If your old cleaner no longer picks up properly, has broken down or you are just ready for a new machine this article has some tips for you on what you should look for in your new vacuum cleaner. After all vacuums have become an essential part of our cleaning tools so you want something that has the features you actually need and works! On the market today are a large range of types of vacuum cleaners, with different features, tools and prices. How do you know when a cleaner is worth those extra dollars, when the features are actually useful and not useless, or when something really is too cheap to be true? Just look at our guide!
What to look for in effective vacuum cleaners
Here is an outline of the different types of vacuum cleaner you can choose from, what main features are useful to have and what purpose they are suited for.
Upright vacuum cleaners
These are heavier than most other types of vacuums so are not a good choice if you struggle with heavy objects. They also have less manoeuvrability so are not as good for tight areas or smaller cleaning jobs. However most come with several attachments that help clean other places like furnishings and high up areas and they are usually the most powerful kind of cleaner you can get. Upright vacuum cleaners have very strong suction. There are a variety of upright cleaners out there to choose from, and you can find some that are unusually light, for example the Oreck XL upright is only eight pounds. However you do not get attachments with this vacuum and the cord rewind is not automatic.
Cylinder or canister vacuum cleaners
A canister vacuum cleaner is not as heavy as an upright so if you wanted an upright but it is the weight that puts you off you may want to look at cylinder models instead. In this type of vacuum the motor is not as close to the vacuum head as in an upright and it is usually smaller. Cylinder vacuums tend to be easier to use and they also usually come with some attachments. Good models will have places for those attachments on the vacuum itself so you do not have to store them somewhere. One example of a canister vacuum is the Electrolux Harmony and a good point about this model is how quiet it is.
The main features you should look for whether you get a canister or upright vacuum are power, a choice of bagged or bagless and filtration. Remember that the more features you feel you need on your vacuum the more it will cost you.
Power – keep in mind that amp is not always how to tell if the vacuum has strong suction. It just tells you how much power it consumes to run. Lower amp machines use less electricity. Wattage however is a good indication of how powerful the vacuum cleaner is, the larger the watts the more power it has. When getting a cylinder cleaner look for something close to 1400 Watts. If buying an upright look for 1300 Watts.
Bag or not to bag – this is a recent feature change as up until just a few years ago all vacuums had bags you had to change when they got full. However since Dyson came onto the scene you have the option to have bagless vacuum cleaners, where the debris and dirt is sucked into a canister that you then release from the machine and empty, clean then re-attach. There are pros and cons to each system. Bags can cause a loss in suction power as they fill and you have to remember to buy replacements. Some dirt canisters are not easy to release and empty and bagless cleaners are usually priced higher. Also when you empty them there is a small amount of dust that will float back into the environment whereas bags are sealed so nothing escapes when you change them. Therefore if you have someone with allergies or difficulties breathing bagged might be a better choice.
Filters – filtration is very important in a vacuum cleaner. As you clean the machine is picking up dust and dirt particles and then expelling some through the vacuum’s exhaust. How good the filters are affects how many particles get through and how big they are. You can get 3 types of filters today and this also affects the price of the cleaner. Standard is usually found only on cheaper cleaners now so if you do choose a vacuum that only has standard filters try to get one that at least has more than one level of filtration. The other two types are HEPA and S-class filters. These are able to prevent 99.9% of dust particles from getting through and stops particles as small as 0.3 microns. If you suffer from allergies or have asthma or other breathing difficulties, or someone else in the house does, you should strongly consider paying more for a HEPA filtration system on your vacuum cleaner. The Eureka 3684D is a canister vacuum cleaner with HEPA filters that gets top ratings amongst users so may be one to look at.
Specialized vacuum cleaners
As well as the more standard canister or upright cleaners you can also opt for something that is more specialized into being good at certain jobs. Stick vacuums are good for light cleaning duties and high up cleaning. Handheld vacuums are good for spills and spot cleaning, pet hair on curtains, cars and so on. Steam vacuums are great if you want to be able to steam clean your carpets and floors and get a lot of ground in dirt out. You can get steam vacuums that have drying systems like the Hoover SteamVac so that the carpet is dry after use. Then there are dry and wet vacuums that can be used like a normal cleaner for dry cleaning but then can be used to shampoo the carpet and clean it. This would include the Eureka InstaRinse Cleaning System.
There are a lot of well known vacuum cleaner companies out there today, Dyson, Electrolux, Hoover, Eureka and so on. All will claim their vacuums are the best but you need to start with a list of what you need it for, what features are essential and which would just be a bonus, how often will you be using it, what weight and size can you handle. Then using this research you can compare models and prices and find the vacuum cleaner that best suits you.