if you find two similar vacuums and one is quieter than the other, then you’d obviously want that. However, if you have small children or loud pets, then you might need a quieter vacuum to keep the peace in your home. In either case, just check the noise level. You don’t want to be stuck with a vacuum that the whole neighborhood can hear.
Attachments and Accessories
Lastly, consider the attachments and accessories. If you only plan on using the vacuum on your floor, then you may not need that many attachments and accessories. However, if you want to vacuum the stairs, furniture, and other surfaces, then you’ll want to ensure that you get the accessories needed to get the job done.
Affordable Vacuums for Allergies
While the affordable models lack some of the flair from the best value and premium models, they are effective and you’re getting your money’s worth with these.
The Kenmure DU2012 AllergenSeal Lightweight Vacuum is a strong canister-style vacuum with HEPA filtration. This bagless vacuum uses an AllergenSeal system that traps 99.7% of dust and dander to give you clean air without the coughing and sneezing. Plus, the vacuum is able to effortlessly travel from carpeting to hard floors and other surfaces.
The vacuum weighs less than 14lbs and you can remove the canister for better maneuverability. The motor is strong and you can choose between two power settings. There’s also a combination tool for dusting and cleaning upholstery.
When you’re done, simply empty the canister over a garbage can. It’s simple, affordable, and a great system for those who want to keep their homes and apartments clean.
Next up is the Hoover WindTunnel T-Series. This is a standard upright bagged vacuum. While it lacks in aesthetics and presentation (it has the archetypal vacuum look), it is an affordable vacuum that does the job right. Plus, the HEPA filter is what you should really care about. This vacuum traps 99.7% of allergens as long as they are 0.3 microns, which ensures cleaner air.
The WindTunnel system creates powerful suction to ensure that your carpets and hard floors are as clean as possible. As we explained above, bagged vacuums are best for thicker carpets, but this can work on most floors with ease. It even features five height adjustments so that you can move between different surfaces.
While this does lack some maneuverability being a bagged vacuum, it’s fairly easy to use overall. It comes with a 30-foot cord and the hose is 2.4 meters long. You also get an extension wand, hand tool, upholstery tool, and more.
It’s not the best looking vacuum, but it gets the job done and it’s easy on your wallet.
Best Value Vacuum for Allergies
Moving up just a little in price gets you some highly effective vacuums with lots of features, great designs, and good HEPA filtration. These only cost around $40-$60 more than the affordable models, so it’s not a huge jump in terms of price.
First up is Shark Navigator Lift-Away Deluxe. This lightweight vacuum only weighs 12.5 pounds with the whole unit, or just 7.5 pounds if you pick up the canister. That ensures that anyone can use this with ease. Plus, the HEPA filter traps 99.9% of dust and allergens.
The high-capacity canister is able to hold 12 quarts of dust, which ensures that you should have no problem cleaning your whole home without having to stop. Cleaning the canister is as easy as pushing a button.
If there was a disadvantage here, then it would be the accessories. You only get a 5.5 inch crevice tool and an upholstery cleaner. Personally, I think you should get one or two more pieces for the price, but this is such a versatile vacuum that I can’t get angry.
Next up is Bissell 2998 MultiClean Allergen Lift-Off Vacuum. This is another canister vacuum with a strong HEPA filter that traps 99.97% of allergens so that you never have to breathe them again. This is also great for pet hair as it has a tangle-free brush.
While it weighs more than the Shark, it’s still a lightweight vacuum at 15.5 pounds. It has swivel steering so that you can make tight turns and really get into corners as needed. Sometimes cleaning pet hair from canisters is tough, but this one spools the hair so that it effortlessly drops into a nearby garbage can.
You get the Pet TurboEraser Tool for areas with lots of pet hair, a 2-in-1 dusting brush, and a crevice tool. While this is heavier than the Shark, it does come with better accessories.
Premium Vacuums for Allergies
The premium vacuums cost significantly more of course, but they have some great features that you won’t find in lower price ranges. This section is going to seem a little lopsided because we have a bagged vacuum and a stick vacuum, so it’s hard to compare them directly, but this also gives you variety. The bagged vacuum is ideal for power and versatility while the stick is surprisingly strong and highly maneuverable.
First up we have the Kenmore BU1017 Lightweight Bagged 3-Motor Power Suction Vacuum. The HEPA filter here traps 99.7% of allergens and it has a very powerful motor for removing dust and debris from even the thickest carpets. The 3D Inducer Motor gives you 20% more suction than conventional vacuums.
On top of strong suction and great HEPA filters, this vacuum is ideal for pet hair. The high RPM brushes easily suck up pet hair without ever getting clogged, and the 3 motors work in tandem to easily pick up lots of dirt whether you’re on a hard floor or thick carpet.
You get three attachments. There is the light aluminum wand for extended reach, a dusting brush, and a crevice tool. This makes it easy to reach any spot that you need. It comes with five height adjustments along with an adjustable dirt sensor.
On the other hand we have the Dyson V7 HEPA Allergy Vacuum. When getting this, please make sure that it specifies HEPA as conventional Dyson V7 (and other Dyson vacuums unless specified otherwise) don’t come with a HEPA filter.
With that out of the way, this is ideal for those who need a lightweight vacuum. Only weighing about 5 pounds, this vacuum can easily pick up dirt and dust without breaking your back. Plus, the extender wand makes it simple to reach anything on the floor or ceiling.
This model boasts 75% more power than the previous generation, and it uses 15 cyclones to effortlessly clean carpets and hard floors. This vacuum is entirely battery powered so it must be charged between uses. The battery lasts about 30 minutes on regular power and 6 minutes on max power. This should be enough to clean your whole home and with time to spare.
So, which is the best vacuum for allergies? We just showed you six fantastic vacuums based on price. Each one has their own pros, cons, and overall features. Simply consider what is most important to you and you should have no problem picking the right vacuum for your needs.