Choosing the right product for you
The original vacuum cleaners had bags: nowadays, the majority do not. When choosing a new vacuum cleaner, you need to consider your type of flooring, the size of your home, the presence of animals and any cases of allergy. The right product will give you the best results.
Canisters are ideal for thorough cleaning of most floors and surfaces such as stairs, upholstery and sofas and hard/ vinyl floors. They tend to be lighter and smaller but use more power as the dust has further to travel up the flexible hose and attachments and rely on suction alone to do the job. Canisters come with a wide range of accessories for special needs such as pet hair, carpets, rugs, etc. You will need to allocate some space for storage.
Uprights are ideal for carpet flooring. Their motorised brushes help the suction to remove dirt and so tend to need less power. As a rule, uprights, which generally come with a range of accessories stored on board for use, tend to be used for heavier duty work: removing dirt trodden into carpets, cleaning large areas, soft furnishings and removal of pet hair. They are usually easy to control and store.
Sticks are ideal for frequent cleaning of hard flooring and only need a small storage space. If you find traditional corded sticks a bit heavy, choose a cordless version, designed for quick, effective cleaning of smaller homes: they are lighter and flexible to use.
Tank vacuum cleaners are suitable for tough jobs such as cleaning garages, balconies and working areas. Tanks are extremely versatile as they can vacuum either dry or wet debris. With their great capacity, some tanks can be quite large, in which case they would normally need a dedicated storage area.
Handhelds are ideal for household spills. They are equipped with rechargeable batteries and normally hang on a wall with the charging base so they are always ready to use. Some handhelds come in bright colours and silver finish to give a hint of design to your working areas.
Having selected the type of product to suit your needs, you should decide your preferred way of managing dust: with bag or without? Here is a comparison of the two technologies.
Comparing bag and bagless vacuum cleaners
|Need to replace bags every 6-8 weeks on average.||No replacement bags required, saving time and spare bags|
|Hygienic: very little exposure to dust when emptying, making them ideal for asthma and allergy sufferers and pet owners.||Dust containers need regular emptying, which may expose you to dust.|
|Reliable: require little filter cleaning as the bag helps to protect the filters,||In systems based on filter separation, filter has to be cleaned regularly to maintain suction and power. Filters also likely to require more frequent replacement to maintain peak performance.|
|Efficient for heavier duty work. Higher airflow , mainly needed to effectively clean carpets, rugs and remove pet hair.||Ideal for thorough cleaning most floors and other surfaces, such as sofas and upholstery and all sizes of home.|
|Not always easy to see when bag is full. Performance can deteriorate as the bag fills.||Plain to see when the machine requires emptying.|
Filtration is a key principle of vacuum cleaners. Before you buy a vacuum cleaner make sure the filters are washable for a longer lasting cleaner. Filters can be of two main types: HEPA are capable of capturing most harmful bacteria. Micro filters can capture the most common dust typically present in the house.
Filters can come with treatments in order to reduce the proliferation of most common bacteria. If you suffer from allergies or have young children, look for special filters treated to help drastically reduce the risk of asthma and allergic reaction to dust.