How to Clean a Vacuum Cleaner
We independently review everything we recommend. When you buy through our links, we may earn a commission. Learn more›
- Small home appliances
Photo: Michael Hession
I’ve lost count of all the people in my life who have given me a hard time for recommending a vacuum that “broke” within a year or two.
Almost every time, it turned out that they’d never done any basic maintenance, such as clearing clogs, cutting tangles, and dealing with dirty filters. Usually, all it would take was a 10-minute tune-up to get their “broken” vacuum back in business.
Suddenly worried that you’ve neglected your vacuum or whether you’ve thrown away a vacuum that still worked? It never needs to happen again. Here’s how to keep your vacuum sucking.
What you need
Photo: Liam McCabe
- Scissors (or another blade): To cut tangles away from the brush roll.
- Compressed air: To quickly clean dusty surfaces and blow away buildups in hard-to-reach places.
- Small brush (or toothbrush): Not as quick or deep-reaching as compressed air but still decent for dusting.
- Pipe cleaners: To deal with bigger clogs in hard-to-reach places.
- Damp cloth or sponge: To wipe away grime.
- Flashlight: To help find clogs.
- Work gloves: To keep dust and grime off your hands. Latex is good, and cloth gardening gloves can be fine, too.
- Mask: To keep dust out of your nose. Cloth or medical masks will work, though respirators are ideal if you have one. But try to do the work outside anyway.
For some vacuums
- New bag: Most vacuums are bagless now, but some still use bags.
- New filter: Most modern vacuums use washable filters, but some still use disposables. Knockoffs are generally okay.
- New belt: Most vacuums use lifetime—or at least very long-lasting—belts to drive the brush roll, but some still need to be replaced occasionally.
For serious maintenance
How long will it take to clean?
Video: Liam McCabe
Every vacuum needs some maintenance. It’s normal, and there’s nothing you can do to prevent it entirely. Plan for 10 to 30 minutes for basic maintenance, plus 24 hours of drying time if you rinse any parts. More serious repairs might take a couple of hours.
If your vacuum seems weaker than it used to be, it needs attention. Ditto if the vacuum ever shuts itself off abruptly—that’s usually a fail-safe feature to protect the parts from overheating. And it’s never a bad idea to do some preventive maintenance, or at least a visual inspection, occasionally.
The good news is that most of the maintenance is uncomplicated, and advice for the trickier jobs can be found on YouTube. Here’s what I’ve learned from a decade of testing vacuums, reading manuals, talking to repair technicians, watching how-to videos—and getting an earful from family, friends, and co-workers.
As you go along: Clean up dust and grime
Video: Liam McCabe
As you get a peek at all the hidden parts of your vacuum, take the opportunity to brush, air-blast, or damp-wipe any buildup you find inside the vacuum. Let damp parts dry for 24 hours, preferably in sunlight, before you use the vacuum again.
Empty the bin (or replace the bag)
Maybe this seems too obvious to even mention, but some people do not understand how important this step is. Air needs to flow through a vacuum, and an overstuffed bin or bag blocks that airflow. Personally, I’ve seen two vacuums that were simply too full to work. It just hadn’t occurred to their owners that if they dumped out the debris, their vacuums would work again.
Wash or replace your filters
Photo: Liam McCabe
Any decent vacuum filter will eventually get clogged with dust, and the vacuum will lose suction. A dirty filter starts to slowly, silently inhibit your vacuum’s cleaning performance long before then.
Most vacuum makers recommend cleaning or replacing filters at set intervals—and those intervals vary wildly. Tineco, for example, recommends cleaning the filters on its stick vacuums after every few uses, while Miele says you need to change its vacuum filters only after every fourth bag change. Typically you can wait a bit longer than recommended between filter service, and everything will run fine, but the delayed maintenance will catch up with the vacuum eventually.
Filter care instructions can differ from vacuum to vacuum. Some models, such as Dyson’s cordless stick vacuums and most robot vacuums, have a single filter. Others, like the Shark Navigator Lift-Away series, have multiple filters. Find them all!
Video: Liam McCabe
Plenty of vacuums still use disposable filters that you need to buy and replace periodically. But washable, reusable types are very common now. In general, you clean one of these by tapping it on the edge of a trash bin until the obvious debris falls off and then rinsing it under cold water until the water runs clear. You should give the filter at least 24 hours to air-dry.
Check for clogs and clean them out
Photo: Michael Murtaugh
Usually, clogs form when debris that’s slightly oversized or tacky gets stuck in the narrow, twisty, transitional areas inside the vacuum. The intake channel on the cleaning head is one common spot, for example. On stick vacuums, the junction where the shaft meets the dust bin is often a bottleneck.
If you think you need to clear a clog, look first at those transfer points. Disconnect the hoses or cleaning head if you can, and look for any “trapdoors” that might be built into the vacuum—all of which are likely spots for clogs to form. Clear out any jams or buildups by hand, with a pipe cleaner, or with a can of compressed air.
If that doesn’t turn anything up, try to shine a flashlight deeper inside the machine and work at any clogs with a pipe cleaner.
Untangle the brush roll
Photo: Liam McCabe
If anyone in your household (pets included) has hair that’s longer than a few inches, there’s a really good chance that some of it ends up wrapped about your vacuum’s spinning brush. Floss and thread can get tangled, too.
Photo: Liam McCabe
Over time, string-like debris covers more and more of the bristles on the brush and prevents it from working well on carpets. In extreme cases, the wrapped hair can stop the brush from spinning freely, which can then lead to the drive belt snapping or the bearings getting damaged—both of which need to be repaired at an extra cost and inconvenience that you’d likely avoid with regular maintenance. Wrapped hair also causes the machine to draw more power, depleting your cordless stick or handheld vacuum’s battery faster and putting more strain on the motor.
A simple way to get rid of wrapped hair is to just cut the tangle with scissors or slice it with a blade. Some models have a little groove along the length of the brush that can guide your cutting tool.
Your tool may not always be able to reach to the ends of the brush, but you can usually just pull the remaining hair off by hand.
If you have the option to partially or completely remove the brush roll (or wheels) without completely disassembling the cleaner head—check the manual for instructions—you should do so. This makes it extra easy to cut away tangles and wraps.
Most of the time, the basic yet thorough cleaning we’ve outlined above will get your vacuum back into top form.
But if you still aren’t getting much oomph, or the power keeps cutting out, or the vacuum just won’t start, you have a few other possibilities to consider:
- The batteries are dead (on battery-powered vacuums), or there’s some other fault in the charging system, such as dirty charging contacts or a broken power adapter.
- If it’s a robot vacuum, a dirty sensor can cause the bot to behave strangely.
- A cracked hose is leaking air and reducing suction.
- Either the belt (cheap to fix) or the transmission (more expensive) for the brush is broken.
- You have a “phantom” clog in the bag, the narrow tips of the cyclones, or the filter. These can be caused by debris such as flour, plaster dust, or other fine, white, gummy stuff. The clogs are hard to spot but act like cement and choke the airflow.
You can find tons of DIY repair videos on YouTube, and they can be a great guide to fixing these problems. But sometimes your best bet is to bring your vacuum into a shop and let an experienced technician give it a shot.
Sabine Heinlein contributed reporting.
Meet your guide
Liam McCabe is a former senior staff writer for Wirecutter, and has covered the wild world of appliances since 2011. After testing dozens of robot vacuums, he is neither worried about AI nor holding his breath for self-driving cars. He enjoys visiting factories and learning about regulatory loopholes, and has flooded our testing area only three times.
After conducting 30 hours of research on 75 models of scissors and shears, we think Kai’s Dressmaking Shears are the best all-around pick for most people.
The Best Scissors and Kitchen Shears
The best flashlights offer unmatched illumination, versatility, and durability. Here’s what we recommend.
The Best Flashlight
After years of comparing and testing gardening gloves, we recommend choosing the Atlas Nitrile Garden Gloves.
The Best Gardening Gloves
The “best” cloth face mask is the one you’ll wear (and not fuss with). Here’s how to find a mask that fits, filters well, and is reasonably comfortable.
The Best Reusable Face Masks
We’ve tested 37 of the best N95 masks, KN95 masks, and surgical masks and confirmed their filtration claims with expert government agencies or our own lab testing. Here’s what we recommend.
Where to Buy N95s, KN95s, and Surgical-Style Masks in 2022
These masks work to block particulate inhalation in conditions ranging from wildfire smoke to dusty home projects.
The Best Respirator Mask for Smoke and Dust
The Best Car Vacuum
by Sabine Heinlein
We recommend four handheld vacuums that have helpful tools and the ability to reach into the nooks and crannies of a car.
The Best Robot Vacuums
by Rachel Cericola and Liam McCabe
A robot vacuum can keep your home free from debris, pet hair, and dust, with little effort on your part (some even empty themselves). Here are six we recommend.
How to Clean a Stroller
by Elise Czajkowski
A stroller is bound to get messy, and the type of mess determines the best way to clean it.
What’s the Best Vacuum for Hardwood Floors?
by Liam McCabe and Sabine Heinlein
While any vacuum can clean bare floors, some models make the task a little easier. The most versatile option of these is the Shark Navigator Lift-Away NV352.
Wirecutter is the product recommendation service from The New York Times. Our journalists combine independent research with (occasionally) over-the-top testing so you can make quick and confident buying decisions. Whether it’s finding great products or discovering helpful advice, we’ll help you get it right (the first time).
- About Wirecutter
- Our team
- Staff demographics
- Jobs at Wirecutter
- Contact us
- How to pitch
- Make a Plan: Moving
8 best vacuums of 2023, according to experts
Whether you’re cleaning up after kids and pets or simply looking to maintain a tidy home, investing in a good quality vacuum can keep your space free of messes, germs and particles. “Vacuuming your home on a weekly basis is one of those household tasks that requires relatively minimal effort and instantly makes your home look cleaner,” says Caroline Solomon, a home organizing expert.
SKIP AHEAD How to pick a vacuum | Best vacuums to shop in 2023 |Types of Vacuums | How to shop for a vacuum
To help you choose the right vacuum for your space, we spoke to multiple home organization experts and considered Select staff favorites for smaller homes, larger homes, homes with pets and more.
Our top picks
- Best overall pick: Miele Compact C1
- Best budget pick: Shark Dual Cyclone Pet Pro Handheld Vacuum
- Best robot vacuum: iRobot Roomba j7+ (7550)
- Best cordless vacuum: Tineco Pure One S11
How we picked the best vacuums
The type of vacuum you buy — whether canister, stick, handheld or robot — depends on your space and your specific cleaning preferences. Here’s a summary of the qualities that the experts we spoke to recommend and the questions you should consider while shopping for a quality option:
- Bagged vs bagless: Some vacuums come with a reusable dustbin; others have a disposable bag that needs to be replaced. We included options for both.
- Vacuum size and weight: The square footage of your home, the number of floors and the amount of storage space you have are all major considerations when choosing a vacuum. We included vacuums suited for both smaller and larger spaces.
- Floor settings: Every vacuum we recommend works across various floors, including hardwood and carpet.
- Attachments: Vacuums come with a range of attachments to fit your specific cleaning needs. Every vacuum we recommend comes with multiple cleaning accessories, for pet hair, upholstery and more.
- HEPA filter: Particles in the air can cause airborne diseases and allergic and respiratory reactions, HEPA filters help filter out these particles. All vacuums recommended below come with a HEPA filter.
Best vacuums to shop in 2023
Below, we highlight expert-recommended vacuums, as well as options recommended by Select staffers. In line with our experts’ guidance, each of the following vacuums features a HEPA filter that can remove up to 99.7% of fine dust and airborne particles.
Best overall vacuum: Miele
Miele Compact C1
Our experts agree that Miele is the best overall brand for vacuums. “I love Miele vacuums because they are rather lightweight and maneuverable,” says Solomon. She also adds that they last “years and years.” This vacuum can be used on either carpet or bare floors and comes with multiple attachments, including a dusting brush, upholstery tool and crevice nozzle. Select managing editor Leah Ginsberg says the Miele Compact C1 is lightweight, quiet and simple to use. “It’s easy to replace the bags and filters,” she says. “I also love that it has a button that makes the plug automatically whip back into the vacuum — for whatever reason, I hate manually wrapping wires and plugs around vacuums.” This option has a three-stage filtration system, which will leave the room air free of dust, dirt and debris, according to Miele. The dust bag also has a self-sealing collar which prevents anything vacuumed in from escaping.
Type: Canister | Run time: Corded | Dustbin capacity: 3.5 L | Weight: 14. 8 lbs
Best bagless upright vacuum: Shark
Shark NV352 Navigator Lift Away Upright Vacuum
This anti-allergen Shark vacuum, a favorite of Solomon’s, comes with a detachable canister for portability and a brush roll shutoff option that lets you easily switch from deep carpet cleaning to bare floor cleaning, according to the brand. The vacuum can also maneuver around tight corners and furniture, according to Shark, and also comes with an upholstery tool and two crevice tools for access to hard-to-reach spaces. Former Select editor Morgan Greenwald owns this vacuum and loves how easy it is to switch from vacuuming her hardwood floors to her many Ruggable rugs.
Type: Upright | Run time: Corded | Dustbin capacity: 1.04 L | Weight: 12.5 lbs
Best bagged upright vacuum: Kenmore
Kenmore Elite Pet-Friendly Vacuum
This bagged upright vacuum is pet-friendly thanks to its powerful inducer motor. This motor produces 20% more air power than the conventional Kenmore upright vacuum motor, enabling the brush roll to spin at a speed high enough to remove dander and stubborn pet hair, according to the brand. It has five height adjustment options and comes with multiple attachments, including a crevice tool, bristle brush and power roller. It also has a lightweight aluminum wand that can extend up to 10 feet for hard-to-reach spaces, according to Kenmore. Kadi Dulude, owner of domestic referral agency Wizard of Homes, recommends the bagged canister version from the brand, which she says “can handle the endless hair from a shedding lab without constantly getting clogged.”
Type: Upright | Run time: Corded | Dustbin capacity: N/A | Weight: 21.3 lbs
Best bagless canister vacuum: Miele
Miele Blizzard CX1 Cat & Dog Vacuum
The Miele Blizzard CX1 lets you switch between four suction power settings for different surfaces, including curtains, rugs, carpets and hard floors with the turn of a rotary dial. It also comes with multiple attachments, including a handheld mini turbo brush for picking up pet hair, a dusting brush and a crevice and upholstery nozzle. The brand’s hygienic emptying system can also separate fine and coarse dust so it isn’t distributed back into the air when emptying, according to Miele.
Type: Canister | Run time: Corded | Dustbin capacity: 2 L | Weight: 19 lbs
Best cordless stick vacuum: Tineco
Tineco Pure One S11
Dulude is a fan of cordless vacuums because they’re lightweight and convenient. She recommends the Tineco Pure One as a powerful option for hardwood floors: It has an LED panel on the top of the handle that displays the adjustable power level and battery time remaining. The brand’s smart dust sensor detects the amount of debris in front of it and adapts the suction power accordingly, according to Tineco. It also alerts you if the vacuum ever becomes clogged.
Type: Stick | Run time: 40 minutes | Dustbin capacity: 0.6 L | Weight: 11.46 lbs
Best lightweight stick vacuum: Dyson
Dyson V11 Torque Drive Cordless Vacuum
Solomon recommended Dyson’s cordless vacuums because they’re great for “compact apartments with minimal storage space.” This model from Dyson is one of the lightest vacuums on this list, weighing just a little over 6 pounds. It has a run time of up to 60 minutes on a single charge and the time remaining is displayed on the vacuum’s LCD screen, according to the brand. It comes with various useful attachments, including a crevice tool, dusting brush and a mini-motorized tool for removing pet hair. For larger spaces, the similar Dyson V11 Outsize has a larger dust bin and a run time of up to 120 minutes.
Type: Stick | Run time: 60 minutes | Dustbin capacity: 0. 75 L | Weight: 6.68 lbs
Best robot vacuum: iRobot
iRobot Roomba j7+ (7550)
This robot vacuum can map out an entire floor of your home to know where to clean, and you can set boundaries using the iRobot Home app to prevent it from going into specific areas. It can also empty its own canister after 60 days and return to its base when it knows it needs a charge, according to iRobot. The Roomba is compatible with both Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa voice assistants.
Type: Robot | Run time: N/A | Dustbin capacity: 0.42 L | Weight: 7.48 lbs
Best handheld vacuum: Shark
Shark Dual Cyclone Pet Pro Handheld Vacuum
This Shark handheld vacuum weighs under 3 pounds and comes with a self-cleaning brush roll that prevents hair from wrapping around it, according to the brand. It has a washable filter for easy cleanup and a large dust cup that lets you empty it out at the touch of a button. It also comes with a crevice tool to clean corners around your home and a scrubbing brush to remove any stubborn dirt.
Type: Handheld | Run time: 10 minutes | Dustbin capacity: 0.41 L | Weight: 2.8 lbs
What are the different types of vacuums?
There are a few different types of vacuums to consider, depending on your different cleaning needs and preferences. To help you simplify your search, we spoke to experts about the differences between the five types of vacuums available: canister, upright, stick, handheld and robot.
This type of vacuum has a separate canister that contains the motor and receptacle and equips a long hose that can be fitted with interchangeable attachments. It’s a great option for homeowners who have a mixture of stairs and surfaces to clean since canister vacuums are “much lighter and far easier to maneuver than upright vacuums,” says Solomon. Canister vacuums also have fewer moving parts than upright vacuums, which means they typically require less maintenance and fewer repairs. They provide excellent suction, “which is especially handy for bare floors,” Solomon says. However, canister vacuums are often more difficult to store due to their hose, wand and bulkier base, she adds.
Upright vacuums are great for homeowners who have large, wide-open spaces since they are typically easier to maneuver than canister vacuums. “The whole vacuum moves with you, making it less cumbersome than a canister model,” which requires you to move the bin around, says Carl Prouty, a tech expert at Abt Electronics. Upright vacuums also work well on both carpet and bare floors, making it easier to clean in multiple areas of your house, especially if you have pets that shed regularly, Solomon says. However, she cautions that upright vacuums also tend to be heavier than canister vacuums — weighing as much as 20 pounds — making it difficult to lift them up and down the stairs. And, unless the upright comes with a wand, they can’t clean vertical surfaces like walls, upholstery and curtains.
Stick vacuums are slim and lightweight, making them a good option for both quick cleanups and homes with minimal storage space. “Cordless models are simple to take around the whole home, and battery life on cordless versions is constantly improving,” says Prouty. These models are best for people with smaller spaces to clean, since they’re not as powerful as canister vacuums, according to Prouty. They’re also good for those who have kids and are constantly cleaning up spills and messes, he says.
A handheld vacuum is a compact cordless vacuum — it’s similar to a stick vacuum but smaller and more portable, which makes it a good option for vacuuming out your car or spot cleaning, according to experts. Since they’re typically the least powerful type of vacuum, our experts note that a cordless vacuum should complement a heavier-duty model like a canister or upright vacuum, not replace it.
A “smart” counterpart to the traditional vacuum, robotic models can run whenever you want — even when you’re not home — and reset themselves to charge. They help tackle forgotten corners and clean under furniture that larger models may not be able to. “These are the best option for people on the go, people with shedding pets or those who simply like tech,” says Prouty.
However, robot vacuums tend to be slower than most other types of vacuums, so they’re not the best option if you’re looking for a quick cleanup. “If you’re manually vacuuming, it might take 20 to 30 minutes, but it can take up to 90 minutes using a robot vacuum,” says Solomon. These vacuums also require some level of tidying up beforehand since they can move around more efficiently when the floor is decluttered.
How to shop for a vacuum
There are several features to consider before buying a new vacuum. Below, the cleaning experts we consulted shared their guidance.
Bagged versus bagless
Both upright and canister vacuums come in bagged and bagless models — the difference lies in where the dirt goes as it gets sucked up.
“Bagged vacuums generally do a better job of keeping dust and debris contained when you’re emptying them, but the bags are a one-time-use product so you’ll need to purchase new ones every once in a while,” says Prouty. Because bagged vacuums tend to keep these particles contained, Prouty adds that they’re typically a better choice for people with severe allergies.
Bagless vacuums, on the other hand, can be great for those who don’t want to have to worry about buying and changing out bags—these models employ a container, called a dustbin, that collects the dirt and debris. “You’ll want to be sure the size of the dustbin is big enough to accommodate your areas — having a small dustbin means you’ll need to empty it out frequently, which makes vacuuming your home take a lot longer,” says Prouty. He recommends looking for a dustbin with a minimum .25-gallon capacity for an upright bagless option, or .15 gallon capacity for a stick vacuum.
“Vacuum size is a major factor if you live in a small space with limited storage,” says Solomon. That weight can also be an important consideration if you have mobility issues, which can sometimes make lugging around a canister or upright vacuum more difficult, she says. In these cases, our experts suggest looking into a vacuum that’s lightweight and tall enough that you don’t have to stoop or bend over too much when using it.
If you have different types of flooring in your home, you’ll want to look for a vacuum that can accommodate all or most of them. And keep in mind that different types of carpets also require different settings. “Choosing the right floor setting is important to make sure you don’t ruin or scratch the surface,” says Dulude.
The lowest setting on most vacuums works well for bare floors and thin carpets, whereas the highest setting is optimal for thicker carpets and area rugs, according to Solomon. A thick high pile rug, for example, needs a higher setting, while bare wood floors need a low setting and no automatic roll brush, says Dulude.
Different vacuum models come with a range of accessories to fit your specific cleaning needs, especially when it comes to hard floors, upholstery and crevices. The most common attachments include a brush tool, which comes in handy when cleaning upholstery or curtains, and a crevice tool, which is “excellent at cleaning all the nooks and crannies of your home, particularly in between cushions and in between cabinets and vents,” according to Solomon.
Some vacuums may also include pet-friendly attachments like an upholstery cleaner that can collect pet hair on furniture and a detachable beater brush (like the rotating brush under the vacuum) that commonly gets clogged when met with large amounts of pet hair, according to Solomon.
The “dirtiest” place in your home may be the invisible air you breathe, explains environmental consultant and building materials specialist Marilee Nelson, co-founder of Branch Basics. “Particles in the air can not only be a vehicle for the spread of airborne disease and the major cause of many allergic and respiratory reactions but also a carrier for harmful chemicals called SVOCs, which ride on dust,” she says, adding that dust may expose us to bacteria, viruses, mold, pollens, harmful chemicals and more.
That’s why investing in a vacuum with a good HEPA filter is worthwhile: It can not only minimize the dirt on your floors, but also impact the air you breathe. Similar to air purifiers, vacuums with at least one High-Efficiency Particulate Arrestance (HEPA) filter can remove 99.7% of fine dust and airborne particles, according to the Environmental Protection Agency. They’re sealed and airtight, so all air sucked through the machine passes through the filter and no dust escapes back out at any point, even when emptying it.
“Cleaning regularly with a certified sealed HEPA vacuum dramatically improves air quality by reducing the amount of airborne allergens, dust and harmful chemicals in your home,” Nelson says. You can use a HEPA vacuum to address dust on virtually any surface, including stuffed animals, books, furniture, walls, ceilings, lampshades and cars, according to Nelson.
Meet our experts
At Select, we work with experts who have specialized knowledge and authority based on relevant training and/or experience. We also take steps to ensure that all expert advice and recommendations are made independently and with no undisclosed financial conflicts of interest.
- Caroline Solomon is a home organizing and lifestyle expert based in New York City.
- Kadi Dulude is the owner of domestic referral agency Wizard of Homes, which outsources housekeeping jobs to independent domestic workers.
- Carl Prouty is a tech expert and media specialist at Abt Electronics.
- Marilee Nelson is an environmental consultant, building materials specialist, certified baubiologist, and co-founder of Branch Basics
Catch up on Select’s in-depth coverage of personal finance, tech and tools, wellness and more, and follow us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter and TikTok to stay up to date.
Mili Godio is an updates editor for Select on NBC News.
Lauren Levy and Nishka Dhawan contributed.
How to choose a good vacuum cleaner, what to look for when buying
Let’s start our vacuum cleaner selection guide with a little request. In the process of reading this text, analyze the style of cleaning you are accustomed to. How do you usually vacuum: do you enjoy the process or, on the contrary, strive to end it as quickly as possible? Do you do a little cleaning every day, or do you do a big cleaning once a week? Do you have the patience, energy and time to dry the components after each cleaning, if we are talking about a washing vacuum cleaner? It is the analysis of your habits that will help you choose the perfect vacuum cleaner from a variety of types and models. After all, each of them has its own subtleties.
What are vacuum cleaners?
Standard. Consists of a housing on wheels with a dust collector and a motor inside, a suction hose with a pipe is attached to the housing. They feed on the network. They differ in dimensions, power, type of dust collector, quality of filters, etc. We will talk about them in more detail below.
Upright Small vacuum cleaners where the body and tube are essentially one piece. Can work from a network or from the accumulator. They take up very little space, but their suction power is generally lower, as is the volume of the dust collector. In addition, you cannot remove the net from the ceiling with them, since they cannot be turned over. Ideal for small apartments where there are no carpets or pets.
Manual. Low power compact vacuum cleaners that run on battery power. Not suitable for full-fledged cleaning, but useful if you need to clean the car interior or quickly remove spilled sand, earth and other contaminants.
Robot vacuum cleaners. Quite expensive “toys” that perfectly maintain cleanliness in the house, removing dust and small dirt in the area accessible to them, and some models can also carry out wet cleaning. They are battery operated and require recharging. Not suitable for large apartments or houses where there are carpets.
Hybrids. These are models consisting of an upright vacuum cleaner and a handheld vacuum cleaner, as well as upright vacuum cleaners in which the motor and dust collector are located at the top, near the handle, since when the pipe is disconnected, they turn into manual vacuum cleaners. Good for light daily cleaning. Work from a network or from the accumulator.
Decide on the type of dust collector
So, let’s start with standard vacuum cleaners of the usual design – they are sometimes called horizontal or balloon. They are divided into several types depending on the type of dust collector.
Disposable bags are hygienic and convenient: after 5-6 cleanings, you just carefully take it out and throw it away. The only negative is the need to buy new bags, which entails additional expenses.
Some models of vacuum cleaners also include a reusable dust bag. In fact, this is nothing more than a trick of the manufacturers: such bags are intended only for the Russian market, as our customers believe that it is very economical. In fact, a reusable bag is not very pleasant to empty (the dust that you shake out immediately rises into the air), and over time it simply becomes overgrown with dirt.
- The vacuum cleaner does not need to be cleaned after each cleaning – just throw away or shake out the bag about once a month.
- In almost any hardware store you will find disposable bags that will fit exactly to your vacuum cleaner model. In addition, there are universal types of bags on sale.
- As the dust container fills up, the suction power of the vacuum cleaner becomes noticeably lower.
- The fuller the bag is, the louder the vacuum cleaner works, because the motor has to “stress” to maintain normal suction power.
2. Cyclone filter
In this case, the role of a dust collector is played by a plastic filter container, in which a real air vortex is created during the operation of the vacuum cleaner. Garbage and dust fall into it and, under the action of centrifugal force, settle on the walls of the container. Smaller particles are retained by the filter system. After cleaning, the container must be shaken out and washed.
IMPORTANT: Compact upright vacuums only use this type of dust container.
- Cyclone vacuum cleaners provide initial suction power longer than bag vacuum cleaners, since dust, settling on the walls of the container, does not interfere with the passage of air.
- There are models that can use both a cyclonic filter and a dust bag.
- If a metal or glass object (for example, a coin) gets into the container, it will not necessarily settle to the bottom of the container and will probably knock against the walls of the flask until the end of cleaning.
- Cyclone vacuum cleaners are more expensive than bagged vacuum cleaners.
In this vacuum cleaner, the air passes through the water tank, where the dust settles. A pleasant side effect is that during cleaning, clean and humidified air comes out of the vacuum cleaner.
- Suitable for allergy sufferers and families with small children.
- The degree of contamination of the water in the aquafilter does not affect the suction power in any way, unlike models with bags and a cyclone filter.
- Before cleaning, you need to fill the filter with water, and then pour it out, rinse the tank and dry all the components of the vacuum cleaner, otherwise it will smell like mold. It takes time.
- The vacuum cleaner with aquafilter cannot be tilted over so as not to splash water, so you have to be very careful with it.
- Such vacuum cleaners are generally more expensive than cyclone vacuum cleaners with bags, and they weigh more and are less manoeuvrable.
- The power of such vacuum cleaners is on average lower than that of cyclone and bag models.
This is a separate category of devices that can operate in two modes – dry and wet cleaning. In the second case, the vacuum cleaner first sprays water and then sucks it up along with dust and other contaminants. In addition, it can be used to clean upholstered furniture, wash windows. To make cleaning more efficient, you can add a cleaning agent for a particular surface to the water tank.
IMPORTANT: The dust collector for dry cleaning of a washing vacuum cleaner can also be of three types: a bag, a cyclone container or a water tank.
- Excellent for long-term thorough cleaning of the entire apartment, eliminating the need to mop the floor.
- Additional room humidification.
- Many models must not be used on parquet and laminate flooring to prevent swelling.
- After cleaning, you will need to thoroughly wash the dust container and the aqua filter, dry all components, including the suction pipe.
- These vacuum cleaners are more expensive than conventional ones.
What to look for when choosing
Most vacuum cleaners are equipped with three levels of filtration. This is directly a dust collector (bag, container, water tank), a pre-motor filter and a fine filter at the outlet.
- Pay attention to their quality, find out how often they need to be changed (and if it is necessary), whether it is difficult to find spare parts
filters on sale, etc.
- Choose models with the possibility of replacing the pre-engine filter so that your equipment lasts longer.
- Fine filters are usually HEPA filters, which are assigned serial numbers
depending on their effectiveness. Choose vacuum cleaners with filters h22 and higher (up to HEPA h26,
which detain in the vacuum cleaner up to 99. 99995% dust).
- The more carpets, upholstered furniture and other fabric coverings you have in your house, the higher the power should be
– from 350 W, especially if there are animals in the apartment. Enough power for an apartment without carpets
at 150 watts.
- Vacuum cleaners powered by batteries are usually very low power, as are robotic vacuum cleaners.
- Do not confuse the power consumption with the suction power of the vacuum cleaner. The first is above, and it is precisely its some manufacturers
They try to point it out so that you will definitely notice it.
- Manufacturers offer many additional nozzles: for parquet, for crevices, for cleaning soft
furniture, clothing, round nozzle, turbo brush, etc. However, it is not certain that you will use them.
All. Most often, for standard cleaning, a classic brush, a carpet brush and a turbo brush are enough.
- Turbo brush is useful for those who have pets, as it picks up hair well. She spins
either due to the movement of air during suction, or independently – then the brush is connected
to the vacuum cleaner with a separate wire.
- The nozzle for washing windows on a washing vacuum cleaner will not rid the glass of dried dirt, but it is quite capable of removing
dust and slight dirt.
- This parameter is important for models with a battery, i.e. upright and handheld vacuum cleaners, as well as hybrids.
and robotic vacuum cleaners. The spread here is from 20 minutes to several hours, so be sure to
consider this characteristic, as well as the recharging time, which can also be very
- Pay attention to this if you have a large apartment and do not want to constantly switch between
from one outlet to another.
Main selection criteria:
Which vacuum cleaner to choose – with aquafilter or container?
Which vacuum cleaner to choose – with a water filter or a container?
If your loved ones are especially sensitive to allergens, it is better to choose a vacuum cleaner with an aquafilter and a filter that retains the smallest dust particles. The issue of replacing consumables and caring for the vacuum cleaner itself is specified in advance, before purchase. The Karcher vacuum cleaner is able to eliminate 99.997% of dust, normalize the state of the air, eliminate allergens and bacteria.
View prices for vacuum cleaners with aquafilter.
Is it difficult to understand the nuances and make the final choice? If the main selection criterion is maximum purity, we recommend Karcher DS6.000 Mediclean.
Specifications Karcher DS6000
Manufacturers are introducing new technologies, making vacuum cleaner models more functional, able to make cleaning easier and even turn it into a favorite pastime. And buyers are faced with a difficult choice: if not a vacuum cleaner with a bag, if you follow advanced technologies, then which vacuum cleaner to choose.
Models with aquafilter or container are available on the market. Both models are easy to prepare for cleaning, and then it will not be difficult to wash and put in a box. But they differ in many ways.
Let’s look at the design features of the first and second models, and try to understand what we ourselves expect from the new vacuum cleaner.
Models of vacuum cleaners with a container
A vacuum cleaner with a container has a second name – cyclone. This is due to the principle of operation of such a vacuum cleaner: the sucked-in air, due to the suction power, swirls in a spiral, according to the principle of a cyclone. The dust which has got with this stream of air settles down in the container on the filtering plate. Retains even the smallest dust – up to 97%. Dust particles practically do not get back into the air, because the exhaust air additionally passes through HEPA filters, which are distinguished by their special cleaning efficiency. However, maintenance of filters in such vacuum cleaners is an expensive pleasure. If you do not change the filter for more than a month, then its pores will become clogged with the smallest particles of dust, and the efficiency of the vacuum cleaner will decrease. The cost of the filter can be from $5 to $50, and this is the main disadvantage of this design.
Specific use of cyclone vacuum cleaners
As a rule, container vacuum cleaners have an original modern design, with a transparent plastic container. During operation, you will appreciate the convenience of this moment: you can always assess the degree of fullness of the container with dirt. Moreover, if we compare such vacuum cleaners with bag ones, then their suction power remains stable, regardless of how full the container is.
Care of the container is necessary after each cleaning. It is removed from the vacuum cleaner, freed from accumulated dust and dirt, washed under running water and dried. However, all this is much easier to carry out than cleaning a bagged vacuum cleaner. As a rule, the dust in the container is knocked into a ball or pressed into a briquette (depending on the model), so it is not difficult to remove it.
The downside is that if the bag vacuum cleaner can be cleaned as the filter bag fills up, then the container vacuum cleaner needs to be cleaned after each cleaning, otherwise an unpleasant odor will appear. Another important point: the dust must be shaken out of the container, and this is not the most pleasant moment, and if you are allergic or asthmatic, then direct contact with the dust is undesirable. To make their models more versatile, some manufacturers make it possible to replace the container with a disposable dust bag. This is an outlet for allergy sufferers. And also – a good replacement option if the plastic container is out of order (cracks, chips appeared, and it is not possible to replace it immediately; transparency is lost due to the deterioration of the inner surface of the container).
Pros and cons of vacuum cleaners with containers
- Easy to remove, clean, put back the container.
- The design feature makes this vacuum cleaner compact; it has a small weight and dimensions.
- Interesting modern design, plus the practicality of a transparent container – you can track the degree of filling.
- Noisy. As already mentioned, the main principle of operation of such a vacuum cleaner is an air vortex, and it creates a rather high level of noise.
- Fast container filling. If you are cleaning a large area, you may need to interrupt work to empty the container.
- HEPA filters in the design, which requires you to plan for the cost of replacing them, the time for their care and cleaning, because. filters become a habitat for bacteria and the appearance of an unpleasant odor.
Where is the cyclone vacuum cleaner used?
Container (cyclone) vacuum cleaner will be a good choice if you are looking for a relatively inexpensive model that is easy to use and do not intend to clean too large rooms.
Vacuum cleaners with water filter
Visually vacuum cleaners with water filter are very similar to cyclones. They have the same stylish design. The main difference between these models is the principle of dust collection: getting into the aquafilter, it gets wet and remains on the filter, and clean air comes out of the vacuum cleaner. Such vacuum cleaners may additionally have HEPA filters in their design.
Types of water filters
There are two types of water filters for vacuum cleaners, they have fundamental differences:
- hookah water filters
- separator water filters
The first ones are the simplest in design. Their disadvantage is the ability to hold only large particles of debris and dust, while fine dust, together with air bubbles, rises and returns to the room. To prevent this, such vacuum cleaners are equipped with fine filters – usually HEPA. As mentioned above, these filters need to be replaced monthly – you need to initially plan the cost of consumables. The condition of the filters must be monitored, because a humid environment contributes to the appearance of mold on them, a large number of bacteria and, as a result, an unpleasant odor. At the same time, the vacuum cleaner itself with a hookah filter is relatively inexpensive.
Separator type aqua filters work according to the following principle: dust enters through a hose with an air stream, where it is carried away into a vortex of water created by rapid rotation. The result is that both large particles of debris and fine dust remain in the water tank due to the high pressure created. Separator-type water filters provide a high degree of purification (almost one hundred percent), despite the fact that there is no need for frequent replacement of consumables. True, the initial cost of such vacuum cleaners is quite high.
How does a vacuum cleaner work?
In operation, a vacuum cleaner with a separator type aqua filter without HEPA filters is the easiest. Before starting work, you need to remove the container from the vacuum cleaner (having previously disconnected the hose), pour water using a measuring scale; return the tank to its place, connect the hose and start vacuuming. Upon completion of the cleaning, you will need to do the same, only in reverse order: empty the tank of dirty water and wash it under the tap. This option is best suited for allergy sufferers and asthmatics – pouring out contaminated water, you do not have to breathe dry dust.
If the vacuum cleaner has filters, you will have to wash, dry and change them additionally, which costs more time and money. In addition, the filter always collects bacteria and microbes on itself, and when it gets dirty, it worsens the quality of the air at the outlet.
Pros and cons of separator type vacuum cleaners
- Ease of use. Just pour out the dirty water after cleaning, rinse the container and dry it.
- Impressive power. The air flows freely, dirt on the filter does not reduce the flow rate, and therefore the suction power remains always stable.
- High cleaning efficiency. No matter how full the tank is, the cleaning is always flawless.
- Rather high cost.
- High weight. When compared with container vacuum cleaners, such models with an aqua filter are much larger and heavier; and with a tank filled with water – even harder.
Pros and cons of HEPA vacuum cleaners with aquafilter
- Easy to empty the tank of debris. Water with dust from the flask is poured into the sewer.
- Relatively low cost (separator models are more expensive).
- It takes time to maintain the vacuum cleaner: removing, washing, drying the main and additional filters, installing them back.
- More significant weight in comparison with container models. Design features cause larger dimensions. With the tank filled with water, the vacuum cleaner weighs even more.
- Possibility of unpleasant odors due to bacterial growth on a damp filter.
- Possibility of reducing the suction power when the filter is clogged.
Advice from the Karex expert:
Is it difficult to understand the nuances and make the final choice? If the main selection criterion is maximum purity, we recommend Karcher DS6.000 Mediclean. The name of the Mediclean series indicates that these vacuum cleaners can even be used in medical facilities, because. make ideally clean not only the surfaces in the room, but also the air in it.
They combine all the best that can characterize models with an aqua filter. With high dust collection efficiency, they are equipped with HEPA 13 and Perma Power filters in order to maximize the cleaning of the exhaust air and increase its humidity. But this does not complicate the work with a vacuum cleaner and does not require additional costs, since it is recommended to change the filters once a year. The intermediate filter is washed and dried every 2 months.
The best vacuum cleaners for the home – with aquafilter
If a vacuum cleaner with a container performs only one task – it cleans surfaces from dust, then the possibilities of a vacuum cleaner with an aqua filter are much wider.
- Aromatization of indoor air. If you add 1-3 drops of aromatic oil to the water tank, you can overcome unpleasant odors and give the room a pleasant aroma.
- Air humidification. Since cleaning is carried out with water, the air after cleaning remains fresher and softer, as after airing.