It’s no secret. The best vacuum for Airbnb is one that cleans your floors exceptionally well, and it doesn’t break down.
The reality (at least my reality with vacuums) is that lots of them don’t perform.
But today, I’m sharing the actual vacuums that we use (and have been using for some time) in two of our Airbnbs. I recommend them because I can say with confidence that they do the job.
Our Failed Vacuum Cleaners
Our experience with vacuum cleaners in our Airbnbs has been anything but straightforward. It has taken us almost two years and 5 failed vacuums to finally find two that can handle the load required by a short term rental.
Related: How to reach the top of Airbnb search.
Bad luck with older vacuums
Like any reasonable and thrifty investor, our initial plan was to re-use vacuums that we already had (or that came with the house).
First, we used a very nice vacuum that we bought five years prior to opening our first Airbnb. We bought this particular vacuum to deal with all the Golden Retriever hair produced by our pup Frodo. The vacuum worked great for some time.
But we eventually used it for some things it wasn’t really meant for after we got some water in our basement. Long story short, when we moved it to an Airbnb a few year later, it was old and didn’t work quite as well as it once did.
The main problem was that it just didn’t suck enough. Carpets didn’t come completely clean because the vacuum was just too old.
Bad luck with cordless vacuums
One of our approached to replacing an old corded vacuum was to buy a cordless one.
We were tired of pushing and pulling around a big, heavy, corded vacuum and thought a cordless would make our vacuuming much easier. And it did!
But only for about 3 months. Our first cordless vacuum just quit sucking after a few months of use. So we bought another one, and long story short, our second cordless vacuum also quit sucking after a few months.
With that experience we quit buying cordless vacuums.
Maybe we just had bad luck, and maybe there are cordless vacuums out there that are super durable and long-lasting, but we won’t be trying another one out unless we get a specific recommendation from another host.
Shark to the rescue
I’d imagine there are several vacuums out there that are more than capable of thriving under the constant demand of an Airbnb cleaning schedule. But whenever possible, I only recommend products that Kate and I have actually used in our Airbnbs.
After struggling through vacuums that were old and just didn’t clean well enough, we dealt with some very clean vacuums that just couldn’t stand the test of time.
We finally landed on a Shark vacuum that has been great for us. So great in fact, that we bought another Shark vacuum that has also been great.
Also read: How to take the perfect Airbnb cover photo.
Again, I’m sure there are other vacuums that would do great in an Airbnb, but I can tell you that these two Shark vacuums have been getting the job done in our actual, real Airbnbs for about a year with no signs of slowing down. That’s 2-3 uses per week for almost 12 months.
Our Most Reliable Vacuum: Shark Navigator Lift-Away Deluxe
- Successfully tested in a real Airbnb
- Cleans exceptionally well
- Dust canister is easy to remove and clean
After having several vacuums that either couldn’t actually clean our carpets, or simply broke down after a few months, we finally found one that stuck.
This Shark Navigator Lift-Away Deluxe does everything we expect from a vacuum cleaner. It cleans all of our surfaces (bare floors, texture carpet and this area rug we have that everything sticks to) exceptionally well. And it cleans just as well a year later as it did the day we bought it.
If you’re looking to upgrade from an older or low quality vacuum that’s just not cleaning, then this one will remind you what clean is supposed to look like.
It’s lighter than a lot of cleaners I’ve used, which means it doesn’t break your back to use it several times a week. And of course it has the detachable handheld feature that allows you to clean the hard to reach places.
I mean, it’s not some blow your mind, change your life vacuum. It just does exactly what you expect it to. Every time.
Our Cleanest Vacuum: Shark Navigator Pet Plus
- Also successfully testing in a real Airbnb
- Cleans even better than the Lift-Away
- A bit heavier, but still lightweight
- Easily removable canister
I have no reason to believe that our Shark Navigator Pet Plus is any less reliable than the Lift-Away. We just haven’t owned it as long.
We’ve gone through quite a few vacuums now, so when the Shark Lift-Away became the first vacuum to actually clean really well and not break down after a few months, we decided to buy another Shark Vacuum.
The Shark Navigator Pet Plus is just like a bigger and more powerful version of the Navigator Lift-Away.
Honestly, the Pet Plus is everything the Lift-Away is, except it seems to get things just a little bit cleaner. We actually use this one in our basement Airbnb AND our upstairs home. So it gets used even more.
It has the same detachable feature and same easy disposal of the empty dust canister. It just works.
Central Vacuum Systems Are Amazing
Our ACTUAL most reliable vacuum has been the central vacuum system in our house. We run an Airbnb out of our basement and the central vacuum system has survived everything. We’ve been here for more than 6 years and this system is super resilient.
Now, in my experience, the central vac system doesn’t clean carpets nearly as well as the Shark vacuums I’ve recommended. But if your Airbnb is all hardwood floors, then a central vacuum system might actual be the best vacuum you can buy.
If your Airbnb has carpets then I’d recommend going for an actual vacuum cleaner. And I guess in reality, even listings with all hardwoods will have area rugs around that will need a good vacuum. Either way, I just wanted to share our experience with the central vac.
Vacuums aren’t easy. I know from experience that some don’t suck enough to really clean the carpets, and that some can break after a few months of use.
A clean Airbnb is super important to getting great reviews and ultimately getting more bookings and making more money.
The two Shark vacuums I’ve recommended have performed well for us in our Airbnbs. Even after a year of serious use they still clean exceptionally well.