Are you looking for something a little more powerful than the “as seen on TV” vacuums? Is your home (or business) large, and in need of a vacuum with stronger specs and higher capabilities?
Commercial vacuums could be the solution you’re looking for. These models are intended for industrial or specialized environments. So they’re built to cover more ground and last longer.
But before we reveal our favorite commercial vacuum cleaners, we want to tell you why they’re worth considering. They have many advantages over their residential counterparts and could improve your cleaning experiences.
Commercial vs. Residential Vacuums
You’ve probably heard that commercial vacuum cleaners are more efficient than residential machines, but do you know why? What sets the two apart? And is it true that the former are generally better machines?
There’s a simple explanation to differentiate between the two. Residential vacuums are designed for lighter use in smaller, less populated spaces.
On the other hand, commercial machines are meant for regular use in high-traffic zones. They’re typically used in places like hospitals, factories, schools, and hotels.
Since they have more to clean and do so far more frequently, commercial machines have to last. They’re made to withstand high usage levels, and so structurally speaking, they’re stronger.
Commercial and residential vacuum cleaners differ in a few more subtle, but important, ways. But you shouldn’t be intimidated by commercial vacuums. They’re not impossible-to-wield, gigantic pieces of machinery.
You can use one in your home if you want to, because it’s their build, design, and specs that matter. Here’s how commercial vacuums weigh up against residential models.
1. They Have a Wider Range
Commercial vacuum cleaners, as we said, are typically used in larger areas than residential vacuums. Because of this, they’re designed to cover more ground. Their brushes are wider, their dust bins are bigger, and — if it’s a corded comparison — their cables will stretch further.
Regardless, they’re not much bigger or heavier than residential machines. This could be a reason why they’re rising in popularity for home use. They’re capable of all the jobs you would use a residential vacuum for — and are more efficient at them.
2. They Place Emphasis on Filtration
Commercial vacuums are often used in factories, hospitals, and highly populated areas, so they usually have excellent filters. This isn’t always be the case, but it’s almost guaranteed in commercial models.
Filters that clean the air, trap and contain dirt, and reduce the presence of pollutants and allergens are important in commercial vacuums. In residential machines, however, this is still considered a bonus feature, rather than an expectation.
Tip: You’ll still want to double check that your commercial machine has sufficient filtration. In general, their standard vacuums are more impressive than their residential equivalents. But this doesn’t mean that they’re allergy-approved.
3. They’re Hardier
Commercial vacuums are made of stronger stuff because they have to endure more. They can suck up rougher or larger debris, and are protected from internal damage and clogging.
Most commercial machines also have wet/dry capabilities since it’s likely that they’ll come across spills. Some models even have a special magnet installed. The purpose of this is to catch and prevent sharp, or odd, pieces of metal from entering the machine.
These machines will generally have tougher casing, stronger filters, and damage-resistant components. Overall, this means that they’re more durable. So, with regular maintenance, they may last longer than the average residential machine.
4. Stronger Suction
Most commercial machines are engineered to clean up most (if not all) dirt in their path in a single sweep. Suction is said to be as much as 10 times stronger than in residential models.
Commercial machines also have to work faster, and often for longer cleaning bouts.
They’re capable of this because they have larger (and structurally stronger) motors. Commercial vacuums are therefore better for tackling stubborn dirt and bigger messes.
Types of Commercial Vacuums
Commercial vacuum cleaners don’t come in as wide an assortment as residential ones do. Don’t confuse commercial with industrial vacuums — they’re an entire category on their own.
The biggest difference is that industrial machines are much larger. And as a result, they often require more than one set of hands to operate them.
Upright Commercial Vacuums
These are the prime example of commercial vacuums. They’re designed almost exactly like their residential equivalents and only have a few unique traits.
We mentioned that commercial vacuums have larger capacities, so don’t be surprised if they’re bigger. This won’t always be the case, of course. But there is potential for commercial uprights to be slightly chunkier than you’d expect.
Their cables are longer and their plugs are different. Also, standard vacuums have two prongs, while commercial vacuums have three. They need more power, so it makes sense that their structure accommodates their electricity demand.
Their brushes are bigger, but they come with fewer accessories than residential vacuums. You can still purchase extras or add-ons, of course. But it’s likely that a new model has only the basics to begin with.
- Excellent on floors.
- Extra-long cables.
- Stronger than residential vacuums.
- Reasonably priced.
- Larger dust capacity.
- Limited accessories.
- Not as versatile.
Backpack vacuums aren’t popular in homes, but they’re extremely versatile. The premise is that you carry the canister of this vacuum on your back. Holding them this way makes the machine as a whole more moveable, versatile, and functional.
Since you wear these vacuums, they have to be lightweight. They usually come with a range of attachments and are often multi-surface machines. Plus, since they’re commercial, they have other perks too, like stronger suction and higher capacities.
They won’t get in their own way, as wheeled vacuums tend to. They’re also easily transportable from room to room, or across different storeys. Users get more reach and power out of these machines, and they can be useful in larger cleaning areas.
- Allow for more reach.
- They cost more.
- Not as popular for home use.
- Could be uncomfortable at first.
Canister vacuums are popular in residential cleaning because they’re more versatile than uprights. However, they’re not as widespread in commercial cleaning. Still, they do exist and they are efficient.
With canisters, you don’t have to push the entire machine along with you as you go. A hose connects the wand to the canister, which trails behind you on a set of wheels. They make for less laborious cleaning, thanks to their design.
What’s most appealing about canister vacuums is their capacity for accessories. Most canisters come with standard add-ons, and so save you money on tools.
- Easiest to use.
- Less effort to operate.
- Versatile hose.
- Less control over the canister.
- Not common in commercial use.
- Assembly may be required.
How to Choose the Best Commercial Vacuum
If you’ve got your heart set on a commercial vacuum, but aren’t sure which one to choose, we can help you decide. Commercial vacuums typically cost more than residential ones, so don’t waste money on something you’re unsure of. Before you go shopping, determine the following:
1. Do You Need a Commercial Vacuum?
Now, we don’t want to dash your dreams; we’re just looking out for you. A commercial vacuum may not be necessary for your situation.
Remember that they’re not that different from standard vacuums; they’re just built for heavy-duty work. So if you have a small home that won’t need frequent, intense cleaning, reconsider. You could save money by settling for a residential vacuum.
Commercial vacuums are meant for busy areas that need daily deep cleaning. They’re designed to fight large or difficult messes. Although they have mass appeal, they’re not always needed in homes.
2. Can You Accommodate One?
If you recall, we mentioned that commercial uprights typically use different plugs from residential vacuums. This isn’t a calamity, but if you want one for home use, you’ll have to make sure that you can plug it in. Or, that you find an adapter for it.
Unfortunately, not all homes will come equipped with the appropriate sockets. And it would be a shame to buy a machine that you can’t use at all.
3. Versatility or Power?
If you need an immensely powerful machine, go for an upright. But if you’d rather have versatility, choose a backpack vacuum.
The former might not be of much use, though, if you’re hoping to deep clean all areas of your home. You can upgrade it through attachments (depending on the make), but this will cost extra. Plus, uprights aren’t always the best choice if you live in a multi-storey home.
Regardless, they’re powerful machines, and there aren’t many alternatives to their efficiency.
Backpack vacuums may not be as powerful, but they still pack a punch. Their strength lies in usability.
So, if you’re willing to sacrifice strength for a machine that can clean almost anything in your home, go for one of these. They’re also better for multi-storey homes because they’re lightweight.
4. What’s Your Budget?
Uprights are the more affordable option, but you have to factor in the extra you may have to spend. If you aren’t satisfied with its accessories, purchasing what you need will cost you. The same applies to the adapter we mentioned, or filters if need be.
On the other hand, backpacks are likely to come with everything you need, but they’re not cheap.
Therefore, before you commit to either, think about what you want more. Would you rather save money and miss out on versatility? Or would you spend more for more value?
5. What Filters Are Installed?
You wouldn’t want a commercial machine if deep cleaning wasn’t important to you. That’s why you should double-check your desired model’s filtration. HEPA filtration is the norm for clean air, especially if you have allergies or respiratory issues (1).
It won’t help much if your machine has amazing suction, but useless filters. Check the specs before you commit to one. It will give you a realistic expectation of your machine, so you won’t be met with disappointment later on.
When Should You Buy a Commercial Vacuum?
As you can probably tell, commercial vacuums are an excellent alternative to standard machines. Feel that your home vacuum just isn’t powerful enough? Then, investing in one of these may be easier than modifying a residential machine.
You should keep in mind, however, that commercial vacuums could cost more. So, just in case, you should consider some things before you buy one. A commercial vacuum may work for you if:
1. You Need to Clean a High-Traffic Area
If you live alone in a small apartment, a commercial vacuum may not be necessary. These machines, as we know, are used mainly for sanitation, to maintain health standards in public spaces.
Everyone can gain from this, of course. But in many instances a residential vacuum could be better for your budget and space. However. if you have a large or busy home or have a workshop at home, a commercial vacuum is best.
Naturally, if you run a business, store, or studio, you’ll also benefit from the use of commercial machines. They won’t just clean better, they’ll save you an immense amount of effort too.
2. Heavy Carpets Are Prominent
If your home has many thick or heavy carpets, a commercial vacuum will be far more efficient than a residential one. Though most public settings have hard floors, it’s the suction power of these models that counts.
Since they are stronger than residential machines, they tackle carpets more efficiently. This is emphasized in homes with pets when removing hair and dander often proves problematic.
3. You Have Allergies
Commercial vacuums place more emphasis on filtration. Combined with the increased suction, the filtration is more effective too. As such, these vacuums are better for those who need to clear the air around them.
Investing in a commercial vacuum is also better if you need to vacuum daily. They’re made for frequent use. This means they will last much longer under pressure or strain than standard models will.
4. Multi-Purpose Abilities Are Necessary
You can find residential vacuums with multi-purpose capabilities, but they may have drawbacks in cost or capacity. Commercial vacuums, on the other hand, focus on specs instead of accessories.
It’s much easier to find a commercial model with wet/dry abilities. Plus, many commercial models can be used outdoors too. What’s more, their powerful and sophisticated multi-floor functions are often built in rather than added on.
Another upside is that commercial vacuums can handle bigger messes, larger debris, and tougher substances. A residential vacuum may not be able deal with shavings, sharp objects, or other uncommon materials. Commercial vacuums usually can.
The Best Commercial Vacuums of 2020
We’ve chosen our favorites based on efficiency, utility, customer satisfaction, and value for money. After scouring the internet for hours, reading customer reviews, and manufacturer specs, we narrowed it down to seven. These are the commercial vacuums that we like the most.
1. Oreck Commercial U2000RB1
Happy customers agree that this is a durable machine. It’s a high-powered, light machine that’s easy to use and is great for home use.
It’s got high-speed double-helix brushes and a 12-inch cleaning path. Protective features prevent clogs, jams, and slippage. The 40-foot power cord includes a clamp for easier management.
This machine has a top-fill build, that prevents loss of suction as you vacuum. It has a trigger grip for easy control. Finally, its Helping Hand carry handle makes it more maneuverable.
Why We Love It
What a genius, but effective, engineering decision. This machine is built to conserve suction power by filling the bag so that collected dust won’t interfere with dirt coming in. Combined with the safety features, this machine is unlikely to clog.
The head adjusts to the type of floor you’re cleaning without needing to switch settings or change the brush. This protects your hard floors and cleans carpets better. It also has soft wheels, built especially to preserve hard floors.
A high-speed motor, top-fill design, and anti-clog feature make this vacuum a strong machine. You’ll get consistent, powerful suction that will tackle even tough debris.
Keep In Mind
An unusual feature is that you have to put this machine together on your own. Don’t worry, there isn’t any complicated science involved. It’s just something worth considering if you’re unwilling to spend extra time preparing this machine.
No Cleaning Accessories
Considering how strong this machine is, perhaps you won’t need any extras. Still, vacuums that come with attachments and handy accessories are favored. Sadly, with this model, you don’t get much more than the basics.
|Dimensions||35 inches by 13 inches by 5.5 inches|
|Special Features||Auto-adjusting brush, anti-clog safety feature, top-fill design, Helping Hand handle|
2. Vacmaster Industrial Vacuum
This vacuum may not have as wide a range as other commercial models, but it’s still as powerful. It’s a multi-purpose machine with a four-gallon tank. It also has an 18-foot cable with automatic rewind.
You can use this machine on all surfaces, and users mention that it manages outdoors as well. Its best feature, though, is its wet/dry capacity.
It comes with a crevice tool, three extension wands, and a dust brush. You also get a floor nozzle and a 2-in-1 utility tool. Onboard storage makes stowing these components easy. There’s also a HEPA filter, so it’s good for those with allergies.
Why We Love It
We like that you can use this vacuum for almost everything. It’s a multi-floor machine with wet/dry capabilities, that works well outdoors too. Versatility like this isn’t common in traditional vacuum cleaners.
Believe it or not, this model only reaches 72 decibels. So it’s a good option for parents and pet owners. It’s designed to make less noise while retaining its suction power.
Commercial vacuums typically come with only the basics, but this one breaks the mold. It includes an excellent selection of accessories that each make cleaning a breeze.
It comes with three extension wands, which is a great courtesy. The dust brush, floor nozzle, and utility tool widen this model’s functionality.
Keep In Mind
It’s Better for Residential Use
Customers have noted that this vacuum isn’t as powerful as its commercial competitors. We think that it’s a strong contender. However, it shines better in homes than it will in industrial environments.
It Needs Attention
Users also say that this machine’s filters fill surprisingly quickly. They complain that the extra effort needed to manage them can be tedious.
Remember, though, that this machine is still a customer favorite. Regardless of that issue, the majority of feedback is great.
|Dimensions||17.1 inches by 13.2 inches by 17.3 inches|
|Special Features||Wet/dry capabilities, insulated motor, onboard storage, automatic cord rewind|
|Accessories||Crevice tool, 3 extension wands, dust brush, 2-in-1 utility nozzle|
3. ProTeam Backpack Vacuum
This backpack model is built to prevent fatigue and strain. It uses four-level filtration for more effective suction, and a great bonus is that it includes a certified HEPA filter too.
The ProTeam Backpack vacuum works for various surfaces. It also comes with a variety of cool accessories for more effective cleaning. It’s great for hard floors, low pile carpets, and upholstery.
In terms of its suction, ProTeam claims that it’s three times as strong as standard vacuums. It’s designed for versatility and is an excellent choice for those with larger homes or spaces.
With a 50-foot cord and the backpack style, moving it up or downstairs is effortless.
Why We Love It
Though this machine is commercial, it includes a 7-piece residential kit to help around your home. The kit is a set of handy attachments that improve cleaning upholstery, crevices, and out-of-reach spots.
We like the 50-foot cable, telescoping wand, and flexible hose. These all add to this machine’s versatility, portability, and accessibility.
The combination of the four-level filtration and HEPA filter is a must-have for those with sensitivities. This is an excellent machine for easy deep cleaning. Plus, since it’s a commercial model, it’s built for frequent use.
Keep In Mind
There May Be Discomfort
We love the idea of backpack vacuums but they take some getting used to. Some customers note that this machine is awkward to wear at first. In its defense, though, it includes an adjustable harness for extra-comfort.
Room for Improvement
Customers also note that this machine isn’t as durable as they hoped it would be. The hose comes apart easily, and the build’s quality isn’t as high as other machines.
|Dimensions||10.12 by 18 inches|
|Special Features||4-level filtration, flexible hose, adjustable harness|
|Accessories||Crevice tool, soft dusting brush, claw nozzle, turbo brush, intercept micro filter bags, hard floor tool, telescoping wand, mesh storage bag|
4. Eureka NEU182A
This model implements a dynamic motor that combats stubborn dirt and debris. It has a 12.6-inch nozzle, designed to clean up more and faster. Its 4.1-liter deep dust cup eliminates extra maintenance, saving you time.
Whether you have hard floors, carpets, or rugs, you can count on this vacuum. Its brush adjusts to five heights, and its smooth wheels protect hard floors from scratches. It comes with the standard tools, but they’re much appreciated.
You get a crevice tool, a dusting brush, an upholstery tool, and a washable filter. There’s also a stretch-hose for high cleaning. Each accessory is stored on-board for convenience and can be used to clean pet hair too.
Why We Love It
Extra-Large Dust Cup
The dust cup on this machine makes a big difference. In line with how convenient this model is meant to be, you will spend less time on maintenance. It also reduces the risk of clogging and loss of suction.
Reiterating that not all commercial vacuums come with extras, we like that Eureka included the basics for home use. We especially like the flexible hose, for cleaning high spots or difficult areas.
This machine’s brush is adjustable, and it has smooth wheels. So, it preserves the condition of your hard floors and protects against abrasions. You can use the machine on carpets, rugs, and upholstery too.
Keep In Mind
Unstable and Heavy
It’s not the lightest machine out there. While it’s not a big issue, some customers report a slight instability in the machine. A few users say that it has a tendency to lean or tip over if you let it go.
It won’t break the sound barrier, but this machine is one of the louder ones. Though it’s capable of cleaning pet hair, it might frighten or disturb sensitive or indoor animals.
|Dimensions||13.4 inches by 14 inches by 44.5 inches|
|Special Features||Stretch hose, adjustable height, washable filter, extra-large dust cup|
|Accessories||Crevice tool, dusting brush, upholstery tool|
5. Hoover C2401
This Hoover backpack vacuum was designed by a chiropractor, so you know it’s safe for your back. It registers at only 66 decibels and is one of the quietest on the market, so it’s excellent for pet owners.
There are great accessories included too. It’s got a Hypercone filter with HEPA capabilities. You’ll also receive two straight wands, a crevice tool, an upholstery tool, turbo tool, and a dusting brush.
There’s a 43-foot, three-wire quick change cord that saves time in installation, repairs, and replacements. Its transparent dome lid enables easy monitoring. Plus, it has the capacity for a disposable bag if you prefer.
Why We Love It
Comfortable to Use
It’s reassuring that the harness of this machine was designed by a chiropractor. This vacuum cleaner is easy to carry, and won’t cause fatigue, strain, or injury. It’s better for your posture, muscles, back, and shoulders.
Great for Pets
This model is both quiet and HEPA efficient. Pet owners stand to benefit greatly from this machine. It clears your space of allergens and won’t frighten your pets.
We like that this machine includes two wands and a turbo brush. You get the basics too, making it a versatile machine that can be used on various surfaces in your home.
Keep In Mind
Customers say that the attachments are tricky to use and can be frustrating to connect. It’s not that it’s difficult to work with. You might just need to take some time to figure it out first.
Users mention that this machine doesn’t suck as well as they expected. When compared to other commercial vacuums, this one’s suction feels more residential. It is still a powerful machine, though, and the majority of customers are satisfied with it.
|Dimensions||13.2 inches by 13.2 inches by 30 inches|
|Special Features||Chiropractic harness, Hypercone filter, 66-decibel motor|
|Accessories||Crevice tool, dusting brush, upholstery tool, turbo tool, two straight wands|
6. Oreck XL2100RHS
Like our top choice, it has a 12-inch cleaning range for more effective cleaning. This vacuum is designed for easy storage, and only weighs 8.2 pounds. The Helping Hand handle has also been noted by the Arthritis Foundation. It certainly enables easier portability and use in this machine.
It’s a multi-floor model that’s effective on hard floors and carpets, and its brush will automatically adjust accordingly. With its high-speed motor, it can easily tackle stubborn dirt and debris. We like that it includes side brushes too.
One more feature that makes it compact is its 35-foot cord. It’s a good length, but less than other commercial vacuums. This is handy if you’re in a smaller space, and don’t need excessive reach.
Why We Love It
The 35-foot cable is handier if you’re looking for a commercial vacuum for home use. This is especially true if you’re in a smaller home, and could do without the extra length of other commercial vacuums. Handling it is less of a hassle, as is its storage and portability.
We think it’s cool that this upright vacuum has the capacity for Side Edge brushes. It adds to the versatility of the machine and cleans spots that are difficult to reach with other uprights.
This is a multi-floor machine that protects your hard floors from abrasions by automatically adjusting to them. It’s also quite a flexible upright and works well under furniture. Plus, if you’ve got carpets, this vacuum will cover you too.
Keep In Mind
Not As Durable
Some customers have said that they struggled with the durability of this machine. It’s unclear whether or not these complaints stem from negligence or design faults. So, take care to maintain this model properly to lengthen its lifespan.
As with our top choice, you won’t get many extras with this model. It includes the tools you need, but there aren’t any attachments for crevices, upholstery, or extra reach.
|Dimensions||6 inches by 13 inches by 35 inches|
|Special Features||Side Edge brushes, Helping Hand handle, auto-adjust brush|
This Hoover’s strength lies in versatility and handling. It’s a lightweight model, weighing only 8.3 pounds. The 33-foot cord gives you a good amount of range, despite its compact size.
You can use this vacuum on a variety of surfaces, including fabrics, upholstery, rugs, and hard floors. It’s portable too, so it’s great for stairs, car interiors, or high spots. There’s a choice between paper and cloth dust bags as well, which is unique. So you can alternate according to what needs to be cleaned.
The highlight of this model, however, is that it doubles as a blower too. It’s an all-rounder that you can use outdoors if need be.
Why We Love It
It’s a Blower
A defining feature of this vacuum is that you can use it as a blower too. It’s a top choice for people who need a vacuum for outdoor use. A bonus is that it will save you money on extra equipment as well.
For Various Surfaces
This vacuum stands out as a commercial model because it can effectively handle fabrics and upholstery. It’s perfect for car interiors, furniture, and floors, and is one of the more versatile commercial vacuums on the market.
The small stature of this model makes storage, portability, and usage so much easier. Its weight is competitive when compared to other canisters and commercial vacuums. People with larger or multi-storey homes should shortlist this vacuum.
Keep In Mind
It’s Lacking for Carpets
A few users are dissatisfied with how this vacuum handles carpets. It’s apparently better for hard floors or small messes. It seems to work well on upholstery and interiors too, but may be ineffective if you’re looking to deep clean.
Small Dust Capacity
Remember that this is a compact commercial vacuum, so its dust capacity is smaller than others. It’s not a deal-breaker if you stick to using it as you would a handheld, rather than a deep-cleaner. But, if you use it daily, expect more maintenance.
|Dimensions||20.9 inches by 7.8 inches by 12.5 inches|
|Special features||33-foot cord, blower|
|Accessories||Dusting brush, floor nozzle, crevice tool, filter bags, filter bag kit|
|Oreck Commercial||Customer Favorite||480 W||35″ x 13″ x 5.5″||8 lbs||Auto-adjusting brush, anti-clog safety feature, top-fill design, Helping Hand handle||Cable Clamp|
|Vacmaster Industrial||Best For Smaller Spaces||960 W||17.1″ x 13.2″ x 17.3″||15 lbs||Wet/dry capabilities, insulated motor, onboard storage, automatic cord rewind||Crevice tool, 3 extension wands, dust brush, 2-in-1 utility nozzle|
|ProTeam Backpack||Most Versatile||1188 W||10.12 x 18″||11 lbs||4-level filtration, flexible hose, adjustable harness||Crevice tool, soft dusting brush, claw nozzle, turbo brush, intercept micro filter bags, hard floor tool, telescoping wand, mesh storage bag|
|Eureka NEU182A||Best For Deep Cleaning||960 W||13.4″ x 14″ x 44.5″||10 lbs||Stretch hose, adjustable height, washable filter, extra-large dust cup||Crevice tool, dusting brush, upholstery tool|
|Hoover C2401||Best For Your Back||1020 W||13.2″ x 13.2″ x 30″||9.2 lbs||Chiropractic harness, Hypercone filter, 66-decibel motor||Crevice tool, dusting brush, upholstery tool, turbo tool, two straight wands|
|Oreck XL2100RHS||Most Compact||480 W||6″ x 13″ x 35″||8.2 lbs||Side Edge brushes, Helping Hand handle, auto-adjust brush||N/A|
|Hoover CH30000||Best For Precision||1440 W||20.9″ x 7.8″ x 12.5″||8.3 lbs||33-foot cord, blower||Dusting brush, floor nozzle, crevice tool, filter bags, filter bag kit|
More Power to You
Though commercial vacuums are built with industry in mind, nothing stops you from wielding their power at home. They’re stronger and more durable than residential vacuums. Yet, they aren’t much larger or more difficult to operate.
Most commercial vacuums are designed to tackle just the basics. However, they also come with functions not commonly found in machines for home use. Wet/dry and outdoor capabilities are more prominent in these models, so they have a wider field of use.
We picked seven of our favorites, but which one do you like most? We enjoy reading your comments, so be sure to drop us one below.