The Best Vacuums We’ve Owned


Here at Home52, we’ve often called upon the larger Food52 team to participate in roundup-style stories, and it’s always interesting to see which topics engender immediate passion, and which we have to tease out more directly. Most recently, we asked our coworkers to share the very best things they bought for their home in 2020, which they responded to quickly and with excitement, eager to spread the gospel of standing desks, giant mixing bowls, and corn on the cob sculptures (yep).

The only topic that perhaps outdid that? Vacuums. When I put a poll out in the company-wide Slack channel asking for vacuums they “swear by/saved for/cradle in bed at night,” the responses poured in with speed and fervor. As it turns out (and lucky for my article, and you), working from home for a year makes people passionate about ridding their homes of dust and debris—and our staff has lots to say about how their vacuums improve their quality of life.

If you’re in the market for a killer vacuum, or like us, simply love swapping tips with other dirt-busting experts, read on for our top picks. Oh and don’t be shy, leave a comment about your fave, too!

“First thing’s first, I’m not a cordless-anything kind of gal. From power tools to vacuums, I find the inconvenience of something dying halfway through a job to be one of the most frustrating things ever. So, naturally, my vacuum of choice is corded. Not only does this guy really effectively clean up the mess of constant DIY projects on the rugs, but its “lift-away” pod and handle are truly amazing for vacuuming blinds, hard-to-reach corners, couches, shelves, and more. You can find me at least once a day toting this around my apartment, and it’s almost… fun?”
– Caroline Mullen, Assistant Editor

“I have two dogs that shed A LOT and it really does not stop. I am also somewhat lazy. Roll those two together and the Dyson V11 has been a game-changer for me. It doubles up as a floor vacuum AND a handheld for my stairs where my dogs lay all day. It’s expensive but honestly it has been worth every single penny because it does such a good job, and it’s soooooo light and easy to use.”
– Lizzie Greene, Sales Director

This Shark vacuum is lightweight and powerful, and most importantly, it’s maintained its suction power over the last eight or so months that I’ve had it—a first for any vacuum I’ve ever owned. It gets me excited to clean because…well, it works, which, as a neat freak, is all that I can ask for.”
-Erin Alexander, Brand Partnerships Editor

Our Roomba (whose name is Mouse) is the best. It runs by itself and can get under furniture that is a pain to vacuum by yourself.”
-Jeremy Beker, Principal Engineer 1

“I recently bought this vacuum after cursing at a heavy, traditional upright model for years. It’s very maneuverable and lightweight in small apartment spaces and is also bagless which means you’re not spending additional money on those things.”
– Mark Linderman, VP of Engineering

My Dog

– Max McDonough, Social Media Coordinator

“We got the Dyson Animal vacuum (not an actual animal, unlike Max’s suggestion above) on a Black Friday sale a couple of years ago, and it was a total game-changer! The only annoying thing about the Animal is that you have to keep the button pressed the whole time, but otherwise it’s still a million times better than any vacuum I’ve ever had.”
– Alex Egan, Senior SEO Strategist

“I too am a Shark Navigator fan! The Pet Hair Power Brush comes in clutch if you have a dog that sheds.”
– Maurine Hainsworth, Copywriter

“I got my Dyson V8 Absolute vacuum after lusting after it for a full year—and finally caved when they were running a really incredible sale. I’ve never felt older than when I admitted it was my “exciting Cyber Monday purchase,” but so it goes. Warning: Even if you can snag a discount, it’s quite pricey. Still, the first time I vacuumed with it and saw the amount of dust it picked up, I consider it some of the best money I’ve ever spent.”
– Rebecca Firkser, Assigning Editor

“I also just got a handheld Bissell Pet Hair Eraser, and that’s been so helpful for quick sofa touch-ups! Also loving how I don’t have to go to a car wash anymore to vacuum out my car.”
– Maurine Hainsworth, Copywriter (returning for another hot tip)

“I’ve had both a Miele and a Dyson, but Shark makes the best line of affordable vacuums. I’ve had this one for over five years—it’s cleaned up construction messes and still works great—plus it doesn’t use bags.”
– Dina Losito, B2B Business Associate

“When my partner Trevor brought a Shop-Vac into our tiny Brooklyn apartment in response to my not-too-subtle hand-swiffering with our sad, existing dustpan, I made the flat-mouth emoji face. It is huge; it is ugly. But when we turned the thing on, I was stunned—it truly sucks anything and everything up (yes, as in huge puddles of liquid), has an incredible capacity, and its nozzle can get into every nook and cranny. It’s now my favorite household item, but please don’t tell Trevor this.”
– Coral Lee, Podcast Editor

Pretty please tell us all about your favorite vacuum below, we’d love to add them to our arsenal!

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