Buying a vacuum cleaner is often like buying a car.
To purchase the right type for your needs, you need to identify those needs.
In this guide, I’ll help you identify those needs so you’ll have an easier time narrowing down the hundreds of options available.
You have to remember that no single product can do all the work. Each type has its own pros and cons and we will discuss them in detail here.
Let’s get started.
First, let’s talk about the different types of vacuum cleaners and what are the most useful for them.
Upright brooms have been around the longest. If you take a look at the history of vacuum cleaners, you’ll see that a lot of leading brands like Hoover and Oreck only have holes in their product line.
These vacuums are the most powerful and most capable of deep cleaning carpets and standing upright hence the term.
Full-size variants are bulky, well over 40 in height with a large dust container in the middle with plenty of dirt in them. This makes it suitable for cleaning large areas without emptying them often.
Modern vertical vacuums have detachable hoses and wands that allow for above-ground cleaning. This adds to its versatility and helps extend the areas that this broom can clean.
Below are brackets with detachable hoses for above-floor cleaning
- Dyson Animal DC65
- Shark Navigator NV105
Other brands have taken a step forward. To be more specific, Shark took the traditional upright position and added a twist. Instead of just a hose and extension wand, they’ve created a system called the “Lift Away” feature that turns the rectum into a cylinder broom.
Here are some models with this feature.
- Shark Navigator Lift-Away NV352
- Shark Rotator Professional Lift-Away NV-501
Vacuum Cleaner Cylinder
Overhead brooms bring more versatility to the table with just a little less energy. What makes this appliance so versatile is its long extension hose, wand, and interchangeable tools that allow it to clean most areas inside your home.
Combine it with the small body on the magazines, it’s generally lighter than a portrait and easier to move.
All of this comes at the expense of dirt container capacity. While a full-size straight can hold a gallon of dry dirt, packages only hold a third or less.
There is not much difference in terms of weight. The lightest vacuum cleaners weigh about 10 pounds while the heaviest vacuum cleaners at 25.
What makes this type of vacuum cleaner popular is its ability to clean tight spaces, under furniture, all the way to the ceiling.
Another feature to look for is motorized brushing if you have a lot of carpet.
Here are a few of the vacuum cleaners that have an electric whisk rod
- Electrolux UltraActive Deep Clean
- Samsung Motionsync Bagless Electric Brush Container
- Prolex Stealth Quiet HEPA Sealed Vacuum Cleaner
- Hoover WindTunnel Air Bagless SH40070
These types are watered down versions of the lists. Most of these devices do not have the detachable hose that allows it to be used in above-ground areas. So these would be the floor cleaners that work best in high traffic areas that need more TLC. Since the supports will be heavy, this is a good, lightweight option that you can use in areas with more foot traffic.
Over the past few years, manufacturers have been innovative in how they design their products. Companies like Dyson and Shark have been pioneers in design innovation.
British manufacturer Dyson has created the DC59 Motorhead that combines stick functionality with portable features that allow consumers to clean from floor to ceiling.
Shark also has a stick vacuum (which they advertise as vertical), the HV322 which is strikingly similar to the Dyson DC series only being heavier and having a wire.
Handheld devices are designed to clean areas that make taking out a larger vacuum cleaner inconvenient. Areas such as upholstery, tables, air vents, bulletproof blinds, cabinet surfaces, and car interiors. Even if you own a canister or upright, it’s still more convenient to take out something that only weighs 5 pounds than to go into your pantry and carry out 20 pounds upright just to clean the exhaust manifold.
Some brands like Black and Decker include a flexible hose in the design that allows you to dampen the machine and allows you to apply more exciting pressure to the area you are cleaning.
Other brands include handheld vacuums within a vacuum cleaner body. This setup allows users to use this vacuum cleaner as a handheld device and stick.
Cordless vacuums are cleaners that rely on battery power and thus cut the cord out of the equation. This is great if you want something that you can pick up and clean without worrying about where to attach the wire or if you don’t want to untwist any wires.
This tool is all about convenience.
Cordless cleaners come in different styles – handheld, stick, and even pole.
Runtime ranges from 10 minutes to 45 minutes on some brands. Bigger battery technology, these vacuums are still no match for a wired vacuum in terms of suction power. Basically, you pay a premium for convenience because it has no cord and most of these devices are lightweight.
Robotic vacuums are relatively new to the industry with the first vacuum being introduced to the market in 1997. These machines are unique in the way they clean themselves using either cameras or infrared devices to move around.
The autonomy with which these machines operate is what makes these cleaners popular, but not ideal. Even with the latest technology, robotic vacuums are still prone to getting stuck in tight areas, so it’s not a completely manual lifting system.
Two brands currently vying for robotics supremacy are iRobot and Neato as they both use completely different systems in terms of navigation.
A third brand, Dyson is back on the scene with the introduction of the 360 Eye which uses a 360 camera that constantly takes floor-to-ceiling panoramic shots to plot the best path around a room and completely avoid obstacles. Only time will tell if this bot will be successful in the market because it isn’t cheap – it costs an impressive $1600.
Other things to consider…
Mixes vs Bagels
The boxed version comes with a disposable bag that you can take out once full. One of the advantages of a prepacked system is that when emptying it is not messy. All you have to do is take out the bag and dispose of it, no dust and no mess – great for people with any kind of respiratory ailments like asthma.
The downside to a packaged system is the cost. If you live in a dusty area that requires you to vacuum every day or you have a lot of pets, the cost of these bags can add up very quickly.
A bagless vacuum cleaner does not use bags, instead it uses a dirt cup to store dirt and a set of filters to prevent dirt from escaping from the machine. The biggest advantage of course is the cost, with a bagless system you don’t need to spend money on bags. Significant savings in operating cost.
The biggest drawback when unloading it; It can get messy because you’re exposed to dust and dirt coming out of there. It may not be for people who may have a bad case of respiratory illness.
water as a filter
A third type of filtration system that not many people talk about is water use. This system is great because there are no filters to clean and bags to replace. Simply fill the tank with water and then turn on the vacuum cleaner.
Only a few manufacturers produce these Bissell and Rainbow. Although these vacuums have very good cleaning and filtration performance, there are many downsides to them.
First, these machines are very heavy. For example, the rainbow vacuum system steeres the scale to 19 pounds and that’s without water inside the tank. Also, these machines are quite bulky and it would be difficult to carry them up and down stairs.
Second, it is very expensive. The rainbow vacuum I talked about earlier will cost you a nice $1900 and that’s if you buy from Amazon. If you were to buy this retail, it would cost a bit more.