Shop

Vacuum Buying Guide

Kathryn Haro, 09/20/2016

BUYING A NEW VACUUM CLEANER?

There’s tons of styles, functions, and high-tech features to select from in today’s vacuum cleaners. Invest in a cleaner that will leave your home spotless and will last a long time. Vacuum cleaners are one of the best ways to maintain superior air quality in your home as well as remove danger, allergens, dust, and other impurities. Before purchasing vacuum consider your cleaning needs in order to find the perfect vacuum for you.

VACUUM CLEANER TYPE

SELECT THE VACUUM TYPE THAT’S BEST FOR YOU

Selecting the right vacuum cleaner for you can be a daunting task since there are so many types to choose from. Read up on the types of vacuums, their benefits, and usage below.

STICK VACUUM CLEANERS

  • Also called broom vacuums, have a long stick like handle connected to a slim body
  • Similar to upright cleaners but have a streamlined design, without additional attachments
  • Light and easy to store
  • Ideal for cleaning smooth floors due to their low brush head
  • Less powerful than upright vacuums and do not perform well on carpets

UPRIGHT VACUUM CLEANERS

  • Most traditional vacuum
  • Ideal for cleaning large areas quickly
  • Can remove dirt and dust from carpeting, rugs, and bare floors
  • Comes with an array of attachments like interchangeable brush heads
  • However, they are heavy and can make multi-level cleaning a challenge

CANISTER VACUUM CLEANERS

  • Also known as cylinder vacuums, have the canister connected to the vacuum head by a flexible hose
  • Lighter than upright vacuums, allowing you to easily lift the consider and take it with you
  • Highly maneuverable, letting you reach tight spots with ease
  • Also comes with various attachments such as a telescopic wand
  • Perfect for cleaning stairs and hard to reach places because of the long flexible hose

ROBOTIC VACUUM CLEANERS

  • Small enough to clean tight spots and offers several cleaning modes
  • Sensor-controlled, allowing them to completely navigate and clean your floors without getting suck
  • Some models can be controlled by an app on your mobile device
  • Ideal for touchups in-between regular vacuuming sessions
  • Costly and cannot match the deep cleaning of upright and canister vacuums

HANDHELD VACUUM CLEANERS

  • Lightweight, miniature vacuums that can held in one hand
  • A great supplement to regular vacuuming and perfect for spot cleaning
  • Compact and easy to store
  • Great for your car, RV, boat and other travels
  • Lack the power and capacity of full-sized vacuums

AVAILABLE VACUUM CLEANER FEATURES

WHAT TO CONSIDER WHILE SHOPPING

There are dozens of different features that can come with your vacuum. These can range from settings to physical attachments to enhance cleaning. Take a look at features that can make your next cleaning session a breeze.

CARPET PILE-HEIGHT ADJUSTMENT

Adjusts the height of the machine’s brush roll to a carpet’s pile height to allow for easy movement and thorough cleaning.

SUCTION CONTROL

Lets you lessen the flow of air through the hose, perfect for cleaning curtains and upholstery.

CORD CONTROL

Allows you rewind the cord with the push of a button.

SELF-PROPELLED

The vacuum uses a transmission and drive system to assist the pushing and pulling of the vacuum, requiring little effort of the user.

VACUUM HEADLIGHTS

Helps you see dirt, dust, debris, and pet hair in dark areas.

ADD-ON CLEANING TOOLS

Most vacuums come with basic tools such as a narrow tool for crevices, a small upholstery brush, or round brush for dusting.

VACUUM STYLES

GET THE RIGHT VACUUM

BAGGED VS. BAG-LESS

When buying an upright or canister vacuum you’ll need to decide if you want a cleaner that requires disposable bags or has a reusable bin.

BAGGED VACUUMS

Disposable bag traps the dust and dirt suctioned up by the brush head. Typically holds more debris than bag-less cleaners, but you’ll need to regularly buy replacement bags.

BAG-LESS VACUUMS

More expensive than bagged cleaners, but you can empty and reuse the dirt bin continuously.

CORDED VS. CORDLESS

Vacuums can either be corded or cordless, each with their own benefits and draw backs.

CORDED VACUUMS

Plug into an electrical socket for power. A longer cord length allows you to vacuum larger areas without needing to change outlets.

CORDLESS VACUUMS

Work with battery power and are usually lighter than corded cleaners. However, you’ll need to consider how long the vacuum can operate before its battery runs out.

ADDITIONAL LIFESTYLE FEATURES

VACUUM SIZE & WEIGHT

Full-sized vacuums can weigh more than 20 pounds while lightweight stick models are less than 10 pounds. When it comes to multi-floor cleaning, 20 pounds can be too much to lug up your staircase. For multi-level cleaning, canister vacuums are optimal. Canisters usually have various cleaning attachments, such as wands and extension hoses that can easily reach stairs.

SURFACE TYPE

Different floor types require different cleaning solutions. For smooth floors, like hardwood and tile, it is beneficial to minimize the space between the vacuum’s brush head and the flooring. Vacuums with lower brush heads provide more suction and clean these surfaces better. Stick vacuums are perfect for cleaning your smooth flooring.

For carpeting, upright vacuums are the best choice. Upright vacuums have the greatest suction, are the most durable, and have higher brush heads that will not get tangled in plush carpeting. However, you need to keep your carpet type in mind.

High carpeting, like velvets and plush carpeting, require a vacuum with a high brush head so the carpet strands don’t tangle in the roller brushes. Upright vacuums are the best choice for this type of carpeting.

Low carpeting, such as berber, require a lower brush head so that the roller brush can provide the best suction for this kind of carpeting. Canister vacuums are the best match for this kind of carpet.

PETS

As much as we love our pets, they can leave big messes. Some vacuums call themselves “Pet Vacuums” because of their strong suction or attachments to tackle stubborn pet hair.

Pet vacuums generally come with a carbon or charcoal filter to absorb musty pet odors, as well as attachments like rubber blades and rolling brushes that are perfect for sucking up pet hair on upholstery, stairs and area rugs.

If you are using a bagged vacuum, keep in mind that pet hair fills bagged vacuums quickly, making their replacement costly.

ALLERGIES/HEPA FILTER

Some vacuums work extremely well for people with allergies. These vacuums have HEPA filters and other attachments that rid your space of allergens like mold spores, bacteria and viruses. High Efficiency Particulate Arrestance (HEPA) filters remove harmful allergens like mold, smoke, and dust from the air. Although all filters do this to some extent, HEPA traps at least 99.97 percent of particles.

Most HEPA filters can be cleaned with water until they need to be replaced. A good rule of thumb is to replace your filter every 6 months for optimal results.