The 9 Best HEPA Vacuums for 2023 for Tackling Dust, Pollen, and Bacteria in Your Home

We chose the Shark Wandvac Self-Empty System as the best HEPA vacuum overall because of its self-empty system and washable filter

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The Best HEPA Vacuums for Tackling Dust, Pollen, and Bacteria in Your Home

When it comes to keeping your home clean, there’s a lot of dirt and grime that’s visible on surfaces like countertops, rugs, and hard floors, but there’s even more that goes unseen. Particles like pollen and dust can get brought inside by visitors, pets, and open windows, while bacteria and mold can grow in dark, moist corners of the house. 

According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, high-efficiency particulate air filters (known as HEPA filters) can remove up to 99.97% of dust, pollen, mold, and other airborne particles measuring 0.3 microns in your home—and they’ll do an even more efficient job of capturing particles both larger and smaller in size. That’s why if someone in your household suffers from allergies, you may want HEPA filters in your AC units, air purifiers, and vacuum cleaners.

“A vacuum with a HEPA filter is entirely worth it if there’s any concern about airborne allergens,” says Vera Peterson, president of Molly Maid.These models include allergy-specific features that are ideal to allergy-proof your home, prevent dust, and drastically reduce symptoms of hay fever or allergy-induced asthma.”

We researched the best vacuums with HEPA filters on the market based on effectiveness, features, weight, bin capacity, and more to find the best options for keeping your home clean. With these factors in mind, we chose the Shark Wandvac Self-Empty System as the overall best HEPA vacuum. It uses HEPA filtration and automatic emptying features so the debris it picks up can’t escape back into your home. Additionally, the vacuum has a self-cleaning brush roll, strong suction, and two helpful attachments.

Best Overall

Shark Wandvac Self-Empty System

Shark WS642AE WANDVAC System


Why You Should Get It: This vacuum empties itself out into a sealed bin after every use, so dust, pollen, and bacteria stay contained. 

Keep in Mind: Its maximum runtime is only 16.5 minutes, making it better suited for spot cleaning than whole-house cleaning.

The Shark Wandvac Self-Empty System makes it easy to avoid touching the dustbin and the inevitable dust clouds that ensue. When you set the vacuum on the base after cleaning your home, the system efficiently removes all of the debris and dust particles from the vacuum all by itself (while also charging the device). This means you won’t have to worry about touching the dirt and grime your vacuum just picked up. 

The self-empty base can hold up to 30 days’ worth of debris sealed inside, minimizing the number of times you need to empty it. Also, the HEPA H-10 filter is washable, allowing you to reuse the same filter multiple times without buying a replacement. 

The vacuum has strong suction power to pick up dirt, pollen, hair, and crumbs on all floor types with ease. We love the self-cleaning brush roll, which  picks up hair from your floor without getting tangled. Additionally, the silicone fins on the brush roll allow it to maintain close contact with your floors, churning up debris and sucking it away without damaging your hard floors. 

We also like that you can convert it to a handheld vacuum that weighs just 2.1 pounds, making it easier to clean tight crevices, staircases, and upholstery. Attachments include a duster crevice tool for tight spaces and a pet multi-tool designed to get rid of pet hair on floors and upholstery.   

Keep in mind that this vacuum’s battery life is quite short at just 16 minutes. That means you won’t be able to clean your entire home in one charge; instead, you’ll likely need to clean one room at a time or spot clean larger spaces. We don’t recommend this vacuum to anyone with a large house, as it may be a hassle to re-charge your device halfway through completing a room. 

Price at time of publish: $329

Product Details: Weight:  13.85 pounds with self-emptying base | Battery Runtime: 16.5 minutes | Number of attachments: Two | Bin Capacity: 0.13 quarts

Best Budget

Greenworks 24V Brushless Cordless Stick Vacuum

GreenWorks 24V Cordless Stick Vacuum


Why You Should Get It: This vacuum charges in just 30 minutes, so you won’t have to wait long in between uses.  

Keep in Mind: If you don’t want to use the included wall mount, you’ll have to purchase a charging stand separately.

The Greenworks 24V Cordless Vacuum Cleaner provides a high quality clean that effectively removes dirt, hair, pollen, and more from your floors. It uses a washable HEPA filter to trap very fine debris caught in the fibers of your carpet and the cracks in your floorboards, resulting in a truly deep clean. Additionally, the dust collection bin can be emptied with a single press of a button, so you can dump out its contents without having to reach inside the bin. The vacuum cleaner a strong suction power with three power modes, so you can adjust the suction depending on the floor type or the type of debris you’re trying to remove. 

With a runtime of 45 minutes, this vacuum will allow you to clean multiple rooms at a time without running out of battery. When you do need to recharge, the vacuum has a surprisingly fast 30-minute recharging time, compared to the several hours it takes most other vacuum cleaners. The floor brush has LED lights to help you see into dark places like under your couch and illuminate hard-to-see dirt on your floors.

There’s also an LED touch display on the handle to let you view the power mode and remaining battery time, as well as any error messages that may appear as you clean. Accessories include a crevice tool for tight corners, a two-in-one round brush, a soft-bristle fur brush for pet hair, and a deep-cleaning motorized brush for heavy-duty cleaning. 

Note that, while this vacuum comes with a wall mount to store your device when not in use, it has to be drilled into a wall to use it. If you don’t want to do this, you’ll have to lean your vacuum against a wall or order a separate charging stand from Greenworks. 

Price at time of publish:  $260

Product Details: Weight: 5.1 pounds | Cord Length or Battery Runtime: 45 minutes | Number of attachments:  Four | Bin Capacity: Not listed

Best Handheld

Black+Decker Three-in-One Vacuum

Black+Decker Three-in-One Vacuum


Why You Should Get It: This versatile vacuum cleaner can be used as a handheld vacuum, a stair vacuum, and an upright vacuum.  

Keep in Mind: The cord is only 10 feet long, which can limit its maneuverability.

The Black + Decker Three-in-One Vacuum is our choice for the best handheld HEPA vacuum because it’s such a versatile cleaning tool. When paired with the crevice tool in handheld mode, you can reach into cracks and corners in your car, clean between couch cushions, and remove cobwebs from hard-to-reach spots in your home. With the small brush attachment, you’ll be able to rapidly clean stairs, blinds, and soft surfaces like your sofa. 

As a stick vacuum, the Black + Decker Three-in-One vacuum can also clean carpets and hard floors with ease. It’s self-standing, so it won’t topple over if left on its own. At just 3.6 pounds, the vacuum is lightweight and easy to maneuver around your couch, coffee table, or other obstacles.

The HEPA filter captures pet dander, pollen, and other types of airborne particles. It’s also washable under running water, which makes the vacuum easy to clean and maintain. The 0.2-gallon dustbin can be emptied directly into the trash, which is a good size for a handheld vacuum, but a bit small for a stick vac.

Unfortunately, this vacuum only has a 10-foot cord, which can be rather limiting when you’re trying to clean a large room or one with very few outlets. Keep this in consideration as you shop for the best HEPA vacuums for your home. 

Price at time of publish: $50

Product Details: Weight:  3.6 pounds | Battery Life:  N/A | Number of attachments: Two | Bin Capacity: 0.2 gallons

Best Cordless

Shark Stratos Cordless Vacuum with Clean Sense IQ

Shark Stratos Cordless Vacuum with Clean Sense IQ


Why You Should Get It: Shark’s multiflex design allows you to bend the wand in order to clean further under furniture.

Keep in Mind: Due to the jointed design, it’s rather top heavy.

The Shark Stratos Cordless Vacuum with Clean Sense IQ uses an anti-allergen complete seal with true HEPA filtration. It also has a built-in odor neutralizer that lasts up to 6 months to keep those awful smells inside of your vacuum from leaking out into your home. The cordless vacuum has a 60-minute runtime before the battery needs to be recharged, which is plenty of time to clean an entire floor of most homes. 

The vacuum’s built-in technology detects debris in your floors that are invisible to the naked eye, then boosts suction power accordingly. This means you won’t waste battery power on areas of your floors that are relatively clean, while grimy sections of your home will get the deep-clean they truly need. The LED display provides battery status, and suction level information on the front of the nozzle.

This powerful stick vacuum has flexible power fins on the brush roll to help it deep-clean your high-pile carpet without damaging your hard floors. The self-cleaning brushroll prevents hair from wrapping around and getting trapped, so you won’t have to cut hair out of the bottom of the vacuum after every cleaning session. 

However, our favorite feature about this cordless vacuum is its jointed wand, which allows you to bend the wand and reach beneath coffee tables, chairs, and more with ease. The wand can also be folded over to take up less storage space when not in use, making it friendly for small and large homes alike. Accessories include a duster crevice tool for reaching tight corners and and the anti-allergen dusting brush for cleaning upholstery.

At 8.09 pounds, this vacuum is quite lightweight and easy to maneuver for a full-sized pick. However, due to its jointed design, it can be a little top-heavy, making it prone to tipping over when not in use. 

Price at time of publish: $500

Product Details: Weight:  8.09 pounds | Battery Runtime: 60 minutes | Number of attachments: Two | Bin Capacity: 0.72 quarts

Best Heavy-Duty

Dyson Ball Multi-Floor Vacuum

Dyson Ball Multi-Floor Vacuum


Why You Should Get It: This vacuum is certified by the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America for its effectiveness at removing dust, pollen, and more from your floors. 

Keep in Mind:  It’s 17.6 pounds, which is much heavier than most of the other picks on our list.

If you suffer from allergies, keeping your home free of allergens like dust, bacteria, pollen, and more can help alleviate your symptoms. The Dyson Ball Multi Floor Vacuum is certified by the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America and uses whole-machine filtration to capture dust and keep it inside of the machine. The lifetime HEPA filter can be washed and reused, eliminating additional costs. 

One of our favorite features of the Dyson Ball Multi-Floor Vacuum is its soft-adjusting cleaner head. When you’re moving from carpet to hard floors (and vice versa), the active base plate automatically raises and lowers accordingly to seal the machine and keep debris from escaping. The stiff nylon bristles help it churn up dust, crumbs, and hair caught in the fibers of your carpet for thorough cleaning. 

It's also quite easy to empty the dust bin; just push the button to release the contents into the trash. Although this is our heavy-duty choice—it weighs 17.37 pounds—it isn’t hard to maneuver. The ball makes it easy to navigate your vacuum around sharp corners and bulky furniture. There’s also an instant-release high-reach wand, which makes it simple to transition to handheld mode, and the wand helps extend the 35-feet cord to give the vacuum a total reach of 50 feet. 

The hose and wand are also helpful when using the stair tool attachment on long staircases, and the combination tool can be used to get into tight spaces. Keep in mind that its bulkier size and weight means you’ll need to put a little more pressure on the vacuum to push it across your floors; it may not be a good fit for people with mobility issues. 

Price at time of publish: $339

Product Details: Weight: 17.37 pounds | Cord Length: 35 feet | Number of Attachments: Two | Bin Capacity: 0.52 gallons

Best for Pets

Tineco Pure One S15 Pet Vacuum

Tineco Pure ONE S15 Pet Smart Cordless Stick Vacuum Cleaner


Why You Should Get It: It has V-shaped bristles, a dual comb system, and attachments to help clean up after pets.

Keep in Mind: For the price, we wish it had self-emptying features.

Keeping your home spotless while owning pets can seem like a never-ending task. The Tineco Pure ONE S15 Pet Vacuum makes light work of cleaning pet hair, dander, dirt, and more from your home thanks to its five-stage filtration system. This system includes a main cyclone for large particles, a mesh filter, a pure cyclone to separate air and dust, a pre-filter to block fine dust, and a HEPA filter. The HEPA filter can be washed to clean it, so you won’t have to keep buying new filters every few months.  

The strong suction works to pull in and trap debris and also separate air and dust, which helps to keep the filter clean for a longer period of time and also helps to maintain suction. Additionally, the brush has V-shaped bristles and a dual comb system to lift and vacuum pet hair without it getting tangled in the machine. 

The Tineco Pure One S15 Pet vacuum also uses a sensor to adjust the suction power based on the level of dirt or soil detected for more efficient cleaning. In addition, the brush head has an LED headlight to help you see into dark corners and when vacuuming pet hair and debris under furniture. 

The LCD screen shows when debris is detected or cleared, and it also shows the selected mode and battery time remaining. Attachments include a mini-power brush to vacuum pet hair from pet beds and furniture, a two-in-one dust brush for cleaning other surfaces in your home, and a crevice tool to get into tight spaces. The vacuum cleaner is free-standing, making it super easy to store when not in use.

A single button provides contactless emptying of the dustbin, though for the price, we wish it had self-emptying features. You may need to reach inside the dustbin and unclog hairs or dense debris that gets caught. 

Price at time of publish: $449

Product Details: Weight: 6.8 pounds | Battery Runtime:  40 minutes | Number of Attachments: Two | Bin Capacity: 0.47 gallons

Best Upright

BISSELL MultiClean Allergen Lift-Off Pet Vacuum

Bissell MultiClean Lift-Off Pet Vacuum


Why You Should Get It: The detachable canister provides so much freedom when cleaning.

Keep in Mind: It’s heavy and difficult to maneuver.

The Bissell MultiClean Allergen Lift-Off Pet has a HEPA-sealed allergen system to trap dust, debris, and allergen and keep it from being released back into the air. The pre-motor filter is reusable and can be cleaned in the sink, making it easy to ensure your vacuum remains unclogged and effective, but the HEPA filter will need to be replaces, unlike other options on this list.

The vacuum cleaner uses a tangle-free brush roll to clean hair and other debris from hard floors and carpets while minimizing hair getting wrapped around the brush roll. Its swivel head makes it easy to maneuver furniture and obstacles, and the lights on the front help locate every last crumb on your floors. We like the lift-off detachable canister and hose, which make it easy to clean stairs, upholstery, or the inside of your car.

There are also two specialized tools included: first, the Pet TurboEraser Tool attaches to the end and uses a spinning paddle brush to help remove hair from upholstery and other items. The two-in-one crevice tool and dusting brush provide additional functionality for cleaning your home.

At 15.5 pounds, this upright vacuum is quite heavy and can be difficult to maneuver. Its wide profile makes it great for covering large surface areas in very little time, but it’s hard to navigate around tight spaces. For this reason, we don’t recommend it to someone with a tight floor plan or lots of furniture. 

Price at time of publish: $237

Product Details: Weight: 15.7 pounds | Cord Length: 30 feet | Number of attachments: Two | Bin Capacity: 0.2 gallons

Best Robot Vacuum

Shark AI Ultra Two-in-One Self-Empty Robot Vacuum

Shark AI Ultra Two-in-One Self-Empty Robot Vacuum


Why You Should Get It:  It both vacuums and mops to help get more dirt and dust off of your hard floors.

Keep in Mind: It’s not powerful enough to replace your upright or stick vacuum.

Stay on top of cleaning your carpet, rugs, and hard floors even when you aren’t home with a powerful robot vacuum with a built-in HEPA filter. We love the Shark AI Ultra Two-in-One Robot Vacuum, which has a HEPA self-emptying base that can hold up to 60 days of dust and debris. This means it’ll navigate around your home and clean everything in its path before automatically docking itself and emptying the contents into the bin. 

This pick has a lot of smart features to make it even easier to use. First, it maps your home to customize how it cleans, so it won't miss sections of your space once it's done it's initial clean. You can connect the vacuum to your smartphone, allowing you to use the SharkClean App to control where it goes, schedule cleanings for certain times or days, and tell the robot vacuum to avoid specific rooms. 

It has powerful suction and can vacuum both carpets and hard floors. The vacuum even has a mopping feature that scrubs floors to clean up spills from hard floors like tile, hardwood, and linoleum. We love that the microfiber mopping pads are washable, so you won’t have to constantly restock.

Keep in mind that robot vacuums won’t deep-clean your home as well as other devices on our list of the best HEPA vacuums. While the Shark AI Ultra Two-in-One Self-Empty Robot Vacuum is a great day-to-day cleaning tool, you’ll still want to deep-clean your carpet every few weeks to remove the debris your robotic device missed.  

Price at time of publish: $700

Product Details: Weight: 14.5 pounds | Battery Runtime: 120 minutes | Number of Attachments: None | Bin Capacity:  0.26 gallons

Best Wet/Dry

LG CordZero A9 Kompressor with Power Mop

LG CordZero A9 Kompressor with Power Mop


Why You Should Get It: It vacuums and mops, and has a 120 minute runtime.

Keep in Mind: The vacuum head doesn’t have a light, making it hard to see dirt underneath furniture and in dark spaces.

The LG CordZero A9 Kompressor with Power Mop uses a five-step filtration system that includes a first cyclone, second cyclone, metal dust filter, and also a HEPA pre-filter and fine dust filter to clean your home deeply.

This vacuum gets its name because of its ability to compress debris inside the dust bin, which reduces how often it needs to be emptied. We like that the telescopic wand can be adjusted to be longer or shorter, making it more comfortable for people of different heights. When it comes to effectiveness, we love that the vacuum comes with two separate vacuum heads, including a powerful carpet nozzle and a mopping nozzle. This allows you to deep-clean your rugs and high-pile carpets, then swap in two washable microfiber pads to wipe your tile and hardwood floors. 

Two batteries are included, and each has a 60-minute runtime—meaning you can use the LG CordZero A9 Kompressor vacuum for up to two hours without stopping for a recharge. This gives it the longest battery life of any vacuum on our list. It also connects to your Wi-Fi, allowing you to use the LG ThinQ app to view your cleaning history and run diagnostics on your phone. 

Additionally, the two-in-one combination tool and crevice tool make light work of cleaning vehicles, upholstery, and in tight spaces. The vacuum and all of the attachments can be stored on a portable charging stand, making the most of your closet space. 

Keep in mind that the LG CordZero A9 Kompressor vacuum doesn’t have a built-in LED light on its vacuum head. While this may not be a dealbreaker for some, it makes it harder to see underneath furniture and in dark corners, which can cause you to accidentally miss debris. 

Price at time of publish: $800

Product Details: Weight:  5.95 pounds | Battery Runtime: 120 minutes (60 minutes per battery) | Number of attachments:  Two | Bin Capacity: 0.26 gallons (compressed)

The Bottom Line

The Shark Wandvac Self-Empty System tops our list of best HEPA vacuums because of its self-emptying capabilities, HEPA empty base, and anti-allergen complete seal that prevents dust and particles from re-entering your home. The vacuum also has a self-cleaning brushroll and power fins to handle debris on both hard floors and carpet, and it comes with several attachments to make light work of your home’s toughest debris.

What to Know About HEPA Vacuums Before Shopping


The weight of the vacuum is important because if it’s too heavy and cumbersome, you’ll be more inclined to let it sit in the closet unused—or you’ll dread every moment you’re using it. When it comes to weight, many of the products on our list are stick vacuums, which tend to be much lighter than upright and canister models.

Cord Length or Runtime

Some people prefer cordless vacuums, which allow you to roam freely without tripping over a cord, while others may like corded models that have unlimited power. If you prefer a corded vacuum, the cord should be long enough that you don’t have to keep stopping to change outlets—we recommend looking at options with at least a 30-foot cord, although some of our options have shorter cords. 

On the other hand, if you choose a cordless vacuum, consider the runtime so you won’t have to stop to charge the battery during your cleaning session. The devices on our list of the best HEPA vacuums range in power from 15 minutes to two hours, so depending on the size of your home, you’ll want to pick an option that allows you to feasibly clean several rooms in one charge. 

Some people opt to purchase an extra battery so they can let one charge while they’re using the other one. Keep in mind that runtime can be decreased by suction power, so you’ll have a longer run-time on low or eco mode than on high or turbo mode. 

Number of Attachments

The best HEPA vacuums come with at least two attachments to make cleaning upholstery and tight corners easier. Make sure your vacuum comes with a crevice tool, which is a long, skinny attachment that allows you to suck up cobwebs, get in tight corners of your car, and slurp up crumbs in between your couch cushions. We also like brush attachments, which help you get deep into the fibers of your carpet to remove dirt, hair, and more. 

These attachments add more functionality and allow the vacuum to clean furniture, vehicles, window blinds, and other areas. If you're looking for even more flexibility, being able to convert the vacuum into a handheld version is like getting two vacuums for the price of one, freeing up space in your closet for other tools.

Bin Capacity

One consideration when choosing the best HEPA vacuums is how easy the device is to empty and clean. This ensures that the built-in filter can work effectively and isn’t clogged by debris. We found that the best HEPA vacuums have a bin capacity of around 0.2 gallons, providing plenty of space to clean multiple times before needing to be emptied. 

Of course, there are also self-emptying vacuums that don’t require you to empty the bin yourself; they automatically dispense any debris they picked up into a HEPA-sealed bag that you can simply detach and throw away. Bin capacity is less likely to be important if you choose this type of vacuum, as long as you don't mind docking it briefly in the middle of your cleaning session. 

Your Questions, Answered

Is a HEPA vacuum worth it? 

HEPA vacuums can be well worth the money because they can effectively capture and remove particles that are invisible to the naked eye. According to Leanne Stapf, COO of The Cleaning Authority, “A well-made, high quality HEPA vacuum may be worth the price to homeowners because these vacuums are able to trap small contaminants, particles, and dust that conventional vacuums may not be able to reach.” 

Keep in mind that, in order to get the most out of your HEPA vacuum, you’ll need to make sure it's clean. If your filter is covered dust and dirt, it will be ineffective at trapping any new debris on your floors. Some models, like the best overall Shark Wandvac Self-Empty System, have washable filters, while others require you to buy replacements.

Are all HEPA vacuums the same? 

While all HEPA vacuums have a HEPA filter, each model may differ in terms of size, maneuverability, suction power, and more, Stapf says. For this reason, you should also consider other features when shopping for the best HEPA vacuums. 

“Not all HEPA vacuums are the same, as some models are specifically designed to handle pet hair and other allergy-specific features,” says Vera Peterson, president of Molly Maid. “Models can range in size and style so it's important to find the best model that fits your needs.” 

When shopping for the best HEPA vacuums, keep the battery life or cord length, weight, suction power, bin capacity, and number of attachments in mind as well. 

Can you wash a HEPA filter? 

According to Stapf, HEPA filters are typically washable, so you won’t need to replaced them constantly. “However, every vacuum cleaner is different. The HEPA filter you have may be washable, but it likely needs to be replaced occasionally—typically on a quarterly or yearly basis." Stapf recommends checking your owner’s manual or doing a quick search online to learn how often your vacuum’s HEPA filter should be replaced. 

Who We Are

Terri Williams is a freelance journalist and product review writer with bylines at Architectural Digest,, The Daily Beast, CNN, NBC News, USA Today, Popular Science, and more. To find the best HEPA vacuums, she spoke with Leanne Stapf, COO of The Cleaning Authority, and Vera Peterson, president of Molly Maid. Terri has also tested several dozen vacuums and relied on her experience, in addition to conducting extensive research, to write this story.

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