Some of my readers ask me, “Mary, do I really need a vacuum cleaner?”
To make your life easier, I’ve made up a list of personal tips on how to choose the best vacuum cleaner.
Select the main type of cleaning
The vast majority of vacuum cleaners are designed specifically for dry cleaning, that is, for simple suction. These can be models with any type of construction. All garbage in them is collected in special bags, containers, or tanks.
Models with this function can be used for cleaning tiles, carpets, upholstery, as well as for washing windows and easily collecting spills.
In the case of standard vacuum cleaners, wet cleaning involves spraying and sucking in moisture. Therefore, these vacuum cleaners are the most efficient of all. However, there are also enough disadvantages. This is both cumbersome and heavy, and, of course, a high price. Besides, one cannot fail to note the need for thorough rinsing and drying of all parts after each use.
Upright vacuum cleaners and wet cleaning robots usually use special microfiber nozzles and water containers. It is a simple wetting of the floor after sucking the dust.
Single models of robotic vacuum cleaners can spray water in front of them, and then wipe it with a sponge or microfiber.
Any household wet vacuum cleaner can operate in dry mode.
It is generally accepted that washing vacuum cleaners cannot be used for laminate and parquet, however, inexpensive models, special nozzles are provided for such coatings. They instantly absorb the remaining liquid and prevent the boards from deforming.
Pay attention to the dust collector
The dust bag can be either reusable with a cloth base or disposable paper bag. The latter is filled on average in 4–5 cleanings. After that, it must be replaced.
Many models with such a dust collector allow you to choose which bags to use. The set can be supplied with several papers and one fabric bag.
A cyclone filter means a removable container, through which air flows in a spiral. Under the action of centrifugal force, the sucked-in dust is pressed against the walls and settles to the bottom of the container. Cleaning is as simple as possible: you just need to shake out the garbage and rinse the container.
Here the air is driven through a reservoir with water, which is the filter element. All dirt and dust settle in the liquid, and the already humidified air goes back into the room through an additional filter.
Only standard horizontal vacuum cleaners are equipped with aqua filters.
Some models have several types of dust collectors. They can complement each other or be used interchangeably.
Check the suction power
It is this indicator that characterizes the strength with which the vacuum cleaner will draw in dust and your curtains. If the apartment has a lot of carpets or other fabric coverings, then the vacuum cleaner must be appropriate.
All cordless vacuum cleaners can be classified as low-power. Handheld models and robots suck worst of all. Their power usually starts from 10 W and reaches 50 W.
Upright and hybrid vacuum cleaners have a slightly wider range: from 20 W to 150 W, in rare cases – 200 W
A power of 100-150 W will be enough to maintain cleanliness in an apartment with bare floors.
Even the most affordable standard vacuum cleaners have an average suction power of 250-280 watts. If the apartment has animals and carpets, then it is better to consider models from 350 watts. These will allow you to get rid of not only dust and debris but also of your pet’s hair.
In the case of the device, not the suction power may be indicated, but the power consumption, which is always several times higher. This is a marketing ploy, don’t be fooled.
Some standard vacuum cleaners have a maximum power of 750 watts. Such devices will perfectly cope with long carpet pile.
It is also important to note that as the dust bin fills up, the suction power will decrease. This applies to all vacuum cleaners except models with aqua filters. For them, the degree of water pollution in the tank does not affect the suction power in any way. This is an undeniable plus.
Check out the filters used
Most modern vacuum cleaners use two filters. The first, pre-engine, is made of foam rubber, felt, or similar material that can pass air. With this filter, dust is retained that has not settled in the dust container.
There is also an outlet fine filter that retains the finest dust particles when returning air to the room. It can be of three types.
These are the most common output filters, which are complex fiber systems. The higher the filter class, the better the cleaning.
The main classes of HEPA filters and the percentage of particles retained:
HEPA H10 – up to 85%;
HEPA H11 – up to 95%;
HEPA H12 – up to 99.5%;
HEPA H13 – up to 99.95%;
HEPA H14 – up to 99.995%;
HEPA H15 – up to 99.9995%;
HEPA H16 – up to 99.99995%.
It is recommended to consider vacuum cleaners with HEPA filters of class H13 and above. These can trap even tobacco smoke and pollen, which will be especially important for allergy sufferers.
The air is cleaned not only through physical barriers, like in HEPA filters, but also due to electrostatics. S-class filters are believed to be better at capturing odors, but overall they can be compared to HEPA H12 in terms of cleaning efficiency.
Such filters are used in relatively inexpensive vacuum cleaners. They can have a foam backing or compressed microfibers. They are usually inferior in the degree of cleaning to the same class H12, and they need to be changed much more often.
Whether it is possible to wash the filter, how often to change it, and whether it should be done at all depends on the specific model of the vacuum cleaner. All this should be indicated in the instruction manual.
Check for the correct attachments
In addition to the standard brush for floors and carpets, modern vacuum cleaners can be equipped with attachments for cleaning upholstered furniture, clothes, or vacuuming dust from crevices.
Expensive vacuum cleaners designed for cleaning laminate, cork, or parquet flooring can be supplemented with nozzles with elastic bristles made from natural horsehair. They allow you to gently clean the most delicate natural surfaces.
Also, washing vacuum cleaners can be supplemented with nozzles for cleaning windows. They will not cope with dried dirt, but they will allow you to clean windows.
For owners of cats and dogs, the turbo brush may be the most useful attachment. She perfectly collects pet hair from upholstered furniture and carpets, if the pile of the latter is no longer than 1.5 cm.
The turbo brush can be mechanical or electrical.
The first moves due to the sucked air and the second have its drive, which is connected to the vacuum cleaner with a separate wire.
Don’t forget important details
Check-in advance for the convenience of the controls and the presence of the necessary buttons on the handle or body. For example, in the case of powerful vacuum cleaners, a suction force regulator may be useful. It comes in handy when cleaning delicate surfaces.
Dust bin capacity
If you are not ready to clean the vacuum cleaner after each cleaning, take models of the horizontal type with dust bins of 3 liters or more.
The radius of action
When purchasing a wired vacuum cleaner, estimate the approximate length of the cord in advance. It should be enough for cleaning one or more rooms without constant transitions from outlet to outlet.
Upright, handheld, and robot vacuum cleaners can work from 20 minutes to several hours on a single charge. The spread is very large, this should be taken into account when buying.
If this parameter is important, attention should be paid to vacuum cleaners with bags. They are usually 10–20 dB quieter than container ones.
The tube can be split, one-piece, or telescopic. The latter is usually much more convenient and practical.
Suction vacuum pipe
The pipe must be securely fixed on the body of the vacuum cleaner and not tilt under its weight. You can check this in the store.
Rubber wheels and bumper
Rubber and silicone in vacuum cleaner finishes are used to protect furniture and floor coverings from accidental impacts.
Automatic cord rewind
Almost all wired vacuum cleaners have this feature today, but just in case, check it out.
I hope this video will help you to choose the best vacuum cleaner for your home.
I think you will appreciate my job.
To keep you vacuum in good condition and use it longer, here are How to Keep Your Vacuum Cleaner in Tip Top Condition.