Vacuum Cleaner Shopping Guide
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Should you splurge on a really good vacuum cleaner? My answer is a resounding,”Yes!” However, with so many options, it is hard to know what to buy. Upright or canister? Bagged or bagless? Stick or handheld? It can also be hard to know where to look for a good vacuum cleaner. On top of all that, the price points are so variable that you can be become confused about which make and model is the best value. Let me help you by giving you the 411. As a professional cleaner, I have certainly become acquainted with several types, so I might just be able to steer you in the right direction.
Upright or Canister
Upright vacuums, for the most part, are meant to work best on carpet. They can be heavy so that is something to keep in mind if you are using it on different levels of your home or to clean the stairs.
Canister vacuums, however, usually work well on a variety of surfaces because most come with interchangeable heads. They usually seem lighter because of the separate powerhead. They are also known for being quieter if noise is an issue for you.
Bagged or Bagless
Bagless vacuums have definitely become very popular over the last ten years and many people love them. But they require a lot of maintenance in my opinion. It is a good idea to clean their filters regularly or replace them all together. Once a month is recommended for most filter cleanings. Emptying their bins is a dirty job and if you have allergies this type of vacuum is not recommended. However, bagless vacuum cleaners are considered more environmentally friendly as the bag isn’t ending up in a landfill – an important plus.
Bagged vacuums can be pricier because the bags have to be replaced every so often but I definitely feel they are worth it. They are more hygienic because they trap dirt and dust in their bag. There are typically no filters to replace so maintenance is a breeze. It is recommended that the bag be replaced when it is 1⁄2 to 3⁄4 full since an overfilled bag can weaken performance.
Stick or Handheld
Stick vacuums are known for being light-weight, sometimes battery operated, and usually work best for hard floors. According to Consumer Reports, it is best to use a full sized vacuum for carpets. Read their review HERE.
Handheld vacuums are smaller and more light-weight, designed for specific jobs such as cleaning up pet hair, cars, and small messes. These also come in cordless versions but have the tendency to run out of battery life during use.
Where to Purchase
Currently, I feel you really only have two options for places of purchase: a dealer (professional vacuum store) or Amazon. Professional vacuum stores are a wealth of information but, it is important to keep in mind that they will want you to purchase the brand they sell. I like to visit and educate myself on many different brands before I commit to making a purchase. The bonus of buying from a dealer is that they often run specials, have leeway in their pricing, and offer a warranty. They can often repair and service the vacuums on site which is a big time saver. These factors give me peace of mind when purchasing a big ticket item like a vacuum cleaner. Amazon is a great place to buy vacuums as well, because it gives you the ability to read real reviews and compare prices. I have found the reviews to be invaluable when it comes to buying something expensive like a vacuum cleaner. But, purchasing online does make it difficult if a problem arises. You are then left to deal with the manufacturer which can sometimes be a pain.
My Vacuum Cleaner Recommendations
While I prefer to keep a bagged vacuum for my fully carpeted, second floor, I love the Shark Rocket Powerhead for the hardwoods on my first floor. Unlike most Sharks, it is lightweight, at only 9 pounds. I like how it fits under my couch and works well on area rugs. Even though it has a small dirt cup, I find I can vacuum my whole first floor without having to empty it. Of course, that all depends on how long it has been since I last vacuumed. ; ) The Shark Rocket Powerhead has an interchangeable brush roller that allows you to either vacuum hardwoods or carpets. Most of the time, I just leave on the one designed for hardwoods and I find it works well. The only complaint I have about this vacuum is its lack of attachments for getting into small corners, nooks, and crannies.
I feel the Shark Rocket Corded Hand Vac is a great partner for the Shark Rocket Powerhead because of its small, sleek design. At only 3 pounds, it is something my young daughter can easily use. I personally find this vacuum awesome for cleaning dog hair from furniture, deep cleaning baseboards, and cleaning the stairs. It really makes these tasks almost enjoyable with this fun little vacuum. The only complaint I have about The Shark Rocket Corded Hand Vac is that the cord is shorter than I think it should be. That is something that can easily be remedied with an extension cord. This vacuum comes with great accessories for all your cleaning needs and you can order more from Shark, if you desire.
For bagged vacuums, I recommend checking out Miele if you like a canister vacuum with lots of attachment options. They are great for hard floors and carpets alike. If I could only have one vacuum cleaner, I would choose a Miele. Riccar and Oreck have a lot of great upright vacuums for around $300. These vacuums will last you a lifetime, if you treat them right. They are definitely an item on which to splurge, if you have the funds. The right vacuum will change your life or at least the cleanliness of your carpets! ; )
What is your favorite vacuum? I can’t wait to hear from you!
Until next time,