Money Wise--The Very Best Vacuums

When it comes to household cleaning, a vacuum can make a tough job easy. But which vacuum should you choose? Good Housekeeping took 11 vacuum models for a test drive, and here's what they picked up.

"We like the Hoover Savvy, because it picks up the deep-down dirt as well as surface litter, so it's getting the dirt you see as well as the dirt you don't see," reported tester Sue Booth. "And it's also the only model we tested that you can use with or without a bag."

The Dirt Devil Cruiser cruised to top place in the heavy-duty category. "The Dirt Devil has a solid metal body, which is a lot sturdier than older plastic models," said Booth. "And it's self-propelled, so it helps to push along."

And at $199.99, Good Housekeeping says the Dirt Devil, with its six-year warranty on the motor, was a good buy.

But the institute says tops in value was the $130 lightweight Eureka Boss. It had all the right stuff.

"It's not only annoying when a vacuum tips over but it is also dangerous," said Booth. "What we liked about the Eureka Boss was that it did not tip over when we out stretched the hose."

Attention allergy sufferers: the Sears Kenmore Progressive might keep the attacks away. "This unit is a bagged model, which is great for allergy sufferers, because it tightly contains the dirt and dust within the bag so when you go throw it away, you don't have to breathe it in," said Booth.

The bags and filters were also easy to change, and at $279, a great model to bag.

And make sure you never let a vacuum sit idly in one spot while its brush roll is spinning. This could ruin your carpet, which is a costly mistake.

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