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Some vacuum features actually help

You know you have to do it. I'm sure I'm not alone in calling vacuuming my least favorite chore, but if you want your floors clean, you need to break out the dust buster every once in awhile. 

Most vacuums will come with a large list of features. Here are a few we find helpful, starting with one that's become commonplace on modern vacs: The dust bin. 

Dumping one of these -- as pictured on a Bissell PowerGlide vac -- into the trash is significantly easier than dealing with the hassle of an old school bag. 

Published:Caption:Photo:Colin West McDonald/CNET

Self-retracting cord

Lots of vacuums have a convenient self-retracting cord -- such as the pictured Electrolux Eureka Brushroll Clean -- and I love this feature. Really, it probably only takes a minute to wind up the cord when you're done, but it's still one fewer aspect of vacuuming tedium that you have to deal with. 

Published:Caption:Photo:Tyler Lizenby/CNET

Connected cleaning

Robot vacuums can take a lot of the hard work of vacuuming off of your plate. And they're only getting smarter.

The iRobot Roomba 690 connects to Wi-Fi. You can control it with an app or give it voice commands through Amazon's digital assistant Alexa and Google's similar Google Assistant


Cleaning with your voice

Talk to Alexa and Google Assistant through compatible smart speakers such as the Amazon Echo or Google Home. The Neato Botvac D5 is another smart robovac that responds to voice commands. 

Published:Caption:Photo:Tyler Lizenby/CNET

Transforming vacs

Aside from big, flashy features, lots of standup vacs have simple amenities to make the chore easier. The Shark Rotator transforms from a standup vac into a canister vac. 

Published:Caption:Photo:Tyler Lizenby/CNET

Canister in disguise

Here's the Shark vacuum in canister form, which gives you the mobility of a stick vac while still using a full-sized engine. 

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Brushroll clean

Certain Electrolux models have a unique feature called the Brushroll clean. Essentially a blade above the brushroll, you push a lever while the vacuum runs, and the blade lowers and scrapes away any stuck pet hair. It works surprisingly well and saves you from having to pick out those pet hairs yourself. 

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Powered accessories

Speaking of pet hair, powered accessories make cleaning it off of your couch much easier. Certain vacuums, such as the Dyson v10, come with a specialized tool. This powered brushroll, for example, can grab hair more effectively than a wand. 

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Auto-switching vacs

Black and Decker's Smartech Vacs sense whether they're vacuuming hardwood or carpet and automatically switch modes so you can move back and forth between them with ease. 

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Hardwood accessories

Some vacs like the Dirt Devil Lift and Go also include specific accessories tailored for hardwood floors, which is a nice touch when you're trying to give them a shine. 

Published:Caption:Photo:Colin West McDonald/CNET
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