With Christmas fast approaching and the Salisbury Christmas markets in full swing, a new vacuum is probably the last thing on your mind. We’ve received a request from Pauline Higgins asking how to choose a new vacuum though, and as we haven’t posted in a while we thought it would be a good idea! And the great thing is you’ve still got time to buy one before you need to clean up the inevitable mess on Christmas day!
First things first: price. While we completely understand wanting to get value for money, there’s little point trying to save money by buying a poor quality vacuum. We recommend spending at least £100, and in this we are backed up by experts such as Which. If you do decide to get a vacuum for cheaper than this, be aware that it will likely have poor suction power and be difficult to move around the home.
Aside from price, there are a number of other things to think about such as:
- Suction. The main purpose of a vacuum is to suck up dirt, so it’s probably not a surprise that suction power is probably the most important factor when choosing. The best models can pull dirt and dust out of carpets with a combination of brush bar and strong engine. There is such a thing as TOO MUCH suction though, which can cause the vacuum to stick to carpets. A setting to change the height of the floor head is the best solution for this.
- Type. The two most common type of vacuums are upright and cylinder, but which is the best? There is no easy answer to that, as it depends on your home. Cylinders are great for stairs, as you can use the regular floor head without needing to balance it on a step. Uprights are better for pushing around large areas of carpet. Cordless models, which run entirely on battery power, are often lighter and more convenient, but can’t match corded models in terms of raw power.
- Dust Capacity. Every vacuum retailer should tell you the capacity of a vacuum in litres. The bigger it is, the more dust it can suck up before needing to be emptied. Many vacuums also struggle for suction when they are close to full, which means they need to be emptied more often.
- Wattage. The EU has banned vacuums with more than 1600W of power and in 2017 this will be reduced even further to 900W. This was a bad thing in the short term for buyers, as it meant vacuums were less powerful. But the good news is that vacuum companies have been forced to find new and innovative ways to increase suction without using up more power. This means that the wattage of a vacuum isn’t anywhere near as important as it used to be.
- Bagged or bagless. The rise of Dyson has led many people to believe that bagless vacuums are always better, but this isn’t necessarily true. Bagless vacuums are more convenient and allow you to save money on bags, but the downside is that they are difficult to empty without allowing dust to escape. This is especially bad if you have allergies.
As a bonus tip: we don’t recommend looking for robot vacuums at the current time. The technology is getting better every year, but for most people the amount of time saved isn’t worth the money, as you’ll still need to do a more thorough clean at least once a week.
We hope that helps you Pauline! If you have any questions, just let us know. For extra information, check out the video below: