7 Questions to Consider Before You Buy Your Next Vacuum
Buying a vacuum cleaner appears to be a straightforward purchase, but there is a lot to consider when investing in a home appliance. To begin with, there are different types of soil, your dust tolerance and the configuration and filter system of the vacuum.
Carolyn Forte, director of household appliances and cleaning products at the Good Housekeeping Institute, explains the key questions you need to ask yourself before buying your next vacuum cleaner and why our cleaning laboratory recommends GH Seal Star Miele for these household needs.
Which configuration is best for your room?
Vacuum cleaners generally come in five different configurations – upright, canister, stick, robot and handheld – and each type has its advantages and disadvantages.
- Upright:: This is your standard vacuum style. Forte recommends a post if you have carpeting. “They can be heavy, but they’re best for deep cleaning carpets,” she says, noting that they’re easier to store than a canister. Today’s models are supplied with a hose and numerous tool attachments for cleaning gaps, upholstery and other special areas.
- canister:: These vacuum cleaners have a canister with hose and rod. They are bulky than upright, but are more suitable for hard floors, stairs and for gripping under furniture. “I personally like a canister,” Forte says, adding that this guy is best when you have a combination of bare floor and carpet. Yes, upright vacuum cleaners also have hoses and attachments, but I think the canister is easier to maneuver. “They’re great too, if you use your vacuum cleaner to clean areas other than floors such as door rails, bookshelves or curtains.Miele has 19 different bag vacuum cleaners in a dozen different colors and five different bagless canister options.
- robot:: Set-it-and-forget style robotic vacuum cleaners are ideal for those who hate vacuuming. “You can be out of the house or do something else while it’s running,” says Forte. They are ideal for maintenance cleaning. However, note that they are not well suited for deep cleaning.”If you have a lot of deep carpets, a robot won’t really help you,” she says. “It’s better for bare floors and for picking up surface debris.” Both Miele options can be controlled via an app the high-end model is even equipped with a live image feed so you can see your robot unfolding its magic from anywhere – if that’s your thing.
- Floor: For “intermediate cleaning”, such as sweeping up the kitchen floor after dinner, Forte recommends light vacuum cleaners, sometimes also referred to as bar vacuum cleaners. But she notes that newer models like Miele’s upcoming modelare far superior to older vacuum cleaners when it comes to cleaning. “People really like the idea of pushing something light around. [and] Technology, battery life and engine performance have improved, ”she says. “They almost mimic the performance of a post.”
- Handheld: These mini models are ideal for quick surface cleaning, for tearing animal hair or for cleaning the car. The new stick vacuum cleaner from Miele also has a manual function.
Bagged or without a bag?
According to Forte, the most important consideration when buying a new machine is whether you want a vacuum with or without a bag.
Bagless models come in handy since you don’t have to buy bags, but you do have to empty and maintain the canister regularly. “If the cup is full or the filters are not clean, you will not perform well,” she says. “While people like the idea of seeing how much dirt they pick up, they’re a little maintenance problem.”
A bagged model, on the other hand, is “a much cleaner system because you don’t interact with the dirt,” says Forte. She clearly recommends a pocket model if you or someone in your family have allergies.
Is the vacuum sealed?
Believe it or not, not all vacuum cleaners are sealed at their various connection points. Dust can escape from gaps and openings around the body of the vacuum, be it a bag or a canister. The end result, Forte says, is to keep this dust in a vacuum. “You don’t want it to blow on furniture and floors and in the air again,” she says. “If you want to vacuum, you might as well get it right the first time.”
Good Housekeeping’s tests consistently ranked Miele vacuum cleaners as the best at picking up dirt and debris and keeping them in a vacuum. “They keep the dirt in a vacuum where it belongs,” says Forte.
Does the vacuum have a HEPA filter?
Forte recommends buying a vacuum with a highly efficient HEPA (Particle Particle Air) filter, as most Miele models do. “HEPA filters capture the smallest, most microscopic particles,” says Forte. “It is the best filter system you can have with a vacuum cleaner and ensures that your home is as clean as possible.”