Searching for a new vacuum cleaner can leave you feeling frustrated. There are so many models available today that claim to be better than all the rest. Finding the best model for your hardwood or other bare floors can be easier if you understand a bit more about how vacuum cleaners actually work and what you should look for to match your specific needs and preferences.
If you have hardwood floors, you definitely want to steer clear of vacuum cleaners designed for carpet. These models are equipped with a roller brush that agitates the carpet in order to loosen and lift dust, dirt, and other debris that has settled below the carpet’s surface. The same brush rollers that are essential for getting carpets as clean as possible are far less effective on hardwood and other bare floors. This is because the agitating action that gets below the surface of carpets tends to scatter more dust on bare floors than it collects. Additionally, some of these rollers can actually be damaging to more delicate floors. Instead, look for a vacuum cleaner designed for bare floors, as these rely on suction closer to the surface to be effective. Some newer models offer the ability to convert from carpet to bare floor mode with a simple switch that raises the roller brush just out of the way, meaning that those who have both carpet and bare floors don’t have to find two different machines.
Now that you know what separates different vacuum cleaner head types, it’s time to learn what really makes a vacuum cleaner most effective for any surfaces. Many manufacturers tout superior motor power as their chief selling point, claiming that this superior motor power leads to the most powerful suction. In reality, though, a vacuum cleaner’s airflow has much more impact on its suction power. A vacuum cleaner’s motor powers a fan that creates the vacuum that draws air and dirt in from outside the machine. This dirty air is pulled through the machine, where larger particles are directed to a collection bag or canister while a filter traps the smallest particles. The cleaned air is then sent out through the machine’s exhaust port. If this airflow system isn’t well sealed, even the most powerful motor won’t be able to maintain great suction for more than a few minutes after you turn it on. It also means that more dirt and debris is likely to be sent back into the room. Combine great airflow (measured in cubic feet per minute, or CFM) with a great motor, and you’ll have a vacuum cleaner that’s sure to do the best job of removing and containing the most dirt.
The choice of an upright or canister is largely a matter of preference. Most canister models are better when it comes to stairs, furniture, and other non-floor surfaces. If you would prefer to have an upright, just make sure that it comes with attachments that will let you tackle furniture and any other surfaces you might want to reach. If you’ll have to bring your vacuum cleaner up any stairs, be sure to look for one that’s not so heavy or bulky that you risk injuring yourself carrying it.
While shopping for a new vacuum cleaner, you’ll likely come across cordless models. These can certainly be more convenient than their corded cousins, but only if you make sure that a charge will last long enough to get your job done. Many cordless models are very lightweight and are usually not as powerful as corded models, making them ideal for between-cleaning touch ups or maybe for those who have smaller homes or apartments. Handheld models are super convenient to have around for smaller messes and for the car. If you have pets, handhelds are great for cleaning sleeping areas often enough that less pet hair and dander (which triggers allergic responses in some) escape into the rest of the room.
Visit best hardwood floor vacuum cleaners for top picks of a few lightweight and budget-friendly models for hardwood floors. You’ll find both canister and upright models and comparisons of some of the top names in the vacuum cleaner world.