Which vacuum is the best? We get asked that question all the time. The truth is it depends on your needs. From the elderly lady to the mom with 5 kids, 2 dogs and a cat, I would suggest a different vacuum. That is why we sell many different kinds. The purpose of this article is not to tell you but to educate you on principles of what makes a vacuum great. Then you can be better informed as to what vacuum is best for you. We have sold over 9000 vacuum cleaners on ebay alone and we hope some of our knowledge will be able to help you. I believe there are 4 things which you should look for in a vacuum:
Power Head Suction -Funnel vs. Straw
Quality Engineering Most plastic uprights that I have seen sold at the superstores does not have quality engineering. Let me give you an example. HEPA filtration becomes popular so the people that make those vacuums put those filters on their vacuum but change nothing else. The purpose of the filter is to separate air and dirt. Keep the dirt in the vacuum and let the air out. HEPA filters are very tight filtration and are normally good. So these vacuums pick up the air and dirt and it travels along the suction tube until it hits the HEPA filter. The air is looking for the path of least resistance. It then hits the HEPA filter and back tracks through the vacuum tube look for unsealed tubing and bearings. When it finds that it blows out through that. Over the years we have seen so many of those vacuums come in just covered in dirt but the HEPA filter is in really nice condition :) What makes me mad about that is the Mom who has kids at home with allergies or asthma think that will help them when they would have been better off using a older vacuum. This is an example of vacuums being sold with poor engineering. Another down side to them is they have a shelf life of 2 to 4 years on average and then the superstores want you to come back and buy another one. The vacuums we sell with Quality Engineering can easily handle the advanced filtration like HEPA filtration and their shelf life can be measured in the number of decades instead of years.
Power Head Suction - Funnel vs. Straw This builds on our first principle of superior design. Please look carefully at the 2 pictures below.
Picture 1 is the back of a Kirby head. If you look at the suction hole it is in the middle of the head. This allows for the same suction all the way across the vacuum head.
Picture 2 is a picture of the bottom of most of your average plastic upright vacuums you would find at your local superstore. If you look carefully you will see the suction tube going into the end of the head on one side. If the average vacuum head is 14 inches wide that means that you have good suction on about 3 to 4 inches. On a vacuum like that the large chunks are swept in by the brushroll and the dirt and sand and ground down into your carpet.
So what are the advantages to a funnel design vacuum? I see two of them. One is you actually vacuum up the dirt instead of storing it in your carpet. The second is you can add years of your life to your carpet (and save money on carpet). Almost every vacuum we sell has the funnel design with suction in the center of the head.
Durability We talked about this already in Quality Engineering but most of our vacuums we sell age can be measured in decades. I have seen a lot old rainbows, kirbys, filter queens, electrolux and tristars that are 30 plus years old, it is very common. My Grandpa has a 1942 rainbow that works perfect! The plastic ones being sold in the super stores just don't stand up for the most part. Would you like to see literally tons of plastic vacuums that are worthless?
These are some of our trade ins that are worthless and we just throw them away. Even the thrift stores have banned us from donating them :) Durability is their to save you money.
Filtration Their can be some pretty dirty things in the carpet and air. We want to keep those in the vacuum and not in your families lungs. I think we would all be surprised at how much healthier we would all be. Remember our first principle though. Filtration does no good without quality engineering.
In conclusion I hope you were able to understand the principles talked about here and that this article was a help to you. If you are not certain which vacuum is best for you and your family, feel free to drop me an email. My advice is free and we sell all makes and models and will suggest something based on your needs. If you do this tell me about your needs. Things like pets, kids, stairs, health considerations etc. I can then suggest something for you.
For more information on vacuums please check out our Vacuum Education Center
Great Vacs Manager