The Ultimate Vacuum Buying Guide

The Ultimate Guide to How to Buy a Vacuum Cleaner When you have a house with carpets and rugs, a car with cloth upholstery, or even a house full of hardwood floors, a vacuum is one of the items that you’ll require in order to keep your house or car clean! But not all vacuums are created equally, and there are more vacuum options on the market than ever before. How do you know which one to buy for your needs? This guide is here to help you determine what types of vacuums are available, as well as some specific details to keep in mind when making your ultimate decision.

Types of Vacuum Cleaners

While you make think, “a vacuum is a vacuum,” that is not really the truth. There are actually many types of vacuum cleaners to choose from. First, you’ll want to decide which type of vacuum will best suit your needs. But how can you do that if you don’t even know all the options that are available? Below is a list of some of the most popular types of vacuums.

Canister Vacuums

Canister vacuums are a unique type of vacuum in that they have the motor and bag in a separate unit from the vacuum hose. These vacuums are more maneuverable than some of the other types on this list since the hose part is separate and allows you to get into tighter spaces or even on other materials or furniture such as into your couch cushions or on your drapes and other upholstery.

While they typically are a bit bulkier, they aren’t too heavy, and are great for cleaning bare floors, under furniture, and on steps.

Upright Vacuums

Buying an Upright Vacuum An upright vacuum is the most popular and common type of vacuum. They tend to cost less than some of the other more uncommon options and can clean bigger areas more quickly. Not only that, but this kind of vacuum can usually provide more of a deep clean for carpets and also is easy to store. Commercial upright vacuums are also one of the most common vacuum types for businesses to have.

Stick Vacuums

Stick vacuums are the more modern looking vacuums that have become more popular over the years, and for good reason. Stick vacuums not only take up much less space than their upright or canister cousins, but many of them are also well known for their lighter weight, as well as their ease for multi-floor use. Similarly to upright vacuums, stick vacuums have a similar design with tall bodies and a powerhead, but they are better suited for picking up surface materials and giving floors a once-over instead of getting that very deep clean that an upright vacuum can provide.

Handheld Vacuums

For places that require more of a tight squeeze or may have an odd shape for an upright vacuum to get to, such as your car or furniture, a handheld vacuum comes in handy (as its name suggests). Basically, these types of vacuums are made for above-the-floor cleaning in those harder to reach places like windowsills, closets, upholstery, vents, car interiors, and drapes. Their use in cars are the reason they are also known as car vacuums.

Deep Cleaning Vacuums

Deep cleaning vacuums aren’t necessarily just one type of look, but typically come in an upright vacuum style. Carpet cleaners are a type of deep cleaning vacuum that you may consider purchasing if you have a lot of carpet throughout your home. Though vacuuming often will help keep your carpets clean, a deeper clean every now and then is still necessary to keep carpets looking lush and fluffy, as well as removing embedded materials by using moisture and heat to loosen dirt and stains that a vacuum alone can’t suction. In fact, these types of vacuums typically do more than just clean, they disinfect, too! This two-for-one type will help you kill germs as it cleans much of the deep dirt, dust, and grime within the carpet floor.

Pet Vacuums

Pet vacuums are created to specifically be great at sucking up pet hair from animals such as your beloved furry friends. These vacuums may come in models such as upright, canister, stick, robotic, and more.

Though the actual design of the pet vacuum for you will be determined by your needs or the model, vacuums that are marketed as pet vacuums are done so because of their deeper cleaning abilities to pick up pet hair and dander.

Robotic Vacuums

Buying a Robotic Vacuum All the craze for people who don’t want to have to sweep or vacuum every day, robotic vacuums have gained tremendous popularity recently. The great thing about these cordless, hands-free vacuums is that they do all the work for you—no manual labor required! While many of these vacuums are very convenient, they typically don’t get as much of a deep clean as some of the other vacuum options and are better for everyday surface cleaning on your floors. If you have shag rugs or a lot of area rugs in your home, this may not be the best vacuum choice for you, as some robotic vacuums have trouble accessing different levels on the floor.

Wet Vacs

A unique type of vacuum you may want, especially if you own any type of cleaning. As the name implies, wet vacs are able to pick up liquid as well as solids, so they’re extremely handy for cleaning up spills on carpeting and things of that nature. Many businesses use commercial wet vacs for cleaning their floors and helping prevent stains from setting into their carpet.

What to Consider When Choosing a Vacuum Type

Now that you know the categories of vacuums available, there are some points to consider when deciding which type of vacuum will work best for your household needs.

Flooring Materials in the Home

Determining which vacuum you need definitely depends on the types of floors that you have throughout your home. If you have hardwood or linoleum floors, for example, you probably don’t need a deep cleaning vacuum such as someone who has a home full of carpets would need. But if you have many lush carpets, you’ll want a better deep cleaning vacuum that will keep your floors cleaner.


Which vacuum will work best for homes that are two stories (or more) with stairs is also an important factor. For example, if you would love to have a robotic vacuum but you have stairs in your home, you’ll have to consider that it will not be able to climb the stairs for you, and you will have to manually bring it to your second floor, as well as be careful to make sure it doesn’t take a tumble down the steps.

Another important factor to keep in mind for homes with stairs is getting a vacuum with options for getting into the crevices of the stairs. A vacuum that is too big or bulk will most like have trouble doing so, and won’t be a great vacuum for your needs. Most people like canister vacuums, handheld vacuums or stick vacuum cleaners when they have stairs in their home, as they are usually lighter vacuums that also can reach more crevices.

Pets in the Home

If you have pets in your home, you definitely will have a lot more hair and materials for a vacuum to suck up, and probably have to vacuum your home more regularly, too. A robotic vacuum may be a good option for picking up everyday stray fur, but you also may want a deep cleaning vacuum or pet vacuum that will be able to suck up more hair and fur from your floors, carpets, or rugs than another type of vacuum would. You may even need a canister vacuum or handheld vacuum to get those tougher to reach areas that pet fur can gather, such as in your drapes or on furniture.

People Who Have Allergies

Reducing Allergens in a Home With Vacuums When people living in your home have allergies, getting a vacuum that will help decrease any symptoms and better get rid of allergy-inducing materials such as fur, hair, dust, and dander will be more important for you. You’ll probably want to clean up your floor more often, so a robotic vacuum or stick vacuum can be easy for those surface level, everyday cleaning options. But then you may want a deep cleaning vacuum to regularly ensure that you are gathering all of the deeply embedded fur and dust within any carpets, too.

Ease of Use

While deep cleaning vacuums are great at ensuring a cleaner home, some of them may be more difficult to use than others. If they have extra contraptions and steps to go through in order to deep clean, it may not be a great vacuum for everyday use. If you plan to vacuum more often, then you probably want to choose a vacuum that will be easier to use.

Bagged vs. Bagless

Certain deeper cleaning vacuums almost always required a bag, but many vacuums also have a bagless option! Not only does this mean that it is one less accessory to deal with, but these vacuums are most likely not as heavy as well.

The Vacuum’s Size

If you have a home with tight corners or not a lot of storage space, or have to carry your vacuum up and down stairs, then a vacuum such as a stick vacuum or even a handheld vacuum may be better for you than a bulkier vacuum. Yet, if you want a deeper cleaning vacuum, then perhaps you want a larger vacuum to help with the messes like a canister vacuum or deep cleaning vacuum cleaner.

Corded vs. Cordless

Not all vacuums made nowadays require a cord to be plugged in at all times! Cordless options are great for easy access to move around the house without worrying about getting a cord caught up or not being able to reach spaces while also being plugged in, but they tend to be less powerful than their corded counterparts. Robotic vacuums are almost always cordless, and many stick vacuums can be purchased as a cordless option, too. Whether you choose a cordless or corded stick vacuum is up to personal preference.


More powerful vacuums will most likely be able to clean better than a cheaper vacuum without as much sucking power. If you have carpets in your home, you will need a vacuum that has more power to get things embedded deep within the carpet, while a home with floors such as tile, hardwood, etc. probably doesn’t need the same amount of power, and can get away with more surface level cleaning. Less power also typically means a quieter vacuum. So if that’s important to you and you don’t mind having less power, it’s something to keep in mind.

How Often You Vacuum

Using a Stick Vacuum Cleaner Determining how often you think you’ll be using your vacuum will matter when deciding what type of vacuum to buy. If you believe that your vacuum will get a lot of use, then you may want to splurge more to make sure that it lasts you. Yet, if you plan to vacuum every day, you probably don’t want to only have a deep cleaning vacuum that requires more effort, and you may need an option for everyday use as well as for deeper cleaning days. For intensive cleaning schedules, a commercial vacuum that is designed to handle so much use may be the way to go.

Using the Vacuum on Upholstery or in Cars

If you know that you’ll want to also use your vacuum that you purchase for your home on any furniture, upholstery, or in your car, then you’ll want to make sure it has options to be able to make it easy for you to vacuum in these places. A handheld vacuum, canister vacuum, or vacuums that have a handheld option or attachment will be ideal for more vacuuming versatility.

Find the Vacuum for Your Needs

Now that you know the types of vacuums available, as well as the details and options to keep in mind to figure out which type of vacuum(s) that you will want for your home, you are ready to start searching to find that perfect vacuum for you! With all of the options available and details to keep in mind, narrowing down the type of vacuum(s) that you’ll want to buy should be easier now that you are equipped with all of this knowledge. Now get out and get vacuum buying!