Which is "Better" An Upright or Canister Vacuum Cleaner?

We’re often asked which is better.  A canister vacuum or an upright?  The answer is IT depends.

Choosing a Vacuum Cleaner

It’s common knowledge that having your carpet and floors professionally cleaned regularly extends their life and keeps them looking newer longer. Yet, there needs to be some routine cleaning done in-between professional cleanings. Spills and stains need to be addressed as soon as possible, and routine vacuuming is essential to keeping your carpets and floors clean in between professional cleanings. However, what you vacuum with is just as important as the vacuuming itself. Here we will look at the pros and cons of the two most commonly used types of vacuums: upright and canister.

Pros of Upright Vacuum Cleaners

Ease of Use: An upright is easier to move due to the all-in-one design. It can be pushed easily from room to room with little effort.

Wide Footprint: The vacuum head of an upright is usually bigger than a canister making it quicker to vacuum even the largest of areas.

Emptying Debris: Most modern uprights have plastic containers that collect the debris. These containers snap in and out quickly and easily, plus they have a one-touch button, making emptying easy.

Storage: Their design allows uprights to stand alone in corners or closets without taking up much space.

Pros of Canister Vacuum Cleaners

Noise: Canister vacuums are a bit quieter than uprights. Their decibel level is about the same as a washing machine. This may be a factor if you have babies, dogs, or someone in your home with sensitive hearing.

Suction: Generally, canister vacuums have more suction power. They are great at cleaning bare floors and can clean carpets effectively.

Cords: Retractable cords are stored inside a canister vacuum. This reduces the chance of a trip and fall accident while it is in use or in storage.

Weight: Cannister vacuums usually weigh less. The difference in pounds may not be much, but their design makes them seem less cumbersome and heavy.

Cons of Upright Vacuum Cleaners

Noise: Their nose level is louder than canister vacuums. It is something close to a coffee grinder. If you have babies or dogs, they may find it uncomfortable.

Weight: Uprights can weigh 20 pounds or more. While they push fairly easily, if you have stairs, lugging 20+ pounds up and down can get tiresome. You might want to consider a hand-held or stick vac for stairs.

Maneuverability: The vacuum head is bigger and wider on an upright, so it doesn’t get into all the little corners and may require balancing on stairs if the head is wider than the stair itself.

Cords: Cords are stored outside the vacuum and frequently lay on the floor while in use. This presents a trip and fall hazard.

Cons of Canister Vacuums

Storage: Due to their design, canister vacuums, along with their cords and attachments, take up much more space than an upright. If you have limited storage space, that may be a consideration.

Effectiveness: Even though they generally have more suction power than an upright, uprights are routinely rated to clean carpets more effectively. Take into consideration what types of flooring surfaces you have in your home when making a vacuum decision.

Maneuverability: A canister vacuum rolls on wheels as you pull it from room to room. The smaller wheels may get bogged down or stuck in the carpet if you have thick carpets or rugs.

Emptying Debris: Bagged canister vacuums are more efficient at picking up dirt and debris. However, throwing away a dirty bag filled with debris and dust can be a hassle. Those vacuum bags need to be replaced every month or two, so you must continuously buy new ones. That can become costly over time. There are bagless models available, but they tend to be more expensive.

A vacuum cleaner should be considered an investment in helping to extend the life of your flooring surfaces. Price should not be the only consideration.

  • What types of surfaces do you have?
  • Are there stairs involved?
  • Do you have pets?
  • Are there people or animals that may be bothered by noise?
  • Does anyone have a respiratory problem?

All these things need to be considered when purchasing a vacuum cleaner. In this situation, if you only consider price, you may not get what you need.

Tru-Clean Surface Care is a Certified Partner with the prestigious Carpet & Rug Institute (CRI) and the International Institute of Inspection, Cleaning, and Restoration Certification (IICRC).  We are A+ Rated with the Better Business Bureau and an eight-year-in-a-row winner of the coveted Angie’s List Super Service Award.  Our cleaning solutions are allergen free and safe for pets and infants.

Tru-Clean Surface Care is the “cleaner of choice” for many local interior designers, flooring contractors, realtors, and homeowners desirous of a quality, safe cleaning that will help protect and maintain the look and feel of their carpeting.  All major carpet mills support our cleaning efforts to preserve new carpet warranties.

For more information about carpet cleaning or the appropriate vacuum to use, please feel free to visit us online at https://trucleansurfacecare.com/ or visit us on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/TruCleanSurfaceCareFL/

Tru-Clean Surface Care services all of Lee, Charlotte, and Collier County. We can be reached at 239-541-4888 – Cape Coral and Lee County, 239-206-1935 – Naples, Marco Island, and Bonita Springs, or 941-621-2198 – Punta Gorda and Port Charlotte, Florida.