Choosing the Best Vacuum Cleaner

How do you choose the best vacuum cleaner when there are so many on the market in such a wide range of prices? Easy. Follow these guidelines and you will soon know which type of cleaner best fits your needs.

Light surface cleaning

There are three types of light surface cleaning models. Designed only for surface cleaning, these cleaners are for people who need "quick pick-ups" or clean when they "get around to it."


These automatic vacuum cleaners are fascinating and fun to watch. However, they are expensive and can take an hour to clean a 10x16 foot room. On the plus side, they will clean when you're not home, but you have to move everything out of their way or the robo-vac will get stuck.

These vacuums aren't very effective and so much prep work is required before they can work, many people feel they might as well do it themselves.

Stick vacs

Designed for quick pickups, these vacuums don't do much picking up especially on carpet. Customers found they usually just push stuff dirt and debris around and grind sand into the carpet where it can cut the fibers and cause damage.

Cordless sweepers

Cordless sweepers are the best choice for quick sweeping. These vacuums don't have suction. They work because the brushes rotate and pull the debris into the cleaner. Cordless vacuums are quiet and more effective than stick vacs.

Deep cleaning

Deep cleaning machines work better on carpeted areas where dirt and dust settle into the material. And the suction needs to be greater to get that stuff out.

Upright vacuum cleaners

Uprights are the biggest selling vacuum cleaner model on the market. They get out embedded dirt that causes damage and gets out mold and mites. The negative side to uprights is the fact they have a difficult time reaching under furniture and are not good for stairs.

Canister vacuum cleaners

These vacuums are better for stairs and for cleaning under furniture. Once thought to not be as good as uprights, canisters perform just as well.

Germ-killing vacuum cleaners

Most people think a vacuum cleaner that has HEPA filter on it will kill bacteria and germs in their home. This is not true. HEPA vacuums do clean well, but in tests conducted by Consumer Reports, didn't perform any better than vacuums with standard filters.

According to microbiologist George Gerba, most carpet is four times as dirty as the average toilet seat. With this in mind, there obviously is a need to kill germs while vacuuming.

If you truly want to kill bacteria and germs while you vacuum, try a vacuum with UV-light technology like the Oreck Halo. The Halo is the only vacuum that has UV-light technology and claims to kill 99.9% microscopic germs, bacteria, viruses, flu viruses, mold, dust mite eggs, MRSA, and flea eggs.


Once you decide which type of cleaner you are and which model works best for you, take time to consider features. Some of these include:

Weight-- make sure it isn't too heavy to use

Pushing force-- test how hard the vacuum is to push

Retractable cords-- strictly for convenience

Tools-- crevice, upholstery, dusting, small power brush for stairs

Versatility-- can you switch from carpet to floor cleaning easily?

Carpet height adjustment

Power nozzle for canister vacuum cleaners

Also, check to see if the cleaner has low emissions. If you have respiratory problems, don't choose a one that puts dirt back into the air. Bagless vacuums often put large amounts of dirt back into the air when you empty them. Be sure to check the noise level. More noise doesn't mean more power.

Whether you need a vacuum cleaner for light or deep cleaning, or even to kill germs, follow these guidelines and choose the perfect vacuum cleaner.


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