bagged vacuum cleaners

Bagged Vacuum Cleaners offer the added convenience of easy disposal. All you need to do is remove and replace the bag. Unlike other vacuums, this leaves little opportunity for dust and debris to escape, forcing you to clean all over.

While they do require that you keep bags on hand, they make up for this inconvenience by being very allergy-friendly, and highly effective cleaning tools.

Finding a good one is challenging. Bagged vacuums are less popular than they once were. That makes the choice somewhat easier since there are fewer options available. But there are still a staggering number of choices. We’ve done the legwork to find the best-bagged vacuums available. We discuss their best and worst features, and what kind of person will benefit most from each model.

bagged vacuum cleaners

1. Soniclean Soft Carpet Upright Vacuum Cleaner

I believe that the Soniclean Soft Carpet upright vacuum cleaner is the best for carpets, especially high pile, plush carpets. It also has air filtration of the very highest standard. The bags are enormous and are amongst the easiest, and most hygienic to empty. If you have a lot of carpets in your home and require the cleanest, allergen free air, this would be the ultimate vacuum cleaner. It does come at a price though, the Soniclean Soft Carpet vacuum is certainly not cheap.

Vacuum cleaners that are truly capable of deep cleaning carpets are rare and will be more expensive than regular models. These machines usually have hard bristle brush rolls which are excellent at churning up stubborn dirt from deep within the carpet fibers.

The issue here is that the brush roll can be quite abrasive and that is not suitable for delicate carpet fibers. Soniclean have found the solution by using sonic vibrations (200 per second) to loosen the dirt. Apart from being highly effective, possibly the best method, it does this without making any contact with the carpet fibers. This allows for a gentle soft brush roll that won’t cause any harm to softest carpet fibers.

The unique and remarkable sonic vibration and soft brush roll system is complemented by a super-efficient, digitally controlled electric motor. This provides the suction needed for any type of carpet cleaning. It does this using far less electricity than most other vacuums and is one of the quietest. A button on the handle allows you to choose between a quiet mode, suitable for most carpets and hard floors, or the deep clean mode which uses the sonic bar for the most effective cleaning on carpets. Because powerful suction can make it difficult to move a vacuum cleaner on thick carpets, the Soniclean has an adjustable vent at the front of the cleaning head, this allows you to adjust the airflow for the type of floor you’re cleaning. The vent, combined with large wheels allows the Soniclean to glide easily, no matter how deep the carpet pile.

If you suffer from allergies, asthma, or sinus issues, this would be the best choice for two reasons. The exceptional bag design offers hospital-grade H13 HEPA filtration, removing 99.97% of dust and allergens from the air. The Sonic vibrations and great suction are highly effective at removing dust mites and pet dander that can be cause of allergies. Another benefit is the ultra-hygienic sealed bag that releases no dust when emptying.

This is a fairly large vacuum, yet weighs 10.5 pounds, and the handle can be pushed right down to the floor (7” clearance), allowing you to get under furniture and other places where a full-size upright vacuum may not be the best. It also has a really long 35’ power cord. Two easy to read warning lights on the floor nozzle inform you when the bag is full and when the vacuum has stopped because the brush roll has become jammed. The latter is a great safety feature that prevents damage when hair or large objects obstruct the normal brush roll function.

The Soniclean Soft Carpet Upright vacuum cleaner is expensive. It also doesn’t offer any attachments for above floor cleaning. Though it has to be considered amongst the very best for carpets and high-level air filtration. This is something that’s worth paying for, especially if it means improved air quality.Hoover WindTunnel MAX Bagged Upright Vacuum Cleaner, with HEPA Media Filtration, 30ft. Power Cord,…$179.99Rated 3.9 out of 5 by 1233 reviewers on Amazon.comBuy Now

2. Kenmore 31140 Pet Friendly Lightweight Bagged Upright Beltless Vacuum

This is a very accomplished upright bagged vacuum with top air filtration and the ability to clean every type of floor, from thick carpet to hard floors, remarkably well. It’s also one of the more affordable full-size upright vacuums designed for whole house cleaning. There are a couple of slightly annoying design faults that I’ll point in the review, but I wouldn’t let this detract from the many pros. In a nutshell, I consider this to be a great multi-function vacuum, offering real value for money.

One thing I really like about the way this machine has been engineered is the dual motor system. Instead of using a belt to drive the brush roll, it has a separate motor to power the rotating brush roll. This makes for improved reliability and less maintenance. It also makes for a very powerful brush roll, perhaps a little too powerful. It also makes the vacuum quite chunky and it’s heavier than many, at 19-pounds.

While I’m pointing out the less than perfect aspects, I may as well point out a common complaint. The exhaust vent that blows the clean air out of the vacuum is in the wrong position, it has a tendency to blow lightweight debris, like pet hair, away from the cleaning head.

Having got the bad news out of the way, let’s move onto the good and there’s plenty to praise about this machine. Firstly, the triple HEPA filtration can compare to the most expensive high-end vacuum cleaners, removing 99.97% of dust and allergens from the air. It has a great brush roll for carpet and hard floors. It moves easily across all floor types, thanks to 4 manually adjustable height settings (model # 31140) and 5 settings for the 31150 model. You can also switch the brush roll off for hard floors.

Despite being a large heavy machine, the Kenmore is fairly easy to use, it has a great LED lights on the floor nozzle and an ergonomic handle. The 30’ power cord is very convenient and wraps neatly around a caddy for storage. You have the benefit of an easy to use hose attachment and telescopic aluminum pipe giving 10’ reach for above floor cleaning. Additional attachments include a nifty pet hair remover with a rotating brush, a crevice tool, and dusting brush.

The Kenmore 31140 has a lot to offer at a very reasonable price. The powerful brush roll, great suction, HEPA filtration, and mini pet tool, make it one of top choices as a bagged vacuum for pet owners. I found a few bad customer reviews on Amazon, though I’m used to seeing this type of thing, even with products that are generally considered to be of a high quality standard. So. I’ll take these opinions with a pinch of salt. Overall, this seems to be one of the better vacuums for its price and Kenmore service is known to be friendly and very helpful. That counts for a lot in my book. 

3. Oreck Commercial XL Commercial Upright Vacuum Cleaner, XL2100RHS

For a US made commercial grade vacuum, the Oreck XL is incredibly cheap. It’s also extremely lightweight, considering the size and capabilities of this powerful machine. This must certainly rate highly amongst the best upright bagged vacuums at a refreshingly budget-friendly price. 

The old-fashioned industrial style design pays homage to the commercial nature of this vacuum cleaner. It has a wonderful handle and extra large capacity bag. This makes it fantastic for cleaning a large home with very little effort. The weight of 8-pounds is an unexpected delight, it looks like a heavy industrial vacuum cleaner, yet is a synch to carry. 

The double helix brush roll is superb on both hard floors and carpets and automatic height adjustment makes it easy when moving across different types of floors. Rubber trim around the floor nozzle act as a bumper, preventing scratches and marring when vacuuming close to furniture and walls. In addition to this, it has small side bristles that gently clean right up to the edges of the room. 

The top fill bag with easy removal is another great, user-friendly design feature. This also helps maintain the best suction as the bag fills. The handle has a 180°tilt to get in under low furniture and the low profile design makes this even more versatile. A wide, 12” cleaning path helps you achieve a lot in a short space of time. A 35’ power cord, that wraps easily around the back of the handle, is also a great convenience.

Simple design with a definite purpose defines this remarkable vacuum cleaner. It’s not going to win any awards for fashionable elegance. Instead it’s a machine made to get the job done with absolute ease. With no bells and whistles you’re paying for fine engineering and durability. This is a real common sense, value for money vacuum. 

4. Bissell Zing Bagged Canister Vacuum 4122

The Bissell name is synonymous with affordability and a good quality standard. The low price attached to the Bissell Zing 4122 canister vacuum is one of its biggest attractions. It’s fairly compact, but not the lightest. This really is a great bagged vacuum for hard floors, area rugs and hard carpets. I wouldn’t rate it as the best for thick carpets. While it does have good suction, the absence of a rotating brush roll, makes the Bissell 4122 less effective for deep cleaning plush carpets.

The general design is all very basic. The Bissell Zing looks pretty much like any standard canister vacuum cleaner. Air filtration is average, certainly not high-level HEPA filters. The floor cleaning nozzle is also the standard type. It has a foot control that engages and retracts the brush for hard floors and has a flat carpet cleaning base.

The hose and metal wand give you good reach and it has an easy automatic cord wind for quick and easy storage. I like the infinite power control dial which allows for multiple suction options depending on what you’re cleaning. There’s a full bag indicator on the canister.

The Zing includes all the regular attachments, a mini cleaning tool, crevice tool, and dusting brush. These clip onto the wand, making for really easy access. Carrying the machine is also delightfully easy, thanks to a superbly molded handle. While the weight of 12.5 pounds is not exactly the best, it is still quite manageable.

No one can deny that the Bissell Zing 4122 offers incredible value for money. You should be able to snatch up this little gem for under $50. That’s a really good price for a good quality vacuum cleaner from a brand with a loyal following.

5. EUREKA Mighty Mite Bagged Canister Vacuum Cleaner 3670h

The Eureka Mighty Mite (3670h) is another great budget canister vacuum cleaner. It’s wonderfully easy to carry and has a few extra features that make it a perfectly versatile bagged vacuum cleaner. Despite being one of the cheaper options, this is a durable appliance. For well over a century, Eureka appliances have earned a distinguished reputation for outlasting most others. 

This is a very conventional looking canister vacuum cleaner, none of the elegant curves that adorn most modern equivalents. This utilitarian appearance is in line with the basic, no fuss, workhorse nature of the Eureka Mighty Mite. It’s powerful, yet blissfully lightweight, only 8.6 pounds. With a well-balanced handle at the top, it’s really easy to carry around the home.

The extra-long hose and adjustable wand give you plenty of reach for floor and above floor cleaning. The cord is a fairly average 20’in length. Attachments are also pretty normal, a crevice tool, upholstery cleaner, and dusting brush. There is a unique advantage to this vacuum. With the flick of a switch it reverses the suction and can be used as a blower to get rid of leaves from your patio, or cobwebs and large debris from the garage.

For a below average price, you’re getting an above average vacuum cleaner. This is the true definition of a bargain. The Eureka Mighty Mite can hold its own alongside any of the best bagged canister vacuums and has the added versatility of doubling up as a powerful blower.

6. Miele Dynamic U1

Miele vacuums have always been a long time favorite of mine, making the Miele Dynamic U1 my top choice as the best upright bagged vacuum. I know Miele is an expensive brand. But I really feel this vacuum is worth paying extra for, there’s a good chance it will last a lifetime. Miele proudly advertise this models as being made in Germany and tested for an average lifespan of 20-years. In my experience, Miele vacuums last much longer than this and keep working perfectly for decades.

The modern euro-chic design of the Miele Dynamic U1 is as elegant as it is wonderfully practical. For an incredibly powerful (1,200W) upright vacuum with a motorized brush roll, it has a very slim low-profile floor nozzle. Though, like most Miele vacuums, it is on the heavy side – just over 28-pounds.

I suppose if you’re building a vacuum that’s going last 2 -3 times longer than your competitors, it’s better to use high-grade materials that will, inevitably, add weight. It also has two motors, one provides unrivaled suction, the other propels the powerful brush roll. This contributes to the extra weight but also adds to the durability and superior cleaning power.

To compensate for all this extra weight, the Miele engineers have done a lot to make the U1 easy to use. The handle design is as close to perfect as it comes. A large comfortable grip at the top is great and it has a swivel neck that works better than most conventional swivel steering systems. The handle can also be pushed down flat, parallel to the floor, for easy access under low furniture. Super-bright LED lights and the superb low profile design add to your ability to clean where many upright machines simply won’t do the job.

A large dial at the top allows you to select 4 different power settings and directly next to this is a touch button to turn the brush roll on or off. This makes it a breeze to clean the entire house, transitioning from thick carpet to hard floors with the touch of a button, or the flick of a dial, all within easy reach.

Few manufacturers can brag about HEPA air filtration that removes 99.99% of dust and allergens. This makes the Miele Dynamic U1 quite unique, certainly the best you’ll find if you’re concerned about allergies, asthma and the like. The hose pulls out easily and allows you to use any of the three standard attachments to clean more than just your floors. These are the upholstery tool, crevice tool, and dusting brush. I’m delighted to see that 5 Miele Type U Air Clean filter bags are included. These bags are responsible for the ultra-fine HEPA air filtration and are not cheap. Fortunately, they are really large, and five of them should last for quite a while.

When you’re paying around $600 for a vacuum cleaner, it’s understandable that many would ask if it’s actually worth it. In this case, or that of any Miele vacuum, I’d say it definitely is. Not only is the Miele Dynamic U1 a fantastic upright bagged vacuum with, arguably, the best air filtration, it is made to last. Few modern appliances, if any, display this level of durability and pure quality. The money that you’re spending today is going to keep you in good standing for several decades. In the end, when you consider the cost of replacing any other vacuum within 5 – 10 years, this is actually a fantastic deal.

Bagged Vacuum Cleaner Buying Guide

There are those who say bagged vacuums are too expensive in the long run because you have to keep replacing the bags. It’s true that bags are an additional cost, and some can be quite expensive. But, is it as simple as all that?

Some bagged vacuums have reusable bags, and these save on the cost of replacement bags. But, in my opinion, washable bags kind of defeat the purpose. The main advantage of using a bagged vacuum is that you don’t have any dust to contend with when emptying the machine. This is of particular value for those who are sensitive to dust, have allergies, or asthma. Reusable bags mean that you still have to deal with a lot of dust when emptying and cleaning the bag. Whereas disposable vacuum cleaner bags are designed for clean and easy bag changes. Removing and discarding a disposable bag is virtually dust-free.

Another advantage to using bagged vacuum cleaners over bagless is that the bags do all, or most of the air filtration. This means that there are no HEPA filters to clean. Some bagged vacuums may have a pre filter, but these are relatively easy to maintain. You also don’t have to clean out the dust cup. So, bagged vacuum cleaners are mostly about hassle-free and more hygienic maintenance.

One thing to consider is the price of the replacement bags as this is a cost that will be with you for the lifetime of the vacuum cleaner. There is a payoff to be made here, because the bags that offer the best air filtration are usually the most expensive. Then again, high-end replacement HEPA filters for bagless vacuum cleaners aren’t exactly cheap either.

If you’re going to buy a bagged vacuum cleaner for its high level of HEPA filtration, there’s little point buying knock-off cheaper bags. Imitation bags, costing much less than branded equivalents, are available for most known brands. However, these bags are cheaper for a reason, they are made from cheaper materials that don’t offer the same air filtration. It’s the bag that is designed to do most of the fine filtration that provides the clean air in your home. So, if a bagged vacuum advertises HEPA filtration, be aware that this is only guaranteed if you use the bags recommended by the manufacturer. As they say, you get what you pay for, and imitation bags may be cheap but are probably far inferior.

Vacuum Cleaner Buying Guide

A comprehensive guide that will give you all the information you need on how to buy a new vacuum.

Getting Started

Deciding on the perfect vacuum for your home can be tricky. There are a lot of styles, functions and high-tech features to choose from. So which one is right for you? This guide has been created to make your vacuum shopping experience as easy as possible. So let’s dive in!.Shop Vacuums


There are a few different types and styles of vacuums that we are going to address in this buying guide. We are sure you will find just the one to fit all of your cleaning needs.

Upright Vacuums


This style of vacuum is going to be the most popular type of vacuum that can be found in many households today. It’s the best go-to vacuum for removing dust and dirt from carpeting, and is able to clean large areas of carpet quickly. They also work well on area rugs and hard floors.However, it is good to note that not all upright vacuums can be used on hard floor surfaces, since doing so might cause damage to some floors and vacuums. If this is an important factor it’s smart to do research on the brand of vacuum you are looking into, to make sure it works well on hard floors too. A brush on/off switch is recommended, as it will help protect the finish on bare floors.Some other things to look for when deciding on your upright vacuum are onboard attachment, bag-less or not, and the weight of the unit. Upright cleaners come in a variety of styles and sizes, each varying in weight. Some uprights include edge cleaning, which picks up dirt under the entire area of the head. This is a helpful feature especially when cleaning wall-to-wall carpeting. Suction control is another useful feature to look at when cleaning draperies and upholstery.Shop Upright Vacuums

Canister Vacuums


Canister Vacuums are portable and easy to use. They are well suited for people who clean a variety of surfaces but are most popular for those who have little carpeting and like to vacuum their hard surfaced floors. They tend to be lighter than other vacuum designs, plus they have a highly maneuverable power head that can reach tight spots with ease.Canister vacuums have the motor and bag in a separate unit, which is usually mounted on wheels to help with maneuvering. The canister itself is connected to the vacuum head by a flexible hose. By using a revolving brush system or brush agitator, it can dislodge dirt particles from the carpet so they can be picked up easily; this comes in handy when picking up things like pet hair. Without a built-in revolving brush, canister vacuums use straight suction to clean. Most canister vacuums have a bag that needs to be replaced, however there are bag-less models available, which eliminates the additional cost of buying dust bags.Bottom line, this style is perfect for vacuuming hard-to-reach spots and furniture; it’s also great for cleaning cars and drapes as well.Shop Canister Vacuums

Handheld & Stick Vacuums


These types of vacuums are the smallest and lightest options available, they are often cordless and operate on batteries. They also offer lots of convenience when it comes to a variety of cleaning tasks around the house.Handheld vacuums are perfect for cleaning closets, vents, blinds, upholstery or car interiors, and made mostly for above-the-floor cleaning. They’re best used for tasks such as cleaning up small spills, getting cobwebs out of corners or vacuuming dirt out of windowsills.Stick vacuums are very similar to upright vacuums. The design is the same, but stick vacuums tend to be a lot lighter in weight and usually do not come with any attachments. If you have a multilevel home, a stick model vacuum is great to keep on the second floor and eliminate the need to carry your main one up and down the stairs. Not to mention, there are certain models out now which have been designed with handheld features, making it easy to clean stairs, ceiling fans and more.Shop Handheld & Stick Vacuums

Robot Vacuums


Robot cleaners are completely hands-free, battery-operated vacuums. They seek out and suck up dirt, debris and dust from carpets and hard surface floors. They are a great choice for light, daily cleanings and extremely popular with pet owners, allergy sufferers, busy households, or just anyone who wants their floors to stay constantly clean.A robot vacuum is self-propelled and programmable, so you don’t have to do any extra work when it comes to vacuuming. These nifty gadgets use sensors to avoid obstacles and stairs, while smart enough to still easily clean underneath furniture. If you’re someone who simply does not have enough time to vacuum regularly, a robot vacuum can help you solve this problem.Shop Robot Vacuums

Commercial & Garage (Wet & Dry) Vacuums

Wet & Dry

Commercial and garage vacuums are often referred to as shop vacs. They offer extra power when it comes to professional-sized messes. These vacuums are the perfect type when it comes to cleaning up things such as sawdust in basements, dirt and water in garages, or any other mess, wet or dry. Many labor workers use them on job sites as they can handle that kind of debris. To choose the right commercial or garage vacuum, one must think about how they will use it and where it will be stored.Smaller models will be easier to move around, but they will not be able to handle larger messes.Shop Commercial & Garage (Wet & Dry) Vacuums

Carpet/Steam Cleaners

Carpet/Steam Cleaners

Carpet cleaners come in a variety of different styles ranging from uprights to portable spot cleaners, even smaller handheld carpet cleaners, all of which are capable of cleaning and disinfecting furniture, drapes or rugs.Even if you vacuum your carpets pretty regularly things such as dirt, pet dander, bacteria and dust mites remain deep in your carpet’s fibers. To fix this issue, carpet cleaners use moisture and heat to loosen the dirt and stains that a regular vacuum can’t suction. Not to mention, they can also disinfect carpets by killing unwanted germs. If you’re looking for a deep clean, a carpet cleaner is your best bet.Steam cleaners have become very popular in recent years because they are considered the healthy and “green” alternative to cleaning. Many steam cleaners look like upright vacuums, they have a large tank that dispenses hot water with a cleaning solution, while another tank holds the dirty water. If you or anyone in your home suffers from allergies and chemical sensitivities, a steam cleaner is a healthy way to deep clean a variety of surfaces without aggravating allergy symptoms. You and your family can live healthier and breath better by using a steam cleaner on a regular basis.Shop Carpet/Steam Cleaners

Central Vacuum Systems

Central Vacuum Systems

Central vacuum systems are the most durable options available. Although they may be a bit more expensive up front, the lack of maintenance and longer lifespan often make up for the cost and then some. Unlike traditional vacuums, the motor and collector of a central vacuum system is installed into the home, typically in the basement or garage. From there, vacuum piping runs through walls, crawlspaces, or other out of the way areas of the home to floor or wall-mounted inlet valves in a handful of locations around the house. By attaching a hose to these inlets, like those used by canister vacuums, you’re able to vacuum all of the areas of your home without lugging around a heavy canister or upright vac. The hoses are typically 30 feet long, allowing you to vacuum multiple rooms from a single inlet. These systems also offer all the same kinds of attachments you’d find on traditional types of vacuum cleaners, from wands to crevice tools to pet brushes.Installing a central vacuum system offers a number of benefits over traditional models. In addition to their longer lifespan, central vacuum systems also provide far greater suction capabilities when compared to other types of vacuum cleaners. More powerful motors translate to greater cleaning potential, allowing you to pull more particles out of thick carpets or upholstery.

Central vacuum systems are also significantly quieter than their portable counterparts. Without the motor roaring next to you as you clean, the only sound is that of fast-moving air. Additionally, central vacs promote cleaner air quality by extracting and containing dust particles, allergens, and other contaminants, whereas other types of vacuum cleaners can end up releasing their smaller particles back into the air, often when being emptied.There are a handful of qualities to look for when deciding between central vacuum systems. First and foremost, you want to be sure to use a trusted brand. While you may save a few dollars opting for a cheap system, you’ll likely end up paying more in the long run with service calls and/or a shorter lifespan. For the best indicator of suction strength look at the Air Watts specification, with higher numbers signifying stronger suction. You also need to make sure the system offers enough suction to cover every corner of your home. Choosing a model that boasts a coverage area greater than the square footage of your home is a good idea as these numbers are calculated with perfect conditions in mind.Lastly, you’ll need to decide between bag systems, those that use filters, a hybrid of the two, or a cyclonic system.

Bagged systems use a bag inside their collector canister to contain debris. Although they don’t require outside venting, using a vent will reduce noise and odor. Filter systems similarly don’t require venting but benefit from it. These systems use one of a handful of filter types to protect dirt from contaminating clogging the motor, filing a canister or bag that needs to be emptied every three to six months. Cyclonic systems are the only ones that require outside venting. Most of the dirt is captured with the canister with a small percentage of tiny particles venting outdoors. Hybrid systems, those that use filters and bags are a great choice. They help keep the motor running clean and offer an easy to dispose of container for debris.Shop Central Vacuum Systems

Useful Features to Consider

Before settling down and picking a vacuum that will work best for you, take a look as some additional features that may be important or become important long-term:


Bag-less designs probably offer the utmost convenience by allowing you to simply detach the container unit from the vacuum. You can then quickly dispose of any dirt inside, without having to pull out and replace a bag. However, bag designs are still nice because they can usually keep dust contained a lot better, since the bag itself seals the dust away. This prevents any further messes from occurring when cleaning out your vacuum. Not to mention, if allergies are a concern the bag is definitely a smarter choice.

Multi-Surface Flooring

If you have a combination of hard surfaced floors and carpets, or lots of hard floors, a multi-surface vacuum is the best way to go. Multi-surface vacuums allow you to turn the brush roll on and off, so you can avoid scratching your hard floors when transitioning from carpets.


Filters are a must-have for anyone who is sensitive to dust or pet hair, as well as allergic to pollen. HEPA filters are considered to be the best because they remove particles such as dust, dander and allergens from the air. Some vacuum models feature a filter that needs to be replaced regularly, while some have started to include reusable filters that allow you to remove, clean and replace the same filter as necessary. Reusable filters would be the ideal kind to use, as they are a great money-saving option.Shop Vacuums

Vacuum Accessories & Attachments

If you’re looking to do more than just vacuum the floors around your home, you may need to consider certain vacuum accessories and attachments. In order to properly clean drapes, sofas and chairs, dust shelves, and get to all the nooks and cracks in your home, you’ll need the right attachments.A crevice tool is great for cleaning corners and tight spaces. A dusting brush can be used to gently dust shelves and tables, as not to scratch them. An upholstery tool is perfect for vacuuming your furniture without causing any damage. Turbo brushes can offer a deeper clean for longer carpets.

The Main Vacuum Types

There are five primary shapes of vacuum cleaners, each performing a slightly different function, although some combine those forms in order to provide more bang for your buck. Being aware of the expectations you have of your vacuum cleaner can help you more intelligently and decisively pick one of the following.

1. Handheld

Handheld vacuums are perfect for getting those painfully hard-to-reach areas that desperately need a cleaning. The most common example for use is in vacuuming cars, since, as the name suggests, this model can be held in only one hand. Its versatility makes it a dream for suctioning up dirt and debris in a variety of tight places, but it would not serve well for general flooring cleaning, which would take a long time to clean with a handheld. This type of vacuum cleaner comes in all sorts of different forms with equally different price tags.

2. Canister

Canister vacuum cleaners are a happy medium between the upright model and the stick model. They are powerful like the upright cleaners, but feature a slender frame, like the stick cleaners. In this case, a separate canister is attached to a long wand which can be used to maintain not only carpeted areas but also bare flooring as well. This style of vacuum cleaner tends to be one of the most expensive options, given its technologically-forward and multi-functional design.

3. Upright

These cleaners are perhaps the most popular and sought-after forms of vacuum cleaners. When you imagine a vacuum cleaner or see one advertised in media, the image you picture is probably that of an upright machine. These models provide the most powerful clean-up for your house, and offer the comforting benefit of usually easy-to-understand functions and accessories, since most people have used an upright vacuum cleaner at least once in their lifetime. Most models provide settings that allow these vacuum cleaners to be used not only on carpeted surfaces but also bare floors.

4. Stick

While perhaps the least powerful of the vacuum models, stick vacuums have a knack for getting into narrow places and doing a tremendous job on hardwood floors, area rugs and light carpeting. This type of vacuum features a long stick-like handle and a slender construction. The slimness of this model makes it a perfect addition to any closet space, as it tucks neatly into most corners after its purpose has been served.

5. Autonomous / Robot

Robot vacuum cleaners have gained a lot of popularity in recent years, mainly due to the fact that they require little effort on your end. These vacuums are able to roam freely around your home, sucking up any small mess in its way. They not only save you time, but they are also able to reach places that larger vacuums wouldn’t be able to, such as under the couch. One main drawback of robot vacuums is that they typically come at a steep price.

Vacuum Cleaners

Location, Location, Location

Do you have primarily hardwood floors throughout your house? Are these floors covered with area rugs, or are they bare? Is your home filled with wall-to-wall carpeting? These are considerations you must make before taking the leap and purchasing your very own vacuum cleaner.

Bare Floors:

If you have bare floors, you’re better off with models that provide a number of attachments and which don’t have quite as much heft as some of the others. Using a regular upright vacuum on flooring like hardwood poses a number of problems, which includes scratching your smooth and coveted floors and being counterproductive by scattering debris across their surfaces. Some upright vacuums do provide settings that function better on non-carpeted areas, but for the most part your best bet would be with a model like the canister vacuum, which can also take care of your area rugs if you have any. These vacuums usually come with a bare-floor brush, which makes keeping your floors squeaky clean and scratch-free a piece of cake.


On the other hand, if you have wall-to-wall carpeting, it’s definitely worth considering a model with different advantages than a vacuum cleaner suited for hardwood flooring and tiling. You won’t need to worry about scratching the surface of your carpet, and in fact, you’ll want something powerful that pulls up all the lingering debris from the carpet strands. In this instance, an upright cleaner is a great way to go. There are all sorts of extra conveniences that upright vacuums have recently come out with, including a dirt sensor which makes sure you get that last speck of grime.

Know the layout of your flooring and what sorts of surfaces you’ll be dealing with to ensure your needs will be met with your new vacuum cleaner.

To Bag or Not To Bag

The general consensus is that, whether you have a bagged vacuum or a bagless vacuum, your house will be clean either way (as long as you keep using it). However, there are a few small differences that may make or break your decision to buy one or the other.


If you or any of your family members are sensitive to allergens or have asthma, the bagged vacuum is probably more for you. Dust exposure is minimized when the bag is emptied and most bags are guaranteed to trap all but .03% of the dust and pollen in your carpeting. You do have to replace the bags on a regular basis, although these are typically available at most supermarkets.


If you are environmentally-minded and prefer to not have to deal with replacing bags, the bagless vacuum is more for you. These vacuums usually have a see-through canister which gives you perfect access to seeing how full the vacuum is, which can help you determine when you need to empty it out.

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