Take a look at the various types of vacuum cleaners, how they are different, and what features to consider before buying for your maximum benefit.
Planning to buy a new vacuum cleaner? Confused by all the new models? Well, you are not alone. Vacuum buying used to be a straightforward affair but in the recent years, manufacturers have stepped up their game.
These days, there are innumerable choices in terms of design, type, style and features. It also means that you can now buy vacuums tailored to specific jobs and you don’t have to rely on just one vacuum for everything. Here is what you need to know about buying the right vacuum cleaner for your specific requirements.
Vacuum Cleaner Buying Guide
Before getting into the nitty-gritty of buying a vacuum cleaner, there are some basics you need to understand to get the best value for their money. One of the most important things that need to be considered is the size of the house where the vacuum is going to be used. If you are buying for a bigger house, consider investing in a more powerful vacuum cleaner to allow you to clean easily and quickly.
On the other hand, if you have a house with many stair levels, it would be better to invest in a lightweight vacuum to allow you to move around easily. Another important thing you should keep in mind is that every vacuum cleaner isn’t designed for all kinds of surfaces.
Types of Vacuum Cleaners
Upright Vacuum Cleaners
These are full-size corded vacuum cleaners and typically have a wide cleaning path (usually up to 15 inches). These are excellent at deep cleaning carpets, especially the bagged models. It is also relatively easy to store them as they stand upright on their own. In these models, cleaning head is directly attached to the housing. There is a motorized, rotating brush which helps in deep cleaning the carpets.
These can also be adapted to clean hard floors. Usually, you’ll find these models with a variety of extensions and attachments to allow you to clean stairs, window treatments, and tight crevices as well as under the furniture.
One of the biggest limitations is its weight as they can weigh more than 20 pounds. Thankfully, lightweight models are also available but the best performers in this category tend to be heavy. These also generate a lot more noise as compared to other types.
These are also full sized vacuum cleaners and are typically corded. In this type, the cleaner head is connected to a canister that houses the motor and dirt bin. This design makes it more maneuverable as you do not have to constantly move the entire machine with you. The cleaning path of a canister vacuum is comparable to upright vacuum.
When it comes to cleaning stairs, bare floors and under the furniture, these tend to perform better as compared to upright vacuums. Also, some high-end models can clean carpets as well as uprights. The biggest limitation is that these tend to be bulkier and take a lot of storage space.
These tend to be battery powered and have tall bodies and handles. These are lightweight and convenient to use for quickly cleaning up a mess. Since these are tall, you typically won’t have to bend over for cleaning a dirty floor.
However, these are not as powerful as canister vacuums. They are particularly designed for quick cleaning and are not meant as a replacement for traditional vacuum cleaners. These are also noisy and have a small capacity bin.
These are compact in design and fairly lightweight making them portable. After all, these are designed to be held in your hand. Most models are battery-powered allowing you to clean those hard to reach spots. These are not as powerful as the vacuums mentioned above but they are not designed to be a replacement for traditional vacuum.
People typically use these for picking up pet hair on upholstery or cleaning their countertops or dirt on the floor mats. You can also buy corded models. Some models are capable of wet vacuuming but these are mostly meant for dry vacuuming. Their biggest limitation is low power and capacity as compared to full-sized vacuums.
The category of robotic vacuums has grown multiple fold over the past two years, especially due to the wide availability of affordable robotic vacuums from many companies. These vacuums do everything on their own once you set these up. However, these aren’t as powerful as traditional vacuums and are only meant for regular cleaning. Once you set these up, these automatically clean the floor as per set schedule.
They have sensors to move around tight corners and cords. You can also use an app on your smartphone to control these vacuums. These are great for daily cleaning but can’t match the power and capacity of traditional vacuums.
Central Vacuum Cleaners
These are extremely powerful vacuum cleaners and are easy to use as you do not have to carry any motor with you. These are also quiet. However, these take a lot of storage space and handling long hoses can be challenging for some. Also, these tend to be much more expensive as compared to the options discussed above.
Features to Consider
In addition to the type of the vacuum cleaner, you also need to consider various features. Don’t focus only on sleek shapes and vibrant colors. Make sure a particular model meets your cleaning requirements. Here’s a list of some important features for you to consider.
A vacuum cleaner that comes equipped with a motorized brush will perform much better as compared to a similar vacuum powered only by suction. Models with motorized brush typically also have switches to deactivate the brush to protect bare floors. You should also pay attention to height adjustment and suction control to get finer control over cleaning.
With cleaning head height adjustment, you’ll be able to use the vacuum to clean many different floor types. Height adjustment allows you to lower or raise the cleaner head which makes it easy to use on different types of carpets.
Bagless or Bagged
The biggest advantage of buying a bagless vacuum cleaner is that you get to save money on buying bags but these cleaners typically have more filters. You will need to spend time on periodic cleaning and you will also need to replace the filters periodically. Bagless models are not recommended for individuals suffering from allergies or respiratory illnesses as cleaning the bin can lead to health issues. The biggest advantage of bagged vacuums is that you do not come in contact with pet hair, dirt or dust.
Pay attention to the noise levels, especially when you are using the vacuum in an apartment. While most manufacturers claim their vacuum cleaners to be quiet but reality is often different. So, read the reviews and find the real life noise levels produced by a particular model. Ideally, opt for a model that keeps the noise levels up to 65 dB.
If you are buying one for a multilevel house, it is recommended to choose a lightweight model as you will find it easy to carry it around the house. On the other hand, you can opt for a heavier model in case you are going to use it on a single floor only.
Not all vacuums are effective at cleaning up pet hair. If you want to buy a vacuum that is designed to pick up pet hair, make sure it is rated at least 12 Amps along with special brushes to pick up those tiny pet hair.
To conclude, there is no shortage of vacuum cleaners available in the market. So many choices have made it challenging for consumers to pick the right one. So, use the above mentioned tips to choose a model that fits your cleaning needs and is available within your budget. It is recommended to try out a model even if you plan to order online. Go to your local store and try it out and, and do not forget to check the different controls and features before ordering one.