most powerful cordless vacuum

Today in our Most Powerful Cordless Vacuum review, we take a look at the cordless vacuum cleaners and the best corded stick vacuum models for you. Cordless vacuum cleaners are a great idea. While most aren’t as powerful as corded vacuum cleaners, cutting the wire is hugely useful and convenient. They let you clean in a completely different way. Instead of doing a big clean every week or so, it’s easy to get a cordless machine out to do quick spot cleans whenever you need.

Improvements in efficiency also mean that cordless vacuum cleaners are also getting better all the time. In fact, Dyson is so confident that cordless is the future that the company is no longer developing new corded cleaners, focusing on battery models, entirely.

In many cases, the quality of a cordless cleaner comes down to is accessories, with motorised heads, for example, helping lift up dirt and keep your home clean.

Not being tethered to a socket means cleaning takes less time, too. That means less back bending, plus cordless vacuums are lighter too, so they’re a good option if you have a bad back. They’re typically easier to use on stairs, and most are great to use in cars, making them even more versatile.

most powerful cordless vacuum

1. Samsung Powerstick Jet With Spinning Sweeper

An excellent all-rounder that can also mop your floors (Trusted score: 4.5/5)

Samsung PowerStick Jet VS9000 hero
Samsung VS20R9042S2 POWERstick Jet™ Cordless Vacuum Cleaner£509
In Stock

After a few years where Samsung vacuum cleaners were hard to find and not particularly good, comes the brand-new Samsung Powerstick Jet With Spinning Sweeper. This model isn’t just a cordless vacuum cleaner, it’s also (as you can tell from the name) a hard-floor cleaner, using two spinning microfibre cloths to wash floors as well as vacuum.

Results from the mopping are excellent, picking up stubborn stains and leaving floors free of ground-in marks and stains that a vacuum cleaner can’t pick up.

Don’t worry about vacuuming performance, as the Samsung Powerstick Jet With Spinning Sweeper is also an excellent vacuum, complete with all of the accessories that you could need. It picked up all of our test dirt with ease, showing that this is a very powerful vacuum cleaner.

It comes with a huge variety of accessories, too, letting you clean into pretty much every area of your home.

There’s a removable battery, too, and you can buy a second battery if you want to extend runtime for the cleaner. Cleverly, the stand can charge one battery inside the cleaner, and there’s a spare charging slot for charging the second battery, too.

If you want one device to vacuum and clean your floors, there’s nothing else quite like this versatile vacuum. With the Powerstick Jet With Spinning Sweeper, Samsung has one of the most practical vacuum cleaners that money can buy.

Vacuum cleaner type: Cordless vacuum and mop, Size: 250 x 1136 x 215mm, 2.8kg, Provided heads: Motorised floor head, small motorised brush, crevice tool, upholstery brush, angle tool, mop, Bin capacity: 0.5-litres, Bagless: Yes, Run time: 60-minutes

Buy Now from EBay for £509
Also available at Amazon (£599.00)

2. Dyson V11 Absolute

The best vacuum cleaner, full stop (Trusted score: 5/5)

Dyson V11 Absolute standing up

BRAND NEW Dyson V11 Absolute Main Body with Battery, Bin & Filter£300
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Last year’s Dyson Cyclone V10 was a pivotal moment: it marked Dyson’s shift away from developing new corded models, with only new cordless models to come. This year, we’ve got the second product to come out, the Dyson V11. Although it looks very similar to the V10, the V11 has several improvements.

First is the screen on the back. This may seem like an odd thing to include, but it shows you the battery time remaining in minutes, which is far more useful than the V10’s set of LEDs that only show rough charge remaining. This display also shows you which power mode you’re in (Eco, Medium or Burst), and can show you what to do if your vacuum develops a problem.

Dyson has boosted the power of the V11, making it a step up from the V10. There’s a larger battery, too, which now delivers up to an hour of cleaning using the motorised floor head; the V10 had up to an hour of battery life but only with non-powered heads. And, there’s now the High Torque brush head, which sends feedback to the main unit to adjust power on the fly to suit the surface: you get more suction on the carpet and a gentler suction on hard floors.

Most importantly, the V11 is an excellent performer, cleaning up everything that we could throw at it. With this model, you can safely throw away your corded model and go battery powered. This is not only the best cordless vacuum cleaner but the best vacuum cleaner.

Vacuum cleaner type: Cordless vacuum cleaner, Size: 1286 x 250 x 261, 3kg, Provided heads: Motorised floor head, soft roller, mini roller, crevice tool, dusting brush, combination tool, Bin capacity: 0.76-litres, Bagless: Yes, Run time: 60 minutes Eco, 12 minutes Max

Buy Now from EBay for £300
Also available at Currys (£599), Dyson Cleaners (£599.99), and Argos (£599.99)

3. Shark ICZ160UKT

Shark DuoClean Anti Hair Wrap ICZ160UKT Cordless Vacuum Cleaner with Powered Lift-Away and TruePet – Red, Red£429
In Stock

A supremely flexible vacuum cleaner that can replace a traditional upright

Shark ICZ160UKT hero

Shark has done some incredible things with vacuum cleaners, coming up with new designs. With the Shark ICZ160UKT, the company is bringing one of its most-loved features from its corded range: lift-away mode. This cordless vacuum cleaner operates like a standard upright vacuum cleaner, but with lift-away mode, you can pull out the main cylinder and carry just this around.

The benefit of this system is that once you have the lift-away section where you want it, you can get spot and detail cleaning without having to support the entire weight of the cleaner. Not only does this mean that you can get into hard-to-reach areas with the long hose, but there’s less fatigue from cleaning. If you struggle to continuously lift a handheld vacuum cleaner, the Shark ICZ160UKT is a great alternative; even if you find handheld models easy to use, the ICZ160UKT is still a brilliant option and very flexible.

As well as being flexible, the Shark ICZ160UKT is powerful, too, easily sucking up all of our test dirt on carpet and hard floors, and making short work of pet hair. It’s nice to see the anti hair wrap tech on the main roller, too, which stops hair clogging on the floor head. You can buy this model with one or two batteries, with the latter doubling run time to give you powerful whole-home cleaning. If you want a flexible cordless vacuum to replace a plug-in one, this upright replacement is an excellent choice.

Vacuum cleaner type: Cordless, Size: 1080 x 250 x 260mm, Provided heads: DuoClean floor head, upholstery tool, crevice tool, brush, mini motorised tool, Bin capacity: 0.6-litres, Bagless: Yes, Run time: 50-minutes

Buy Now from Currys for £429
Also available at EBay (£429), and Very (£429.99)

4. Dyson Cyclone V10 Absolute

Better value than the Dyson V11 (Trusted score: 5/5)

Dyson Cyclone V10 Absolute vacuum£449
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Dyson CleanersView

The Dyson Cyclone V10 Absolute is the pinnacle of cordless technology. In fact, Dyson is so sure of the capabilities of this cordless vacuum that it is no longer developing new corded models. Fortunately, the Cyclone V10 Absolute lifts up to its claims, and isn’t just one of the best cordless vacuum cleaners that we’ve tested; it’s one of the best vacuums full stop.

The new digital motor is 20% lighter and 20% more powerful than the one fitted to the Dyson V8. At full speed it runs at 125,000rpm, generating the kind of suction that you’d expect from a plug-in cleaner. With the battery lasting at up to 60 minutes, the Cyclone V10 Absolute will last long enough on a single charge to tackle most homes.

The Absolute ships with all of the tools that you need, but the motorised heads for carpets and hard floors particular impress. In our tests, the Cyclone V10 Absolute managed to pick up all of the mess from our carpet, hard floor and pet hair tests. And, the handheld body makes tackling everything from cars to sofas simple, too. With the cleaning power to outdo plug-in vacuum cleaners, the Dyson Cyclone V10 Absolute is the future of vacuums.

Vacuum cleaner type: Cordless vacuum cleaner, Size: 1286 x 250 x 261, 2.6kg, Provided heads: Motorised floor head, soft roller, mini roller, crevice tool, dusting brush, combination tool, Bin capacity: 0.76-litres, Bagless: Yes, Run time: 60 minutes Eco, 12 minutes Max

Buy Now from Dyson Cleaners for £449
Also available at Currys (£449), Very (£449.99), and Argos (£449.99)

5. Shark IZ251UKT

A dual-battery powerful vacuum cleaner for whole-house cleaning (Trusted score 4.5/5)

Shark IZ251UKT hero
Shark Cordless Stick Vacuum Cleaner [IZ251UK] Anti Hair Wrap , Twin Battery, Purple£443.99
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Shark has taken everything that we love about its corded vacuum cleaners and put them into this powerful cordless model. One of the best features on the Shark IZ251UKT is the DuoClean head, which is designed to work on both hard floors with the soft roller and carpets with the brush. It works brilliantly and gives you full cleaning performance on all surfaces, without having to change heads.

This floorhead also uses Shark’s Anti Hair Wrap tech, which means that long hair and pet hair doesn’t get wrapped around the roller, so there’s no messy cleaning job to do here.

Shark has its Flexology tech here, too. With this, the handle can be flipped over for storage, with the vacuum cleaner standing upright by itself (it can’t stand upright with the handle extended, sadly); the flippy handle can also be used to get the floor head under furniture without having to bend down.

Shark includes two batteries in the box, both of which can be charged at the same time in the dual battery charger, giving up to 80 minutes of runtime on the lowest power setting. This should give enough power for even a large house. Cleverly, the vacuum turns on in low power mode with a switch, but there’s a trigger to quickly engage Boost mode when you need a bit more oomph. This setup helps save battery life, as you only ever engage Boost mode for a short period.

If you’re looking for a powerful all-rounder to replace a corded vacuum cleaner, this is an excellent choice.

Vacuum cleaner type: Cordless, Size: 1180 x 260 x 245mm, 4.1kg, Provided heads: DuoClean motorised floor head, upholstery tool, crevice tool, dusting brush, anti-allergen dusting brush, motorised pet brush, Bin capacity: 0.4-litres, Bagless: Yes, Run time: 80-minutes (two batteries)

Buy Now from Amazon for £443.99
Also available at EBay (£449), John Lewis & Partners (£449), and Currys (£449)

6. Vax ONEPWR Blade 4

Great value option suitable for whole-home cleaning (Trusted score: 4.5/5)

Vax ONEPWR Blade 4 hero
Vax ONEPWR Blade 4 Upright Cordless Vacuum Cleaner, Graphite/Blue£219
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John Lewis & PartnersView

Last year’s Vax Blade 2 Max was a surprisingly powerful cordless vacuum cleaner pretty much capable of managing your entire home. This year, the company is back with a refined, better model, the Vax ONEPWR Blade 4 Max. Effectively the same cleaner as last year, with the same powerful cleaning option, this year’s model now has a removable battery and is part of the ONEPWR family.

Not only does this mean that you can add extra batteries into the mix to extend battery life, letting you go beyond the maximum 45 minutes that the included battery provides, but you can swap batteries between other products in the range. This not only gives you more flexibility but means that the ONEPWR Blade 4 is now capable of handling even large homes if you buy extra batteries.

The main stick comes with a motorised brush head that’s great for multiple surfaces and has a handy light to highlight any dirt. You also get a crevice tool and brush in the box, but that’s it: you have to pay more for the additional tools accessory, although Vax offers a free accessory kit if you buy direct.

Operation of the vacuum is easy, with a button to turn the cleaner on – there’s no pistol grip that requires continuous pressure here. Although the wall mount doesn’t charge, that’s not an issue here, as you can remove the battery and drop it onto the charging dock.

Well-priced and with powerful cleaning, you have to spend a chunk more to get more powerful suction and a greater range of tools.

Vacuum cleaner type: Cordless, Size: 1140 x 240 x 185mm, 3kg, Provided heads: Motorised floor head, crevice tool, brush (optional toolkit include upholstery tool with a clip-on stiff brush, extendible crevice tool and a flexible extension hose), Bin capacity: 0.6-litres, Bagless: Yes, Run time: 45-minutes standard, 12-minutes turbo

Buy Now from John Lewis & Partners for £219
Also available at Amazon (£219.00), Argos (£219.99), and Littlewoods (£279.99)

7. Hoover H-Free 500

An incredibly small vacuum cleaner that’s easy to store (Trusted score: 4.5/5)

Ninja Health Grill & Air Fryer AG301UK small storage
Hoover H-FREE 500 Home HF522BH Cordless Vacuum Cleaner – Red & Black, Red£149
In Stock

To some degree all cordless vacuum cleaners are small and lightweight when compared to plug-in models, as they’re all designed to be portable. However, there are variations and we’ve seen some rather chunky cordless models that aren’t well balanced. If you want something really light that’s easy to wield, the Hoover H-Free 500 could be for you.

This tiny model weighs just 2.2kg, so it’s easy to pick up and move around, whether you’re cleaning the floor or need to get up high around your ceilings. It’s also one of the easiest models to store, with the bin section clipping onto the wand to make the vacuum half-height to fit in a cupboard. It’s quite an impressive storage method and means that you can pretty much place the vacuum where you want it.

This model ships with a single battery promising up to 45 minutes of life, although you can buy additional models if you’d like to extend run time. Depending on the size of your house, you may need to do this, as we found that the H-Free 500 needed frequent bursts of its max power mode to really clean up. Cleaning was impressive, though, across all of our usual tests: carpet, hard floor and pet hair.

Our one minor complaint about this model is that the floor head has fiddly slide-in strips to convert it from carpet to hard floor mode. That aside, the quality cleaning and small body make this vacuum a winner, particularly for those struggling to use a larger model.

Vacuum cleaner type: Cordless, Size: 1179 x 252 x 195mm, 2.2kg, Provided heads: Motorised floor head, crevice tool, combination dusting tool and furniture brush, Bin capacity: 0.45-litres, Bagless: Yes, Run time: 45-minutes

Buy Now from Currys for £149
Also available at EBay (£149), Amazon (£149.00), and Argos (£169.99)

8. Vax ONEPWR Cordless Hand Vac

A superb and powerful handheld vacuum cleaner that’s brilliant for those small jobs

Vax ONEPWR Cordless Hand Vac hero

Sometimes, it even feels like too much hassle to walk to the hall cupboard to grab the cordless vacuum cleaner, which is where the Vax ONEPWR Cordless Hand Vac comes in. A throwback to the Dustbuster days of vacuum cleaners, this vacuum is small and easy to store where you need it, ready to go for those smaller jobs, such as cleaning up in the kitchen after cooking.

Using the same battery system as Vax’s other ONEPWR range, you can swap battery packs in and out between the other tools. Using the same batteries tells you something else important about this product: it’s extremely powerful. In fact, in our tests, this cordless vacuum cleaner was just about as powerful as a regular vacuum cleaner, sucking up all of our test dirt with ease.

Vax doesn’t sell this model with a battery, so it’s comparatively cheap. However, this does mean that it’s best paired with another product in the Vax range so that you’re getting the best value and have devices to swap batteries between. That’s not a problem, as the ONEPWR range is excellent, with everything from traditional stick cordless vacuums, to a carpet cleaner and a hard floor cleaner.

If you need a vacuum cleaner that’s ready to go when you need it, then the Vax ONEPWR Cordless Hand Vac is an excellent choice and comes highly recommended.

Vacuum cleaner type: Cordless hand vacuum, Size: 420 x 120 x 155mm, 1.1kg, Provided heads: Crevice tool, Bin capacity: 0.3-litres, Bagless: Yes, Run time: 25-minutes

Buy now from Vax for (£49.99)

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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