Here are brief descriptions with pros and cons for some of the most common types of vacuums.
This is probably the most popular and traditional type of vacuum cleaner.
- Great for deep-cleaning carpets
- Easy to store
- Typically a wider cleaning head than others
- Commonly a bit heavier than canisters
- Requires pushing the entire vacuum while cleaning
We have written a number of reviews on this type of vacuum cleaner. Read reviews on the most popular makes of Upright Vacuum Cleaners.
These generally cost a bit more than upright vacuums.
- Great for bare or hardwood floors, upholstery, under furniture, stairs, and curtains
- Generally a bit quieter than uprights
- You just move the hose and head, but not the entire vacuum
- The entire vacuum (unit) can be a little bulky
- Not as easy to store as upright vacuums
We have written a number of reviews on this type of vacuum cleaner. Read reviews on the most popular makes of Canister Vacuum Cleaners.
Central vacuums are more expensive and often require installation by a professional.
- Easier to use than a canister
- No vacuum body to move about
- Less frequency of emptying it
- The long cord (typically 30-feet) can be a bit unwieldy and requires more storage space.
- Lack of onboard storage for cleaning tools as found with upright vacuums
Read more about Central Vacuum Systems.
Handheld (Small) Vacuum Cleaners
This type of vacuum come in both cordless and cord model.
- Convenient and light weight
- Great for bare or hard wood floors as well as short pile carpet
- Significantly less power than the regular sized vacuums
We have written a number of reviews on this type of vacuum cleaner. Read reviews on the most popular makes of Handheld Vacuum Cleaners.
Stick Vacuum Cleaners
Like handheld models, stick vacuums are great to have in addition to a full-sized unit, but they are not meant to be a primary vacuum.
- Convenient and allows for quick clean up
- Longer body and handle
- Battery powered
- Great for surface debris
- Small dirt bin
- A bit noisy
We have written a number of reviews on this type of vacuum cleaner. Read reviews on the most popular makes of Stick Vacuum Cleaners.
You may also hear about different types of vacuum cleaner not listed here. These are bagless vacuums cleaners (which are essentially canister vacuums), Ball vacuum cleaners – which are a type of Dyson vacuum with an innovative ball for manoeuvring the vacuum around your furniture, cordless vacuums, carpet cleaners, steam cleaners and HEPA vacuum cleaners (which use the HEPA filter for cleaning the air as it passes through the vacuum). I’ve included links to each of those types of vacuum if you want to read more.
Read the other parts of this Vacuum Cleaners Buyers Guide here: