is already a chore, so when the cleaner leaves behind
debris, it’s frustrating.
problem might not be the vacuum cleaner, but what you’re
asking it to do. For better results, manufacturers and
dealers say buyers need to keep just a few factors in
consider the home’s floor type. Wood and tile floor
care is different than wall-to-wall carpeting, which is
different still from fine area rugs, said Mark Davis,
president of CityHome Vacuums in Chicago, who sells
multiple brands. That’s why a vacuum that does a great
job for a friend might not perform as well in your home.
lot of people get distracted by various
features/benefits without considering if those
features/benefits solve their particular cleaning
problems," said Rob Green, senior design engineer
Levesque, senior product marketing manager at Shark,
said shoppers need to consider two main points: what’s
being cleaned and home type. A homeowner with a large
suburban abode who wants deep cleanings, needs a
different cleaner than a city dweller living in a condo
who spot cleans daily.
and Robert Singer, owner of Chicago vacuum dealer Avalon
Vacuum said the easiest material to clean is
wall-to-wall carpeting, as most upright vacuums are
designed for these floors.
is going to damage it. … An upright vacuum with a
rotating electric brush will be fine. It’s just a
matter of personal choice and price point," Davis
Singer and Davis, who also repair vacuums, say
inexpensive vacuums have improved over the years,
although they aren’t designed to last long. In the
budget category, Davis recommends Bissell machines,
which start around $70.
with area rugs and hardwood should seek machines that
can handle both surfaces, the sources said, and use the
right setting for the right floor type to avoid damage.
example, Shark’s DuoClean (starting at $155 for the
Rocket version, www.sharkclean.com) has a soft brush
roller and a bristle brush for wood and carpet.
said damage — especially to rugs — usually comes
from brush bar bristles agitating the rug too
aggressively. Singer recommends setting the vacuum’s
height level at maximum since that allows the bristles
to move the fibers and allows the suction to pull out
low, and it will cut off your air flow," he said,
and could harm rugs and the cleaner.
said many finer rugs are more delicate, so look to see
if the machine has a gentler setting or comes with
dedicated tools for these areas. The same goes for
high-end wood floors, he said, as aggressive brushes can
scratch the finish. Heavyweight uprights can also
eventually mar wood, he adds.
upright machines are most popular in the U.S., Singer
and Davis recommend canister types because they’re
lighter and have options for different tools. They
especially recommend them for wood floors, as they’re
less likely to scratch. Their top picks are Miele and
SEBO, citing longevity and long warranties. Among the
top-selling machines are Miele’s HomeCare series
(starting at $499, www.miele.com for dealers) and SEBO’s
Airbelt line, (starting at $589, www.sebo.us).
pet hair can be a tricky thing, Davis said. Users will
likely need to go over surfaces a few times and may need
to vacuum more often. This is where extra tools can come
in handy, such as those to clean upholstery. Canisters
have these tools, as do uprights like the Dyson Ball
Animal 2. ($399, www.dyson.com)
and Levesque said allergy suffers should look for
cleaners with HEPA filters, but also ensure the machine
itself is sealed completely to avoid dust getting out
through crevices. Sealed machines are more expensive.
machines don’t have the sealed filtration,"