Looking For a Vacuum Cleaner? Here's Help in Selecting the Best One For You

If it's been a while since you shopped for a new vacuum cleaner, you may be in for a surprise! Technology in vacuum cleaners has come a long way over the past few years. You'll find many more choices now than ever before, including the mainstay canister and upright vacuums we're probably all familiar with, as well as broomstick vacuum cleaners, wet or dry cleaners, the handheld models, and even a robot model--the iRobot Roomba. We offer basic information on each type as well as evaluating your basic vacuuming needs, so that you can make an informed choice on the best vacuum cleaner for the job. We also offer a brief review of the major brands,including prices, to help you with your choice. Whether money is no object or you are on a strict budget, you should be able to find the right vacuum cleaner for you. Separate articles will give a more detailed review of the vacuum cleaner types, so be sure to check these as well.

Before You Shop

Have an idea of what type of vacuum cleaner will be best for your home situation. You'll need to consider the types of floors you'll be using your vacuum on, whether you'll use your vacuum cleaner for drapes and furniture in addition to the floors, and your budget. Depending on where you shop, you may or may not be able to actually try the various vacuum cleaners before you buy, so it's a good idea to talk to friends and see what they like and dislike about their vacuum cleaners; and do some online research on the subject. At the end of this article we'll list the online web sites we found to be very helpful while researching this article.

Upright or Canister? Bagless or Bags?

Basic vacuum cleaner types will still include the upright and canister types we all grew up with. But there are more choices now, all determined by what you'll be vacuuming and what your budget is. Fairly new on the market are bagless vacuum cleaners. If you're tired of having to run out to buy new vacuum cleaner bags, this one might be for you.

Upright vacuum cleaners work best on carpeted surfaces, so if you have mostly carpet in your home, consider this style. Uprights are generally less expensive, easier to store, and can easily be moved from room to room. They are usually noisier than canister types, may not work on hard floor surfaces, and can't get into small corners. There are some uprights which will vacuum hard floor surfaces though, so be sure to check these out too, if hard floors are in your home. You'll also want to buy one with the most power you can afford: this is measured in amps, and ranges usually are from 3.6 to 12. The higher the number, the more suction power. The higher the number, the higher the cost, too; so if you're on a tight budget, you may have to sacrifice some of the power to stay within budget. Top upright vacuum manufacturers include the Eureka Boss Upright Cleaner, several Hoover models and several Dysart models too. Prices range from under $100 on up, depending on the model.

Canister or cylinder vacuum cleaners are more versatile, especially if you plan on using it for drapes and upholstery. They are usually better at sucking up the dirt, and because of the attachments, you can clean in tight corners. But because of the hoses and attachments, you may find them less convenient to store. Some of the top-rated canister vacuums include the Miele Luna Galaxy, models by Bosch, and the Sebo canister model.

Other Types of Vacuum Cleaners

While the upright and canister vacuums are the two most common types, there are many other types on the market for specific cleaning needs. Here's a brief summary of the more common types for your consideration.

Hand-Held Vacuums like Black & Decker's Dustbuster are great for vacuuming up small areas like the interior of your car, your stairs, or if you need to vacuum a small area of a main floor. They're fairly inexpensive as well, are usually cordless so will have a battery pack, and can be mounted on the wall in a convenient place. Expect to pay from $35 to $60 for one of these models.

Stick or Broomstick vacuums are great for a quick sweep of your wood, vinyl, or tile floors. Some popular models include the DirtDevil Extreme Powerstick and Eureka's 96B Quick Up Upright Cordless Stick. Prices run about $50-$75. Not recommended for heavy-duty jobs, they work great for those quick ones.

Wet or Dry Vacuums live up to their name, and can handle both liquid and solid cleaning jobs While noisier than any other type of vacuum cleaner, they do an excellent job if you are looking for results, rather than looks and style. And if you frequently need to clean up liquids, give this one a good consideration. The best-known maker of wet or dry vacuums is Shop-Vac. They make several sizes, from a 1 gallon tank capacity on up to 25 gallons, with motor sizes from 1 peak HP to 6 peak HP. Prices differ by size of vacuum. Another top-rated wet or dry vacuum manufacturer is DeWalt.

Robot vacuum cleaners are fairly new, and gaining in popularity. A top model is the Roomba, made by iRobot. The Roomba has a lot of sensors to help it navigate its assigned room to vacuum. It can sense walls, furniture and other objects and is able to move around them as it circumnavigates the room. Sensors help it adjust to carpeting and to hard floors. It's battery driven, but knows when to recharge so you don't have to remember to do it. We found Sears selling them for roughly $300. You can pay more for some upright and canister models, so this seems a bargain if you never want to vacuum again.

Before We Go

We want to remind you that we will go into more depth in separate articles on these vacuum cleaner types. Be sure to check these out. To assist you in deciding on a new vacuum cleaner, we point you to these web sites which we checked to write this article:

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