You went to buy a new vacuum cleaner and to your surprise, you’ve found more than 1000 different models in the shop. The world of big, short, more or less powerful vacuums with or without bags, cordless robot-vacuums or anti-allergy devices with high-level filters can be very confusing.

The first thing you should do is to define what your needs are, and then you should pick a model accordingly.

Defining Your Needs

There are two main categories of needs when it comes to finding an appropriate vacuum for your home: the house you live in and the people (and pets) that live in it with you.

Modern Style HomeHouse

Questions you should answer are: how big is my apartment? What kind of surfaces do I have to clean (bare wooden floors, large Persian carpets, carpets made of some special materials)? Do I have to vacuum walls and ceilings? Do I have stairs in my house?

Type of House

Upright vacuum cleaners are large, heavy and you will have to push them. If you have large two story house with stairs, don’t even think about this model. Above all, you’ll have to stoop while you vacuum your house so with this type, you’ll need a short vacation after every major cleaning.

They are also not a handy solution for corners because they are too cumbersome to approach and clean them. That means you’ll have to constantly install and detach various attachments.

If you live in a big house (more than 1,200 square feet big), you should also forget about cordless vacuum cleaners. They will not have enough battery life to clean a big house, so you’ll have to recharge them several times during cleaning. These models are good if you have a small house or you prefer quick and short vacuuming.

The best pick for a large house with the staircase would be a canister model with a long cord. Especially if you need to vacuum something other than floors. In that case, you should pick a model that has specially designed extra tools for cleaning corners and mattresses, removing hair, and special fans for the ceilings and large bookshelf and wardrobes.

One more thing: a handheld vacuum is not a proper home cleaner. It can suck up crumbs on the chair, counter-top or in the car, but they are not suitable for cleaning your entire house!

Types of Floor

Solid Hardwood FloorIf you hate carpets, so you have bare floors and tiles around your house, you can pick any model you like (you could even consider buying a robotic vacuum cleaner).

But if you have carpets, you should choose carefully. Although they are the most convenient for carpets, large and powerful uprights may pull the threads from the precious Persian carpets and destroy them. If you choose to buy one of these, be sure that it has the adjustable level of power (variable suction) and brush height, as well as the dirt sensors. Variable suction is also essential for cleaning delicate items and small rugs.

A canister vacuum cleaner is the best solution if you have hardwood floors. You can read more about upright vs canister vacuums and how to select the right type for your hardwood floor over at the Floor Executives website. They’ve also shared this great article about the 5 ways to determine if your vacuum is good enough for a hardwood floor.

When picking a canister vacuum, it’s important to look for extra tools like suction-only rug tool (which is best for silk, woven and wool loop carpets) or extra soft bristle brush (essential for loop and wool pile carpets).

Household Members

There’s one simple rule: if any of your family members suffer from allergies, don’t even consider buying a bag-less cleaner. In that case, you should pick one that can filter out the microscopic dust particles from the air it sucks in. If a vacuum doesn’t have a filter that is good enough, these allergens can pass through it and come back into the room.

The best filters are those marked as HEPA (High Efficiency Particulate Air). Buying a high-quality bagged vacuum with a powerful filter is the best choice for a household with pets and kids.

Also, don’t try to save too much money: although very cheap models can usually vacuum as good as the more expensive ones, they don’t last for too long. Also, more expensive models have more automatic options and extras, more powerful motors, stronger belts and bearings, longer and comprehensive warranties.