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How to Buy a Vacuum

Road-testing vacuums is a dirty job, but we did it for you. So if you're still making do with a broom and a dustpan or a thrift store vacuum from college, check out our favorites:

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For the High-Maintenance Owners

Try: Bissell Lift-Off Revolution Vacuum

Why: You have carpet, stairs, wood floors and a hairy pet. You need an upright and a canister, and this one's both! The upright tackles big jobs on carpet or bare floors, and the handy canister pops out so you can clean your car. From $160, Amazon.com, Kohls.com

See More: Buying Appliances , Cleaning & Organizing