The arrival of autumn always makes me want to have a big clean to welcome the new season. It’s only natural, then, that it’s also high time for looking at cleaning appliances.
I haven’t looked into how to buy a vacuum cleaner in a while – it’d feel like a betrayal of our trusted Henry – but I still can’t help being curious.
What do you need to know about? Is there anything to be aware of? Any key decisions to make?
Spoiler alert: it’s not that hard.
How to buy a vacuum cleaner
Before you make any further decisions, you need to solve one question. How much floor area do you actually need to clean? It’ll point you towards which kind of model you should look for – as will looking at what you need to clean.
If you have carpet flooring, you’ll need different things than in a house full of parquet, laminate, and tiles. The same applies if you have pets or are allergic to dust.
Got those answered? Let’s look at what else you need to know when you set out to buy a vacuum cleaner.
Which types of vacuum cleaner are out there?
Of course, we need to talk about what you can actually buy, right? I’m sure we’re all familiar with at least some of these, but let’s quickly recap.
The most common models are either upright designs or cylinder models. Upright vacuum cleaners are great for larger homes, as they have more storage capacity for dust and are easy to move around. Plus, they’re easy to use on stairs, especially if you have a battery-operated one.
A cylinder vacuum cleaner, on the other hand, is the type you pull behind yourself. They’re light and compact, so great for cleaning smaller areas. This also means they’re easy to store.
But when you want to buy a vacuum cleaner, you might be tempted by two other commonly seen models.
Handheld designs are great for quickly cleaning up small messes, such as crumbs after breakfast, pet hair, or some spilled soil around plants. They actually run quite long for such a small design – up to 15 minutes, in which you can get a lot done.
The other option you’ll see when wanting to buy a vacuum cleaner is a robot model. These do the work while you can put your feet up and relax – what’s not to love? They even find their own way home to their charging stations, usually. (Sometimes they do get stuck and need a little rescue operation, but this is rare.)
Robot vacuum cleaners are great for small homes and usually work with all types of flooring. Their sensors map your whole space, including obstacles such as furniture. You can also often keep up with them through an app.
However, be aware that some models struggle with things such as too-plush carpets, so make sure they’re up for the job.
Do you need to buy a vacuum cleaner with special filters?
The short answer is that it can’t hurt, whether you need it or now.
However, if you’re asthmatic or have a dust allergy, a HEPA filter will make your life easier.
HEPA means High Efficiency Particulate Air. These filters remove up to 99.7% of particles from the air. This includes bacteria and viruses, but also pollen and fine dust, so can reduce allergic reactions.
They’re so good, they’re used in industries that need really clean air – think aerospace engineering or computer chip manufacture. And in cities with high levels of fine dust, you’ll often find them in almost every home too.
So when you do buy a vacuum cleaner, it’s wise to think about whether to choose a HEPA filter.
Bag or no bag?
What do you actually do with the dust? When thinking about buying a vacuum cleaner, you’ll inevitably have to decide which type of dust receptacle works for you.
It comes partially down to preference, but there are some other considerations.
Bagless vacuum cleaners will save you some cash, as you don’t have the extra expense.
But if you have allergies, it might be better to buy a vacuum cleaner that does use bags. Designs with a chamber to collect dust might be convenient, but if you open it for emptying, you get close to the dust. A model with a bag, on the other hand, will safely seal the dust away, which reduces allergic reactions.
Is there anything else I need to know about if I want to buy a vacuum cleaner?
I can’t say it often enough, but really look at what you need. If you have a pet, buy a vacuum cleaner with specific filters or attachments, to make sure you catch all of their fur.
Also look at what other accessories the model comes with. These can include different brushes for specific flooring types.
But you might also want attachments for tasks such as hoovering the creases in your sofa or a tool to vacuum upholstery. There are even some specifically for mattresses, so have a look around.
And once you’ve made your decision to buy a new vacuum cleaner, don’t forget to pick up essentials such as replacement bags or filters.
Featured image: iStock.com / AndreyPopov
Now you know how to buy a vacuum cleaner, why not find out how to buy an air purifier too?