Got mold? Trying to prevent mold? Well, one question you are likely asking yourself is “what is the best HEPA vacuum to remove and prevent mold?” Its an important question seeing how big of a role vacuuming plays in our lives.
That was a joke. Vacuuming is a dreaded and often forgotten chore. But for someone like me, or maybe you, who has already gone through a major mold event, almost daily vacuuming DOES become a very important part of our lives.
As such, we need to know that we have one of the best HEPA vacuums for mold.
What Is A HEPA Vacuum?
HEPA stands for High-Efficiency Particulate Air. The vacuum itself might not be designed or operate much differently than a standard non-HEPA vacuum, but what sets it apart is the filter it uses.
A HEPA filter is a specialized filter that is able to trap 99.97% of all air contaminate particles that are at least 0.3 microns in size including mold spores. For your reference, an inch contains about 25,000 microns.
The HEPA standard is set by the U.S. government’s Department of Energy, and was developed for use in nuclear facilities in the 1940s. HEPA filters can collect some pollutants though they cannot capture everything. For instance, particles smaller than 0.3 microns (like mycotoxins) can escape through a HEPA filter, as can the gaseous molecules of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) as well as some viruses and bacteria.
Why Do You Need A HEPA Vacuum For Mold?
When you vacuum with a non-HEPA vacuum cleaner most mold spores pass through the filtration, out the exhaust, and back into the air. This is because they are too small for ordinary filters to trap them. The only exception may be a few mold spores that get stuck to dust and filtered out that way. Vacuuming with a non-HEPA vacuum is risky since it can send even more mold spores into the air of the home and you run the risk of them finding a food source once they land. This is why you should never vacuum over a patch of mold growth using a non-HEPA vacuum.
It is important to keep in mind that even with a HEPA vacuum, you will never be able to remove every single mold spore from carpet. However lab tests of carpet samples under the microscope show that HEPA vacuuming significantly reduces the amount of microscopic particles in carpet.
HEPA Vacuum Cleaners and Mycotoxins
Although HEPA filters remove mold spores from the air they aren’t effective at filtering the mycotoxins produced by toxic mold. Central vacuum systems can help to remove some of the mycotoxins from a home if the air is exhausted outside the house. Mycotoxins are very tricky to remove and further removal efforts will need to be employed.
What Else Do HEPA Vacuums Help With?
HEPA vacuums also remove household dust, pet dander, and other allergens which cause allergic reactions and can trigger asthma.
Are There Different HEPA Vacuums For Carpet, Wood Flooring, And Tile?
Yes, there are but I don’t recommend getting a single surface vacuum. If you are going to spend the money on a quality HEPA vacuum, get one that can handle any surface.
How Much Do HEPA Vacuums For Mold Cost?
There is a huge range is pricing for HEPA vacuums. You can find them on sale for as low as $99. Some of the super high quality vacuums can go for upwards of $800. A mid-range, high quality HEPA vacuum for mold is typically in the $250-$450 range.
What 7 Requirements Do You Have For The Best HEPA Vacuums For Mold?
- A sealed chassis. This means no air leakage. You would be surprised at how many vacuums have issues with their gaskets. Gaskets play a crucial role by preventing air from leaking. Leaking air bypasses the filtration system as it comes from the housing compartment of the vacuum. This leaking air is sending out mold spores into your air as you vacuum.
- No dust or smell. A high quality HEPA vacuum will never have that “vacuum” smell. You do not want to invest in a vacuum where you can see dust coming out or smell dust.
- Quality pre-filters. Pre-filters are various layers of additional filters which protect the main HEPA filter. This is recommended because pre-filters will extend the life of the actual HEPA filter so you don’t have to replace them quite as often. This isn’t a make or break it but typically HEPA vacuums with pre-filters are a higher quality vacuum.
- Versatility and Convenience. I prefer HEPA vacuums that can capture mold spores, dirt and allergens on a variety of surfaces, whether it’s hard-wood floors, carpets, or plush rugs. I don’t want to have to purchase three vacuums for the various floors in my home. In addition, I would like it to come with tools so I can reach high places and nooks and crannies.
- Weight. Canister vacuums tend to be lighter weight. Some of the best HEPA vacuums for mold are upright though and they can be heavy. I am less likely to push a 30 pound vacuum around the house than I am a 10 pound vacuum. So I do take weight into consideration.
- Is It Certified? I tend to look for vacuums with the official approval seal from the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America (AAFA). This means that they have already put the HEPA vacuum for mold through its paces and it passed with flying colors. Now this isn’t a make or break it. There are a couple of really good HEPA vacuums that haven’t been certified.
- Bag vs. Bagless. Personally I prefer a HEPA vacuum cleaner with a bag as opposed to the bagless options. You have to be sooooo diligent in emptying the container into an outside garbage can so you don’t send spores flying in the house. In addition, you have to rinse out the cannister regularly which can be a bit of a pain. Having said that, I didn’t use this criteria as a make or break it requirement.
The 7 Best HEPA Vacuums For Mold
Below are a list of the best HEPA vacuums for mold. I have carefully researched and tested each of the HEPA vacuums I am recommending. Please know that there are many more options available but these HEPA vacuums for mold met all of my requirements.
General Overview and Features
Bissell has always been a leading name in home appliances. Its collection of vacuum cleaners have always been on the cutting edge of design and technology, including a variety of features that have become a standard in home cleaning.
Designed for portability, the Bissell 9595A CleanView Bagless Vacuum is easy to push and transport from room to room. Weighing just 15 pounds, his bagless vacuum makes cleaning your floors and furniture easier than ever without sacrificing power. The 25-foot power cord also means you won’t spend most of the time searching for an outlet.
The Bissel has a nice selection of accessories like an extension wand, upholstery tool, dusting brush and a crevice tool. It also has a hose you can attach some of these tools to for vacuuming stairs and under furniture. You can keep these attachments organized and within reach when you need them since there are storage nodules on the body of the machine.
Pros of the Bissel CleanView Upright Vacuum with OnePass
- Very affordable
- OnePass Technology – an innovative brush design combined with high suction power provided by the pump claims to clean more on initial pass
- A good vacuum for pet owners as it does suck up pet hair with ease
- Suction control that adjusts for different surfaces
- Can push the vacuum far under a console since the handle is close to the ground
- Clean filter indicator
- 25 foot power cord
- Cannister can hold a lot of debris
Cons of the Bissel CleanView Upright Vacuum with OnePass
- Hard to maneuver around corners and tight spaces
- Only slightly above average for suction
- Many reviewers and users have complained that the Bissell 9595a upright vacuum hose is prone to tipping over if you extend too far away from the vacuum cleaner.
Click here to see the current price and read other reviews of the Bissel CleanView Upright Vacuum with OnePass.
General Overview and Features
The Miele Dynamic U1 Fresh Air upright vacuum is one of the best models of its series, having a number of very convenient features such as the swivel neck technology and the numerous accessories that come with it. The versatility of the Miele Dynamic U1 Fresh Air upright vacuum is probably its most obvious and attractive feature. Borrowing a large number of features from the canister vacuums made by the same manufacturers, this vacuum can handle a vast array of surfaces. The automatic height adjustment contributes greatly to this performance. Thus, the Miele Dynamic U1 Fresh Air vacuum really cleans the floor it needs to clean instead of spreading the debris around. The range of floors it can be used on includes hardwood floors, tile, and linoleum.
Another amazing feature of the Miele Dynamic U1 Fresh Air is its HEPA Filtration System. This filtration system includes a HEPA Filter and a 5.45 quart AirClean Dust Bag. Both together clear 99.99% of dust, dirt, and allergens from your home while vacuuming. Along with maximum filtration, the Miele Dynamic U1 Fresh Air comes equipped with onboard tools, crevice tool, dusting brush, and an upholstery tool conveniently stored on the back of the vacuum. The Miele Fresh Air Upright will give your home a superior clean.
Pros of the Miele Dynamic U1 Fresh Air
- Uses Bags
- Long cord
- Together the wand & hose gives the user a 12 Ft reach for stairs, drapes, and other hard to reach places.
- Adjustable suction. The levels include Low Pile, High Pile, Smooth, and Drapery.
- Fairly quiet
- Bright headlights
- Automatic height adjustment for various flooring
- A lay flat design with a low head that gets under furniture and beds with ease
- 30 day money back no hassle return policy
- USA owned and operated
- One of the best and longest warranties in the industry
Cons of the Miele Dynamic U1 Fresh Air
- Heavy vacuum
- Does not work well on high pile rugs
- Some complaints about the suction being a bit weak on carpeting
- Smaller bags that end up needing to be changed more often
- Cannot store the wand with a tool on it
- Hose is known to develop kinks after prolonged use
- Clogs easily
Click here to see the current price and read other reviews of the Miele Dynamic U1 Fresh Air.
General Overview and Features
With its lift-away hand vacuum, anti-allergy seal, HEPA filter, and pet tool, the Shark Navigator has introduced a top-notch vacuum cleaner. It has all the features that make it an ideal product, especially for a busy household with one or more pets.
Shark Navigator Upright Vacuum has their trademark anti-allergen complete seal technology so that germs and contaminants stay away.
It features Brushroll Shutoff which allows you to deep clean your carpet.
The Shark Navigator Upright Vacuum comes with Swivel Steering as well so you can remove dust from your furniture in one go.
Pet owners will get a wide pet upholstery tool, which is definitely a must-have tool.
Pros of the Shark Navigator Upright Vacuum
- Powerful yet very lightweight weighing only 12.5 pounds
- Portable with a removable canister for hard to reach surfaces
- Superb suction
- Does not clog easily and if clogs happen they can be cleared easily.
- Washable foam filter in addition to the HEPA filter
- Long cord (25 ft)
- You can turn off the motorized brush – this prevents it from scratching hard floor surfaces
- Long 5 year warranty
- Isn’t as noisy as other upright vacuums
Cons of the Shark Navigator Upright Vacuum
- It has a tendency to topple over
- Even though it swivels, it does not swivel as smoothly as other brands like a Dyson
- Does have a slight snow plowing effect when cleaning larger bits of debris like cheerios
- No LED headlight
- No controls on the handle
- Cleaning path is narrow
Click here to see the current price and read other reviews of the Shark Navigator Upright Vacuum.
General Overview and Features
Superb, multi-functional, compact, yet powerful, is one way of describing the Ovente Cyclonic Bagless Canister Vacuum.
The Ovente Cyclonic Canister Vacuum’s multilevel HEPA filtration system is shown to be 99.97% effective at filtering particles down to a diameter of 0.3 micrometers. This efficiency ensures that even the finest dust particles are trapped inside the HEPA filter.
The Ovente has a clear dust catcher that offers complete visibility, so you can see when it’s time to empty it out. Also, the dust catcher features an LED light which lets you know when the dust catcher is at capacity. (This LED light system also lets you know when it’s time to change your filters.)
The Ovente’s wand deserves special mention due to its high level of practicality in design. Not only is it telescopic, so you can extend it to reach hard-to-reach places, it’s also bendable, further upping its ability to reach places other wands simply aren’t able to go.
The Ovente Cyclonic Canister Vacuum comes with a wide array of accessories included with purchase to up its utility into overdrive. Aside of the bendable telescopic wand, you also get the following: combination brush, crevice tool, floor brush (for hardwood and carpet), upholstery tool, pet brush and the bendable multi-angle brush.
Pros of the Ovente Cyclonic Canister Vacuum
- Multilevel HEPA filtration (99.97% effective)
- Washable filters
- Step button off/on switch
- Very powerful for its size
- LED indicator lights for dust catcher and filters
- Telescopic, bendable wand
- Lots of accessories includes
- Energy saving speed controls
- Lightweight (13 lbs)
- Very affordable
Cons of the Ovente Cyclonic Canister Vacuum
- Pretty efficient for other floors except on carpets but an upright is more suitable for carpet cleaning.
- Some users complain the handle has a suction adjuster on it that leaks.
- Shorter cord – only 5 ft.
- It doesn’t move around with the ease of some of the other vacuums mentioned here.
- Only a one year warranty.
Click here to see the current price and read other reviews of the Ovente Bagless Cyclonic Canister Vacuum.
General Overview and Features
The Miele Complete C3 Marin bagged canister vacuum is made in Germany and is one of Miele’s top-end machines. It is also one of their best-selling vacuums. Let’s take a look at all of the incredible features.
- The AirClean System – features 11 stage filtration (9 ply dustbag, pre-motor filter, H13 HEPA filter, and finally a post-motor filter) that removes 99.95% of all particles as small as 0.1 microns. Rubber seals around the dustbag and a Sealed System prevent air leakage and ensure cleaner air.
- As a key component of the AirClean system, the HEPA AirClean Filteris independently tested and certified and now features a TimeStrip indicator.
- The 9-ply, 3D G/N AirClean dust bag can hold up to 4.76 quarts and traps large particles and allergens.
- The 1200 Watt Miele Vortex Motor provides powerful suction and is now encapsulated to further reduce sound.
- The Miele Marin is rigorously tested to last an average of 20 years residential use, and each vacuum is tested prior to leaving the factory floor.
- A One-Touch Cord Rewind button as well as foot button suction controls (in lieu of the old rotary dial), provide convenience and allow you to control the Marin without having to bend down while you clean.
- With all new styling, the Marin features a metallic, navy-blue finish that sets it apart from other vacuum cleaners.
- A raised, 3D bumper strip protects furniture as well as your vacuum from bumps and dings while you clean.
- Dust bag change indicator alerts you to replace the dust bag, while a separate filter change indicator lets you know when it is time to replace the HEPA filter.
- Safety Shut-Off prevents the motor from overheating in the event that a damaging item is sucked up.
- Lightweight the Miele Marin weighs in around 11 lbs., nearly 20% lighter than the S5 line of canisters.
- The Deluxe Ergonomic Handle Assembly allows for a comfortable cleaning motion while the integrated brushroll controls put complete control of the vacuum right at your fingertips.
- The Stainless Steel Telescopic Wand fully extends and retracts to increase reach for amazing above-the-floor cleaning.
- The Marin has three space-saving park positions. The park position at the base of the unit automatically puts this C3 canister into Standby Mode as well as two other side park positions.
- Standby Mode saves power while the vacuum is parked but provides convenience when life interrupts while cleaning.
- The Automatic Suction setting provides ease and convenience and is environmentally friendly by only using as much power as needed for you specific cleaning task.
- As a part of the Miele Powerline series of vacuums, the C3 Marin comes with the best tool for deep carpet cleaning: SEB 236 Powerbrush – A 13 3/8″ wide cleaning path, illuminated by a LED lamp, and driven with an independently powered motor provide the punch and power while five height adjustment setting round out this carpet cleaning tool as all you’ll ever need for any style of carpet.
- As the standard smooth floor tool with premium Miele vacuums, the Marin comes equipped with the SBB 300-3 Parquet Floor Tool.
- A Crevice Tool for tight spaces, Dusting Brush for delicate cleaning, and Upholstery Tool for furniture and curtains are conveniently stored under the hood.
- 7 Year Warranty on the motor and body casing – 1 Year Warranty on parts and labor.
Pros of the Miele Complete C3 Marin
- Uses Bags
- One-Touch Automatic Cord Rewind
- On-Board Tools: Crevice Tool, Dusting Brush with Natural Bristles and Upholstery Tool
- Ergonomic Carrying Handle
- Electronic Suction Power Setting
- 33ft Cleaning Radius
- 6-Level Power Setting
- Motor Safety Shutoff
- Lightweight skeleton constructiond
- Automatic standby switch in rear park
- Exclusive 12-stage AirClean Sealed™ System
- Filter replacement indicator
- Lightweight (12 lbs)
- 7-Year Motor Warranty & 7-Year Casing Warranty
Cons of the Miele Complete C3 Marin
- Difficult to maintain
- Small bag size
- Better fit for homes with low pile carpet and hard flooring
- VERY expensive
Click here to see the current price and read other reviews of the Miele Complete C3 Marin Canister Vacuum.
General Overview and Features
The Prolux Tritan is the easy to use, inexpensive but dependable, powerful deep cleaning vacuum that you are looking for.
The Prolux Tritan Canister Vacuum is a powerful deep cleaner that is designed to clean carpet, rugs, hardwood floors, tile and more! With its on board tools, rubber wheels and retractable cord it is very easy to use. The Prolux Tritan’s compact but lightweight design has an impressive 12 amp deep cleaning motor that has an Amazing 107 CFM of air flow suction (most vacuums have 70 cfm). This is a well designed dependable vacuum with the 1 Year bumper to bumper factory warranty.
On board tools include the crevice tool, the duster/upholstery tool and the combination floor tool. This is a floor tool that has a button that when pushed retracts the hard floor bristles and in this mode can clean carpet and rugs. Then by pressing the button again the hard floor bristles come out for cleaning hardwood, tile and any hard floor surface. Adjustable power knob allows user to turn vacuums power down for delicate vacuuming when needed (like dusting).
Sealed Hepa Filtration – Great for allergies and keeping your home air clean and fresh with its three stage filtration and six bags.
The Prolux Tritan Canister Vacuum produces an amazing 100 inches of water lift suction and 107 CFM (cubic feet per minute) of airflow, which provides ample power for deep cleaning and sucking up pet hair.
23 foot retractable cord, 6 foot hose, and 36 inch extendable wand give the vacuum a 32 foot cleaning radius. The vacuum only weights 15 lbs and has rubber wheels for not scratching floors.
Pros of the Prolux Tritan Canister Vacuum
- Sealed HEPA filtration
- Uses Bags
- Multi-floor design
- 36-inch wand
- Adjustable power
- Amazing suction
- Decent cord length
- Easy to use
Cons of the Prolux Tritan Canister Vacuum
- Works slightly better on hard surfaces than on carpeting
- Only a one year warranty
Click here to see the current price and read other reviews of the Prolux Tritan Canister Vacuum.
General Overview and Features
The Shark Rotator Pro Complete Lift-Away vacuum features Anti-Allergen Complete Seal technology, which is scientifically proven to trap 99.99% of dust and allergens inside the vacuum. This feature makes it ideal for allergy sufferers, because it greatly reduces the chance of ever coming into contact with these allergens during the vacuuming process. The advanced dust cup prevents allergens from escaping back into the air as well.
Two HEPA filters provide the backbone of the Shark Rotator Pro’s advanced anti-allergen system. The double HEPA filter design goes the extra mile, ensuring that dust, pollen, mold and pet hair get trapped in the filters and stay there.
This powerful 3-in-1 vacuum features three different cleaning modes to ensure you get the most robust HEPA vacuuming experience possible. At its heart, the Shark Rotator Pro is a ultradurable upright. Canister vacuum mode makes cleaning an easy experience—perfect for daily maintenance cleaning. The liftaway pod makes for the ideal handheld vacuum. Powerful performance combines with extreme portability to create a robust handheld vacuuming experience.
The Shark Rotator Pro is a Never Loses Suction vacuum. This technology is aptly named. It’s exactly what it sounds like, preventing your vacuum from never losing suction so that throughout its entire natural lifespan, it remains just as powerful as the day you bought it.
Pros of the Shark Rotator Pro Complete Lift-Away
- Two HEPA filters
- Anti-Allergen Complete Seal technology
- Never Loses Suction technology
- Converts to handheld vacuum
- Converts to canister vacuum
- Swivel head
- Super quiet
- 5-year limited warranty
Cons of the Shark Rotator Pro Complete Lift-Away
- None. Seriously. The Shark Rotator Pro Complete Lift-Away vacuum is truly the best HEPA vacuum for mold on the market.
Click here to see the current price and read other reviews of the Shark Rotator Pro Complete Lift Away.
What About The Runners Up?
There are certainly a few really good HEPA vacuums for mold that I did not include in my top 7. This is because they either didn’t meet all of my requirements OR I simply didn’t love them as much. But so long as you are curious, here are my runner up HEPA vacuums in no particular order. And don’t worry – any of these are still great contenders for the Best HEPA vacuum for mold.
- Dyson Small Ball Multi Floor Upright Vacuum Cleaner (check price and availability here)
- Dyson V8 Absolute Cord-Free Vacuum (check price and availability here)
- WOMOW W9 Cordless Stick Vacuum Cleaner (check price and availability here)
- Atrix VACBP1 HEPA Backpack (check price and availability here)
- Ovente ST2010 Bagless Canister Vacuum (check price and availability here)
Wait! You didn’t recommend a Roomba or other robotic vacuum cleaners.
I know I didn’t and for a good reason. While a lot of people like the “set it and forget it” mindset of a robotic vacuum, it does have its limitations. There are a lot of places a robotic vacuum cannot go. Little nooks and crannies get missed which means you aren’t sucking up all the molds spores, dust, and other allergens. In addition, robotic vacuums tend to not have the same suction power as traditional HEPA vacuums.
I’m not saying never purchase a robotic vacuum. If it means the difference between vacuuming and not vacuuming then by all means go with a Roomba! You probably want to have a second vacuum on hand so you can do some “deep” vacuuming once or twice a month.
And there you have it! The complete guide to the best HEPA vacuums for mold. Phew!
Are you looking for more Mold Product Review posts? Click that link back there. Be sure to check out my pages on Mold Prevention and How To Remove Mold. Lots of great information there. And of course, you can prevent mold if you prevent leaks so come learn all you need to know on my Leak Prevention page!