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Buy the right vacuum cleaner

Manufacturers continue to introduce new models and new types with myriad bells and whistles and claimed benefits. There are even model designed to use ultraviolet light to kill dust mites.

Given this crowded market filled with topnotch performers as well as middling models, it’s essential to match the type of vacuum you choose to the kind of cleaning you typically do. Below you’ll find a description of the common types and the pros and cons of each.

UPRIGHT
Best for deep-cleaning carpets. Most upright vacuums are less expensive and easier to store than canister vacuums.

But you must push and pull the entire machine for most floor and carpet cleaning. When you’re vacuuming on stairs, an upright is less stable than canister models.

Price: $100 to $500 for most models

CANISTER
Best for cleaning bare floors, and stairs, drapes, and upholstery using tools. Canisters are more stable on stairs than uprights. The head fits under furniture, and you move only the head and hose.

But the entire machine tends to be heavier, bulkier, and pricier. Most aren’t as effective on carpets.

Price: $150 to $700 for most models

STICK SWEEPER
Best for light cleaning of carpets, bare floors, and edges. These suctionless sweepers are relatively quiet and have long battery run times.

But they’re not designed to deep-clean carpets, and on bare floors they might scatter debris, such as rice, kitty litter, and other common spills for which they’re designed.

Price: $20 to $80

STICK VACUUM
Best for light-duty cleaning on short-pile carpets and bare floors.

But they have trouble cleaning larger items off carpet and deliver shorter run times than sweepers, and some are no easier to push than full-size vacuums.

Price: $30 to $100

WET/DRY
Best for cleaning heavy dust, remodeling debris, liquids, and other tougher messes.

But dust emissions are high with some models. The largest can be hard to maneuver and store; the cheapest often aren’t very effective. All are noisy.

Price: $30 to $150 for most models

HAND
Best for spot cleanups on carpets and bare floors.

But you need to stoop when using one, and most handhelds lose power quickly, making them suitable only for occasional use.

Price: $20 to $60

ROBOTIC
Best for their novelty and low effort between regular vacuuming in uncluttered rooms.

But they’re expensive as a group and time-consuming to set up and run. In our test, most also tended to miss edges and corners.

Price: $200 to $1,800

CENTRAL SYSTEM
Best for canisterlike cleaning without carrying the body. They tend to be relatively quiet and can be emptied infrequently.

But central vacs are pricey and often require professional installation. The
30-foot hose can be cumbersome and takes up storage space. And there’s no
place to carry tools while you work

Given this crowded market filled with topnotch performers as well as middling models, it’s essential to match the type of vacuum you choose to the kind of cleaning you typically do. Below you’ll find a description of the common types and the pros and cons of each.

UPRIGHT
Best for deep-cleaning carpets. Most upright vacuums are less expensive and easier to store than canister vacuums.

But you must push and pull the entire machine for most floor and carpet cleaning. When you’re vacuuming on stairs, an upright is less stable than canister models.

Price: $100 to $500 for most models

CANISTER
Best for cleaning bare floors, and stairs, drapes, and upholstery using tools. Canisters are more stable on stairs than uprights. The head fits under furniture, and you move only the head and hose.

But the entire machine tends to be heavier, bulkier, and pricier. Most aren’t as effective on carpets.

Price: $150 to $700 for most models

STICK SWEEPER
Best for light cleaning of carpets, bare floors, and edges. These suctionless sweepers are relatively quiet and have long battery run times.

But they’re not designed to deep-clean carpets, and on bare floors they might scatter debris, such as rice, kitty litter, and other common spills for which they’re designed.

Price: $20 to $80

STICK VACUUM
Best for light-duty cleaning on short-pile carpets and bare floors.

But they have trouble cleaning larger items off carpet and deliver shorter run times than sweepers, and some are no easier to push than full-size vacuums.

Price: $30 to $100

WET/DRY
Best for cleaning heavy dust, remodeling debris, liquids, and other tougher messes.

But dust emissions are high with some models. The largest can be hard to maneuver and store; the cheapest often aren’t very effective. All are noisy.

Price: $30 to $150 for most models

HAND
Best for spot cleanups on carpets and bare floors.

But you need to stoop when using one, and most handhelds lose power quickly, making them suitable only for occasional use.

Price: $20 to $60

ROBOTIC
Best for their novelty and low effort between regular vacuuming in uncluttered rooms.

But they’re expensive as a group and time-consuming to set up and run. In our test, most also tended to miss edges and corners.

Price: $200 to $1,800

CENTRAL SYSTEM
Best for canisterlike cleaning without carrying the body. They tend to be relatively quiet and can be emptied infrequently.

But central vacs are pricey and often require professional installation. The
30-foot hose can be cumbersome and takes up storage space. And there’s no
place to carry tools while you work




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