What do you do when the beloved family heirloom that is your decades-old vacuum cleaner finally conks out? Well, depending on how filthy your carpets are and whether or not you're expecting guests at your home in the next couple of hours, your first impulse is maybe to panic. But once you're done that, get excited! You're about to get a brand new vacuum cleaner that works great, is lightweight and versatile, and looks sleek and modern. You'll be shocked by the kinds of advances that have been made in vacuum technology over the years.

old vacuum cleaner with thick cord
If your vacuum cleaner looks like this, it may be time to upgrade! Flickr / romana klee

Best Traditional Vacuum

shark navigator lift-away professional upright vacuum

Shark Navigator Lift-Away Professional ($179.99 USD on Amazon)

This is one cool and powerful vacuum! Perfect for thick carpets and bare floors, the superior suction of the Shark Navigator Lift-Away Professional lifts up all surface dirt and stuck-on debris and seals them away in an anti-allergen chamber where dust and other allergens can't escape. It's only 13.7 pounds to carry and move, the dust cup holds 2.2 quarts of dirt, and its cord extends 30 feet. This vacuum comes with 4 attachments, including an 8-inch crevice tool, and features a Brushroll Shutoff button that can stop the carpet brush mid-vacuum so you can easily switch to doing hard floors. But the coolest thing about this vacuum is that you can detach the canister from the floor brush extension and walk around with it as if it were a handheld. The Shark Navigator Lift-Away Professional comes with a one-year workmanship warranty.

Best Cordless Vacuum

hoover linx cordless vacuum standing upright

Hoover LINX Cordless Stick Vacuum Cleaner ($125.81 USD on Amazon)

With WindTunnel Technology, this cord-free stick vacuum picks up everything from dirt to dust to pet hair on nothing but a chargeable lithium-ion battery. The Hoover LINX is only 10 pounds, and thin and compact enough to fit comfortably next to the brooms and mops in your closet. The vacuum brush is designed with edge-to-edge bristles to really get into wall edges and corners. The handle reclines dramatically to reach under furniture, while the bottom-release dirt cup means you can empty the accumulated dirt and debris from your house without having to ever touch it with your hands. Powered by an interchangeable battery, the Hoover LINX comes with a charger, and the vacuum handle itself features a battery power gauge so you always know how much power you have left. The Hoover LINX Stick Vacuum comes with a limited two-year warranty.

Best Budget Vacuum

bissell zing lightweight bagless vacuum

Bissell Zing Lightweight Bagless Canister Vacuum ($49.99 USD on Amazon)

For an inexpensive, very lightweight vacuum that works great - the Bissell Zing Bagless Vacuum is the perfect choice. It cleans thoroughly with powerful cyclonic suction that continuously picks up fine dust and tiny debris, and is perfect for both carpets and flooring. This upright vacuum is 7.5 pounds, with a 15-foot cord that retracts automatically at the push of a button. This bagless vacuum has a bottom-tank emptying system to keep your hands clean, and comes with washable filters and multiple precision tools to get into those hard-to-reach areas. The warranty on the Bissell Zing Bagless Vacuum is one-year, with extended warranty options.

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