Whether you’re buying a vacuum for yourself or for someone else this holiday season, it can be difficult to narrow down the perfect vacuum because there are so many options on the market! Nowadays, vacuums come with unique high-tech functions and features, making it overwhelming to make a decision. But don’t worry, Elmer’s Chem-Dry has you covered! 

We put together a vacuum buying guide that breaks down the types and features of vacuums so you can make a more informed decision when buying a vacuum! Everyone is unique, so it is also essential to consider personal factors when purchasing a vacuum. Let’s get started! 

4 Common Types of Vacuums 

Stick Vacuums

Average Cost: $25 to $600

Normally, stick vacuums are cordless, making them great for cleaning just about anywhere. They’re lightweight, easy to move all throughout your home, and easy to store. Stick vacuums work best when cleaning areas that will be vacuumed weekly and have light debris. Stick vacuums have fewer attachments and customizable options compared to upright vacuums. But, they often come with detachable handheld features to clean things like couches and upholstery, blinds, vents, car interiors, and more! 

If you’re looking for a high powered vacuum and not concerned about attachments or brush and suction control, this is an excellent choice! 

Upright Vacuums

Average Cost: $50 to $700

Upright vacuums are the most common on the market. They remove dust and dirt from the carpet, area rugs, and hardwood floors. They also normally include customizable options for brush and suction control. Brush control is great if you have hardwood floors because you can turn off the vacuum brush to protect your hardwood floors from being scratched. Suction control works well when you need to clean drapes or upholstery. 

The main downside of upright vacuums is that they are heavier and can be hard to carry up and down stairs. They also tend to be bulkier and take up more storage room.

Canister Vacuums

Average Cost: $50 to $800

Canister vacuums are unique because they hold the motor and bag in a separate unit. This unit is normally on wheels and connected to the vacuum head with a long hose, making it easily transportable. Canister vacuums are lighter than traditional upright vacuums, and they easily clean hard to reach spots. Canister vacuums are a great choice if you want to maintain the power of an upright model, but with improved mobility. 

Robot Vacuums

Average Cost: $100 to $1,000

Robot vacuums are the newest on the market and some might say they are the most high-tech! These small vacuums are battery-powered and self-propelled. They clean your floors and even underneath your furniture. All you have to do is schedule the vacuum to run when you need it to and then they vacuum without you ever lifting a finger! These vacuums have built-in sensors that keep them from running into furniture or falling down flights of stairs.

Robot vacuums work well on hard floors and low pile carpet, but they aren’t ideal for higher pile carpet or thick, plush rugs. They also can’t travel from floor to floor, so you will manually have to move the vacuum if you have a multiple-story home. Robot vacuums are an excellent choice for busy people or for people who are unable to push a vacuum themselves.

Vacuum Features To Consider 

Bag vs. Bagless Vacuums

Vacuum bags are useful for sealing and containing dust, but it can be hard to determine if a bag is full. Plus, vacuum bags can be expensive to purchase when you need a new one. Bagless vacuums are very useful because you can easily determine when they’re full. Bagless vacuum containers are also detachable so you can empty the dust and dirt into the trash. 

If you’re concerned about convenience, we recommend choosing a bagless model. However, if you suffer from allergies or respiratory issues, a bag model may be a better choice to keep dust and allergens contained. 

While vacuuming is essential to maintaining a clean and healthy home, it isn’t enough to remove harmful allergens and bacteria from your carpet. It’s recommended that you get your carpets professionally cleaned about 1-2 times per year to eliminate contaminants and improve your home’s air quality! Elmer’s Chem-Dry specializes in carpet cleaning that is proven to eliminate allergen and bacteria!

Cords vs. Battery Operated Vacuums

While battery-operated vacuums are very transportable, you do have to recharge them after about 20-40 minutes of usage. Be sure to research the battery life of each model because each vacuum is different. Dealing with a corded vacuum can be a hassle when cleaning from room to room, but you never have to worry about it needing to be recharged. 

Attachment Features 

If you need your vacuum to clean many different areas, look for models that include a variety of attachment options. You can often purchase additional attachments if necessary. Some tools we find useful are: 

  • A crevice tool for cleaning tight or hard to reach spaces
  • A dusting brush for cleaning shelves and tables
  • An upholstery tool for cleaning furniture and cushions

Personal Factors To Think About 

Your Personal Cleaning Schedule

Do you vacuum your home consistently on a weekly basis? If so, a lightweight stick vacuum may be a great option. However, if you vacuum less frequently, an upright or canister vacuum will work fine. If you have a busy schedule and can’t find time to clean or if you can’t physically vacuum, a robotic vacuum may be the best option.

The Weight of the Vacuum 

Some upright vacuum models can be 20 pounds or more, while stick models can be less than 10 pounds! Be sure to consider vacuum weight before committing to a specific model, especially if you’ll be carrying it up and down stairs. 

The Size of Your Home

Do you live in a large, multi-level home? If so, you may benefit from a robust upright vacuum. If you live in a small home or even an apartment, a stick vacuum may better fit your living situation. 

The Surfaces in Your Home

If your home has high and low carpet, hardwood floors, or tile, you need a vacuum that can adapt to each floor with customizable settings. If this sounds like something you need, you’ll also want to be sure to choose a model that has the option to turn off the brush feature so it won’t scratch your hardwood floors. 

The Pets in Your Home

Pets leave hair and dander all over your floors and carpet, so you need a vacuum specifically designed to deal with this type of cleaning. You will need a vacuum that has at least 12 amps of power and specific pet hair attachments. 

Vacuuming can help clean up pet hair, but it can’t remove pet urine and odor. If you have pets in your home, you’ll need a professional carpet cleaning at least twice a year to remove pet stains and odors.

Allergies, Asthma, and Respiratory Issues 

If you suffer from allergies, asthma, or respiratory issues, you’ll want to select a vacuum that’s HEPA (high-efficiency particulate air) certified. HEPA certified vacuums remove 99.97% of particles from the air and are more effective at removing allergens than a regular filter. No matter what vacuum you buy, make it a priority to clean or change the air filter according to the manufacturer’s instructions!

Our Chem-Dry cleaning method at Elmer’s Chem-Dry removes an average of 98.1% of common household allergens* from carpets and upholstery. We recommend getting your carpet cleaned regularly to eliminate allergens and mites from your home! 

*Based on results from a study conducted by an independent laboratory using the Chem-Dry Hot Carbonating Extraction process. Allergens tested were dog and cat dander and dust mite allergen. Airborne bacteria results include the use of sanitizer. Figures are an average across multiple homes.

Noise Levels

If you have children in your home or live in an apartment with thin walls, you may be worried about your vacuum making too much noise. If this is the case, you’ll need a vacuum that is quiet but still cleans well. A vacuum with a decibel level of 60-65 will be very quiet, while a decibel level of 70 or higher will be louder. 

Give the Gift of Clean Carpets! 

We hope this holiday edition vacuum buying guide will help you choose the perfect vacuum for yourself or for someone else! Vacuuming is crucial for any home and so is a professional carpet cleaning! Make sure your carpets look and smell clean and fresh before all your holiday guests come over!

This holiday season, we are offering special Elmer’s Chem-Dry gift certificates that you can purchase and give to your family and friends! If you purchase a gift certificate, we will give you a FREE bottle of spot remover! 

Save money on your next carpet cleaning in Fort Smith, AR with money-saving coupons from Elmer’s Chem-Dry!