What to Look for When Buying a Vacuum
Bagged vs. Bagless
For the most part, bagged and bagless vacuums both do a great job cleaning. A bagless vacuum will save you lots of time, hassle, and money from having to buy extra bags.
However, they can be messy to empty, and can be a hassle to keep the filters clean. Vacuums with bags keep all of the dirt and debris contained which can make it difficult to retrieve objects that may have been accidentally sucked up.
If you’ve ever used a vacuum that was difficult to carry upstairs or down, then you know that weight is very important to look for when buying a vacuum. While most vacuums weigh between 5 to 20 pounds, some “outweigh” the others. Lightweight vacuums tend to be easier to carry, use, and maneuver.
Upright vacuums usually weigh the most, but they have larger dust bags to account for the added weight. Canister vacuums vary in weight (8-20 pounds), and are designed to be easy to carry and use for hard to reach surfaces in your home or office. Cordless and stick vacuums tend to be the lightest vacuums of all. They usually weigh 4 to 7 pounds.
The most common vacuum features are hard floor brushes, powered floor nozzles, dusting brushes, crevice tools, and upholstery nozzles. They can enhance the overall clean, make it easier, or improve the air quality afterwards. However, at times, features can be counterproductive and make using the vacuuming more complicated.
While most vacuums cost between $75 to $190, some cost much more or much less. It’s very important to know if a vacuum is worth what it costs.
The way to do this is to read in-depth and unbiased reviews that explain the features and/or the issues with each cleaner. Most of the time, vacuums that cost in the $150 to $250 area tend to last longer and clean more efficiently, but it’s not always the case.
Most vacuums have a 1 year warranty for manufacturing or a money back guarantee. Some have even up to 10 year warranties. In any case, it’s your best bet to buy a vacuum cleaner that has a warranty so you know it’s a risk-free purchase.
Most vacuums are built with a filtration system that helps remove allergens and dust. Some have washable and reusable filters that will save you money in the long run because of not having to buy new filters.
Other filters are paper-like in appearance and must be replaced usually every 6 months to maintain cleanliness and effectiveness. The standard in vacuum filters is a HEPA, which stands for High-Efficiency Particulate Air. HEPA filters trap the tiniest of dust and particles.
These tiny particles can be as small as 0.3 microns. Those who suffer with allergies will have the greatest benefits from a HEPA filter. It is also great for anyone's household and office that is filled with dust, pollen, and debris.
HEPA filters should be replaced every 6 months to maintain maximum filtration. However, some newer versions are washable, and thus, not needed to be replaced.
Vacuum cleaners made by Shark are well-known for being lightweight, and having a variety of features that enhance the overall clean. Shark vacuums have very powerful suction, and some even have lift-away canisters for versatile and deep cleaning. They usually make the cut for the top reviews.
Dyson is best known for their cyclonic suction and bagless vacuums. Dyson’s vacuums all have powerful suction and detailed designs that make the overall cleaning process a breeze.
Competitors are starting to produce similar vacuums that have similar features and quality. However, Dyson is still one of the leading vacuum brands and probably will be for a long time. Their models are usually priced above $200.00.
Bissell was one of the first vacuum brands that started with electric carpet sweepers. Eventually, the company moved into suction-powered vacuums.
Today, Bissell currently produces handheld vacuums, cordless vacuums, canister vacuums, stick vacuums, and even upright vacuums.
Bissell offers a wide variety of prices, features, and models that always make the lists of the top-rated vacuum cleaners. If you’re unsure of which Bissell is right for you, then check our best Bissell vacuums review.
Hoover has been manufacturing household cleaning tools since the early 1900s. With a wide variety of cleaning products and features that deliver powerful suction and deep cleaning, there is definitely a Hoover vacuum that is right for you.
Eureka offers a wide variety of vacuums, whether it’s a handheld or an upright, they’ve got it all. Eureka vacuums tend to be affordable, and some of their most affordable vacuums are even best-sellers.
They offer a full line of vacuum cleaners which includes upright, cordless, stick, canisters, and handless. Eureka also produces vacuum accessories that make using them a breeze.
Miele vacuums are well-known for their durable design and powerful suction. Most of their vacuums are bought based on their reputation, and are kept for many years because of their toughness.
These vacuum cleaners are a long-term investment, since many Miele models cost between $400 to $950. Their canister vacuums are very well-known, but Miele also produces upright vacuums that are durable and provide thorough cleaning on a variety of surfaces.
This robotic vacuum brand has many competitors, but still sets apart from the rest. Along with the high prices, most models offer reliability and professional design for under $300. iRobot now has many models at many different prices.
What Is the Best Type of Vacuum for Me?
Upright vacuums are known for having powerful suction, wide floor heads, and durability. They usually clean up to over a foot of surfaces with a single pass.
You can buy both bagless and bagged versions depending on your cleaning preferences. The upright section holds the motor and dust collection functionality.
This is why upright vacuums tend to weigh more than streamlined cleaners. Also, they require you to push and pull the cleaner across the floor or carpet when cleaning.
Upright vacuums reach deep into carpet fibers to remove dirt and debris. Despite this benefit, their design might make it more difficult to maneuver around furniture or tight spaces.
Most upright vacuums come with attachments that solve this problem, and can be easily stored onboard for easy access when cleaning.
Upright vacuums tend to cost $50 for lightweights, and $450 or more for a more powerful version. However, many quality upright vacuums can be purchased in the $100 to $300 price range.
Cordless stick vacuums allow you to clean without the hassle of a cord. They have a very lightweight and slim design that helps you maneuver around furniture and clean in hard to reach places.
Cordless cleaners are perfect for quick clean-ups, but most don’t have powerful suction, dustbin capacity, or long lasting battery life.
There are more premium models built with lithium-ion batteries that work for around 40 minutes of cleaning. Their turbo modes increase the cleaning power with additional tools.
Just remember that vacuums with more suction means faster battery usage. Cordless vacuums make a great addition to your quick and hassle-free cleaning.
Instead of using big and bulky vacuums, simply purchase a cordless vacuum and easily clean dirty floors or carpets in seconds. For basic cordless vacuums, it’ll cost around $90 to $100. Some cordless cleaners with better suction and lithium-ion batteries will cost around $170 or more.
A handheld is a great choice for small messes, spot cleaning, and powerful suction. They are typically battery-powered with a dustbin that collects most dirt and debris. Whether it’s under your couch, or in your car, a handheld vacuum will work great for any small situation.
Handhelds won’t work well for large cleanings because of their short battery life, but they offer lots of cleaning power for removing debris in carpet, couches, cars, and even in dirty shoes. Many handheld vacuums come with attachments that enhance the overall clean.
Canister vacuums tend to have floor heads that enable high-area cleaning, as well as under furniture. With a body that carries a motor and dust collection system that is connected by a hose to a floor nozzle, canister vacuums have a quality design.
The advantage to buying a canister vacuum is that it can stay put while you are cleaning. They are very popular in homes because of how easy they are to clean stairs with.
It’s much easier to clean stairs than trying to balance with a bulky upright vacuum. Despite this, storing a canister vacuum can be difficult because of the long hose and large canister body that will take lots of space inside your closet.
Even though canister vacuums are compact, they need more storage space than upright vacuums. Canisters can be priced anywhere from $45 to $150, but highly powered models cost between $470 and $1200.
If it seems like you’re too busy to even keep your floors clean, then a robotic vacuum is right for you. Robot vacuums have futuristic designs and are a little larger than a plate.
They automatically undock and quickly move around your home removing dust and dirt, then return to their charging station until you choose to start another clean. Their technology depends on which model you choose.
When shopping for a robotic vacuum, you must consider what type of room the vacuum is capable of cleaning, how large the dustbin is, and if the motor is strong enough to tackle medium or even high pile carpeting.
It also must be able to maneuver around obstacles with ease. Buying a robotic vacuum is an easy way to keep your floors clean, but isn’t going to be able to replace an in-depth vacuum cleaning. Entry-level robotic vacuums will cost about $150 while the leading brands will cost you anywhere between $300 and $700.