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Is your old vacuum cleaner just not what it used to be? Let me guess, it’s got less suction than ever before, you’ve lost most of the attachments and you’ve patched up the holes in the vacuum hose with tape? Then it’s probably time to throw away that broken pile of plastic and make your life easier a new one, but which one?

Make a choice that’s right for you and your home by considering everything before you even step into the shop.


Canister or Upright?

In the home, canisters are very common, however, the professionals tend to use upright-style vacuum cleaners. Why? Well, with a canister it can be difficult to lug around, it gets caught on corners, there’s two main parts of it to hold if you’re picking it up. All vacuum cleaners lose suction over a distance, that’s why an upright vacuum cleaner will always have a suction advantage over a canister vacuum, simply because there’s less distance between the motor and the floor. The only real advantage of a canister vacuum cleaner is that it’s easier to use for stairs or if you’re vacuuming the inside of your car.


Bag or Bag-less?

Cloth-bag vacuum cleaners seem like a relic of a time gone by –  nowadays it’s easier to buy the paper bags or to empty the collection cylinder of a bagless vacuum cleaner than to cover your face with your t-shirt, while trying not to get a face-full of the dust and hair you just vacuumed up, as you pull out the filth from the cloth bag with your hands. Cloth bags also restricted the suction if they weren’t completely cleaned before each use. The plus side, of course, is that they are cost effective to use.

Paper-bag vacuum cleaners can be kind of expensive to use when you’re paying $5 or more per bag, but they offer very good suction. Bags can quick and easily be replaced, without filling the air with the dust that just came out of the carpet and air.

Bagless vacuums can offer good suction too, but rely heavily on the filters being changed or cleaned regularly. I recently spoke to some vacuum cleaner repair technicians, I asked them which types are most commonly brought in for repairs. Bagless vacuum cleaners were by far the most likely to need vacuum motor replacements since the filters become clogged up so quickly and easily. Parts for some of these can also be particularly expensive.



These days a good vacuum cleaner will have at lest two filters, make sure you buy one with a HEPA filter, especially if you suffer from asthma or dust and pollen allergies as this filter will take more than 99.95% of airborne particles.


Power brush

If you have pets inside the house at all then you MUST have a vacuum cleaner that uses a power-brush to pick up the pet hair, it can be very hard to get all of it up with vacuum alone.


Easy and comfortable to use

When you’re trying to decide on a vacuum cleaner in a shop, test it out to see if it’s easy to connect the parts together, has the right attachments for your use, and is comfortable to use.

If you still can’t decide on a vacuum cleaner, then maybe have a look by brand. Two experts gave me the advice of staying away from Dyson, some companies actually refuse to fix them. The experts agreed that Miele and Nilfisk were two of the better brands on the market.


Happy vacuuming!


Posted on 16/5/11 by Adrian McGregor