Choosing a new vacuum cleaner is a lot like figuring out which car to buy. There are so many on the market today with so many different options, specifications and features, it can be a daunting task to pick just one. Here are some things to keep in mind when asking the question, “What is the best vacuum?”
Price should not be the first consideration when choosing a new appliance (or anything else for that matter). However, it is a factor for most people, and an important one at that, as most of us are on a budget.
While you’ll find some good machines in the $100 – $300 range, we’ve all heard of much pricier models like Dyson, which not only offer superior suction but also durability and a long list of features you may or may not really need. However, at a price tag upwards of $500 for some of the models, they are simply not a viable investment for many home owners.
In the lower budget range, you can find a variety of vacuums that may suit your needs just fine. For instance, Shark has some very popular models like the Rotator and Navigator that are best sellers across the board. Not only are they good at picking up dirt, some of the models offer a great deal of versatility such as a removable canister vac and the ability to perform on both carpet and hardwood floors.
At an even lower price point you’ll find vacuums from manufacturers like Bissell. While these models are generally heavy and bulky, they still get the job done. Some are even good at picking up pet hair. Hoover is another mid-priced brand that builds good options for the price.
$200 – $300
So many vacuums have so many different bells and whistles, or you can go with a stripped down model. However, some of the vacs with handy features really don’t cost much more than the basic models, so why not treat yourself to a few handy tools you might actually use?
Extension Hoses: While not all models have these, most of those built in the last several years do have them. An extension hose is simply a way to make the suction reach outside the base of the vacuum so you can clean something other than the floor. Some of the many uses are stairs, ceiling fans, window sills and tight corners and spaces. Just make sure you check the length of the hose. If you need to clean cobwebs from your ceiling corners, you want to be sure it will reach without dragging the main unit behind it.
Bags or Bagless: There are perks to both of these types of units. Of course bags require an ongoing expense. Some people still prefer them to the bagless versions simply because they are cleaner. In other words, you don’t have to dump a load of dust over your trash can and possibly dig some of it out of the bin if it gets stuck.
Most people, however, love a bagless vacuum cleaner. Since most of the bins nowadays are clear, you can see what you’re sucking up and when it’s full. Most require one button to be pushed to empty it, so it’s easy. You can even dump it outside to keep that stuff out of your house entirely.
Headlights: Most modern vacs don’t come with headlights, but they can be a useful feature. Even if you clean your house in the middle of the day, sometimes it’s hard to see that hairball that may be lurking in the corner. Headlights will definitely help you out in these types of situations.
Filters: This is a feature many people forget to consider when shopping. Some models have filters that must be disposed of and replaced, meaning more money spent in the future. Many have washable filters, and some can even go in the top rack of the dishwasher. If you’d rather throw one away when it gets full or you don’t mind doing just a little scrubbing, it’s an important factor to keep in mind.
Weight: It’s true – some vacuum cleaners are really heavy. Even with motorized steering, it can get a little tiring (not to mention hard on your back, shoulders and arms) to push and pull a 30-pound machine around your house. For this reason, many of the new model cleaners are much lighter in weight than their predecessors. While weight might not seem like a big deal especially if you have a smaller home, investing in a lightweight model may be the best bet if this is a concern for you
HEPA Filters: HEPA has become a big buzz in all types of appliances over the last few years including air cleaners, air conditioners and of course vacuum cleaners. Essentially, HEPA filtration separates out very small particles that you can’t even see that are floating around your home. While many of us aren’t bothered by these, an increasing number of adults and kids are very sensitive, and these particles can make them sneeze or even make them very sick if they have allergies or asthma.
Power: This one is huge, as you want to make sure the vacuum you buy can suck up whatever you need gone. If you have all linoleum, tile or hardwood floors in your home, you won’t need as much power. However, if you have deep pile plush carpets, you want to make sure the machine you select has enough strength to get down deep to get out the dust and dirt.
Vacuum power is measured in many ways, and one of the most popular is watts, though air watts and amps are also used. Figuring out which power is best for you is easiest to decide by reading vacuum cleaner reviews for the models you’re considering, as the numbers alone can be a bit confusing.
The above are just some of the things to consider when deciding what is the best vacuum cleaner for you and your family. With these things in mind, we’ve put together several reviews of the best vacuum cleaners in every price range on the market today. Feel free to take a look around to see what looks good to you!