There are different types of surfaces where dust could collect.
For example, the vacuum cleaner that works well on floors and carpets need not necessarily be effective in eliminating dust from your sofa upholstery or computer keyboards.
Of course, you can use different types of brushes and nozzles to cater to different tasks. However, that can be a cumbersome exercise to change your brushes on a frequent basis. Therefore, you have different types of vacuum cleaners for different purposes.
This buying guide will make your job easier as we go through each type of vacuum cleaner and explain the benefits and drawbacks as well. Depending on the shape and the purpose, you have five different types of vacuum cleaners available in India.
- Canister Vacuum Cleaner
- Handheld Vacuum Cleaner
- Upright Vacuum Cleaner
- Stick Vacuum Cleaner
- Robotic Vacuum Cleaner
You have another type of vacuum cleaner, namely Convertible Vacuum Cleaner that is not available in India. We restrict out discussion to the domestic vacuum cleaners alone.
Canister Vacuum Cleaner
This is the most commonly used type of vacuum cleaners in houses all over India. This vacuum cleaner comes with a cylinder integrated with a motor and a storage container. The cylinder has a suction nozzle that connects to a hosepipe. This equipment can be a bit heavy. Hence, you have wheels that allow you to drag the equipment wherever you go.
The canister vacuum cleaner is versatile equipment capable of performing various cleaning jobs. The earlier models used to come with a blower attachment as well. You are able to clean floors, sofa upholstery, staircases, and even ceiling fans. This is because you have the option to fix a telescopic extension pipe to the hose.
This vacuum cleaner is as close to the ‘all-purpose’ vacuum cleaner you are looking for. This equipment has a bag inside the container to collect the dust particles. It is imperative to empty the bag at frequent intervals and replace them with new ones on a regular basis. Accumulation of dust inside the bags can cause a decrease in the suction capacity.
- Does not make much noise
- Has different types of attachments to cater to different uses
- Moving the equipment is easy
- The instrument can be a bulky one
- The hose, wand, and telescopic tubes make it difficult to store
- Usually you find cords getting entangled
Handheld vacuum cleaner
Considering the drawbacks of the canister model, you might feel the need of a lighter model capable of easier manoeuvrability. The canister model is not efficient while cleaning the car interiors and other tricky locations. The handheld vacuum cleaner caters to these tasks easily.
These are compact equipment that you can carry everywhere easily. Not weighing more than 2 kg, this vacuum cleaner does not have any bags for collecting dust particles. The modern-day handheld vacuum cleaners do not have electric cords as they function on the strength of an inbuilt battery. Hence, this solves the problems of entangling of wires.
However, this equipment is not as powerful as the canister vacuum cleaners. They have their limitations.
- Compared to the other models, they are light and easy to handle
- Cleaning floors, sofa sets, and car interiors is easy with this vacuum cleaner
- Comparatively inexpensive
- Usually they run on batteries. Hence, you face power issues.
- Even though they weigh only 2 kg, you have to carry them. That makes it a bit cumbersome.
Upright Vacuum Cleaners
The very name suggests that the vacuum cleaner stands upright. This ensures that you do not have to do a lot of bending. This is a recent addition to the Indian market. You can see these vacuum cleaners in almost every home in countries like the US. It has now started making inroads into Indian homes now.
This is one of the best equipment to clean halls and large open carpet areas. The best part of his vacuum cleaner is that the nozzle head is very near to the carpet / floor thereby making it very easy to clean floors.
This is heavy equipment that does not offer much mobility. It cannot clean under furniture items, sofa sets, and other places like curtains, ceiling fans, etc. However, no other vacuum cleaner comes close to this one when it comes to cleaning floors. This is a foot-operated machine having a pedal to change directions.
- Compared to the canister cleaner, this one is easy to store
- This vacuum cleaner is the best when it comes to deep cleaning of carpets and floors.
- This machine has larger bags as compared to the canister models.
- The flexibility of the hose and the upright nature of the machine make it versatile.
- Not possible to manoeuvre beneath furniture items
- Not feasible for cleaning sofa sets
- Does not have a retractable electricity cord
- Comparatively heavier, hence difficult to clean staircases
Stick Vacuum cleaners
This is a machine similar to the upright vacuum cleaners in many ways. You need not have to bend your back to clean floors. You do not have any additional attachments to this vacuum cleaner. As they run on batteries, you need not worry about entangled electricity cords.
The biggest advantage of this vacuum cleaner over the upright ones is that it is easily manoeuvrable. You can use this vacuum cleaner to clean areas where the upright cleaners cannot. Cleaning beneath furniture and staircases is easy using this machine. You can also use this vacuum cleaner to clean the interiors of cars.
The lightness of this equipment makes it easy to clean curtains, and even the top portions of cupboards and other furniture. The long handle allows for a longer reach. The machine comes with an adjustable handle thereby allowing short people to use it with ease.
- Extremely light and easy to use
- No need to bend over thereby making it great for people with back problems
- Works on batteries hence, no cause for entangling of wires and electrical cords
- Ideal for picking up litter, cleaning interiors of cars
- Not perfectly ideal for cleaning carpets and floors
- Fairly small dirt collection bin
Robotic Vacuum cleaner
This vacuum cleaner is the most advanced type of vacuum cleaner available in India. These machines look like the UFOs you see in science fiction movies, but on a smaller scale. They are usually disc-shaped (you have square ones as well) battery-powered instruments capable of moving all around the flooring without feeling the need for any human intervention.
This enables you to clean the house even in your absence. You can set the timing for the machine to start on its own. Ensure that the battery has enough power. There are Robotic Vacuum cleaners capable of recharging on their own when it senses low battery levels. They find their way to the docking station and start the recharge process themselves.
However, you have to ensure removing the dirt collected inside the machine at least once a week. This machine is perfect for reaching out to all corners of the room. They can even clean the floors below the furniture if they have enough space to manoeuvre. They have their drawbacks like they cannot clean stairs and large piles of dirt. Otherwise, they are very useful.
- Compact and handy to use
- Programmable to function at any time
- Can clean below furniture and all over the rooms
- Automatic charging facility
- Cannot clean staircases
- Incapable of cleaning sofas, beds and other items placed at a height
- Smaller dirt collection container requiring weekly maintenance
There are other types of vacuum cleaners like convertible vacuum cleaners, centralized vacuum cleaners that are not usually available in India. You have them in countries like the US.
You have seen five basic types of vacuum cleaners available in India. Now, we shall focus on the points to consider while purchasing vacuum cleaners in India.
Vacuum cleaner container – Bag or Bag-less
The canister vacuum cleaners come with a bag inside the container. In case you go for the upright machine, you have the option to use a disposable bag or a reusable bin. Obviously, bags can hold more dust. They are easy to dispose as well.
You do not know whether the bags are full unless you remove them to have a look. The reusable bins are transparent. This allows you to judge the volume of dirt inside it thereby allowing you to empty it easily. You can find in-depth details about bag vs bag-less here.
Wet / Dry vacuum cleaners
The name is self-explanatory. This vacuum cleaner allows you to clean wet spills as well. This is particularly useful for picking up glass pieces and water/drinks spilled on the floors/carpets.
One of the best uses of the wet vacuum cleaners is that you can clean bathroom floors. It saves a lot of time mopping up the floors.
The present-day vacuum cleaners come equipped with High-Efficiency Particulate Air (HEPA) filters. They are capable of eliminating 99.99% of dirt, dust, pollen, and other impurities as small as 0.3 microns.
The HEPA filter consists of a glass fibre arranged in the form of a mesh to trap the minute particulate matter. There are other types of filters such as foam filter, charcoal filters, cloth filter and disk filter.
Noise has nothing to do with the efficiency of the vacuum cleaner. Vacuum cleaners working with a cyclonic action do emit a lot of sound. Check out the levels to avoid disturbing other families.
This is an important part in your decision making process. You should be identifying the areas that require cleaning before deciding on the type of machine to buy.
Having a portable cleaner is always handy as you can transport them to various parts of the rooms easily.
Cordless / Wireless
Tangling of the cords is a major area of concern in any vacuum cleaner. Hence, you might feel the need for a cordless cleaner. Check out you major usability areas.
You have vacuum cleaners with retractable power cords. The wireless battery operated machines are useful but require frequent charging. They lose efficiency when you have batteries with low charge.
Check out the availability of spare parts. If the manufacturer offers product warranties, procurement of spare parts should not be a problem.
Go through customer reviews. You might just find something to your advantage here.
The usage of the vacuum cleaner should play a prominent role in your decision making. The following information would be useful to you.
- Cleaning floors/carpets – Canister, Upright, and Robotic vacuum cleaners
- Sofa set upholsteries – Handheld and Stick vacuum cleaners
- Car interiors – Handheld vacuum cleaners
- Hard to reach areas – Canister and Stick vacuum cleaners
- Computers and electronic items – Handheld cleaners
- Presence of Asthma patients – Go for cleaners with HEPA filters. Opt for bagged vacuum cleaners rather than bagless ones.
- Presence of pet hair – Cleaners with HEPA filters
Check out the accessories that come with these vacuum cleaners. The canister type cleaners come with different types of brushes and telescopic extension tube. Check out for the compatible brushes for cleaning radiators, TV and electronic equipment etc.
Geetha Srinivasan is a homemaker by profession and choice. Her passion and skill in understanding the nuances of electric appliances prove handy in providing information about Home & kitchen appliances in the most straightforward manner possible.