Multi surface vacuums work on every type of surface and many different types of messes. A multi-surface vacuum cleaner works just as well on carpets as tiles and wood floors. It can tackle pet hair, dust and everyday messes, though most multi surface vacuums are not rated for liquid messes like wet-dry vacs. The best multi floor vacuums have accessories so you can clean your car, your couch, under your furniture and dust anywhere it has accumulated.
Shark Rotator Professional Lift-Away (NV501)
The Shark Rotator Professional NV501 model came in seventh in the Consumer Reports 2014 Buyer’s Guide. It is a recommended model though not a best buy, since it is around $250. Buying the vacuum with the bonus tool kit or car detail kit adds another $20 or so, though it is still cheaper than most Dyson vacuums.
It was given the highest scores for cleaning bare floors and handling.
It didn’t do as well on carpets or handling, but it did score above average. It was only average on total airflow. It scored below average on how it picked up pet hair.
It has a brush on/off. It isn’t as easy to turn on and off. It lacks a way to adjust the vacuum head based on pile height.
This is the best vacuum on this list for multi surface cleaning for someone on a budget, balancing price with performance.
Dyson Ball Multi Floor Upright Vacuum Cleaner
This is the best multi surface vacuum on the market if you don’t have a tight budget; this vacuum costs almost five hundred dollars. You can get it for a little less if you buy a refurbished one, and the five year parts and labor warranty is in effect if the unit comes from an authorized reseller.
This vacuum has a powerful brush bar, making it ideal for thick carpets. Yet the cleaning head automatically adjusts so that it doesn’t ruin your wood floors or tile. You don’t have to adjust the bar’s height as you shift from tile to carpet and back again.
This is a highly maneuverable vacuum cleaner, using the Dyson ball to turn almost on the head of a pin. Well, the head of the vacuum cleaner is more like it, and it will let you swivel and turn as you navigate around the coffee table, between the couches and through the gap between the recliners.
The primary difference between this vacuum and the Dyson ball allergy is that, this vacuum doesn’t come with the soft dusting brush or turbine tool designed to pick up pet hair. It does come with a stair cleaning tool and combination accessory tool. The primary difference is then the color and several extra tools that come with the Dyson Ball Allergy model.
Dyson’s brand overall is more reliable than average, with 7% of its vacuums needing repair in a given year. Hoover was slightly worse at around 8% needing to be fixed each year.
Shark Navigator Lift-Away Professional Upright Vacuum
This vacuum is one of the best sellers on Amazon.com and other retail websites. The Shark Navigator 352 came in tenth in the 2014 Consumer Reports buying guide, and the 356 rivals it in performance. While it has a list price of $400 dollars, you can regularly find it for less than two hundred dollars.
The Shark Navigator line scored best on bare floors and scored well on emissions (or lack thereof). It sucks up the dirt and doesn’t leave a fine sprinkling of dust behind it. The bare floor “dust away” attachments add to its allergen removing capability. Its allergy fighting dust seals and HEPA filters make this the best vacuum for someone with allergies or asthma.
Dyson DC39 Origin Canister Vacuum
The comparably designed Dyson DC39 Animal was ranked fourth among bagless canister vacuums by Consumer Reports. That version of the Dyson DC39 scored well on bare floors and above average on handling. It scored worse than average on cleaning carpets and picking up pet hair. It does do a decent job of clearing the air due to its high quality filters, all of which are washable.
If you really love Dyson, this is the best multi surface vacuum. It rates as well as the Dyson Ball in customer rating and ties with it on performance, but with one major difference – price. The Dyson DC39 has a $399 list price, a hundred dollars cheaper than the Dyson D65.
You get comparable maneuverability, the same level of suction and the same patented Dyson cyclone. However, some people don’t like the central steering mechanism, given how different it is from the traditional vacuum cleaner.
This vacuum does differ from the Dyson Ball in a few other aspects. It is quieter due to its internal insulation and other components treated with noise absorbing materials, making this a better choice if you want to vacuum while the baby is asleep. And you can control the brush bar via a button on the handle, eliminating the need to bend over to adjust the beater bar.