Choosing a vacuum cleaner – Upright or Cylinder?
When choosing a vacuum cleaner it is not just about the brand you want go with, or the features, it is also about what type of machine will work best for you and meet your needs. The two most common types of vacuum cleaner are the upright and the cylinder. If you are not sure what the differences are between them or what features each tend to have here is a look at both and also a quick guide on getting the best one.
Upright vacuum cleaners
An upright vacuum cleaner is one that you can push around as it has wheels or a ball that enables maneuverability. It cleans when its brush bar touches the rug and the suction power pulls in the dirt, dust and debris. To clean hard flooring most uprights have the option of turning off the beater bar so that it does not fling the dirt around the floor. If you are going to be cleaning different kinds of floors with your upright you will want to check you have that option.
Over the last decade or so there has been a huge amount of development and innovation in vacuum cleaner design, especially with the attachments and the brush bar. If you have a larger home to clean this is the better option for most people. However there are some things to consider first. Some cons to an upright vacuum cleaner include:
Suction may be too strong for some types of rugs and carpets and can actually pull the fibers out and damage them. You can though just trim them back to the right height (happens mostly with twist pile and shag rugs).
If you are tall, to use an upright you have to bend over and this can cause backache.
A lot of uprights are heavier and therefore require strength to use them, especially when moving them up and down the stairs.
A lot of uprights are also quite bulky in size so can be hard to maneuver in small spaces, you will also probably have to use the tools and attachments more to reach areas that are hard to get to.
On the stairs you should always use the attachment to clean rather than trying to move it on the step above you. It is easy to lose your balance this way and leave you with an injury. The hose is a lot safer.
Cylinder Vacuum cleaners
A cylinder vacuum cleaner is more compact, it is the type you pull around with you as you use a hose and the cylinder shape on wheels follows. These are much lighter machines and they come with good suction and are a lot easier to use on the stairs. Being small means as well as being easier to handle in terms of weight, they are also easier to store and to get in and out of a cupboard.
Cylinders are great for those corners and tight small spaces that an upright is not good at reaching. But they are not as effective as uprights and are not good for larger homes. They are however a lot cheaper, you can find cylinder cleaners for under $50 even. Overall if you have a large home it would be a good choice to get an upright, but then perhaps something else for the stairs if using the hose looks too awkward. You could get a cylinder for the stairs for a fair price, or a handheld of some sort. If you just have a small space to clean though a cylinder is just fine.
What to look for in your vacuum cleaner
There are some things that are worth paying a little more for, or to look for in your vacuum cleaner before buying. These things include:
Bagless – Some people might be okay to change bags every time they fill up, deal with the dust that can escape, and the occasional cheaper kinds that burst on you. But there are some great bagless vacuum cleaners out there now that are light, easy to empty and easy to click back on. Plus you never have to remember to buy replacement bags again. Bagless may not be the way to go though if you are asthmatic as it can release dust into the air as you open into the bin.
Top filters – It is worth paying extra for the best filters. HEPA is the best, trap the smallest particles and are the best for those with allergies.
Pet hair – Any good cleaner should be able to deal with pet hair on floors but you also want one that gives you the right tools and accessories to get it off of upholstery, furniture and stairs too. Look for rotating brushes that can be put onto the end of the hose to allow you to do a more thorough cleaning.