Shark Navigator Lift-Away Deluxe NV360

  • Lightweight—13 pounds as an upright, 7.5 pounds as a cylinder.
  • Easy to maneuver with swivel steering.
  • 12-quart capacity.
  • Possibly the best HEPA vacuum for allergies.
  • Simple to empty dust cup.
  • Lift-away technology to turn an upright into a canister.
  • Brush shut-off feature—to address hard floor areas.
  • 25 feet of cord.

If you’re plagued by spontaneous sneezing, suffer from constant coughing, or tormented by interminable itching—then it’s time to start thinking about getting the best HEPA vacuum.

The issue is, we’re constantly being bombarded by allergens—be that cat hair, doggie dander, flower pollen, or your partner.

Many of these troublesome ticklers are visible to the naked eye—but some are so small you need a microscope to see them.


Traditional vacuum cleaners are inefficient at eliminating these miniature monsters. Hence, you need a unit that’s the Terminator of the sucking world.

Sit back, as I reveal the shocking truth behind the ultimate anti-allergen vacuums.

Top HEPA Vacuum Comparison Table





Shark Navigator Lift-Away Deluxe NV360

Check price at Amazon

Weight: 13 pounds

Power: 1200 watts


Dyson Upright Vacuum Cleaner Ball Animal 2

Check price at Amazon

Weight: 17.35 pounds

Power: 270 air watts


Hoover WindTunnel 2 Whole House

Check price at Amazon

Weight: 16.1 pounds

Power: 12 amps


Golongele Smart Clean Robot Vacuum Cleaner

Check price at Amazon

Weight: 6.3 pounds

Power: 1000 pascals


Shark Rocket Pet Pro

Check price at Amazon

Weight: 7.5 pounds

Power: 181 watts


Atrix AHC-1 Turbo Red Canister Vacuum

Check price at Amazon

Weight: 19 pounds

Power: 1400 watts

Why Do I Need a HEPA Vacuum?


Chances are, you suffer from an allergy or intolerance of some kind or another. If you don’t—then you’re almost sure to know someone very close to you who does.

Current research estimates that around 40 percent of the worldwide population is sensitive to foreign antagonists (as in dust etc., not Canadians).

As prevention is better than cure, the simple way to keep symptom free is to avoid the offending substance.

And often, that’s simple.

If you’re gluten intolerant, you steer clear of bread, or should latex send you into an itching spasm, you don’t wear surgical gloves. However, many substances that kick off your allergic responses aren’t so easy to circumvent—as they’re too darn small.

The most common ones of these are—dust, bacteria, fungi, spores, pollen, dust mite droppings, and pet dander.

If you have a dog, you can often see their fur floating around the room. Yet, have you ever turned to your partner and said, ”Jeez, look at that pile of dust mite feces in the corner, time to whip out the vacuum cleaner”? (if you have actually made that remark, or one similar, then you have a serious infestation problem—and its time to call in the exterminators).

The best HEPA vacuum cleaner captures these invisible offenders—keeping you free from allergy symptoms.

Why Is a HEPA Vacuum Different to a Normal Cleaner?

Let me, very briefly, describe how a vacuum works.

Basically, a fan spins inside the cleaner, which expels air from within, to the outside of the machine. This creates an area of low pressure. However, the air surrounding the vacuum is now at a higher pressure—and whooshes inside the unit, creating suction, and hopefully bringing dirt with it.

The problem is—air comes out the back of the vacuum. If it didn’t, the cleaner would expand like a balloon and explode, taking you and your house with it (or, more likely, just overheat a little bit and not suck).

And that emitted rear air is the issue.

Microscopic allergens are so tiny that they don’t get caught inside your vacuum bag (or dust-bin, if it’s bagless). The cleaner sucks them in and throws them right back out again—making your cleaning somewhat futile.

HEPA vacuums don’t do that.

Back in the 1940s, the Americans were developing the first nuclear bombs. While highly efficient at blinding people who looked at the explosion, burning the skin off humans within a five-mile radius, and killing millions of people, they also had a downside.

They left radioactive particulates in the air that could make invading US soldiers poorly.

Irving Langmuir, a boffin working on the Manhattan project, identified these offending particles as being around 0.3 microns in size. And so, he invented the HEPA (high-efficiency particulate air) filter to remove them

Eighty years later—and that technology is now in the best HEPA vacuums.

These anti-allergy bounty hunters are constructed from a maze of interlaced glass threads. When tiny particulates hit this web, they’re removed from the air in one of the following ways:


  • Sieving—the offending particle is larger than the gaps in the filter, so it’s captured.
  • Diffusion—ultra-small particulates travel more unevenly than more significant ones—meaning that they’re more likely to hit and stick to filter fibers.
  • Direct impact—larger contaminants, such as mold or pollen, move in a linear direction, hit the filter strands and adhere to it.

So, in the simplest of terms—HEPA cleaners trap all the nasty allergens and diseases that standard vacuums allow to roam free.

HEPA Vacuum Cleaners and Pets

If you have a gluten intolerance, it’s a pain in the butt (sometimes literally)—however, you can find a workaround. Nowadays, there are numerous gluten-free bread, pasta, and cake products that allow you to enjoy your favorite food staples, without experiencing gut-wrenching pain.

But, if you’re allergic to pets, substitutes aren’t so easy.

Ok, you could get a robotic dog, or if you’re seriously retro, a Tamagotchi—but it’s just not the same.


Typically, the causes of animal-activating allergies are:

  • Pet hair.
  • Dander.
  • Dust mites in pet bedding.

To a large extent, you can reduce the likelihood of intolerant reactions by seeking out a hypoallergenic dog—that is, it sheds little fur. Furthermore, you can get hold of a bespoke pet-hair vacuum, which includes attachments to loosen stubborn hair on furnishings.

However, to eliminate the symptom-causing dander, you’ll require a HEPA cleaner to take out these airborne and often microscopic dead skin cells.

Additionally, these HEPA vacuums are a bonus to your furry friends.

Like you, your pets can suffer from allergies, typically from dust mites, molds, and spores. Scarily, research from the School of Clinical Veterinary Science revealed that dust mites (Dermatophagoides pteronyssinus and Dermatophagoides farinae) reside in 60 percent of dog bedding.

As a precautionary step, it’s wise to invest in hypoallergenic pet beds and blankets. However, for a belt-and-braces approach, and to save your fur babies from discomfort, use a HEPA vacuum.

What to Look for In the Best HEPA Vacuum


HEPA is an industry standard—it must remove 99.7 percent of particles (99.95 in the European Union) that are 0.3 μm (micrometers) in size. So, if you see HEPA vacuums for sale—unless the retailer is up to some seriously naughty shenanigans—they must adhere to this specification.

Hence, there’s no ‘better’ HEPA filter.

However, the vacuums into which they’re fitted have features that may or may not suit your particular requirements. Hence, here’s what to consider when choosing your ultimate allergen eliminator.

Performance and Sucking Power

This can be a little tricky to judge.

Comparing the strength of different models is challenging—the cheeky manufacturers often utilize different measurements to indicate their vacuum’s power.

Often, their specifications will detail their wattage, horsepower, or amperage. And, that is important.

But it’s not the best metric.

It’s about what the cleaner does with the power—not simply how much it can boast.

Ideally, the brands should provide info on the AW (air watts) or CFM (cubic feet per minute).

The AW is the most reliable. It explains how much power the vacuum actually has for sucking up air through the cleaner head—the larger the number, the better.

CFM details how much air the vacuum takes into the machine every minute.

While there’s no specific number to look for, a performance upright unit should provide 100 AW and a canister 220 AW.

Canister, Upright, Stick, or Robot?

This is down to your personal preference and needs.

Canisters (or cylinders) follow you around on wheels, their body being on the floor. Typically, they’re more versatile—the long hose and wand allows you to reach into challenging areas, such as under furniture.

Uprights are a little more compact and simple to store. Often, they may include a hose extension, allowing you to utilize them as you would a canister.

Robots are, well, something of a luxury rather than a necessity. Admittedly, you can sit down and watch Netflix while your obedient servant does the work for you. However, you need to remember to recharge them—and they won’t offer the sucking performance of the canister or upright.

Sticks (or poles) are identifiable by a motor at the top of the cleaner stem. Typically, they’re lightweight, small and often easier on the bank balance. Like robots, they need recharging and may not offer the power of the mains-powered machines.


Generally (although not always), the more sucking power, the heavier the vacuum—usually because they have larger motors.

If you’re a senior, lack strength, or are frequently lugging your cleaner up and down stairs, you may wish to opt for a lighter model.

Accessories and Additional Tools

Many manufacturers include a range of add-ons with their HEPA vacuum cleaners. These are often dedicated to addressing specific vacuuming needs—such as an upholstery brush, floodlight, crevice nozzle or pet-hair remover.

When included, look for additional accessories that are stored on the cleaner itself—not in a separate tool bag. This means they’re close at hand when you need them—and they don’t get lost. Otherwise, you’ll end up like me—with numerous attachments kicking around your garage, for a vacuum you owned in the 1970s.



The Six Best HEPA Vacuums

Time to suck up those nasties!

Here are my picks of the best HEPA vacuums around. I’ve chosen them based on my own insights, the opinion of cleaning experts, and genuine customer HEPA vacuum cleaner reviews.

1. Shark Navigator Lift-Away Deluxe NV360

Weight: 13 pounds
Power: 1200 watts

In my opinion, the best vacuum with HEPA filter currently on the market.

Gone is the troublesome decision of whether to go for a maneuverable canister or easy-on-the-back upright model—this machine combines the best of both.

While looking like a standard upright, you can just click a button and the cylinder detaches—enabling you to reach more troublesome areas and clean stairs—attacking the floor-dwelling terrors who thought they’d escaped your reach.


In addition to the HEPA filter, this vacuum incorporates proprietary anti-allergen complete seal technology. This works to ensure that, once inside the filter, there’s no chance of the microscopic allergens trying to perform a prison break into your living room.

Furthermore, an upholstery tool allows you to give your furniture a serious sucking—and a thin crevice attachment gives you the power to reach into the smallest of gaps.

Why We Love It

  • Lightweight—13 pounds as an upright, 7.5 pounds as a cylinder.
  • Easy to maneuver with swivel steering.
  • 12-quart capacity.
  • Possibly the best HEPA vacuum for allergies.
  • Simple to empty dust cup.
  • Lift-away technology to turn an upright into a canister.
  • Brush shut-off feature—to address hard floor areas.
  • 25 feet of cord.

Keep in Mind

  • A little top-heavy in upright mode—it’s easy to knock over.

2. Dyson Upright Vacuum Cleaner Ball Animal 2

Weight: 17.35 pounds
Power: 270 air watts

If you’re seriously sensitive to your pets, this could be the ultimate upright HEPA vacuum cleaner.

You already know that the filter will remove the microscopic fur baby allergens—but this machine also addresses the larger offenders.

Designed by the vacuum powerhouse, Dyson, this cleaner includes a tangle-free turbine tool. This novel attachment allows you to concentrate on the stubborn pet hair that refuses to budge from your furniture—while ensuring the head doesn’t suffer the typical blockage and loss of power that you may experience on other machines.

Additionally, to make light work of your whole house cleaning, it comes complete with a combination tool for hard-to-reach areas, as well as a stair brush.


Furthermore, when it comes to emptying this vacuum, you’re still protected from allergens. Simply hold the dust-cup over a trash bin, press a button, and it expels its load. No fiddling with bags or clips that can lead to skin contamination.

And, if your steering isn’t akin to Lewis Hamilton—you may appreciate the ball technology—allowing you to navigate around your home with nothing more than a twist of your wrist.

Why We Love It

  • Lightweight—13 pounds as an upright, 7.5 pounds as a cylinder.
  • Easy to maneuver with swivel steering.
  • 12-quart capacity.
  • Possibly the best HEPA vacuum for allergies.
  • Simple to empty dust cup.
  • Lift-away technology to turn an upright into a canister.
  • Brush shut-off feature—to address hard floor areas.
  • 25 feet of cord.

Keep in Mind

  • A little top-heavy in upright mode—it’s easy to knock over.

3. Hoover WindTunnel 2 Whole House

Weight: 16.1 pounds
Power: 12 amps

Should you be seeking the best HEPA vacuum for mold, spores, and odors—I believe you may have just found it.

This upright machine incorporates proprietary advanced allergen block technology—a system which, in addition to the HEPA filter, aims to capture all symptom-inducing nasties. Furthermore, with an odor-absorbing carbon feature, it should help to eliminate all the unpleasant smells that may be lingering on your floor’s surfaces.

Hoover’s bespoke WindTunnel tech delivers two separate channels of suction—the first to remove any surface dirt and grime, and the second to root out any deeply embedded offenders.


I particularly like the multi-floor brush roll feature. When you move from carpets to hard flooring, you can turn it off—thus preventing the annoying ‘scatter’ of debris across surfaces such as tiles and vinyl.

Accessories include a crevice tool, pet turbo head, extender hose, and 90-degree rotating nozzle—all of which store neatly onto the upright cleaner.

Why We Love It

  • 25 feet of cable on an automatic rewinder.
  • 16 feet of cleaning reach.
  • 0.34-gallon dirt cup.
  • Five levels of height adjustment.
  • Promises no loss of suction—even as the machine fills with dirt.

Keep in Mind

  • Adjusting height means getting down on your knees—may not suit seniors or those with restricted mobility.

4. Golongele Smart Clean Robot Vacuum Cleaner

Weight: 6.3 pounds
Power: 1000 pascals

Sometimes, you just want to kick back and let someone else do the work. If that sounds like you—this may be the answer to your prayers.

With a running time of around one hour, this vacuum can clean up to 650 square feet of floor space—the size of a small apartment. In addition to its allergen-imprisoning HEPA filter, it boasts dual side brushes to reach those harder to access areas.

If you’re concerned about this machine being involved in an unwanted accident—don’t worry. Its smart intelligence feature should prevent the vacuum from falling downstairs or colliding with easy-to-scratch baseboards or table legs.


Being just 2.9 inches high, it should be able to squeeze beneath most beds, sofas and coffee tables—ensuring that even concealed allergens can’t escape its suck.

What’s more, it will make the transition from hard floors onto rugs. However, its suction may be a little too small for deeper pile carpets.

Why We Love It

  • For me, the best robot vacuum with HEPA filter.
  • Auto-function or remote control.
  • Anti-hair-wrapping feature.
  • Allows you more free time to do something more interesting than cleaning.
  • Climbs (small) obstacles.
  • Four cleaning modes—auto, edge, powerful, and random.

Keep in Mind

  • Small dust cup—will require frequent emptying.
  • Not suitable for deep pile carpets.
  • Cannot clean the stairs.
  • Only suitable for small apartments, or as a ‘quick’ cleaning fix.
  • No accessories or tools.

5. Shark Rocket Pet Pro

Weight: 7.5 pounds
Power: 181 watts

Should you be short of storage space—or lack the strength to wield a heavy upright or canister—this stick vacuum may tickle your fancy.

Weighing just 7.5 pounds, it’s so light that even a small child could use it. In fact, that’s the perfect excuse to keep your kids amused and give you some more time for yourself.

Despite being a space saver, this cordless cleaner has a wide, 10.63-inch cleaning head—meaning speedy house cleansing. Furthermore, featuring a self-cleaning brush roll, with proprietary dirt engage technology—I propose it will remove all traces of pet hair without becoming clogged.


LED lights on the head allow you to seek out surreptitious scoundrels hiding in nooks and crannies. Furthermore, the HEPA filter and Shark’s bespoke anti-allergen complete seal system ensure that all the evil allergens and bacteria remain inside the unit.

Once fully charged, this stick vacuum will provide 40 minutes of suction cleaning (in standard mode).

Why We Love It

  • The battery can be charged in or out of the unit.
  • Possibly the best stick vacuum with HEPA filter.
  • Converts into a hand vacuum for car or stair cleaning.
  • Lightweight.
  • Delivers twice as much contact with the floor, compared to other similar units.
  • Upholstery and crevice tools included.
  • Bespoke Cleantouch dirt ejector to protect your hands when emptying.

Keep in Mind

  • No wall mount or stand—needs to be leaned for storage.
  • May require charging twice for larger homes.

6. Atrix – AHC-1 Turbo Red Canister Vacuum

Weight: 19 pounds
Power: 1400 watts

With three stages of HEPA filtration, this could be the ideal choice for the canister convert.

If you’re a sucker for accessories—you’re in luck. It’s rammed with tools, including a 6-foot hose, a 22-36-inch telescopic wand, floor brush, air-powered turbo cleaner, circular dust attachment, and upholstery and crevice nozzles. There’s too many to store on the unit itself—hence it comes complete with an accessory bag.


When the dust bag is full, a handy indicator light alerts you that it’s time for emptying. And, with three different suction speeds—you can adjust the power, dependent on your focus of attention—preventing your drapes from disappearing down the nozzle.

Perhaps the only significant downside is the weight. At 19 pounds, it’s the heaviest of my top picks—and hence may not suit those users lacking in strength or have extensive stairs.

Why We Love It

  • Three-stage HEPA filter removes pollen, dirt, pet dander, tobacco smoke, and dust mites.
  • Telescopic wand with 17 height settings.
  • Available in two colors.
  • 6-foot hose.
  • Complete with two HEPA bags.
  • Small (21 by 13 by 13 inches) for a powerful machine.

Keep in Mind

  • It’s a heavy vacuum cleaner.
  • Lacks a pet-hair brush.

Best HEPA Vacuum FAQs

What Is a HEPA vacuum?

A HEPA (high-efficiency particulate air) vacuum includes a filter that captures minute allergy-inducing particles in the air—such as pollen, mold spores, dust mite feces, and pet dander. 

Due to the small size of these allergens, standard vacuum cleaners recirculate them back into the air in your home—causing unwanted sneezes and sniffles.

Are HEPA Vacuums Worth It?

If you suffer from pet, pollen, or dust allergies—HEPA vacuums are priceless.

Costing little more than a standard vacuum, they provide the added benefit of removing symptom-inducing particulates from the air.

Do HEPA Filters Remove Viruses?

In some circumstances, yes.

Research shows that HEPA filters can capture virus pathogens, including SARS (severe acute respiratory syndrome)—of which coronavirus is a particular strain.

How Long Do HEPA Filters Last?

Depending on hours of usage, HEPA filters typically remain functional for three to seven years.

Do HEPA Filters Get Rid of Smells?

Indirectly, yes.

HEPA filters remove microscopic particles—such as dust, mite feces, and bacteria—that can cause smells in the home.

However, combining with an activated charcoal filter—included in some of the best HEPA vacuum cleaners—is the ultimate stink-killer, as they recirculate de-odored air back into your house.

What Is the Difference Between HEPA and ULPA Filters?

HEPA filters remove up to 99.7 of particles as small as 0.3 microns—ULPA (ultra-low particulate air filters) remove 99.9 percent of particulates that are 0.12 microns.

Do HEPA Filters Remove VOCs?

VOCs (volatile organic compounds) are substances that easily become gases—for example when burning wood, gasoline, cigarettes, and coal. 
These compounds are too small for even HEPA filters to remove from the atmosphere.



Cleaning Up

Standard vacuum cleaners may remove the visible allergens and dirt—but they leave behind the microscopic beasties.

These tenacious terrors—such as pollen, dust mites, pet dander, and spores—can play havoc with your immune system, as well as your pet’s—leading to sniffles, sneezing, wheezing and throat tickles.

HEPA vacuums are the solution.

These technologically advanced cleaners suck up the intractable intolerance aggravators—and imprison them in a Fort Knox-like filter. Keeping you and your loved ones symptom-free.

When choosing the ideal machine, consider its power, accessories, and weight. Furthermore, do you want the ease of a robot, the maneuverability of a canister, or the convenience of an upright?

Get yourself the best HEPA vacuum—an absolute allergy Alcatraz.