All My Vacuums

May 2, 2019

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This post is sponsored by eBay

I have 5 vacuums (technically 4, since we lost our Shark in the fire) but choosing a favorite would be like choosing a favorite child (jk, I totally have a favorite vacuum). But I really love them all for different reasons. Since we have talked a lot about vacuums over the years, and I still get questions about how I keep our house clean with a big hairy Bernese Mountain Dog (who sheds almost as much as I do) and three little kids, I thought I’d do a  run down of all of my vacuums and how/when I use each one and ultimately which is my favorite (and which I still want). Also, p.s. I feel like Mother’s Day and vacuums used to be taboo, but I don’t know ANY of my girlfriends that wouldn’t love a killer vacuum for mother’s day and all of these are on sale on eBay right now. (Linked below!)

1. Dyson Cyclone V10 Motorhead Lightweight Cordless Stick Vacuum Cleaner

I guess we’re saving the best for first because after we bought this vacuum in November, vacuuming stopped being a chore. Or even a hassle really. The cordless nature of the vacuum makes it a breeze to use. If company is coming over, I can quickly vacuum in under 2 minutes, while a traditional vacuum seems to take that long to wind up the cord! We mostly keep this vacuum upstairs and use it all over our faux tile hardwoods and area rugs–it transitions seamlessly. It’s dock is set up in the garage where it automatically charges and we have had no issues vacuuming 2000 sq feet of flooring in one session. The motor and stick can also be separated so it becomes a handheld vacuum, too!

2. Shark Navigator Upright Vacuum Cleaner

This was our first vacuum cleaner of the bunch and, for the price point, it served us very well. We brought it up to the cabin to use on the floors there. It felt well made and really moved with great ease around corners and in tight areas. We eventually upgraded because I didn’t love washing out the filter and after trying my friend’s Dyson and seeing how much more dirt and hair it picked up after vacuuming my living room area rug, I was frankly mortified. Haha. It’s lightweight and bagless and we had no problems for the 4-5 years we owned it.

3. Dyson Cinetic Big Ball Animal Upright Vacuum

This is a very powerful vacuum. It sucks up dirt and hair that I can’t even see! That I didn’t even know was there! We generally keep this vacuum downstairs on our fully carpeted area, because it is definitely our heaviest vacuum and makes the most sense to keep it where all the carpet is. It is clunky and big and powerful and I like the confidence knowing that there’s nothing left behind after I vacuum with this.

4. Bissell Crosswave Pet Pro

The great thing about this vacuum is how it handles wet messes–think a spilled bowl of cereal, the slobber and food around the dog bowl, *ahem* vomit. It vacuums and washes floors at the same time–carpet or hard surfaces. It’s incredible.

5. Dyson V7 Car + Boat Handheld Vacuum

I got this handheld vacuum before I got my stick (which also converts to a handheld), but I still use this one frequently to clean out my car, vacuum my couch, the stairs, vacuum my drawers! It’s addicting in the best way. And the best part it, my kids love to use this vacuum and now vacuuming the stairs is a part of their weekly chores.

Clearly I’m set in the vacuum department. But if I were to buy one more? It would be a robotic vacuum. I’m not sure which one yet but I just think having one going daily on our lower carpeted area would be a dream! Any suggestions?  I’ve rounded up ALL of these (and a few robotic ones I’m eyeing) on eBay below! I always find the best prices purchasing vacuums there.

P.s. Here’s a whole post on how I find the best deals on eBay!


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What do you think?

  1. It’s great to get such a thorough perspective on your various vacuums and how you utilize each one! It’s obvious you really have vacuuming down to a science. I can see why the cordless Dyson is so convenient for quick cleanups. And having a dedicated heavy-duty vacuum for carpet makes sense. The Bissell for wet messes is so smart too. Love that the hand vac gets extended use. Your kids learning vacuuming skills is an awesome bonus. Cleaning is so much more manageable when you have the right tools for each job.

  2. allisonhebertwatson says:

    Sounds like a soap opera.

  3. Ashley Hicks says:

    I thought I was crazy for “collecting” vacuums…but so many of them do different jobs! We have 4 kids (ages 7 and under), an Australian shepherd who sheds like its her job, and two cats….plus tons of houseplants, so sometimes we have dirt spills. I had two sharks, but they both died after long, fulfilled lives, and now we have a Neato 7 robot that I use for everyday stuff that I run at night, the Bissell crosswave pet pro (although I hate cleaning it out, but it works well), and now I’m on the hunt for a heavy duty cordless stick vac. Thanks for making me feel like I’m not alone in my love for vacuums.

  4. Liz says:

    How do you clean your hanging pendant globes

  5. I just got a Dyson and am trying to make sure that I keep it running correctly. I might look into getting different vacuums for their different purposes. I found this post on how to keep a vacuum running correctly (

  6. Jen says:

    I know you guys get asked this all the time, but how do you keep your house so clean and do everything else you do? I don’t mean products, I mean time. Do you have a schedule? Or clean as you go? How do you not spend all your time cleaning with all the entertaining and meals you do? We have 3 little kids, and we have to spend an entire day cleaning for our house to look anywhere near as clean as yours looks all the time–and we live pretty minimally! Tuesdays are our cleaning days, but most days I leave the dishes in the sink + crumbs on the floor so I can work or spend time with my kids. Do you do this too? I’d love to see a post on how you divide up housework, or who loves what jobs vs. hates others. I’d actually rather clean the bathrooms than vacuum, so my husband does the vacuuming most of the time! You guys are amazing; we love learning from you.

    • Julia says:

      We do clutter clean up every morning after the girls get to school. Meaning EVERYTHING is put away and cleaned up and we pick up after ourselves throughout the day. Deep cleaning (dusting, bathrooms, floors) I usually save for one day a week. But just making sure everything has a place has been a game changer. Also, note–it’s kind of a part of my job. ;)

  7. Jocelyn says:

    Do you have a post showing where and how you store all your different vacuums?

  8. Mary says:

    I don’t know a single woman friend that would be excited about a vacuum for Mother’s Day.

    I’m trying to imagine a scenario where someone’s wife unwraps a gift and the husband is all, “Surprise, it’s your new vacuum! And there’s more, I threw in a mop.” Omg, that would be a bad day.

    • Julia says:

      two of my girlfriends got one for Mother’s day and Christmas and couldn’t be more ecstatic!

      • Mary says:

        I actually witnessed this exact scenario a few years ago. :-) I had a co-worker who was so irritated that her husband asked if she wanted a vacuum for Mother’s Day. The undertones being it was her job to vacuum.

        I wonder why vacuums don’t show up on gift lists for Father’s Day. They should! Along with a washing machine that loses cargo shorts. ;-)

  9. V says:

    But also, where is your adorable shirt from?

  10. Emily says:

    I know this is not related to the vacuums… but where is your hallway rug from? It’s *exactly* what I’m looking for!

  11. Tiffany says:

    Our Roomba is awesome. Honestly, it’s the reason our house looks nice on a regular basis. We got an amazing deal on one through Amazon Warehouse Deals. No regrets!

    • Mitzi says:

      Which Roomba did you get? I’ve seen there are different models and was wondering which one to get. Thank you!!

      And Julia- I LOVE your house!!! You were one of my first Instagram designers I followed! Thanks for always being so inspiring! :)

  12. Leslie says:

    I just found your blog! My sister in law knew you in ID and I love your projects. I am like you and I love vacuums. I recently found a eufy 11c pet edition (we don’t have pets, but I have three boys….almost the same thing). And it has been a dream. I originally wanted a roomba because that’s what everyone was buying, but I happened to find this one on clearance for less than $100, so I gave it a shot. It’s amazing. It can do the whole first floor (carpet and floor) without any hesitation and one charge. It’s a breeze to clean (I deep clean it about once a month) and it’s been working fine. I will say that if my kids leave tiny toys or socks lying around, this thing will eat them and then get stuck and stop working. BUT it has an app that you can download and it alerts you of what the problem is. It’s amazing how smart it is. And for being so small, it’s amazing how much grunge it picks up- my floors look clean before I turn it on (I actually sweep before it turns on to make sure the slimy stuff like goo and banana are not on the floor). I will say it’s great for daily cleaning…..but it can’t get corners very well….so for deep clean you may have to go get the dyeing (which is what I have).

  13. Alison says:

    We have a Samsung robotic vacuum, named “Sam”, free with a kitchen appliance purchase on a Black Friday deal and a cordless dyson (currently without a name). We comment often that we weren’t planning on buying a Sam, but that we love having one now. We have it programmed to run when we are not home and with two kids and 2 large shedding labs it helps keep maintain the floors on busy weekdays. I think it helps keep the living areas smelling fresh and not like dogs live there too. We still vacuum twice a week and love our dyson (so much dog hair) but now that we have Sam we definitely love that too.

  14. Do you think the Dyson Cyclone would be work well on thick carpet?

  15. Laura H says:

    All these comments about being able to live without their robotic vacuums have me floored. We have four kids under ten and a new puppy. Our roomba died two weeks ago and our house has been disgusting since ???? We’re buying a new one stat!

    • Haley says:

      I have a Roomba that I got from Costco in 2014 and still love it. I have two dogs and three cats in the house and this little thing helps keep on top of the fluff. Now, she can be a bit of a pain at times as she does get hung up under my hot water radiators or on a cord but overall I’ve been pleased. I now just keep it upstairs to work because I have the Dyson stick that I can quickly run downstairs in between using my big Dyson Animal.

  16. Amanda says:

    We have the Nesto and the D shape of it has innovated the robot vacuum. Id definitely look into it.

  17. Jen says:

    We have a Dyson v10 Animal stick and a Roomba = the vacuuming dream team! I love both SO much. It’s like having an extra set of hands while I’m tidying up. We run the Roomba when we step out and it’s so satisfying emptying its bin after to see how “productive” it’s been. Though we have heard of a tragic story when a friend of a friend’s dog had an accident while they were out and their Roomba evenly dispersed it all over their house… ????

  18. Terri Cotharn says:

    I have the IRobot Roomba 650 and I really love it (ok I lied I have 2). I bought the first one that we set to run when we left for work each day. We have a inside pitbull that sheds soooo much ( I don’t see how this dog is not naked!). After seeing how well it did to help us stay on top of the dog hair and getting tired of lugging the thing up and down the stairs, we bought a second one strictly for the upstairs. I does a great job for the most part, but I still used the big vacuum once in a while with the edge tool to cleanup the corners and baseboards. Caution they do tend to bang up your corners even with adding some padding around the thing. Also beware of the occasional pet accident. OMG it was awful. My dog must have had an upset stomach. I won’t go into detail, but we kept the dog restricted to one room after that and kept the iRobot out. We are back to being an 1 iRobot family now. I had read several reviews on the newer models and settled on this model.

  19. Heidi says:

    The robotic vacuum is either an “OMG I LOVE THIS THING!” or “meh, I could throw it out and be totally fine.” Me, I could live without mine easily. If you have large, open spaces, the thing is a PAIN. Mine will return to the same spot over and over and miss whole areas, so I’d have to block them off individually. It also takes forever to do what I could in five minutes with a traditional vacuum. Who wants to listen to a vacuum run for half an hour in a normal sized bedroom? Not me. You have to make sure every single thing is up off the floor, especially cords, or you won’t have those cords any more because it will tear them and your vacuum up. We have a Roomba 655 Pet Series, for reference. I’ve owned it for probably five years and used it a grand total of maybe 10 or 15 times.

  20. L. says:

    When we put in new carpet we were warned that using a Dyson on it would void the warranty. The installer told us this was really common! Have you run into this as well? I ended up buying the Shark just as a precaution.

    • Julia says:

      That’s so funny! Never heard that!

    • JG says:

      It might be a soft carpet problem. We bought soft carpet and found out quickly that the Dyson would not work on it. You couldn’t push the thing at all when it was turned on. Apparently it’s a thing. Who knew?

      For a quick fix we ended up drilling holes in the bottom of the Dyson to allow some air to flow which released the suction a bit. We ended up purchasing a soft carpet vacuum. Problem solved.

  21. Rachel says:

    We bought a Roomba on Black Friday and I have to say, I don’t think it’s worth it. It’s too loud to run while I’m home, but it always gets stuck when I run it while away! I have to run it three days in a row to get one successful clean. It gets caught on shoelaces, between kitchen chairs, and a ridge where we have a door jamb (and forget the IKEA Poang chair, that is a Roomba death trap!), and I don’t think it does a very thorough job anyways. It also has a completely random cleaning pattern (we don’t have the kind that learns our floor plan), so it just goes bouncing around the house and when it gets stuck, it hasn’t completely cleaned anywhere so I have to re-do it all. Basically, the time it takes to pick up for the Roomba, reset it, and run it is probably equivalent to just vacuuming myself, and at least I’m not cursing in frustration! Buyer beware!

    • lauren says:

      This is my feelings on the Roomba too! I went and got a Dyson V8 stick after really trying to love the Roomba, but its just not worth it in my opinion. Its more hassle than not.

  22. Jen says:

    For tile or hardwood, you need the dyson “absolute” head! It’s for the v6/v8/v10 stick vacuum but it picks up way more stuff on a hard surface. It doesn’t shoot the crumbs around. I always see the animals and motorheads on sale, but the absolute is worth the upgrade!

  23. Jenna Brown says:

    Just want to weigh in that I HATE our robot vacuum. We have the Bobsweep. It is forever getting caught on things, it can’t find its docking station, it is really loud, and it fills up super quick. Basically, unless you have an empty room with no carpet it is useless. I would suggest saving your money and hiring a house cleaner or doing it the old fashioned way.

  24. Kate Bolton says:

    We bought a robotic vacuum a year and a half ago and if it died tomorrow I would purchase it again. It has been a dream for a family of five with two shedding pups. We’ve recommended it to friends and family and they all love it (my sister bought two – one for her upstairs and downstairs levels). It handles transitions well and even sends us a little note when it’s done that tells us exactly where it has been in the house. Can’t recommend it enough!—White-372010.html?Currency=USD&source=googleads&la=en&dv=c&pt=&ty=&gclid=CjwKCAjwqqrmBRAAEiwAdpDXtC9MK09RrddVRiXRRTmZkxlluUJmk5tgfP778jqqA-SzDDk9o-KgLxoCIpcQAvD_BwE

  25. Brooke says:

    I love my cordless vacuum so much! I thought my Shark would always be my favorite, until I got my cordless one! And seriously, you never think vacuums, lamps, pots and pans, or pillows would ever be on your birthday list as a kid, but they somehow end up on it (and they are the best gifts)!

  26. Jill says:

    Actually, there is a superior vacuum you didn’t mention! I LOVE my central vac system more than any other vacuum I’ve ever had.
    They can be retrofitted in existing homes, so you really should look into it.

  27. holly says:

    We have a Eufy robotic vacuum and while it is SO NICE to just be able to set it off and work on other stuff, it’s kind of loud (couldn’t run it while watching TV or if someone is sleeping, probably) and I’m not convinced it covers the whole room when it’s going. That being said, my in-laws have an actual Roomba and it seems amazing/like it actually works. I hope you get to add to your collection selfishly so we can all get a review!

  28. Katie Richards says:

    I cannot describe how much I love my Dyson Animal vacuum! We bought and moved into my grandparents home 4 years ago and my grandma had been cleaning with the same 30+ year old vacuum for the entire time they’d had the wall to wall carpet. Needless to say, the carpet looked fine on the surface but a single pass with the Dyson Animal would bring up dirt and grossness from deep within the carpet and completely fill the canister every. single. time. It was both satisfying and disgusting at the same time

    • Julia says:

      Yes! There is nothing more satisfying than vacuuming with my Animal because it gets up ALLLLLL the dirt. Stuff you don’t even think is there.

  29. HCookson says:

    We have a Roomba and there’s nothing better than coming home to a house that has just been vacuumed. It’s not going to give you the deep down vacuum you’d get from the Dyson but it easily picks up all of the crumbs from kids and tumble weeds of dog hair we have.

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