What is the Quietest Vacuum Cleaner?

These are our 3 best choices of quiet vacuum cleaners across the 3 main types: upright, canister and cordless. Although these vacuums are expensive, our reviews have confirmed that these offer good value for money. We have considered the performance, reliability, warranty and expected lifespan as well as the noise levels of our selections. They are amongst the quietest vacuums of their particular type that we have found.

Vacuum Model
Best for?
Amazon Price
Noise Level
Power
Bagged/ Bagless
Weight
Warranty

Miele Dynamic U1 Cat & Dog Upright Vacuum

Best Quiet Upright Vacuum

$$$$

70dB

1200W

Bagged

21.4lbs

7 Years - Motor

2 Years - other

Dyson V8 Absolute Cord-Free Vacuum

Best Quiet Cordless Vacuum

$$$$

80dB -Boost Mode

115AW

Bagless

5.75lbs

2 Years

Electrolux Ultra Silencer Deep Clean Canister Vacuum

Best Quiet Canister Vacuum

$$$$

61dB

12 amps

Bagged

13.4lbs

5 Years

You know you need to vacuum your house to get rid of all the accumulated dust and allergens, but you have been putting it off. You’ve been too busy managing your work and home, or perhaps it’s being busy with your baby that’s not been giving you the time to pick up the vacuum cleaner. Apart from the fact that you’re perpetually short of time, and vacuum cleaning is too much of a chore, one reason for not getting down to this monotonous but essential task is the noise the vacuum cleaner makes. If you were thinking of vacuuming while the baby was sleeping, you can simply forget it, since the noise the cleaner makes can be enough to wake up the baby, and possibly the entire neighborhood too.

What you need, therefore, is a quiet, in fact the quietest vacuum cleaner you can lay your hands on. But does such a thing really exist? Aren’t all machines supposed to make a lot of noise? Yes, all machines do make noise, but there are some that make less than the usual amount of noise while doing their work. And that’s what you really need—a vacuum cleaner that’s as quiet as it can be.

Silent vacuums don't wake tigers

How to go about finding a Quiet Vacuum

Let’s begin at the beginning and see how you can find a way of choosing the quietest vacuum cleaner possible. Since a lot of cleaners claim to be the quiet kind, it’s actually quite a difficult choice to make.

One good thing is that, cognizant of the popular demand for silent vacuum cleaners, many manufacturers have now come out with models that are designated as such. Now you can find many exclusively low-sound or silent models of vacuums available on the market. Quite a few manufacturers, especially European, have come out with such models for you to choose from.

Most vacuum cleaner specifications confirm a noise rating in decibels (dB). This is what you need to look for to find the quietest vacuum cleaner. For these quiet vacuum cleaner reviews we've compared the market for you to find the most silent vacuum models in 2016.

Understand Decibels to find the quietest vacuum!


One thing that you need to know when looking for a quiet vacuum cleaner is that decibels are measured on a logarithmic scale. A small change in the number you see on the vacuum specification makes a huge difference to the noise you will hear. A reduction of 3db equates to the noise level reducing by half! 

The noise level of a standard vacuum cleaner is around 78-80 dB. For the most quiet vacuum cleaner you want to be looking for a noise level of less than 72dB. Here's some noise level equivalents to give you a reference point:

  • Libraries 40 dB
  • Normal conversations 60-70 dB
  • Radio and TV 70 dB

There is a huge variation in noise levels of vacuums on the market so check out the reviews below of the best quiet vacuums we could find.

Upright vs canister vacuum - which is quietest?

A simple way of choosing the quietest vacuum is to understand the difference between upright and canister vacuums.

The upright varieties have large capacities and these models are also heavier. Add to it the fact that they operate with a motorized or electronic brush and you’ll immediately understand why they make so much noise. By and large, then, you won’t find upright vacuums that are silent too.

What aggravates the noise problem, in the case of an upright vacuum, is the fact that their motors, which are quite large, work at some distance from the ground, causing the sound to dissipate over large areas.

Miele Dynamic U1 - Quietest Upright Vacuums

best quiet vacuum cleaners

image credit: www.miele.com

If you're looking for the best quiet upright vacuum then we would highly recommend the Miele U1 Dynamic Range. At around 70dB, these are the quietest uprights that we have found. They also clean exceptionally well and have a range of models to suit various budgets.

The Miele Dynamic U1 features a silence system, which includes a low-noise motor with integrated sound insulation. There is also a Silence Setting that provides the lowest possible noise level without compromising cleaning performance.

We reviewed the Miele Dynamic U1 Cat & Dog against the Dyson Cinetic Big Ball Animal in this article and found it to be around 10dB quieter than the Dyson. 

Although, at an operating sound level of around 70dB the Miele Dynamic U1 uprights are still louder than the quietest canister vacuum cleaner that we've found.

Canister vacuums, on the other hand, are lighter, with smaller motors to do the job. A small motor naturally means less noise. And since the motor in this case operates closer to the ground, the sound remains confined to a smaller area, and doesn’t end up disturbing the entire household. The quietest canister vacuum cleaner that we have found is the Electrolux Ultra Silencer Deep Clean, which has a noise level of only 61dB. See our review of this quiet vacuum below.

The World's Quietest Vacuum - Electrolux Ultra Silencer Deep Clean

Electrolux claim this vacuum cleaner to be the most silent vacuum in the world. They say that the noise level of the Ultra Silencer Deep Clean is comparable to the sound of a normal spoken voice.

Research studies have been conducted by Electrolux that have confirmed it is possible to fall asleep with this vacuum running nearby. The study further confirmed that turning this vacuum on and off while people sleep nearby will not awaken them. Impressive stuff. Further studies were conducted to confirm that it is feasible to listen to music whilst vacuuming with this, even on low volume.

best quiet vacuum cleaner 2016

image credit: www.electrolux.com

Features

  • Sealed HEPA Filtration System
  • Noise level of only 61dB
  • Deep Clean Powerhead, upholstery and hard floor tools
  • Large 1.88qrts dust bag
  • Powered floor nozzle with LED

Pros

  • Powerful suction to provide a deep clean (as the name suggests!)
  • Long 5 year warranty!

Cons

  • A fairly high number of users have reported breakdowns. However the 5 year warranty gives you piece of mind.
  • Cost of replacement dust bags

There are also some other great quiet vacuum cleaner options in our Canister Vacuum Reviews. In particular, the Miele Complete C3 in the review has very low noise output even on its highest setting, due to the Miele Silence System. 

In addition, for those living in the UK, Miele have recently released a new Complete C3 model that is even quieter than the rest - the Miele Complete C3 Silence EcoLine, which is only 69dB. Unfortunately this model isn't available in the US as yet but we will be sure to provide an update if and when it does.

​Cordless Vacuums are the future - we've found a really quiet one!


​Another type of vacuum that you might want to consider if convenience as well silent operation is what you are looking for is a cordless. The new Dyson V8 Cordless is our best choice silent cordless. It has an even lower noise level than its predecessor, the V6. Up to 50% quieter in fact!

Noise has been reduced by a re-design of the airflow and post-motor filter. Acoustic felt and closed cell foam has also been incorporated inside the vacuum to absorb vibrations and further reduce noise.​ 

Dyson V8 Absolute Cord-Free Vacuum

quietest cordless 2016

image credit: www.dyson.com

Features

  • ​Cord-free. Hassle-free
  • Direct-drive cleaner head - 150% more brush bar power than the Dyson V6 cord-free vacuum! Provides deep clean of carpet to remove ground-in dirt
  • Soft roller cleaner head - invented for hard floors
  • Transforms to a handheld
  • 2 Tier Radial cyclones to provide powerful fade-free suction
  • 40 minutes suction (7 minutes on Max mode)
  • Whole Machine HEPA FIltration
  • Washable lifetime filter
  • Includes mini motrized tool, combination tool, crevice tool and soft dusting brush
  • Very Quiet
  • 2 year warranty

Bagged vs bagless vacuums

Another way to differentiate between noisy and quiet vacuums is the construction. Whether it’s a bagged vacuum or a bag-less model can make a major difference in the amount of noise it puts out while working. The bagless varieties are generally much noisier than the bag variety. 

In the bagless model, you’ll find the motor attached closer to the casing, creating more noise. On the other hand, bag vacuums have improved acoustic features to muffle the sound, along with better filtration that makes the entire operation quieter and more peaceful.

Type of motor

Apart from the large and small motors, which as we’ve seen earlier make a lot of difference to the noise level, motor design is another key factor in choosing your vacuum. The power of the motor is what makes the difference in this regard. You’ll generally find high-powered motors noisier, besides also being not necessarily as effective as the low-powered ones.

More than the power, it is the suction quality of the machine, as well as the amount of airflow it produces that influences the sound quality. So rather than simply go for a high-powered motor (power being measured in watts or W) you should choose one that has better suction (measured in air watts or AW) and airflow, backed by low noise levels.

An increasing number of manufacturers are now coming out with battery-operated vacuums since these are found to be quieter (did we mention the Dyson V8?). These are usually compact and consume less power, making the task of vacuuming easier and quieter.

Conclusion

These are some general tips you can use to help you pick a noiseless vacuum that does a thorough job of cleaning without making excessive noise. In addition to these factors, you should also check how much cleaning and maintenance the machine requires, and how easy or difficult it is to maintain the vacuum. Remember, regular cleaning and proper maintenance of the machine also help to keep the noise in check by ensuring a smoother operation.