Vacuum cleaners buyer's guide
There’s a huge range of vacuum cleaners on the market, with a host of different options on offer.
To help you to pick the ideal one for you and keep your house clean, our definitive guide will explain the main types of cleaner available.
Upright or cylinder?
Perhaps the most important question to ask when buying a vacuum cleaner is whether an upright, cylinder or hand-held model is most suited to your needs:
Many models also come with a telescopic pole and tools to make it easier to tackle furniture and staircases.
The separate cleaning head makes them perfect for cleaning stairs and getting around or under furniture. They are, however, more cumbersome to store and don’t usually offer as much suction as uprights.
Clean the car, stairs and other hard-to-reach places with the ease of a rechargeable, cordless cleaner. Less suction and a limited capacity and battery life mean that these are best suited to smaller jobs.
Bag or Bagless?
The next thing to decide is whether you want a machine that comes with or without dustbags. Vacuum cleaners with bags are generally cheaper and will seal the dust away for easy disposal, which can be better for allergy sufferers. Bagless cleaners tend to be more expensive, but are a good long-term investment as you won't have to keep buying bags.
How clean is the cleaner?
Filtration is an especially important point for allergy sufferers or asthmatics, as filtration determines how many dust particles will escape into the air from the vacuum exhaust.
‘Sage’ filters get rid of the dust in a series of stages. A typical filter comprises four stages: a double skinned bag, a filter between the motor and bag and an exhaust filter.
HEPA or S-Class filters are particularly suited to those suffering from allergies, as they get hold of even the smallest allergy-causing particles and have to meet set standards.
Charcoal filters are handy if you have pets, as they include an extra charcoal layer to remove unpleasant smells.
Wet-and-dry and steam cleaners
These are used not only to clean floors, but also to mop up spillages and even, with additional shampoo, to wash carpets.
A steam cleaner is useful if you have to do lots of heavy-duty cleaning.
Keep your motor running...
As a general rule, the higher the Wattage, the more powerful the cleaner. This is most important on cylinder machines, as the dust has further to travel.Airflow and the design of the machine also help to improve the suction power.
On upright cleaners, it's the type of brush that makes the difference in terms of suction.
Brushes and Attachments
Most vacuum cleaners come with three attachments: a crevice tool and upholstery and dusting brushes. A turbo-brush is also useful if you have cut-pile carpets or hairy pets. A horsehair or polisher brush is ideal for use on wooden floors.
Vacuum cleaners features & videos
If you plan to make the most of the long weekend with a bit of DIY we’re here to help.