No vacuum cleaner is totally silent, but there is a wide range in performance. There are relatively quiet and nearly silent vacuums, and there are vacuum cleaners that sound like a leaf blower going while you’re trying to clean the house. What are the nearly silent vacuums on the market today, and which are both relatively quiet while enjoying powerful performance?
Which units are best for pet hair? Which vacuum cleaners aren’t just quiet but capable of picking up heavy duty debris like Cheerios, pebbles and all the debris that fell of the kids’ shoes as they ran in? Which vacuums can clean both your floor and your upholstery? We’ll look at the best quiet vacuum cleaners and give the pros and cons of each model, as well as who each vacuum is best for.
Quiet Vacuum Cleaners that Don’t Disturb the Household
1. Hoover Commercial Hush Tone Canister Vacuum, Model CH32008
This vacuum has a very high capacity, 9 liters. It is relatively quiet at 62 decibels. In contrast, the average vacuum cleaner has a noise level of 70 decibels. The decibel system is logarithmic, so 70 is twice as loud as 60. So 62 decibels makes it somewhat louder than background music or conversation, or the noise an air conditioner would sound like at 20 to 30 feet.
This vacuum costs around $200 at full price. It costs about 15% less on sale. Bags cost several dollars apiece; one of the hassles of this vacuum is the challenge of finding the vacuum bags without going through Hoover’s website.
This canister vacuum has a long hose and a vacuum head on a long metal rod, so you can use it to clean under most furniture without having to move anything as well as clean the drapes. At ten pounds, it isn’t heavy to pull around.
Don’t pull the vacuum around by the hose when the vacuum canister is full or it may rip. Hoover canister vacuums overall have a 15% failure rate per year, making it one of the least reliable vacuum cleaner brands, though Dyson came it worse at 16%.
It offers HEPA filtration, and you can upgrade to vacuum bags that seal the dust in when you change them, though these cost more. The vacuum can hold a massive amount of dirt and debris.
2. Electrolux UltraSilencer Canister Vacuum, Model EL6986A
It costs around $200, which is actually affordable for anything made by Electrolux. Electrolux canister vacuums have an average failure rate of 14%, mid-range for this type of product according to Consumer Reports. So with this vacuum, you aren’t getting poor quality for the reasonable price.
Standard vacuum bags cost around $10 for five. The anti-allergen bags ideal for those with asthma or allergies cost around $3 each.
It puts out nine amps of power. This is enough for low pile carpet and hard floors, but it cannot clean your thick carpets or heavy debris. Conversely, you can use the vacuum at the lowest speed for an even quieter noise level as you suck up dust from the floor. Its performance is best on hardwood or tile floors. It can’t get the grit out of medium thickness carpet. It does not handle pet hair well.
One of the benefits of this vacuum is the handheld wand designed to get in the crevices of your couches and shelving units. The vacuum has a decent six foot long hose. This allows you to use it in place of a handheld vacuum cleaner for a fraction of the noise. Its narrower head means you’ll need more passes to clean the carpet or section of floor unless there is almost nothing for it to pick up short of dust and fine pet dander.
3. Hoover Commercial Hush Tone Lite Upright, Model CH50400
This corded upright vacuum cleaner is around 10% to 20% quieter than the average upright vacuum cleaner. The first two on this list are actually quieter vacuum cleaners than this one.
It costs around $220. The standard vacuum cleaner bags have decent containment of what they pick up. The HEPA bags for this vacuum cost around $6 each. If you want HEPA bags that seal when you remove them so there is never a plume of dust when you disconnect and dispose of it, you will pay more. Some of the varieties of HEPA bags are only found on the Hoover website.
The unit is lightweight and easy to use. It has a fairly long cord and can be connected to an extension cord.
The greatest strength of this vacuum cleaner is its performance on carpets – the vacuum can suck up debris including heavier debris like pebbles from mid-height pile rugs.
Its weakness is hard floors; on these surfaces it doesn’t have as much suction while its motors seem to echo off the flooring to make it louder than the “Hush Tone” name suggests.
4. Sanitaire Commercial Quiet Vacuum Cleaner, Model SC889A
In this review, we’re looking at Sanitaire model SC889A. At 69 decibels, this vacuum is somewhat quieter than the average vacuum (70 decibels). Remember that the decibel system is logarithmic, so 69 db is much quieter than the 3% a standard scale would be. The “quiet” portion of the title comes from the ability to run it at lower power that also puts out less noise.
This is a simple, basic and rugged vacuum cleaner. One of the pluses for this vacuum cleaner is its high quality beater bar, getting the grime out of the deepest recesses of the carpet. At its higher power level, almost as loud as the standard vacuum cleaner noise level, it can match their cleaning power – while still putting out less noise than other vacuums on high power.
This vacuum cleaner costs around $210, and it is rarely marked down. Vacuum bags are about three dollars each.
One of the pluses for Sanitaire is the ease of finding replacement parts like replacement vacuum belts. One of its strengths is its a lightweight vacuum – about nine pounds.
One of the benefits of this relatively silent vacuum cleaner is the wide twelve inch cleaning path. You don’t have to go back and forth as much to get the whole room clean.
It has a 6.1 dry quart capacity, average about six and a half liters.
This Hoover Hush Tone is the best quiet vacuum cleaner if you want to be able to clean everything in the house with a single vacuum before you have to empty the dirt bag. The Electrolux UltraSilencer is the best quiet vacuum for cleaning a home full of hard floors like tile, wood and concrete. The Hoover Hush Tone model CH50400 is the best choice for those who want a relatively silent vacuum cleaner that can still take on carpeting. If you want a relatively quiet carpet that can still get the worst dirt out of the thicker carpets, you want the Sanitaire model SC889A vacuum cleaner.