Consumer Reports puts vacuum cleaners to the test

Vacuums these days are stylish and sleek. Consumer Reports put 73 upright vacuums through tough tests.

"The ones we tested cost anywhere from $80 to more than a $1,000," said Bob Markovich with Consumer Reports.

The most important test is how well a vacuum cleans carpets. Consumer reports puts a hard-to-clean mix of sand and powder onto a carpet. Then testers use a weighted roller to press the dirt in, like what happens when you walk on it and then it's time to vacuum.

Some vacuums make big claims, like this Eureka Suctionseal Pet.

'A sharper clean from the vacuum that beats the Dyson DC41 on the carpets in your home -- at half the price,' claims the commercial.

This Eureka does only cost $160 compared to the $600 Dyson DC 41.

"Our tests found that both are mediocre at cleaning carpets, and neither one made our recommended list," Markovich said.

Testers also measure how much force you need to push and pull a vacuum.

Consumer Reports also sizes up how easy vacuums are to use by evaluating how difficult they are to carry and empty.

For bagged uprights, consider a Kenmore Progressive, a best buy at $170.

For a bag less upright, try another Eureka, an Airspeed at $120, it's another best buy. Both do a very good job cleaning carpets.

Consumer Reports says canister vacuums are easier to use on stairs and cleaning under furniture. It named a $300 Kenmore Progressive Canister a best buy. It's model 21614.

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