The Best HEPA Vacuums for Mold Remediation

When looking for a vacuum for mold, you need to have a good seal. This seal is complemented by a solid HEPA filter, which can handle almost all potential particles from escaping. Here are the best HEPA vacuums for mold remediation review.

To ensure your mold is removed correctly, the rest of your vacuum shopping experience needs to be related to the quality of the vacuum. Having these two factors enables users to get a solid vacuum for mold removal.

If this sounds like something you need, check out the five best vacuums for mold remediation.

The Five Best Vacuum Cleaners for Mold Remediation

Shark Navigator (NV352) Lift-Away Upright Vacuum

The Shark NV352 Navigator is excellent at removing and containing mold. It has what they call anti-allergen complete seal technology with a HEPA filter trap.

The suction power is consistent given the power cord, but it eliminates the Navigator’s maneuverability. This is important because the Navigator advertises itself as a lightweight (16 pounds) portable vacuum cleaner.

This vacuum cleaner also includes an upholstery tool and two different crevice tools. This means you can easily reach difficult locations.

The “lift away” feature comes from you being able to carry the motor and vacuum container. This makes it suitable for cleaning stairs, which makes this vacuum flexible and efficient.

ProsCons
It has excellent suction power for challenging areas.It is not very flexible given the included power cord.
You can easily vacuum stairs and high locations with the lift away feature.The vacuum is top-heavy, making it easy to tip.
it has numerous layers of protection against mold.
Best HEPA Vacuums for Mold Remediation Reviews

Shark Rotator Professional Upright Corded Bagless Vacuum

The second Sharm model featured here is also lift-away, enabling easy cleaning of specific areas. The only reason this is number two is related to the canister. It is not see-through, so you cannot see when it is full just by looking.

As a HEPA vacuum, you can expect the same sealing technology. It is also about the same weight despite being chrome-colored. The length of your hose is nearly eight feet, offering long-distance cleaning.

The included attachments are a pet grooming kit, a wide upholstery tool, and a crevice tool. The pet tool is excellent but unnecessary if you already have something for pet grooming. This vacuum is also solid for removing pet hair from the ground.

The powerful suction you expect from Shark’s products is also essential. Its most significant issue is confusion regarding the warranty. As far as removing mold particles, this upright vacuum still excels.

ProsCons
Excellent seal technology is widely associated with removing microscopic particles.The vacuum is top-heavy and has an awkward power cord.
Excellent suction power for almost any pile carpets.You cannot see inside the vacuum to check how full it is.
Known for maintaining indoor air quality by not kicking up dust.
Best HEPA Vacuums for Mold Remediation Reviews

Miele Complete C3 Marin HEPA Canister Vacuum Cleaner

The Miele Complete C3 Marin HEPA Canister Vacuum Cleaner is a bagged design that is better at containing dust than the top two Shark vacuums. The only reason it is this low on the list is that it is more wasteful with the bagged vacuum and costs much more.

With a high upfront investment, this vacuum cleaner lasts up to twenty years. However, the warranty says otherwise, but this one has a significant issue with the head going out. Thankfully, warranties have been addressed, and improvements have been made.

It is a canister vacuum, so you can also expect it to be heavy.

The multiple layers of protection come from the sealable bag and include HEPA filters. With a high capacity and numerous replacement bags, this can be a lifetime vacuum with the proper care. It even has four pre-motor protection filters, resulting in a comprehensive process.

ProsCons
Offers the most effective protection against airborne particles.The powerhead is known to go out much sooner than it should.
Includes a powerhead brush great for deep cleaning.it is heavy, so tricky to lug around houses that have more cubic feet.
These vacuums have been known to last up to 20 years.
Best HEPA Vacuums for Mold Remediation Reviews

Prolux Tritan Bagged Canister Vacuum with HEPA Filtration

The budget consumer will appreciate the Prolux Tritan Bagged Canister Vacuum. Having a combination of bags and HEPA filtration means it improves your chances of avoiding inhalation of mold.

As a mold remediation vacuum cleaner, it is the highest priority to seal dust mites and mold. Thankfully, Prolux’s excellent design choices help that.

The unit gets more expensive when you realize that it’s likely you’ll need to purchase a new head for carpets. Prolux has solid suction power but recommends the rotating head for cleaning floors.

The hose of this vacuum is a bit too short, which can be inconvenient as you are lugging a canister around. It isn’t all that heavy, but it is heavier than most upright vacuum cleaners.

If you don’t mind the extra weight, this is a great budget option that will last you a few years.

ProsCons
Great at sealing in unwanted airborne particles and leaving them in a bag.The cost can add up if you vacuum larger spaces.
it comes with multiple attachments for different uses.This can be pretty awkward to lug around with the short hose.
It has a solid suction power.
Best HEPA Vacuums for Mold Remediation Reviews

Tineco PWRHERO11 Snap Cordless Vacuum Cleaner 

Tineco’s stick vacuums are about the only option you have for molded remediation. This is mainly because of the 120W motor assisting in the powerful suction in your medium-pile carpets.

As you might expect, the lack of a powerhead makes this less suitable for high-pile carpets. However, it is solid for hardwood floors and offers reliable and consistent cleaning.

The larger than average dustbin puts this vacuum between stick and upright regarding weight. However, that large dustbin contains a four-stage HEPA filtration system great at capturing everything that comes through it.

It is also the only handheld vacuum that functions as a decent mold remediation device. Considering the lightweight design, it is a bit more approachable to use.

Tineco is one of the few premium vacuum companies that cover this much area. Still, there are better and more effective mold remediators.

ProsCons
It has a four-stage filtration system great for light-duty work.The bagless choice makes it less suitable for mold removal.
Its bagless design choice makes it more affordable than comparable vacuums.There is no floor brush for high-pile carpets.
It weighs less than all other vacuums on this list.
Best HEPA Vacuums for Mold Remediation Reviews

What Should I Look for in Mold Remediation Vacuum Cleaners?

How Do I Know If My Vacuum Is Good For Vacuuming Mold?

To ensure your vacuum meets the minimum standard, you need a high-quality HEPA filter. HEPA, which stands for High-Efficiency Particulate Air, captures particles that are 0.3 microns or smaller.

Microns are tiny air particles, meaning that any small airborne mold chunk is captured. It is similar in function to an air purifier; only a vacuum is shoving the small particles through

Experts might measure a high-quality HEPA vacuum cleaner(and other air purifiers) in MERVs. MERVs, or Minimum Efficiency Reporting Values, inform a filter’s ability to capture small air particles.

The highest MERV rating is 16, indicating hospital-quality filters. MERV ratings are supported by the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating, and Air Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE).

Will a Powerful Motor Help Remove Mold?

Hoover recommends air wattage of 100 for a vacuum to be effective. However, cylinder vacuums need to be at least 220 air watts if you want a vacuum to remove mold.  With that in mind, all of the vacuums on this list meet or exceed that number.

Those that boast higher air wattage might have more excellent suction, but this is only one part of the big picture.

Airflow is measured by CFMs (Cubic Feet Per Minute). Higher CFMs are a factor of Airwatts alongside water lift ratings, measured in inches of water.

The ideal mix of the two is 50 CFMs at about 40 inches of water. This is about 235 air watts, which is average. 

With these larger vacuums, you would expect that number to be more significant. However, among those larger numbers, the CMFs and water lift ratings need to be balanced.

The other part of this comes from a vacuum’s natural sealing abilities

How To Ensure A Vacuum Has a Good Seal

Finding a vacuum that has a good seal comes from a variety of factors. However, much of it comes from the personal use of a vacuum.

The vacuums above all have proven track records of effectiveness. There is no air being blown out or loose bags causing dust to flow into the air.

The idea is to have a sealed HEPA filter combined with a bag for the ultimate protection against dust. For even more protection, wear a dust mask at all times while vacuuming.

If you are allergic to dust, this can be doubly concerning. Regular vacuuming, air purifiers, and dusting can be essential.

If you are cleaning mold, be sure your vacuum has the best available seal.

How To Ensure Your HEPA Filters Are Long Lasting

Most HEPA filters are cleanable. If you run into a product referred to as a disposable HEPA filter, that isn’t ideal. HEPA filters are thick and able to catch numerous particles.

A disposable HEPA filter is small and thick. While some can be part of bags, you might want to reconsider those purchases.

The exception to this rule would be for someone who is incredibly dust sensitive. Regardless, you will always want to wear a mask if cleaning mold.

Why Aren’t More Stick Vacuums On This List?

The reality is that stick vacuums aren’t suitable for removing mold. Tineco is the exception because it is a high-quality multi-level filtration tool. However, it is not the highest recommended item.

Stick vacuums are more suitable for light-duty cleaning. It would be best if you did not usually use them for cleaning spores.

Do You Need To Replace a Vacuum That Was Used To Remove Mold Spores?

No, that would be a colossal waste of money. Ideally, you will want to use bagged vacuums, reducing your chance of any potential exposure.

If using bagless vacuums, you will want to clean them before the subsequent use thoroughly. Clean the HEPA filter using water, and be sure to remove all specks of anything. Wait for the HEPA filter to dry before moving on.

What Budget Should I Have for Mold Cleaning Vacuums?

Ideally, you should have a budget that is above $100. Some of these vacuums can be below $100 but aren’t likely to be effective.

One such example, the Ovente st2010, is fairly effective as a canister vacuum for mold removal. However, it isn’t considered among HEPA vacuums for mold.

Best Vacuum Cleaner Brands

 Regarding mold remediation or other needs, below is a list of the best vacuum brands we featured today.

  • Shark – You’ll find Shark vacuums spread throughout the Perfect for Home comparison list. These vacuums have been around for a while as production of SharkNinja Operating LLC. Shark is known to be in vacuums, hair care, and air purifiers.
  • MieleMiele is one of the few companies that have been around since the 1800s. They started with cream separators and eventually expanded to almost every electronic appliance you can think of.
  • Prolux Prolux believes you shouldn’t have to spend $700 on a great vacuum. They offer a wide range of inexpensive cleaning products that focus on your budget.
  • Tineco – Those who read our other reviews know we have a soft spot for Tineco. As the creator of the first smart vacuum, there is a lot of potential here.

While there are other excellent vacuum cleaner companies globally, these make up some of the greatest.

Mold Remediation FAQs

Should I Buy An Air Scrubber to Remove Airborne Mold?

An air scrubber is an excellent heavy-duty air purifier great for removing airborne mold. You should use this in combination with one of the above vacuums to eliminate all traces of mold from a location.

The Alorair CleanShield HEPA 550 is an excellent air scrubber regarding quality. These commercial units are only necessary if you are regularly dabbling in mold remediation. You can also use these for cleaning heavy dust (like in a basement).

Is It Safe to Vacuum Mold?

Provided that your vacuum has quality HEPA filters, it is safe to vacuum. Be sure that you are wearing ample protection when cleaning any mold.

If you are hiring a professional company to perform mold remediation, you should leave your property. It is more likely for them to kick mold into the air than you.

Can Mold Come Back After Remediation?

Yes, if you create the right conditions for mold (dark and damp), mold can come back after remediation. To avoid mold returning, be sure you understand what caused the mold in the first place.

Avoiding that cause will ensure you can maintain safe conditions in your home.

Do You Need To Remove Mold Professionally?

If the issue is minor and controlled, you can remove the mold yourself. However, if the problem is related to sewage or other long-standing problems, the EPA recommends you take care of it professionally.

Having a dry and clean environment is crucial when preventing mold.

Is a Wet-Dry Vacuum Good For Mold Removal?

Yes, wet-dry vacuums are suitable for mold removal. However, if the mold has moved to carpets, you’ll find them to be less useful.

Can A Robotic Vacuum Remove Mold?

No, a robot vacuum lacks the power needed to remove mold.

Final Thoughts

Our favorite vacuum for mold removal is the Shark Navigator. The Shark’s enhanced HEPA filters and easy movability makes it a more flexible vacuum. The potent suction power also helps out.

For vacuums that focus on safer disposal, consider the canister vacuums from Miele and Prolux. If you have difficulty moving around, Tineco is a suitable backup vacuum. Otherwise, you might want to consider calling professionals for mold removal.

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