Best Self Propelled Vacuum – 2019 Models Reviewed & Compared

Best Self Propelled Vacuum – 2019 Models Reviewed & Compared

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Vacuuming is a necessary chore if you want to keep your carpets soft, clean, and colorful. It takes time and patience to make sure you’re removing all the dirt, pet hair, and other grime that can build up in your carpets.

While you don’t quite have to vacuum every day, it’s important to make sure you vacuum every room in your home at least once a week.

The whole process is much simpler and easier when you have a self-propelling vacuum. While most self-propelling vacuums still need a hand to steer, having the extra assist makes it much easier to move across even the thickest and most troublesome carpets.

In this article, we'll highlight some of the best self-propelling vacuums available, including their pros and cons, and the most important features you should consider when picking out a new vacuum.

The Most Effective Self-Propelling Vacuums

1. Hoover WindTunnel 3 High-Performance Pet Bagless Vacuum

Hoover is the biggest name in the vacuum industry when it comes to self-propelled vacuums. While their self-propelled upright vacuum designs aren’t quite as effortless as robo vacuums like the Roomba (more on those later), they get close.

The WindTunnel line combines the convenience of a self-propelling vacuum with the extra power and control of some of Hoover’s best suction and brush designs. Even Hoover thinks that this particular model is the best cleaning upright vacuum in their lineup.

However, that alone doesn’t mean that this is a great vacuum. We took a close look at its performance and features before deciding that this vacuum belonged on our list.

In addition to the self-propelling feature, which takes most of the effort out of moving this vacuum across the floor, it comes with a handheld brush, a dusting tool, and other accessories.

With a 40 ft power cord, twice the industry-average length, you can trust this vacuum to easily tackle large space. Your back and shoulders won’t get tired on vacuuming day since the vacuum itself does most of the work.

This vacuum also has a built-in headlight. While I personally don't find vacuum headlights valuable enough to replace the bulbs when they go out, they can be invaluable in homes with small children and pets. Every little crumb and bit of debris needs to be vacuumed away, and vacuum headlights make it easier to check your work.

What We Like:

  • HEPA filter built-in
  • 40 ft Cord
  • Powerful suction gets deep ground-in dirt and debris
  • Headlight to easily spot dirt and crumbs
  • Glides easily across carpeting with the help of the self-propelling system
  • LED headlight

What We Didn’t Like:

  • 40 ft cord doesn’t have a retract feature
  • Some users have issues with this vacuum pulling area rugs and entry rugs off the floors

2. Shark Rotator Professional Upright Vacuum

The Shark Rotator may be an especially good vacuum if you’re both a pet owner and suffer from pet allergies. The Rotator is a self-propelled, high suction, vacuum with both a built-in allergen trap and a HEPA filter.

HEPA filters help improve not only the effectiveness of your vacuum picking up and cleaning dust from your carpeting. They can also improve the air quality of your home among other benefits.

Between the HEPA Filter and the additional allergen trap, this vacuum will significantly reduce your indoor allergen counts.

They also include an extra-large dust cup. That lets you go longer before you must clean out the dust trap, further minimizing your contact with dust and allergens.

Plus, in addition to the self-propelling system, Shark has made it easier to swivel and steer their vacuum head. The added maneuverability makes it easier to get into corners and tricky angles.

Overall, we found that this vacuum cut down on time spent with the crevice tool and other cleaning aids to get a truly pristine finish.

It also comes with a 25 ft cord. That’s slightly larger than the industry average. But, it’s still short enough to be comfortable and easy to use in smaller spaces.

At 15.5 lbs. the weight of this vacuum is about average. It's still much easier to push and maneuver than most vacuums, however, thanks to the self-propelling system.

What We Like:

  • 25 ft cord
  • Added maneuverability and swivel control
  • Large dust cup
  • Built-in allergen trap
  • HEPA filter
  • LED headlights

What We Didn’t Like:

  • Tools and accessories rely on friction for attachment points (no attachment system)
  • The foam filter is prone to tearing when you wash it

3. Hoover React Premier Upright Vacuum

The Hoover React is similar in most features to the Hoover Wind Tunnel 3. It has the same suction technology, a similar self-propelling system, and uses power lift technology to automatically switch between different heights and floor types.

It’s also equally up to the task of handling pet fur and dander. This vacuum will keep rooms clean enough to be safe for even the most curious toddlers. Better yet, the high suction and deep clean both mean that your carpets will last longer and stay softer.

It’s a minor point of difference, but the cord on the React is ten feet shorter than the WindTunnel 3. It might be slightly less well suited to the largest homes, but the reduced length is easier to manage in cramped quarters.

Where the React stands out is in its impressive array of additional accessories and tools. The self-propelling system makes it easy to vacuum your carpeting and floors, and these accessories take care of everything else.

What We Like:

  • Lots of accessories to clean every space in your home
  • High suction power deep cleans all carpet types
  • Easily handles pet fur and dander
  • 30 ft cord

What We Didn’t Like:

  • Takes up more storage space
  • Initially, assembly can be tricky. Have your user's manual ready!

4. iRobot Roomba 960

Of course, the ultimate in self-propelled vacuums are vacuums that are entirely self-propelled and directed. While these vacuums are still slightly less common than their traditional counterparts, robotic vacuums are becoming increasingly common and effective.

Roomba is the big name when it comes to robotic vacuums. It should be no surprise that their top of the line smart model, the 960, deserves a spot on our list.

Roombas function by auto-detecting dirt and other debris as they path across your home. They’ll spend more time in an area with high dirt concentrations before moving on. Given enough time, they’ll vacuum entire rooms and sections of your home on their own.

However, they don’t necessarily move in a way that makes sense to you. And they take significantly longer to vacuum a space that it would take you to do it manually. Where it may only take you 10 minutes to vacuum a room, it’ll take your Roomba several times longer.

That said, one of the major advantages of modern Roombas is the smart interface. You can easily trigger your Roomba to start cleaning hours before you get home while you’re at work or out on a date.

You can also use the smart interface to schedule cleanings in advance, check on your Roomba’s progress, and even send it back to it’s charging base.

You won’t often have to send it back to the charger, however. The Roomba knows when it has a low battery and will return to charge on its own. Once it’s charged, it will resume cleaning.

This model also comes with a filter, perfect for picking up allergens and airborne contaminants. That means your whole come gets a deeper clean while the Roomba is running.

What We Like:

  • Autonomous Vacuuming, no hands or attention necessary
  • Smart technology lets you check on and start your Roomba anywhere
  • Charging base has a relatively small footprint
  • Auto-detects edges and dangerous areas, no need to baby-gates or closed doors.
  • Edge brush effectively cleans hard-to-reach corners without damaging your floor or walls

What We Didn’t Like:

  • Takes longer than traditional vacuuming
  • Dust bin needs to be emptied fairly often

5. Eureka Floor Rover Upright Vacuum

The Floor Rover can look a little weird at first glance, the big wheel behind the vacuum head is different. But that big wheel makes this one of the easier vacuums to push and maneuver. It’s especially good at transitioning between carpeting and hard flooring.

That makes this a good vacuum for whole-home cleaning, especially if you have many varieties of flooring in your home.

The advanced swivel steering also makes it easier to maneuver around furniture and get into tight corners. The self-propelling system takes much of the burden of your wrist and arm, making precision turns easier to achieve.

This vacuum also comes with a turbo pet hair brush head, perfect for lifting long strands of embedded pet hair.

What We Like:

  • Deep suction
  • Washable filter design
  • Dust cup empties with the push of a button
  • Big wheel design for easy maneuverability and control
  • 30 ft power cord
  • Turbo pet hair handheld brush

What We Didn’t Like:

  • Doesn’t come with an extension tool
  • Some of the accessories aren’t very useful/effective

6. Bissell Power Glide Pet Hair Bagless Upright Vacuum

Bissell is another big name in the vacuum industry. Its reputation as a producer of well-designed, powerful, moderately priced vacuums is well earned.

This vacuum features most of the quality and design notes that their most successful vacuums have used. In addition to the propelling system, it’s also built with swivel steering. Between the two this is an incredibly easy vacuum to use and maneuver.

The floor to vacuum seal also helps protect suction power in the vacuum head. The very edge of the vacuum head still has nearly the same suction as the center. That makes it easier to clean in corners and under furniture.

Every inch of the vacuum head is equally effective and powerful.
The Power Glide is also a good option in homes with several flooring types.

The triple brush beater bar will help pull dust and debris from even the thickest carpets. With the push of a button, you can disable the beater bar for safe and effective vacuuming on hard flooring.

What We Like:

  • Comes with an extension bar and other accessories
  • 27 ft power cord, slightly longer than the industry average
  • Edge-to-Edge vacuum head cleaning power
  • Swivel steering
  • Footlong cleaning path

What We Didn’t Like:

  • Balance point leave this vacuum prone to falling over

7. Oreck Magnesium RS Swivel-Steering Upright Vacuum

Oreck is another big name, and their designs show it. Instead of opting for more modern sleep-profile vacuums with clean canisters and tubing, the Magnesium would fit in on a 60's TV set, or in the hands of the Jetson's robot maid Rosy.

For all the old-fashioned appearance, the Magnesium doesn’t have the suction or clogging issues common in older vacuums. And, for all its bulky appearance, it’s still an easy vacuum to push and maneuver thanks to the self-propelling system.

Plus, it’s a lightweight compared to most upright vacuums. At only 7.7 lbs, it’s approximately 10 lbs lighter than average. That makes it even easier to push and control.

Overall the Magnesium seems like a great pick for plush carpeting, multi-story homes, and anyone who cares more about function than beauty. If ease is your main concern, look at this list of vacuuming tips that make using the Magnesium even easier.

8. Eufy Boost IQ RoboVac 30C

For our last entry, we thought it would be useful to include a non-Roomba robo vacuum. The RoboVac is less expensive than it's Roomba counterparts but has similar vacuuming power.

Like the 960, the RoboVac is a smart vacuum compatible with Alexa products and smart technology. It uses a similar interface for connecting to other smart devices. You can schedule a cleaning, and start it cleaning while you're away. It's also easy to check on the RoboVac’s progress and send it back to charge at its base.

This model also comes with boundary strips, so you can clearly designate areas of your home you don’t want the RoboVac to clean.

It also has an impressive 100 minutes of runtime on a single charge, cutting down on the time spent charging.

Unfortunately, like the Roomba, it will probably take longer for the RoboVac to thoroughly clean a room than it would take for you to get it done.

What We Like:

  • Fully Automated Function
  • Boundary tape makes it easier to set it and go
  • Thorough deep cleaning
  • High Suction

What We Didn’t Like:

  • Small dustbin
  • Less filtration than a traditional vacuum
  • Takes longer to clean a room

Final Thoughts

Self Propelling vacuums make the core of cleaning your home significantly easier, but it’s important to get the right one for you.

Are you willing to spend a little more to get a fully automated vacuum like the Roomba and the RoboVac?

Or is a lightweight and easy to maneuver vacuum more the priority than one you can set to auto-clean?

How much storage space do you have? Do you have lots of ceiling fans, pets, and other needs for extra tool heads and accessories?

The more boxes a vacuum can check off on your priority list, the more likely it is to be a good vacuum for you. We’re confident in our list, but no vacuum is perfect for every user. Take some time to think about what you want and need and make your vacuum purchase with confidence.

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