The choice of vacuum cleaners on the market today is larger and more impressive than ever. A range of new designs, technologies and accessories have made household vacuuming easy and highly effective.
But how do you know which vacuum cleaner is right for your home?
Depending on your home’s layout, your lifestyle and any health issues you might have, choosing the best option might not be as straightforward as you think.
A vacuum cleaner is a significant purchase for most people, so it needs to be given some serious thought. To help you decide, here are a few factors you might like to consider when choosing the best vacuum cleaner for your home.
The styles of vacuum cleaner available
While there are now several sub-categories, the main two types of vacuum cleaner are the upright and the cylinder.
Upright vacuum cleaners
An upright cleaner is usually heavier and relatively less mobile. However, what it lacks in agility it more than makes up for in power. If you have large expanses of flooring and lots of traffic, an upright could be the way to go. However, bear in mind that uprights often have a limited reach. Modern versions come with a motorised brush bar, which digs into carpet pile and makes vacuuming more effective.
Cylinder vacuum cleaners
Cylinder vacuum cleaners tend to be a little lighter (although not always). They are pulled around on a caddy with wheels, which makes them easier to handle for people with mobility issues and joint pain. They feature a long wand and bendable hose, which makes them very good at reaching tricky areas and cleaning stairs. Some of the latest uprights can now be dismantled and turned into cylinder cleaners with the addition of a caddy accessory.
To bag or not to bag?
The latest bagless vacuum cleaners are usually more efficient than their bagged counterparts. Bagless models are more convenient, as you don’t need to fiddle with a dirty bag to empty them. You simply unclip the canister, and tip the dust and dirt straight into a bin. You also don’t need to worry about the added expense of replacing bags.
Bagged vacuums seal dirt and dust away in bags, but in many cases at the expense of a little suction power. They often have higher capacities than bagless models. And unless you’re very careful, dust can be released into the air when you remove the bag.
Bagless vacuums offer convenience and lower maintenance costs. It’s also worth remembering that the cyclonic suction technology that makes the latest vacuums so efficient isn’t possible with a bag.
In the end, the choice between bagged and bagless is down to personal preference. Just remember: if you want to empty a bag outside, you’ll need to take the entire cleaner with you. With a bagless model, you simply unclip the suction chamber.
Corded or cordless?
The latest cordless vacuum cleaners are more powerful and efficient than ever before. Improvements in battery technology have drastically increased performance in recent years. In most cases, cordless models are lighter, smaller and more agile. They can also be fitted to the wall for storage and charging. However, they still can’t compete with the power and performance of their corded cousins.
Which you choose depend should depend on several issues. For example, if you struggle to carry weight, or if you need to minimise tripping hazards in your home, a cordless option is a great choice. Cordless vacuums are also great for small apartments where storage and floor space is limited.
Detachable and handheld vacuum cleaners
Not only are there some very effective handheld vacuums on the market now, there are cleaning systems that give you several different options in one convenient system. For example, an upright cleaner can be broken down into its component parts. Use the suction chamber and hose as a handheld cleaner by simply unclipping it from the handle and base. Or change it to a cylinder cleaner with a caddy attachment.
In effect, you can clean your car, your stairs, your hardwood floors and your carpets with the same system.
There are different brushroll designs for all the main surfaces in your home. If you’re looking at uprights, you might notice that there are settings for hard floors and carpets. There are sometimes several brushroll settings for different carpet thicknesses. Think about the types of flooring you vacuum every day, and choose something appropriate.
One of the more recent innovations is the motorised brushroll. Older designs have brushrolls that turn when you push them. However, the latest models feature independently powered brushrolls, which dislodge more dirt and dust from deep carpet pile. If you have lots of thick carpets in your home, buying a cleaner with a motorised brushroll should make your life a lot easier — and your vacuuming a lot more effective.
Most vacuum cleaners have a selection of attachments these days. As a minimum, you should look for packages with furniture brushes, crevice tools, upholstery wands, and bendable hoses. However, there are now some fantastic vacuum cleaners on the market that come with their own mini turbo tools. A great example is a mini motorised brush head designed to be attached to the end of a wand — perfect for picking up pet hair from upholstery.
If you’re not sure, head to a scheduled demonstration at your local electrical retailer or supermarket. You’ll be able to see different vacuum cleaner types in action, and there’s often a chance to try them out yourself.