Don’t Buy the Wrong Vacuum Cleaner for Your Home

We live in a developed consumer society, which means that the vacuum, like all other goods, has reached a high level of product differentiation. That is, there are many different types of vacuum cleaners. If you’re not the type to casually read vacuum cleaner reviews and cleaning strategies, you may find that buying a vacuum cleaner is either stressful or deceptively easy (if it’s the latter, you almost certainly bought the wrong vacuum cleaner).

So which vacuum cleaner should you buy? It depends entirely on your lifestyle, the design and architecture of the house you live in, as well as your tolerances and preferences. Vacuum cleaners aren’t exactly cheap, so choosing the right one is important, especially if you want to keep your home clean. Let’s go through the different types of vacuum cleaners and their offerings.

Five types of vacuum cleaners (yes, five)

There are many vacuums in the world, but they all fall into five main categories:

Racks. Racks are reservoirs of the vacuum world. They are the heaviest, sometimes weighing almost 20 pounds. A rack at any price point will give you the most power and suction, making it a great choice if you have a lot of carpet, and its larger size means it offers the largest container or bag so you don’t have to stop to empty. it’s from. Racks also usually come with a variety of attachments for cleaning different surfaces or functions, many of which will require some research to uncover their purpose. Bottom line: Buy an upright if vacuuming is extremely important to you, if you have a lot of carpeting, or if you have a bad habit of throwing whole boxes of cereal on the floor.

Canisters. The container vacuum cleaner has a body the size of a suitcase, which stands on the floor and is connected to the rod part of the vacuum cleaner with a flexible hose. They tend to be slightly lighter than racks but have similar power and suction power. They are ideal for homes with lots of stairs or different levels because they can be lifted and carried while you work. The downside is that they can be a pain in the back (literally) as you’ll be constantly bending over to pick them up and most models don’t move easily when you pull them along. Bottom line: If your home has a lot of stairs, a canister vacuum cleaner is best.

Stick. Stick vacuums are like racks on a diet: they’re designed to be used in a similar way—push and pull when you’re comfortably standing—but they’re much lighter (usually less than 10 pounds) with the head on top. Handheld vacuums are great if you’re in a small space, as they’re easier to store and maneuver, but they’re also less powerful than uprights. Bottom line: Buy a stick if you have a relatively small living space and just need something to suck up the dust.

Robot. The robot vacuum cleaner has come a long way. These little machines work by mapping your space and then start automatically, methodically making their way through your rooms before returning to the dock to recharge. Robot vacuums tend to be small and not particularly powerful, you’ll need to empty them regularly, and they can get tangled up if you move any furniture (although cats seem to enjoy riding them, so here’s the thing). They can’t (yet) go up and down stairs, so you’ll need one for each floor. Bottom line: A robot vacuum is a good secondary vacuum, but it shouldn’t be your main cleaning strategy unless you live in a one-story space and are either incredibly clean or incredibly lazy.

Handhelds. Think old school Dustbuster , although there are many different brands today with different features, they are all basically the same, i.e. designed for quick cleaning and navigating small spaces. Like robots, a handheld vacuum cleaner should be an optional choice. Bottom line: portable devices are great for quick cleaning, but won’t clean the whole house.

Should you buy cordless vacuum cleaners? Are bags better than baskets?

Once you’ve figured out which general type of vacuum cleaner is right for you, there are a few other options to choose from.

Bag or urn? Vacuum cleaners suck up dirt from your floors and store it for future disposal either in a heavy paper bag or a hard plastic container called a trash can. Containers are convenient because you do not need to constantly buy new vacuum bags – you just empty the container, insert it into place and continue working. But emptying the bin is often a messy process and needs to be cleaned from time to time, whereas with a bag you just throw it away and replace it. The bin models also use filters (see below), so you’re not completely spared the hassle of buying replacement items. Generally speaking, if you’re not too worried about scattering dust back into the air when you throw out the bin, they are the most convenient choice.

Wireless or wired? Battery-operated cordless vacuum cleaners are gaining popularity because they allow you to walk around the house without getting tangled in the power cord. On the downside, vacuum cleaners are voracious beasts, and even the most expensive cordless models last less than an hour on a single battery (although there are a few ways to extend battery life ). Wireless models work well in relatively small spaces without carpet. Otherwise, a wired model will work better.

Do you need a HEPA filter? If you choose a canister vacuum cleaner, it usually includes an air filter. This will prevent the dust in the canister from being blown back into the air and will also remove allergens while cleaning. Not all filters are the same – you can find a model with a high-efficiency particulate filter (HEPA) that removes almost 100 percent of the allergens and other particles sucked up by the vacuum cleaner. You don’t need a HEPA filter, but if you’re allergic or annoyed by the thought of a tiny amount of dirt coming out of your vacuum cleaner’s bin, this is a nice addition.


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