Vacuum Cleaner Buying Guide: Choosing the Best Vacuum for Your Needs
We all know vacuum cleaners are a must-have for any home. Most of the newer models these days come with many advanced features that make daily cleaning tasks easier and quicker than ever. So it makes sense to buy a good vacuum cleaner that will help you keep your home clean and tidy with minimal effort.
However, with so many different options available today, choosing the perfect vacuum cleaner can become difficult. Every time a new vacuum cleaner model is launched, it comes with better specs than it’s predecessor and offers easier operation.
So should you upgrade your vacuum every time a new one comes out?
After all, everyone wants a machine with better dirt removal, better suction and enhanced filtration!
Keep reading this vacuum cleaner buying guide as we explain in detail what you need to consider when buying a vacuum cleaner.
Jump to Section
Things to Consider While Buying a Vacuum Cleaner
While choosing a vacuum cleaner, buyers are often more concerned about its features than anything else. But even though buying a vacuum with the best set of features is a good thing, that should not be your first priority while selecting a vacuum.
So what should be your priority?
Here are some crucial factors that you need to take into account first which will help you with the selection process.
Your Cleaning Requirements
Before you start shopping for a vacuum cleaner, it’s important to first decide what you will be using it for.
For example, if you’re mainly looking for a vacuum cleaner to clean your carpets, you’ll need to buy a model that has a powerful motor and is suitable for deep cleaning.
If you’re looking for a vacuum cleaner to primarily clean bare floors, then you should consider a model that comes with a suitable floor attachment for it.
Make a list of your other cleaning requirements in a similar manner. This way, you will have a clear idea of what you will be using the vacuum cleaner for.
Size of Your Home
The size of your home (or any other space) also matters. Picking the vacuum cleaner that is perfect for your home size is definitely the best way to go.
While most vacuum cleaners are designed for homes with average-sized rooms, not all vacuum cleaners are suitable for homes with larger rooms or tougher floor surfaces like tiles and carpets.
Also if you are living in a house with more than one floor, you will need a vacuum cleaner that is easy to carry around. Cordless vacuums can be a good choice in such situations.
How Often Do You Vacuum?
If you vacuum your home just once a week, then any vacuum cleaner will do the job. However, if you vacuum your house daily or more frequently, you will need a light vacuum that offers good performance at all times.
A model with advanced features like self-adjusting floor brushes and HEPA filtration systems should work great.
Do You Have Children, Elderly People or Pets at Home?
If you have any of the above at home, you will need to buy a vacuum cleaner that is specifically designed for homes with pets or children.
Some vacuum cleaners come with attachments and features that make it easier to clean pet hair and food particles from carpets and furniture. It’s best to consider a vacuum cleaner that is gentle on surfaces and doesn’t make a lot of noise.
Vacuum cleaners with powerful motors are also ideal for homes with pets as they can quickly suck up all the dirt and debris from the floors and carpets.
There are many vacuum cleaners available today that meet these requirements.
Does Anyone in Your Family Suffer from Allergies?
With vacuum cleaners that have HEPA filters, you can easily vacuum your home and ensure that the air inside is clean from dust, pollens and other allergens.
HEPA vacuum cleaners are a must-have for homes with elderly people or children at home as they provide a healthy living environment by removing 99 percent of the dust and allergens in the air.
What’s Your Budget?
If you’re looking for a vacuum cleaner, chances are you want something affordable. The vacuum cleaner market is huge and there are vacuum cleaners available for all budgets.
So it’s always good to have a budget in mind before purchasing a vacuum cleaner. That way, you will be able to avoid vacuum cleaners that are over your budget and focus on those that fit comfortably within your budget.
But remember that, with so many vacuum cleaners available today, it can be difficult to narrow down your options based on price alone.
Do You Have an Old Vacuum Cleaner?
Now what’s this got to do with buying a new vacuum cleaner?
Well, if you already own a vacuum cleaner, you can exchange it for a discount on a new one. Depending on the condition of your vacuum, you may get a better discounts.
If your old vacuum is in good working condition but lacks just a few features you need, buy a new vacuum with attachments or tools to supplement it. You don’t have to spend money on unnecessary attachments and features. So take your time and do your research before buying a vacuum cleaner.
Also consider if you have enough storage space, should you decide to keep using your old vacuum cleaner. Storing a vacuum is already a concern for many people. So making space for two vacuums can be tricky.
If your old vacuum cleaner is not in a good working condition, here is how to dispose off your old vacuum cleaner.
Brands with Good Warranty and Support
Vacuum cleaning is no longer a luxury but something that you will depend on for proper maintenance of your homes. One of the key things to look at when selecting the brand of vacuum cleaner is warranty.
Vacuum cleaners are expensive investments, so it is important that you protect your investment with a good warranty. If possible, look for a vacuum cleaner brand that offers a 5-year or even 10-year warranty.
Choose brands that have spares and accessories readily available as it makes a big difference down the line.
What if the brand you select discontinues your model of vacuum cleaner?
How they help buyers of their discontinued vacuum cleaner models is vital. Some brands offer a trade-in program, while others may allow you to upgrade to a newer model at a discounted price. So check for it.
Types of Vacuum Cleaners
In the above paragraphs, we have discussed the factors that you should prioritize while buying a vacuum cleaner. Now that you know what’s important for you, it will be simple to decide which vacuum cleaner will suit your needs.
In this section of the vacuum cleaner buying guide, we will see the different types of vacuum cleaners you can choose for your home.
These types of vacuums do your work for you. The self-propelled, tiny device is ideal for daily and quick cleaning. They also keep smaller spaces clean and minimize your reliance on larger models.
When you go out shopping, you will find models designed for hard floors and equipped with an agitator or brush to clean carpets.
Additionally, some robot vacuum cleaners are also designed to handle mopping.
Robot vacuums are wireless, and their size is small. This helps clean under items of furniture with specs that help them avoid drop-offs and dodge obstacles.
Some advanced models even map your house and return automatically to their recharging docks. Furthermore, most of the self-charging models also resume their duties after recharge.
They also have programmable models that enable users to create cleaning schedules. Moreover, some come with Wi-Fi connectivity which allows them to be controlled remotely.
In contrast, others come with remote control. Most of the robot vacuum cleaners are built to work with your intelligent home systems.
Upright Vacuum Cleaners
These types of vacuum cleaners pack exceptional suction power and are ideal for carpeted areas. In addition, upright vacuums are known to be quite effective for floors that require deep cleaning.
Most of their models have adjustable heights and can also be used on hardwood floors.
They usually come with various attachments, and they have a feature to be used on spot treatments and the entire cleaning.
Upright vacuum cleaners are common in many households, and if you want one that cleans multiple surfaces inside your house, they are the right choice for you.
Canister Vacuum Cleaners
These types of vacuum cleaners are ideal for use in smaller areas. With a suction hose and easy to pick feature, they can be moved from one place to another effortlessly.
Furthermore, along with floor cleaning, you can also clean your blinds and furniture with canister vacuum cleaners using different attachments.
Even though this type does not clean as well as the other more extensive types, canister vacuum cleaners are the right choice for you if you only need to clean small areas.
They come in handy for small places, and you do not want to deal with dragging around larger units.
Stick Vacuum Cleaners
These are lightweight and usually battery-powered. But unfortunately, they do not carry that much suction power.
Due to their lower suction, they are generally used in small areas like the kitchen and bathroom or to clean up crumbs.
Most people choose stick vacuums due to their small size and easy-to-move feature. Instead of bags that must be emptied or replaced once full, stick vacuums are equipped with dirt cups (which also need to be emptied if you are wondering).
Stick vacuums can be corded or cordless. And even though you might find some plug-in models, they still do not provide much power due to their smaller size.
Handheld Vacuum Cleaners
They are among a few of the cordless vacuum cleaners in the market which are also handheld. Due to their unique and sleek design, they are easy to use and portable for quick clean-ups.
They are an ideal option for people with pets or kids and those who require a vacuum that cleans debris and dirt fast.
Cordless vacuums are also used to suction pet hair off your furniture or dirt out of your car. However, the one downside of their purchase is that you will have to remember to charge them constantly. There are also some corded models out there.
Like stick models, they also have a small canister that must be emptied often since it does not have bigger dust holding capacity.
Features to Consider When Buying a Vacuum Cleaner
Knowing about the types of vacuum cleaners, will help you can make the right decision; but do not run off just yet. We can now turn our focus to different features of vacuum cleaner that fit your requirements.
Next in this vacuum cleaner buying guide, we’ll look at some features that you must consider before buying a cleaner. Note that as the number of features in a vacuum cleaner increases, so does the price.
Weight of the Vacuum
The weight of the vacuum cleaner is important because it determines how easy it is to maneuver. Typically, lighter models are ideal for hardwood floors and cleaning inside homes where you do not have a lot of furniture or appliances to lift around.
A heavier vacuum cleaner will not be easy to carry around. They can also cause problems for people with back issues.
However, heavier units with powerful suction make working on carpets easier.
Accessories and Attachments
Aside from the fact that most vacuum cleaners come with a power cord and hose, they also have attachments to help you clean small areas and hard-to-reach places.
The most common attachments that come with vacuum cleaners are:
- Upholstery brush
- Crevice tool and
- Busting brush
There can be more depending on their individual capabilities.
For instance, if you need to clean your car, you’ll need an extension hose and a special attachment to suck in the dirt effectively.
For people who have furry pets at home, getting a pet-hair brush or attachment can be a lifesaver.
These are usually available in varied sizes. So it is best to find out if they will fit your household cleaning needs before buying one.
Bag-Less or With Bags
If you want convenience, the bag-less models are ideal since they allow you to detach your container unit from the vacuum.
Once removed, you can get rid of all the dirt it has collected without the need to pull out and replace the bag.
However, even if bag-less designs are convenient, the bag designs are better are keeping the dust contained because the bag seals it away.
This saves you from unnecessary accidents while you are cleaning your vacuum. Moreover, if you or your family members have allergies, getting a bag design model is definitely a better choice.
The dirt capacity is important because it decides how much dirt the vacuum can hold before it needs to be emptied. The bigger the capacity, the less you have to stop and empty it.
Bag-less designs tend to have a smaller dirt capacity compared to those with bags.
Bag/ Bin Full Indicator
This feature is for people who want to keep their vacuum cleaners clean. The indicator alerts you when the bin or bag is full so that you can clean it before it becomes too heavy or starts spilling dirt.
For houses with both carpets and hard floors, getting a multi-surface vacuum will be the right choice.
These models come with the added feature of turning the brush roll off and on. This keeps your floors from scratching.
Filters are necessary for those with pollen allergies or sensitivities to pet hair or dust. HEPA filters are best since they remove almost all particles like allergens, dust, and dander from the atmosphere.
Most vacuum cleaner models have a filter that must be regularly replaced. However, now many manufacturers are including reusable filters, which allow you to:
- Remove the filter
- Clean it
- Put it back in your vacuum
Reusable filters are an ideal option for many people since they are cost-effective.
Your vacuum cleaner’s performance depends significantly on its suction power. This feature is related to your cleaner’s main motor (in Watts or Amps).
However, having a high motor power rating does not mean that the unit will provide good cleaning or suction.
For example, if you have hairy pets and thick carpets, you need a strong suction motor, but it is useless if your cleaner does not have an effective motorized pet hair brush-roll.
Unfortunately, most full-size corded cleaners have a suction power of around 100-200 Watts. However, in recent times cordless units have increased power.
As a result, it exhibits unprecedented suction power due to lightweight and powerful lithium-ion batteries and brushless motors.
Dry or Wet & Dry Vacuum
When you get a dry vacuum cleaner, understand that it is only designed to clean dry dirt. Alternatively, wet vacuums can clean damp and moist dirt and even water or any liquid in some cases.
Dry vacuums are a common sight in many households, and they do their job well. However, if they accidentally suck up wet dirt, stop the operation, thoroughly clean and dry them before using them again.
When buying a vacuum cleaner, there is no point in getting one that sounds like a jet taking off, even if it has the best specifications.
Ideally, you should avoid anything above 75 to 80 decibels. Vacuum cleaners with noise levels well below 60 Db are ideal for home use, even when others are sleeping.
Nonetheless, most modern units have noise levels between the range of 65-75 Db –suction strength is directly proportional to noise level; hence, reducing one reduces the other.
Vacuums with this feature are programmed to turn off automatically in certain situations like overheating or a full dust bag. This helps in preventing any accidents.
Design and Build Quality
The design and build quality of a vacuum cleaner are important because they determine how long the machine will last.
Poorly designed or built cleaners often break down soon after purchase. On the other hand, high-quality machines can last for many years if properly taken care of. Vacuum cleaners from brands like Miele can last over a decade.
Another important consideration is getting a vacuum cleaner with LED lights. This will help you see dirt and dust in darker areas, such as under furniture.
Frequently Asked Questions:
Following are some other common questions asked by the people buying a vacuum cleaner for their home.
Can You Service a Vacuum Cleaner by Yourself?
Even though you can, it is better to contact your retail provider. Most of these professionals even provide in-house servicing for leading manufacturers.
In addition to that, trying to service your vacuum yourself may be against the manufacturer warranty.
Can We Use a Vacuum Cleaner Daily?
Definitely! If you live in an area with lots of dust (near a highway or construction site, for example) or have pets at home that shed a lot, a vacuum can make the chore of cleaning easy and fast. So, if being clean is a priority for you, then a vacuum cleaner can be a good investment.
One thing to keep in mind if you vacuum or plan to vacuum daily, is to buy a lightweight vacuum cleaner. Carrying around a heavier vacuum all around the house or office can get tiresome. So avoid getting a heavy vacuum. Getting a handheld vacuum or a lightweight canister vacuum is a good idea in this case.
How Long Can You Run a Vacuum Cleaner?
A vacuum can be run for as long as you need. But you need to understand that its life span depends on how often it is run and how much it is used. If you have a high-performance vacuum cleaner, it will last longer.
Vacuuming for 30-60 minutes at a time is a decent amount of time. Plus if you are planning to use the vacuum cleaner daily as we discussed above, there is no need to run it for longer period of times.
Can We Clean Floor with a Vacuum Cleaner?
Vacuum cleaners can be used for cleaning floors. Using them for carpets and floor is a great way to remove dirt, debris, and pet hair from your house.
Most newer vacuum cleaners have a special attachments for cleaning normal floors. This is not always the case with older vacuum cleaners. Depending on your home, you may need a special attachment for hard wood floors or tile floors.
Still, most vacuums have a height adjustment tool which will be able to work on most flooring types. You can use this tool to lower the head of your vacuum so its working height is closer to that of your floor.
This is great for hardwood floors, but you will need something else for carpeted rooms. A vacuum with rotating brushes can work on both carpets and hardwood floors without too much effort.
Can Vacuum Cleaners Clean Dust?
Many people want to know if their vacuum (or the one that they are planning to buy) is equipped to clean the house dust. So yes, some vacuum cleaners can clean dust!
These vacuum cleaners come with a filters that traps the dust while vacuuming. The filter system protects the dust from getting back to the environment. But do not expect them to work as well as specialized machines such as air purifiers.
Can Vacuum Cleaners Clean Water Spills?
Vacuum cleaners can clean water spills provided they have the wet and dry function. So if you have a wet and dry vacuum, it should be able to suck up water or any other liquid spill.
Do not try to vacuum liquids using a normal vacuum cleaner tough as it can ruin it!
Can We Clean Sofa with a Vacuum Cleaner?
A vacuum cleaner can clean dust and dirt from a sofa. Some high end vacuum cleaners come with special attachments for upholstery. These attachments have rotating brushes that dislodge the debris making it easier to vacuum.
If the sofas have any stains or spills on it, a vacuum cleaner will not be of much use.
So, these are some of the things that you should consider before purchasing a vacuum cleaner. By keeping them in mind, you can make an informed decision and get a machine that best suits your needs.
Hopefully, this vacuum cleaner buying guide has helped clarify the criteria for buying a new vacuum cleaner, the types of cleaners available and what features to look for.
Remember, you should buy a model that fits your specific requirement. An inadequate device will waste time and money, leaving you to deal with a dirty house!