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Vacuum Cleaner Buying Guide

vacuum cleaner buying guide featured imageWhile a great vacuum cleaner can make your life a lot easier by making the chore of vacuuming fast and simple, buying the right vacuum cleaner can be hard.

There are a lot of models and types available on the market and chances are good that they won’t all work well in your home.

By using a reliable vacuum cleaner buying guide, you can be sure that you’re getting the right vacuum for your home at a price that you can afford.

The Vacuum Cleaner Buying Guide For The Technological Age

Questions First-Time Vacuum Cleaner Buyers Should Ask Themselves

  • What Kind of Flooring Do I Have? Not all vacuums work well on hardwood floors, and some do a much better job cleaning carpets than others. It’s essential that you consider what kind of flooring you will be vacuuming so you can buy the right appliance for your home.
  • How Much Can I Lift? Certain types of vacuums can get very heavy, especially if you are going to be carrying them up and down stairs. If you struggle with lifting heavy and bulky items, then you will want to only look at lighter-weight vacuums to be sure that you can efficiently operate them.
  • Will the Noise Bother Me? If you have family members who are sensitive to loud noises or live in an apartment and don’t want to bother your neighbors, then it’s smart to consider models that have more sound insulation. This will ensure that they are quieter when they are running and are much less likely to bother other people.
  • How Much Can I Spend? With so many different kinds of vacuums on the market, it’s hard to put a general price on what buying a vacuum will cost. This makes it very important for you to come up with a budget before you go shopping so you can be sure that you don’t overspend.
  • Do I Have Pets? Pets produce a lot of fur and dander, and these messes can damage vacuums that aren’t specifically built to handle them. Make sure that the vacuum you’re considering has enough power and even comes with specific attachments to tackle fur.

Types of Vacuum Cleaners

  • Upright: This is the most common and widespread type of vacuum and is easily found in stores. They do a great job at cleaning carpet and can quickly clean large areas. Also, they do a good job on hard floors and rugs. You can choose between single-motor and dual-motor upright vacuums. The dual motors give you more power to suction carpets since there is one motor running the brush and one running the vacuum.
  • Robotic: Perfect for the busy family who doesn’t want to take time to vacuum, robotic vacuums are programmable and self-propelled, so they run on their own. They can go underneath furniture and avoid obstacles. While not an excellent choice for homes with a lot of dirt and debris, they can take care of light dust easily and handle a lot of the work for you.
  • Canister: These vacuums have a flexible hose that connects the vacuum head to the motor and bag, which are in another unit. They are very light when compared to upright vacuums, and the smaller head can easily be maneuvered into tight spots to make sure that you get out all of the dirt and debris. This makes them ideal for cramped homes and even for cleaning furniture and curtains.
  • Handheld/Stick: The lightest options available, handheld vacuums are great for cleaning furniture, small spills, car interiors, and blinds. They don’t have the power of upright vacuums. Stick vacuums are perfect for cleaning floors without all of the weight of an upright vacuum. Since they are easy to carry and maneuver, they’re ideal for multi-level homes or for people who aren’t strong enough to handle a traditional vacuum. Many come with cordless vacuum options.
  • Steam Cleaner: Steam vacuums are great for deep cleaning rugs and upholstery and can even be used on hard floors. The steam does all of the harder work for you, so you don’t have to scrub at stains and dirt that has been ground into a carpet. Also, the high temperature of the steam will sanitize floors and kill bacteria.

Top Vacuum Cleaner Manufacturers

Vacuums can vary widely from manufacturer to manufacturer so you are best off buying from a quality manufacturer to ensure that you’re getting a vacuum that will last. There are a few companies that have proven themselves time and time again to produce quality vacuums and to stand behind their products. When you buy from Shark, Dyson, Miele, Hoover, and Bissell, you can be sure that you’ll get a quality appliance that will last for a long time.

Image of a blue vacuum cleanerFactors to Consider When Buying a Vacuum Cleaner

There are a few things to consider when looking for a vacuum.

Make sure to consider these factors when choosing a vacuum so you can get the perfect one for your home.

Bag vs. Bagless:

In the past, vacuums with bags outperformed bagless options, but that’s not true anymore. They now both do a great job at cleaning and have their pros and cons. Bagless vacuums will save you money in the long run since you don’t have to buy bags and are more convenient to clean. Vacuums with bags typically do a better job at containing the dust that they have vacuumed up.


While you want a vacuum that will draw a full 12 amps so that it is powerful, it’s important to pay attention to the air watts. This shows what kind of suction a vacuum will have. Look for one that has at least 200 air watts to ensure that it will be powerful enough to clean your home.


The price of the vacuum you’re considering is also important as one with many features may be too expensive for you to buy. While some people want to buy the most expensive option, that’s not always the best choice, depending on what kind of flooring you have, how often you are going to vacuum, and what kind of filters the vacuum uses.


If you opt for a cordless vacuum, you will need to consider the battery and how long it can run on a single charge. Also, pay attention to the total charge time, so you aren’t waiting for hours to be able to use your vacuum.


If you or your family members suffer from severe allergies, then you will want to make sure that your new vacuum has a HEPA filter. This means that the filter will be able to trap and stop at least 99.97% of particles and is the best way to make sure that you don’t suffer from an allergy attack when vacuuming.

Cleaning Schedule:

If you have the time and ambition to vacuum every single day, then you can use a lighter vacuum such as a stick or robotic vacuum to make the job easy to complete. On the other hand, if you need to perform a deep cleaning each time you vacuum and can only do the job a few times a week, then you will need a vacuum with more power, such as a canister or upright vacuum.

Image of a woman using a cannister vacuumFeatures to Look for in a Vacuum Cleaner

There are some features that you can get in your new vacuum, and the ones that are most important to you are the ones that you should prioritize.

By being choosy when debating between different vacuums, you can make sure that you end up with one that will work for your home and lifestyle.

Dirt Sensors:

Some vacuums come with dirt sensors that will detect when there is dirt present and let you know when you have thoroughly cleaned the area. This is helpful if you have thick carpet or a lot of people and animals in your home tracking in dirt and debris.

Telescoping Wands:

Being able to reach areas that are farther away without having to try to lift up the vacuum makes cleaning a lot easier and less stressful. These wands will let you get under and behind furniture as well as cleaning alongside cushions and corners of the room.

Self-Propelled Motor:

Vacuums can be very heavy, and instead of struggling with pushing one around your home, you may prefer one that helps you by self-propelling around the room. Not only does this make cleaning more manageable but it makes it faster as well.

Variable Power Settings:

Being able to choose how much suction you need from your vacuum allows you to clean everything from heavy-duty carpet to light and airy drapes without worrying about causing any damage. Also, this will enable you to operate your vacuum a little quieter than running it at full power all of the time.


If your vacuum has lights, then you will be able to see pet fur and dirt that may be hiding under furniture, along with the wall, and in dark corners of the room. They will also help you to find small toys and even jewelry that you don’t want to vacuum.

Indicator Lights:

Vacuuming when your vacuum needs to be emptied will result in burning out the motor and will keep you from being able to pick up all of the dirt and debris on the floor. Some models come with indicator lights that will let you know when you need to empty the vacuum.

On/Off Roller Brush:

The roller brush is the best way to suck dirt and hair out of the carpet but will scatter debris when used on a hard floor. Being able to turn it on or off will allow you to move from carpet to hard floors without skipping a beat.

Adjustable Cleaning Head Height:

Different kinds of carpet will have different length piles. Being able to adjust the height of the cleaning head manually will let you clean everything from hard floors to thick, plush carpet. Some vacuums will automatically detect the surface and adjust on their own but be able to change it yourself will give you much more control.

Cord Control:

Long cords on vacuums make it easy to vacuum large parts of a home without having to stop and move the plug, but they come with the price of having to rewind them up. Some newer models offer a rewind feature that will wind up the cord when you tug it or press a button, making it easy to wind up your wire without any hassle.

Putting it All Together

Woman who desperately needs a vacuum cleaner buying guide

A woman who desperately needs a vacuum cleaner buying guide.

After you have come up with a budget for your new vacuum, it’s time to look at your flooring and think about what kind of vacuum will best fit your life. If you’re always on the go and don’t have time to vacuum on a regular basis, then a robotic vacuum may be right for you. If you have thick carpets and are worried about getting out dog fur and ground-in dirt, then you will want a robust, upright vacuum to help you with the job. Once you have identified your needs and set a budget, you can compare manufacturers to see which offers the perfect vacuum for you.

It’s okay if you don’t have a preferred manufacturer as you will enjoy more choices by comparing models from a few different companies. You need to rank available features in order of importance, so you can be sure that your vacuum does just what you need and want it to do. It’s okay if the vacuum that you buy doesn’t match all of your desired features; you need to make sure that it can perform the way you want it to do.

With the help of this vacuum cleaner buying guide, you’ll be prepared to make a purchase that will last for years and keep your home nice and clean. No matter your preference of type of vacuum or any unique features that you want it to have, by setting a budget and doing your research, you’ll be able to buy the best vacuum for your needs.

Duke Taber is the owner of 3 successful websites and is now taking his skill as a writer and using it to help non-profit organizations and leaders around the world.