Home & FamilyHow to Choose the Best Vacuum Cleaner

How to Choose the Best Vacuum Cleaner

Vacuums are one of those things that we all have, but most of us put little thought into. However, using a good vacuum is essential for the cleanliness of your home as it can reduce the amount of dirt on your floors and dust particles in the air. Consider the following criteria before buying your next vacuum and prepare to potentially love this dreaded chore.


The most common style in the United States is the upright. They are easy to use, typically requiring only a switch and a step pedal to get them going. Though quite convenient in large, open spaces, using an upright in tight spots and on the stairs is nearly impossible.

If you find the upright to be downright bulky, the canister vacuum is a great choice. Though much more popular in Europe than the United States, these vacuums are quite powerful and easy to use in tight spaces and stairways. Many canister vacuums come with an electric hose which offers superior cleaning performance.

Stick vacuums are another option that are lightweight, convenient, easy to store, and great for small living spaces or hard surface floors. Though you’ll lose some of the power with these devices, it may be the best choice for some.

Bagged or Bagless?

Bagged vacuums keep suctioned dirt particles off the floor and out of the air when you’ve reached your vacuum’s capacity. They are great in homes where people have allergies or asthma. The major drawback with bags is that they lose suction power as the bag fills. They also aren’t the greenest solution.

Bagless vacuums are definitely greener, but not always cleaner. When emptying the canister, dust and dirt can escape back onto the floor you just snagged it from. However, recent cyclone technology, most notably developed by Dyson, delivers uninterrupted suction.


Many vacuums come with several attachments for the hose. Look for models that have a brush, crevice tool and an extension wand. Powered hand brushes are best as they deliver more cleaning power, but they cost more. Be careful not to load up on several attachments that will go unused.

Vacuums are not exempt from the principles of ergonomics. Test floor samples and note the location of the controls and the way it moves. A vacuum that is hard to push or that requires you to bend down to reach the controls may prevent you from using it as often.

Filtration is very important. There’s nothing worse than a vacuum that sucks up dirt and dust at the bottom only to spit it out at the top. HEPA filters are great, but not always created equally. High quality, vacuums have sealed systems that force air through the filter.


An appliance that doesn’t perform properly is simply a waste of money. Be sure to do your research whether it’s online, testing a floor model or asking your friends about their vacuums. Key things to look for are the motor power rating and the design as this will affect overall suction. Good vacuums will put their beater brushes to work extracting dirt, dust, ground cereal, and whatever else has found its way into your carpeting. If pet hair is one of your problems, give sincere consideration to models designed for pet owners.

Price and Value

Models that run under $100 are rarely worth the money “saved” and models over $1,000 (yes, they go that high) are rarely worth the money “invested.” Generally speaking, vacuums priced in the $200 to $600 are going to deliver the best results. While budget is always a strong factor, you should balance what you need with what you can afford carefully. Otherwise, you may be looking for a new vacuum before you know it.

Author Bio: Katie Campbell is an Expert for Bestcovery.com where she seeks to discover the best of everything for the homes, medicine cabinets and makeup bags of women everywhere. After too many battles with subpar vacuums, she decided that it was time to teach others how to find the best vacuum cleaner for their homes.
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