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Like many other appliances. vacuum cleaners have gone a long way since their inception. Today, there are many different types of vacuum cleaners based on how they work, so picking the best vacuum cleaners for your needs can seem complicated. What’s also fascinating about them is that even the classic old canister designs are still very much in use and have their place alongside newer and more innovative models.
The different types of vacuum cleaners
Vacuum cleaning technologies have evolved quite a bit throughout the year. We won’t go over all the older types that have been used in the past but will instead focus on the 5 main vacuum cleaner types used today.
Canister vacuum cleaners are what most people think of as a “classic vacuum cleaner”. With them, the motor, filters, and dustbin of the vacuum are stored in a canister that’s usually meant to roll on the floor. From the canister extend a flexible tube ending with a wand and different suction attachments. Said wand is excellent at cleaning different surfaces and accessing various hard-to-reach spots in your home. Canister vacuum cleaners are also usually more powerful than most other types, hence why they are the norm for most people.
Handheld vacuum cleaners are another old and “classic” type that’s still used today. Much smaller, lighter, and weaker, with smaller dust containers, these vacuums are meant for places and surfaces where a canister vacuum would be impractical to use. Kitchen countertops, cars’ interiors, bedroom bets, etc. are all great uses for a handheld vacuum cleaner.
A more modern alternative to the canister models, upright vacuum cleaners work on a similar principle with one key difference – all the inner workings that are usually placed inside the canister are instead attached to the wand itself as a sort of “belly”. Very popular in the U.S. and Western Europe, upright vacuums are usually quite powerful and comfortable to use. The one drawback they have is that because of everything attached to the wand, they have a harder time reaching tighter spaces.
Sticks are a much weaker alternative of upright and canister vacuum cleaners but they do serve their role. Essentially, stick vacuums do what upright models cannot – they reach more narrow spaces such as below the couch or the bed. If you have a canister vacuum, however, getting a stick vacuum will be mostly unnecessary since the canister’s wand is as narrow as the stick vacuum itself.
Last but not least, robot vacuum cleaners or “RoboVacs” have been steadily climbing the popularity scale as of late. These autonomous vacuum cleaners are not too powerful and have smaller dust bins but they have intricate software that allows them to clean your floor on their own. This “mapping” software allows the RoboVac to learn your home’s layout by roaming around it and bumping into things. Eventually, the RoboVac will figure out every corner and edge of your home and program its most effective route around it.
The drawbacks of RoboVacs are clear – they are less effective, can’t clean higher surfaces such as couches and beds, they are less energy-efficient, their battery needs to be recharged frequently, their dustbin needs to be emptied more often, and if you have pets, they may impede with the RoboVac’s operation. Even with all these drawbacks, however, RoboVacs are still an ingenious and very useful tool for most households as they can cut the need for manual vacuuming by a lot.
What should I look for when buying a vacuum cleaner?
Choosing the best vacuum cleaners for your home is all about picking the type and features that would suit you. Aside from simply looking for quality – which is obviously a must – you should always pay extra attention to what each model offers and what you need.
The 5 types above are clearly distinct and make for very different ways of cleaning your home. All five of them have their pros and cons and choosing the right one for you is crucial.
The capacity of a vacuum cleaner is rarely talked about but it’s quite vital in many cases. If you have a larger or even a medium-sized home, you may be unpleasantly surprised that you’ll sometimes need to empty your vacuum’s bag or dustbin in the middle of vacuuming. Having a big enough capacity should eliminate this problem.
Arguably the most important feature of a vacuum cleaner is how well it vacuums or “sucks”. With flat surfaces, that’s usually not that important as even lighter suction is still enough. However, especially if you want to vacuum carpets, rugs, or couches, stronger suction is vital.
Another often underlooked (or misrepresented by the manufacturers) factor is the lifespan of the vacuum cleaner. Making sure that your vacuum will last for years with little to no technical problems is one of the main choices you shouldn’t skip.
Extra features that might be useful
There are lots of other features to look for, of course, all with varying degrees of importance:
- Filters. Different vacuums use different air filters. The more intricate the filtration system in your vacuum is, the better the air quality in your home is going to be.
- Dust bag vs dustbin. Many vacuum models work with disposable dust bags which can be an annoying expenditure and resource to have to deal with. Dustbins are usually much more practical.
- Energy efficiency. Most modern vacuum cleaners are relatively efficient in terms of their electrical consumption. RoboVacs are the obvious exception as they go through their batteries quite quickly.
- Cost and warranty. These are fairly self-explanatory – the lower the cost and the longer the warranty – the better.
As you can see, all five types of vacuum cleaners have their uses so picking a “Best vacuum cleaner” can be complicated. Most households go for a combination of canister, handheld, and robot vacuum cleaners or an upright, stick, handheld, and robot. Whichever option you go for, as long as you pick quality and you consider all your preferences, you should be happy with the end result.