The best canister vacuum has
- An allergen filter. Even non-allergy-sufferers benefit from cleaner air, and
allergen filters remove particles and dust smaller in size than other filters
are capable of capturing.
- A long power cord. Upright vacuum cleaners with short power cords mean users
must frequently relocate the plug, which can be inconvenient. Most upright
vacuum cleaners have cords at least 25 feet long, while some models boast
- Extension wands. Extension wands are useful for cleaning baseboards without
stooping, dusting ceiling fans, and removing ceiling/wall cobwebs.
- High amperage. Upright vacuums rely on amps for suction strength. Most
upright vacuum cleaners are powered by about 10 amps, but some have as little
as 5.5 and others as many as 12.
- Low weight. An upright vacuum cleaner that weighs nearly 30 pounds is
tough to carry, especially when cleaning stairs. Upright vacuum cleaners vary
widely in weight, with some weighing as low as 11.5 pounds while others weigh
22 pounds or more.
- An ample warranty. When it comes to vacuum cleaners, defective units and
malfunctions plague every single model, albeit some more so than others. Look
for a warranty of at least one year. Most models offer at least two years, and
some go up to 10 years under certain circumstances.
Know before you go
there allergy sufferers in your home? HEPA filtration removes the most allergens
from the air and can remove smaller particles than other types of filters.
Bagged models with sealed filtration systems and sealing dust bags are also
useful for allergy sufferers, preventing the escape of any captured dust and
debris back into the air.
have stairs? If you'll be cleaning
stairs regularly, look for an upright vacuum that's lightweight or converts to
a canister vacuum, so you're not lugging a 22-pound machine up the stairs with
you. Also, some upright vacuum cleaners have special tools designed to make
be cleaning pet hair? Pet hair is one of the vacuum industry's biggest challenges. A few
upright vacuum cleaners have attachments designed specifically to clean up
after your fuzzy friends, such as a rubberized upholstery tool with knobs that
grab pet hair from fabric.
types of surfaces will you be vacuuming? Not all upright vacuum cleaners are created equal when it comes to
carpet-cleaning performance, and some have more issues with bare floors than
carpets. You want a vacuum with a brushroll shut-off option if you have hard
floors, for instance, and a manual pile-height adjustment is useful for precise
control if you have different carpet heights throughout your home.
nimble and flexible? Some manual
pile-height adjustments and other controls require bending over and a few
minutes of effort to operate. If you suffer from arthritis or mobility issues,
look for an upright vacuum cleaner with easy-to-use controls conveniently
located on the handle for easy access.
Buying tactics and strategies
- Look for
special deals. Upright vacuum
cleaners can be quite expensive, and even some of the highest-priced models don't
come standard with a HEPA filter. Some retailers, however, offer special deals
including a free HEPA filter with your purchase. If you're considering one of
these models, shop around to find the best package deal.
attention to model numbers. Many manufacturers sell similar vacuums under different, but similar,
model numbers. The difference is in the attachment package. It can take some
looking around to figure out which model numbers are sold where and include
what attachments, but it's worth your time to get the most bang for your buck.
add-ons. Just because an
upright vacuum cleaner doesn't come with the attachments you were looking for
doesn't mean you can't get them. Negotiate with the retailer and show
comparative deals from other stores. Ask them to match the deal by including a
few more accessories with your purchase.
Value expectations: The dollars and cents of it
Whether you opt for a
bagged or bagless upright vacuum cleaner, there might be filters or dust bags
to purchase. If you vacuum daily, this ongoing expense can add up. There are a
few generic vacuum cleaner bag manufacturers offering bags to fit many
available models for a lower price. Be careful, however, because these cheaper
bags may be made from cheaper materials. If your standard bags have filtration
capabilities, opting for generics means you're giving up some of that cleaner
air. Buying in bulk online is another option that results in a lower per-bag