Canister Vs. Upright Vacuum Cleaner

by Mark 24. February 2014 04:34

When choosing a new vacuum, the first question that arises is, “canister or upright?”  This simple question confuses, vexes, and exhausts home owners day after day.  Each style boasts a unique set of strengths for consumers to consider; just answer a few simple questions and the decision becomes clearer.

What kind of flooring?

If the home has only hardwood or bare floors, the canister vacuum wins.  Hardwood floors reverberate and amplify sound greater than muffled carpeting does making a canister ideal.  The body design allows for improved insulation and sound suppression.  Bare floors do not need to be swept with a motorized brushroll, so an air driven turbo nozzle with bristles meets cleaning requirements.

If carpets stretch from wall to wall throughout the home (save a spot of wood or tile), then look towards an upright vacuum.  Dust, dirt, and sand settle to the fibers’ base and slowly scratch and shred away causing the carpet to fray and rip.  The motorized agitator (otherwise known as a brushroll) displaces debris embedded deep at the carpet’s pile extending the life for many years.

Many new homes feature both bare surfaces such as hardwood and carpeting making the choice slightly more difficult.  Many vacuum specialists recommend and steer people towards canisters with a motorized brushroll as the nozzles can be removed and changed from the power head to a hardwood floor brush.

How many levels?

How heavy the vacuum feels weighs on the minds of many.  Single floor homes tend to see uprights due to easy storage space while multi-floor homes hold more canisters thanks to lightweight design.  Canisters also (usually) come with a tool meant for cleaning stairs, however, uprights now feature stair tools that attach to the hose/wand.  Lightweight upright vacuums also work well in multi-floor homes and have become a recent trend.

The big one.

What’s your preference?  Users grow accustomed to one of the styles.  A salesman can tell a customer all day about how one style suits their home over the other, however, at the end of the day, the customer’s comfort determines which vacuum works for the home.  Many companies have begun making uprights with a brushroll on and off switch to transition between carpet and bare floors to provide an alternative to home owners.   Some do not enjoy the canister rolling along behind them; some enjoy the lightweight design of canisters. 


Canisters have the versatility for all hardwood or a combination of hardwood and area rugs/carpeting.  Uprights have the edge on wall-to-wall carpeted homes.  Your preference guides you towards the purchase that brings peace of mind and easy usage.  If you have any doubts, contact our specialists at 1-(866)-972-8227 and we can guide you towards your ideal vacuum match.

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