Here’s our Expert Guide to finding the right vacuum for your and your home:
Upright vacuum cleaners are the best option for larger homes with carpets of all shapes and sizes, lifting out trodden-in dirt and stubborn pet hairs. Most have tools onboard to tackle the stairs.
Their upright position also makes them easier to steer without stooping, which helps when cleaning large areas, particularly for people who have back problems.
- More efficient than cylinder models as the rotating brush combs the pile of the carpet
- Will hold more dirt sometimes twice as much!
- Stores easier as the hose is built in to the machine
Barrel or cylinder vacuum cleaners have a compact design, making them ideal for smaller homes or those with limited storage space.
Suitable across a range of surfaces, including hard floors, carpets and stairs, these appliances are solid all-round performers.
- Lighter and smaller than upright models
- Easily manoeuvred in awkward areas such as on stairs and around furniture
- Small, medium and large capacity cleaners available
Handheld models are extremely useful in cramped spaces or for quick jobs such as vacuuming spills, crumbs, cobwebs or pet hair. The progression of battery technology is fast improving but this machine is probably to be used as well as a mains powered vacuum.
They offer great manoeuvrability, as their light and compact design means they can cover all parts of the home – high and low – with little effort.
Features to look out for include:
- Battery life
- Dust capacity
- Power indicator for low-running battery
- Additional tools, such as crevice cleaners
For the ultimate in convenience, you may want to consider purchasing a robot vacuum cleaner.
These devices run automatically throughout your home, cleaning as they go – making them ideal for busy households. While they won’t replace the need for regular cleaning, they can lengthen the time required between each vacuum.
Some models have an extensive array of features that can detect particularly dirty floors, while also sensing furniture and stairs. Devices can be set to clean at specific times of the day, as well as having an automatic recharging function.
Suction is one of the most important parts of a vacuum cleaner. Suction ability depends on how well the cleaner converts watts into ‘air watts’.
Higher air watts usually means more powerful suction. Other factors may include airflow and filtration, the quality of the brushes, and the hose/nozzle design.
The watts on a vacuum cleaner refer to how much power is going into the appliance when it is switched on. All of today’s machines have Energy Labels which show you these details.
While it acts as a decent baseline for the power of a vacuum, it is possible for a cleaner to have high wattage but poor suction if it is inefficient.
Most vacuum cleaners will create a certain amount of noise, with higher wattage models often being the loudest.
Typically, upright vacuums and robot cleaners are louder than barrel products – although there are a number of low-noise options available across all types.
While bagless models have become more popular than bagged ones in recent years, both have their own specific advantages and disadvantages.
- No need to buy bags, which is cheaper and better for the environment
- Easy to see when the bin is full, meaning it can be emptied before loss of suction
- Usually more expensive
- Exposes you to allergens when you empty the bin
- Some models require higher maintenance in respect to filter cleaning
- More hygienic and better for allergy sufferers
- Limited filter cleaning required, so low maintenance
- Often cheaper
- Can lose suction as the bag fills up
- Often difficult to see when the bag is full unless there is an indicator light
- Replacement bags and new filters will be required, typical yearly running cost would be about £10
There are two main types of filter found in vacuum cleaners, and which one you choose can be important if you have allergies.
Found on many basic vacuum cleaners, these come in washable and disposable versions. However, they do release dust particles back into the air, which can be problematic for asthma sufferers or those with allergies.
HEPA filters catch and trap small pollutants, making them the best option for anyone with a sensitivity to dust particles. To qualify to HEPA standards, the filter must remove 99.97 per cent of particles that are 0.3 micrometres or larger in size. Most major manufacturers now include HEPA as standard.
There are several other features you may wish to consider when buying a vacuum cleaner, including:
- Full bag indicator: tells you when your dust-bag needs emptying
- Onboard tool storage: most good vacuums come with onboard space for additional tools such as crevice cleaners and different brushes
- Extendable tube: for hard-to-reach places
- Retractable cord: automatically rolls up the power cord
- Wand storage: clips the wand to the cleaning unit for neater storage
- Adjustable height: automatic or manual function that helps to tackle different floor surfaces more easily, rising for plush carpets and lowering for hard floors.
Please remember that the above is just a guide, we would always prefer to discuss your needs in person.
Our store has many machines to look at, touching / feeling your new machine is very important!