As there are many types, models, and brands of vacuum on the market, you may be led into indecision about which vacuum you really need. In fact, some people might not even be aware of all the choices at hand and what kind they should choose.
Considering that you want a vacuum for home use (as opposed to a commercial vacuum), considering certain factors should help you shortlist your choices. It’s also a good idea to think about your own specific needs—the space you have to clean, your storage space, and your budget, for instance. However, we feel that the main factors to take into consideration are the following:
1. The Type of Vacuum
Which type of vacuum do you really need? Is it upright? Lightweight? Canister? Or a hand-held vacuum? Corded or cordless? It’s really up to you and the type and size of your home. Let’s take a look at each kind of vacuum in turn and see whether they fit our requirements:
These types of vacuum are ideal mostly for carpeted floors and some bare floors. These upright vacuums have powerful suction, so they can really suck in dirt and dust very well. If your home is large and has open flooring, you probably have a lot to clean. In such cases, the upright vacuum cleaner might be the best choice. It’s is relatively cheap, too, as it’s among the most common types found in the market.
There are also certain downsides to consider for an upright vacuum. The two most common complaints are that are usually heavy and can make quite a bit of noise. This might be problematic for those with low body strength, arthritis patients, the elderly, or anyone who suffers from back issues. Plus, pets and kids along with your neighbors might get disturbed by the loud noise.
Lightweight or Stick Vacuums
If your concern is mainly about operating a vacuum easily, doing some light cleaning, or are simply in search of an adequate vacuum that doesn’t take up too much space, you may want to choose a lightweight or stick vacuum. They are light and easy to maneuver, but their suction is not as powerful as the upright or canister vacuums.
Canister vacuums usually have a cleaning nozzle at the end of the wand, which is connected through a flexible hose. The canister itself consists of the engine and the dust bag. The canister vacuum‘s suction power is more powerful than that of the upright vacuum since there are no limitations to the engine size.
You would also notice that a canister vacuum comes with wheels and a flexible hose. These features provide more maneuverability and portability than upright vacuums. Yes, you can even drag one up and down the stairs easily. Although they are mostly intended for hard floors, canister vacuums are also ideal for cleaning lightly carpeted floors, ceilings, and drapes.
Among a hand-held vacuum’s top assets are portability and lightness — you can carry it anywhere! It is also easy to use and doesn’t take up a lot of storage space. It is perfect for quick cleanups on any kinds of surface, from carpeted floors to drapes to upholstery.
Pet owners mostly like to have a handheld vacuum on hand to get rid of the fur or dander on their sofas and curtains. This particular type is also useful for cleaning crumbs and other debris off your car seats.
If you are a busy person with little time to clean, or a person who has mobility issues, a robotic vacuum could be your best bet. Fortunately, robotic vacuums have become cheaper and come in a wide range of models and brands. For more about the benefits of robotic vacuums, check out our separate article “Robotic Vacuums and Their Advantages.”
Most of the larger types of vacuum cleaner come in corded or cordless options. A cord will limit your movement, but this type is usually more powerful than the cordless varieties. If you had to buy a corded vacuum, make sure that its power cord is long enough to enable you to reach farther areas.
However, if the corded vacuum would be bothersome to your cleaning chores (and the tangled cable would possibly impede your movement!), choose the cordless instead. This might force you to compromise a bit on performance, but technology is advancing all the time. There are plenty of cordless vacuums with excellent suction power out there, though they might cost a fair bit more than the usual kind.
2. Allergies (if any)
If allergies are of particular concern to you and your family, you should get a vacuum equipped with an air filter to maintain good indoor air quality. Much better yet, get a vacuum with the standard HEPA filter which is capable of gathering 99% particles and other allergens. Also, make sure that the vacuum has airtight parts so that dust, pet hair, and other allergens won’t escape out to the air. There are several HEPA filter vacuum cleaners out there.
3. Bagged or Bagless Vacuums
Buyers seem divided when it comes to choosing between bagged and bagless vacuums. Bagged vacuums are likely to keep even the tiniest bits of particles inside the bag. However, they require you to buy the bags themselves and besides, emptying a bag full of dust may allow the dust to drift back inside the house.
Bagless vacuums won’t require you to buy dust bags, as they are equipped with a dust bin or canister. Make sure you’re outside the house when you’re emptying it, particularly if you suffer from allergies. Of course, you can also remove the bag from the bagged vacuum outdoors to keep the dust from getting spread back in the house. The main difference, in this case, will be the cost and storage factor.
When you’re looking for the best vacuum cleaner for your needs, brands can also be a good criterion. These brands include long-established ones such as Hoover, Dyson, and Kirby. However, make sure to check out the new vacuum cleaner brands as well. There’s a formidable lineup of products — some with novel features — that may enhance cleaning performance. Vacuum reviews from consumers themselves are quite helpful, as they offer sound advice based on their own experiences while using the product.