Whether you go to a home goods store or shop online at a vacuum cleaner store like this one, you know there are dozens of different brands and models on the market today. How can you choose when there are so many options? Although comparing individual machines is an important part of the process, first you have to decide on the best type of vacuum cleaner for your home.
In some cases, it will make sense to have more than one vacuum. This is especially true if you have many different types of flooring, have pets or children, do any messy hobbies like woodworking, or simply have a very large house. Explore the different options to below and make an informed decision before your next vacuum cleaner purchase.
This most traditional form of vacuum cleaner has a broad head usually with a beater brush, a heavy body that uses a vacuum cleaner bag, and a tall handle to push it around the floor. They work well on large, carpeted floors and hardwood or tile floors if you can turn off the rotating brush feature.
The entire vacuum cleaner is self-contained, stores easily in a closet, and has efficient sucking power to keep your floors clean all the time. Most models have onboard HEPA or other filters to help improve air quality, too. This helps keep your home cleaner and see your indoor air quality healthy. The upright structure of the vacuum holds multiple attachments for upholstery, edge work, and other options.
The compact shape of an upright vacuum creates a disadvantage for some users. First of all, they are not adjustable in any way, so it may be awkward to use for very tall or short people. Also, everything is attached to the handle, the overall weight that you have to push around across your floors is higher than with some other vacuum types. If you want to vacuum the edges of the room, for example, you have to pull out the hose, put on an attachment, and still carry the whole vacuum over to the area of the floor before sucking up the dust.
The second most popular type of home vacuums have a canister on wheels that contains the motor and the debris receptacle. Instead of using a vacuum bag, the canister itself holds all of the dirt and dust you suck up. The canister is attached to an upright stick with a long flexible hose. The head can contain a motorized beater brush or any other common features you find on upright vacuums.
Since canister vacuums do not have bags, there is no extra expense for operating it. Also, they are quite easy to empty and contain onboard HEPA and other filters to keep your house cleaner. Switching to other attachments is usually quite simple, and you do not have to carry a heavy unit with you everywhere when you want to reach a different part of the room.
Although the long hose on a canister vacuum makes it easier to reach edges, you will still need to carry the canister up and downstairs and through the house. It does not automatically follow behind you, and you should not pull it by the hose to prevent breakage. Some people find these vacuums harder to store since you will need a separate box or bag to hold all the attachments.
Robotic or Automatic Vacuums
Small, round robotic vacuums like the well-known Roomba have become more popular in the past decade. These include a docking station to charge the moving part, which drives itself around your floors and sucks up dust and debris wherever it goes.
The main advantage of a robot vacuum is that it operates automatically without your help. As long as your floors are relatively clear of obstructions, they will provide important maintenance on a daily basis to maximize cleanliness over time.
If you invest in one of these automatic systems, you will still need an additional vacuum to take care of heavy cleaning and detail work. They are simply not as powerful as other types and do not provide full-coverage cleaning on their own. Also, because the canister is quite small inside, they may not be suitable for people with pets who shed.
Stick Vacuums or Electric Sweepers
For quick cleanups and incredible convenience, stick vacuums or electric sweepers offer a lightweight solution to sudden messes. If your cat tips over a potted plant or you want to neaten up after baking in the kitchen, pulling out an upright or canister vacuum seems excessive. These battery-powered, frequently rechargeable sweepers allow you to clean up with ease.
As long as the battery holds a charge, you have a superfast way to clean up messes or to do maintenance work in kitchens, bathrooms, or anywhere with hardwood and tile floors. They store the debris in a small canister or cup, which is easy to empty. People of all ages and abilities find them easier to use because they are so light in weight.
Stick vacuums simply do not have the power of other varieties listed above. Also, because they lack a beater brush or powerful suction, they do not provide sufficient help for carpeted rooms. These act as an extra gadget rather than your main vacuum for your whole house.
Take the convenience of a sweeper or stick vacuum and put it in the palm of your hand. These lightweight handheld vacuums offer sufficient power to clean up quick messes or handle most cleaning duties in hard-to-reach areas. They are cordless and usually rechargeable.
Their small size and light weights make handheld vacuums a great choice for quick jobs anywhere in the house. In fact, they are perfect for kids to use in their own rooms. They work well on staircases, for upholstery or draperies, and even in the car. Convenience trumps power in these portable gadgets.
The main problem with handheld vacuums is a lack of power. Since they are quite small, they simply do not have the strength or charge to handle the whole house or even a whole room. Also, the vacuum head is usually quite small, so it will take longer to clean up a space completely. No one would think to purchase this type of gadget as their main house vacuum cleaner, though, so the disadvantages really do not play into purchasing decisions.
Other Specialty Vacuums
In the entire floor cleaning industry, vacuum cleaners come in a wide variety of styles, sizes, and power levels. Many specialty vacuums exist that promise to do certain tasks better than any others. Some of these add extra abilities beyond the power of suction to get rid of dirt, dust, pet dander, and other usual things.
Pet Hair Vacuums
Certain lines of powerful vacuums are specifically marketed to pet owners who have to deal with large quantities of hair on their floors and upholstery. Besides powerful motors to draw up the relatively large fur pieces, they also have strong beater brushes that you can detach and clean off easily. This helps prevent clogs that could cause problems with ordinary upright vacuums. Many of these also have high-quality HEPA and other filtration systems to minimize dander, which may affect people with asthma and allergies.
Shop and Wet-Dry Vacuums
Shop vacs or wet-dry vacuums offer industrial-strength power for garages, workrooms, and anywhere you engage in a dirty hobby or pastime. They are designed to suck up large quantities of everything from sawdust and soil to spilled nails and wood chips. Ones that have a wet-dry designation can also clean up spills of any type of liquid or wet materials. These things would destroy your average vacuum.
The only reason to invest in one of these heavy-duty vacuum cleaners is if you engage in some of the activities listed above or have massive amounts of debris to clean up on a regular basis. They are usually far too much vacuum needed for an average household.
Vacuum Mops and Floor Cleaners
Although not technically called vacuums because they do so much more than suck up debris and dust, electric mops and floor cleaners offer real benefits to your household. Some of these operate like a vacuum if you do not put in water cleaning solution first. Others only function with a scrubbing or even steam-cleaning apparatus. Many different models cover everything from deep carpet cleaning to convenient tile floor mopping with included suction so you do not have to dry the floor after you clean it.
If you are in the market for a new vacuum cleaner, take some time to explore all the different varieties to choose from. In most cases, a high-quality upright or canister vacuum will take care of all the cleaning chores you have at home. However, for convenience and improved home maintenance, you may want to invest in a robotic vacuum, electric sweeper, or a specialty machine for unique situations. No matter what, always choose a trusted brand and a highly rated model that will last you a long time.