Skip Navigation

Upright vs. Canister Vacuums

The longtime debate between upright and canister vacuums continues. Both vacuums offer variable suction power to clean multiple surfaces and come with a slew of attachments to accommodate your cleaning needs. The choice of which vacuum to buy will depend on personal preference, so it's important to see side-by-side features and limitations for each model.

Upright Vacuums Canister Vacuums

Ease of use

Single-unit design is easy to maneuverTwo-piece canister and wand design is more clumsy to maneuver


Best for carpetingEasily reaches nooks and crannies




More expensiveLess expensive

Upright Vacuums

Advantages of upright vacuums

  • Convenience - These singular machines glide easily over floors, with no secondary canister to pull behind you.
  • Easy Cleanup - There's no need to bend down to empty the canister. Instead, you can easily remove the vacuum bag or the dust cup from the unit without the extra effort.

Limitations of upright vacuums

  • Bulkiness - The head of the vac is bulkier, making it tough to reach tighter spaces underneath cabinets and furniture.
  • Heavier - The singular machine weighs more, making it more difficult to clean stairs or maneuver it around furniture upholstery.

Canister Vacuums

Advantages of canister vacuums

  • Functionality - The lightweight wand cleans stairs more easily and fits under tables and low furniture.
  • More Power - Canister vacs have more powerful motors, so you'll enjoy better suction.  

Limitations of canister vacuums

  • Mobility - Even though a hose attaches the canister to the cleaning wand, lugging the canister around is more tiresome than simply gliding a singular upright from room to room.