Having clean carpets is essential to maintaining a healthy, happy home. But when it comes to buying a vacuum, how do you know what will work best? Each claims wonderful things and boasts a user-friendly build but it is important to take into consideration all of these high-tech functions and features when choosing what will work best for you and your family.
Buying a vacuum isn’t a purchase you make often so it is important to do your research before selecting just any vacuum off the shelf. Take it from us, it’s worth studying up and investing time in choosing a quality machine that will be right for you and your family and that will last for years to come.
Let’s start with a quick rundown of the types of vacuums out there, and finish up with how you can best determine which features are the most important for you.
What Are Your Options?
Below are a list of the most popular vacuum options available, their primary features, and average costs to help give you a better idea of what’s on the market. This guide will help you match your needs to a type of vacuum so that you can worry more about the style and design.
An upright vacuum is typically the most common of household vacuums. Upright vacuum cleaners are effective at removing dust and dirt from areas of carpet, area rugs and hardwood floors. They typically include more customizable features, like brush and suction control. Turning off the vacuum brush can protect hardwood floors from being scratched, and suction adjustments are helpful for cleaning drapes or upholstery. The different attachments allow for versatility in what you’re cleaning from carpet to tile and hardwood.
The downside to upright vacuum cleaners is that they are heavier than other models and can be more difficult to carry. They can also take up more room when it comes to storage.
Average Cost: $50 to $700
Stick vacuums are usually cordless, which makes them great for cleaning a variety of areas around your home. They can get into those hard to reach spots and you don’t have to worry about cords getting wrapped around you as you clean. They’re lightweight, versatile, and easy to transport from floor to floor. Stick vacuums are ideal for light debris in high traffic areas that will be vacuumed regularly (multiple times per week). If you have kids then chances are your floors are bound to collect a lot of food. A stick vacuum is a perfect option for heavy use in one area as you can quickly pull it out and store it again.
Stick vacuums may come with fewer attachments or customizable options compared to an upright model. But if all you need is a high powered vacuum, not brush or suction options, this could be a great choice for you.
Many stick vacuums also come with a detachable handheld feature, which makes it easy to clean upholstery, blinds, vents, window sills, and car interiors. Stick vacuums are also lighter weight and take up less room in storage than other models.
Average Cost: $25 to $600
Canister vacuums are designed with the motor and bag together in a separate unit. This unit is usually on wheels so it can move around easily and is connected to the vacuum head with a long hose.
Canister vacuums are typically lighter weight than an upright vacuum and can maneuver into hard to reach spots easier. This is a great option if you’re looking to maintain the power of an upright model, but with increased mobility to reach into deeper corners. Canister Vacuums are often seen for heavier duty clean up and car vacuuming.
Average Cost: $50 to $800
Robot vacuums are often battery powered and self-propelled, meaning they do the work for you. Simply schedule it to run when you need it to, and it will do all of the work for you. Built-in sensors keep robot vacuums from bumping into furniture or falling down stairs. They can even clean underneath furniture. If you are often on the go or don’t spend a lot of time at home these vacuums are a huge help and can get the job done while you’re gone.
Robot vacuums are great for busy people or for those who are unable to push a vacuum themselves. They work well on hard floors and low pile carpet but aren’t ideal for higher pile, plush carpet or rugs. They also can’t travel from floor to floor in your home, so keep in mind that they’ll need to be moved manually to different floors of the home.
Average Cost: $100 to $1,000
Features to Consider When Purchasing a New Vacuum
Here are a few basic features you’ll want to take into consideration when it comes to your unique lifestyle and needs. Each vacuum is created differently and whether you are looking for something more environmentally friendly or more aggressive for larger messes, here are a few things to think about.
Bag or Bagless
Vacuum bags can sometimes seal and contain dust better. However, it can be difficult to tell when the bag becomes full, and costly to keep buying new bags. Bagless vacuums are more convenient because it’s easy to tell when they’re full. Their containers are also easy to detach and empty into a trash can without having to deal with a separate bag.
The bottom line is if you’re main concern is the convenience, go with a bagless model. If you suffer from severe allergies, a bag model may work better at trapping dust and allergens in the bag.
Note: Vacuuming alone isn’t enough to remove harmful allergens and bacteria from your carpet. Have your carpets professionally cleaned regularly (1-2 times per year). Choose a carpet cleaning company that specializes in allergen and bacteria removal.
Do you need your vacuum to clean more than just your floors? Look for included or purchasable attachments like a crevice tool to clean tight spaces, a dusting brush for shelves and tables, and an upholstery tool for furniture.
Corded or Battery Powered
Battery powered vacuum cleaners are more mobile, but you’ll have to recharge them after about 20-40 minutes of use. Check out the battery life as it varies from model to model. Cordless vacuums can be a huge help when you are trying to vacuum a larger area or cannot reach an outlet as easy. This is also helpful if you have a hard time bending over a lot.
Personal Factors That Are Key When Choosing A Vacuum
Size. If you have a larger, multi-level home, you could need a more powerful, upright vacuum. If you live in a smaller space or an apartment, stick vacuums could be the best choice.
Stairs. If you have stairs in your home, you may want a vacuum that’s easier to carry from floor to floor. Stick vacuums are ideal for this.
Surfaces. If you have a variety of surfaces in your home—like high and low carpet and rugs, hardwood floors, or tile—you’ll want a vacuum that can adapt to multiple settings. Also look for the option to turn off the brush feature so it won’t scratch your hardwoods.
Do you have pets? If you have pets in the home, you’ll want a vacuum that’s designed to remove pet hair and dander. Make sure to choose a model with at least 12 amps of power. Also look for specific pet hair attachments.
Note: If you have pets in the home, be sure to schedule professional carpet cleaning at least twice per year to remove pet stains and hair that simple vacuuming cant.
Your cleaning schedule. Think about your cleaning routine. Do you vacuum multiple times a week or do you vacuum less frequently? If you are constantly pulling out your vacuum then a stick vacuum could be the right choice. But if you only vacuum once every week or so it may be better to get a heavier duty upright or canister vacuum to pick up more debris. If vacuuming is becoming too much of a hassle and you aren’t home as much a robotic vacuum is a perfect solution to get the job done while you’re away.
Do you suffer from allergies? If so, you’ll want to select a vacuum that’s HEPA (high-efficiency particulate air) certified. HEPA certified vacuums remove 99.97% of particles from the air and are more effective than a regular filter. When you do purchase a vacuum, be sure to clean or change the air filter according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
Note: Again, keep in mind that vacuuming alone won’t remove harmful allergens and bacteria from your carpet fibers. You’ll want to be sure to look into professional carpet cleaning options.
Is noise a factor? If you don’t like loud noise or you live in an apartment with thin walls, you’ll want to choose a vacuum that’s quiet but still has enough power to clean effectively. A vacuum cleaner with a decibel level of 60-65 will be very quiet, while a level of 70 dB or higher will be noticeably louder.
Clean Carpets Require More Than A Vacuum
We hope this buying guide can help you choose the perfect vacuum for your needs! It’s also important to remember that while regular vacuuming is crucial, you’ll also need to incorporate professional carpet cleaning to ensure you have a clean, healthy home.
Did you know that the Chem-Dry carpet cleaning method removes 98% of allergens and 89% of airborne bacteria from your home?