Vacuum Cleaner Buyer’s Guide

Vacuum cleaners today have become fashion statements with funky designs and bold color choices. Nevertheless, it isn’t the looks that counts rather the performance or the cleaning prowess that makes a vacuum cleaner dependable. Furthermore, you ideally want something that can work well with both carpet and hard floor.

The very first thing to consider or start off with is matching your cleaning needs to the type of vacuum cleaner. For instance, canisters are easier to move around, use with stairs but uprights that use bags are excellent for carpets. Once you have highlighted the exact type of vacuum cleaner, you then have to narrow down on features you ideally want to have. It can range from having manual pile height adjustment to automated brush rolls or suction control and more.

Buyer’s Guide Table of Contents:

A word of caution, be very careful with bagless vacuums as they aren’t exactly economical. Yes, it doesn’t use bags and hence reduces cost of bag change, but it uses filters that eventually need replacements, which is expensive. Moreover, emptying the bin is a messy affair so if you suffer from allergies, best to stay away from bagless variants.

We at have classified vacuum cleaners into five categories. Here is a brief look at each of the types. (You can skip ahead using the buttons below each section to a particular buying guide if you have already selected the type of vacuum cleaner you wish to purchase.)

Upright Vacuum Cleaner

upright vacuum cleanerUprights are the traditional vacuum cleaner design and it remains popular even today. In fact, most uprights actually cost less than canister vacuum cleaners.

Pros: Has a wider cleaning reach, better suited to deep carpet cleaning and are easier to store.

Cons: You have to drag the entire vacuum cleaner back and forth to clean any surface and some heavy performers are over 20 pounds in weight. They also tend to be noisy.

Best For: Carpet cleaning.

Canister Vacuum Cleaner

canister vacuum cleanerThe best canister vacuum cleaners are just as adept at cleaning carpet as they are at cleaning hard floors. As for pet hair removal, any canister will do the trick.

Pros: Are good with non-carpeted areas, with upholstery, under furniture and are easier to use with stairs. They are quieter and easier to move.

Cons: Canister cleaners are bulkier and longer so it can be maneuver. More attachments and parts makes it harder to store.

Best For: Hard floors or bare floors.

Handheld Vacuum Cleaner

handheld vacuum cleanerMostly miniature cleaners that are extremely portable and operate either on electric or battery power. Not meant for heavy duty use, instead to help control spills, small concentrated areas such as the pillow, sofa crevices and car seats.

Pros: Quick and easy to use, good for light work be it bare floors or carpets.

Cons: Not enough power or capacity like the larger models.

Best For: As Back-up to your upright or canister vacuum cleaner.

Robotic Vacuum Cleaner

robotic vacuum cleanerThese are the expensive cleaners that are fully automated and can tidy up a room on their own. They are more of a novelty than a practical appliance.

Pros: Does everything by itself, helps manage rooms even while you are away.

Cons: Can be time consuming to operate and setup, usually miss corners and edges and can get lost among furniture.

Best For: Only if you want a silent servant who won’t bother you or ask you for a pay raise!

Bagless Vacuum Cleaner

bagless vacuum cleanerBagless vacuum cleaners can come in the form of canister or upright vacuums. The reason we treat this as a different category altogether is because bagless vacuum cleaners all operate using the same principle and hence are totally different from bag variants.

Pros: Help prevent air contamination and improves efficiency of the cleaner even with an almost full container.

Cons: Requires periodic change of filters, which is an expensive affair. Usually noisier than bag versions.

Best For: Wish to keep your home truly dust and allergen free, bagless if the way to go.

In the next part, Features Galore – Buying A Vacuum Cleaner With The Right Features, we look at some of the new and old features offered with vacuum cleaners, some you probably already know and some brand new.