Vacuum Cleaner buying guide


Removing cobwebs, sucking up dust bunnies, and cleaning the pet hair off of your carpets and furniture is easy when you have a powerful vacuum cleaner.

Whether you’re vacuuming the living room of an apartment or a large house with multiple floors, having a new vacuum cleaner means you can keep your home sparkling clean.

Table of contents

    1. Considerations before buying a vacuum cleaner
    2. Features and technologies of vacuum cleaners
    3. Different types of vacuum cleaners
    4. Accessories for your vacuum cleaner

What to consider when buying a vacuum cleaner

what to consider when buying a vaccum cleaner

There are quite a few different factors to consider when buying a vacuum cleaner. Here are some things you’ll want to be mindful of before you make the decision on which type of vacuum is best for your home.

How large is your home?

floor to ceiling cleaning

Is your home large, with multiple floors and different types of flooring? Or, do you live in a condo or apartment, with a small square of flooring you’d like to vacuum? Canister vacuums and upright vacuums are great for homes with multiple floors, while a small space could work well with a stick vacuum or robot vacuum.

What type of floors do you have?

Hardwood, laminate, linoleum or carpet? The types of flooring you have in your home will all factor into what type of vacuum cleaner you purchase. If you’d like to glide from floor to floor you may want to consider a multi-surface upright vacuum for ease of use and whole home cleaning. Or, if you like the idea of a long hose and large dust bin capacity, you might find a canister vacuum to be exactly what you need.

Do you have pets?

If you have pets you know that pet hair is easily seen on carpets, floors, and furniture, but there’s also pet dander to consider. Dander is a microscopic allergen, and if you want to reduce it or make sure you aren’t re-filtering allergens into the air when you’re cleaning, you’ll need a vacuum cleaner with a HEPA filter to capture every spec.

Certain models of upright vacuum cleaner will capture up to 99% of allergens, leaving the air you breath after vacuuming cleaner than it was before.

Do you need a lightweight vacuum for quick cleaning or for stairs?

vacuum cleaner buying guideIf you have stairs in your home and you know you’ll be moving your vacuum cleaner up and down, weight may factor into your vacuum cleaner choice. A stick vacuum takes on stairs quickly and easily, while an upright vacuum has attachments and a long hose so you can leave the body of the vacuum at the bottom and work your way up. A handheld vacuum cleaner is extremely light and can take on quick cleaning jobs too.

For top to floor cleaning, both an upright with long hose and a stick vacuum will let you reach up into your rafters to clean cobwebs and dust.

How often do you want to vacuum?

If your goal is to come home from work every day and have sparkling clean floors without lifting a finger, a robot vacuum will be your best choice. Certain models of robot vacuum will even let you set a schedule so they clean at the same time every day.

Vacuum technologies and features you’ll want considervacuum cleaners with the best suction

A few decades ago the only choice of vacuum you’d have would have been a simple canister vacuum with a short hose and hefty bags to empty. The latest vacuum cleaners have been updated to sleek, all-in-one units with features to spare.

Vacuum cleaners with the best suction

When lifting dirt and debris from your floors and carpets, suction is the name of the game. The latest vacuum cleaners have technologies built in that produce the best suction for every surface.

Adjustable height settings

adjustable power head settings vacuum

Certain models of vacuum cleaner have adjustable height settings that automatically adapt the power head as it glides from hardwood floor to carpet.

Retractable cords

A long cord is a must when you’re cleaning an entire floor of your home. You’ll find vacuum cleaners with extra-long retractable cords that let you wind it back up and stow it away in a flash.

Whole machine dust and allergen capture

dyson washable filter

Some models of vacuum cleaner feature whole-machine HEPA filtration, capturing every spec of dirt, dust, and allergen via a filter.

Washable filters

Why worry about filter replacement when you can simply rinse it out in the sink and pop it back in to use another day? Certain models of vacuum cleaner feature washable filters that only require maintenance once per month.

Smart vacuum cleaners

Dyson Cleaning appRobot vacuum cleaners have Wi-Fi connectivity built in, letting you schedule your cleaning, start and stop your machine, or see exactly what area your vacuum cleaner has covered.

Pet-specific vacuum cleaners

The latest vacuum cleaners include pet-specific models. With tangle-free brush rolls that prevent pet hair from clogging your cleaner head to specialized pet tools, you’ll be able to clean up every strand of pet hair.

Different types of vacuums

Choosing a vacuum cleaner is like choosing a new car. You can find inexpensive models that will easily take on the job of keeping your floors sparkling clean, or you can upgrade to a luxury model with all of the cleaning features and attachments you know you’ll rely on.

Here’s a look at the different types of vacuums and how they’ll work in your home.

Stick Vacuums

vacuum cleaner dyson v11 xlA stick vacuum cleaner looks like a broom, with a tall body attached to a handle and powerhead. Because they’re lightweight, stick vacuums are just as easy to lift and maneuver as a broom, and if your goal is to reach high up to your ceiling or avoid bending low while cleaning, you’ll love this style of vacuum.


Stick vacuums have intense suction and long-lasting power. You’ll find models of stick vacuum that can automatically adjust the suction and power of the vacuum depending on what type of floor it is cleaning.

Battery life

Many stick vacuums are powered by a lithium-ion battery so they’re quick to recharge and get back to work. They mount on a docking station on your wall so you can store your vacuum and charge it at the same time. Because they aren’t plugged into a power source and work on rechargeable batteries, they maintain full power for around half-hour to an hour before they need to be charged again.

You can also choose to purchase an additional battery so you can change them out and keep cleaning for longer. Stick vacuums like the Dyson V11 Outsize include an additional battery and charger so you can clean for up to 120 minutes.

Brush head size

stick vacuum brush head sizeStick vacuums have full-sized brush heads that cover a wide area while vacuuming, and you can find stick vacuums with soft roller brush heads to clean hard floors, extra-large brush heads, and mini-motorized brush heads to clean the interior of your vehicle.

You’ll also find stick vacuums like the Tineco Pure One S12 Pro EX with an LED on the brush head that lights up the floor in front of you when you’re cleaning.

Upright Vacuums

Hoover pet vacuum When you want a vacuum cleaner that will easily take on your entire home, an upright vacuum is a great choice. Because they can have a large dust bin, powerful suction, and self-adjusting cleaner heads, they can deep-clean your carpets, glide over hardwood, and pick up every spec of dust on your floor.
Upright vacuum cleaners are available in pet models that focus on removing pet hair and dander from your home. You can also find many different styles of vacuum cleaner with built-in or whole-vacuum HEPA filters to remove every of dust and allergens from your home. Some models of upright vacuum cleaner have a long, extendable hose and handle so you can reach up to the rafters to clean.
Keep in mind when choosing an upright vacuum cleaner that some models can be quite heavy. The average upright vacuum cleaner can weigh approximately 20 pounds.

Canister Vacuums

Dyson cinetic vacuum Canister vacuum cleaners have a long hose attached to a canister that you pull behind you as you clean. These types of vacuum cleaners have great suction, good range of motion because of the extended hose, a large dust bin, and constant power as they plug into the wall.

Canister vacuum cleaners are a good choice for people with pets and allergies as some models have clean air systems that clean the air as you vacuum.

If storage is tight in your home, you’ll want to consider that canister vacuum cleaners are more difficult to store than other types of vacuum cleaner. The body and long hose are bulkier than an upright or stick vacuum, so they need a bit more space in the closet.

Robotic Vacuums

robot vacuum dust binA robotic vacuum cleaner offers up the ultimate hands-free cleaning experience. These compact, independent vacuum cleaners glide over all types of floors, have built-in sensors to map out your home, and are designed to avoid hazards like stairs.

A robotic vacuum will easily cruise under your furniture, and when some models are finished cleaning or nearing the end of their battery life, they will automatically head back to their docking station for a recharge.

Certain models of robot vacuum will work on a schedule every day, while others also connect to your home’s Wi-Fi network so you can login to an app, tap the clean button, and send your robot vacuum off to clean your floors.

Robot vacuums map your home

robot vacuum dust bin

Robot vacuums can navigate your home’s obstacles and cover every area thanks to a built-in mapping feature.

Robot vacuums originally used bounce mapping to navigate around obstacles in your home, bouncing off objects until they find a clear path. The latest robot vacuums still use shock-absorbing bumpers to steer around objects, but many of the newest models use that technology in combination with advanced self-navigation.

Depending on which brand of robot vacuum you choose, the self-navigation system in your robot vacuum may use onboard digital cameras, lasers, or 3D imaging. The robot takes the data it collects and compiles it into a map, and the more you use the robot vacuum the more accurate your home’s map will be.

Auto Evac Robots empty your dust bin for you

The latest robot vacuums have large dust bins so they can collect more dirt before you need to empty the bin. Some robot vacuums, like the iRobot Roomba i8+ for example, are auto evac robots. That means the robot will automatically empty its dust bin so you don’t have to. The iRobot i8+ can empty your robot 60 times before you need to swap out the disposable bag.

Mopping robot vacuums and Wet Dry Hybrids

If you love how your robot vacuum cleans your floors, you’ll love how a mopping robot can wash them too. Mopping robots have disposable or reusable washing pads and internal water reservoirs. The robot will spray water onto your floor and glide over the area to scrub it clean. You can also wet dry hybrid robot cleaners that will wash and vacuum your floors, giving you the best of both worlds.

Hand vacuum cleaner

handheld vacuum cleanerA handheld vacuum cleaner gives you the ultimate easy-cleaning experience. Because they’re small, lightweight, and cord-free you can use them anywhere you need to spot clean or pick up a mess.

One of the best features of a stick vacuum is how it can convert into a handheld vacuum. You can use the mini-motorized powerhead included with your stick vacuum to effortlessly clean your car, your stairs, or any small mess.

Carpet Cleaners

carpet cleanersWhen your carpets are dirty, a carpet cleaner will deep clean them until they look new again. The latest carpet cleaners are designed to clean set-in stains using moving brushes to scrub out grime and attachments designed specifically for upholstery and stairs.

Large tanks will hold hot water and cleaning solution separately so you don’t have to refill often while cleaning, and some models of carpet cleaner also have self-cleaning hoses to ensure the hose is clean and bacteria-free when you’re finished using it.

When cleaning, you’ll need to use a carpet cleaning solution designed specifically for your cleaner type. If storage is tight in your home, an upright, larger carpet cleaner may not be the right choice. While more powerful, they tend to be bulkier than a handheld carpet cleaner.

Hard Floor Cleaners and Steamers

bissell crosswaveHardwood floor is a popular option in many homes, and because more and more people are switching out their carpets for hardwood, hard floor cleaners and steamers are a must-have. They look like a mop, but once filled with water and connected to power, the water heats up and steam is pushed out of the bottom of the cleaner.

When the steam hits the floor it can loosen and remove stubborn stains, kill bacteria, and sanitize without having to use cleaning products. They work quickly and easily, and if you choose a multi-surface cleaning system like a steam vacuum or wet/dry vacuum, you’ll be able to switch between sanitizing your floors and washing your area rugs with a flip of a switch.

If you bring home a hard floor cleaner or steamer, you’ll need to make room for it in the closet. Because of their water tanks and tall handles, they tend to take up a larger spot than a standard mop.

Vacuum accessories

You’ve picked out your new vacuum and you’re ready to bring it home. Now that the biggest decision is out of the way, you’re ready to stock up on vacuum accessories and supplies.

Bags and filters

vacuum cleaner bagsIf you’ve purchased a vacuum cleaner that utilizes bags, you can buy in bulk so you always have a supply on hand. You can also purchase replacement HEPA filters and air filters to ensure your vacuum can continue to capture the most amount of dust and allergen particles.



Additional vacuum brushes and tools

vacuum cleaner toolsWant to get into the tiniest parts of your couch? Or, would you like to have a compete upholstery cleaning kit on hand so you can keep your car spotless? You can choose different vacuum brushes and tools to clean everything from your computer keyboard, your pet, to the interior of your vehicle.

Vacuum cleaner parts

To keep your vacuum in tip-top condition, you may occasionally need to replace a vacuum cleaner part. You can find vacuum cleaner hose replacements, hose removal tools, or replacement wands, all for your specific make and model of vacuum.

Take the next step

Whether your home is 500 square feet or you have several floors to clean, it’s easy to choose the perfect vacuum cleaner for any type of home when you shop at Best Buy.

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  1. I really need a relevant advise on a robot vacuum please. I have heard some of them can clean ceiling, i have found one Korean web site with the video. But nowhere more i could find any additional info. Was it some Korean magic?
    Please help =))

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