Sears Knowledge Center

      Vacuum Cleaner Buying Guide

      Impress your house guests with a deep and powerful clean

      Having clean floors is a gratifying feeling to homemakers. Floor cleaners range anywhere from carpet washers to steam vacs, and they’re a great way to wash and lift dirt and impurities from a multitude of surfaces in your home. Unless you’re seeking professional help to keep things looking sparkly and pristine, a routine cleaning schedule and regular maintenance is necessary. There are many vacuums that can aid in transforming your home into a gorgeous living space, and a short breakdown of types and correlating features will help you confidently choose which one would suit you best.

      Why buy a new vacuum?

      • The EPA reports that indoor air pollution can be 2 to 5 times worse than outdoor air pollution, and many of the new vacuums models come with quality filtration systems to help purify the air by trapping even the smallest particles while cleaning.

      Other considerations and features

      Cleaner filtration

      • HEPA filters trap miniscule dust and debris, making for an allergen-free space at home
      • Microfiltration contributes to higher air quality by trapping airborne particles in disposable bags
      • Washable foam is a reusable filtration system that catches allergy-causing particles

      Floor type

      • Specialty hoses and attachments for floor type and drapery
      • Steam cleaners are best for deep cleaning carpeting and rugs
      HEPA filter

      Types of Vacuums

      canister vacuum

      Canister vacuums

      The canister shape allows for excellent suction and ample cleaning power. Flexible attachments give you an easy way to clean hard-to-reach areas. They're a reliable tool for ridding your home of dirt, pet hair and dust and can often pick up small debris and materials that might ruin other vacuums.

      • Bag and bagless options
      • HEPA
      • Micro Filtration
      • 12-24 lbs
      • Price range: $50-$400

      Canister vacuums are best for…

      Multi-level homes: The canister can rest at the bottom of the stairwell while you clean the steps, so you don't have to worry about lugging a heavy machine up and down stairs.

      People who love a shortcut: If you don't want to move all the furniture around to vacuum up all of the dust, canister vacs come with long, flexible hoses so you can get under the furniture and hard-to-reach spaces without moving anything around. 

      upright vacuum

      Upright vacuums

      If you're looking for superior performance on carpet and hard floors, an upright vacuum is a singular unit and often comes with a variety of attachments and floor accessories to help you achieve a deeper clean.

      • Dirt sensors
      • Bag and bagless options
      • Optional Ball™ technology (Dyson models only)
      • 12-24 lbs
      • Price range: $150-$400

      Upright vacuums are best for…

      Homes with a lot of carpeting: Upright vacs are super powerful and are best for cleaning carpet, rugs and hard floors.

      robotic vacuum

      Robotic vacuums

      Robotic vacuums offer a hands-free cleaning method. In addition to acting as a playmate for small pets and children, a robotic vacuum cleans like you would, navigates from room-to-room, and leaves behind cleaner, healthier air on schedule or at the touch of a button. Robot vacs use detection technology to find the dirtiest areas of your home and perform a concentrated cleaning in those spots for a convenient clean even when you’re not home.

      • Ranges from 1.5-3.5 inches in height
      • 5-10 lbs
      • Various filtration systems
      • Detection technology
      • Price range: $200-$500

      Robotic vacuums are best for…

      People on the go: If you're rarely home for whatever reason, robotic vacs can take care of cleaning the floors even when you're away.

      People who love a shortcut: Robotic vacs are hands-free, and their electronic sensors go around and under home furnishings, so you don't have to put in extra work to move furniture around before you robotic vac goes to work.

      central vacuum system

      Central vacuum systems

      Wall inlets are installed so that all you need to do is simply plug in and vacuum rather than carry a canister or upright unit. The tubing for central vacs is installed conspicuously behind your walls and filters dirt and dust to a remote location like the garage or laundry room, keeping the air purer than most vacuums can.

      • Large stationary vacuum unit can be set up in a remote location
      • Attachment kit
      • Increase your home's resale value
      • Installation required
      • Price range: $500-$700 + installation

      Central vacuum systems are best for…

      Long-term air purity: Central vacuum systems eliminate the re-circulation of dirty air inside your living area because the dust and debris is carried through the walls to an out-of-the-way receptacle.

      People who love convenience: Central vacuums eliminate the need to carry a heavy unit around the house. There are no cords to trip over, and your power brush can be inserted right into the wall inlet locations that you’ve chosen, instead of into pre-determined electrical outlets.

      Bottom line

      It all depends on what you're looking to do. If you have a lot of steps in your home or want to use your vacuum on upholstery and drapery, choose an upright or canister vac with a variety of attachments. If your home has mostly carpeting and rugs, choose an upright vac with steam capabilities for a deeper clean. If you're striving for pure air in hopes of eliminating airborne particles responsible for allergies and asthma on any floor type, you'll want to be mindful of filtration type and select a vac with a true or absolute HEPA filter.


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