- Small or large?
- Vacuum configuration types
- Suction power
- Vacuum bag - disposable or reusable?
- Additional Features
- Steam Vacuums
- Reverse airflow
- Power & turbo heads
- Specialised Pet Vacuums
- Shopping Checklist: Vacuum Cleaners
- FAQ - Vacuum Cleaners
- Jargon Busters: Vacuum Cleaners
Choosing the right kind of vacuum cleaner isn't as simple as you might think. There are several different types on the market, and they all have their own strengths and weaknesses. Models range in size, features and price so it's important to know the basic facts before you rush out and buy one.
Small or large?
Size is an important consideration to make when looking at different vacuum models. If you live in a large house, you will obviously want a sizeable vacuum that can clean multiple rooms in one go. If you choose a model that is too small for your house, you will need to empty your vacuum bag more regularly, which can quickly become frustrating. On the other hand, a large model will take up unnecessary space if you live in a small apartment.
You will also need to factor in the type of floor surface in your house - rooms with thick, shaggy carpets are likely to fill up your vacuum faster.
If you are unsure of what size to buy, speak to a retailer and let him/her know how many rooms are in your house and the main type of floor surface.
Vacuum configuration types
There are three main types of vacuum cleaners on the market: barrel, handheld and upright.
Barrel: Barrel vacuum cleaners have a flexible hose that connects to a wheeled canister unit containing the bag and motor. This is a popular configuration due to its storage convenience and the ability to fit the hose into awkward spaces during cleaning. Most barrel vacuums come with multiple heads and brushes that can be attached to the hose for different tasks.
Upright: Upright models retain the 'traditional' vacuum cleaner design - the suction pump is located below the unit, while the bag is attached to a broom-like handle. Upright vacuums often contain rotating brushes inside the unit, which help to suck up dust. They are generally more effective at eradicating dirt, but are difficult to use in narrow gaps, spaces or on stairs.
Handheld: Handheld vacuum cleaners are small, generally battery operated cleaners that can be used with one hand. While handy for cleaning up small spills, they are not generally suitable for cleaning an entire house.