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While technology brought some lightweight and easy-to-use vacuums, those are often not as efficient as the old-school, bulky ones.
The best middle ground is often a central vacuum system, although choosing one isn’t always as simple.
If it sounds confusing, you should check out the article and reviews of top-rated products below.
In a hurry? Here’s our quick list of the top central vacuums:
|Product Name||Weight||Filtration Type||Air Watts|
|Prolux CV12000||55 lbs||Micron Pre & HEPA||500|
|OVO Powerful Central Vacuum System||27 lbs||Hybrid Filtration System with Three Layers||700|
|PP500 PurePower Central Vacuum System||20 lbs||Self-Cleaning Filter||500|
|Honeywell 4B H803||40.9 lbs||Permanent Self-Cleaning HEPA Filter||630|
|Imperium CV300||24.3 lbs||Optional Maxflo HEPA Paper Bags||740|
|Allegro MU4500||34 lbs||Micro-Fibre Filtration Systems||600|
|VacuMaid GV50PRO||30 lbs||5-layer HEPA-style bag||740|
|Bissell Garage Wall- Mounted Vacuum||33.2 lbs||2-Stage Filtration||N/A|
|Electrolux PU3650||28.1 lbs||HEPA Triumph-Self Cleaning||600|
|OVO Capacity 700 Air Watts||27 lbs||Triple-Layer Hybrid Filtration||700|
|VacuMaid P125||40 lbs||Cyclonic Filtration||525|
Our Top 11 Picks for Central Vac Systems
(Our Top Pick)
The Prolux CV1200 central vac machine has everything you need in the best central vacuum system. It covers up to a 12,000 square feet with a 150 CFM 2 speed/stage motor.
The Amtek 2 stage motor produces 150 CFM which contributes to suction power. The technology from the Prolux CV12000 allows easy cleaning on all flooring regardless of the mess you’re working with.
Though this powerful vac can cover such a large area of 12,000 square feet, it’s equally as suitable for smaller homes. This central vac comes a garage outlet for whenever you need to vacuum your car, garage or basement.
The Prolux CV12000 comes with three levels of filtration and a bagless dirt chamber. It has a clear window allowing you to track its fullness. It uses a washable Micron Pre Filter and the best washable HEPA filter.
- HEPA filtration
- 2-stage powerful motor
- Powerful suction
- Getting the filters in and out is quite difficult
OVO Central Vacuum System
(Best for Allergy Sufferers)
This vac includes a two-stage motor, heavy-duty durable steel body and a washable filter. It covers up to 9000 sq ft and is great for large households.
It comes with the brand’s Soft-Stop three-second delay technology that sucks in all the debris that remains inside after you shut the vac off.
It’s the best for allergy-prone individuals thanks to the high-efficiency filtration and disposable filter bags. The central vacuum cleaner cleans the air twice before exhausting it back into your breathing space. It uses a triple-layer filtration bag that is convenient and easy to use, keeping you away from touching the actual dirt and debris in them.
On top of that, the heat protection feature prevents the motor from overheating during extended cleaning sessions. The central vac has a quiet operation and won’t disturb your household or neighbors with noise.
- Protects air quality
- Washable filter
- Two-stage motor
- Requires service after 500 hours
PP500 PurePower Central Vacuum System
(Quiet Central Vac)
If you don’t really need as much coverage, but still need a central vac model, PP500 by Nutone might be the best choice. It covers up to 4,000 sq ft of space, which is less than what most other vacuum units promise.
Nutone includes a disposable collection bag that holds up to six gallons of dust, debris, hair, and different dirt. Though it doesn’t sound like much, it’s quite convenient since it requires emptying only every six months.
Though this Nutone central vac doesn’t feature any muffler, none is required anyway since its sound suppression lowers the noise down to 70dB.
This quiet Nutone 500-air watt features a wall-mount, allowing secure mounting of your unit that will last. This Nutone vacuum cleaner has a switch at the end of the hose where you turn the system on and off each time.
- Easy to install
- Quiet operation
- Filter that will last long
- Features plenty of plastic parts
Honeywell 4B H803
(Self-Cleaning HEPA Filtration)
Honeywell 4B H803 is among the most popular brands as far as the best central vacuum systems are concerned, thanks to the 4B H803 is. This vacuum has a heavy-duty steel body and is quite durable.
Honeywell 4B is quiet, and you’ll even be able to have a conversation next to it while in use. The ultra-quiet performance makes it the best central vacuum to avoid disturbing your neighbors or the rest of your household.
This 630-air watts vacuum cleaner has a permanent HEPA filter that’s self-cleaning and ideal for allergy-prone people and pet owners. It traps even the finest dust, keeping it inside the power unit while exhausting only clean air.
- 630 air watt motor
- Durable steel body
- Self-cleaning HEPA filter
- No utility valve included
CV300 was designed in the USA and sports 740 air watts of power to cover up to 7,500 sq ft of space. It features with a ten-year warranty on the motor.
The central vacuum is pretty quiet at only 58dB, which won’t disturb anyone around you. The unit also sports 138 CFM of suction power, allowing you to pick up even the most persistent dirt, debris, pet hair, dust, allergens, etc.
It measures 25-3/4” x 12-7/8” (HxD), so it won’t take up much space and is relatively easy to install. This unit entails a paper bag, a dirt cup with 6.25-gallon capacity, and mounting hardware.
- Ten year motor warranty
- Includes mounting hardware
- Uses HEPA filter bag
- Lacks a built-in port for direct connection
This 600-air watts vac is designed in all steel body with a two-stage 5.7-inch fan. This central vac has a 104.8-inch water lift suction power along with 124.1 CFM of airflow and 5-gallon collection capacity.
It’s a complete system that has the power unit and an electric carpet power head. You also get an extension wand, cleaning tool set, dust mop, and a tool caddy.
Its microfiber filtration system is permanent and self-cleaning. It’s the best central vacuum for trapping dirt that’s as tiny as 3 micrometers in size with an efficiency rate of 99.98%.
The Bypass Tangential Blower motor is designed for cool operation. The separate fan system keeps the motor temperature at adequate levels at all times.
- 7-year motor warranty
- Features several useful tools
- Maintains cool motor temperatures
- The added parts are sometimes tricky to remove
GV50PRO central vacuum cleaner includes a hanger, wands, caddy, dusting brush, and upholstery/floor tools. It is easily mounted and convenient, eliminating the need for heavy and bulky vacuums.
This central vac is made of steel and is powder coated which is the best central vacuum trait against corrosion that could appear after some time. The unit has a 7-gallon capacity that’s able to hold everything from larger pieces of dirt to even the finest particles.
This powder coated central vac entails a 5.7” Ametek Lamb motor offering prolonged use for up to 75% more. Another thing worth mentioning is its sealed HEPA-style bag.
- Ametek Lamb motor
- Powder coated and corrosion-resistant
- Powerful suction
- Some plastic components feel cheap
Bissell Garage Wall-Mounted Vacuum
Bissell is a well-known name that makes other types of vacuums equally as successfully. This vacuum cleaner is actually a wet/dry vacuum that’s the best for garages and other areas where you need to clean both dry and wet messes.
You can also convert this central vac into a blower which is the best central vacuum option if you have a workshop. This vacuum cleaner includes seven versatile accessories and a bag to store them in. You get tools for carpeting, bare floors, upholstery, and other surfaces.
- 12 amp motor
- Includes useful tools
- Two-stage filtration system
- Not the best suction power
This Electrolux vacuum system is the best central vacuum option if you already have a central vacuum that you’re looking to replace. The Electrolux PU3650 includes only the power unit with no additional parts, so make sure your old ones match.
This Electrolux central vac has a mounting bracket and a muffler to make the operation quiet. The motor included is the by-pass 5.7 that provides strong and continuous suction at all times.
The HEPA Triumph is self-cleaning and able to trap even the finest particles and allergens. The Electrolux unit requires almost no maintenance and cleaning, so you won’t have to be in contact with the dirt it collected.
- Warranty: 10-year
- Filtration: HEPA Triumph air filter
- Motor: By-Pass 5.7
- Dimensions: 37 x 15.4 x 15.2 in
- Weight: 28.1 Ibs
- HEPA Triumph air filter
- Mounting bracket
- Strong yet quiet
- No accessories included
OVO Central Vacuum System 630 Air Watts
This could be the best central vacuum system for you if you have mostly carpeted surfaces. It has a 6-heights adjustable electric beater for carpets and a cutting-edge technology.
The two-stage motor provides strong suction power of 700 air watts and 130 inches of water lift. It covers an area as large as 7,500 sq ft.
This vacuum system has a quality filter that improves the air inside your house while reducing allergy symptoms. The disposable bag and cyclonic filtration system clean the air twice before exhausting it back into your space.
Similarly to the majority of best central vacuum systems, this unit comes with a noise-blocking foam that makes this central vacuum rather quiet.
- High-efficiency filter
- Ideal for carpeted floors
- Though it’s an option, it doesn’t work as well without a dust bag
P125 is one of the best central vacuum options to use at home thanks to its technology, onboard accessories, and a powerful motor. With 525 air watts, 116 airflow-CFM, and 125 sealed water lift, this unit covers areas as large as 9,000 square feet.
The 525-air watts vacuum system includes the Amatek Lamb 7.2’’ tangential by-pass motor for continuous suction and powerful pick-up abilities. In addition, this central vacuum for up to 9,000 square feet allows you to use a can liner for hassle-free debris disposal.
- Enough for a big house
- By-pass motor
- Continuous suction
- A bit tricky to install
Are Central Vacuum Systems Worth It?
The best central vacuum options can be quite expensive, depending on their power, capacity, and several other things. While it’s an investment, it’s not something to take lightly, especially if you’re going for the big one.
More so, when you compare them to conventional portable vacuums, you see the clear difference in price is as big as a few hundred or even thousands. So, are they worth it?
They may or may not be, depending on your needs and the amount of mess you deal with regularly. For example, if you have pets that shed and create more mess than a small child, you’ll probably benefit from having a central vacuum.
Central Vacuums vs. Regular Vacuums
Both types are vacuums to clean your home with but are used in different ways. While some are more suitable for larger homes, others are more affordable. In essence, even best central vacuum systems and regular vacuums have a set of benefits as well as drawbacks.
As we mentioned, central vacuums are quiet and by a lot more than regular products. This is partially because they’re inside walls or in remote areas of your house. On top of that, you could get an extra quiet central vacuum with a sound-blocking foam.
These are also more hypoallergenic and top rated products for those who are allergy-prone. They keep your air fresh and clean with advanced filtration cleaning system.
However, a regular vacuum cleaner isn’t as costly as central vacuums. If you opt for the best central vac, you’ll have to put out from $1,000 to $3,000 depending on the size of your house and accessories you need.
How Does a Built-in Vacuum Work?
As its name implies, there’s a central vacuum system that’s semi-permanently fixated into one place. The next step is to install a net of pipes and hoses throughout your home where the dirt will travel from your floor to the dust canister.
With a regular vac, you have to plug the power cord into a pre-determined outlet without knowing if it will reach around your home. On the other hand, with best central systems, you get to place the inlets wherever you’d like. Some even allow you to install an automatic dustpan for quick and easy sweeping.
To clean, you need to plug the hose into a floor mounted receptacle. The on/off switch is usually located on the handle though some models differ.
The vacuum carries all the dirt out of your room, through the tubing inside your walls, and to the central vacuum unit. It disposes of it in a dirt bag or canister, depending on the central vacuum system you have.
As far as emptying these canisters is concerned, it is something you’ll only have to do every three months on average. Some quality central vacuums, usually the larger ones, allow emptying after six months. However, this depends on the amount of dirt you clean and how frequently you do it.
Cost of Installation
We already mentioned that this is a somewhat pricey investment. It costs much more than getting a simple portable vacuum, even a high-end one.
On average, the installing is estimated between $1,200 and $3,000 if your home is less than 3,000 square feet.
Still, several factors affect the overall price of the process. Think about the accessories, the number of inlets, and the central vacuum power unit as some of the first things to affect the price.
The good thing is that most dealers give free demonstrations and estimates, allowing you to figure out and decide whether this is something you should invest in.
One thing you should keep in mind is that there aren’t any hidden construction costs to consider. These systems can be installed in both existing homes and new constructions without needing to demolish any walls.
Related Post: How to install a Central Vacuum
If you’re not really sure how to pick between these central vacuum systems, you should consider each of the critical factors. Below, you’ll find the most important info on several vital parts and components to think about before deciding what’s the best central vacuum system.
The best way to figure suction power is by using logic. The longer the hose and the distance between the power unit and the inlet, the less powerful the suction will be.
However, this is such a small difference that in most cases, you won’t even notice it. What matters more is the actual motor of the central vacuum unit since this is what produces and maintains powerful suction.
All models have a filtration system that’s more or less effective. Most high-end models come with an easy-to-replace filter that requires replacement after a few months.
Still, filter can be quite tricky to replace in some cases. It might not seem as important since you’ll only have to do it approximately three times a year, but it is actually something you shouldn’t overlook.
Go for the vacuum that uses a reliable and effective filtration system that’s easy to wash or replace.
Many people often struggle to figure out how powerful a motor is. This is mainly because there’s a variety of specifications to look into some of which have nothing to do with motor power.
The best way to figure it out is to check its motor wattage. Watts indicate the input power, and although this might not indicate its efficiency, it helps to get an idea of its power.
You should also look into voltage, amps, horsepower, air watts, and water lift. Keep in mind that you might not find all this info, depending on the brand you go for.
Hoses of central vacuums differ in length, allowing you to choose according to the square footage of your home. You should choose the one that’s flexible and easy to pull out and put back in.
Most models come with a self-retracting hose that doesn’t clog as easily. In most cases, if there’s a clog, you can easily get it out with your fingers thanks to its overall design.
Air watts are another typical specification vacuum manufacturers use to indicate the cleaner’s power. However, this one rates the output power more than the input power.
Some people think this specification is only used to confuse you when you try to compare a few vacuums. This could very well be the truth, so make sure to check other specifications as well when looking into air watts.
It’s also not a big deal if you can’t find any info on how many air watts your vacuum of choice has.
Remember that air watts aren’t the same as airflow which is an entirely different thing.
Accessories are the fun part of buying a central vacuum system. Some don’t come with any attachments, which is alright if you’re replacing an old central vacuum system and have tools that match.
If not, you’ll need at least some tools to help you clean the area. Think about the type of flooring you have and what kind of attachments would work the best.
Most central vacuums come with an extension tool wand, cleaning tool sets, brushes, car kits, etc.
Think about which accessories you need the most for the type of flooring you have and the dirt you usually deal with. These vacuums often have all you need, but not every model comes with every attachment.
Apart from the common accessories like a crevice tool and dusting brush, you might also want a few more unique ones.
Retractable hoses, furniture nozzles, and hose covers aren’t as popular but can make quite a difference depending on your needs.
Another detail you should check is how the accessories attach to your vacuum. Those that attach by a click mechanism are often more efficient than those that hold on via suction.
Central vacuums are ideal to use around the house but also in offices, halls, and other large areas. However, those meant for large spaces might not be the most convenient to use in a small space and vice versa.
Take a few minutes to think about the area you’re cleaning. You might not the biggest vacuum if you want one to use at home. Larger models are best for offices, storage spaces, halls, and other similar places.
The size of the coverage area will affect the accessories you choose, the hose length, and bag capacity.
Bags over Bagless
The bagless or bagged debate is always tricky because both types have benefits as well as drawbacks. Bagged central vac often comes with a disposable bag, which is an extra expense you should keep in mind.
If you opt for a bagless vacuum, you’ll maybe have to get your hands dirty. Canisters of bagless vacuums range in capacity and require emptying that can sometimes be a bit messy.
Think about the area you’ll have to clean as well as the type of a mess. Also, consider whether or not you’d ever want to pay for an additional dust bag for a bagged vac.
Material & Design
Central vacuum systems have a somewhat universal design and you probably won’t see many variations to it. Most models are rather large and bulky, although you might find a few smaller ones.
However, the design is usually what makes these convenient since it allows effective use of storage space.
Also, think about the material your vacuum is made from. You want durable materials like steel for the canister as it’s strong and can endure years of use.
Accessories and hoses are typically made from plastic, but make sure that it’s also durable or your tools might break rather quickly.
Choosing the best central vacuum system is never an easy task because the investment might cost a few thousands of dollars, as you could see in our reviews of top products for the money. For this reason, familiarize yourself with what the top products offer so you can choose the best one for your needs.
A quality central vacuum system is the one that’s powerful, easy to use, and reliable. You’ll be able to rely on these top rated products for years to come regardless of the type of flooring you have and the mess you’re dealing with.
Sources and Resources
- Quantum measurement information as a key to energy extraction from local vacuums