There was a time when people used a dust pan and broom to sweep and clean their homes with moderate success. Some of the debris got swept up but some dust and dirt invariably ended up in the corners, you had to sweep several times to collect as much as you could, and you certainly couldn’t use the broom on your furnishings. Today thankfully times have moved on and we now have the vacuum cleaner, an essential piece if cleaning equipment that can be found in most homes. But there are so many to choose from and so many different features nowadays that sometimes buying one can become more of a chore than it should be!

Types of vacuum cleaners

There are several types of vacuum cleaners you can go for based on what you need it to do, how big or heavy it is, the features you are looking for and of course how much you have to spend. Here are some of the main types to consider if you are in the market for a new vacuum cleaner.

Upright vacuum cleaners

These are best suited if you need a vacuum to be able to take care of heavy-duty cleaning as such they are popular among professional cleaners as well as large home owners. They stand upright, hence the name, and most come with various hoses with attachments to help you clean areas other than the floor, like couches, stairs and so on. These types of vacuums are large and heavy to manoeuvre so if you struggle with weight or you have back problems this is not a good choice for you. As a guide most upright models weigh between 10 to 20 pounds and some are even heavier.

Stick vacuum cleaners

These are upright cleaners too but have been slimmed down so that they weigh under 10 pounds. They do not come with the extra hoses either but you can get some that are 2 in 1 where you can turn it into a small hand held vacuum for areas other than the floor. If you prefer the style of an upright but cannot work with their weight this would make a very good alternative.

Canister vacuum cleaners

Also lighter than upright cleaners meaning because they weigh less they are at lot easier to move around. They come with a hose and canister and tools that can be attached such as crevice, floor and brush tools. You can pretty much clean most of the house with this vacuum, floors, furniture, furnishings and so on.

Cordless vacuum cleaners

As the name says these are machines that are cord free and run on batteries. If you get tripped in the cord all the time, have a smaller area to clean and want to avoid having to swap outlets for each room this may be something to consider. Do check out the charge time length though as that can vary from one brand to another by quite a bit. Some might take as little as 10 minutes but average is a few hours and some take a whole day. Plus run time is a factor to consider too, again the average run time is 15 minutes though some can last as long as 40 minutes. If you vacuum once a day and live in a smaller space that takes fifteen minutes or so to clean try a cordless. You can get several forms for cordless cleaners including robots, sticks and hand held.

Hand held vacuum cleaners

Hand held vacuum cleaners are not good for cleaning large areas but they are great for picking up a messy spot or for dusting furniture and cleaning the couch and chairs. These can also reach well into corners and nooks a larger cleaner might not reach. Designed to be carried by hand so light and easy to manoeuvre. Also handy for cleaning out your car so you do not have to take it in and pay someone else to clean it!

Robotic vacuum cleaners

The latest developed vacuum does not need a human to push it around as it is programmed and then does all the work for you. They do usually cost more and need you to understand how to program them. A big advantage to this cleaner is if you go on holiday or have to work out of town your floors will still be kept clean!

Tips on buying

Think about the area you will be cleaning and how big it is. If you have a large area to clean the upright may be more suited to your needs because it is more heavy-duty. The cords are longer so you can reach further and it comes with a detachable hose. Most industrial cleaners or people with large carpeted areas use upright vacuum cleaners. If you have smaller areas to vacuum look at that stick vacuum, canister vacuum or if it just rugs and furnishings even a hand vacuum would suit. Consider how much weight you can work with and whether you have back issues. A stick vacuum would mean less bending over for example.

You also need to choose between bag-less or bagged vacuum cleaners. Bag-less means you do not have to remember to buy bags and saves you money in the long term. But bag-less cleaners have to be emptied and the dust when opened can be breathed in. Many reviewers of vacuum cleaners will suggest buyers go with bagged vacuums for that reason. Most vacuum bags bow come self-sealed so all you have to do is pull them out and discard. In houses with allergies a bagged cleaner means less dust floating around and causing health issues. When you are looking also check that it has a special certified filter known as HEPA. These make sure even the tiniest of dust and dirt particles are captured.

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