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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.
Best Quiet Upright Vacuum
7 Years - Motor
2 Years - other
Best Quiet Cordless Vacuum
70dB - 78dB
Best Quiet Canister Vacuum
7 Years Motor, 5 Years on non-wear parts
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.
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 2021.
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
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 SEBO AirBelt K3 Premium, which has a noise level of only 63dB. See our review of this quiet vacuum below.
Quietest Canister Vacuums - SEBO AirBelt K3 Premium
Unfortunately, our top choice for the quietest canister vacuum last year, the Electrolux Ultra Silencer has been discontinued. That model had a noise level of only 61dB, which is extremely quiet.
In looking for alternatives we discovered that Sebo vacuums are also very quiet. Furthermore, when we compared Sebo vs Miele vacuums we found the quality of Sebo to be on a par with Miele. They are very well made vacuum cleaners that are built to last.
The Sebo AirBelt K3 Premium has a noise level of only 63dB making it one of the quietest canister vacuums on the market. As a result, we had no hesitation in naming it our Best Quiet Canister Vacuum for 2023. With this model you are getting a lot more than just a quiet vacuum. Its performance is fantastic and you can be confident in its longevity due to its German-made build quality.
image credit: www.sebo.com
- Sealed S-Class HEPA Filtration System
- Noise level of only 63dB
- 100% Pet Hair Pickup
- Durable, manoeuvrable and technically advanced power head with 4-level manual brush height adjustment
- Large 3.0 litre (0.8 Gallon) dust bag
- 32ft cleaning range and 20ft cord
- Powerful 1900W suction motor and 175 watt power head to provide a deep clean
- Long 7 year warranty on motor, 5 years on non-wear parts & labor
- Cost of replacement dust bags
The drawback is that this model doesn't come cheap. It's also often not available on Amazon but you can get it direct from Sebo's online store here.
If the K3 is outside your budget, the Sebo Airbelt K2 is a great cheaper alternative and has the same noise level of only 63dB. We reviewed the K2 in our Sebo vs Miele comparison so check that out for further details.
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. However, Miele's Complete C3 canisters are rated at 76dB so noticeably louder than the SEBO K3 Premium.
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 Dyson V11 Torque Drive is our best choice silent cordless. It has an even lower noise level than its predecessor, the V10 (and the V8, our previous top choice Silent Cordless). That is impressive given that the V8 was around 50% quieter than the V6!
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 V11 Torque Drive Cord-Free Vacuum
- Cord-free. Hassle-free
- Dyson V11 motor helps deliver 40% more suction power than the Dyson V8 cord-free vacuum! Provides deep clean of carpet to remove ground-in dirt
- Torque Drive head adapts to different floor types in Auto Mode
- LCD Screen Displays run-time countdown and performance
- Up to 60 minutes suction (12 minutes on Boost mode)
- Whole Machine HEPA FIltration
- Very Quiet
- 2 year warranty
Is the dyson v11 quieter than its predecessors?
Of course the V11 is the latest in a long line of Dyson cordless stick vacuums. We recently compared the last 3 models in the series, the Dyson V11 vs V10 vs V8, so check that out if you want to see how the technology has improved over time.
Since this article is about the quietest vacuums, we must comment on how the Dyson V11's predecessors compare in terms of noise. In fact, the Dyson V8 was previously our top choice of quietest cordless for 2018 and 2019.
The latest Dyson cordless model V11 has further improved the noise acoustics beyond the V8, something which the V10 failed to do. In our review of the Dyson V10 we found it to be louder than the V8 in independent tests.
So credit to Dyson for silencing the V11, since it is difficult to improve suction power whilst simultaneously reducing noise. It is clear to us that the Dyson V11 deserves the crown of quietest cordless for 2023.
The video below really shows off the difference in noise levels between the Dyson V11 and the Dyson V10. You can clearly hear the lower noise of the V11 in each of the suction modes by comparison to its predecessor.
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, bagged 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 V11?). These are usually compact and consume less power, making the task of vacuuming easier and quieter.
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.
Last update on 2023-05-29 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API