Vacuum cleaners are one of the most important gear to have in your household. It helps you keep your place cleaned and traps the dust. There are thousands of different case where a vacuum comes handy and there are thousands of models to choose from.
The best vacuum cleaners allow you to clean effortlessly and easily in every kind of situation and almost every kind of flooring.
Cleaning floors is boring! Almost nobody likes it but we all have to go through it at some point and one of your best wing-man in this great undertaking is a vacuum cleaner. Seriously, think of it as an equipment that will help you have clean easily, rapidly, leaving it dust-free not only floors but also other parts of your place. In this huge article, we cover everything you need to know about vacuum cleaners. Read On!
The Best Vacuum Cleaner for Most People : Dyson Ball Multi Floor
Here, we have tried to find the best vacuum cleaner that for us, meets the needs of most people and most circumstances.
So, if you are in a rush, look no further, this one is for you. The Dyson Ball Multi Floor Vacuum. Let’s take a look at it. It looks good right? It kinds of look like it comes from the future.
Anyway as you probably have noticed, it is an upright vacuum cleaner, its dimensions are 42.4 x 13.4 x 15.4 inches and weight 22.7 lbs. Adding to this a self-adjusting cleaner head and you have a very easy to manage vacuum cleaner. Thanks to wheels constructed with the BallTM technology, it is very easy go about the house even in the trickiest places without much of a trouble.
There is some dreams that a lot of us have in common, some life goals that a lot of us want to fulfill and one of them is having the perfect place. Depending on whether you’re more of a country folk or a city guy, everyone wants a little somewhere that we can call home. So, imagine a great house or apartment that reflects perfectly who you are.
So now that you’re in the right place, let’s talk practical. Because once you’re all settled, the place needs to stay neat if you’ll still want to call it your perfect home after a while. Yes, you knew where I was going with this: we’re going to have to talk house-working. I know, never a funny word that surely brings you back to memories of your mother yelling ‘tidy your room!’ but that is a subject that has to be tackled.
In this ultimate vacuum cleaners buying guide, we go through everything there is to say about vacuums. Their designs, their uses, their price, their history,… EVERYTHING
This guide’s purpose is to guide you before you buy a vacuum cleaner. It will help you identify your needs and what you will use it for. It’s really important that you understand how you will use your vacuum in order to choose one that fits your needs.
Ok, so we all know the broom. We all have one and it’s the ancestor of the vacuum cleaner. Before its invention, people would sweep the floor and hang their rugs over a line and be hit to get rid of the dust. Not very efficient and had to be renewed very often.
This 1904 American Sturtevant vacuum cleaner No.4 is the oldest vacuum cleaner still functionning.
At some point, someone had to come up with an idea. But, that is when the story gets messy (pun only half intended). In 1825, Whitworth an English man patented one of the first form of vacuum, which still resembled a regular broom.
Then came others such as Hess and McGaffey around 1870, John S. Thurman around the turn of the century, and others, each of whom made improvement to the previous one.
The oldest functioning vacuum cleaner is the one in the picture on the right : a 1904 American Sturtevant vacuum cleaner No.4.
Then came James Spangler and his famous cousin William hoover (hence the name!) that made the greatest revolution by producing the first upright vacuum actually looking like what we have today that was in every American house by 1930. The last groundbreaking invention came with Sir James Dyson who created the first bag-less one.
Let’s focus back on your place. When you are looking for a vacuum cleaner, the first thing that you have to do is taking a look at your home. There are a lot of facts that need to be taken into account. Here we have gathered a bunch of questions that you need to ask yourself before considering buying a vacuum cleaner.
The first and more obvious one is: how big is your home? Do you live in an enormous house of a small apartment? It may appear to be irrelevant but it is. You will want to have a different machine if you have a big house. For instance, are you lucky enough to have a house with several stories? Are you ready to climb several flights of stairs carrying a heavy vacuum cleaner? On the contrary, if you dwell in a relatively small apartment, there might be no need for a 15 lbs. vacuum cleaner. You get the picture that is how you narrow down your options, by summarizing your needs.
So then comes the second question: what type of floor do you have? Again, if you mostly have wooden floor, there are cleaners that are designed for this kind of floor. If you have carpet floors, then if will be another hoover that you will want to have. There is also the wooden floor house owner that is in love with rugs. No need to worry there either, a lot of vacuum cleaners are versatile and with only a push on a button can adapt from a wooden floored living room to a carpeted bedroom in no time.
Furniture can be bothering when cleaning with a vacuum
After having figured out these two questions, take a last look at your home and see if you have plenty of pieces of furniture. This question implies a few things. How much of your space do they take up? If you have a 300 ft² home covered with 250 ft. of furniture, then the choice might differ. Also, what type of furniture do you have? Will you have to bend over to clean under them? Don’t laugh, trust me, you do not want to break your back every time you will have to hoover the place. Best chances are, you will just end up sweeping once in a while and forget about the vacuum cleaner. We all know hoovering is not the best part of your day, let’s not make it even more disagreeable by buying gear that are not adapted to your house and yourself.
The other question that comes with it is about storing. Obviously, you cannot buy a massive vacuum cleaner and not know where to put it when not using it. Unless you don’t mind leaving it standing on the entrance hall, you will need to have a cupboard or a closet.
Alright, that was the part dedicated to your house. Now, think about yourself. How often do you vacuum your place? Absolutely no judgement here, everyone has their habits. But you need to know if you are more a twice a week hoovering person or a twice a month.
Just as a matter of example: let say that you want your house to be perfectly dust-free at all times, that you have a relatively big apartment but do not want to spend a lot of money each month to achieve this purpose. Then you will consider getting a bag-less vacuum cleaner. That way, there is no need for you to buy a new pack of bag every month.
We will get to the specifics later. It was just for you to get the idea of what I am talking about. As mentioned above, you will also want to purchase a device that will be effortlessly maneuvered around your home.
There is a lot of accessories coming with a vacuum cleaner
So now is the time to take a look at the accessories. Usually, vacuum cleaners come with several accessories. The most common one is the Up-top tool created for you to be able to rich high places or small interstices between a piece of furniture and the floor. The thing is, there is actually a lot of other tools out there. For instance, the mattress tool or the soft dusting brush. You can have specifics accessories for pet hair or for upholstery. You have to think about that because, you may want to hoover not only your place but let say, your car. Have you thought about that? Yeah, like I said, lots of questions you need to ask yourself, but it is worth it. If you manage to figure out exactly what type of vacuum cleaner you need, it will go a long way.
And last but not least question to be tackled: yes you guess it, money. The prices go on a wide range of possibility from the cheapest one to the most expensive.
The biggest mistake would be to go for the least expensive thinking that, after all, it is only a vacuum cleaner and that if it breaks, and you’ll get a new one. I know it is the easiest way to behave, it is also the one that will most likely cost you the most. It will cost you more in accessories. You can rest assured that the cheapest one won’t have any or in very poor quality. So you will either have to buy some with you vacuum cleaner which will add to the original price, or get some after the one that you had is broken. You will also have to by bags more regularly or, in the case of a bag-less (which are not usually the cheapest) you surely will have to buy a new filter every three months.
That being said, there are indeed vacuum cleaner that won’t cost you the sale of a kidney on the black market. It was just a way to emphasis the fact that it is not a buy to be taken lightly. Going from $20 to $300, it is a matter of knowing how much you are willing to put in this kind of purchase. You need to get something that matches both your needs and wishes with what your back pocket can afford.
The other thing that is equally important when choosing a vacuum cleaner is the quality of the product and knowing how much you can rely on brands. We will get to this point in a moment. First, let us focus on the different technologies there are out there and the most important topic we need to talk about now.
As there is a lot of different needs that have to be met, there is a lot of answer given by the vacuum cleaners designers. Here are the main technologies that we can find.
Whether you will want to get a bagged or bag-less vacuum cleaner, the one item that will always be featured in a vacuum cleaner is a filter. Actually, there can be two filters in one device, one for dust and one for smaller particles such as airborne microbes and allergens.
A classic HEPA H4 Filter
It very important to take care of them. If you want to make sure that your vacuum cleaner lasts a long time, you need to change it every year (it is for an average use, just make sure to check them once in a while and tap the dust off from time to time).
We can find several type of filters made of different materials such as: cloth filters, disk filters, cartridge filters or foam filters. The most efficient filter is the HIPA filter. It is not a registered trademark but a designation for a filtration norm. HEPA is an acronym for high efficiency particulate air. Written HEPA H 11, H12, H 13… The number after the H corresponding to the power of filtration, you get it the higher the better. Indeed, when you clean your home with a vacuum cleaner the least you can expect from it is to leave a clean, breathable air.
The canister or cylinder vacuum cleaners are the best fitted for homes that are not so small for several reasons.
The first one is that it takes up place when you are not using it. You need a substantial place to store it because they are usually a bit big. The second reason is that since they are big, they have an important bag and filter capacity that is required for bigger houses or apartments. If you have a little student studio, a canister vacuum cleaner might not be your best choice.
Lastly, the cord for the canister is also rather long and allows you to vacuum in certain number of rooms (obviously, it depends of your house, I’m taking regular house, not a mansion) without having to unplug and re-plug it every time you go from the kitchen to the living room.
With their big capacity come a good engine which makes the canister vacuum cleaners very powerful. They are quite versatile so as well as being able to go from one room to another, you can go from hard floor to carpet floor easily.
They are usually not as heavy as one might think so it is not hard to use them on stairs. Due to their weight, they are effortlessly manageable. Moreover, the tube and accessories makes the access to some part of the house such as under a bed or a cupboard very easily reachable.
The prices go from the cheapest vacuum to very expensive ones, it varies according to the accessories, and their capacities. Once you have narrowed your needs down, you will be able to find the best for you with our reviews.
The other one that is very common in a lot of houses: the Upright vacuum cleaner. The thing they are the best at doing is picking up hair. If you have a dog or a cat for instance, it is very efficient to get rid of the hair they leave behind them.
They are light-weighted so they can be easily used all around the house without any trouble. What makes them very appealing is that they don’t take a lot of space. Since it only some kind of stick, they can be stored alongside a broom and won’t take a lot more space than it.
Their design is also practical, you can hold it with only one hand and reach most of the places at home. Most of them can be used on several different type of floors. The upright vacuum cleaners are usually designed to cover very large area but obviously work very well on smaller places. The only down with the Upright vacuum cleaners is that they are usually quite noisy though it is not the case with all of them.
In all, they a good choice for a lot of people. They come in a very different range of price depending on the features and the brands that you want.
Another type of vacuum cleaners are the handheld or lightweight vacuum cleaner. They are usually smaller than cylinder or upright cleaner.
That means that they are to be used on smaller areas such as sofas, cabinet or even the table. They are very convenient because since they are small, they can be put on a shelf when you are not using it.
They are a bit less powerful than the bigger ones but it is not the case for all of them. Handheld vacuum cleaners are great to get rid of crumbs on the dinner tables, pet hairs on couches or dust on cupboards shelves.
They can be a very good alternative for students or people living on small places because they don’t take a lot of space and because if you are in that situation, you don’t need an enormous vacuum cleaner that can cover the areas of a whole house when you only have one room.
For people who have a large house, it can also come in handy for places that are hard to reach with an upright or canister vacuum cleaner and will be a good addition to your cleaning gear.
Seeing that they are small and less powerful than a regular vacuum cleaner, they are not very expensive which makes them all the more great for a person on a tight budget.
The next type that we are going to talk about is less common though we tend to see it more often nowadays. The Robotic.
With this one, it feels like the future is already there. Alright, I might be exaggerating a little bit here but you know what I mean. It looks nothing like the former vacuum cleaner that we used to have. It takes the form of a disk rolling on the floor.
The best assets of this device is that you don’t have to take care of it. It just needs to be turned on and it just does its job without you having to supervise anything. The most high tech of them all can be connected via an app on your phone. Let say you are at work and need your living room cleaned for your guests tonight, all it takes is a connection to the app and your house is all vacuumed when you arrive at your place.
The biggest down is that all this technology comes with a price. They surely are the most expensive kind of vacuum cleaner out there.
Still they are very efficient, don’t take a lot of space to store them and well, they just rid you of one of the biggest chores that needs to be done around the house!
When choosing a vacuum cleaner, not only the exterior counts, sure the design is important, but what is inside is surely as important (if not more). So, do you want/ need a bagged or bag-less vacuum cleaner?
The price of the bags can quickly add up! These 3 bags cost about $10: that represent $50 per year for a small house
Well, firstly it will depend on how much you are going to use your vacuum cleaner. Bag-less vacuum cleaners are great because once you have bought it, you do not need to do anymore spending, and you already have everything.
Sometimes vacuum cleaners bags can get expensive, especially if you buy a band machine that can only accept that particular brand bag. The branded ones are the ones that cost the most and sometimes, you cannot even find them at your usual retailer when you need them.
We must note that it is the filter and the power of suction that counts for the cleaning process, so having a bag or not will not change how efficient they are (if they have similar criteria) at vacuuming. As for retaining very small dust, allergens or airborne microbes, the bagged vacuum cleaners are better at the job. Indeed, once it is in the bag, it is trapped inside and go out as much as with a bag-less vacuum cleaner.
On the other hand, bag-less hoovers have a smaller capacity than a bagged one. Moreover, emptying a bag-less vacuum cleaner can turn out to be a very messy activity. You have to be very careful, the best option would be to empty it outside. This implies to have a least a bit of garden which is not the case for everyone. You have to think about where you are going to do the job if you choose to buy a bag-less vacuum cleaner.
Cordless Vacuum are great to use but you have to be careful with the battery life
After having decided whether or not you want a bag, you also need to decide whether you want a corded or a cord-less vacuum cleaner. What will count the most is the surface of floor you have in your house. If you have a big house, you might want to consider a cordless one.
That is the first thing that comes into mind because having to plug and unplug your vacuum cleaner every time you go from one room to another is adding quite a pain to the all process which, as we already mentioned, is not a walk in the park. On the other hand, that means some extra upstream work.
For instance, you must not forgot to charge the battery from time to time otherwise you will end up with a dead battery at the exact moment need it the most. Also, if your house is very massive, depending on the model of vacuum cleaner you want to get, a full battery might not cover all of your place. The average battery life of a cordless vacuum cleaner is around 35 minutes. Be sure to check the autonomy of the battery beforehand. As a matter of fact it is the battery that is very important so you have to choose wisely.
Secondly, some vacuum cleaner, mostly the canisters usually have a rather long cord, the average length being 33 feet long which is not that bad all things considered. It can fit to any regular home and moreover they are usually less expensive than the cordless ones. The last things you might want to consider is the object in itself. A cordless one requires less room than a corded one and is less heavy. The difference might not be that important but it still can be a deal breaker for some. Just check the comparisons.
Surely, the first thing that we want when cleaning our house is to get rid of all the dust and dirt. A spotless house would be the dream but what is also important is everything that is floating around in the air and that is invisible to our eyes. Cleaning is important not only so that our house looks tidy but also for our own health.
Pet hair are a real nightmare to get rid of!
Most vacuum cleaners are very good at suck up the dust and dirt. Some of them are not so good at other stuff. For instance, if you are a pet owner. As much as we love our cats and dogs, the amount of pet air they can leave behind them is a bit less lovable.
Finding pet hair all over the house and not being able to get rid of them is every pet owners’ nightmare. If you are looking for an efficient vacuum cleaner that will rid you of hair you need to check if the model you are about to buy can manage that. Do not worry, getting a good vacuum cleaner for the job does not mean breaking open the piggy bank. You can find a wide price range for those that will surely meet your needs and those of your wallet. It is not a matter to take lightly because pet hair can lead to health problems such as allergies.
Pet hair can be the source of allergies
Indeed, having a good vacuum cleaner is also a way to prevent or to minimize effects of allergies for your family and friends. Who doesn’t know someone who unfortunately suffers from asthma? When it comes to vacuum cleaner, several points come into account.
The bag or recipient into which the dust will go is important for allergic people. It needs to be sealed from the inside out to make sure that none of the dirt will come out. It is not very know but you can easily find allergen filters (HEPA-labelled) to add to your regular filter to add efficiency.
The filters take a huge part into making sure that the air that goes through the vacuum will come out clean. We have already mentioned some filters above: Cloth filters, foam filters, cartridge filters, disk filters… The one you will want to look for is HEPA (High Efficiency Particulate Air) or ULPA (Ultra Low Penetration Air).
There are dedicated accessories like this rotating brush to help you get rid of your pet hair
The first one is a filter that can collect 99.7 percent of all particles at 0.3 microns, a human or pet hair is about 60 to 80 microns so you’re good with this one. The second one is even more efficient and can retain all particles to 0.12 microns at an efficiency rate of 99.999 percent. You can also get specific pet filters.
So as we can see, the features of a vacuum cleaner is not something to under-look. Accessories are also important. Most of the vacuum cleaners come with the basic accessories but if you can to have a clean home and a clean hair, you might want to check those out. You can find ‘Pet accessories kit’ which contains a turbo hand tool or brush that remove hair from pieces of furniture such as beds and couches.
Now the one of the thing that does not always come into mind with vacuum cleaners is odors. It may seem contradictory for a cleaning device to end up smelling bad but it does. That is not the case for ll of them, it depends on the filters and the dust recipient but it happens quite a lot. For that, you can find recipes (with baking soda, which is supposed to trap the odors but I am not convinced) or you can by scented filters that will leave a lovely odor throughout the house.
If you are specifically looking for a good hardwood floor vacuum, you can head to our best vacuums for hardwood floor article where we cover the best vacuums for those who need to clean their hard floors and hardwood floors.
Hardwood floors need a special attention when you clean them with a vacuum
If the most part of your house is built in hardwood and/or hard floors, you are going to look for a bunch of features that you cannot find in all vacuum cleaners. Even if most of them a very versatile, it is still better to look for one that is specially designed for your type of floor.
Look for a substantial suction power. While you might think that it is more suited for carpeted floors, hard floor and especially hardwood floor also require a strong suction power. Indeed, with the interstice between the planks and the wax and oil finishes that tend to crack, you will need a powerful vacuum cleaner to remove all the dust that go into them.
Take a look at the head. It has to fit you floor. Check if there are rotating brushes. If there are, chances are that it is not the best choice for you king of floor. They are designed to work mostly on carpet but are less efficient on hard floor.
You should also consider the weight of the cleaning device. If it is too heavy, it might damage you floor. Take a look at the bottom, particularly the wheels, for the very same reason, you do not want to end up ruining your floor with scratches. Go for soft wheels.
Some vacuum cleaners are specifically made for stairs and are equipped with a handle
When going through the house with the vacuum cleaner, the trickiest part is probably the stairs. You have to carry up and down your cleaning device that can be pretty heavy, trying not to break your back in the process.
If you leave in a house with a lot of stairs and stories, having a canister vacuum cleaner does not sound like the best idea ever. However, there are some that are actually lightly weighted. So if you still want this type of vacuum, be sure to always check the weight.
Then the second thing that has its importance is the length of the cord. Then check the head, stairs are usually small so you don’t need an enormous head. Moreover, there are a lot of corners so we advise you to choose either a head in the form of a triangle or that it features accessories that fit these corners. Still, the best vacuums for stairs are cordless upright vacuum cleaners or small handheld vacuums because most of them features this options.
You need the good heads to clean a carpet with a vacuum cleaner
In the most intimate places of our houses such as bedrooms or TV rooms, we tend to put carpet or rugs on the floor to make them feel more comfy.
These rooms need to stay very clean, especially the bedroom. So you need to get a vacuum cleaner that will be very efficient. Otherwise you might develop allergies.
Unfortunately, as comfy as they might be, they are the type of floor that retain the most of dust and dirt than any other.
Apart from a strong suction power, you must look at the head and check for beater or rotating brushes. They are the most adapted to carpets. Take a good look at the dust recipient, especially the sealing. It is also with this king of floor that odors coming from the vacuum cleaners can be the strongest. Be sure to take extra care of the filters and get scented ones if needed.
Now, one of the big difference between vacuum cleaners are the upright and the canister one. Usually, we choose one or the other according to our preferences, or even our habit. If your parents have a canister, you get one two, just because that is what you have always been used to use. It is the easiest way but probably not the best both for your home or your wallet. If you choose one that does not meet the need of your place, you’ll end up having spent money down the drain.
A canister works very efficiently. Since they are bigger, they have a bigger motor which usually (not always) means a stronger suction power. They also have a biggest dust recipient, either bagged or bag-less. But on the down side, they are usually quite heavy and takes more place when they need to be stores.
On the contrary, an upright vacuum cleaner is often simpler to put away in a closet. They are seldom easier to maneuver mostly because they are quite light-weighted and less cumbersome. However, they usually have a smaller cord that has to be hand-rolled back into its place when you are finished with it. They have a smaller bag or dust recipient. So, for instance, if you have a small house or apartment, go for the upright.
With the future at our doorstep, robotic vacuum cleaners have made their way into a lots of home already. They seem to be the greatest answer to escaping the chore that is hoovering yet there are not always the best choice. As you all know, they are very flat and very small.
As magical as they look going about the house almost like they had a mind of their own, they do not magically carry a massive battery and dust recipient. Indeed, this kind of product cannot cover such big areas as a classic vacuum cleaner can either because the battery will die out or because you are going to have to empty it before the job is done (or you know, for both of these reasons). In fact, they are to be used differently than a regular vacuum cleaner. It is designed for a very regular and often use. However, since they do all the job for you, it is not much of a trouble. In that way, they are quite fantastic.
If you have a rather big home, it will be likely that you’re going to have to use it every day, for two reasons: as said before, to cover all the place, but also because they are just a bit less efficient that a classical one. That means that they have to be used almost on a regular basis. You are then going to have to charge it almost every day.
Now don’t get me wrong, it is a great invention, it is just not suited for every house. For instance, they can’t run on stairs. It is probably more suited for an apartment or a single story house. If you are in that case, this new kind of vacuum cleaners are perfect and will free you of one of the worst job that has to be done around the house.
So here is a round-up of pretty much everything that you should know before choosing a vacuum cleaner. In hope that all these pieces of advice will be helpful in your researches.
Finding the best vacuum cleaner for you is not so hard. At the end of the day, it all comes down to the way you narrow down your wishes and needs so that the vacuum that you choose will perfectly meets them.
If you want more information or comparison, be sure to check our specific and more complete article. We also have published articles where we compare vacuum cleaners so that you can find the perfect for you.