9 Different Types of Vacuum Cleaners That Actually Work

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In this article, we are going to show you many different types of vacuum cleaners, discuss a brief history, how they work, why we need vacuum cleaners, and what to consider before buying a vacuum cleaner.

What are the different types of vacuum cleaners?

If you search for vacuum cleaners you will come across several different types, from numberless companies all over the world.

And if this diversity scares you and you are not sure which one you need, keep on reading as we are presenting to you everything you need to know about different types of vacuum cleaners, from how they look to what they are meant to be used for:


  1. Upright Vacuum Cleaners


Shark Rotator Professional Upright Corded Bagless Vacuum for Carpet and Hard Floor with Lift-Away Hand Vacuum and Anti-Allergy Seal (NV501), White with Red Chrome


The most popular type of vacuum cleaners that most people look for is the upright vacuum cleaner.

And it is precisely the type of vacuum cleaners that come first to your mind when you think about vacuum cleaner: the upright vacuum cleaners are designed for households, with clear, easy instructions that come with them.

They are relatively heavy and can be both with bag or bagless; some models may be cordless, but these are not as powerful nor last as long as those which are with cords.

This model is perfect for regular cleaning as it is powerful and often have options to adjust for different carpet heights and well as wooden floors.


  1. Handheld Vacuum Cleaners


BLACK+DECKER dustbuster Handheld Vacuum, Cordless, 16V (CHV1410L)


You probably know them from the annoying ads that come between your favorite shows, the handheld vacuum cleaners are small, powerful vacuums that are designed to carry around in your hand and take care of those small areas where your regular vacuum cleaner is not able to reach.

To find the best handheld vacuum cleaners visit: 14 Top Rated Handheld Vacuum Cleaners To Buy

Traditionally they are cordless as it is easier to move them around when they don’t have cords limiting them.

They are perfect for cleaning up specific areas, small messes, furniture even the inside of your car.

However, since they are small and don’t have the power or size to deal with cleaning the entire household or room, you should look at them as an addition to a full-size vacuum, and a perfect solution for small messes for which you do not want to pull out the larger vacuum.


  1. Canister Vacuum Cleaners

Eureka Mighty Mite 3670G Corded Canister Vacuum Cleaner, Yellow, Pet, 3670g-yellow


Practical, functional, with customized, various attachments for different types of cleaning, the canister is a vacuum cleaner that can clean all areas of your home.

To find the best canister vacuum cleaners visit: What Is The Best Canister Vacuum Cleaner To Buy

It consists of a storage tank connected to a sucker end by a long hose; these are suitable for almost any surface and you can use them for cleaning pretty much everything.

From drapes to floors, stairs, carpets, even ceiling corners; all you need to do is the use/change out the attachment which suits and is the right one for the job.

Yet, you also need to know that these oftentimes are heavier so you will need to use both hands to move and manage them.


  1. Stick Vacuum Cleaners

Cordless Vacuum, ONSON Stick Vacuum Cleaner, 12KPa Powerful Cleaning Lightweight Handheld Vacuum with Rechargeable Lithium Ion Battery


The slim, light weighted version of the vacuum cleaners are the stick vacuum cleaners as they are easy to move around and lift, simple to use, and perfect for cleaning after dinner.

To find the best stick vacuum cleaners visit: 9 Top Rated Stick Vacuum Cleaners To Buy

Their low-profile heads move around effortlessly so you can easily move them around beneath a dinner table or around your couch and oftentimes even kids can handle them.

However, although stick vacuum cleaners are your friendly, everyday vacuum cleaner, they do not typically offer a deep clean to your carpet and home, as there do not have the same power as the others.

Moreover, those models that are cordless and work on batteries tend to have a relatively short battery life which means you won’t be able to use them in various rooms at once.


  1. Backpack Vacuum Cleaners


Hoover Commercial Lightweight Backpack Vacuum, C2401


If you want a powerful vacuum cleaner that will also be easy to move around, then you need to consider the backpack vacuum cleaners; these vacuum cleaners save a lot of time, as you won’t have to keep on pulling/pushing them around.

You can put it on your back and move around your home quickly, even navigate the stairs and second floor with ease.

That is why they are mostly used for cleaning bigger homes. They are ideal for hardwood floors, but on the downside, they do not help a lot with plush carpets.

Moreover, expect to get heated as you will be carrying them around on your back; this also means that they are not a good choice for anyone who may have some back issues.


  1. Central Vacuum Cleaners


OVO Compact 550 Airwatts System Power Unit with Carpet Deluxe Accessory Kit Included Central Vacuum Cleaner, Condo-Vac, Black

The central vacuum cleaner is also known as a built-in or ducted vacuum cleaner as it usually is installed into a building as a semi-permanent fixture.

These models are specifically designed to remove dirt and debris from homes and buildings by sending dirt particles through tubing installed inside the walls to a collection container in remote utility space.

Their outlets are located on the bottom of a wall throughout the home; as you may assume these are used usually in a larger home which takes a lot of home to be cleaned as well as homes in which pet hair is a constant issue.

Needless to say, these are not the usual vacuum cleaners as they are not only quite expensive but they also require a professional to install them and do several demolition works throughout your home in the install process.


  1. Autonomous/ Robot Vacuum Cleaners


eufy BoostIQ RoboVac 11S (Slim), Robot Vacuum Cleaner, Super-Thin, 1300Pa Strong Suction, Quiet, Self-Charging Robotic Vacuum Cleaner, Cleans Hard Floors to Medium-Pile Carpets


Taking the cleaning market by a storm, the robot cleaning vacuums are advanced, high tech versions of vacuum cleaners which enable people to clean their home remotely.

To find the best robot vacuum cleaners visit: Eufy Is A Good Brand For Robotic Vacuums (26 Reasons To Buy Eufy) and 12 Top Rated Robot Vacuum Cleaners To Buy

These little devices can be programmed to run at night or when you are not home; their sensors enable them to recognize the furniture around your home and move accordingly.

These are not so powerful as they typically are small, however, they can be ideal for in-between deep cleans and will help a lot of busy people keep their home clean.


  1. Wet/Dry Vacuum Cleaners


Vacmaster, VBV1210, 12 Gallon 5 Peak HP Wet/Dry Shop Vacuum with Detachable Blower


Typically the wet and dry vacuum cleaners are considered to be the ‘experts’ for stains and people use them when there are major spills or dirt.

To find the best wetand dry vacuum cleaners visit: 7 Top Rated Wet and Dry Vacuum Cleaners To Buy

The wet/dry vacuum cleaners are ideal for cleaning up spill messes as they have incredibly powerful suction and can handle cleaning out things that regular vacuum cleaners may have issues cleaning such as water from flooded areas, or sawdust from the workspace.

However, due to their size as well as powerfulness, these vacuum cleaners are not the ones typically used in regular households, but they are rather the ones who step in only in emergencies.


  1. Carpet Sweeper Vacuum Cleaners


Fuller Brush 17027 Electrostatic Carpet & Floor Sweeper - 9" Cleaning Path - Black


The ‘quiet’ ones in the vacuum cleaner family, the carpet sweeper vacuum cleaners are ideal for cleaning out debris from floors or not-so-thick carpets.

To find the best carpet sweepers visit: 6 Top Rated Carpet Sweepers To Buy

They are not as loud as others since they are not electric, so they can be used when you do not want to disturb the rest of the family or wake them up.

They are easier to navigate and move around since they are not that big, and needless to say, they are not meant for deeper cleaning.

Also, you need to empty and clean them out frequently since their collection area is quite small. This is probably the reason why their popularity has started to fall in recent years.

Now let’s take a look at some facts about vacuum cleaners…

If we were to talk about game-changers in the area of cleaning, then vacuum cleaners will rightfully earn that title.

It is simply impossible to imagine our life without handy vacuum cleaners which make cleaning easier and faster.

A brief history of vacuum cleaners

While today vacuum cleaners are billion dollars industry, they are not considered one of the new, modern, technological inventions like computers; this is because they have been present in our homes for over 100 years, in various shapes and designs.

The first device that could be considered an ‘ancestor’ to the vacuum cleaner is the ‘carpet sweeper’ invented in the 1860s by Daniel Hess; this device had a rotating brush and bellows that generated suction.

In the upcoming years, several different inventors, like Ives W. McGaffey or John S. Thurman invented a few other types of cleaners which were using different sources of power.

Nevertheless, the first vacuum cleaner which works on the same principle as today’s vacuum cleaners we use in our households was invented by Hubert Cecil Booth in 1901 in England.

Interestingly enough, this machine was gigantic, and it could not enter buildings, so its tubes were inserted through the windows and it was used only for larger rooms.

Nevertheless, this still revolutionized the industry, and in the very following decade, several inventors have ‘mastered’ the production and started creating vacuum cleaners which became portable, smaller, used water, and two decades later got the “famous” disposal filter bags.

How do vacuum cleaners work?

Although you may think it is something complex, and hard to understand, vacuum cleaners work on a quite simple principle: they have an electric motor that spins a fan that sucks in the air due to the negative pressure being created.

Although there are various types of vacuum cleaners on the market, all of them pretty much work on the same principle of creating this negative pressure, trapping the sucked-up dirt and cleaning the exhaust air and releasing it.

Why we need vacuum cleaners?

Vacuum cleaners are a necessity. There are numerous reasons why we use them regularly:

  • First of all, they make the cleaning job easier and more efficient;
  • They save us time and energy on cleaning;
  • Practical and easy to use, even kids can use them;
  • They take away pet’s hair, debris, dirt, even particles we are not able to see with the naked eye;
  • They take away allergen from breathing air by trapping dust before it spreads;
  • It removes dust mites, human skin cells and reaches and capture insects we do not want in our home.
  • A recent study (done by Ohio State University) even showed that frequent vacuuming can kill 96 percent of fleas (adult and larvae) in our homes;
  • They can be used to freshen upholstery, pillows, and carpets;
  • They make our homes cleaner, and our cleaning process easier;

What you need to consider before buying a vacuum cleaner?

As you can see, there are several different types of vacuum cleaners and which one you choose to go with really heavily depends on your needs and preferences.

Before you make your final decision, consider answering these questions to help you understand which model will suit your needs the most:

  • What areas will you be cleaning?
  • Do you need it for deep cleaning or occasional cleaning?
  • How big/small are the areas you plan on cleaning?
  • Do you need any accessories/attachments for different parts?
  • Will you be using it inside a house, shop, car…?
  • Do you have any pets and is pet hair an issue for you?
  • How often do you use them, do you have a lot of time you can devote to cleaning or you need something that will go fast, in between chores?

Besides the power of the motor, you should also consider the size of the intake port that sucks up the dirt, as well as do you want it to be a bag/bagless and all the attachments you may need.

More carpet cleaning options can be found on the following pages:

6 Top-Rated Portable Spot Cleaners For Carpet Stains

Best Vacuum For Vinyl Floors