Vacuum Buying Guide

A good vacuum should be easy to use and powerful enough to clean your carpets and floors. This vacuum buying guide covers everything from uprights and canisters to handvacs and sweepers.

Vacuum Cleaners 101

Regular vacuuming helps you maintain a clean home, but vacuuming can be a chore if you don't have the right vacuum for the job at hand. Before shopping for a vacuum, take some time to consider what you'll need to clean and how often. If your home has lots of carpets with open spaces, an upright vacuum is a good choice. Canister vacuums are generally more versatile for cleaning hard floors, stairs and difficult-to-reach spots like room corners. Shampooers and hard floor cleaners are more like mops that can tackle tough stains while also cleaning up dirt and sanitizing surfaces. Other options include vacuum sticks and spot scrubbers. 

Types of Vacuums


Upright Vacuums

Designed primarily to clean floors, an upright vacuum has powerful engine and makes a wide cleaning swath. In this type of vacuum, the motor and head are closely integrated. As a result, the unit tends to be bulkier and heavier than canister models but also more affordable. Consider an upright vacuum for larger open spaces and thicker carpets, where the added weight and extra bristles can pick up dirt with only a few passes. Some upright vacuums come with detachable hoses and other attachments to help you clear dirt and debris from hard-to-reach places.
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Canister Vacuums

Canister vacuums are great cleaning your floors, but they also work well on furniture, shelving and curtains. In a canister vacuum, the engine rests on wheels and attaches to the cleaning head via a flexible hose. This assembly makes it easy to maneuver the cleaning head around corners and into hard-to reach places. And when you want to vacuum an elevated surface or hanging curtain, you can do so without lifting the entire unit. Smaller adults and people with mobility issues often find a canister vacuum easier to use because of its flexible construction.
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Robot Vacuums

Put your feet up and let a battery-powered robot vacuum clean your floors. These small vacuums pick up light dust and dirt in uncluttered rooms, automatically moving around the space with minimal supervision. Newer models can be controlled with your smartphone or tablet. You shouldn't expect your robot vacuum to replace your upright or canister vacuum for heavy-duty cleaning. However, these hands-free devices will lighten your workload and keep your living space spotless between heavy cleanings.
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Vacuum Sticks

Vacuum sticks are a cross between an upright vacuum and a broom. They're lightweight, easy to maneuver and great for cleaning smaller messes. If hauling out your full-size vacuum seems too much of a chore, reach for your vacuum stick instead. Vacuum sticks are also a preferred choice when you want to avoid bending over to operate a dustpan. Some vacuum sticks are battery powered for added versatility, and their slim profile makes them easy to store in a hall closet.
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Carpet Shampooers

For a thorough clean that will leave your carpets odour-free and looking like new, try a carpet shampooer. These vacuums use special shampoos and additives that lift most stains from your carpets while they sanitize. Carpet shampooers are a must-have cleaning appliance for people with busy lifestyles and homes with lots of thick carpets. All carpet shampooers use water for a deeper clean, and the more expensive models use steam for better sanitization.
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A handvac is a handheld vacuum that lets you easily clean up small spills and messes. While it’s no replacement for a full-size vacuum when deep cleaning carpets and floors, handvacs are ideal when you need to respond quickly to a spill or when you're vacuuming stairs, corners and hard-to-reach spaces. Handvacs come in corded and cordless models. Corded models are more powerful and best for indoor use, especially garages and other areas that tend to get messy. Cordless vacuums offer greater versatility and are perfect for taking care of spills before they spread.
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Hard Floor Cleaners

A hard floor cleaner is a multifaceted household appliance that vacuums, mops and dries. In just a few passes, you can clean your floors and give them a bright, durable polish. Some models use steam to sanitize floors and make them extra shiny. Battery-operated models are lighter and easier to move around. Hard floor cleaners use disposable cleaning pads that are purchased separately.
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Spot Scrubbers & Steamers

Get your hard floors looking shiny and new with a spot scrubber. These machines use a combination of electric brushes, steam and cleaning products to sanitize floors more effectively than a traditional mop. Plus, spot scrubbers house the water and soap in a container within the device, so you can clean and move on without wrestling with a mop and bucket. Spot scrubbers and steamers are ideal for active households where mud and other messes are regularly tracked across the floors.
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Ultra light and easy to use, floor sweepers are designed for picking up light dirt on hard floors and shallow carpets. Look for a sweeper that has bristles if you want to clean carpets. When your sweeper becomes full, you can simply dump the contents into the garbage. Some sweepers are manually operated using a push motion, while others are battery powered.
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Vacuum Buying Tips:

• Airflow, usually rated in cubic feet per minute (CFM), is a better indicator of performance and suction power than amps or wattage
• Look for energy efficient vacuums that use less electricity without sacrificing suction power
• Pet owners will need heavier vacuums, like upright and canister models, to help control animal hair, dander and odour
• Some filtration systems can actually reduce airflow and make your vacuum less effective: choose premium filters that trap microscopic particles but allow air to keep flowing
• Know what attachments you need before shopping

Vacuum Cleaner Features

Extra Attachments +

Extra attachments let you customize the head to the task at hand for a more effective clean. A choice of attachments is especially important if your home has lots of stairs and a mix of hard floors and carpet. Simply swap out the head with the right tool and get the job done quickly and properly.

Bagless +

Save money and time with a bagless vacuum. While most vacuums use disposable bags, bagless vacuums keep all the vacuumed dirt in a container that you empty and reuse. Look for an easy-release mechanism that makes dumping the contents a snap. When you have a bagless vacuum, you never need to worry about running out of bags.

Brush Agitator +

Brush agitators comb carpet fibres to kick up hidden dirt. They're especially useful for cleaning thicker carpets that resist deep cleaning. Look for an on-off switch to turn your agitator on and off as you transition from carpets to hard floors. Avoid using your brush agitator on hardwood floors as you could scratch the surface.

Carpet Height Adjustor +

Vacuum heads designed for cleaning carpets generally have manual or automatic height adjustors. Before vacuuming a carpet, set your vacuum's manual height adjustor to the appropriate level for the carpet's pile height. A properly adjusted head will clean a carpet more effectively. Automatic carpet height adjustors take the guessing game out of vacuuming different carpets.

Filter +

Micro filters prevent tiny dust particles from escaping your vacuum after they’ve been sucked up. This results in more effective cleaning and reduces airborne allergens that could be harmful to your health. Look for a high-efficiency particulate-air (HEPA) filter if your family is sensitive to dust, if you own pets or if you just want to keep dust to a minimum.

Retractable Cord +

Retractable cords save you from manually winding your cord around your vacuum after every use. Instead, with press the button, your cord will disappear inside the machine and be all wrapped up and ready for the next time you need to vacuum.

Headlight +

Headlights let you know the vacuum is on and shine light in corners and other dark spaces so you can clean more thoroughly. Look for a bright headlight, preferably the long-lasting LED variety.

Suction Control +

Suction control is a great feature for vacuuming throws, drapes and small rugs. With suction control, you can adjust your vacuum’s power to avoid sucking the items into the head and blocking the airflow.

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Vacuum Cleaner Maintenance Tips:

• Most vacuums need the belt changed one to three times a year, depending on the model and how often you vacuum
• Always follow the manufacturer’s directions for care and maintenance
• Vacuums lose suction as the bag fills with dirt, so change the bag before it’s full or even half full
• Change your filters regularly to help keep your home allergen and dust free
• Avoid walking on floors and carpets just cleaned with water or steam as they could be slippery
• Use a low height setting for shallow carpet and a high setting for thick, plush carpet.
This article is intended as general information. Always be sure to read and follow the label(s)/instruction(s) that accompany your product(s). Walmart will not be responsible for any injury or damage caused by this activity.



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