Vacuum Types and Configurations

Vacuum cleaners and other cleaning devices come in various sizes and shapes and are optimized for different purposes.

These days many homes have two or even three vacuum cleaners/devices - most commonly one large, full-size vacuum cleaner, one convertible stick/handheld vacuum, and often a steam mop for cleaning and sanitizing the bare floors.

People living in houses with large backyard gardens often have garden leaf blower/vacuum/mulchers to help them keep their gardens and lawns clean and tidy.

Note: before using any vacuum cleaner, be sure to thoroughly read the manual in order to get accustomed to your vacuum cleaner. Better safe than sorry ...

Here is the list of most common vacuum cleaners and other devices that help people keep their homes cleaner and more pleasant to live in.

Air Purifiers

best hepa air purifier mAir Purifiers capture and remove dust, pollen, pet dander and odors, tobacco smoke, and other pollutants and potential allergens, making the air much safer to breathe.

In order to purifier air, air purifiers usually combine several methods including mechanical air filters, activated charcoal air filters, UV lamps, various catalysts, ion filters, and similar.

Since some air filtration methods may create ozone in traces (UV lamps and ion filters, for example), they can be turned off, if desired by the users.

The most important features of air purifiers are air filtration level, CADR (Clean Air Delivery Rate) rating, ACH (Air Changes per Hour) rating, airflow in CFM (Cubic Feet Per Minute), cleaning modes, remote control or even WiFi control and monitoring, etc.

Since the quality of air at homes is decreasing due to the pollution, having a good air purifier is becoming more and more important.

For more about this topic, feel free to check:

- Best Home HEPA Air Purifiers


Ash Vacuum Cleaners

powersmith ash vacuumAs a dirt type, ash is very aggressive toward the cleaning devices - ash particles are very small and very abrasive and as such, they can easily go through most standard air filters and damage the suction motors.

And if the ash is hot, that is a recipe for disaster - if hot ash is vacuumed by a common vacuum cleaner, it will probably catch fire, resulting in total vacuum cleaner damage and of course, lost warranty.

Ash vacuums usually combine water filters with very fine mechanical air filters, capturing and cooling down ash at the same time. Also, very often ash vacuums feature bypass construction - the suction motor is not cooled by the main stream of vacuumed air.

Note: not all ash vacuums are intended for vacuuming warm/hot ash!


Backpack Vacuum Cleaners

hoover backpack vacuumBackpack vacuum cleaners are designed to be carried on the back or on the shoulder of the user, giving the user ability to move around the cleaned area with ease.

Cordless backpack vacuums are especially suitable for vacuuming areas that not always have mains power available, and for covering large areas without pulling the power cord behind.

Cordless backpack vacuums are powered with lightweight, but powerful lithium-ion batteries. In order to prolong operating time on the single battery charge, they often feature very fine suction control, allowing the user to adjust suction (and battery drain) according to the situation. Also, removable batteries allow the user to operate the cordless backpack vacuum with one battery (or one battery set), while another battery (or batteries) is being recharged.

Backpack vacuums feature cleaning wand and cleaning hose, combined with the set of floor cleaning tools and cleaning accessories for cleaning elevated surfaces as well.

Backpack vacuums are mostly used in commercial applications, although there are also models intended for cleaning homes only.


Bagless vs. Bagged Vacuum Cleaners

miele type fjm 3d bags mVacuumed dirt may be collected in the onboard dust cup (dirt cup, dirt bin, dust bin) or it may be collected in a vacuum bag.

Note: vacuums that use water as part of their air filtration system are usually considered as bagless vacuums.

Bagless vacuums feature very low maintenance costs, but when emptying the dust cup, there is always a danger of making a mess, no matter how careful the user is.

Bagged vacuums may use disposable or reusable vacuum bags. Reusable vacuum bags keep the maintenance costs low, but they are even easier to make a mess when being emptied, than dust cups found on bagless models.

Disposable vacuums bags are thrown in the trash together with vacuumed dirt. Also, most popular models of bagged vacuums feature vacuum bags with an automatic closing system, preventing any vacuumed dirt from escaping when the full bag is being replaced with the new one.

When bought in larger packaged, disposable vacuum bags are rather cheap.

Note: since vacuum bags are an important part of the air filtration system, always go for OEM vacuum bags. If available, of course.


Bare Floor Vacuums

shark apex az1002 mBare floor vacuums are optimized for vacuuming bare floors, ranging from sensitive wooden floors to resilient ceramic glazed tiles.

Bare floor vacuums feature either main cleaner heads without brushrolls, with the brushrolls that may be turned off or with the brushrolls optimized for vacuuming sensitive floors.

Other important features of bare floor vacuums include strong suction, air filtration level (preferably true HEPA), dirt capacity, the weight of the unit, wheel types (soft wheels that are gentle on the wood are preferred), and similar.

For more about this topic, feel free to check:

- Best Vacuums for Tile and Hardwood Floors


Canister Vacuum Cleaners

miele complete c2 hard floorCanister vacuums feature a body of the vacuum in the form of the canister (hence the name) containing main suction motor, dirt cup/bag, transport wheels, controls, and similar.

The actual cleaning is done via a flexible cleaning hose and cleaning wand.

In order to be able to clean elevated surfaces, the cleaning wand is usually telescopic, allowing the user to adjust the length as required. Also, to clean different surfaces, canister vacuums often comes with a set of cleaning tools, usually including the Crevice tool, Dusting brush, and Upholstery tool.

But, the list of cleaning tools may be much longer. Also, some models come with several main cleaning heads, each one being optimized for different floor types (bare floors, carpeted areas, and similar).


Car Vacuum Cleaners

bissell 2284w auto mate mCar vacuums are designed for vacuuming cars and similar objects in greater detail. Car vacuums may be cordless units, may be powered via power cord with cigarette lighter adapter, or they can be full-size corded units.

Cordless car vacuums are small but versatile units, optimized for quick cleanups in emergencies. Operating time is limited by the amount of energy being stored at the onboard battery, but they are very autonomous and mobile and can be used in cars, boats, at home, etc.

12V corded units feature power cords long enough to clean cars and trucks. Since they are powered by a car battery, their power is limited to ~100W (10 Amps circuit breakers are standard for cigarette light adapters), but they can operate for a long time, without the danger of discharging the car battery.

A full-size vacuum cleaner may be used for car vacuuming if it features long enough cleaning hose (canister vacuum, upright vacuum with cleaning hose), cleaning tool suitable for cleaning cars, and the mains power outlet to power the vacuum cleaner itself.

For more about this topic, feel free to check:

- Car Vacuum Cleaners


Carpet Shampooers/Washers

hoover fh50150 mCarpet shampooers wash carpets and area rugs by spraying cleaning solution (water + cleaning formula/detergent), scrubbing the surface and then by removing the dirty liquids from the carpet.

Most carpet washers feature two-tank technology: one tank for clean water or water mixed with detergent and second tank for dirty liquids.

Some carpet washers feature third tank for cleaning formula/detergent, allowing the user to rinse the carpet more thoroughly.

In order for the carpets to dry as quickly as possible, the suction of carpet shampooers must be as strong as possible. Also, some models feature a warm air blower/fan for additional drying of the carpets/area rugs.

Manufacturers of carpet washers also manufacture cleaning formulas/detergents for use in their units. Also, sprays and bottles of pretreat detergents help the user remove even the most stubborn stains and messes.

If you have small kids and pets and plenty of carpeted areas, a good carpet shampooer/washer can make a huge difference.

Note: Be careful with washing your carpet if it is placed on the hardwood or similar sensitive floor - extra moisture can damage sensitive surfaces.


Carpet Sweepers

carpet sweeperCarpet sweepers don't use suction to clean carpets, area rugs, and similar surfaces. Carpet sweepers, as their name suggests, sweep the surface using mechanical brushes and clean the surface.

Carpet sweepers are simple cleaning aids, intended for quick cleanups in emergencies. They can be mechanical - sweeping brushes are mechanically powered, or electric - sweeping brushes are powered by a small electric motor and onboard battery.

Mechanical or electric, carpet sweepers don't create suction of any kind in order to clean.

Carpet sweepers are very simple cleaning aids, cheap, and reliable, but they are able to clean only the surface, not deeply embedded dirt.


Carpet Vacuum Cleaners

shark zero m zu560 zu561 zu562 mCarpet vacuum cleaners are rather common - they are designed for deep and thorough cleaning of large carpeted areas by combining spinning brushrolls, good suction, and preferably, good air filtration.

Carpet vacuums differ in design and shape (upright vacuums, canister vacuums, stick vacuums, etc), power source (corded, cordless), dirt disposal (bagged or bagless), suction strength (50 - 300 or even more Air Watts), etc.

But, they all feature spinning brushroll and good suction - as the brushroll spins, it agitates deeply embedded dirt and pulls out pet and human hair, lint, fibers, and similar debris, after which strong suction picks up the dirt, and carries it into the dirt bag or dirt cup/bin.

In order to be able to clean bare floors, some carpet vacuums can turn off the brushroll or at least slow it enough down in order to avoid damaging sensitive hardwood and similar floors.

For cleaning of the elevated surfaces, canister vacuums, upright vacuums with additional cleaning hoses and stick carpet vacuums feature additional cleaning tools, often including a crevice tool, upholstery tool, dusting brush, turbo pet brush, and similar tools.

To help the users with the maintenance of the spinning brush roll, some models feature an automatic hair removal system that removes tangled hair from the brushroll, helping with both maintenance and the cleaning.


Central Vacuum Cleaners

central vacuum cleanerThe central vacuum cleaner system features a fixed vacuum cleaner with large dirt capacity, strong suction motor, and suction outlets on permanent position around the home. Cleaning is done using long and flexible cleaning hoses, with one side connected to suction outlets and another side connected to the required cleaning tool.

Central vacuums feature very strong suction and a broad range of cleaning tools, suitable for cleaning all surfaces from the floor to the ceiling.

But, they are also a large initial investment that includes plenty of construction work around the home.

Since cleaning hoses may be rather long (20-30 feet, 6-9 meters), so the number of suction outlets may be kept relatively low.


Commercial Vacuum Cleaners

oreck commercial vacuumCommercial vacuums are designed to be used many hours every day and to clean thoroughly large areas.

Thus, they are more durable than units intended for home-only use. Also, many commercial vacuums are optimized for cleaning of floors only, keeping the total weight rather low, which is very important when the unit is used for hours - it causes less physical fatigue.

In order to keep electric bills low, commercial vacuums feature high-efficiency suction motors and optimized air flow paths - thus, many commercial vacuums feature suction motor in the range of 5-8 Amps, while many top home models feature suction motors with 10-14 Amps.

Of course, there are also large and sturdy commercial units with large suction motors that are optimized for cleaning both floors and elevated surfaces, that feature wide cleaning paths and additional cleaning flexible hoses, wands and cleaning tools, similar to many home-only models.

Commercial units are even used at homes and as such can last a very long time.


Construction Site/Workshop Vacuum Cleaners

workshop vacuum cleanerVacuum cleaners for workshops and construction sites are intended for vacuuming of very fine dirt, but also of relatively large and heavy debris.

As such, they often have strong bypass suction motors, HEPA mechanical air filters combined with water filters, and are able to vacuum both wet and dry debris.

In order to keep the operating costs low, some units feature washable air filters.

For vacuuming, workshop/construction site vacuums feature durable flexible cleaning hoses and set of cleaning tools, intended for vacuuming different types of debris from sometimes rather awkward and hard to reach areas.


Convertible Vacuum Cleaners

upgrade canister caddyConvertible vacuum cleaners are designed as multi-function units.

Most common convertible vacuums include corded or cordless stick vacuums that may be used as both stick vacuums and handheld vacuums by removing the cleaning wand.

Also, some upright vacuums come with the additional cleaning hose and wand, so that they can be used for vacuuming elevated surfaces, similarly to canister vacuums.

Furthermore, some brands (Shark for example, and their Lift-Away and Powered Lift-Away models) feature units that may be used as classic upright vacuums, as classic canisters (with so-called 'canister caddy'), but with easy-to-carry cleaning pod and cleaning hose/wand combination.

Such units are designed to act as the main vacuum cleaner even in large homes and apartments that feature rather complex set of surfaces that must be vacuumed, like carpets, area rugs, hardwood floors, tiles, stairs, upholstery, drapes, etc.


Cordless Vacuum Cleaners

dyson v11 torque drive animal mCordless vacuum cleaners feature onboard battery that powers the unit during the cleaning.

Runtime of the cordless units is limited only by the amount of energy stored at the battery. Thanks to the advancements in technology, lightweight but powerful power fade-free lithium-ion batteries ensures performances that are very close to the performances of the corded vacuums, but with runtime at full power usually being under 10 minutes.

When the cordless units are throttled down, their runtime is much longer, with some units being able to operate up to 60 minutes on a single battery charger.

Cordless vacuums range from the small handheld units to large and powerful convertible stick vacuums and upright vacuums, with top models being used as the main vacuum cleaners even in larger homes and apartments.

Note: a special group of cordless vacuums are robot vacuums and mops.

For more about this topic, feel free to check:

- Battery Types and Chemistries in Home Tools and Appliances


Cyclonic Vacuum Cleaners

dyson ball animal 2 total clean mCyclonic vacuum cleaners use small, but powerful cyclones in order to filter out dirt from the air.

Cyclonic action is a type of mechanical air filtration and is often combined with washable or non-washable air filters and is used practically exclusively in bagless vacuums (why would bagged vacuums use it?).

Speed of air within cyclones vary significantly with some models using cyclonic action just to keep the vacuumed dirt away from the main air filter, while some units feature 1-2 rows of powerful cyclones for thorough air filtration.

Cyclonic air filtration is used in many vacuum types like upright vacuums, handheld vacuums, stick vacuums, canister vacuums, etc.


Drum Vacuum Cleaners

drum vacuum cleanerDrum vacuum cleaners feature a body of the vacuum shaped as the drum - hence the name.

Drum vacuums feature relatively large capacity and are often designed as workshop/site vacuums, or as commercial vacuums.

Main suction motor with main air filter is usually set at the top-center of the drum, allowing the lower part to be used for dirt storage.

Since the motor and most of the electric parts are placed high, most drum vacuums are also designed as wet-dry vacuums.

The actual cleaning is done using long flexible hoses with the cleaning wand (usually telescopic) and with the set of cleaning tools intended for vacuuming both floors and elevated surfaces.

Drum vacuums are rarely used as home vacuum cleaners.


Dust Extractors

 dust extractorDust extractors are used for removing dust from working areas. Generally, there are two types of dust extractors, including:

- fixed dust extractors are placed on permanent position and act as air purifiers in workshops and construction sites, removing often large amounts of dust and other very fine debris from the air, improving the air quality significantly. Since the plenty of free dust ends in dust extractors, the cleaning of construction site or workshop is much easier.

- tool dust extractors are connected directly to the tools that create dust during operation. Such tools include various saws, sanders, drills, and similar. Tool dust extractors often have automatic power On/Off systems - when the tools are turned On, suction motors of dust extractors are also automatically turned On and vice versa.

The combination of both fixed and tool dust extractors can keep the air quality at an acceptable level even during very dirty construction works.


Garden Leaf Vacuum Cleaners

garden leaf vacuumAs their name suggests, garden leaf vacuums are used for vacuuming dry and even wet leaves and storing them in large collector bags.

Garden leaf vacuums may be corded and cordless, with cordless units often being powered by lithium-ion batteries that are also used for powering other tools as well (drills, sanders, lawn mowers, trimmers, etc.).

Also, garden leaf vacuums often may be used as leaf blowers - 2-in-1 units.

In order to collect as much leaves as possible in the collector bag, most of the garden leaf blowers feature metal impeller designed to create suction, but also to shred leaves in smaller pieces that can be either thrown away, used for making compost or as a mulch.

Many of these units are actually advertised as 3-in-1 units: leaf vacuum, leaf mulcher, and leaf blower.

If you have a yard that needs some cleaning, a good leaf vacuum/mulcher/blower can be of great help.

For more about this topic, feel free to check:

- Garden Leaf Vacuums, Mulchers and Blowers


Handheld Vacuum Cleaners

shark ion wv201 mHandheld vacuum cleaners are compact and lightweight vacuums carried in the hand during use.

Although handheld vacuums may be corded units, most of modern handhelds are cordless units powered by lithium-ion batteries.

Due to their small dimensions, handheld vacuums are usually stored in the kitchen, near pet beds, busy hallways, and similar and as such, used at the moment notice.

Also, thanks to their size and weight, they can be easily used by elderly people and even kids (kids under the supervision of adults, of course).

Performances and prices of handhelds vary - despite that, some of the most expensive handhelds are still relatively cheap to make the also some of the most popular units in their class.


Hard Floor Mops

bissell 2307 cordless hard floor mopHard floor mops are used for cleaning bare floors like glazed ceramic, marble, granite, sealed wooden floors, laminate, vinyl, and similar using hard floor mop pads and cleaning solutions.

Hard floor mop pads usually come in two versions, one scrubby mop pad for cleaning tough messes from tiles and similar tough surfaces and one soft mop pad for everyday cleaning and for cleaning of the sensitive surfaces.

Cleaning solutions are a mix of plain water and cleaning detergents/formulas and are sprayed over cleaned surfaces.

In the areas with extra hard water, the use of distilled or demineralized water is recommended in order to avoid streaks and marks on the highly polished and glossy floors.

Also, cleaning detergents/formulas come in many versions depending on the surface being cleaned and the most common type of dirt.

Hard floor mops may be corded or cordless - since they don't require much power to operate (just motor to the power-scrubbing mechanism and spray pump - they rarely have water heaters), cordless hard floor mops can operate rather long, while offering great freedom of operation since there is no power cord to pull behind.


Hard Floor Washers

hoover bh55210 floormate jet mHard floor washers are very similar in construction to carpet shampooers/washers. But, hard floor washers are basically wet-dry vacuum cleaners that are optimized for washing hard floors by combining scrubbing brushrolls, cleaning solutions and strong suction to thoroughly clean bare floors.

Also, some models feature several, easy-to-replace brushrolls, allowing them to be used on both bare floors and carpeted areas.

Of course, when the unit is being used for different surfaces, it is up to the user to change both brushrolls AND cleaning solution. In order to help the users to clean the whole house with a single unit as faster as possible, some models come with multi-surface brushrolls and multi-surface cleaning formulas.

Note: cleaning formulas are generally safe for pets and kids when used according to the instructions.

Hard floor washers may be corded or cordless, with both of them having their own pros and cons.

For example, some corded units feature hot/warm air blower to help the floors dry faster. Such hot/warm air blower is still unavailable on cordless units, but cordless units are much easier to move around since there is no power cord to pull behind.


HEPA Vacuum Cleaners

HEPA (High-Efficiency Particulate Air) Air Filtration Levels basically tell how air filter is good in stopping (capturing) small particles (typically 0.3 microns or larger, although there are some vacuums being designed for 0.1 microns particles).

The following chart lists various classifications of air filters and air filtration according to the EN 1822 standard:

Filter Group Filter Class Filtration Efficiency Penetration
Efficiency Particulate Air (EPA) Filters E10 85 % 15 % 
E11 95 % 5 % 
E12 99.5 %  0.5 % 
High-Efficiency Particulate Air (HEPA) Filters H13 99.95 %  0.05 % 
H14 99.995 %  0.005 % 
Ultra-Low Penetration Air (ULPA) Filters U15 99.9995 %  0.0005 % 
U16 99.99995 %  0.00005 % 
U17 99.999995 %  0.000005 % 

'True HEPA' vacuum cleaner is able to capture at least 99.97% of 0.3 microns or larger particles and technically stands between HEPA H13 and HEPA H14 levels.

pollenThe size of the most common pollutants at homes are:

- flu virus: 0.1 μm,

- bacteria: 0.3-10.0 μm,

- pollen: 10.0-100.0 μm,

- pet and human hair: 30.0-200.0 μm,

- dust mites: 90.0-600.0 μm,

- sand grains: 50.0-1000.0 μm, etc.

Note: While flu and similar viruses are rather small and hardly directly captured by the vacuum cleaners, if present, they are found in micro-droplets in the air that are mostly much larger than 0.1 μm.

When manufacturers label their vacuum cleaner as HEPA vacuum cleaner, be sure to check its HEPA level or its actual filtration level, for example 99.9% of 0.3 μm particles, 99.99% of 0.1 μm particles, and similar.

For people having issues with asthma and allergies, having a good vacuum cleaner with at least HEPA H13 air filtration level and true HEPA (99.97% 0.3 μm particles) air purifier is very important for improving air quality.


Mattress Vacuum Cleaners

housmile 12 kpa vac mMattress vacuums are intended for vacuuming and sanitizing of mattresses, pillows, bedsheets, car seats, even smaller carpets, stairs, pet beds, and similar surfaces.

Mattress vacuums deeply clean by combining locally strong suction, UV lamp (that is harmful to bed bugs, bacteria, viruses, etc. but can also cause sunburns on human skin!), high-frequency vibrations, hot air blower and similar.

Note: not all units combine all of these cleaning methods...

As the mattress vacuum is slowly pulled over the cleaned area, it irradiates the surface with strong UV light, sanitizing the surface. High-frequency vibrations penetrate the surfaces and set loose dust, pollen, bed bugs, mites, and other types of dirt and allergens, which are then vacuumed into the unit by the strong suction.

Since the moisture is essential for bed bugs, some units also additionally dry the cleaned surfaces using hot/warm air fan.

To prevent the dirt from escaping back into the cleaned area, mattress vacuums generally have true HEPA air filtration.

For more about this topic, feel free to check:

- Mattress Vacuum Cleaners


Nasal Aspirators

Nasal aspirators, also known as nose vacuums usually come in two versions:

- mechanical silicon/rubber pumps used for cleaning baby noses in absolute silence,

- cordless nasal aspirators that are powered by onboard batteries usually charged using USB cables. Small suction motor creates a vacuum that is used to clean the baby's nose, allowing the baby to breathe more easily.

Note: cordless nasal aspirators are very quiet, but they do produce some noise. Before using it, it is of absolute importance to read the instructions and to get your baby accustomed to its noise. And be very gentle and patient.


Pet Hair Vacuums

shark zero m zu560 zu561 zu562 mPet hair vacuums have some of the most demanding tasks to do properly - they must be able to clean pet and human hair, lint, fibers, and similar dirt from thick carpets, area rugs, car seats, carpeted stairs, pet beds, upholstery and similar, sometimes even very sensitive surfaces.

In order to clean such dirt, pet hair vacuums feature main cleaner heads with at least one spinning brushroll, and very often two brushrolls of different design that work in unison, and some sort of hair removal system to aid with the maintenance.

As the brushrolls spin, they pull out deeply embedded hair and other dirt, which are then vacuumed by strong suction into the vacuum.

To keep the vacuumed dirt inside the vacuum cleaner, pet hair units are usually able to capture least 99.9% of 0.3 microns or larger particles, with true HEPA (99.97%, 0.3 microns particles) being preferred models.

For more about this topic, feel free to check:

- Best Shark Vacuum Cleaners for Pet Hair


Pool Vacuum Cleaner

above groud pool vacuum mSince pools come in many sizes and shapes, so do the vacuums used for vacuuming dirt from the pools.

Since pool vacuums operate in water, they are often powered using water flow created by water pump - such a water pump may be part of the pool's cleaning system or it is part of the pool vacuum.

Pool vacuums feature different forms of locomotion systems - some models come with tank-style treads, while others use wheels.

The actual cleaning is performed using brushrolls and other tools similar to other vacuums, but optimized for water environment and debris commonly found at pools.

Due to the suction created by water, some models are able to clean pool walls as well as pool floors, while other models are able to clean just pool floors.

For more about this topic, feel free to check:

- Best Vacuums for Above-Ground Pools


Robotic Vacuum Cleaners

roomba e5 mRobotic vacuum cleaners and mops are autonomous cleaning systems that can be of great help in keeping the home clean. However, they can't replace a good home vacuum cleaner and a human hand.

Robot vacuum cleaners are powered by onboard lithium-ion batteries and practically all units feature automatic charging - when the battery charge is low, they are able to automatically locate the charging station and recharge themselves.

Depending on the navigation system, some units come with an 'automatic recharge' feature, while other units come with an 'automatic recharge and resume' feature.

Price and list of available features vary significantly among the models, but the most advanced units feature automatic dirt disposal stations combined with their charging stations, they support Amazon Alexa and Google Home Assistant, voice control, cleaning maps and zones, reporting, etc.


Stationary Vacuum Cleaners

sationary vacuum cleanerStationary vacuums are usually commercial units used at hair salons, kitchens, boutiques, small businesses, etc.

Stationary vacuums are positioned on semi-permanent location, they are always turned On, with the suction motor being automatically turned On by onboard sensors as soon as they detect sweeping motion in front of the unit.

Most stationary vacuums feature HEPA air filters, ensuring good air filtration and strong suction motors, helping with the cleaning reach.

Often, stationary vacuums are used by people having pets, or near heavily soiled areas, like entry doorways and similar.

Stationary vacuums are almost exclusively corded units.


Steam Mops and Steam Vacuum Cleaners

o cedar microfiber steam mop mSteam mops clean and sanitize floors by combining the hot steam with the scrubbing motion of the steam mop pad.

Steam mop pads are usually manufactured in two versions: scrubby steam mop pads are used for cleaning durable sealed surfaces (glazed ceramics, for example) and stubborn dirt and sticky messes, while soft and gentle steam mop pads are used for everyday cleaning and the cleaning of sensitive surfaces.

Steam vacuum cleaners are a combination of steam mops and vacuum cleaners - by vacuuming first and then steam cleaning (all in one motion), these units speed the cleaning.

Note: hot steam may be used for steam cleaning of hardwood, laminate, and similar floors, only if such floors are certified for such cleaning and the finish has no cracks.

For more about this topic, feel free to check:

- Cordless Steam Mops

- Steam Mops

- Scented Demineralized Water for Steam Mops

- Carpet Gliders for Steam Mops


Stick Vacuum Cleaners

shark hv391 mStick vacuum cleaners are lightweight and compact upright vacuum cleaners that resemble the common - stick, hence the name.

Most stick vacuums are designed as convertible units, being easily converted from stick vacuum to handheld vacuum cleaner and back.

Due to their dimensions, dirt cups are usually smallish, with the capacity rarely more than 0.75 liters. But, dirt cups may be emptied quickly and easily.

Cordless stick vacuums are very popular class, thanks to the lightweight, but powerful lithium-ion batteries.

As such, convertible cordless stick vacuums are often used as the entry-level main vacuum cleaner in small- to medium-sized homes and apartments, or as a second vacuum cleaner in medium- to large-sized homes.

For more about this topic, feel free to check:

- Stick Vacuum Cleaners


Upright Vacuum Cleaners

shark nv752 mUpright vacuum cleaners are a very popular vacuum cleaner class, especially upright vacuums with additional cleaning hoses and wands.

Upright vacuums are used for vacuuming large floor areas, but due to their size and design, they are not well suited for cleaning around the floor objects and obstacles, like walls, stairs, furniture and similar - canister vacuums can do such tasks much better, since cleaning wand with the flexible hose is much more maneuverable than a full-sized upright vacuum.

However, uprights with additional cleaning hoses and wands have a similar reach and cleaning abilities in narrow areas just like canister vacuums - main cleaning floor nozzle is used for cleaning large open areas, and cleaning hose and wand with additional cleaning tools are used for cleaning hard to reach areas and elevated surfaces.


Vacuum Cleaner for Asthma and Allergies

dyson big ball multi floor canister tableVacuum cleaners for asthma and allergies come in different sizes and forms, but they all have one thing in common - excellent air filtration.

Vacuum cleaners for asthma and allergies feature at least 'true HEPA' air filtration level - they are able to capture at least 99.97% of 0.3 microns or larger particles, preventing the vacuumed dirt from reentering the vacuumed areas.

Vacuum cleaners for asthma and allergies also must be able to actually clean various types of dirt (including allergens) from different surfaces - thus, they are usually powered by strong suction motors, combined with floor nozzle equipped with brushrolls and cleaning wands/hoses with other cleaning tools and accessories, like dusting brushes, crevice tools, upholstery tool, pet turbo tool and similar.

Vacuum cleaners for asthma and allergies are usually full-size canister and upright vacuums, but there are also other vacuum types that are suitable for this role, like stick vacuums, robot vacuums, and similar. Also, carpet and hard floor washers help with thorough cleaning of floors and removing potential allergens from the floors, while air purifiers help with the air quality.


 Vacuum Cleaners For Elderly People

shark f80 if281 mVacuum cleaners for elderly people must be lightweight vacuums that are easy to use and maintain.

Most popular class of vacuums for elderly people are cordless, bagless, convertible stick vacuums. Such units are lightweight, compact, easy to use, easy to empty, they feature storage stands that often double as charging stands, have a lightweight set of additional cleaning tools, etc.

However, other vacuums are used as well, for example, robot vacuums with automatic dirt disposal, voice prompts, and commands (Amazon Alexa, Google Home Assistant) can be of great help.

Also, such units feature smartphone apps that allow users to control and monitor their robot vacuums while doing something else. Or not doing anything at all.


Vacuum Cleaners For Stairs

shark rocket hv292 mVacuum cleaners for stairs allow the user to reach and clean bare and carpeted stairs and other hard to reach areas and surfaces.

Stair vacuums come in various sizes and shapes:

- canister vacuums or upright vacuums with long flexible cleaning hose and telescopic wand and the set of cleaning tools suitable for cleaning stairs,

- corded or cordless convertible stick vacuums with the appropriate set of cleaning tools,

- convertible upright vacuums that feature cleaning pod, like Shark's Lift-Away and Powered Lift-Away pods,

- corded or cordless handheld units, etc.

In order for stair vacuums to be able to vacuum such areas, they must come with the crevice tool, upholstery tool, dusting brush, pet turbo tool, flexible crevice tool, and similar.


Water Vacuum Cleaner

water vacuum cleanerWater vacuum cleaners are wet-dry vacuums, commonly shaped as a drum that use water as filtering media.

Water filters allow these vacuums to filter out very fine particles of dust, gypsum, ash and similar, and are commonly used in workshops, construction sites, and similar.

Note: vacuuming hot ash may be done only by units certified for such dirt.

Water filters also feature an additional layer of air filtration in the form of a mechanical HEPA air filter that is often washable in order to simplify maintenance and to keep operating costs low.


Wet-Dry Vacuum Cleaners

hoover fh52000 mWet-dry vacuums are designed to vacuum both dry and wet/moist dirt.

Wet-dry vacuums protect the main suction motor by the unit's design (drum vacuum with the suction motor on top of the unit), air flow design (bypass suction motor), special air filters and similar.

Wet-dry vacuums come in various forms and uses like ash vacuums (water filter allows vacuuming of various dry and wet dirt, including ash), drum vacuums (water filter), carpet and hard floor washers/shampooers (dirty water tank), etc.

Note: never vacuum wet dirt and especially don't vacuum water with ordinary vacuums. Moisture can damage ordinary vacuums, rendering their warranties void. Also, they may catch fire, cause electric shocks, etc.


Window Vacuum Cleaners

karcher wv1 plus mWindow vacuums are intended for cleaning of windows, mirrors, tiles, car windows, countertops, and other flat vertical and horizontal surfaces.

Window vacuums are usually small cordless vacuums with an onboard tank for dirty liquids, a small pump for liquids, and a squeegee for cleaning.

When the cleaned area is cleaned, it is first sprayed with the cleaning solution in order to help remove stains and other dirt and then cleaned using a squeegee on the window vacuum.

For more about this topic, feel free to check:

- Window Vacuum Cleaners


Long Story Short: When looking for a vacuum cleaner, always choose according to your own needs and requirements, but also personal preferences.

With so many brands, and so many models in every category, it is rather easy to find the 'best vacuum' - people often write down the list of features they expect from the new unit, commonly starting with the maximum price.

Hint: A good vacuum cleaner doesn't have to be expensive and expensive vacuum doesn't have to be good ... for Your own needs.

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