Vacuum cleaner reviews can be absolutely priceless when trying to decide which vacuum is best for you. Check out the contents of this page to the right, and you will get an idea of the number of different types of vacuum cleaners. Walking into a vacuum store can be very confusing, so I’m going to do my best to break down for you the different types of vacuum cleaners, the pros and cons of each type, and how you should choose which type to purchase.
Each of the types of vacuum cleaners below and be clicked on to read more about that particular type, and view our in depth reviews of each vacuum in the category.
As this is a large guide, I want to cover a few basics before you start reading, which may save you a bit of time.
First things first, if you have a pet which leaves hair everywhere, just straight to the pet hair vacuum cleaner section. This section has all different types of vacuum cleaners, including robots, uprights, handhelds, canister, and asthma. If you have a pet that leaves hair on your carpet and furniture, you simply need a vacuum that has the right attachments to pick up this type of mess.
Our Anti-Allergy and Asthma sections also reviews all types of vacuum cleaners, but focuses on just the ones with quality filters that will do a better job for those people who are sensitive to dust or other particulates in the air.
Cons: Can be a little bit harder to store than a canister alternative. Also slightly harder to navigate around tightly packed furniture and small rooms.
Canister vacuums can tick so many of the boxes that you are likely to be able to find a canister that suits your needs. I personally have a canister style vacuum, and the reason I picked it was because it has a rotating head attachment which is ideal for picking up the cat fur that gets embedded into my carpet, and they are often bagged (as opposed to bagless) which is also ideal for minimising my asthma symptoms.
Pros: They are amazing all-round vacuum cleaners, and come with a huge variety of attachments.
I love robot vacuum cleaners. But that’s because I’m a technology nerd, and also because I don’t mind having a patch of carpet left uncleaned if the robot does a less than perfect clean. If you don’t tick both these boxes, they may not be 100% ideal for you. If you do tick both these boxes, buy one! The Roomba 650 still blows my might every time he (yes, mine is a he) does the automated scheduled clean of my dining room. So with that being said, what are the main uses for a robot vacuum cleaner?
- If you live in a small apartment, that you keep reasonably clean, you could consider a robot vacuum cleaner to take care of all your vacuuming needs. Yes, the robot may miss a few bits here and there, and may occasionally get stuck on a rug edge or in your phone’s charging cable, but if that doesn’t bother you, your little robotic friend will keep your house in a good state without you needing to think about doing a monthly thorough clean.
- Alternatively, if you live in a house that gets constantly messy, either through kids or pets, then a robot vacuum helps you stay on top of the problem, Everyday when you are out, you can automatically schedule the robot vacuum cleaner to give the house a quick once over, so when you have to vacuum on the weekends there is only 20% of the mess left to pickup, which will no doubt be the stubborn pet hairs, and dirt in hard to reach places that the robot missed. Many reviews will say to avoid robot vacuum cleaners if you live in a messy house, but they are so cost effective these days, that they can infact be extra helpful for busy people who live in a home that gets a bit messier than most.
Pros: Gets the majority of your flooring clean, which is great if you aren’t a clean freak. Technology is advancing so quickly the features in robot vacuum cleaners will blow your mind.
Cons: They aren’t the final solution for all vacuuming problems. They will need help occasionally, and will leave some patches of flooring a bit unclean after each vacuum. Most people also imagine them to be silent before buying one, but truth is they make noise like a standard vacuum cleaner, so throw your dreams of it vacuuming your bedroom while you sleep out the window.
Our Recommendation: You should consider buying a robot vacuum cleaner under two circumstances. The first is if you wont get annoyed if your house isn’t 100% clean all the time, because a robot cleaner simply can’t clean a home as good as a human can. The second reason to buy one is if your a gadget lover, and don’t mind dropping $300 to $500 on a new toy that will keep you intrigued for a few weeks. Both are valid reasons!
Handheld vacuum cleaners are super convenient, and I highly recommend buying one, regardless of what other types of vacuum cleaners you may own.Handhelds are so cheap that buying one should be given serious consideration. Let look as some of the main uses for a handheld vacuum cleaner.
- If you have young kids to may make a mess every time they eat their lunch sitting on your furniture, it can be a hassle getting a larger vacuum cleaner out of the closet, plugging it in, adding the right accessory, then tidying the mess. A quick vacuum with a handheld vacuum cleaner literally takes about 2 minutes. The convenience means you are more likely to vacuum, and ultimately means you will have a cleaner house. This doesn’t just apply to the mess the kids make. If you are particularly messy in the kitchen or have the occasional spill, it’s so much easier to reach for the handheld.
- Handheld vacuum cleaners also making cleaning a car much less of a chore, but there is also one major downside.Although handhelds are quicker to get ready, which means that you will likely vacuum your car more frequently, they are also more difficult to use to get into all the tight spots. Other types of vacuum cleaners, such as canisters or uprights, have a large range of attachable accessories available for them. These accessories, and particularly the crevice attachment, are a great help in getting into the tight nooks between chairs and centre consoles. Unless your handheld vacuum cleaner has such an accessory available for it, you will be limited to vacuuming the seats, the floors, and as far under the seats as your handheld can fit.
Pros: Perfect if you have lots of small spills that need quick cleaning. Eg households with young kids.
Cons: You’re also going to need a larger vacuum cleaner to vacuum all your flooring
Bagged vacuum cleaners are simply any vacuum cleaner that stores all vacuumed dust and dirt in a replaceable, and often disposable, bag.If you anything like me you first reaction will be “why would I ever choose to buy a vacuum cleaner that needs it’s bag to be replaced, when I can by a bagless vacuum cleaner and never have to worry about changing a bag!”. Good question, so let me explain the reasons to buy a bagged vacuum cleaner:
- You don’t have to worry about that little cloud of dust when you empty your vacuum cleaner into a plastic bag, or directly into your bin. Exposure to this dust can irritate some people (myself included!) so buying a bagged vacuum cleaner solves this issue. For this reason, most of the best vacuum cleaners for people with asthma and allergies are bagged, as opposed to bagless.
- Bags are actually very reasonably prices. You will be looking to spend about $8 to $15 for a pack of three, when purchased online which is typically cheaper than your local store.You can buy brand-name bags, or bags by unknown generic brands which will be cheaper. I personally buy from brand name suppliers to ensure I get quality, but you can make the call on what is best for you. If you can find a cheaper bag that fits your vacuum and works well, by all means buy some!
Pros: Easy to empty and replace without any exposure to the contents of the bag.
Cons: Requires the ongoing purchasing of bags. But these are relatively cheap.
Bagless vacuum cleaners are pretty much the opposite of the bagged analysis above. Instead of all vacuumed dirt being sent to a replaceable bag, the vacuumed mess will instead sit within a plastic container that will require emptying when full. Many bagless vacuum cleaners have transparent dust canisters, so you can see exactly how full yours is while you are vacuuming. There are a few reasons you would want to consider a bagless vacuum:
- Completely removes the need to buy bags.If you live in a remote area and can’t get to a appliance shop every two or three months, this may be a little bit of an inconvenience. However with Amazon offering quick delivery on such a wide variety of cheap bags, buying bags shouldn’t be a major issue anyway (unless you also don’t have access to a credit card to buy online!). As at the time of writing bags for your average vacuum cleaner for for about US$11 for a pack of three.
Pros: No need to pay for replacing bags.
Cons: Emptying can be slightly messy until you perfect your technique
The most frustrating thing about owning a fluffy pet is the amount of fur they leave behind on every surface! The frustration is quadrupled if you don’t own a vacuum cleaner that is specifically designed to pick up pet hair effectively. Although we have done much of the hard thinking for you when we review the best vacuum cleaners for pet hair, there are still a few things your should know about what makes a good vacuum cleaner for pet hair? The key features you should be looking out for are:
- A rotating head attachment. The best vacuum cleaners for pet hair all have an attachment that rotates rapidly, with bristles that skim the surface of your carpet, and physically pick up pet hair before suctioning it away into the bag or dust canister. Many vacuum cleaners will rely on suction alone, and this is often ineffective in pulling the fur from the fibres of your carpet.
I can hear asking, does this mean you can get away with just buying a rotating head attachment for your existing vacuum cleaner. In some cases, yes that is possible. Read our vacuum cleaner attachment guide to see if there is an attachment to fit your vacuum cleaner. If there is, this may be a cost effective way to solve your pet hair problem. If there isn’t a suitable attachment, don’t worry, vacuum cleaners that perform well on pet hair can be bought very cheaply, so check our reviews, and buy the best within your price range.
- Because pet hair takes up a lot more room within your vacuum cleaner than dust or kitchen crumbs, the vacuum cleaners in our pet hair category will have slightly larger dust canisters to ensure you don’t have to empty them too frequently. If you live with 2 or more furry pets, you may find that smaller vacuum cleaners, like handhelds or robots, will require frequent emptying which may become a bit of a burden over time.
Pros: You won’t have to get on your hands and knees and pick animal fur off your carpet and rugs.
Cons: Nothing major. Rotating head attachments can be a little noisy, so no vacuuming if the kids are asleep!
Hands up if vacuuming leaves you with watery eyes and in a sneezing fit loud enough for your neighbours to hear. If your hand is up, you need to consider buying one of our recommended vacuum cleaners for people with allergies. At the end of the day, any vacuum cleaner that leaves your home cleaner than it previously was will be good for you. But similar to asthmatics, you will benefit from a few small extra features which will ensure you are not exposed to more allergens than you need to be.
Pros: Less watery eyes, and less sneezing.
This category isn’t strictly a ‘type of vacuum cleaner’, but some vacuum cleaners are better for people who suffer from asthma. This category brings together all these models of vacuum cleaners fo people with asthma can buy confidently. What should asthmatics look for when buying a vacuum cleaner? These are the key features:
- Filters are essential to ensure all the fine particles that may agitate your asthma remain within the vacuum cleaner.You will frequently see the abbreviation HEPA when reading vacuum cleaner reviews. It is the HEPA filter with traps the fine particles of dust and dirt that can agitate a person with asthma.
- Sealed Vacuum systems ensure that all the dust and grime sucked into the main body of your vacuum cleaner, gets passed through the filter before being puffed back out into the room you are vacuuming. Your filters efficiency of course will be less, if not all air entering your vacuum passes through it to be cleansed of small particles.You could have the best filter in the world, but if no air goes through it, its useless.
- Vacuum cleaners that store their dust and dirt in bags that are removed and replaced, as opposed to in a plastic canister that requires emptying, are typically better for people that suffer from asthma. If you have ever used a bagless vacuum cleaner before you will be aware that in these types of vacuums, the dust gets collected in a plastic container, that requires emptying into a plastic bag or rubbish bin when full. This process exposes you to the dust that you have been sucking up since you last emptied the canister. Obviously this isn’t ideal for asthma sufferers like myself!
Pros: Less coughing & easier breathing
Cons: You may not be able to buy some of the cheaper vacuum cleaners available.
At the end of the day you want a vacuum cleaner that will pick up all the dust and grime from your flooring. Every vacuum cleaner we review will achieve this, it’s just that some will do it better than others in some situations.
Everyone can benefit from a robot vacuum cleaner, if you have a spare few hundred to purchase one. They are a great supplement to any other vacuum cleaner you may have. The same goes for handheld vacuum cleaners. You may own the best canister, stick, or upright vacuum cleaner, but a handheld vacuum is a great additional that you will get plenty of benefit out of.
Therefore the choice is really between canister, sticks, and upright vacuums. Read our guides on bagged vs bagless, and what vacuum cleaners are best for people with asthma and allergies if this applies to you, and you should get a pretty good idea of what vacuum cleaner is best for your own personal situation.
If all else fails, and you still can’t decide, head back to our homepage, and choose the best vacuum cleaner in your price range from our Best of The Best table.
Robot Vacuum Cleaner Reviews
Robot vacuum cleaners have come a long way in the past ten years. If you are into technology and gadgets you would have no doubt heard of the Roomba robot. These little guys were some of the first robot vacuum cleaners to be widely retailed, and the creators, iRobot, have been developing amazing robot technology ever since.
Pro: Amazing to watch, and actually do a pretty good job these days.
Con: They still need an occasional bit of help from a human when tangled in cords, curtains, or stuck on a rug.