Choosing the right vacuum for your needs
Shopping for a vacuum can be a bit complex thanks to all the different product options available. Fortunately, it's easy to choose the right one when you know what to look for. Consider these factors before you shop so you can better narrow down your choices and focus in on the vacuums that match best with your cleaning needs.
Floor type: Does your home have laminate floors, carpet, tile or a mix of different flooring types? Make sure you choose a vacuum that's designed to clean your specific floor type. Many modern vacuums are designed to clean different types of floors, with different suction and brush settings available to change the way the vacuum cleans. Vacuums that come with fewer features are more likely to be most suitable for a specific type of flooring.
Attachments: From long wands with narrow tips to roller brushes specifically designed to pick up pet hair, the attachments that come with your vacuum can make a big difference in your home's cleanliness. If you've found yourself struggling to keep corners, furniture and other hard-to-reach spaces clean, a vacuum that comes with a diverse set of attachments may be the solution.
Ease of use: If you have any mobility or strength issues, you may want to make sure that the vacuum you choose is easy to use. Look at features like weight and wheel type to see whether the vacuum will be easy enough for you to carry and move around.
Storage: Some vacuums are specifically built to store in small spaces, with features like telescoping handles reducing the overall size of the machine when they aren't in use. Consider how much storage space you have available, and try to find a vacuum style that has the right dimensions for your home.
Capacity: Do you have a big home or live with a dog that sheds a lot? Vacuums with small debris storage canisters can be a hassle if you have a lot of cleaning to do. The smaller the canister, the more often you'll have to empty it, which can lengthen your cleaning time. Look into capacity information before purchasing a vacuum so you can be sure to get something that allows you to avoid this issue.
What are the different vacuum types?
Not all vacuums are designed alike. Aside from the considerations listed above, you should also know what type of vacuum best suits your needs. Explore the different vacuum types and decide which style is best. Then use product category filters to narrow down your options and focus on results that match with your preferred vacuum type.
- Upright: This full-size vacuum style contains all of its parts in a single unibody design. These vacuums have a handle on top that allows you to push, pull and otherwise move for cleaning. Some upright vacuums have detachable hoses and come with attachments you can use to clean in tight corners or on things like sofas and curtains. The unibody design of this vacuum style generally makes it hard to use an upright vac under furniture and in hard-to-reach spaces, so look for one with a hose and attachments if you like a thorough clean.
- Stick: Stick vacuums are generally cordless and rechargeable, which makes them convenient for quick cleaning. This vacuum style isn't suitable for cleaning a whole house due to a lack of strong suction and debris-storage capacity, though people who live in tiny houses or small studio apartments may find them sufficient.
- Canister: Canister vacuums come in two main parts, a debris storage canister and a suction head, connected by a long hose. This makes canister vacuums convenient for use on stairs and in other situations where you might need greater maneuverability. Some canisters have wheels that allow them to move with the vacuum, but not all do. That means you may need to pick the canister up and move it around while vacuuming.
- Robotic: Automated vacuum cleaners can self-activate and clean floors without much effort from you. These robotic cleaners are great for daily cleaning as they can turn themselves on and run while you're out of the house. Robotic vacuums don't necessarily clean perfectly, though, and can get stuck or otherwise require your assistance. They aren't a zero-effort solution to getting your floors clean.
- Handheld: Useful for hard-to reach or small spaces, handheld vacuums are typically used in addition to a larger style. You could clean an entire room with a handheld vacuum, in theory, but it would be time consuming and difficult to do so. Handheld models are best used to clean out tight spaces, like the gap between a sofa and a wall or the interior of your car.