New Year, New Vacuum! How-To Shop For The Right Vacuum For Your Home

With a new year comes a fresh opportunity to tackle cleaning challenges. For many, this begins with investing in high-quality equipment to expedite everyday chores. A powerful vacuum is an integral part of this equation. Thankfully, there are many excellent options available.

Buying a vacuum cleaner can be difficult, the sheer variety can feel overwhelming. This guide reveals what to look for in a vacuum cleaner and aims to provide a nuanced answer to the common question: which vacuum should I buy? 

Factors to Consider Before Making a Purchase Decision

There are many considerations when purchasing a vacuum cleaner. For many, this decision largely comes down to price — but it would be a mistake to focus on cost alone. Many other factors must also be considered, such as:

  • Suction power: How well can the vacuum lift dirt from various surfaces?
  • Versatility: Is the vacuum exclusively meant for carpeting, or can it clean hardwood or tile?
  • Durability and maintenance: Will the vacuum hold up to heavy use or will it require frequent repairs?

Types of Vacuum Cleaners

Vacuum cleaners, varying in shape, size, and design, are tailored for virtually any cleaning task through specific models or attachments. This guide categorizes the main types for an easier selection:

Upright Vacuums

When people picture are asked to picture vacuum cleaners, upright models come to mind. As their name implies, these devices stand up straight, so there is no need to lean over while vacuuming. They clean as they are pushed along the floor, with the motors generating suction and then drawing in air. Their all-in-one design is distinct from the multi-part setup of the typical canister vacuum. 

Advantages and Disadvantages of Upright Vacuums

Upright vacuums provide the ideal blend of convenience and performance. They can easily be moved from one room to the next and even up and down the stairs. These vacuums are also easy to store. While they are not always as powerful as their canister counterparts, elite models boast exceptional performance. Many uprights come with attachments that provide a targeted clean for every nook and cranny. 

Canister Vacuums

Featuring wheeled bodies paired with long cleaning wands, canister vacuums are named for their separate containers, which are referred to as canisters. The wands are attached to these canisters by flexible hoses. The canister portion of the vacuum contains a powerful motor, along with bags or dustbins. 

Advantages and Disadvantages of Canister Vacuums

Canister vacuums are known, above all else, for their superior suction power. This makes them a compelling option for commercial cleaning. These vacuums are more maneuverable than skeptics anticipate, but stairs and storage present distinct complications.

Those who require the power of a canister but prefer easier storage and greater versatility may benefit from investing in high-end upright vacuums. These rival canisters in terms of suction but can fit within smaller spaces. 

Stick Vacuums

Known for their lightweight designs, stick vacuums are often used in small apartments or wherever minimal storage space is available. Often cordless, these vacuums may come with a variety of attachments to help them handle difficult-to-clean spaces. 

Advantages and Disadvantages of Stick Vacuums

Stick vacuums expand on many of the benefits associated with uprights. Chief among these? Maneuverability and storage. Unfortunately, a significant caveat accompanies these benefits: stick vacuums tend to lack power and cannot always be counted on to deliver a deep clean. As such, they are best avoided for larger spaces, where uprights are more likely to provide a thorough clean. 

Handheld Vacuums

Small and highly portable, handheld vacuums are, as their names imply, designed to clean while they are held by the user. These are nearly always cordless, with detachable bins storing the collected dirt. 

Advantages and Disadvantages of Handheld Vacuums

Handheld vacuums can be useful in select situations, such as cleaning vehicle upholstery or couch cushions. They work best in small, tight spaces although, as previously mentioned, upright vacuum attachments can often handle these areas just as effectively.

With handheld models, the push-rod operation ensures ease of use. Suction power and battery life may be minimal, however, so handheld vacuums are not suitable for cleaning large spaces. 

Robot Vacuums

With technological innovations come exciting new vacuum designs that promise to streamline cleaning processes. Among the most promising? Robotic vacuum cleaners, use sensors and mapping processes to navigate homes autonomously. 

Advantages and Disadvantages of Robot Vacuums

Robot vacuums provide round-the-clock cleaning. Unfortunately, these vacuums are not always the miracle workers that technophiles anticipate, as they don't provide as much power as their human-operated counterparts. While their sensors are advanced, these vacuums still bump about and may even suck up small toys or other items. 

Specialty Vacuum Cleaners

Some vacuum cleaners do not fit neatly into any of the categories outlined above. Known as specialty vacuums, these take many forms and are often designed to accommodate specific settings or situations. An increasingly common variety? Backpack vacuums, in which the canister portion can be worn on the user's back. 

Advantages and Disadvantages of Specialty Vacuums

Because specialty vacuums come in so many designs, not one single benefit or challenge can be attributed to this category. These vacuums call for extensive research, and there may simply not be as much information available as their tried-and-tested counterparts. Some offer great suction or maneuverability, but not all — so attention to detail is a must when selecting and purchasing specialized styles. 

Assess Your Needs to Pick the Best Fit

No one vacuum design is ideal in every situation, but for most, the best model will provide a reliable clean wherever and whenever it's needed. Extras features such as HEPA filtration, noise control, and even LED lighting are also worth considering. These features should be closely aligned with the unique needs of the intended user.

A little research can make a world of difference, making it worth the effort to dive into the details. Equipped with the right vacuum, cleaning hassles will become a thing of the past.


Back to Blog