There are so many vacuum cleaners on the market these days that it can be difficult to decide which one is right for you. Do you need a vacuum cleaner for carpets or one for hardwood floors? Are you finally going to get your vehicle upholstery and sofa clean? In this guide, we will explore the different types of vacuum cleaners and help you decide which one is right for you.
What is a vacuum cleaner and how do they work?
A vacuum cleaner works by drawing in air through the vacuum cleaner’s nozzle, which is then forced through a filter and the dirt is trapped. The clean air is then forced out of the vacuum cleaner’s exhaust. Dirt, dust particles, hair, fur, and other foreign objects would be then trapped in the collection container for ease of disposal. It is generally electrically driven and comes in different types of shapes and sizes.
What are the different types of vacuum cleaners?
Upright vacuum cleaners
First introduced in the early 1900s, upright vacuum cleaners were the most popular cleaning equipment upon their debut. They come with a large dustbin and are easy to move around, but they can be quite heavy as the electrical components and cleaning apparatus are of a single body. Can only be used for cleaning carpets and floors in households and offices due to its weight.
Upright vacuums are the best for deep cleaning carpets. Their weight makes them feel much more powerful, but this also comes with a price: most upright models are louder than canister ones! Due to the additional power of an upright design, it can be louder than smaller models so consider this before purchase! If you’re after some peace-and-quiet time at home then look into quieter designs; they do exist (just ask any aisle worker).
- Pros: Powerful and has a motorized head for productive cleaning or carpets. The weight exerts pressure and increases efficiency in carpet cleaning.
- Cons: Heavy, not ideal for usage for those who have back pain. Noisy.
Canister vacuum cleaners
Sometimes referred to as a “canister” vacuum, these vacuums feature wheels and an easily maneuverable body that make them perfect for cleaning homes with carpeting or hardwood floors. Canister vacuum cleaners are more lightweight, but they do not have as much suction power. The cleaning apparatus is separated from electrical components and the collection container. This allows the user to have an easier operation as compared to what the upright vacuum cleaner offers. The wheeled body makes dragging the device across your floor effortless!
- Pros: Lightweight, allowing the user to move and clean freely with its wheeled body.
- Cons: Poor suction power.
Stick vacuum cleaners
They look like upright vacuum cleaners without the large dustbin on top of it. Instead, a thin rod connects the motor to the floor head where all the suction power is located at. These types of vacuum cleaners are great if you need something lightweight that is easy to store away after you clean your house or apartment with it. They are powered by batteries that are rechargeable via docking.
- Pros: Lightweight. Storage friendly.
- Cons: Unproductive and inefficient. Small collection container.
Handheld vacuum cleaners
Also referred to as the vacuum cleaner for cars, they are small in size that you can use for quick clean-ups. Generally used to clean your car seats for it is easily stored in the vehicle without taking much space and easily accessible when needed. May be used on sofa and upholstery but would not be as efficient as the other vacuum cleaners listed.
- Pros: Convenient to be used and stored in the vehicle with its compact size.
- Cons: Poor suction power and small collection compartment.
Backpack vacuum cleaners
If you’re looking for something that’s even more convenient than an upright vacuum cleaner, then backpack vacuum cleaners are just right for you! They are lightweight, portable, and easy to use. You can carry out vacuuming tasks as you carry them on your back. Suitable to be used in tight spaces or areas that are not spacious nor accessible for other vacuum cleaners such as upright and canister vacuum cleaners.
- Pros: Ease of use in tight spaces.
- Cons: The weight of the vacuum cleaner plus debris, dirt, and rubbish collected wears the operator out after some time. Has a time limit of operation due to the machine being if battery operated.
Robot vacuum cleaners
Small, autonomous vacuum cleaners that clean your floors automatically. Recent models are marketed with included mopping and dusting function for hard floors but in reality, they are just a marketing gimmick. Mopping and dusting with the robot vacuum cleaner would not be efficient as the components included in its miniature compact body are too small to carry out productive work. Moreover, mopping is not a viable cleaning method. You may read more here for more information.
The latest models of these machines have been designed to work in tandem with Deep Learning and Artificial Intelligence. This allows them not only to clean your house but also to map out areas for you so that they can be more thoroughly cleaned later on down the line!
- Pros: Scheduled autonomous cleaning with the help of AI mapping and navigation.
- Cons: Only maintains the cleanliness of the floor that has already been cleaned. Not suitable for proper removal of dust, debris, and other small objects. Has a small collection container.
Cordless vacuum cleaners
These had recently gained traction from household users for their elegantly designed looks and cordless operation. They come with a wide variety of motorized head accessories for different usages. As stated in the name, they are battery operated and usually come with a switch for at least 3 power modes that increase the rate of battery depletion by the power mode selected. They are somewhat a combination of handheld and stick vacuum cleaner with its bundle of accessories.
- Pros: Has various accessories for different situations and is cordless.
- Cons: Expensive. Has a small collection compartment.
Industrial vacuum cleaners
Somewhat similar to canister vacuum cleaners but better! Industrial vacuum cleaners are the best type of vacuum cleaners because they have the most suction power. They are also the most durable and can be used for a variety of purposes, such as cleaning floors, carpets, and furniture. Unlike the other vacuum cleaners listed above, it is also wet and dry applicable too!
- Pros: Powerful suction, wet & dry applicable, durable, large collection tank.
- Cons: Mains operated only.
How to choose a vacuum cleaner?
Now that you know about the different types of vacuum cleaners, how they work, and their strengths and weaknesses, it is time to decide which one is right for you. When choosing a vacuum cleaner, there are a few factors to think about before making the purchase.
1. Purpose / Objective
What is the aim of your purchase? What do you have planned for use with the machine? How long will each session last? What level of cleanliness do you want to achieve on a regular basis? These are some questions that you should ask yourself while looking for the right vacuum cleaner.
2. Features & Specifications
With the purpose in mind, we can decide if the portability of the vacuum cleaner is an important aspect. As an example, the wireless and portable backpack vacuum cleaner would be the best option among all if you are going to clean rows of seats in a cinema.
2.2 Suction Power
If you are planning to suck debris and other larger objects, you are going to need a vacuum cleaner that has a higher suction power. The industrial vacuum cleaner would be the perfect choice for you as not it only has the best suction power among all types, but it can also be applicable for wet situations too. You may find the metric for suction power on the specification label as Airflow (l/s), Waterlift (mm) or kPA
2.3 Wet & Dry
Vacuum cleaners are not always designed for wet applications, yet few can be utilized in such a manner. You may trust an industrial vacuum cleaner to clean up any liquid spills at home, regardless of whether it’s fruit juice or coke! When it comes to cleaning chores, a vacuum cleaner that is capable of being used in wet areas is advantageous. If you want to buy a wet/dry vacuum cleaner, look for the words Wet & Dry on the package label!
2.4 Collection Tank Capacity
The size of the vacuum cleaner’s collection tank is important as it will determine how often you have to stop and empty it during use. For larger tanks, you will be able to vacuum for a longer time period without having to stop and empty it. On the other hand, if the tank is small, you will have to stop more often to dump out the contents. This can be a nuisance and disrupt your cleaning routine.
3. Brand / Seller Reliability
It’s also critical to check the brand and seller of the vacuum cleaner you’re buying has a solid reputation. You might always attempt to do a Google search for the name of the company or vendor to get an indication of how well it has handled consumer issues and product complaints. This may be done in less than five seconds by scanning through the number of 4/5 star reviews on their Google Business Profile and rating.
Always ensure that the goods include at least a 12 months guarantee to protect you against manufacturing flaws. If a recently bought vacuum cleaner has manufacturing faults, you may be able to obtain a free replacement or repair without having to spend money on a new one if it is defective.
3.3 Aftersales Service
Make sure the vendor or seller you’re buying the vacuum cleaner from provides aftersales service. You may always seek assistance from your seller if you experience a problem with your purchase. Not all vendors provide this, and spare parts for repairs are not kept on hand by most of them.
As buyers, surely we’d like to obtain the best product at the cheapest price possible, which happens most of the time in Malaysia. This is not feasible. A good product with excellent components and performance has undoubtedly gone through extensive research and development, which is a costly procedure. Similarly, we would not want to pay an exorbitant amount of money for an item that does not function well. A vacuum cleaner may be purchased on the cheap, yet if it underperforms, it will be regarded as a liability rather than an asset.
You might sometimes discover the same sought-after product with a lower price from another supplier, but it won’t give a warranty or aftersales service if your equipment breaks down, and you’ll end up dealing with the problem. When you contact the second vendor who sells the same product at a somewhat higher price for aftersales service support, you are likely to be ignored since it was not purchased from them in the first place.
Since the pandemic, all types of business sectors have seen their material costs rise at an accelerated rate, raising the price of the finished item. Vendors and merchants must pay rent, bills, and salaries, which are also included in the product price you are purchasing. What we should not do is haggle a low- and mid-tier product price for top-tier items with vendors and sellers; instead, we should be rational about the other benefits that come with the pricing that has been established.
In deciding on a product, you should not prioritize the cost; it should simply be used as a filter to sift through viable goods under a specified budget. Brand/seller reputation, the inclusion of a product warranty, and access to aftersales services should all come before the cost of a specific item.
Not all of these features are essential when it comes to vacuum cleaner purchase, as has been mentioned on the subject of specification. The input wattage of a vacuum motor, for example, does not define the suction power of a vacuum cleaner. As stated by EnergyStar.gov here in their Market & Industry Scoping Report on Vacuum Cleaners in November 2011, “there is minimal correlation between power and cleaning performance.” RPM (rotations per minute) too can be said the same. Consider this: a bigger motor would merely need to spin at a slower rate to generate the same amount of force as a smaller motor spinning faster. In comparison, the larger vacuum cleaner has an advantage because it does not get as hot as the smaller vacuum cleaner motor. In the long term, the vacuum cleaner with a larger engine and slower rotation per minute will have a longer life than its counterpart.
Which is the best vacuum cleaner among all?
To be honest, there is no such thing as the “perfect” vacuum cleaner that can do it all. If it could do everything, it wouldn’t excel in any of the aforementioned situations. There are a variety of vehicles designed for various purposes, though none may take the place of every single one.
If you were to ask us on the best vacuum cleaner for the bang of your buck, the industrial vacuum cleaner would be the ultimate choice. When comparing the price per metric of suction power and size of the collection tank, the industrial vacuum cleaner blows its competitors away!
At the end of the day, it’s all about personal preference.
Which vacuum cleaner is right for you?
If you have a lot of carpets in your house, then an upright vacuum cleaner would be the best option. If you are looking for a lightweight vacuum cleaner that is easy to store, then a stick or cordless vacuum cleaner would be the best option. If you are looking for a vacuum cleaner with the most suction power that can also suck liquid and large objects, then an industrial vacuum cleaner would be the best option. No matter what type of vacuum cleaner you decide to buy, make sure to read up on vacuum cleaner reviews before purchasing so that you know that you are getting a quality product. It’s best to look out for a vacuum cleaner sale to get the best bang for your buck!
Thank you for reading our guide on how to choose a vacuum cleaner! We hope that this guide has helped you decide on which vacuum cleaner is right for you. If you do happen to have an old vacuum cleaner before hand, go through our guide on 5 Ways A Vacuum Cleaner Loses Its Suction before purchasing a new one! Happy cleaning!