How to Buy the Perfect Vacuum Cleaner

Vacuuming is one of the most consistent and largest jobs in the house, so you should have a vacuum that is up to the task. With a wider variety of products and features than ever, it can seem hard to choose the right cleaning companion for you. Whether you’re looking for your first vacuum cleaner or looking to upgrade and need some tips, we have the buying guide for you.

What are you cleaning?

Do you have a large, spacious house with multiple floors or a small apartment with tight corners? For large homes, you’ll probably need a vacuum cleaner with a large bag or dust chamber, and you may prefer a corded vacuum cleaner to avoid stopping and charging multiple times while cleaning. For smaller homes and rooms, a handheld vacuum cleaner may have sufficient battery life.

What are your floors made from?  Each surface in your home has an optimised vacuum accessory, from hardwood floors and skirting to even the most delicate carpet. You can find vacuums and accessories to reach tight corners, high places, and under and over any piece of furniture. Some vacuums can even be converted to handheld, so you can quickly pick up those small spills.

We love our pets, but dealing with pet hair can be a real pain, especially on vacuum heads. You’ll want to choose a vacuum with high suction power, HEPA filters to remove dander as well as hair, and anti-tangle heads to avoid clogging your system. 

What vacuums do the professionals use? Do I need an industrial vacuum cleaner?

You may have noticed that residential vacuum cleaners and professional cleaners are very different. Commercial and industrial vacuum cleaners are built to deal with larger and more complicated messes such as large quantities of fine dust, large solids or liquids. They may feature larger canisters, backpack attachments designed for long term use, and larger filters designed to trap specific particles, such as classified asbestos filters. They are ideal for workplaces that regularly generate these messes, such as a mechanics garage, but you’ll rarely need that kind of power for standard homes. You may want to consider a more powerful vacuum cleaner if you have a private workshop or you’re renovating your home, but for most circumstances a regular household vacuum cleaner will do the job. 

Best vacuum cleaners for different floors

Most modern home vacuums fall under the following four categories:

Upright vacuums

The upright vacuum stands on its own – literally. These vacuums house the dust canister, main motor, dust bags and vacuum wand in a single unit that the user pushes forward for cleaning. These vacuum cleaners can be heavy, but they pack a punch when it comes to suction power. Upright vacuum cleaners are great for deep cleaning big, open areas, thanks to their heavy-duty construction, wide heads and ease of use. Easy to store and generally offered at competitive prices, these are excellent for most houses. The cons: they’re heavy to carry around, noisier than other vacuum cleaners, and may be hard to use if you experience regular back pain. These vacuums are great for deep cleaning carpets.

A Devanti Bagless Upright Vacuum Cleaner in red.

Canister/barrel vacuums

Canister or barrel vacuums feature a wheeled body connected to a vacuum wand by a plastic hose. These vacuums feel bulkier to clean with, as you have to drag the body with you as you go, but the flexible hose makes it a lot easier to reach under furniture or stairs, over upholstery, and up and above curtains. While the entire vacuum cleaner can be just as heavy as an upright model, it can feel easier to use as the wand is separated from the other mechanisms. If you’re limited on space, this model can be harder to maneuver around and is much harder to store. Canister/barrel vacuums are also more expensive than other models, but they make a great choice for homes that need a quieter machine that will do a great job on bare floors.

A Devanti Bagless Cyclone Barrel Vacuum in blue.

Stick vacuums

There are many benefits to stick vacuums. They’re cordless, lightweight, and most models detach from the wand to become handheld.  Stick vacuums often come with the functionality to add crevice tools, ideal for cleaning tight spaces. Unfortunately, while they outperform in flexibility they underperform when it comes to power. Stick vacuums have a lower battery life and will generally only run for 10-30 minutes at a time. Stick vacuums can also struggle with hair and heavy, deep mess in a way that traditional vacuums don’t. Of course, depending on the brand, you can find plenty of accessories to help with any type of cleaning. Despite the low battery life, stick vacuums are incredibly easy to use, making them perfect for maintenance cleaning or dealing with emergency messes.

A Devanti Bagless Stick Vacuum in yellow with two nozzle attachments.

Robotic vacuums

Cute, round and hands-free, a robot vacuum is the ultimate in luxury cleaning. The biggest pro: you don’t need to clean the house as often because they clean for you! That convenience can come with a steeper price tag, with many models costing more than either stick or canister models. At that price, you might be disappointed to find they are much less effective than all other vacuum types. If you’re looking for a deep clean, you may want to shop around for a more suitable option. If you just want to keep your home tidy between deep cleans, and you can find a cost-effective model, robotic vacuums might be the right solution for you.

A robot vacuum cleaning the home automatically.

Is a corded vacuum better than a cordless vacuum?

Except for robotic vacuums, each vacuum type has corded and cordless options. Being plugged into mains power, corded vacuums have high suction power and are perfect for larger homes. You won’t need to stop cleaning to charge your vacuum - you can just keep going until you’re finished. With charging times taking as long as 2-3 hours, you’ll save plenty of time cleaning with a corded model. The cord length will limit where you can take it, but you can always use extension cords or creative power point placement. Cordless vacuums are more flexible and mobile, but can struggle with suction as it’s drawing from battery power.  If you’re sold on a cordless model, choose one with a heavy-duty lithium battery and a top-of-the-line motor.

A comparison between a corded vacuum and a cordless handheld vacuum.

Which filter is best for vacuum cleaners?

If you suffer from allergies, you’ll want to invest in a vacuum with a High-Efficiency Particulate Air (HEPA) filter. Ideally, your HEPA filter will capture up to 99.97% of particulates that pass through it, making it ideal for homes with pets and users with asthma or other respiratory issues. You’ll still need to clean the filter regularly, but HEPA filters are far more efficient than traditional filters at picking up allergens. While many HEPA models will cost a little extra, there are plenty of vacuum cleaners with HEPA filters suited to households on a budget. For stick vacuums, about 40 per cent of the models tested by CHOICE in 2019 had HEPA filters. All of our Devanti brand vacuums use our top-of-the-range HEPA filters that are easy to remove, clean, and replace. 

Devanti replacement HEPA filters.

Bagged vs bagless vacuum cleaners

Vacuums come with two ways of disposing of your mess: bags or bagless. While it may seem old fashioned, there are tons of benefits to using a bagged vacuum cleaner. Firstly, you can simply remove the bag and put the whole thing in the bin – no dust flying around you as you empty, and no chance of flaring up any allergies. With a bagged vacuum cleaner, you’ll never have to pull apart and clean the filter, which means less maintenance. You’ll also have to keep a steady supply of bags, which will cost you over time and isn’t very environmentally friendly, although you can find some eco-friendly bags. Bagless vacuums create less rubbish if you empty them frequently (since you don’t have to use bags). They are also lighter than bagged vacuum cleaners, have greater suction, and are more cost-effective.

The difference between emptying a canister and a vacuum bag. You can limit your exposure to dust with a bag, but it will create more rubbish.

Ultimately, go with the vacuum that most suits your lifestyle. If you care more about filtration power over flexibility, a bagged option with a HEPA filter is for you. If you care more about ease of use, a stick model is a perfect choice. Whatever your lifestyle there is a vacuum waiting out there, just for you!

Devanti has a great range of canister and stick vacuums for all your cleaning needs. All our vacuums are fitted with HEPA filters, and we also supply replacement filters. Check out the Devanti range today.