The vacuum cleaner is one of the most versatile pieces of cleaning equipment available and is the must-have device to clean and maintain your house with ease and efficiency. But how do you know which one is best for you?
You can go by price, budget, brand, and weight, but no matter how you slice it, buying the best vacuum cleaner is a big commitment. It is very important to know the basics of the vacuum cleaner and its important features before investing in one.
Not to worry; we’ve done all the heavy lifting for you. We’ve put together this vacuum cleaner buying guide that will help you find the best one for your needs.
So let’s get started with all the necessary and important features to consider before buying a new vacuum cleaner.
1. Different Types of Vacuum Cleaners to Choose From
The “One size fits all” approach does not apply to vacuum cleaners. There are different types of vacuum cleaners, each works differently and has their own pros and cons.
Upright Vacuum Cleaners
The upright vacuums are one of the traditional as well as most common styles of vacuum designed for cleaning houses with large floors or carpet areas. The type ensures maximum cleaning with minimal effort. The most significant benefit of the upright vacuums is that they stand in an upright position, making them an excellent choice for people with back issues.
Canister Vacuum Cleaners
The canister vacuums come with a canister and an extension wand to clean multiple surfaces. Since the canister includes swivel wheels, they are easier to drag around than the upright models.
Handheld Vacuum Cleaners
These are the mini machines that you can easily hold in your hand for cleaning different surfaces. Not so heavy, the handheld vacuums are easy to use and offer quick and effective spot cleaning. They are available in both corded and cordless models that you can choose accordingly.
Stick Vacuum Cleaners
The stick vacuums look similar to the upright models, consisting of a tall stick-like body with a handle and a powerhead. But they are not so heavy as the upright vacuums, thus ensuring easy usage.
Robot Vacuum Cleaners
Very trendy, innovative, and high-tech, the robotic vacuums are the best choice for those who hate to lift their finger for cleaning. With intelligent programming, they do the best possible cleaning without any manual intervention.
2. What is Your Preference?
I. Bagged or Bagless Vacuum
In a bagged vacuum, the dirt and dust are collected into a disposable bag. When the bag gets full, you need to replace the bag with a newer one. Keep in mind to choose the one that includes good quality construction material for bags. It will prevent dust from leaking back into the air. On the plus side, they are best for allergy sufferers, hygienic, and require less maintenance.
On the downside, since they don’t come with any indicators, you need to keep an eye on when to replace the bag. To ensure the optimal performance of your bagged vacuum, the bag replacement is very essential at frequent intervals. Also, they can start to smell if you don’t change the bag often.
The bagless vacuums, on the other hand, are very trendy these days due to their ease of use and easy maintenance. They are the eco-friendly option as they use reusable filters and do not use bags that end up in the garbage. Plus, they are also inexpensive as you don’t need to spend on buying bags.
On the downside, these are a bit messier while emptying the dust cup or canister, as chances of residue spillage are there, which in result also causes an allergic response.
II. Corded or Cordless Vacuums
The choice between a corded or cordless vacuum depends on your needs. Well, they also have their own set of benefits and drawbacks so that you can choose the one suiting your cleaning needs.
The corded vacuums are great performers as they can run long if provided with a reliable power supply. They offer high suction power enabling them to easily clean carpets and multiple floor types. Plus, they can hold much more dust than cordless vacuums and don’t have to be emptied as often. In fact, corded vacuums are best for those who prefer to clean the entire house in one go.
On the downside, the corded vacuums restrict the movement, as you can only clean the area where the wire can reach. Also, you need a consistent power supply to use these. They are a bit bulky too.
On the other hand, cordless vacuums are best for those who avoid dealing with the tangling and messy cords. They work on permanent or replaceable batteries, and the portability of these appliances makes them a great choice for most homeowners.
Its lightweight and compact design allows easy vacuuming of your car, furniture, stairs, corners, and crevices with ease. Even more, its parts are easily detachable, allowing easy cleaning and maintenance of your vacuum.
On the downside, they have limited battery life restricting your cleaning sessions. Their dust cup capacity is also less as compared to corded vacuums, so you need frequent emptying of the dust container.
III. Wet and Dry Vacuum Cleaners
If you want to clean both wet and dry mess from the same vacuum, better to choose the best wet and dry vacuum cleaner over the wet only or dry only vacuum. It not only picks up dry dirt and debris but also helps in cleaning wet spillage from the floor and carpets.
3. What Surface Type You Want To Clean With Your Vacuum?
Choosing a vacuum type also depends on the surface you want to clean.
- For cleaning bare floors, including hardwood, tile, stone, or even concrete floors, using an upright or canister vacuum is the best choice. Upright offers great suction power, and the canister, on the other hand, comes with flexible, rotating wheels and a canister that will maneuver easily throughout your entire home without leaving a mark.
- When it comes to cleaning carpets, again, an upright and canister work best. They include a sturdy beater bar with a brush roll to loosen the accumulated dirt and debris onto the carpet and clean it easily. But the most important thing to keep in mind is to make sure the brush roll has an adjustable height to improve cleaning and pushing across different pile heights.
- For stair cleaning, we recommended buying a canister vacuum with a long hose and attachments, so it can easily get in and around railings.
- For quick clean-ups, around the kitchen area, or draperies and upholsteries, car interiors, furniture, etc., buying a stick or handheld vacuum is the best choice. They are available in both corded and cordless models for easy usage. But they lack the power and versatility over upright or canister vacuums.
- Robotic vacuums are designed for the best floor cleaning, but they are not meant for stair cleaning, furniture cleaning, and cleaning car interiors.
4. The Necessary Attachments for Versatile Cleaning
Over and all, whatever type of vacuum you choose, make sure that it includes versatile attachments to cater to multiple cleaning needs. The best attachments you may find are standard crevice tools, dusting brush, upholstery brush, etc. Some even come with attachments for removing pet hair, cleaning mattresses, dusting off the ceiling fans, and window crevices and blinds.
- A vacuum cleaner with a motorized brush will clean carpets better than one that is only powered by suction.
- Make sure that the vacuum comes with the brush-roll on/off switch. So, you can turn off the brush roll while cleaning bare floors to avoid damage to it and avoid spreading debris around. And for cleaning carpets, simply switch it on.
- Edge cleaners are an optional tool and are useful for cleaning wall-to-wall carpeting.
- Better to consider the models that come with pile-height adjustment control. It allows you to clean the carpets of variable pile heights. (Low-pile carpet, medium-pile carpet, and high-pile carpet).
5. Suction Power
Vacuum Suction power plays a very important role in determining its cleaning efficiency and performance. The higher the suction power, the better it can remove dirt, dust, and debris from various surfaces.
According to manufacturer specifications, suction power is measured in a number of ways, including: Watts, Amps, CFM (cubic feet per minute), or AW (Air Watts). Let us first understand these units to know the vacuum suction power in a better way.
Watt- It is the most common unit provided by the manufacturers to determine the suction power of a vacuum. Here, wattage refers to motor power consumption. As a general rule of thumb, the higher the wattage of the motor, the better the suction power of the vacuum will be.
Amps- The unit Amps is the same as the Watt, as it also represents the power consumption. So, as a general rule, the higher the Amps, the better the suction power.
CFM- It represents the power of the airflow from the surface to the bag or bin in a vacuum. It is actually the quantity of the air sucked by the vacuum in one minute and is measured in cubic ft per min. It should be noted that the higher the CFM value, the greater the suction power.
AW- It is another measurement unit for the suction power of a vacuum. The unit refers to the amount of Watts used by the machine to carry a unit of air through an opening (usually the vacuum’s nozzle).
It is better to choose the model that comes with variable suction force. It will be helpful in cleaning delicate items like draperies, small area rugs, etc., without damaging them.
6. Choosing The Right Capacity
Generally, the size of the dust bag or cup reflects the capacity of the vacuum cleaner. The bigger it is, the less often it needs to be changed or emptying.
For your home use, the capacity of the dirt container in a vacuum must be anywhere from 2 l to 10 l that you can choose depending upon your cleaning frequency. Keep in mind that the handheld vacuums have smaller dust cups than canister or upright models. On the other hand, the wet and dry vacuum cleaners come with separate compartments to store dry and wet waste.
7. HEPA Filtration
All vacuum cleaners release particulates back into the air during operation. Well, most of the vacuum cleaners come with a post filter to capture these particles and prevent them from escaping into the air. These, however, don’t work very well as they still let out some particles into the air, causing allergies.
So, if anyone in your home is suffering from allergies, asthma, or any other health conditions caused by fine particles or allergens in the air, we highly recommend buying the best vacuum cleaner with HEPA filter.
The HEPA filters are capable of removing 99.97% of all particles as small as 0.3 microns in size from the air that passes through it. Thus, offering a clean, healthy, and hygienic environment while and after vacuuming.
But make sure to replace the HEPA filters every 6-12 months, depending on the frequency of usage. It will maintain the efficiency and performance of your vacuum cleaner.
8. Battery Life of The Cordless Models
This is an important consideration if you love using cordless vacuums. Only the battery life of the cordless vacuum determines how long you can use it for a cleaning session. The one with lithium-ion batteries is best in terms of quick charging and longer battery life. However, the key considerations include:
- Choose the model that offers the run time from a minimum of ten minutes to a maximum of an hour. Though the run time also depends on the mode, you are using. If you run the vacuum on high-powered cleaning settings, it will cut off the battery life to as little as compared to the standard mode setting.
- Charging time is also very important. Different models have different charging times that range from 1 hour to 16 hours.
- Some cordless vacuum models also come with spare batteries, so you can easily replace them when the existing battery runs out of juice.
9. Cord Length and Control
The extra-long cord is always best as it can extend your reach while cleaning. The length of the cord in a vacuum ranges from 16-ft to 39-ft.
When it comes to cord control, some come with an auto cord rewind feature that automatically rewinds the cord with a slight tug or push of a button. Some models also include (mostly upright vacuums) a cord release clip that allows you to free the entire cord at once rather than one wrap at a time.
10. Noise Level
Using a noisy vacuum cleaner is not tolerable at all. A little noise is obvious from the vacuum, but too much noise is very irritating. The amount of noise that a vacuum makes while operating is measured in decibels (dB). Make sure to choose the vacuum with less than 60 decibels of noise that are considered to be quiet vacuum cleaners.
11. Ease of Usage
Using a vacuum that is difficult to operate is undoubtedly not a better choice. You must choose the model that offers all the convenience while operating. The key things that you must consider regarding easy usage of a vacuum are:-
- Choose a lightweight vacuum for easy handling and convenient cleaning.
- Make sure that it comes with an ergonomic handle for a comfortable vacuuming experience.
- Some models come with an LED display to keep an eye on various modes.
- LED lights on the floorhead of the vacuum allow illuminating to the dark corners.
- Easy to empty trash bin mechanism should also be considered.
- If you are using a cordless model, make sure that it has a convenient charging dock for easy recharging.
- Battery life indicator is also an added benefit to check on how much time you have left for the current cleaning session.
12. Price of The Vacuum
The price range of the good quality vacuum depends upon the type, brand, features present in it, and extra functionalities it has. The handheld models are cheaper than other types of vacuum. On the other hand, robotic vacuums are the expensive ones, but the feature and functionality it offers make it worth the cost. Have a look at the below price chart for different types of vacuum.
Upright Vacuum Cleaners: INR 2000 – INR 15,000
Canister Vacuum Cleaners: INR 5000 – INR 15,000
Handheld Vacuum Cleaners: INR 2000 – INR 25,000
Stick Vacuum Cleaners: INR 3000 – INR 30,000
Robotic Vacuum Cleaners: INR 20,000 – INR 1,50,000
Before choosing any model, decide your budget first, assess your needs and then invest in a model suitable for you.
The brand assures quality, best performance, and longevity. The best brands you can choose for vacuum cleaners include Dyson, Shark, Eureka Forbes, Philips, Karcher, Black + Decker, etc.
Warranty on vacuum cleaners covers two things: the first covers labor and parts, and the second one covers vacuum motors. Generally, the warranty duration on parts and labor is less than the warranty duration on motors. The reason is that motors are relatively complex and have higher chances of malfunction.
The best quality branded vacuum cleaners come with a warranty of 1-2 years on their parts and labor and up to 5 years of warranty on their motor. It is recommended to check the manufacturer’s terms and conditions on the warranty.