Most Popular Vacuum Cleaners
Shark Rotator Lift-Away - Reviews, Prices, Specs and Alternatives
Shark Rotator Lift-Away
Vacuum cleaners come in all shapes and sizes. Some of the most common types include upright, handheld, canister, stick, robotic, and drum.
Upright vacuums are probably what you picture when someone mentions a vacuum—the stand-up vacuum with a stick handle and bin attached to the motor and suction device. These types are typically the most versatile with settings and tools that allow you to clean different surfaces, as well as the corners and crevices of your home.
Handheld vacuums are small enough and lightweight that you can hold them in your hand. They are best for getting into those hard-to-reach places that larger hoses and machines can’t clean. However, they are not recommended for general floor cleaning as that would be inefficient and take a very long time. They are also typically battery powered and portable, or they have a very long cable.
Canister vacuums have a tank that’s separate from the suction portion, connected by a long hose. Because the handle is separated from the dustbin, it’s more compact and lightweight without sacrificing powerful suction, which makes it easier to clean tight corners, underneath furniture, stairs, and more. The downside is that you have to drag the tank around with you as you clean, which can be a nuisance.
Stick vacuums are lightweight with a very slim design for quick cleaning and touch-ups. They are less powerful than other vacuum types, so they’re best for wood floors and light carpeting. However, they are especially good at cleaning tight spaces due to their compact construction. They are also very easy to store since they don’t take up a lot of space.
Drum vacuums are heavy-duty, industrial vacuums most commonly used commercially (e.g., in hotels) or for very large homes. They consist of a very large tank, typically on wheels, with large electric motors and a variety of attachments to clean many different surfaces. To help cover larger areas, drum vacuums have much longer power cords and hoses.
Robotic vacuums are very different from the other vacuums on this list. These devices clean your home automatically using sensors to navigate around rooms. They are best for light cleaning and maintenance, whereas a regular vacuum works best for deeper cleaning and varied flooring, such as thick carpeting.Hide
There are two major types of vacuums: bagged or bagless. Bagged vacuums collect all dirt and debris into a bag, which must be changed every time it’s full. These bags are typically better at collecting allergens that irritate asthma and allergies. Plus, bagged vacuums are easier to empty, but they do require you to purchase new bags on an ongoing basis.
Bagless vacuums collect dirt and debris into a dustbin or canister, which is emptied when it’s full. Though there are no bags, and therefore no ongoing investment, the downside is that this style can be difficult to empty and oftentimes scatters dust when you’re dumping the bin if you’re not careful.
In addition, the maximum capacity of the dustbin or bag will vary widely based on vacuum type. Regardless of type, a good vacuum also includes an indicator when the bin/bag is full. In bagless vacuums, the dustbin is usually see-through, so you can tell when its full. For bagged vacuums, it’s especially helpful to have a full bag light or sound indication when it’s time to empty the bag.
Vacuums typically have a primary and secondary filter that collects dust and dirt from the air as it’s sucked into the vacuum before disposing it back into your home environment. A good filtration system that is well maintained is hugely important, especially for people with allergies or asthma. There are a plethora of filter types with pros and cons for each, which can make it difficult to decide which one is right for you. Below are descriptions of some of the main filter types to help clarify the confusion.
Bag: In bagged vacuums, the bag itself is oftentimes the primary filter. Sometimes it also includes a secondary filter to catch small particles that escape through the bag. Bags are better than most filters at capturing allergens and pathogens that are harmful to people with asthma or allergies.
Cartridge Filters: The most common filter type is cartridge filters. These are circular filters made of folded paper or synthetic materials. They can be washable, but they are usually disposable and need to be change periodically.
Cloth Filters: Cloth filters are heavy duty and effective at trapping large debris without damage, which is why they’re often found in industrial vacuums. They are also washable. On the down side, they are not as effective at capturing small particles and dust on their own.
Foam Filters: Foam filters are round pieces of foam that are typically used as a secondary filter. As air passes through the foam, it catches small dust particles and allergens that were missed by the primary filter. Note that these filters become clogged quickly and need frequent cleaning.
Disk: Disk filters look like coffee filters and are most commonly found in stick or robotic vacuums. They are made of cloth or paper, which can sometimes be washed. These are best for light vacuuming; if used too much, they will need be replaced frequently.
HEPA: HEPA filters are capable of removing 99.995% of all air particles with a diameter of 0.3 microns. That means preventing the distribution of pathogens, allergens and particles that irritate your allergies or asthma back into the air of your home. If you suffer from either, HEPA filters are a must.
Allergen Filters: If the filter is not HEPA-rated, it may be labeled as an allergen filter. While this standard is not nearly as good as HEPA, it could help remove some of the allergens from the air.
Carbon-Charcoal: Charcoal filters are designed to eliminate odors from the air as you vacuum. This is especially helpful in a pet-friendly home, as the charcoal can help eliminate pet odors. Charcoal filters do need to be replaced once they’ve been used up.
Wet/Dry Filters: These are specific to wet/dry vacuum cleaners. Regular filters should not be used with wet/dry vacuums.Hide
Most vacuums are dry vacuums. They use air suction to remove dirt and debris from various sources but cannot suck up any liquids. However, some vacuums will also be wet vacuums. Wet/dry vacuums let you collect liquids as well as dry debris with the same machine. They have extremely powerful suction and a waterproof bin/waste collector that keeps the interior electric structure safe from liquid and wet debris. A common example is a spilled glass of wine—the wet/dry vacuum can be used to suck up the wine and the broken glass all at once.
Wet/dry vacuums are also great for cleaning car interiors, which are often victim to spills.Hide
The types of floors in your home are an important consideration with choosing a vacuum. A vacuum not designed for hardwood could do some serious damage to your floors. Plus, regular vacuums don’t always clean well on bare floors; they just push dirt around without sucking it up. If you have both bare floors and carpet, consider a vacuum that comes with a bare floor brush or hardwood-designed accessories for the best, scratch-free clean.
Alternatively, if you only have carpeting in your home, you may want to consider a more powerful vacuum for a deeper clean. Don’t bother with bare floor models if you only plan to use the vacuum only on carpet. Vacuums designed specifically for carpeting are stronger with more thorough brushing, which might be bad for hardwood but is great for teasing out tough debris and pet hair from carpets.
There are also vacuums specifically designed for car cleaning, if that’s your planned primary use.Hide
Most vacuum cleaners come with a brush in the suction portion of the machine—a cylinder with bristles that rotates to brush up dirt and debris. (Smaller models, such as certain stick vacuums, may not have a brush.) This part has many names, such as a brushroll, roller brush, beater bar or bristle bar. In addition to the built-in brush, many vacuums will come with other attachment brushes. Some common examples are detailed below.
Power or Turbo Brush: These brushes use air suction to lift carpet as you run the vacuum over it, allowing a deeper clean from the rotating brush. For the most effective clean on carpet, especially when dealing with pet hair, this attachment is a must.
Dusting Brush: This is a round attachment with extra-long, soft bristles at the end that can be used to vacuum dusty surfaces, such as a bookcase or picture frames. The brush portion kicks up the dust into the vacuum suction.
Upholstery/Sofa Brush: This attachment is usually wide and includes a small brush or fabric strip to pull dust from furniture and mattresses.
Bare Floor Brush: To prevent scratching on hardwood floors, this tool has delicate brushes or microfiber strips to collect additional dust and debris into the vacuum. It is not recommended to use your vacuums standard attachment on hardwood floors unless it’s specifically designed for bare floors.Hide
Vacuum cleaners should be adjusted based on the height, or pile, of the carpet/rug. If the setting is too low, the vacuum may not be able to get enough airflow for the suction to be effective. If the setting is too high, the brush won’t touch the carpet to efficiently collect dirt and debris. A vacuum with the pile adjust feature allows you to manually or automatically change the height of the vacuum head to match the carpet pile. If you have different carpet types in your home (including area rugs), consider a vacuum with various height settings.Hide
Vacuum wattage can be used to determine how strong its suction is. Generally, higher watts mean stronger suction and a more powerful vacuum—though there is some debate on whether or not this is accurate. However, for the purposes of comparing one vacuum to another, the wattage of the vacuum motor will suffice.
Wattage is also an indicator of how much energy the vacuum will use. Higher wattage = more energy consumed. Regular household vacuums generally range from 500 to 3000 watts, with the average around 1400 watts. However, the European Union has banned vacuum cleaners with more than 900 watts as of September 2017, in an effort to reduce energy usage and environmental impact. Even if you’re not an EU resident, and if energy consumption is a concern for you, there are energy efficient vacuums that use about 600 to 800 watts.Hide
Some types of vacuum cleaners (excluding robotic vacuums, which are inherently self-propelling) are known for being heavy and difficult to push, especially when they have strong suction and are used on long-strand carpet. That’s why some vacuums come with self-propulsion. A self-propelled vacuum uses a motor to push and pull the vacuum on its own, so that the user is only acting as a guide. If you have a lot of surface area to vacuum, this can really save your arm muscles.Hide
Keep in mind the size of your home and its rooms when you consider the length of the vacuum’s cord. Longer cords will allow you to vacuum longer without needing to move to another outlet. The average cord length is around 5 meters or 15 feet, though some brands and models will have cords up to 10 meters/30 feet. If you live in a small apartment, cord length probably isn’t a huge concern for you. However, longer cords will help you clean larger homes and rooms more quickly and with fewer interruptions from moving outlet to outlet. Also, retractable cords are easier to store, especially if you have a longer cord length, which is something to consider.
- 3 Vacs-in-One: No Loss of Suction Upright - Lift-Away Pod - Convenient Canister
- Anti-Allergen Complete Seal Technology + HEPA
- Lightweight & Ultra-Quiet Operation
- Premium Pet Tools & Bonus Steam Mop
- Read more
- Shark® Anti-Allergen Complete Seal Technology + HEPA / Washable Filters
- Enhanced Swivel Steering
- Extra-Long Cleaning Reach
- Portable Lift-Away Vacuum
Deals up to 80%
Millions of products go on sale every day. Who has time to keep track of it all? We do, for your convenience.