A good vacuum cleaner can keep your floors clean, spotless, and presentable. A great vacuum cleaner, on the other hand, can make your entire cleaning regimen more efficient, effective, and convenient. And once you’ve felt the difference for yourself, you’ll wonder how you were ever able to live without it.

With so many different types, models, and brands available in the market these days, choosing the right one for your home may not be as simple as you think.

Below is a quick guide on how you can go about picking the best vacuum cleaner for your home and floors:

Knowing Your Environment

There are a number of specialty vacuum cleaners you can choose from that  each serve a different purpose.

Home With Hardwood Floor StaircaseFor example, there are vacuums for hardwood floors, pet vacuums for pet owners, and even wearable backpack vacuums for those who need the extra mobility or freedom of movement.

Is your home mostly hardwood, carpet, or something else?

Do you live in a single floor apartment, or do you have staircases that also need to be cleaned?

These are just some of the questions you need to be asking yourself before you make any kind of purchase.

Knowing what, where, and how you need to vacuum is the first step to picking out a great vacuum cleaner.

Next, is to consider some of the important features and determine which of them you’ll actually need. There’s no reason to ever buy a machine that’s loaded with tons of features that don’t serve your purpose.

Important Features To Consider

Having a vacuum with the right features can greatly contribute to the efficiency and convenience that it provides you.

If you want to find the perfect vacuum for your home, take some time now to consider the following features below, while keeping in mind your home, floor, and any other cleaning requirements that you might have.

Bagged vs Bagless

Vacuums are either bagged or bagless. Here’s what you need to know:

  • Bagged: Store dirt inside of bags that need to be changed every time they fill up. Bagged vacuums are more sanitary, economical, and are typically recommended for household that have members prone to allergies or other respiratory illnesses. Bags are much better at capturing and holding fine dust particles in place, making it easier to dispose of the dirt without the contents inside spreading back into the air.
  • Bagless: Stores dirt inside a canister or bin that needs to be emptied whenever it becomes too full. Instead of having to replace bags, you’ll find yourself changing out the filters regularly. This can save you from constantly having to buy vacuum bags, but as mentioned earlier, if you have allergy sufferers in your household, a bagged approach might be the better op

Filtration System

The type of filter system used is just as important for allergy, asthma and other respiratory illnesses. You’ll want to look for a vacuum that uses a HEPA filtration system as it can capture even the smallest of particles and keep it from circulating back into the air while cleaning.

Power Supply

Some cleaners are cordless and powered by rechargeable batteries while others need to be plugged in via a power cord.

Although cordless models are more portable than than their corded counterparts, the battery life is going to be limited and will need to be recharged after a certain period of time.

If your cleaning sessions tend to run long, you should look to find a machine that’s either corded, or has a long-lasting battery life.

Accessories and Attachments

Different types of vacuums come with different accessories. Some of the accessories include: suction heads of adjustable heights and angles, long hoses for cleaning hard-to-reach places, nozzles and brushes of different sizes, rubberized bases, and so on. These attachments can help you to safely and effectively clean otherwise hard-to-reach spaces.

Vacuum Type

Whether you have high-pile carpets or a hardwood floor, there is a specific type of vacuum out there that’s well suited to handle the task.

Here are the 6 major ones that you can choose from. The ideal choice will depend on your current situation, personal preference, home, and the type of floor you have.

Upright

With an upright vacuum cleaner, all of the components are enclosed within the casing as a single unit. If your home is mostly carpeted floors, then an upright model from a reputable brand like Shark is a great option.

On the other hand, if you have mostly wood or some other kind of hard surface, then there are far better options available that you should consider first.

Pros and Cons of Upright Vacuums:

  • Fast and efficient.
  • Has a large dust/dirt capacity & suction head.
  • Generally heavier than other types of vacuum cleaners.
  • You will most likely also need a handheld cleaner for areas that you can’t reach with an upright; for instance, the ceilings.

If the size of the rooms that you want to clean range from medium to large, and you don’t have too much time to dedicate to cleaning, then an upright will do the job just fine.

On the other hand, if your rooms are small and/or filled with lots of furniture that sit on the floor (or close to it), then an upright should not be your first choice.

Canister

Canister vacuum cleaners consist of a cylindrical container (canister) and a hose that’s attached to it. In comparison with the standard upright, canister cleaners are usually smaller and more lightweight.

The flexible hose is great for cleaning awkward and hard-to-reach places like stairs and underneath furniture. Due to its considerably strong suction, a canister machine is also great at dealing with dirt that’s become ingrained. Dyson is a great company to check out if you are looking for a canister style cleaner.

Pros and Cons of Canister Vacuums:

  • It’s easy to move around because of its lightweight and wheeled body.
  • Owing to its interchangeable heads, it can be used to clean different types of floors and/or surfaces.

Robotic

Robot vacuums are small, self-propelled machines designed to cleaner specific areas of your home on almost 100% autopilot. The majority of models today, have numerous inbuilt navigational systems to ensure a certain level of clean. The more expensive ones will even use sensors to map out entire rooms in order to deliver in-depth and reliable cleaning.

Additionally, you can also program them to clean at certain times of the day, like when you are sleeping at night, or out at work during the day. Most of them are designed to return back to their charging stations when power is low, so no manual intervention is required.

Due to their compact size, they are great for cleaning hard-to-reach areas like underneath the furniture.

If you have a large floor space that you can’t always clean regularly, then a robotic vacuum cleaner will make your life a lot easier.

Pros and Cons of Robot Vacuums:

  • They don’t require an operator.
  • Limited battery life and low suction power when compared to more traditional vacuum cleaners.
  • Their shape doesn’t allow them to clean corners of rooms very well.
  • They are limited to cleaning flat surfaces; and will not work on multi-leveled areas such as the stairs.

Handheld

Handheld vacuum cleaners are small, lightweight cleaning machines. As their name suggests, you use them while holding them in your hand. Many of them are cordless, and run on a rechargeable battery.

If you live in a small house or apartment, or you don’t have a lot of large areas that need to be cleaned frequently, then a handheld is the perfect choice. You can use a handheld to clean hard-to-reach places and nearly any compact area in your home. In most cases, they can be used alongside the other options.

Pros and Cons of Handheld Vacuums:

  • They are lightweight.
  • Convenient for cleaning up small or frequent messes that don’t require a full sized machine each time.
  • They have relatively lower suction power (although this is improving each year).
  • Low dirt capacity.

Stick

If you have a small space, or you regularly need quick clean-ups, then a stick vacuum is an effective and convenient choice. Some models include a detachable handheld unit that you can use to clean concentrated spills. It is also a great option for home with bare floors and/or light carpeted areas.

Pros and Cons of Stick Vacuums:

  • Doesn’t require a lot of storage space.
  • They are compact & lightweight.
  •  User-friendly.
  • Have a lower suction power in comparison to the canister and uprights.

Wet-Dry

Wet-dry vacuums are designed to work with damp debris and messy areas that shouldn’t be cleaned using regular vacuum cleaners; for instance, flooded areas. The design is similar to that of the canister vacuum; and like canisters, wet-dry vacuums are also available in both backpack and wheeled styles. You should only choose this option if your home requires daily cleaning that usually involves large amounts of debris that may or may not be wet.

Pros and Cons of Wet-Dry Vacuums:

  • With its reverse suction function, you can turn it into a blower to dislodge stubborn debris.
  • Have far greater suction power in comparison to all the previously mentioned.
  • Can be quite expensive.

Conclusion

Whether you are a first-time buyer, or just realized that the cleaning demands of your home are too much for your current vacuum; using this guide will help you find the best vacuum cleaner suitable for your home and floor type.