How to Choose the Right Vacuum Cleaner
Whether you’re passionate about low-pile carpets, obsessed with hardwood flooring, or maybe a little bit of both, you need to choose the right vacuum cleaner to keep them looking spick and span.
That being said…
Finding your dream vacuum can be really hard. If you don’t know what to look for and where to find a decent vacuum cleaner, it becomes nearly impossible.
But where to start?
Through this article, you’ll discover:
Lucky for you, after testing more than 150 models and checking out their motoring across 16 miles of carpet and flooring, I’ve got a list of some of the best vacuums on the market right here in this article.
Whether you love or hate it, vacuuming is key to maintaining a spotless home.
This means a great vacuum should feature front and centre in your cleaning cupboard.
Here’s the thing:
Vacuums don’t make it easier for you to quickly clean up the dirt and debris in your rooms.
They’re also great at removing all the allergens,1 pet hair, and more that build up in your living space, making them a piece of equipment you can’t afford NOT to have in your home.
If your home has a chimney, you should also consider getting a fireplace vacuum.
It doesn’t matter if your home has hardwood floors or plush carpeting, vacuums will do more than pushing dirt and dust around.
Instead, they’ll suck up all the debris and pet hair so you can quickly dispose of it for good, using a motor to create suction power and transport the dirt through the machine into the dustbag or cyclone for later disposal.
As well as a cleaning head with a brush to lift all the debris into the nozzle2 .
And even better:
Some vacuums also have an onboard filtration system that captures all the tiny particles and keeps them from being released into the air through the exhaust port.
With a few passes with your vacuum, you get cleaner floors that are free of grit and look great, so you can invite over whoever you want without wanting to hide your face in embarrassment.
What to Look for When You’re Picking out a Model
Vacuum cleaners come in all shapes and sizes, with various uses and elements.
Upright vacuums are the most sought-after type, and you can find them in both bagless and bagged assortments.
Canister vacuums provide you with better mobility and are also fantastic for cleaning stairs, but they often have smaller dust bags.
On the other hand…
Rechargeable handheld vacuum and stick or cordless vacuums make handy tools for quick touch-ups.
And if you’re not a vacuuming fan, you can take the easy way out with the robotic vacuums. With the touch of a button, these devices clean your floors automatically.
It comes down to this:
The investment you make when you purchase a vacuum cleaner really depends on the features and the quality of the sweeper.
The cheapest models are under $50, but most feature small dirt bins and inadequate suction power and accessories.
At the other end of the line are the costly and sophisticated models designed for superior performance and lifelong durability.
However, buying one of these means you’ll have to cough up $500 to $1,000 or more.
Regardless of your budget, you should still check out the features of the hoovers you’re looking at before you go ahead and make a purchase.
What does your vac need to have?
Think about specs like:
#01. Bagged vs. Bagless
Bagged vacuums were the backbone of the cleaning world for more than 15 years, but thanks to technology, most of the newer models are bagless.
Meaning you don’t have to replace the bag inside your vacuum cleaner all the time. Instead, you have to empty the dirt bin in your bagless device, and occasionally wash it out.
The drawback to owning a bagless vacuum, however, is that you’ll need to empty the dust cup over a trash can – bad news for allergy sufferers.
Bagged vacuums, on the other hand, capture everything in the easy-to-dispose-of bag that you later toss in the trash.
The downside is that you may notice a decrease in the vacuum’s suction power as the bag becomes fuller.
Have you ever pushed around a vacuum cleaner for a prolonged cleaning session or lugged it up and down a flight of stairs?
If you have, you know that the weight of a hoover does matter!
Let me tell you:
It can be stressful trying to push and pull a heavy device around every room in your home.
Fortunately, however, most vacuums today are engineered to weigh less and to be more nimble than the unwieldy devices that vacuumed their way into your home cleaning closets decades ago.
So, when you go shopping, consider getting a lightweight option.
Upright vacuums weigh the most as opposed to other models, but they also have broad floor heads, powerful motors, and larger dust cups.
So, if weight is a non-issue to you, they might be your top pick.
To add to that:
Canister vacuums vary widely in terms of weight.
Some models are featherweight (they barely tip the scale to 8 pounds), while others provide you with excellent performance and elements that rival upright vacuums, but can weigh as much as 18 or 20 pounds.
You have to remember, though, that even the most cumbersome canister vacuums may not seem as hefty since they don’t need you to push and pull them around as much.
Equipped with an extended nozzle hose, canister vacs can stay stationary while you vacuum in the spaces that require immediate attention before rolling them along to your next dirt-busting destination.
It’s still vital to pay attention to the weight of a canister vacuum or any other vacuum model, especially if you’ll have to carry it up and down the stairs.
Cordless vacuums are generally the most lightweight hoovers available.
Designed to handle lighter cleaning, these hoovers are meant to be easy to pick up for spot cleaning or light vacuuming.
#03. Brush Roll
Whether you choose to get a vacuum cleaner with a brush roll3 will depend on the type of flooring you’ll be using it on.
If you have hardwood or tiled floors, vacuums that have a brush roll aren’t always the best choice, according to the experts.
This is because the rigid fibres of the brush roll can scratch the finish on your flooring or send dust flying in all directions.
Then again, some models feature a brush roll with an option to turn the rotation of the brush off—making it secure for use on your polished hardwood floors and more effective on any type of hard surface flooring.
Want to know more?
When it comes to carpets, especially when you have soft rugs, the brush roll or beater bar slightly agitates the carpet fibres to lift surface level dirt at deeper layers—as well as debris, pollen, dander, and pet hair that may have found its way onto and into your carpet.
Moreover, while most brush roll designs may not have issues completing this task on low-pile carpets, medium-to-high pile rugs may need an adjustable pile height setting.
An adjustable height setting ensures that the fibres don’t get tangled in the brush roll or stifle the suction coming from the nozzle.
If you have multi-surface flooring in your home, hardwood floors or wall-to-wall carpeting, a vacuum cleaner with an adjustable brush roll that you can quickly turn on and off is your ideal option.
If your carpeting is quite plush, you may also want to look for a floor head with that you can adjust for pile height. If you, however, only have tile or hardwood floors, you can skip the brush roll altogether!
Most vacuums have a filtration system that’s intended to capture fine specks of dust and pet dander that the vacuum might otherwise release with its exhaust port.
Let me tell you more…
There are various types of filters. Washable filters are an inexpensive, low-maintenance option as you won’t need to replace them often.
They’re usually made of a sponge-like material that rinses off easily and air dries swiftly.
Other filters are more paper-like in appearance, and you have to replace them on a schedule (mostly every six months or so) to maintain their effectiveness and the suction power of your vacuum cleaner.
You even get some filters that can remove smoke from the house.
The gold standard in vacuum filtration is the popular HEPA filter, which stands for High-Efficiency Particulate Air.
The ultra-fine filter traps the tiniest of particles—as small as 0.3 microns in the case of true HEPA filters.
If you suffer from allergies and asthma, this filter comes in handy since it eliminates all the dust, pet dander, and pollen in your home.
The HEPA filter also needs replacement on schedule to maintain its filtration capabilities, but a few newer versions provide you with the advantage of being washable.
#05. Vacuum Type
Your home situation, pet, and kids will be the best determinants of what vacuum works best for your lifestyle and needs. Nonetheless, here are some of the vacuum types in the market.
Upright vacs are the workhorses of the vacuum family. Most people recognise them for their powerful suction and broad floor heads that allow you to clean up to 10 inches or more with a single pass.
Accessible in both bagless and bagged varieties, the upright part of these hoovers holds the motor and dirt collection system.
It makes these vacuums heftier than some of their counterparts, and their design requires you to push and pull the machine across the floor as you clean, which can feel a little like a forced game of tug of war.
What makes upright vacuums worth the effort is this:
They’re really great at penetrating deep into carpet fibres to remove embedded dirt, pet dander, and debris.
The upright vac can find it difficult to get into low, tight spaces, like under your couches or beds—but most vacuums come with attachments to solve this and other cleaning conundrums.
You can typically store these attachments on board for easy access during your cleaning sessions.
To add to that:
When it comes to storing the upright vacuum design, this device is always closet-ready.
Unlike its counterparts, this device takes up minimal floor space while leaving enough room for your cleaning supplies, shoes, or other items.
When shopping for an upright vac, you can always expect to cough up as little as $50 for the light-duty version or $500 or more for the robust design.
Most quality options, however, vary from $100 to $300.
If you need a device with a floor head that can reach those high counters and uncharted territory under your furniture, then you should consider a canister vacuum.
It features a canister body that houses the motor and dust collection system (either a bag or dustbin) that’s attached by a hose to a floor nozzle.
What makes canister vacuums so worth your while is their convenience—they can sit stationary while you vacuum your room around them.
When it’s time to move to a different spot of floor, all you have to do is to bring the canister along—either by wheeling it (most canister vacuums have wheels), or picking it up by the handle and carrying it.
To add to that:
Canister hoovers are also very popular in homes, especially when it comes to homes with stairs.
By setting the vacuum on a step and using the long hose to vacuum your stairs around the canister, it can be effortless to clean your staircases, and much easier than it would be if you were using a cumbersome upright vacuum.
It’s important that you know this:
Storing the canister vacuum design can be tricky—the long hose plus the canister body requires more space inside your cleaning cupboard.
It seems counterintuitive that this compact vacuum cleaner needs more storage space than the upright version, but the lack of a merged footprint can cause challenges when it comes to dealing with tight spaces.
Canister vacuums feature a full-size, powerful motor that keeps pace with those inside larger upright models, but lightweight canisters do exist.
These range in price from about $50 to $150, while the more full-featured and high-powered options cost between $500 and $1,200.
If you hate how vacuum cords coil up around you, getting in the way of your work, ditch them and invest in a cordless or stick vacuum cleaner.
You’ll be able to freely go wherever the trail of crumbs leads you!
Cordless or stick vacuums are slimmed down upright options that run on battery power.
These sweepers are ideal for quick clean-ups in high traffic areas, but most lack the strong suction power, dirt bin capacity, or battery life to handle prolonged cleaning sessions.
There are high-end options that feature lithium-ion batteries that give you around 40 minutes of runtime and turbo modes to increase the suction power of this lightweight device.
You have to remember that more suction can drain the battery more rapidly—so it’s often a trade-off between runtime and cleaning power.
Unlike the canister versions, these vacuums make a great addition to your cleaning closet, and most people keep one handy for those quick clean-ups.
A cordless vac’s always ready whenever and wherever you need it and takes no time at all to take out and store back in your cleaning closet.
To sum things up:
As is true of any vacuum cleaner design, the more power and features you have in a specific model, the more the price creeps upwards.
You can spend about $100 for a standard cordless device.
However, models with more powerful suction and lithium-ion batteries that provide you with expanded runtime can cost you $175 or more.
If you don’t have the time (or, let’s face it, the willpower) to chase dust bunnies around and vacuum up debris, a robotic vac is your best bet.
It can effortlessly automate the boring chore of hoovering.
These futuristic-looking vacuums are larger in diameter than your average hoover, but they’re up to the task.
Want to know the best part?
Robotic hoovers feature onboard technology that allows them to automatically undock themselves and scurry around your rooms.
Lifting all the dust and dirt, before returning to their charging station until the next programmed runtime.
Pretty amazing, right?
However, different robotic models will vary in how advanced their technology is.
When shopping for a robotic vacuum cleaner, consider:
- the type of room mapping the hoover is capable of
- the size of the machine’s dustbin
- whether the engine is powerful enough to handle your medium-to-high pile carpeting
- whether the device can manoeuvre around all the obstacles.
It’s true that…
Having a robotic machine is an incredible way to keep your hardwood floors and carpets in between deep cleanings.
Still, it can’t fully replace a regular, more thorough vacuuming session.
The price range of robotic vacuums varies greatly depending on how smart the system is.
An entry-level design can cost you about $150, while the leaders in robotic vacuum technology usually cost around $300 to $700.
If you want to effortlessly tackle the small tasks, spot cleanings, and a vacuum with enough suction power to go, then a handheld vacuum cleaner’s the perfect option.
The small and compact device is battery-powered and features a dustbin that amasses all the grains, dirt, and pet hair that’s been hiding in your couch cushions or car upholstery.
In my own experience…
The handheld vacuum’s suction power is excellent for the small tasks but isn’t much use when it comes to extended cleaning projects due to its short battery life.
Nevertheless, almost all handheld vacuums provide you with plenty of power to clean your furniture, detail your car, or expunge that pile of dirt you tracked in with your muddy shoes.
Most handheld versions also come with different attachments that augment their proficiency in managing these and other small-scale cleaning assignments.
A handheld vacuum cleaner can cost you between $25 and $100.
Wet/Dry vacuums are perfect for cleaning up the messes in your garages, workshops, and other commercial spaces.
Their impressive design allows them to suck up wet or dry debris in your office or additional spaces.
They are also worth the while when you’re doing home improvement projects or when you’re sprucing up your garage.
Bear in mind:
Most wet/dry vacuums are mounted on wheels for easy manoeuvrability, but that isn’t always the case.
The canister of these sweepers is made of tough, durable housing to weather the rigidities of shop life.
If you’re shopping around for a wet/dry machine, you should be ready to cough up between $30 and $80, depending on the size and features of the model you need.
#06. Leading Vacuum Cleaner Manufacturers
Selecting a vacuum with all the characteristics and functionality you require is essential, but you also need to consider the reputation of the manufacturer.
Some of the most popular brands of vacuums include:
Shark vacuums often land on the top of bestseller lists and are known to provide owners with a lot of bang for their buck.
They’re famous for being weightless, giving you plenty of suction power, and featuring a variety of onboard elements and tools.
Some Shark models feature lift-away canisters for multipurpose cleaning or anti-allergy seals that help prevent allergens from escaping.
Hoover has been around for decades, and with the broadest product line-up and features like the incredible Wind Tunnel technology that delivers powerful suction, there’s always a Hoover vacuum cleaner to fit your budget and needs.
Another early name in the vacuum manufacturing industry.
Bisell makes a variety of vacuums with a wide range of prices, features, and numerous models that unswervingly pop up on lists of top-selling vacuum cleaners.
Dyson is best known for paving the way in cyclonic root suction and bagless vacuums.
The best Dyson vacuum cleaner marks the entry into higher dollar vacuum cleaners, with most of its devices priced above $200.
This brand is recognised for the impressive build, quality, and powerful suction of their machines.
Most buyers of Miele vacuums will keep them for years because of their durability. Most range from $400 and $1,000, but they’re worth the investment.
While canister vacuums are their claim to fame, you can also get several upright vacuum cleaners from Miele.
Eureka offers consumers a variety of vacuums in all shapes and sizes, from small handhelds to uprights.
The most common characteristic of Eureka vacuums is their affordability.
Most of their vacuums come in at under $100, and some of their most budget-friendly hoovers are bestsellers in their categories.
Responsible for making robotic vacuums a household name instead of a domestic daydream.
iRobot manufactured the popular Roomba vacuum designs in the early 2000s, and the company now has dozens of models at various price points.
The robotic vacuum cleaner industry is now jam-packed with competitors.
Still, the technology and AI on the Roomba devices set iRobot apart—and so do their incredible price tags.
More standard designs that provide you with the reliability and quality build of iRobot vacuums are available for under $300.
#07. Vacuum Cleaner Accessories & Warranties
When you choose the perfect vacuum for your household requirements, you have to ensure it’s armed with the right accessories to complete your cleaning package.
In case you were wondering…
Most extra tools and devices are accessible to make the most of your vacuum’s suction power, and most are included with the purchase of your vacuum cleaner.
Other times you may have to buy them separately. Items like crevice tools, extension wands, and upholstery brushes and more come in handy when deep cleaning.
The most popular cleaning accoutrements for vacuums are pet-cleaning devices.
These include items like nozzle attachments with grippy surfaces, fine-tooth combs, or firm brushes to help extract pet hair from furniture upholstery, curtains, and more.
To add to that:
Another factor to consider when shopping for a hoover is the manufacturer’s warranty.
Most vacuums are covered by a 1- to 5-year warranty, depending on the make and brand.
Warranties help cover defects in materials and artistry, but they don’t include items subject to normal wear and tear, like filters or brushes.
Companies known for their exceptional warranties and customer service include Dyson and Miele among others.
However, you need to remember that with most warranty services, there’s always a freight charge to ship the device and it can cost up to $20 or more depending on the company.
What Should You Look For When Buying A Vacuum Cleaner?
Well, when looking for the perfect vacuum cleaner for your home, you need to consider:
- If it’s an upright, handheld, robot, cordless or canister
- If it’s bagged or bagless
- The vacuum cleaner’s weight
- The attachments like the crevice tool and brush roll
- The type of filter – pick one that has a HEPA filter
- The warranty and price
Learn More: Vacuum Cleaner Buying Guide
How Does One Choose A Strong Vacuum Cleaner?
Well, the vacuum cleaner with incredible suction features the HEPA filtration that helps you in preventing allergies and other respiratory issues.
A HEPA filter also helps clean the air while cleaning the floor. So if you need one that offers you fade-free suction, be sure to consider one that has the HEPA filter.
Learn More: Vacuum Cleaner Buying Guide
How Many Watts Is A Good Vacuum Cleaner?
For the standard small apartment, one requires a vacuum cleaner with about f 250-320 watts If you’re allergic, though, it’s recommended that you go for the hoovers with maximum useful power.
Learn More: Vacuum Cleaner Buying Guide
What Are The Top 10 Vacuum Cleaners?
The top best vacuum cleaners include:
- Best Overall:Miele Complete C3 Canister Vacuum Cleaner (Our All-Time Favorite Vacuum Cleaner
- Best for Pet Hair:Dyson V8 Absolute Cordless Stick Vacuum Cleaner
- Best for Hard Floors:Miele Compact C1 Turbo Team Canister Vacuum Cleaner
- Best Value:Deik Cordless Stick Vacuum with High Power
- Best Lightweight:Dyson V8 Animal Cordless Stick Vacuum Cleaner
- Oreck Deluxe Compact Canister Cleaner
- Hoover Linx Cordless, BH50010
- Shark Rocket Ultra-Light
- PureClean Robot Vacuum
- Bisell Cleanview Vacuum Cleaner
Learn More: Vacuum Cleaner Buying Guide
A vacuum cleaner is necessary for keeping your floors tidy, so you have to figure out what you need it for and then choose the best vacuum cleaner for the job.
So, next time you go shopping, be sure to consider all the above, and you’ll get yourself the best one for your situation. It’s that simple!