Vacuum Cleaner Buyer's Guide

In his book "The Paradox of Choice - Why More Is Less" American psychologist Barry Schwartz argues that reducing consumer choices leads to a significant decrease in anxiety for shoppers. And that's the reason why we're writing this article. We want to help you to zero in on the perfect vacuum cleaner for your home without having a panic attack! In this era of excess, when we have so many choices, Analysis Paralysis is what happens to us when we try to make a decision to purchase something as simple as a vacuum cleaner. There are hundreds of different models of vacuum cleaners on the market. As if that wasn't enough, every single one of them claims to have some revolutionary features. It's quite easy to get dazzled by the myriad of glitzy features they possess, while ignoring the features that actually matter. And we want to prevent that from happening by telling you exactly what to look for in your perfect vacuum cleaner. You may not have any experience in picking vacuum cleaners, but we do, in spades. So don't worry. We've got your back!

Insisting on the usefulness of vacuum cleaners usually elicit dismissive grunts and eye rolling, and we understand why. Most people consider vacuum cleaners to be unwieldy plastic appliances that are relegated to the utility closets for most of their lives. But that should not happen if you pick the right vacuum cleaner for your home. The right vacuum cleaner will eliminate the ordeal of keeping your beloved home spick-and-span.

Whether you are a housewife with three children or a bachelor living alone, you need a vacuum cleaner. Having a vacuum cleaner can save you from the grunt work needed to keep your home clean. Everyone wants to live in a clean home, but ironically, no one likes the tedious process of cleaning one’s home. A vacuum cleaner that suits your needs will get you out of this universal conundrum. 

Here’s a list of things you should consider while choosing the perfect vacuum cleaner: 
A good vacuum cleaner must be powerful enough to ensure that it picks up debris effortlessly, without needing you to repeat the same area multiple times. But don’t focus too much on the wattage of the motor. Although having a powerful motor is important, a powerful motor alone won’t guarantee stellar performance. The overall performance of the vacuum cleaner will depend on the design, and the amount of airflow and suction power the unit can produce.     

Ease of Use
No matter how powerful your vacuum cleaner is, it will probably lie in a corner gathering dust unless it’s easy to use.  And choosing a vacuum cleaner that’s easy to use is a bit tricky. First of all, weight and maneuverability should be taken into consideration. But that’s not all. You must choose the right kind of vacuum cleaner that fits your needs. There are several major styles of vacuum cleaners on the market: Upright, Stick, Canister, Robot, Handheld and Convertible. Every style is specifically designed to suit different needs. Make sure that you pick the right style. 

Here’s a brief guide on the major styles of vacuum cleaners:

Upright: As the name suggests, these vacuum cleaners sit in an upright position. Therefore they are great for people who have back problems, who don’t want to bend over while cleaning their homes. Upright vacuum cleaners come with accessories to enable you clean different surfaces as well as difficult to reach areas. If you want the freedom of not bending too much, and the addes functionality provided by the accessories, consider one of these.

Stick: The Stick vacuum is similar to the Upright vacuum, but comes without any extra accessories. The simplified design ensures that it’s very easy to store and lightweight. So if you are tight on space, consider one of these. Stick vacuums usually battery powered, which makes them more portable and versatile than their corded counterparts. But there are trade-offs. They are also less powerful, which means they are suitable for cleaning light debris only. 

Canister: Canister vacuums offer more versatility than Uprights, as they can be lifted and moved to wherever you need. That makes it perfect for people who need to clean their stairs.They are lighter than Uprights, and heavier than Sticks. Also keep in mind that you’ll need to bend while using a Canister vacuum. 

Handheld: Handheld vacuums are considerably smaller and lighter than other vacuums. They are great for light cleaning jobs due to their portability. You can also buy a cordless Handheld if you want the extra portability it offers. If you have a RV or want something to clean your car, these will perfectly suit your need. Moreover, if your primary vacuum cleaner is heavy or comes without accessories, a Handheld vacuum can be a good supplement.

Convertible: If you want to buy an Upright vacuum cleaner, but also want the versatility of  a Canister vacuum, consider buying one of these. They are somewhat like those robots in the Transformers movies. They can transform! For example, the Shark Rotator Pro Lift-Away model is an Upright vacuum, which can convert into a Canister vacuum. So you are getting two machines for the price of one.  
Robot: The Robot vacuum is the new cool kid on the block. It’s battery powered and cordless. Robot vacuums are automated and sensor-controlled. So all you have to is program the schedule of your choice. It cannot be the primary vacuum cleaner. But if you’d rather not clean your floor or carpet yourself, pick one of these up. 

Extra Features
What are extra features? These are the features you may overlook while buying the vacuum cleaner. These include things like the length of the cord, tank capacity, accessories and height adjustability. The length of your vacuum cleaner’s cord has a significant effect on its mobility and ease of use. On the other hand, a cordless vacuum completely relieves of you the constraints imposed by a cord. The tank capacity will determine how often you need to empty the tank. A height adjustable vacuum is way more versatile than one that isn’t.  However insignificant these may seem at first blush, they can have a considerable effect on your long-term satisfaction with your vacuum cleaner. So do pay attention to these features while making your decision. 

HEPA Filter
The fact that we’re putting it a category of its own should be enough to convey the importance we place on this feature. If you or anyone in your family suffer from asthma or allergies, choose a vacuum cleaner that comes with a dedicated HEPA filter. HEPA stands for High Efficiency Particulate Air. A dedicated HEPA filter removes allergens like dust, pollen, smoke and mold from the air. That alone can go a long way in improving your and your family’s health.

Last but not the least, you should take price into consideration as well. Knowing what you want from your vacuum cleaner, and how much you are willing to pay for that, is crucial. Although it is possible to find capable vacuum cleaners by manufacturers like Hoover for even less than $100, most of the vacuum cleaners in that price range aren’t that good. On the other hand, a high price tag doesn’t automatically guarantee good performance. For example vacuum cleaners by Dyson may cost upwards of $500, and they still offer very good value for money. But there are vacuum cleaners on the market that cost as much, yet perform rather poorly.     A high price won’t necessarily translate into high performance as well. It’s a given that vacuum cleaners that are priced higher will be equipped with better technology and more accessorie. But you may not need those extras. On the flipside, there’s no point in buying a vacuum cleaner because it’s cheap if it doesn’t fulfill your needs. 

A vacuum cleaner that perfectly suits your needs can add tremendous value to your life. But in order to pick the perfect vacuum cleaner, you have to be very clear about what you are looking for. The perfect vacuum cleaner should offer a compelling package of performance, ease of use and features at a reasonable price. 

Looking for the best vacuum cleaner? Read our latest reviews here: Best Vacuum Cleaner Reviews 2017