What is the Best Vacuum Cleaner for Your Home?

I always find it amusing to see someone walking around a grocery store with a vacuum cleaner box in their cart. To me, it’s like trying to purchase a car online. You’ll never know how it will work until you get it home – and then it’s too late.  A vacuum is a very important appliance for your home. And it deserves some thought and research.

Dyson DC39 Multi-floor Canister Vacuum

Here are a few tips to help you find the best vacuum cleaner for your home.

1. Decide what type of vacuum cleaner you prefer to use.

I have found there are two types of people in the world: upright people and canister people. Upright people are pushy – meaning they like to push things around. They can’t stand the idea of dragging something around behind them. Canister people are just the opposite. They don’t like the weight of an upright and prefer to just handle the pipe and hose while the rest of the vacuum follows along behind them. Decide which type of vacuum you prefer and then shop for that particular style.

2. Is weight is an issue for you?

If you have a bad back or shoulder issue, don’t even consider a heavier vacuum.  But also understand that the weight of the vacuum is directly related to the vacuum’s suction. Light vacuums are easy to use but don’t have strong motors. Heavier vacuums have large motors and great suction. You will have to choose between a light weight vacuum or great suction. You really can’t have both.

3. The best way to clean hardwood floors is with a canister.

The soft floor brush that comes with a canister vacuum is the absolute best way to clean hardwood floors. The floor brushes work so well that your hard floors look as if they have been washed by hand. The bristles of the brush work to remove most of the dust on the floor making it look almost perfect.

4. If you have allergies you should avoid a bagless vacuum cleaner.

Even though everyone loves the convenience and cost savings of a bagless vacuum, there are a few things you should know before purchasing one. Dumping the dirt container exposes you to concentrated amounts of dust and dust mites.  If you have dust allergies, you would need to use a mask and gloves to avoid this exposure. Also, the filters on the bagless vacuums should be replaced annually to keep them working efficiently.  This can cost up to $60 or more depending on the model of the vacuum. Keep this in mind when you are calculating the costs of the vacuum.


5. Pet hair and dander need an aggressive beater bar.

If you have pet hair, you need to have a very aggressive beater bar. Look for very stiff bristles on the beater and enough suction to handle the pet dander in your home.

6. Do you have stairs?

The right vacuum should have a hose attachment that can reach at least half way up your staircase. You don’t want to be fighting with a heavy, cumbersome vacuum while cleaning your stairs.

7. How far will your vacuum reach?

Some vacuums can reach 35’ from where they are plugged into the wall. Manufacturers call it a cleaning radius. Make sure you know the reach or cleaning radius before purchasing a new vacuum. Nothing is more frustrating than finding out your new vacuum won’t reach as far as your old one.

Kenmore Canister Vacuum8. Know if you need HEPA filtration in your vacuum.

If you are dealing with asthma or allergies, you want to purchase a vacuum with a HEPA filter that will remove most of the allergens.  The best type of vacuum has a sealed HEPA system that does not leak dust out of the unit.  Don’t just go by the words on the vacuum such as HEPA-type or HEPA-like.  These are very vague ratings for a HEPA vacuum.  A real HEPA filter removes allergens down to .03 microns. The technical specifications of the vacuum should tell you the filter’s efficiency.

9. Research the repair records on the vacuum you are looking to purchase.

Some vacuum manufacturers don’t even supply small repair parts. This means you will have to purchase a new vacuum even if you only have a minor repair. Make sure to do a little research on the different models.

10. Make buying your vacuum an investment not just a purchase.

Most people spend more on a week’s worth of groceries than they do on their vacuum cleaner. Yet they get frustrated when it doesn’t work when they need it. There are some very high quality vacuum cleaners on the market right now that don’t cost much more than (what I call) disposable vacuums - Leslie Reichert ~ Green Cleaning Coach

Read Leslie’s Recent Blogs & Guides

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  1. A Sweet Update ! I found a Kenmore Intuition 28014 Canister vac ! I may never need another !

    Thanks again, Leslie ! ...Off to the reviews :) !

  2. Wow ! What an excellent article, and talk about timely !
    I'm now in the market for a new machine, after tiring of the messy "shake-off" of the cone filter in my Dirt Devil upright ! And also, Kmart didn't have my replacement belt in stock, so I fought with turning my old belt over, so that I could finish the job !

    I am definitely a canister man, but your explanation of the typical shopper described me to a tee when I bought that upright from Kmart years ago ! I'm returning to a canister very soon, and your article was perfect, Leslie !
    Thank you :):) !

    1. In response to yobarps

      You are very welcome. Learning the type of "vacuum personality" you are can help you save money - by buying the right vacuum for YOU!