Because there are many types, models, and brands of vacuum on the market, you may be led into indecision at first on which vacuum you really need.
Considering that you want a vacuum for home use (as opposed to a commercial vacuum), you may look at the factors below as well as think about your own specific needs to help you buy the best vacuum for your own cleaning needs.
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.
Upright vacuums – 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, and you have lots to clean, the upright vacuum cleaner might be the best choice. And it is relatively cheap, too. How about the cons? Well, they are usually heavy and can make quite a bit of noise.
Lightweight or stick vacuums – If your concern is how to use a vacuum around and easily, or if you just want to do light cleaning, or if you want 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 – 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 vacuums‘ suction power is more powerful than that of the upright vacuum, since there are no limitations to the engine size. Since a canister vacuum comes with wheels and a flexible hose, it provides more maneuverability and portability than upright vacuums. Yes, you can even drag it up and down the stairs easily. Although it is made for hard floors, canister vacuums are also ideal for cleaning lightly carpeted floors, ceilings, and drapes.
Hand-held vacuums – 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.
Robotic vacuums – 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.”
If you had to buy a corded vacuum, make sure that its power cord is long enough to enable you to reach farther areas. But if the corded vacuum would be bothersome to your cleaning chores (and the tangled cable would possibly impede your movement!), choose the cordless instead.
2. Allergies (if any)
If allergies are of a 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. Make sure also that the vacuum has airtight parts so that dust, pet hair, and other allergens won’t escape out to the air.
3. Bagged or bagless vacuum?
Buyers seem divided when it comes to choosing between bagged and bagless vacuums. Bagged vacuums are likely to keep even the most wee bits of particles inside the bag. However, they require you to buy the bags themselves and besides, emptying the bag that is full of dust may allow the dust to drift back inside the house.
Bagless vacuums won’t require you to buy dust bags because they are equipped with a dust bin. 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.
Brands can also be a good criterion to help you choose a top rated vacuum. These brands include the long-established ones such as Hoover, Dyson, and Kirby. However, check out the new vacuum players, too. They have a formidable lineup of products — some with novel features — that may enhance cleaning performance. Vacuum reviews from consumers themselves are absolutely helpful as they offer sound advice whether to buy this brand/model or not, based on their own experiences while using the product.