Best Vacuum for Residential Cleaning Business

Best Vacuum for Residential Cleaning Business

As a business owner, you know that you’re only as good as your equipment. As a cleaner, you need the best vacuum for a residential cleaning business. A typical household vacuum is great for the one a week clean of a run of the mill home, but you need something stronger and faster.

In our shop, we torture all kinds of household gadgets. For this list, we wanted to find the best and quality options to help you get some serious cleaning bang for your business.

Quick Comparison

Reviewing Best Vacuums for Residential Cleaning Business

What makes a vacuum among the best for a cleaning business comes down to how the features come together. A vacuum for a residential cleaning business needs to be light, powerful, versatile, and durable. Each of the vacuums you will see on this list will highlight a specific feature or set of features that make it an effective machine that will take your residential cleaning business to the next level.

Shark Navigator Lift-Away Professional NV356E Review

Shark is one of those vacuum brands that inspire confidence. No matter the reason you are buying a vacuum, you know a Shark will get the job done. The Navigator lift-away is a must-have in the best vacuum for the residential cleaning business category.

What makes the Lift-Away vacuum so great for your cleaning business is that it is multiple vacuums in one machine. With a quick transformation, the Shark Lift-Away can change from an upright to a canister, and then to a specialty vacuum for reaching those high up and hidden spaces. No area is left unchecked under the nozzle of the Shark Navigator.

As an upright, the Shark has a swivel head that allows the user to quickly and easily sweep a room. We love that you can switch the suction mode quickly to transition between carpets and hard floors.

Speaking of hard floors, the Navigator comes with a very handy little attachment called the “Hard Floor Hero.” We were impressed at how well the attachment simultaneously attacked stuck-on messes on hard floors, while still being gentle enough to avoid scratching and damage. If you have a client with hard floors, you will find the hard floor hero very useful.

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The last two features that made this vacuum a must for our list are the HEPA filter and the dustbin. The filter is rated to trap over 99% of irritants and allergens that are common in a home. The filtration will let you leave your customer’s homes free from annoying floaties that give people the sneezes.

The dustbin is almost twice the size of Sharks standard bins, with a 2.2 dry quart capacity. You can work longer without having to stop to empty the bin. We like getting more done in less time, and so will your bottom line.



What we like:

  • Highly maneuverable
  • Excellent dust and allergen filtration
  • 30-foot power cord
  • Specialized tool for hardwood floors



What we don’t like:

  • Suction wand hose is a little stiff
  • No storage for accessories built into the vacuum



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Oreck Commercial XL Commercial Upright Vacuum Cleaner, XL2100RHS Review

Oreck was one of our favorite vacuum commercials in the ’90s. These little vacuums have built a reputation of being lightweight, but still incredibly powerful. The entire Oreck marketing campaign builds on the fact that their vacuums are only 8-pounds. The weight is 25-50% lighter than other vacuums. When you are hauling the vacuum from car to house to car the lighter the vacuum, the easier it will be for you and your employees.

The lightweight also translates into a smaller form that saves space. You can carry more vacuums or more employees in your trucks.

Enough about weight and space. Let’s talk a little about performance. I remember the first Oreck we ever tried. We turned the little guy on and watched as its suction slowly pulled the vacuum forward across the carpet. We jokingly let it run to see how far it would go on its own and watched as it slowly made it across out test rug. It wasn’t fast, but we learned that the Oreck vacuums didn’t sacrifice serious performance power.

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The newer generation of Oreck vacuums includes the XL2100RHS. The XL has a high-speed brush roll with double helix brushes that spin at an impressive 6,500 RPMs. The double helix design does an admirable job of agitating debris on both carpet and bare floors. After agitating, the brushes pull everything in toward the suction inlet to make quick work of the messes you need to tackle.

A final note of favorite features on the Oreck XL is the oversized handle with an on/off switch. The handle is large and comfortable offering complete and easy control of this lightweight powerhouse. The power switch located directly on the handles offers further control over the vacuum.



What we like:

  • Vacuum automatically adjusts between carpets and bare floors
  • Excellent performance with pet hair
  • Lightweight and easy to control
  • Easy to change the vacuum bag



What we don’t like:

  • No options or attachments for stairs, blinds, furniture, etc.
  • The vacuum motor is very loud


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Hoover Commercial WindTunnel 13″ Bagged Upright Vacuum C1703900 Review

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What we like:

  • Excellent dirt removal, we love the baseboard brush
  • Comes with a variety of specialty tools for furniture and crevices
  • 35-foot power cord



What we don’t like:

  • Weighs 23-pounds
  • Attachment hose is a little short


We aren’t short on quality names for our line up of best vacuums for a residential cleaning business. Hoover has been a popular name in vacuum for as long as there have been vacuums and the commercial upright vacuum keeps well with the Hoover reputation.

Hoover’s latest line of vacuums features WindTunnel technology. The WindTunnel feature uses a combination of three air channels to create a firm hold on the debris you have to clean up. The result is a powerful and efficient vacuum.

For those homes that have a variety of carpet and rug types, the Hoover commercial vacuum has 5 carpet height adjustments that you can manually change based on the floor types that you are cleaning. Not as flashy or fancy as some other vacuums, but it is still fast and effective.

One of the unique features of the Hoover Commercial vacuum that cemented its place on our list is the extreme recline handle. Where most uprights stop their recline or become so loose they are useless; the Hoover keeps a solid recline with good control. You can get deeper under furniture without losing suction or falling flat. We were comfortably able to reach so many more areas with the recline of this vacuum than other commercial uprights we tested.

Some of the other enduring features of the Hoover commercial upright are specialty brushes that clean along the baseboards of your client’s homes to break loose the trapped dirt along the edges. The wheels are commercial-grade plastics that will outlast the vacuum and combine with the non-marking furniture guard to make sure you don’t leave a trace of your machine around the house.

Hoover CH30000 PortaPower Lightweight Commercial Canister Vacuum Review

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What we like:

  • Lightweight with the most maneuverability of any vacuum we tested
  • Reusable cloth refuse bag
  • Durable metal hose attachments
  • Almost perfect for staircases



What we don’t like:

  • The bag can be difficult to empty and is small
  • Power cord storage can be frustrating


To wrap up our list of the best vacuums for a residential cleaning business we wanted to mix it up. The Hoover PortaPower is a break away from the uprights we have predominantly featured. The PortaPower is an over the shoulder canister vacuum designed specifically with the professional cleaner in mind.

The entire vacuum weighs just over 8-pounds, and with the shoulder strap, it is easy to move around the job site. Plus, this vac comes with 7 attachments to allow you to tackle any and all messes that come your way.

We became attached to this vacuum as just about the perfect vacuum for tackling homes that have a lot of stairways, tall furniture, and an abundance of blinds. The range of nozzles and tips lets you reach almost all of the most difficult areas of a residence.

The speed and freedom of movement with the PortaPower is outstanding and makes us feel like we could conquer even the most sprawling estates.

Cleaning Up The Tools Of The Trade

When it comes to your business, you want the best of the best, without sacrificing your bottom line. Each of the candidates on our list of the best vacuum for a residential cleaning business will give you the power and versatility that you need to run a successful business.

If we had to pick one to recommend at the end of the day, we would have to go with the Shark Navigator Lift-Away. This vacuum offers the widest range of versatility and reach of all the vacuums on the list. Regardless of the type of cleaning, or the size of the house, you will be able to tackle almost anything with the Shark Navigator Lift-Away Professional. You can buy it on


Buying Guide

There are several types and brands of vacuums for residential cleaning businesses available today, but how do you select the one that is best for your business? Buying a vacuum cleaner is not something you do daily, so you have to take some time to consider the product that would best satisfy your needs.

After considering the size of homes, the various floor surface types, you should also pay attention to some other characteristics of the vacuum cleaners including the power, suction control, bagged or bagless, filtration, features, tools, and attachment. We would consider all these in this buying guide so that you can make the best choice for your cleaning business.


The first you have to know about the Vacuum Cleaner is that they could be corded or battery powered. Regardless, power and battery life differ from model to model.

The power of the Vacuum cleaner determines the performance, and for a quick guide to help you understand how it works, you would need a brief understanding of Amps and Wattage.

The measure of power coming into the vacuum cleaner is Amps. Most vacuum cleaner motors have amps between 7 and 12, but and the maximum that can be drawn from an outlet is 12. So when you are getting a vacuum cleaner, buy a one with a full 12 amps of the draw. Wattage is simply the multiplication of the voltage draw and amps.

To talk about the power of the vacuum cleaner, we would also focus on the suction power or air watts, depending on how you want to call it. The suction power may be more complicated than it looks, since power could be rated in watts, amps and other specifications, but would not tell you enough about the suction of the vacuum.

Although, many times more suction would be as a result of a more powerful motor, a more accurate way of measuring this would be the “cubic feet per minute” of airflow; it could be denoted by “CFM.” The CFM is just one of the measurements, and it would determine how much air the device can suck up. Some vacuum cleaners indicate air watts; you could get one with more than 200 air watt for an excellent performance.

Suction Control

Man Cleaning Sofa In The Living Room Using Vacuum Cleaner At Home

Some vacuum cleaners have a simple suction control on the wand to allow you to determine the amount of the suction. The suction control also affects the performance of the vacuum cleaner based on specific tasks.

The suction can perform at different levels when you want to clean household items like rugs, curtains, carpets, upholstery, and blinds.

The suction control is a useful feature on the vacuum cleaner since cleaning up the carpets may require more suction, and blinds would require lesser; the suction control would help you set the levels. You also need to know that the nozzle design and hose quality can affect the suction.

Bagged vs Bagless

You would also have a decision to make between a bagged and a bagless vacuum. It is the same as choosing whether you would use a vacuum with a dust bag or one without it. Both types of vacuum cleaners have their advantages and disadvantages, but your choice would be between how you want to contain the dirt or dust and your on-going cost.

For bagged vacuums, especially the ones with self-sealing filter bags are better in households where there is a situation of allergy or sensitivity. They hold accumulated debris and dust without releasing any back into the air while you clean. An advantage of the bagged vacuum is that they keep more dirt than the bagless, but the main downside is the extra cost of replacing the bags.

On the other hand, bagless vacuums come with dustbins that can be emptied, cleaned or replaced if need be, although they are designed to last as long as you have your vacuum cleaner. Most upright models of the vacuum cleaner are bagless, which would save you the money you spend on buying bags, and allow you to retrieve your lost items like the earrings they may accidentally pick up. Regardless, if you still prefer a bagged vacuum, but we recommend you get a package of bags alongside your vacuum cleaner.


You may not want to give this so much consideration, but you should, most especially if there is a related case of asthma or other allergies and also for homes with pets. When the air is exiting your vacuum flows, it goes through the debris you are piling up. The filtration determines the cleanliness of the air it releases. Most vacuum cleaners would offer either a thin washable filter or a complete filtration system including the dust bag.

High-Efficiency Particulate Arrestance also denoted as HEPA is another type of filter that can capture 99.97% of the particles from the air coming in down to 0.3 microns. Some vacuum cleaners can use the HEPA filtration either as the standard type it comes with or as an upgraded filter.

The HEPA filters are effective and also the highest level of filtration that would be needed for the cleanest ambient air suitable for allergy sufferers. The replacements of the HEPA filters is important, and it should be on a regular basis as indicated by the manufacturer of the vacuum cleaner or the filter itself.


There are certain features you should look at before your purchase; these special features should suit the need and requirements for your residential cleaning business. You could consider some other features like the height adjustment for upright vacuums, odor control filter, suction control, quieter operation, automatic shut-off, dirt sensor, headlights, bare floor option, vacuum schedule, cleaning reach for corded vacuums, self-propelled and filter alerts or indicators.

Tools and Attachments

Apart from the features, you should check out the cleaning tools and attachments that would assist your cleaning jobs. The vacuums offer a wide variety of accessories for your device like a narrow upholstery brush, round brush for dusting, edge cleaners for the wall to wall cleaning and crevice tools.

You should consider the wet or dry vacuum cleaners that include pump hoses or squeegee attachment for effective water control during cleanups. There are also vacuum cleaners with a controllable mini-motorized nozzle to clean carpets and control hairs and furs better than the suction only ones.


Can you use these vacuum on hardwood floors?

hardwood floor

From the time, the vacuums have been made to handle cleaning carpets effectively and when they are being used for hardwood floors, the floors being to look beat up since they were not built to handle hardwoods.

The floor damages made vacuum owners consider other ways to clean the hardwood floors like the back aching broom and dusty pan method that would not still do a perfect cleaning job.

Although the modern day’s vacuums are now built with features to handle hardwood floors safely, one is the brush rolls are specifically to aggravate dirt in carpets, so when you want to clean hardwood floors, use vacuums without them. Some brush rolls on carpets can be turned off. Other features you should look for in the vacuum is suction power with an average of 1000 watts and crevice tools to make reaching every part of the floors easy.

In conclusion, Yes! You use safely use vacuums on hardwood floors as long as you have the right vacuum for the job.

Do these vacuum cleaners pick up long human hair?

Cleaning up your rugs and carpets when there are long human hairs on them might seem more problematic than when there are none, and this is because of the hair tangles around the brush bar of the vacuum cleaner. Long hairs clog the machine and cause a dip in the performance.

So when you are cleaning a house where family members and pets shed their hair on carpets, rugs and other upholstery, there are specific vacuums with features designed to pick up these long hairs. First, you would need a vacuum cleaner with brush roll technology to remove tangled hair from the brush and deposit it in a dust cup.

You should also use a vacuum cleaner with HEPA filters or washable filters when there are conditions of dust allergies. The vacuum cleaner should be lightweight so it can be moved around with ease, with enough dirt capacity and high suction power to absorb long hair strands through the airways.

Are these vacuum cleaners good for a commercial application?

To select a vacuum cleaner for a commercial application, you would need one with an efficient cleaning system that is good enough to leave a positive impression. Commercial vacuum cleaners are meant to be rugged, dependable, powerful and built in mind for heavy and continuous usage.

The vacuum cleaner should be able to clean up the nooks and cranny of apartments without a flinch and at the same time assure the safety of your employees and customers.

The commercial vacuum cleaners may come in various types including upright, canister, wide area, backpack, handheld and wet or dry. You need to ensure that the vacuums are durable and affordable, so you do not run into a loss. Also, for them to function well, they need to have rich features like high suction power, low noise level, and large dirt capacity.

Which type of bags do I need for these vacuums?

bag for vacuum cleaner

You may think the bags of the vacuum can add to our expenses and make you consider going bagless. But you also need to know that the bagless vacuums have additional filters that need to be washed and replaced often which in the long-run may become other costs for you to settle.

You should also know that emptying the dustbin of the bagless vacuums may be dangerous to asthma or allergy patients; these may make you prefer a bagged vacuum. Some vacuum cleaners come with bags, but you also need to find extras that are compatible with your model’s brand to keep the unit performing at its best so your customers, guests or employees can have a need and tidy establishment.

How do these vacuum cleaners work on small area rugs and corners?

floor corner

Rugs add beauty and style to a room, so intense attention should be paid to them since they can absorb almost everything from debris to pet hair, fingernails, crumbs and a lot more.

The vacuum cleaners would do a better job of cleaning up this dirt and stop the cycle of kicking them around when you use a broom. It is better to vacuum your rugs as often as once a week, even more times if you own pets to keep a healthy environment and elongate the life of your rugs.

Also, you should consider attachment like crevice tools for cleaning edges and tight spaces on the rug. Be careful of fringe and tassels that may get sucked and wreck your machine, so try to pick as much debris as you can before you vacuum.

Do these vacuum cleaner models come with HEPA filters?


The HEPA filter is the most effective for asthmatic and allergy sufferers. It captures almost 100 percent of the dirt you are cleaning allowing for safe air in the environment. The HEPA filter may need to be replaced regularly as recommended by the filter manufacturer or the vacuum makers.

As good as the HEPA filter is, not all vacuum cleaner models are equipped with it. Some may offer a thin washable filter which is also not too bad. There are vacuum cleaner brands that come with the HEPA filter, while other brands may accept it as an upgrade to the filter system of the unit.