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There are also a wide variety of options available for carpet vacuum cleaners:

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With those main points out of the way, the rest of these features can vary and definitely add price to your vacuum. Consider the plusses and minuses to come up with a vacuum that will fit your needs.


Of course, the first thing to consider is price. You want to set a budget and stick to it. Fortunately, price does not always mean better. There are very good vacuums for under $200 and even some great vacuum cleaners for under $100.

Bag or Bagless:

Neither is better as far as cleaning and suction. The main difference is simply using bags or not.

Bagless vacuum cleaners mean no extra buying bags which can be much more convenient, but they do use a variety of filters which not only need to be cleaned often but may also need to be replaced which can be expensive. Some bagless vacuums may also leak so check owner reviews of the vacuums you are researching. Also, since the dirt and dust are not contained in a bag but instead a dirt cup, it can be a bit messier to clean, and the dirt or other allergens may get loose.

Bagged vacuum cleaners, on the other hand, keep all the dirt contained in the bag, so do not have the same expensive filters and are less messy to clean. Bags also generally have more capacity so you can vacuum longer in between cleanings. There is a continued cost in replacing bags, and sometimes manufacturers stop making the bags for your specific vacuum, so make sure to buy a package of bags with your bagged vacuum cleaner.

Both are very popular. The top 2 of our eight bestsellers are bagged vacuum cleaners, while the bottom 6 of our eight bestsellers are bagless vacuum cleaners.


Some vacuums also have special filtration systems that can eliminate allergens, like dust mites and pet dander and sometimes household odors, or common household odors. But since no one vacuum can do all things, check the features of any vacuum carefully to determine if it’s the right vacuum cleaner for your home. Also remember, the more filters, the more suction will get lost.

Noise Level:

Some of the noisiest vacuums can top out at about 90 decibels, which means you should use hearing protection. So consider this when purchasing a vacuum. Upright vacuum cleaners tend to be the noisiest. Stick vacuums can be noisy too. Canister vacuums are not as noisy.

Weight Of Vacuum Cleaner:

Naturally, the weight of the vacuum plays in here. Some upright vacuums with powerful suction can also be light. After you go through the feature list, remember to check out the weight of the vacuums you have narrowed it down to.

Multiple Height Control:

Most upright vacuums will feature some number of heights – great if you have multiple carpet heights to clean. We again point to our bestseller, the Hoover Windtunnel MAX UH30600 Vacuum Cleaner, which has SEVEN different height levels (including a bare floor setting).

Bare floor Options:

If you have a bare floor, and you are looking into an upright vacuum, check to see if it has a bare floor option. Most common are an on/off switch for the vacuum’s rotating brush and possibly even a bare-floor setting, which is usually a very low-height setting for uncovered floors.

Brush On/Off Controls:

Also known as the roller brush, it is found underneath the machine. This roller has bristles attached to it and spans the width of the base. Some models have a switch to turn the brush agitator off when cleaning bare floors; because a rotating brush on a bare floor can move the debris away from the vacuum not even giving you a chance to suction it up. Also, you might want to check (via reader reviews) if the brush stays on while you use the hose/hand tools.


Some vacuums do not come with headlamps anymore. For some people, a headlamp on the upright vacuum is a great convenience, especially for under the bed and in corners. Then again, you may end up getting a separate hand vacuum for those harder to reach areas anyway.

Easy Power on/off:

Some vacuums do not feature easy on and off power switches. Usually, this will be on the handle or foot control. Make sure it is in a convenient place.

Power Cord:

Length of the power cord is one (25 feet covers a medium-sized house pretty well). The other is self-retractable (for convenience, usually on canister vacuums). And if not, then power cord storage of some sort so you can easily put the vacuum away.

Suction, Power, and Performance:

Most vacuum cleaners will describe to you the power in units of amps. An amp is the amount of electric current flowing through the vacuum. Many upright vacuums will be up to 12 amps, canister vacuum cleaners up to 12 amps also. For many households, you may find outlets do not deliver more than 12 amps or 15 amps.

Generally speaking, the more amps, the more power. But there are other factors which will affect your suction power, the most important being airflow.

Air Flow: the air needs to pass well. This is a very important part of vacuum suction power. This is one reason you want to check your hoses for sturdiness on canister vacuums.

Filters: the more filters, the less suction. Also the dirtier the filters, the less suction so you will want to clean them.

Fans: Multiple fans will give more suction than single fans


Hopefully, this “How To Buy A Vacuum Cleaner” buying guide has been helpful!

We encourage you next to check our bestseller lists for the most popular and highest sold vacuums. Besides our reviews we publish, we also put together up-to-date bestseller lists in a variety of categories and features. This way, you can see what is most popular, reasoning there is a reason it is most popular.

These most popular vacuum cleaners are a great place to start your research whether you end up with one of the most popular vacuums or even a different vacuum but made by the same manufacturer.


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