The best upright vacuums cleaners will often outperform any other type of vacuum. They are also easier to store which can be a saviour if you have a bad back.
To ensure we are all on the same page, an upright vacuum cleaner has a vertical dustbin, and is about the height of a toddler (is that even a valid measure of length?!). They are the alternate to a cylinder vacuum cleaner, which has a more horizontally positioned dustbin.
Both styles have their advantages and disadvantages. I’ll explore and explain the advantages and disadvantages of upright vacuum cleaners below. When reading this guide, keep in mind that your overall choice will be based on your personal situation such as the area you wish to clean, the design of your home, and the surfaces you will be vacuuming.
Buying an Upright Vacuum Cleaner
As with all vacuum cleaner purchases there is the standard list of things to consider. Make sure the vacuum will fit in the storage space you have allocated for it.
Be sure to check its weight as you will be dragging it over your carpet and around your furniture. Double check its weight if you need to move it up or down stairs, or carry it one step at a time as you vacuum the stairs.
Ensure the reach of the cord can get you to every corner of your house, from the nearest wall socket (or simply buy a cheap multi-plug from your favourite online retailer when you purchase your vacuum).
Check the vacuum cleaners attachments tick all the boxes for your individual circumstances. Does it have an upholstery attachment? How about an edge cleaner? Or a vacuum cleaner car accessory kit? Does it have a rotating head which picks up stubborn pet hair?
Let’s admit it. Design also plays a role in your purchase decision making process. I personally think upright vacuum cleaners looks pretty amazing! But I’m a technology geek who likes all things that look somewhat futuristic looking!
But is there anything else that you should considering when buying an upright vacuum cleaner? Should it even play a role in your decision making process? The answer is yes, so let’s take a moment to explore the nuances of upright vacuum cleaners.
Advantages of Upright Vacuum Cleaners
- Upright Vacuum cleaners typically have powerful brushes which helps when tackling pet hair. If you have any pets living in your house, especially ones that leave hair everywhere, you are going to need a strong rotating brush to pick up as much as this fluff as you can on the first vacuum. If you don’t have a rotating brush, you are going to find yourself spending extra time vacuuming the same bit of carpet over and over until it finally detached from the carpet and gets sucked up the hose.
- Speaking of hoses, upright vacuum cleaners typically have a long hose range. The main advantage of this is it make vacuuming stairs easier. With a short hose, you can either hold the vacuum in one hand, while directing the head of the vacuum cleaner with the other hand, or you can move the vacuum up step by step as you progress up the stairs. With a long hosed upright vacuum cleaner you can normally leave the vacuum at the bottom of the stairs, vacuum the bottom half, and then move it half way up the stairs, while you vacuum the top half.
The other benefit from having a long hose range is it means you can use the upholstery attachment to reach the top of surfaces, and even places like the top of curtains if you feel the need to give these a vacuum once in awhile (I personally don’t, but some people have dustier houses than I do!).
- The dust capacity of upright vacuums is often high. This means less emptying of the dust canister if you have a bagless model, which means less little puffs of dust in your face as you empty it into the bin. This is a great bonus for people with asthma and other allergies.
Disadvantages of Upright Vacuum Cleaners
- Upright vacuum cleaners are generally heavier than canister vacuum cleaners. If you plan to store your vacuum off the ground, frequently carry it up and down stairs, or have a bad back, be sure to check the weight of the model you are buying. All our upright vacuum clean reviews talk about the weight of the unit, so look for one at the lighter end of the spectrum. Alternatively, head over to our canister vacuum cleaner reviews to find an even lighter model. Or if you want to go to the extreme, read our handheld vacuum cleaner reviews.
- The manoeuvrability of upright vacuum cleaners isn’t something to write home about. They are getting better, but some people find them difficult to manoeuvre. Have a think about the areas you will be vacuuming. If it is relatively free from small spaces and not full of furniture, tables, and chairs in every single piece of spare space, then you will be fine with an upright model.
However if you have bits and bobs of furniture everywhere you can fit something, you may find yourself getting frustrated navigating the upright model around everything. Read the model’s individual review to discover how other people have found the manoeuvrability. If you find too many two or three star reviews of people moaning about it, it’s a safe bet it will get you agitated too!
- Revolving heads, as typically seen on upright vacuum cleaners, are less suitable for hard floors. If your home has lots of wooden flooring, ensure you purchase a vacuum cleaner that has other attachments.