Do you struggle with allergies? Are you sensitive to dust or pet hair? Have you found that your vacuum isn’t cleaning as effectively as you hoped it would? If so, you should be considering a HEPA vacuum cleaner.
HEPA vacuums are becoming more standard, and they can change how you clean. They’re the machines of choice for folks with allergies and those looking to deep clean.
We’re going to show you some of our favorites. We’ll explain exactly how HEPA filters work and review seven of the best HEPA vacuums currently on the market.
- Wet/dry capabilities
- Lightweight and quiet
- Multi-surface ability
- Genuine HEPA filter
- Excellent for carpets
- Parquet floor brush
- Zero-M brushroll
- Affordable alternative
- DuoClean technology
- Versatile uses
- It’s quieter than other models
- Cordless for flexibility
- Pet specific design
- Swivel steering
- 25 feet long cord
- Multi-purpose cleaning ability
- Great accessories
- Less noise produced
- Convenient for busy people
- Side sweepers clean edges
- Multi-floor ability
The Best HEPA Vacuum Reviews of 2023
If you want an allergy-friendly vacuum, here are seven to consider.
Elovam Cordless Handheld Vacuum
Best Value HEPA Vacuum
This handheld vacuum boasts 2,200 mAh battery power that lasts for up to 30 minutes for every full charge. It supports two charging methods: a wall-mount charger or a jack plug.
At only 1.89 pounds, it’s lightweight and makes very little noise. The ergonomic handle provides extra comfort and maneuverability.
This vacuum comes with two attachments. It has a crevice tool for hard-to-reach spots and a brush nozzle for stubborn dirt. There’s also a cleaning brush for the machine.
Overall, we think this vacuum comes with more than enough for the price you pay. If you want good value for money, then this will impress you.
What We Like
Vacuums that clean up liquids are always appreciated, and this handheld comes through. Its wet capacity makes it all the more useful and convenient. HEPA vacuums are typically for dry surfaces and substances only, so this machine stands out.
Lightweight and Quiet
Cleaning would be a breeze when using this device as it only weighs a little close to two pounds. This is way lighter as compared to many traditional vacuums.
Moreover, it emits as low as 70 decibels of noise, even better than the noise created by a washing machine! So, this is a definite win.
The combination of its suction and wet/dry capabilities make this machine a true all-rounder. So you can imagine our joy when we found out that it’s also a multi-surface vacuum!
Yes, the Elovam handheld is suitable for hard surfaces, carpets, stairs, car interiors, furniture, and upholstery. Plus, it’s cordless and portable too.
What We Don't Like
Unfamiliar Brand Name
There may be questions of durability when an item comes from an unfamiliar brand as compared to a well-known competitor in the market.
Not the Best Choice for Entire Homes
Don’t get us wrong; this vacuum is fantastic and effective. But, it’s still a handheld and won’t have the same efficiency as a bigger, traditional machine. So, if you’re aiming to vacuum large areas or clean frequently, you might want to consider one of the other models.
|Special Features||Wet/Dry capacity, lightweight, ergonomic handle|
|Accessories||Crevice tool, brush nozzle|
Miele Complete C3 Marin Canister
Most Trusted HEPA Vacuum
Here’s a multi-floor vacuum with a 1200 watt motor. The patented Miele Powerhead works extra-well on carpets. You’ll also get the Parquet Floor Brush which twists up to 90 degrees for reaching into and under tight spots.
This machine has a telescoping wand, automatic cord rewind, and a cleaning radius of 33 feet. Included are a genuine HEPA filter, four pre-filters, and 16 filter bags. The Airclean system is sealed, making it great for allergies, asthma, and other sensitivities.
On average, this model will last you for 20 years. It’s made of impact-resistant stainless steel and specialized plastic.
What We Like
Genuine HEPA Filter
We like that Miele takes time to produce quality HEPA filters that can’t be disputed. Not all manufacturers do this, so it’s a huge pro that this one does. You won’t have to worry that you’ve been duped or go through the extra hassle of having your vacuum tested.
Excellent for Carpets
If allergies are your concern, a vacuum specializing in carpets is ideal. This model will clean all types of carpets and even restore worn ones. It’s efficient at removing pet hair as well.
Parquet Floor Brush
This tool is an excellent addition to an already fantastic machine. The Parquet Floor Brush is made to clean all the spots you can’t reach under and behind your furniture. It’s a nifty add-on that makes the machine all the more versatile.
What We Don't Like
Handling It Is Tricky
A few customers have mentioned that the attachments don’t always connect easily and can be a hassle to utilize. Users also mention how easily they come loose, making it even more challenging to handle.
The attachments are not as ergonomic as customers expected, and a few users state that it’s cumbersome to carry. Regardless, users who touched on these flaws still appreciate the vacuum’s efficiency.
Accessories Aren’t as Durable
Customers mention that the accessories are not as high quality as the machine itself. Though they enjoy the vacuum, users criticize the durability of its accessories. Apparently, some add-ons seem flimsy, so be sure to handle them with care.
|Special Features||Miele Powerhead, AirClean filtration system, telescoping wand|
|Accessories||Parquet floor brush, Electro Comfort Electrobrush, crevice tool, dusting brush|
Shark APEX DuoClean Upright Vacuum AZ1002
Affordable Alternative HEPA Vacuum
This model features all the best of Shark. Customers love the patented DuoClean technology, which deep-cleans carpets and polishes hard floors. Additionally, it includes Powered Lift-Away technology for extra maneuverability.
The canister can detach from the cleaner head, giving you more reach and versatility. For pet owners, there’s the Zero-M self-cleaning brush roll — a must-have in removing hair from your machine’s head.
It also incorporates Advanced Anti-Allergen Complete Seal Technology. This feature, combined with a HEPA filter, ensures better air quality. Another nifty feature is the LED light for better visibility in dark spaces.
What We Like
Self-Cleaning Zero-M Brushroll
How great is it that the brush roll cleans itself? We won’t lie; you’ll still have to pay some attention to the vacuum as a whole. But the automatic removal of pet hair is an amazing feature.
It saves you time on maintenance and prevents clogging and loss of suction.
Shark is a customer favorite because it produces competitive models at prices our wallets agree with. So, if you’re looking for a good upright vacuum that won’t cost an arm and a leg, we recommend this one.
This multi-floor vacuum is excellent because it deep cleans carpets and shines your hard floors. It’s a feature unique to Shark, and users love it. It has an upholstery tool included to use on your furniture too.
What We Don't Like
Can Be Finicky
A few have reported that this vacuum is a bit tricky to get to grips with. Though the features are fantastic, some find the placement of its components to be counter-intuitive.
It May Be Unstable
Customers have also mentioned that sometimes this vacuum occasionally shuts down for no reason. It’s worth noting that users who mention this are still satisfied with the model.
|Special Features||DuoClean technology, Zero-M brush roll, Powered Lift-Away technology, Advanced Anti-Allergen Complete Seal Technology, LED light|
|Accessories||Upholstery tool, crevice tool, Pet Power brush|
Wowgo Cordless Stick Vacuum
Most Versatile HEPA Vacuum
When it comes to power, this model may not be that powerful at 2000 pascals of suction. However, it tops our choice for its functionality and various features.
To begin with, this cordless vacuum from Wowgo is engineered to produce less noise. At 68 decibels, you should be able to vacuum downstairs while your baby is napping upstairs. Aside from that, you won’t be bothered, and your pets won’t be frightened.
You get some handy tools with this one as well. A mini cleaning brush, electric brush, crevice tools, wall bracket, bristle brush, and HEPA filter are included.
What We Like
Versatile Cleaning Capability
A perk of stick vacuums is that you can use them almost anywhere and on everything. This cordless model is a handheld convertible so that it can clean your car, cupboards, or other tight spots.
It’s great for pet hairs, carpets, and hard floors.
It’s Quiet at 68 Decibels
We like that Wowgo built this vacuum to make less noise. It’s easier to work around the sound it makes, and it won’t disturb or scare your pets. This is a massive benefit if you have kids too.
Cordless Design for Maximum Flexibility
This machine uses batteries, so you’ll save energy and money. It definitely adds to how maneuverable the machine is. You won’t have to bother with cords, power sources, or awkward storage.
What We Don't Like
It Sacrificed Some Suction
This is a powerful machine, no doubt. However, some customers mention that although it makes less noise, the suction doesn’t feel as strong as it could because of this. So, if you’re looking to deep clean, a traditional machine may be a better choice.
It Requires Charging
It’s a cordless model, so you will have to charge its batteries in between use. It will last up to 40 minutes a run and take four to five hours to charge fully.
|Special Features||Handheld convertible|
|Accessories||Mini cleaning brush, electric brush, crevice nozzle, wall bracket, 2-in1 bristle brush|
Shark Navigator NV352 Upright Vacuum
Best HEPA Vacuum for Pet Owners
Swivel steering makes this model more maneuverable and stable. It’s also a lightweight vacuum compared to other upright models and comes with a 25-foot cord. It includes lift-away technology and is suitable for carpets and hard floors.
There’s the Anti-Allergen Complete Seal technology and HEPA filter for pet owners. This combination will take care of hair, dander, and other irritants.
You also get a Wide Pet Upholstery tool, which will change how you remove pet hair from your furniture. We like this machine for its versatility and feel it’s extra handy in pet-friendly homes.
What We Like
Pet Specific Design
Not all vacuums are suitable for pet owners, but this one is. We love the addition of the pet-specific upholstery brush. It will make a huge difference in keeping your home free of shedding hair and fur.
Swivel Steering for Easy Maneuverability
This feature makes the vacuum so much easier to use and control. Combined with how lightweight it is, this will make cleaning more effortless. You’ll also get more precise suction from it.
Wide Cleaning Reach Due to Long Cord
Though this is a corded model, its cord is 25 feet long. The machine’s weight also makes it highly maneuverable, and it’s not as limited as other corded vacuums. It’s a product that you can use almost everywhere inside your home.
What We Don't Like
Wobbly Vacuum May Tip Over
Customers note that there is a design flaw in this machine. It’s top-heavy and tends to tip over if left to stand on its own. This is not a dealbreaker but could be slightly annoying when in use.
It’s Tricky to Work Around
Some users say that the controls on this vacuum are oddly placed and counter-intuitive. Customers also say that the position of the cord is awkward, and it could potentially get in the way.
|Special Features||Swivel Steering, 25-foot cord, Lift-Away technology|
|Accessories||Wide Pet Upholstery Tool, dusting brush, 24-inch crevice tool, 5.5-inch crevice tool|
Vacmaster VF408 Industrial Vacuum
Most Efficient HEPA Vacuum
Though this model is industrial, it’s not oversized. It’s a powerful, multi-purpose machine with a five-horsepower motor and a four-gallon tank. Onboard storage for each of its components and accessories is an added convenience.
Included are three extension wands, a crevice tool, a 2-in-1 utility tool, a floor nozzle, and a dust brush. There are also the HEPA filters, foam sleeve, cartridge filter, and dust bag.
The 18-foot cable has automatic rewind, and at 72 decibels, this is a reasonably quiet option. It also has wet/dry capabilities. Plus, users have reported that it’s excellent for outdoor use as well.
What We Like
Multi-Purpose Cleaning Ability
This machine goes above and beyond in cleaning. You can use it on almost anything, anywhere. It’s good for all surfaces, outdoors and can handle liquids too. These capabilities aren’t often found in traditional or residential vacuums.
Great Accessories for Deep Cleaning
Compared to other commercial vacuums, it stands out because it’s a complete package. Most of the time, vacuums for industrial use only come with the basics. But we like the add-ons included here, as they’re handy and add extra value.
It’s Quiet at 72 Decibels
Again, don’t be fooled by its industrial build. This machine doesn’t make as much noise as you’d expect. It’s engineered to be as quiet as possible without losing power or efficiency.
What We Don't Like
Not the Best Industrial Machine
Some customers complain that for all its charm, this vacuum is standard. We think you’ll only see its flaws if you intend to use it for industrial purposes. For home use, the majority of customers are satisfied with this machine.
More Maintenance Required
Users have also noted that the filters here fill faster than they expected. You’ll have to pay a little more attention to this machine, but we feel it’s worth the extra effort.
|Special Features||Onboard storage, wet/dry capabilities, insulated motor, automatic cord rewind|
|Accessories||3 extension wands, crevice tool, 2-in-1 utility nozzle, dust brush|
Pure Clean PUCRC95 Robot Vacuum
Most Convenient HEPA Vacuum
Once scheduled, this model will activate itself to get to work. This is a self-charging machine, and the battery will last for a 90-minute run.
It’s suitable for tiles, wood, and carpets. There are sweeping brushes for corners, skirting, and sensors preventing bumps falls. It’s also small enough to fit under furniture and won’t struggle when left to its devices.
As for allergies, this is a great robot vacuum. On top of the HEPA filter, it’s good for pet hairs and debris and is built to avoid clogging.
What We Like
Convenient Design Requires Less Effort
There’s little for you to do when you invest in this vacuum. It’s self-charging, can be scheduled for activation, and has safety features that help it find its way. You can sit back and relax and still reap all the rewards of the HEPA filter.
If you’d rather be in control of it, it comes with a handy remote. Either way, it’s extremely convenient. Since it’s a robot vacuum, no manual operation is necessary.
Side Sweepers for Cleaning Edges
Some robot vacuums are ineffective at cleaning corners and edges. But the dual rotating brushes solve this problem. They’re great for cleaning your skirting, corners, or other linings on your walls.
This feature might even come in handy when the machine cleans under furniture. The side sweepers are a great addition.
Multi-Floor Cleaning Ability
You can use this robot on your carpets and hard floors, and it will also effectively pick up pet hair. We also like that it’s unlikely to clog. It even comes with a mopping attachment.
What We Don't Like
It’s for Floors Only
A drawback to all robot vacuums is that they only work on flat surfaces. If you have severe allergies, you may want to consider a handheld to supplement this one. It won’t work on your upholstery.
It’s Noisy and May Scare Pets
Some customers say that this robot vacuum is quite loud. This is a problem if you have pets who might be frightened by it. Keep in mind, though, that you can schedule it to run whenever it’s most convenient for you.
|Special Features||Self-activating, self-charging, pre-programmed safety features|
|Accessories||Mop accessory, Dual Rotating Brushes, charging station, remote control|
|Elovam Handheld||Value||N/A||Handheld||1.89 lbs|
|Miele Complete||Most Trusted||1200 W||Canister||10.35 lbs|
|Shark APEX||Affordable Alternative||1350 W||Stick||16 lbs|
|Wowgo Cordless||Most Versatile||160 W||Stick||3.3 lbs|
|Shark Navigator||For Pet Owners||1200 W||Stick||12.5 lbs|
|Vacmaster Industrial||Most Efficient||960 W||Canister||15 lbs|
|Pure Clean||Most Convenient||24 W||Robot||5.96 lbs|
HEPA Filters Explained
Vacuums are excellent tools for tidying. But when it comes to deep cleaning, you need more than just suction.
Depending on who you ask, HEPA either stands for High-Efficiency Particulate Air or High-Energy Particulate Arresting. They meet the same end. HEPA filters trap allergens and irritants like dust, dander, and pollen, leaving you with cleaner and fresher air (1).
They push air through mesh screens while trapping pollutants that standard filters let through. True HEPA filters can clean up to 99 percent of allergens and contaminants. Therefore, HEPA vacuums are popular in industrial or medical environments.
These filters work so well because they’re based on the technology used in gas masks during World War II. Back then, the US Army Chemical Corps, scientists, and engineers involved in nuclear testing used more advanced versions (2).
HEPA filters in most home vacuum cleaners may be smaller than industrial ones, but they’re just as effective. They can combat dirt, debris, pet hair, pollen, and other pollutants just as commercial units will. As you clean your surfaces, they do the same to the air. They are the most effective filters your vacuum cleaner could have.
Should You Buy a HEPA Vacuum?
Beyond more effective cleaning, there are other advantages to investing in a HEPA filter. While their primary purpose is to leave you with healthier air, they have benefits you won’t find in a standard vacuum.
How to Choose a HEPA Vacuum
Before buying a HEPA vacuum, you should take a few things into account. Noting these details will ensure you end up with a vacuum that’s suitable for your needs.
How to Care for Your HEPA Vacuum
Careful maintenance can prolong your HEPA vacuum’s lifespan. While you can maintain your machine, as usual, your filter may require some extra attention. Here’s what you can do to keep it running effectively:
- Keep an eye on it: A residential HEPA filter, including those in vacuums, could last for years – but you should check it regularly. If it has extensive damage or is irreversibly stained, replace it.
- Check for odors: Apart from the usual freshly vacuumed smell, your vacuum shouldn’t stink when it’s in use. If you pick up a musty smell when it’s in operation, your HEPA filter might need cleaning (or washing, if it’s reusable).
- Check your pre-filters: Not all HEPA vacuums have them, but if yours does, you should check and maintain them at least every three months. If pre-filters become clogged or obstructed, they’ll restrict the efficiency of the HEPA.
- Tidy first: Dusting your furniture before you vacuum could help your machine trap more dirt. When you dust, you loosen dirt, often causing it to settle on the floor. If you want a HEPA vacuum for sensitivities, this little bit of extra work could leave you with cleaner air and shinier surfaces (5).
- Keep it dry: If you’re using a washable filter, make sure it’s completely dry before using it again. Using a wet filter could damage your vacuum’s motor. Even worse, it breeds mold in your machine. A 24-hour drying time is usually recommended.
- Clean your other filters, too: Some HEPA vacuums will come with extra foam or activated charcoal filters. Don’t forget to wash these as well.