The Best HEPA Vacuums of 2023

Minimize indoor allergens with the right HEPA filter vacuum for your needs.

By Glenda Taylor | Updated Mar 3, 2023 12:47 PM

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The Best HEPA Vacuum for Households with Allergies


Anyone looking to reduce dust, pet dander, and other indoor allergens will want to consider using a vacuum equipped with a high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filter. These vacuums trap a greater amount of airborne allergens, making the air inside a home healthier to breathe. It’s what makes these types of vacuums especially beneficial for allergy sufferers.

In this guide, we provide shoppers with our top picks of the best HEPA vacuums available and point out the features and differences that set these types of vacuums apart.

  1. BEST OVERALL: Dyson Ball Multi Floor Origin High Performance Vacuum
  2. BEST BANG FOR THE BUCK: Kenmore AllergenSeal Bagless Upright Vacuum
  3. BEST WITH BAG: Kenmore 200 Series Bagged Canister Vacuum
  4. BEST BAGLESS: Hoover WindTunnel 3 Max Performance Pet Vacuum
  5. BEST ROBOT: Shark AV2501S AI Robot Vacuum With HEPA Filter
  6. BEST HANDHELD:  Dyson V7 Animal Vacuum
  7. BEST FOR PET OWNERS: Miele Complete C3 Cat and Dog PowerLine Vacuum
  8. BEST FOR ALLERGIES: Bissell MultiClean Allergen Pet Vacuum Cleaner
  9. BEST FOR MOLD: Vacmaster 5-Gallon 3 Peak HP Wet/Dry Vacuum

Before You Buy a HEPA Vacuum

All vacuums work on a similar principle: they suck up dirt and debris, deposit it in either a vacuum bag or a collection bin, and expel the sucked-in air back into the room. Also, all vacuums have filters designed to keep debris from entering and damaging the machine’s motor, and some even come with additional exhaust filters to help keep dust and other tiny particulates from recirculating back into the room.

However, according to Energy Star, only a HEPA filter (which is an exhaust filter) can trap as much as 99.97 percent of particulates—even those as tiny as mold spores and flakes of human skin measuring 0.3 microns or larger (a micron is a microscopic particle, measuring less than 1/25,400 inch long). Vacuums with HEPA filters are available in a range of styles, each with its own best use.

How We Chose the Best HEPA Vacuums

HEPA vacuums have to perform, so there was a lot of pressure on us to put together this list of top products. We wanted to ensure that every vacuum we suggested would meet the needs of those using it, keeping them safe and healthy.

First, we called upon all of our experience with vacuum cleaners, HVAC systems, and general HEPA filtration to uncover the most important features when shopping for one of these products. Next, we performed extensive product research to ensure that all of the products provide enough value for their price points. Those that made the cut were given awards based on their strengths, while those that failed were removed.

The Best HEPA Vacuum Uses a Particular Filter


Our Top Picks

A great HEPA vacuum outperforms any old standard one, removing as many allergens as possible from a home’s flooring. Our top choices for best HEPA vacuum cleaners do just that.

Best Overall

The Best HEPA Vacuum Option: Dyson Ball Multi Floor Origin High Performance Vacuum

The Dyson Ball, featuring an easy-to-maneuver cleaning head, delivers plenty of suction power. This upright vacuum has a ball-shaped pivot point between the vacuum body and the head, allowing it to swivel around tight corners with a light flick of the wrist.

This vacuum from Dyson works on multiple flooring types, including wood, tile, and carpet. It features HEPA filtration to capture allergens and pollutants before they make it back into the home’s air (note that Dyson claims the HEPA filter is lifetime washable, but most experts agree this doesn’t exist). The included wand accessories—a useful stair tool and drapery brush—make

Product Specs

  • Type: Upright
  • Collection: Bagless
  • Power source: Corded


  • Works on multiple floor types, including wood, tile, and carpet
  • Filter is washable; while this restores some airflow, it may not fully restore filtration levels
  • Ball-style pivot allows the vacuum to make sharp turns and maneuver around objects easily


  • No official decibel level but believed to be pretty loud
  • It’s expensive compared to other HEPA vacuums on the market

Get the Dyson Ball HEPA vacuum at Amazon, Wayfair, or Dyson.

Best Bang For The Buck

The Best HEPA Vacuum Option: Kenmore AllergenSeal Bagless Upright Vacuum

Those looking for HEPA filtration at an affordable price may want to consider Kenmore’s AllergenSeal vacuum. This upright vacuum features bagless collection, allowing users to save money on bags. The air that this model recycles back into the room passes through a HEPA filter to trap potentially harmful allergens and particles. The brand’s AllergenSeal technology filters 99.97 percent of particles down to 0.3 microns in size.

This Kenmore AllegenSeal vacuum features a multisurface head that works on hardwood, tile, and carpet. It also has a 2-motor system for plenty of suction and airflow, and users can switch the suction level for certain fabrics or carpets. And, for those tough-to-reach spots, this vacuum features a 10-inch hose and a 3-in-1 crevice and brush tool. The only complaint to register is that Kenmore doesn’t provide a decibel-level rating.

Product Specs

  • Type: Upright
  • Collection: Bagless
  • Power source: Corded


  • Affordable price point and bagless design make this model a great money-saving option
  • AllergenSeal creates a completely sealed air path to prevent allergens from escaping
  • Multisurface head allows the model to work on wood, tile, or carpet flooring
  • Users can adjust the pressure of the 2-motor system according to the carpet or fabric


  • The manufacturer doesn’t specify how loud this model gets; no decibel level provided

Get the Kenmore AllergenSeal HEPA vacuum at Amazon, The Home Depot, or Kenmore.

Best With Bag

The Best HEPA Vacuum Option: Kenmore 200 Series Bagged Canister Vacuum

When it comes to containing as many harmful particles in a vacuum as possible, a bagged vacuum like the Kenmore 200 Series bagged canister vacuum might be the way to go. This particular vacuum allows users to vacuum their homes, collecting particles in a removable bag and recycling air back into the space through a triple-stage HEPA filter.

This model from Kenmore comes with several accessories, including a wand, an extendable hose, a removable filter, two bags, and crevice tools. The vacuum head is capable of vacuuming multiple flooring types, like hard floors and carpets, as well. There isn’t a decibel rating available, but the “pet-friendly” label generally means the volume isn’t excessive.

Product Specs

  • Type: Canister
  • Collection: Bagged
  • Power source: Corded


  • Features a removable bag that reduces the chances of releasing allergens back into the home
  • Has a 3-stage HEPA filter to keep harmful particles from reentering the home
  • Vacuum head can handle multiple flooring types, including hard surfaces and carpet


  • The manufacturer doesn’t specify how loud this model gets; no decibel level provided

Get the Kenmore 200 Series HEPA vacuum at Amazon, The Home Depot, or Wayfair.

Best Bagless

The Best HEPA Vaccum Option: Hoover WindTunnel 3 Max Performance Pet Vacuum

Folks looking for a bagless vacuum that will work for their entire home will want to take a look at the Hoover WindTunnel 3 Max Performance Pet. This upright vacuum features a removable canister that measures 1.42 liters in volume, providing plenty of dust, dirt, and pet-hair collection before filling. It passes that air back into the home after filtering harmful particles and allergens through a HEPA exhaust filter.

This model features Hoover’s WindTunnel technology that creates three channels of suction. This allows the vacuum to remove dirt and dust that’s deeply buried in carpets for improved allergen removal. It also features a dial that allows the user to adjust between hardwood floors and carpets. Several attachments come with this model as well, including an upholstery brush, crevice tool, and more. Unfortunately, there isn’t a noise rating available.

Product Specs

  • Type: Upright
  • Collection: Bagless
  • Power source: Corded


  • Features a 1.42-liter removable bagless canister for plenty of vacuuming between emptying
  • 3-channel WindTunnel technology removes stubborn pet hair, dirt, and debris
  • Multisurface head for vacuuming any room regardless of the flooring type


  • The manufacturer doesn’t specify how loud this model gets; no decibel level provided

Get the Hoover HEPA vacuum at Amazon or The Home Depot.

Best Robot

The Best HEPA Vaccum Option: Shark AV2501S AI Robot Vacuum With HEPA Filter

Those who are too busy to vacuum but still want to keep their home dust- and allergen-free may want to consider the Shark AV25015S. This robot vacuum cleans up dust and dirt on its own and then returns to the self-empty base, dumping its contents in the collection bin. The base is fitted with a HEPA filter and can keep the dirt and dust that the robot picks up from getting back into the home.

Not only does this model self-empty and recycle air through a HEPA filter, but it also integrates with smart-home tech. It’s compatible with Alexa and works with Wi-Fi, allowing users to access it and set schedules from their smartphones. It is expensive and will have to run often in homes with multiple pets, but its powerful suction and HEPA filter may make it the best solution for busy homes.

Product Specs

  • Type: Robot
  • Collection: Self-emptying bagless bin
  • Power source: Cordless with recharging base


  • Features a self-empty base that’s fitted with a HEPA filter for improved air quality
  • Compatible with smart-home tech and Wi-Fi for voice control and customizable schedules
  • Can operate on its own, allowing busy folks to come home to clean floors


  • May need to run a few times each day for homes with multiple pets

Get the Shark HEPA vacuum at Amazon.

Best Handheld

The Best HEPA Vaccum Option: Dyson V7 Animal Vacuum

Handheld vacuums of the past are gone, and today’s favorite models are typically stick models like the Dyson V7 Animal. Rather than operating like a basic Dustbuster, the V7 Animal features a powerful bagless vacuum body with swappable attachments, allowing this model to operate as a handheld vacuum for stairs, cars, furniture, or drapes. Swap in the extension tube, and this model works for floors as well.

This vacuum is expensive, but it comes with plenty of value. It provides lots of suction thanks to Dyson’s 2-tier Cyclone technology, pushing clean air out through a standard prefilter and post-HEPA filter to maintain air quality. It features two different roller heads (one for hard floors and one for carpet) as well as crevice tools, a flexible extension, and a mini car roller attachment.

Product Specs

  • Type: Handheld
  • Collection: Bagless
  • Power source: Cordless


  • Powerful bagless vacuum body accepts attachments to make it a versatile handheld vacuum
  • 2-tier Cyclone technology forces exhaust air through a standard prefilter and post-HEPA filter
  • Comes with several tools and extensions, allowing it to work on multiple surface types


  • This model is expensive compared to other HEPA vacuums on the market

Get the Dyson V7 HEPA vacuum at Amazon or The Home Depot.

Best for Pet Owners

The Best HEPA Vacuum Option: Miele Complete C3 Cat and Dog PowerLine Vacuum

Pet owners who are serious about reducing allergens without giving up Fluffy or Fido will want to take a look at the Miele Complete C3 PowerLine cat and dog vacuum. This canister vacuum is powerful enough to pick up embedded fur and pet dander in high-pile carpets, and the low-profile power-head wand makes it easier to clean under the sofa, bed, and other low pieces of furniture. Plus, it features a HEPA filter to improve air quality as well as four premotor filters to protect the motor.

This model comes with an upholstery nozzle, a crevice tool, a fabric brush, and additional cleaning tools. The only real complaint that anyone could register is that this vacuum is very expensive compared to standard brands, but this is a premium product.

Product Specs

  • Type: Canister
  • Collection: Bagged
  • Power source: Corded


  • HEPA filtration to protect air quality and 4 premotor filters to protect the motor
  • Comes with multiple attachments, including a head for hardwood and 1 for carpeting


  • It’s expensive, but this is a powerful premium product compared to similar models

Get the Miele HEPA vacuum at Amazon, Wayfair, or Miele.

Best For Allergies

The Best HEPA Vacuum Option: Bissell MultiClean Allergen Pet Vacuum Cleaner

The Bissell MultiClean allergen and pet vacuum is a great choice for those who are susceptible to allergens in carpets, furniture, and dusty floors. This bagless vacuum features a sealed airway system that prevents allergens from escaping while vacuuming. Ultimately, the vacuumed air passes through a HEPA filter to remove any remaining allergens.

This model features a flexible vacuum head that can handle carpeted floors or hardwood and tile. It has a tangle-free brush roll, which folks with long hair or long-haired pets will enjoy. It also has a swivel steering system that makes maneuvering it around in tight locations a breeze as well as a flexible hose with multiple attachments. Just keep in mind that the removable canister is slightly smaller than many other uprights, so it may require more frequent emptying.

Product Specs

  • Type: Upright
  • Collection: Bagless
  • Power source: Corded


  • Features a sealed air path that ends at the HEPA filter, preventing allergens from escaping
  • Flexible head allows it to work on hardwood, tile, or carpet
  • Swivel steering makes maneuvering the vacuum in tight quarters easier


  • This model has a smaller capacity than many other upright vacuums

Get the Bissell HEPA vacuum at Amazon, Lowe’s, or Bissell.

Best For Mold

The Best HEPA Vacuum Option: Vacmaster 5-Gallon 3 Peak HP Wet/Dry Vacuum

Whether it’s a bathroom project or simply cleaning the basement, vacuuming mold can be scary. But with this wet/dry Vacmaster vacuum, cleaning up mold can be a little less intimidating. It features a HEPA filter to capture mold spores in the exhaust, and it’s easy to clean in order to keep mold from growing inside the vacuum.

This model isn’t going to be very helpful for vacuuming stairs or drapes, but it’s versatile in its own right. It has a 3 Peak HP (horsepower) motor and comes with a long, flexible plastic hose; a removable HEPA filter; and several attachments, including extension tubes and floor and utility nozzles. The entire vacuum (and its attachments) ride on a set of wheels to make transporting it back and forth easier, too.

Product Specs

  • Type: Wet/dry
  • Collection: Bagless drum
  • Power source: Corded


  • Features an easy-to-clean drum and a HEPA filter to control mold spores
  • 3 Peak HP motor can handle most messes easily, including liquid spills
  • Features wheels for easily transporting the vacuum and all its attachments


  • Not entirely ideal for vacuuming all areas of a home

Get the Vacmaster HEPA vacuum at Amazon, Lowe’s, Wayfair, Acme Tools, or Northern Tool + Equipment.

Jump to Our Top Picks

What to Consider When Choosing the Best HEPA Vacuum

There are several different types of HEPA vacuums in common use today. Here’s a closer look at all of the differences and features that set them apart.

Types of HEPA Vacuums

When it comes to options, shoppers have several to choose from when it comes to HEPA vacuums. These options include:

  • Upright. Like a canister vacuum, an upright HEPA vacuum typically features a powerhead, so it’s good at picking up pet hair. An upright tends to be easier to maneuver than a canister, but not all models include an additional hose and attachments. Upright vacuums may require disposable bags or come with a collection bin, depending on the individual model.
  • Canister. A canister vacuum featuring a large canister (often with a handle and wheels), a detachable hose, and a wand with a powerhead—a spinning brush that dislodges dirt so it can be sucked into the vacuum. The powerhead is especially good at picking up animal fur, making these vacuums well suited to homes with pets. Most HEPA canister models also come with attachments for furniture and draperies and, as a boon to allergy sufferers, collect dust and debris in a disposable bag.
  • Stick. Similar to an upright in style but smaller and usually lighter in weight, a HEPA stick vacuum is convenient to grab for vacuuming up a small mess quickly. This type of vacuum usually comes with a powerhead and a collection bin rather than a bag, and because the collection bin is typically small, it must be dumped more frequently than a full-size vacuum. Many people use a stick vacuum as a good supplemental unit, keeping it in an upstairs closet rather than hauling a canister or upright up and down the stairs when cleaning.
  • Handheld. Designed for cleaning up small messes, a handheld HEPA vacuum may be either corded or cordless (these usually sit on a rechargeable base when not in use). While a handheld vacuum will help remove dust and allergens from upholstery and draperies, it won’t produce enough suction to remove dirt embedded in carpeting. A handheld HEPA vacuum should be considered as a supplement to a larger, more powerful vacuum.
  • Central. Sometimes called a “whole-house” vacuum, a central HEPA vacuum must be installed during the construction of the home or during a major remodel. With this type of vacuum, a large collection canister is located in a basement, utility room, or garage, and then flexible ducting is run between the wall studs to multiple outlets in the home. The homeowner simply connects a hose with a powerhead wand to one of the outlets to vacuum. All dirt and debris are collected in the large canister. Some central vacuums require large disposable bags and others have collection bins.
  • Robot. A robot vacuum pilots itself around a home; no human is required except to program and control it via a remote or a smartphone. Only a limited number of robot models have HEPA filters, and they’re all bagless, so they’re not the best HEPA vacuum choice for allergy sufferers. They simply don’t have as much power as an upright or canister, but if deployed daily, a robot vacuum can help keep dust and allergens in check.
  • Wet/Dry. Wet/dry vacuums, also known by the brand name “Shop Vac,” are heavy-duty vacuums mostly used in garages or to clean up serious messes. They’re capable of cleaning basement flooding, sawdust, and a myriad of other debris, and many can do so with HEPA filters attached. For folks who spend a lot of time vacuuming the dusty, dirty garage or rooms after a project, wet/dry vacs with HEPA filters may be indispensable.

Bag or Bagless 

Some vacuums use a disposable bag for collecting dirt and debris. Others utilize a collection bin that can be removed from the vacuum unit to be dumped out when full. For allergy sufferers, carefully removing and discarding a vacuum bag is less likely to reintroduce allergens into the air than dumping a removable bin. For those who opt for a HEPA vacuum with a collection bin, it’s a good idea to take it outdoors to dump.


HEPA filters trap as much as 99.97 percent of particulates that are 0.3 microns in size. Most airborne indoor allergens like mold spores, pet dander, pollen, and dust are larger than 0.3 microns and will be trapped by a HEPA filter.

While other filtration systems may be as effective as HEPA filters, true HEPA filters meet the U.S. Department of Energy standard, making them a highly recommended pick for allergy sufferers.

HEPA filters need occasional cleaning or replacement. Some vacuums have disposable filters, while others have washable versions. Many vacuums include a multistep filtration system to capture larger particles, which helps the HEPA filter last longer.

Surface Type

Vacuums with HEPA filters may be more suitable for one of two surfaces or flooring types. In general, this means hard surfaces and carpeting. Vacuums made for hard surfaces typically have smaller brushes in their heads and sit lower to the ground to prevent debris from flying out from under the vacuum. Those made for carpeting are typically a bit taller and have longer brushes to get into the carpet pile.

Some vacuums can handle multiple flooring surfaces, however. These vacuums have multipurpose brushes and, typically, adjustable heights. For folks with multiple types of flooring in their home, these multisurface vacuums are the best bet.

Ease of Use

When weighing the myriad vacuum-cleaning options, remember that heavier HEPA vacuums are harder to push, pull, and carry, while lightweight models are easier to maneuver and take up and down stairs. The ideal choice for a home will depend on the home’s layout and the surfaces that require cleaning.

While shopping for a HEPA vacuum, don’t forget to weigh the small details that can make using the vacuum easier. Cordless models or corded models with long power cords are more likely to reach hard-to-access areas of a home. Vacuums that have wheels or swiveling heads are more maneuverable than those that do not. Features like ergonomic handle grips make all-day chore sessions more comfortable and manageable.

Noise Level

The noise level of a vacuum is another important factor to think about while making a selection. Most users expect a vacuum to be loud, but there’s no reason to settle on an excessively noisy model if there are comparable options available that are quieter.

Most vacuum cleaners operate at about 70 to 75 decibels. To put those figures in perspective, a garbage disposal has an average noise level of 80 decibels, while a quiet indoor conversation is about 50 decibels.

Some vacuums are specially designed to be quieter, and these are good picks for several situations—for instance, folks with skittish, noise-sensitive pets or those who can only vacuum when a baby is sleeping need a quieter vacuum. If the noise level is a concern, research vacuums that operate at less than 70 decibels.


Our guide aimed to address every aspect of HEPA vacuum cleaners to help shoppers pick the right one for their homes. Despite this, some readers may still have questions about HEPA filter changes, for example, or the filtration systems of these devices. Here are some of the most frequently asked questions about the topic.

Q. Is a HEPA vacuum better?

A vacuum fitted with a HEPA filter will do a better job of cleaning the air returning into the room than one with a basic filtration system. They improve general air quality by removing particles, and this can be extremely important when vacuuming dust and molds that can create allergic reactions.

Q. What material is used for HEPA filters?

HEPA filters are made from special plastics or fiberglass strands and are woven in such a way that they trap up to 99.97 percent of particles.

Q. How often should you change the HEPA filter in a vacuum?

In most HEPA vacuum cleaners, the HEPA filter should be changed once every 6 months. However, it’s a good idea to check the filtration system and filter monthly to ensure that it isn’t overly clogged with large particles.

Q. Can you wash the HEPA filter in a vacuum? 

True HEPA filters are not washable. They trap particles deep inside, and washing will not remove them. Vacuums and purifiers that claim to use washable filters are referring to the prefilter, which is a filter with a wider weave that captures large particles like hair.

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