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Can Vacuuming Reduce Allergens in Your Home?

Seasonal allergies, pet dander, dust mites, and various other irritants can make life miserable for those who suffer from allergies. Many people look for ways to reduce allergens in their living spaces.

Measuring a Vacuums Suction Power
Suction power is just one part of indoor allergen reduction. © Vacuum Wars

Changing the air filters in a home is one way. Running air purifiers is another. But, what about vacuuming? Can vacuuming really reduce allergens in a home? The short answer is yes, but only with the right kind of vacuum cleaner.

To effectively reduce allergens, a vacuum cleaner should have two specific features: a fully-sealed enclosure and a HEPA filter.

Did you know the HEPA filter actually has ties to the Manhattan Project? It’s true. The research firm Arthur D. Little created the filter to capture radioactive particles that were released during the creation of the atomic bomb!

HEPA, short for High-Efficiency Particulate Air, refers to filters that can capture at least 99.97% of particles as small as 0.3 microns. Essentially, HEPA filters are the gold standard for allergen removal.

There’s more to the story than buying a vacuum with a HEPA filter, however. Some vacuum models can actually make matters worse by releasing allergens back into the air due to poor enclosure sealing which renders their HEPA filter ineffective.

If a vacuum does’t have an effective seal, it doesn’t matter how often you vacuum your home, you’ll be spreading microscopic particles and allergens back into the same rooms you’re removing them from.

When performing vacuum reviews, we test to specifically see how good of a seal a vacuum cleaner has. While there are outliers, for the most part, high end vacuums generally have better seals.

Testing a Vacuum Cleaners' Whole Machine HEPA Filtration Seal Test
Testing a Vacuum Cleaner’s Whole Machine HEPA Filtration Seal Test. © Vacuum Wars

Indoor Allergens and Their Impact on Your Health

Allergens such as pet dander, dust mites, and pollen can trigger an allergic reaction in sensitive individuals, leading to symptoms like sneezing, itching, watery eyes, and even asthma attacks.

By reducing indoor allergens, we can minimize the risk of having allergy flare-ups and improve the overall air quality for ourselves and our loved ones.

The Role of Vacuuming in Allergen Reduction

Vacuuming plays a significant role in allergen reduction by removing particles like dust, pet hair, and other debris from our floors, carpets, and furniture.

Regular vacuuming can make a noticeable difference in the cleanliness of your home, but there’s more to it than just suction power. For effective allergen removal, look for vacuums equipped with reliable onboard filters and well-sealed housings to prevent particles from being spewed back into the air during the cleaning process.

Features to Look for in a Vacuum for Allergen Reduction

To ensure that your vacuum is truly effective in reducing allergens in your home, here are some key features you should consider:

  1. HEPA Filter: As mentioned earlier, a HEPA filter is essential in trapping tiny particles and preventing allergen dispersal. Make sure your vacuum has a genuine HEPA filter, as some vacuums may claim to have “HEPA-like” filters, which don’t offer the same level of efficiency.
  2. Sealed Enclosure: A vacuum’s enclosure is equally important as its filter. If the vacuum is not properly sealed, allergens can be released back into the air. Look for vacuums with well-sealed enclosures that keep the filtration system airtight.
  3. Strong Suction Power: Allergens can become embedded in carpets and on hard surfaces, making it difficult to remove them completely. Opt for a vacuum with strong suction power to ensure efficient allergen removal.
  4. Versatility: Some vacuums work better on specific surfaces, while others are more versatile. Having a vacuum that can efficiently clean various types of floor surfaces, such as hardwood, tile, and carpets, will make it easier to remove allergens throughout your home.
  5. Extra Attachments: Accessories such as brush tools for upholstery, crevice tools for tight spaces, and pet hair attachments can make it even easier to capture allergens lurking around every corner.
Testing Vacuums -Allergens - HEPA Filter, Sealed Enclosure and Suction
Our vacuum testing closest related to allergen reduction is for filtration, enclosure seal and suction power.

Vacuums Well Suited for Allergy Reduction

Now that we know the essential features, here are four vacuum cleaners which we have reviewed in the past which have the characteristics a vacuum needs to effectively reduce allergens:

Dyson Gen5detect Cordless

Known for its advanced technology in the vacuum industry, Dyson’s Gen5detect cordless vacuum delivers powerful suction and a highly efficient sealed filtration system that manages to capture the tiniest allergens.

Both the Gen5detect and Gen5outsize also have a dedicated soft roller cleaner head for hard flooring and a torque-drive head for carpets. The soft roller head, known as the Fluffy Optic Head also illuminates dust on hard floors, too!

Kenmore Featherlite Lift-up (DU4080)

When we reviewed Kenmore’s Featherlite Lift-up we came away impressed. The upright is lightweight, easy to maneuver, and equipped with a HEPA filter and a sealed enclosure.

It can transform from an upright to a canister vacuum for versatility, making it an excellent choice for tackling allergens in various areas of your home.

Shark Stratos Upright

Shark’s flagship upright vacuum, the Stratos Upright AZ3002, has a fully sealed, airtight filtration system featuring a true HEPA filter and Anti-Allergen Complete Seal Technology.

It has Shark’s Lift-Away technology which allows you to detach the pod and use it as a handheld vacuum to clean hard-to-reach areas, too. With its powerful suction and versatile cleaning features, the Shark Stratos Upright is a good choice for sucking up allergens from multiple surfaces.

Samsung Bespoke Jet & Bespoke Jet AI Cordless

The Bespoke Jet and Bespoke Jet AI’s sealed filtration system traps tiny particles and remains airtight during use. Its powerful motor and suction capabilities ensure allergen removal from multiple surfaces.

The premium cordless vacuum also comes with a flexible, lightweight design and a full set of attachments for reaching tight spaces and hard to reach areas. See our Bespoke Jet AI review.

RELATED: Vacuum shopping? Our upright reviews and stick vacuum reviews check for HEPA filters and test how good each vacuum is sealed!

Vacuuming and Indoor Allergens

Vacuuming is a crucial tool in combating allergens within your home. While you cannot entirely eliminate allergens, the right vacuum cleaner can significantly reduce their presence in your living space.

By investing in a vacuum with a HEPA filter, a well-sealed enclosure, and strong suction power, you are taking a step towards cleaner air and a healthier home environment.

Best of the Best

Current Vacuum Wars product rankings:

Best Cordless Vacuums
Best Robot Vacuums
Best Upright Vacuums
Best Carpet Cleaners
Best Air Purifiers