Best Vacuum for Allergies and Asthma

The cleanliness of our homes and its indoor air quality are essential for good health. As such, using the best vacuum for allergies and asthma is a good way to ward off these respiratory issues.

According the experts, 20% of Americans have at least one kind of allergy. Often, it is related to the different allergens we’re exposed to everyday. These include dust mites, pollen, mold spores and pet dander at home.

Using the best HEPA vacuum for allergies ensures that you and your kids don’t experience any of the unwanted allergic symptoms.

 

Our Pick: Top Choices for Allergies and Ashtma

Bagless Vacuums

Bagged Vacuums

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What are Allergies & Allergens?

Allergies occur when our body’s immune system overreacts to something it thinks is harmful to it. This can be a number of things. Some common allergies are from pet dander, pollen, or even food and certain medicines.

The things that cause the allergies are known as allergens. Because the body sees allergens as threats to it, it treats them as invaders. And, tries to fight them off. The allergic reactions we experience, like redness sneezing, happen as a result of the body defending itself by making antibodies to fight the invaders.

Most allergens are harmless. And, not everyone is affected by them. Others are seasonal. If you are allergic to certain things though, chances are it will be chronic. This means it lasts a long time.

Common Types of Allergies

  • skin allergies
  • food allergies
  • dust allergies
  • pet allergies
  • mold allergies
  • allergy to pollen
  • latex allergies
  • eye allergies
  • insect sting allergies

Allergens in Your Home

When it comes to the home, some allergens are more common than others. This is especially true with dust allergies. Often, you’ll feel it worsen during or right after a cleaning session.

That’s because when we clean the house, dust particles are swept up or moved around. This is true when dusting, sweeping or vacuuming. This gets them airborne, making it easier to inhale them.

What are the Most Common Causes of Allergens at Home?

As mentioned dust is a common culprit, specifically dust mites and their droppings. Pet hair and dander is another. And, you may be surprised to know that our dead skin cells trigger allergies as well.

Other common home allergens include bacteria, mold spores and pollen.

The thing is our homes are filled with these particles, some microscopic, so we don’t see them. The problem is, as little as 0.000001 grams of these particles is enough to cause us to sneeze and cough.

Allergy Symptoms

Here are some common symptoms you may experience due to allergens at home.

Allergic reactions to dust, mold spores & pollen

  • Itchiness (eyes, nose)
  • Swollen or watery eyes
  • Runny or blocked nose
  • Sneezing
  • Coughing
  • Wheezing

Skin allergy reactions

  • Rashes or flaking skin
  • Itchy skin
  • Peeling skin

Where are Allergens Hiding in Your Home?

According to a survey in the U.K., millions of people are allergic to their own homes. This phenomenon is called “home fever”. Home fever is said to be caused by different allergic triggers found at home.

Data collected shows that dust mites were the biggest triggers at 58%. Next were pets at 45%. Cleaning products and mold followed at around 31% each.

As far as which rooms cause the most symptoms? It was the bedroom at 59%. Researchers suggest that this is from the dust mites in the bed. The say that an average bed has around 2 million dust mites. And, your pillow doubles in weight in 6 months because of dust mite feces.

So how common are indoor allergies? Around 10 to 20 percent of people have it.

Because of their microscopic size, we can’t see these particles. As such, your home may look clean. But, there are dust mites in hidden in the carpet, under your bed and in the floor’s crevices. They’re also prevalent in fur toys, fabrics and upholstered furniture.

 

How Do Vacuum Cleaners Help Reduce Allergens/Allergies?

Research shows that vacuuming helps reduce allergies at home. Unfortunately, using the wrong kind of vacuum has also been shown to worsen allergy symptoms.

Vacuums, when used correctly, lets you clean floors, walls and furniture. This lets you get rid of the dust mites you can’t see or are hiding. Good vacuums also come with tools and attachments. These let you get to the hard to reach places where allergens like dust, mold, pet hair and dander collect.

Vacuuming is also more effective compared to sweeping or dusting. The reason is vacuum cleaners pick up the dust and dirt. Sweeping and dusting brushes a lot of these allergens aside, leaving them in your home.

HEPA Vacuums

With vacuums though, there’s such a thing as the wrong kind. Many vacuums release allergens back into your home via their exhaust. This is because they don’t come with sufficient filtration. This allows the dust the cleaner picks up to escape back into the air.

A study published in the journal Environmental Science & Technology shows that using HEPA vacuums are essential. Compared to non-HEPA vacuum cleaners, they minimize the amount of dust that gets out of the machine. This leaves your home with cleaner indoor air.

HEPA filters work better than regular filters because they’re tightly meshed. This lets them trap 99.9% of bacteria and allergens in the machine. They also trap smaller particles, up to 0.3 microns in size.

 

What Features To Look For In a Vacuum Cleaner for Allergies?

In this section, we explain the most important features to look for when buying a vacuum for allergies and asthma. Asthma is triggered by similar allergens as allergies.

1. Get a Vacuum with HEPA Filtration

As mentioned above, HEPA filters significantly reduce the amount of dirt and allergens that escape from the vacuum.

In addition to a HEPA filter, you’ll want to check its entire filtration system. High quality vacuums come with multiple filters. For allergy and asthma sufferers, getting a vacuum with good filtration makes a big difference.

A vacuum’s filtration quality determines how much dust particles escape from the its exhaust.

Here’s a breakdown of what to look for in vacuum filters.

  • Stage filters: The best vacuums for allergies and asthma are HEPA vacuums with multi-stage filtration. This means they have more than one. The best often come with 3 or more layers. These can include mesh filters, HEPA filters, motor filters and a final filter.
  • HEPA or S-Class filters: Besides HEPA filters, there are S-Class filters. These are similar to HEPA filters in their filtering ability. So, you can choose either. Both HEPA and S-Class filters are essential for reducing allergies and asthma symptoms because their trap the smallest particles.
  • Charcoal filter: This layer gets neutralizes odors. They’re ideal for homes with pets, smoke and busy kitchens.
  • Lifetime and washable filters: Many vacuums come with replaceable filters. This means you’ll need to replace them every few months. Lifetime filters and washable ones let you keep using the filters. This saves you money in the long run.

2. Bagged or Bagless Vacuums

For allergies and asthma, we recommend going with bagged vacuum cleaners. They do have a higher running cost because you need to replace the bags when they get nearly full. But, they’re also much better in trapping dirt and dust.

With bags, dirt and dust aren’t able to escape once they get in there. The vacuums bags aren’t porous like filters, which need to let air through. So, there’s no risk of the allergens and particles getting back out into your home.

Bags are also cleaner to dispose of. When you dump the bag, you don’t come into contact with any of its contents. More importantly, no dust particles get out when you dump it into the trash.

The same isn’t true for bagless vacuums. These use dirt bins. And, the bin’s contents need to be emptied. During this process, some of the dust particles float back out into the air. One way to prevent these particles from getting back into your home is to do the dumping outside. Preferably in a ventilated area. So, if any particles get out, it won’t be in your home.

If you do the dumping yourself, using gloves and a mask are a good idea. This keeps you from inhaling the particles that do float back out.

3. If You Have Carpets, Get a Vacuum with a Brush Roll

This is the general rule. But there are exceptions, especially with plush and high pile carpets. We don’t recommend using a brush roll on these delicate surfaces for fear of damaging them. We have more information about vacuums for carpets here.

That said, for majority of carpets, you’ll want to use a vacuum with a brush roll. Carpets are notorious for harboring all sorts of microorganisms. They hide deep in the pile. Dust and debris also settle down there.

Using a vacuum with suction only may work. But, you’ll need a lot of suction. And, you’ll wear down your cleaner faster. Using the machine’s brush roll lets makes this easier. The spinning brush’s bristles agitate the carpet fabric. This loosens the stuck particles making it easier for the suction to do its work.

As a result, you’ll get a more thorough cleaning.

4. Tools & Attachments

From above, we know that dust and other allergens aren’t just present on your home’s floors. They’re on the walls, beds and furniture as well. This makes it important to vacuum these areas as well.

A lot of the areas that contain high amounts of allergens are in fabric and upholstered products. These surfaces give dust mites places to hide.

As such, here are some of the main tools and attachments you’ll want to consider.

  • Pet Tools: if you have dogs or cats, you’ll need a vacuum with this. Pet tools and brushes are designed to attract pet hair and dander. This lets you pick up more than regular brushes. They also work with human hair.
  • Dusting brushes: These brushes helps remove allergens above the floor. Among the places they work best are drapes, shades and mats.
  • Upholstery tools: This attachment is ideal for areas where you sit and sleep. They’re used for sofas, beds and other fabrics.
  • Mattress tool: A few vacuums offer this. They’re great for getting rid of dust mites and allergens on beds and pillows.
  • Crevice tool: You’ll want to use this in tight spaces where dust and pollutants often accumulate.
  • Telescopic wand or extension wand: These work as extensions to extend your hose’s reach. They’re great for cleaning walls and ceilings.

 

Best Vacuum for Allergies and Asthma Reviews


Bagless Vacuums

Bagged Vacuums

Stick


Dyson Ball Multi Floor 2 Upright Vacuum

Lightweight and easy to maneuver this Dyson upright vacuum offers strong suction power. It is rated at 245 air watts. This gives it excellent suction power that’s more than your regular vacuum cleaner.

Combined this suction ability with Dyson’s radial cyclone technology, you are able to pick up the smallest dust particles. This helps reduce allergens in your home.

In addition, the Multi Floor 2 is equipped with a HEPA filter that’s designed to keep the dust and debris already collected in the machine’s dirt cup. This is beneficial for anyone prone to allergies or has asthma because the allergens aren’t able to escape out of the vacuum back into your home.

We like that this device works on different floor types. It is able to clean bare floors including delicate surfaces like hardwood and tile. At the same time the brushroll and automatic height adjusting cleaning head lets you vacuum carpets of different heights.

For other areas like stairs, upholstery or under furniture, the Multi Floor 2 comes with an extension hose and want. This lets you pull out the hose and wand to clean walls, stairs and other spaces of the houses.

Overall, this is an excellent all-around vacuum. It is ideal for preventing allergies and asthma because it is able to cut down on allergens and dust. The strong suction and high end filtration system is responsible for that. Plus you get a 5 year warranty with the product.

Shark Navigator Lift-Away Professional (NV356E)

This is another all-around vacuum that lets you clean different areas of the home thoroughly. It is a more affordable option that offers high end performance.

The Shark Navigator Lift-Away Professional is a 2 in 1 vacuum cleaner. It lets you switch between an upright vacuum and a canister mode. Together, they allow you to clean your entire home from your floors and carpeting to stairs and walls.

We like this Shark vacuum because it offers a good balance between cost and performance. You also get excellent versatility.

As with the Dyson Multi-Floor 2, this product combines strong suction power with excellent filtration. The NV356E lets you control how much suction to use with its control. This lets you use stronger suction on carpets and a gentler one on upholstery.

The different floor attachments and brushroll also make it optimal for both bare floors as well as carpets. In both cases giving you efficient, safe cleaning. The ability to clean deep into the carpets and collect pet hair and dander also help. The canister’s ability to let you vacuum furniture and upholstery will decrease any allergy symptoms.

In addition to the strong suction, we like the Shark’s filtration system. This combines a HEPA filter that traps 99.9% of allergens and dust in the machine. And, its anti-allergen seal technology.

Thus, the suction power picks up the finest of dust, pet hair and dander. Then the filtration system ensures they stay in the device until you empty the cup.

Miele Compact C1 Pure Suction Canister Vacuum

As far as bagged canister vacuums go, this is our top pick for allergy sufferers. There are a few products that top it when it comes to performance, including the Miele Complete C3 Cat & Dog. But, that costs a lot more than this one.

The C1 Pure Suction offers a better cost to performance balance.

That said, there are a few things that we really like with this bagged vacuum.

  • It is an all-around cleaner. It works on floors including tile and wood. It also works on carpets and rugs. Do note that it is designed for low pile carpets. So, it isn’t as efficient for high pile. For deep pile rugs and carpets, the aforementioned C3 Cat & Dog vacuum also from Miele is great.
  • It is lightweight making it easy to move between rooms. This also makes it easy to use for vacuuming stairs.
  • It is efficient in picking up pet hair and cleaning up pet dander. Both are essential in cutting down allergens if you’re a pet owner.
  • The unit offers exceptional power. Plus, there are six switch settings that let you choose how strong a suction you want to use. This lets you use gentle suction on fabrics, and be more aggressive on carpeting.
  • Its filtration system is very good. You get a bag filter, a follow-on HEPA filter and a motor pre-filter. The multi-layer filtration system ensures that trapped micro dust particles and allergens don’t get back out of the vacuum.
  • It uses a vacuum bag. Compared to bagless vacuums, bagged vacuum cleaners trap small dirt particles better. Once they’re in the dust bag they stay there. That isn’t always the case with bagless models.

Overall, this is a compact, quiet vacuum cleaner. It is ideal for anyone who is susceptible to allergies or asthma because it cleans your home very well. Plus, it’s bagged design and excellent filter system ensures the trapped dirt and dust don’t get back into your home.

Eureka Mighty Mite Canister Vacuum with Pet Attachments, 3684F

For those who are on a budget and want something much more affordable, this pet vacuum cleaner is a good option.

This is the pet version of the Eureka Mighty Mite. We prefer this over the standard one (they yellow colored one) because it is designed for handling pet hair and comes with HEPA filter. The other isn’t.

This compact canister vacuum may be small, but it has good suction. The body measures 17.5 inches long by 11.3 inches high and 9 inches wide. The hose gives you 6 feet of reach, while the power cord is 20 feet long.

We also like that it weighs just 9 pounds. This makes it easy to pull around or carry.

  • As mentioned, the Eureka Mighty Mite 3684F comes with a pet attachment. This is in addition to the standard onboard tools it already has like the extension wand and crevice tool. The PET Power Paw attaches to the hose and lets you brush and remove pet hair from carpets, fabrics and stairs. This decreases not only pet hair but also dander which trigger allergies.
  • The HEPA filter meanwhile, ensures that 99.97% of pollutants in the air are trapped within the machine once they’re sucked in. The HEPA filter is able to keep particles that are 0.3 microns or bigger from escaping back to your home.
  • Then there’s the high filtration dust bag. The bags increase the vacuum’s cleaning ability by improving suction since there’s better airflow. Plus, it prevents fine dust particles from getting out. In addition, the bags are equipped with odor elimination and catch pet dander.

Overall, the Eureka Might Mite Pet Lover is just like the standard version except for a couple of things. One is the pet tool. Another is the HEPA filter. These features make it a great affordable vacuum for allergies.

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