Canister vs Upright Vacuum – Which Is Best

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When you’re in the market for a new vacuum cleaner, one of the first things that you will have to decide is which type is best for your home, a canister vacuum or upright vacuum. Both have been around for decades. I remember when I was a kid my father used to repair our old Electrolux canister that looked like it was from the 50s. That thing was built like a tank and I’m sure if it were around today it would still run like a top. I know many have similar memories of upright vacuum.The upright vacuum, has long been the preferred machine in the US, but canisters have been steadily gaining popularity over the last few years and more homeowners are making the switch. Is it just a trend, or do they really offer more value than an upright machine? Below we explore the pros and cons of canister vs upright vacuums to help you make the right choice for your home.


Pros: Smaller and easier to store.Better insulated than most uprights. Canisters by design have more space for the motor, so they can be made more powerful. Numatic Henry is a good example of this.Easier to maneuver around furniture and tight spaces.Ideal for homes with stairs or a combination of carpet and hard flooring.

Cons: They require some assembly prior to use.Canister either needs to be carried or dragged behind. This can be an issue for people with back problems and has potential to damage furniture.Hoses are complex and expensive to replace, as they have wiring in them that transmits power to the head.

Pros:Wider cleaning path.Brush head can often be controlled with your foot.Simple to store, no parts to assemble or disassemble.Uprights tend to be cheaper.Better for carpeted surfaces.

Cons: Typically louder than a canister.They can be quite heavy and very difficult to move up stairs.Difficult to maneuver around furniture and into small corners.Can not be disassembled so they take up more storage space.

canister vacuum for your house


What’s my choice? I use a canister in my home, and it’s going to stay that way. I like it because it’s just so compact and easy to store. I can slip it under the bed once disassembled. It’s quiet and I have 4 different power heads which make cleaning any surface easier. I have both carpet and lino in my home and I find that I really do need to use 2 heads to do an acceptable job of cleaning both. I think that canisters are becoming more popular because more and more homes are using hardwoods, laminate and tile flooring these days and uprights are just not the best machines for that. If you have carpet however, especially if it’s a high pile carpet or you have pets as well, uprights can be an excellent choice. If you’re at all unsure about what type of machine to buy, I recommend buying a canister. They’re more versatile and will last you through different homes no matter what flooring material it has. But before buying, consider all the element and review to pick the best canister vacuum cleaner for your house.

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