House Grail is reader-supported. When you buy via links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission at no cost to you. Learn more.

How Loud is a Vacuum Cleaner in Decibels (dB)? Comparison & Facts

person vacuuming mattress

At one point, buying a vacuum was a simple process because there weren’t a lot of options. Nowadays, it’s a different story. Different vacuums work best on particular floors or for specific materials. There are even robotic vacuums available now.

However, one of the biggest considerations when purchasing a vacuum cleaner will be its volume. Just like features, there is a sizeable spread of potential volumes. Most vacuum cleaners fall within the 50–80 dB range.

When comparing vacuum cleaners, consider that many of them will have different volumes based on the mode. Some of the more expensive models will have quiet and full-power modes.

divider 7

Comparison of Vacuum Cleaner Volumes

There are a lot of vacuum cleaners available. There are many different models within each brand with varying features and volumes. Below, we’ve selected 10 common vacuums to show how widely they can vary.

Vacuum Cleaner dB Rating
Numatic: Henry 200 47–49
Miele: C3 50–68
Eufy: Robo Vac 11S 55
Miele: C1 57–68
Hoover: Commercial Hushtone 69
Moosoo: K17 cordless stick vacuum 69–72
Sanitaire: SC9180B 70
Dyson: Original Multi Floor 72–73
Shark: SV75 74
Sanitaire: *multiple models* 79
gray scottish fold cat with vacuum cleaner on floor
Image By: kholywood, Shutterstock

Making Sense of dB

So, we know that dB stands for “decibel,” but what does that really mean? How does a dB rating affect us? One thing that puts dB ratings into perspective is that most health and safety authorities recommend hearing protection for anything over 80 dB because long-term exposure can damage your hearing.

Another way we can put this in perspective is to show you a wide range of everyday activities or common things and their dB rating to see where a vacuum cleaner fits in.

Source Average dB
Breathing 10
Some insects and bugs 20
Whispering 30
Appliance hum 40
Quiet office and normal conversation 50–65
Laughing 60–65
Average dishwasher 75
Average washing machine 78
City traffic 80

Benefits of a Quiet Vacuum

Many factors go into choosing the right vacuum for your needs, such as suction capabilities, filtration, or the location it’s designed for. However, these are secondary considerations to many people.

Here are several benefits of a quiet vacuum:
  • No time restrictions: If you live in a multi-family household or there are people with odd schedules, it can be frustrating to figure out when to vacuum. With a quiet machine, this is less of an issue.
  • Good for Pets: Some animals aren’t bothered in the slightest by the noise, but it terrifies others. These heightened stress levels aren’t good for animals.
  • Good for Humans: In the same way that loud noise can increase stress levels in animals, some studies demonstrate that the same is true for people.
Masterforce HP Shop Vacuum with pump
Image By: Amazon

Possible Causes for a Noisy Vacuum Cleaner

Ok, so you’ve opted for the quiet vacuum, and it was wonderful at first, but now it seems as noisy as your last one. Here are a few possible solutions to check before taking it to a vacuum repair shop.

  • Dirty filter: Most vacuums have filters. The type will depend on the particular vacuum, but most are cleanable. This is the first thing you should check if your vacuum is noisier than usual.
  • Clogged Hose: When a vacuum’s suction is impaired, it causes it to get much louder. A clogged hose could be a reason your vacuum got louder. If your vacuum has a flexible hose, it’s easy to squeeze gently along its length to find any blockage.
  • Brush Bearing: A brush bearing is one critical component of the smooth and quiet operation of the vacuum. Quite often, if the brush bearing breaks, your vacuum will get louder and even start to vibrate. You can tackle this if you’re comfortable with a slightly more advanced DIY fix. Otherwise, take it to a repair shop and get it done professionally; it’s not a big job.
  • Broken Fan: Over time, as dirt is sucked through it, the fan or fan motor can break, which will increase the sound significantly and impairs the capabilities of the vacuum. This is another advanced repair that is best taken to a professional unless you’re comfortable with the type of repair.

divider 7


There is no one-size-fits-all answer for the dB level of a vacuum. However, there is a good range of volumes based on your situation. As a rule, the louder vacuums will be either heavier-duty or cheaper.

So, if you need a cheap, hard-working vacuum, there are many options. On the other hand, if you don’t mind spending a bit more money, you can get something that’s barely louder than your fridge’s hum.

Featured Image Credit: New Africa, Shutterstock


Related posts

OUR categories

Project ideas

Hand & power tools