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What Kind of Vacuum Do You Need?

What kind of vacuum do you need? We did the research. See how to pick the ideal vacuum cleaner for your needs.

Pick the best vacuum cleaner for your needs

Work smarter, not harder. This saying can be applied to a variety of situations. For those of us who hate cleaning the house, and in particular, vacuuming floors, we want to make sure that we are being efficient, making our lives just a bit easier.

So when it comes to buying a vacuum, there are certain things that need to be considered based on what you will be vacuuming and how often. There are five main types of vacuums: upright, canister, robot, handheld, and cordless. I have saved you some time and effort by narrowing down the best type of vacuum based on the task for which you need it.

If your house is mostly carpeted

Traditional upright vacuums are the best for big, heavy-duty vacuuming jobs. If you have a lot of carpet throughout your home, then you would need a stand-up vacuum in order to be efficient. Uprights have a strong suction power to make sure the dirt is being lifted out of the carpet fibers. If you have shedding pets in your house, then an upright vacuum is a great option for you. The suction power will work best in picking up pet hair and pet dander out of carpet.

Upright vacuums are usually less expensive than other types of vacuums, so you may be able to pair one with another type of vacuum depending on your situation. One drawback of having an upright vacuum is that they are the heaviest type of vacuum. Cleaning can be a lot less fun when you are lugging, pushing, and pulling this vacuum throughout your house.

If your house has stairs

Nobody enjoys vacuuming stairs and if you have ever tried vacuuming stairs with an upright vacuum, you probably aren’t a big fan. The best option for you in this case would be a canister vacuum. Canister vacuums are much easier to maneuver and carry up and down stairs. Because of this quality, they are also great for hard-to-reach spaces and for vacuuming upholstery.

Like the upright vacuum, canisters are powerful so they are also great for carpeted floors. This also means they are great for homeowners that have pets. In addition to carpeting, these vacuums work great on hard flooring, so if you have a combination of both types of flooring, you won’t have a problem.

Canister vacuums can be a bit more expensive, so weigh the pros and cons and determine if the price is worth it for you. Another thing to consider is where you will put the vacuum when you aren’t using it. Because of the separate pieces, canister vacuums can be difficult to store.

If you HATE vacuuming

I am not a fan of vacuuming in the slightest. For me, I need something that can handle some of the work for me, so that when I do have to vacuum, it makes my job easier. If you are like me, then you will want to invest in a robot vacuum. You can program many of these vacuums to run from an app on your phone. Imagine: coming home to a spotless floor, and you didn’t have to lift a finger. Sounds incredibly convenient, doesn’t it? It is.

Robot vacuums do a great job of maintaining dusty floors in between heavy-duty vacuuming jobs. They are not a total replacement for a vacuum, however, as they have a much lower suction power. This also means that they aren’t very effective on high carpet, like shag carpet and rugs. Also, with convenience comes maintenance. Be prepared to empty your robot after every use and clean it at least once a month.

If you want to clean furniture or hard-to-reach spaces

For everything your upright, canister, and robot vacuums can’t get to, you will need a handheld vacuum. Being very lightweight and easy to use, your handheld vacuum can be used on everything from furniture to drapes to the interior of your car.

Keep in mind that handheld vacuums are made for surface cleaning and won’t pick up heavy debris, so they aren’t a vacuum replacement, more of an enhancement. Being cordless, handhelds are very easy to use and convenient to take out and put away. They will finally allow you to reach those tight spaces with the ease that your stand-up will never grant you.

If you want a quick-fix tool

Cordless stick vacuums, like handhelds, are meant for surface cleaning. They are the most convenient option for quick cleanups, having no cords to unravel and plug in, and being lightweight and easy to use. Being slender, it can be hidden anywhere you will need it most.

These tools have the least powerful suction of all the varieties of vacuums. They won’t do much for carpeted areas and definitely won’t work as a replacement to your main conventional vacuum. But if a quick fix is all you need, this vacuum is perfect for you.

You decide...

Whether you need your first vacuum ever, or you need an enhancement or replacement for your vacuuming duties, you can find what you need in one of these vacuums. Pair different types together so that you don’t have to haul out the big guns for a tiny cleanup.

Resources—Consumer Reports