Introduction to vacuum cleaners
Looking for a new vacuum cleaner? Where do we start? Prices range from about £50 to more than you can think possible, and you can choose between upright or cylinder, bagged or bagless – plus specialist vacuum cleaners to help you cope with different surfaces, pet hair or allergy problems.
Types of cleaners
As we've said there are two basic types of vacuum cleaner: upright and cylinder. Both have their pros and cons, Cylinder vacuum cleaners tend to be harder to store than uprights but some newer ones do have a clip to keep the nozzle in an upright position where as an upright can be stored much more easily and you don't have to drag the vacuum cleaner behind you!
Which vacuum cleaner should I buy?
So should I buy a bagged or bagless unit? Again there are pro's and cons. Not withstanding that there is really not much in the way of a performance advantage the only real difference is that with a bagless vac you don't have to keep replacing the dust bags, however the trade-off is that emptying the dust container can be messy and a problem for allergy sufferers.
If you notice a loss of suction try cleaning the vacuum cleaner's filter Vacuum cleaner filters can clog up and need cleaning or changing at least once a year. Spare filters are often included in replacement packs of bags. A vacuum cleaner's reach can range in length from 6 to 15 metres which is a sizeable distance when cleaning large rooms. Look out for a vac with a long cord if you are short on power sockets or have large rooms to clean.
Some vacuum cleaners come with extra gadgets and brushes for cleaning upholstery and curtains, or around the edges of a room. Often these are stored on board the unit itself but sometimes these have to be stored elsewhere. A turbo brush may improve dust and pet hair pick-up but in some cases standard nozzles can be just as effective. Getting rid of pet hair can be a difficult task with the wrong vacuum, so read the specs before buying. Upright vacuum cleaners tend to be more effective than cylinders at cleaning pet hair. They have motorised brush heads that are better at removing fur away from the carpet.
Popular vacuum cleaner brands
Favourite brands of vacuum cleaners include Dyson, Electrolux, Morphy Richards, Panasonic and Hoover.