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How to choose a vacuum cleaner

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Questions to ask before buying a vacuum cleaner

To find the best vacuum cleaner for your needs, start by asking the right questions about the features you expect.

Do you want a model that goes by itself?

The first question is simple. If you are looking for a model capable of cleaning without intervention on your part, there is only one choice: it will of course be necessary to refer you to a robot vacuum cleaner .

Should the appliance suck dust, long hair or animal hair, or ashes and liquids?

All types of vacuum cleaners are able to suck up dust and dirt. But if you have long hair or animals that lose their hair, some accessories are particularly useful: the turbobrushes and allow to pick up faster hair and long hairs, especially when they are stuck in the fibers of the carpet or carpet, or even on the fabric furniture. Similarly, if you need to suck the ashes from the chimney, it is better to provide a specially adapted vacuum that will not fail due to clogged filters. And if it is necessary to suck liquids, there are water aspirators that filter through a water tank and therefore adapt without difficulty.

How to make a choice :

  • For a classic need (daily dust and dirt): all types of vacuum cleaners are suitable (sleds with and without bag, broom vacuum cleaner, robot …).
  • If you have a lot of hair or animal hair to pick up: a special pet vacuum cleaner will be more efficient thanks to its turbobrush type accessories.
  • If you also need to vacuum up very fine liquids or dusts that could damage a standard vacuum cleaner, the choice of a vacuum cleaner with water filtration will be relevant.
  • If you want a wireless model , or extra: broom vacuum cleaners or handheld vacuum cleaners can interest you. There are more and more two-in-one models that can be used to clean the floor as well as the table or the car. In their overwhelming majority, they operate without a bag with cyclone filtration. The performance of broom vacuum cleaners tends to improve, and as their design is attractive some choose to do all their cleaning with!
  • If you have little space: it will be interesting to choose a vacuum cleaner with small dimensions, for example a compact sleigh or a broom vacuum , which will be easy to store.

What types of floors will you clean: hard floors, or carpets / rugs?

The performance of the vacuum cleaners is not the same depending on the type of soil: some are more effective on hard floors such as tiling or parquet, others do better on fabric floors. The accessories can also be different: almost all vacuum cleaners are delivered with a double or triple position main brush that can clean all floors, but it can be useful to have a special hard floor brush to avoid scratching the surface. parquet, or a turbobrush to dust off a carpet deep in depth.

In summary :

  • The vacuum cleaner you choose must be effective for all floors in your home. Depending on the case, specialized accessories may be useful.
  • If you have a lot of hair or animal hair to pick up: a special pet vacuum cleaner will be more efficient thanks to its turbobrush type accessories.

What are your expectations in terms of ergonomics and comfort of use?

Today we find vacuum cleaners with suction performance very correct without necessarily having to break the piggy bank. Beyond 150 to 200 €, it is essentially the ergonomics, the quality of manufacture and the comfort of use which make the difference. These points are not to be taken lightly: a well thought out and well designed vacuum cleaner will be more enjoyable to use, save time, and have a longer life (which can make it more profitable than a model to little price). Points to watch for are:

  • The sound level is obvious, but a silent vacuum is much less painful to use a noisy model, both for you and for other household members (babies, pets …).
  • The ease of maintenance : this concerns first emptying the bag or dust container, which should be done regularly. Is the bag self-sealing to avoid re-emitting dust when replaced? Does the bin easily remove from its replacement, and do you need to put your fingers in to remove dirt? We must also think about filters, except in the rare cases where they are maintenance-free. These small details greatly change the comfort of use.
  • The weight of the vacuum cleaner : you will have to drag it behind you, or even to wear it if it is a hand vacuum or broom, and heavy weight fatigue faster. This is even more important if you have a two-storey house, since you have to carry the vacuum cleaner up the stairs.

You will find for all models tested by an opinion on their strengths and weaknesses, so as not to have any unpleasant surprises.

How to choose a powerful vacuum cleaner

Once you have thought about your need and you know what type of vacuum cleaner to buy, it remains to choose the right model from a plethora of offers.

A bit of history: airflow and depression

In the past, to know if a vacuum cleaner was going to have an effective suction before trying it, it was necessary to rely on the technical characteristics that were sometimes (but not always) provided by the manufacturer.

Two of these were useful for predicting the efficiency of a vacuum cleaner: the airflow(given in liters per second, or L / s), and the vacuum (given in kiloPascal, or kPa). Ideally, we also found the useful power (in Watts, or W) which directly represents the effective suction power of the vacuum cleaner.

To know more:

Two vacuum cleaners that have the same electrical power can have a different power output: not to confuse these indications and learn more about airflow and depression, you can read our article on the technical performance of vacuum cleaners .

In summary, airflow is the volume of air passing through the hose, and is important for cleaning efficiency on hard floors . Depression is the suction capacity of the vacuum cleaner, and is important for the dust removal efficiency of carpets and rugs .

This information was flawed for several reasons. First, because they were often missing, since no regulation required manufacturers to measure and supply these data. Then because these values ​​were simply declarative, and were not controlled independently. It was therefore possible to doubt their reliability. Some manufacturers sometimes made these measurements by an independent laboratory, but by measuring directly at the telescopic tube, without any installed accessories: this artificially increased the measured values.

It was therefore difficult to compare models of different brands with each other, even when data was provided. Fortunately, the situation has changed today since all vacuum cleaners must be accompanied by an energy label that provides, among other things, an indication of their suction performance.

Energy label and dedusting efficiency

The energy label is actually more than just a banner of information: it accompanies a European regulation that frames the information provided with each vacuum cleaner. As far as performance is concerned, it imposes an evaluation of the suction performance on hard floors and on carpets / rugs , following a rigorous test. The result gives in both categories a score between A (corresponding for example to a collection of more than 91% of the dust on carpets and carpets after 5 passes of the brush) and E (for efficiency between 75% and 79%). Models with a rating lower than E (hence F or G) are now prohibited: this guarantees minimum performance for vacuum cleaners sold in Europe.

The result gives a reliable idea of ​​the suction performance of a model: looking at the note on the type of soil that interests us, we immediately have a clear and objective information on the suction efficiency. Since these measures are carried out under conditions governed by the regulations, they have the advantage of being compared from one manufacturer to another without risk of deception.

In summary :

The energy label provides 2 ratings for suction performance: one for hard floors, and the other for carpets and rugs.

Choose a model with a good rating (ideally A, and at least C) for the floor (s) in your home.

To learn more, read our article on the energy label of vacuum cleaners.

Filtration level and sound level

For sled vacuum cleaners, the energy label indicates both the level of filtration and the sound level of the device.

The level of filtration, which is actually a measure of the rate of re-emission of dust, is based on the amount of dust released into the room (and thus unfiltered) during use. To have the best rating (so a class A), it is necessary that less than 0.02% of the dust sucked be rejected (in other words, it is necessary that the level of filtration is better than 99.98%!). For this, it is necessary that the vacuum cleaner has an effective filtration system (whether it is a bag or a cyclonic system), most often completed by a HEPA filter for fine dust, and also that it is “waterproof” for that the air flow sucked does not escape through gaps. In the past, we only had information on the possible presence of a HEPA filter: a model could have a high performance HEPA filter, but bad joints,

To learn more, you can read our article about HEPA filters and filtration level .

The majority of vacuum cleaners sold today have a very good rating for their filtration level (A or B). It is an essential point for people who are allergic or sensitive to dust, but who is important to everyone.

Finally, the energy label mentions the sound level (in decibels, dB) measured under controlled conditions. The noise generated by the vacuum cleaner is an important factor for the comfort of use. Be aware that vacuum cleaners are considered quiet when going down below about 70 dB, the best models being closer to 60 dB. Above 80 dB, it becomes uncomfortable after a few minutes. Think about it, since it can dissuade you from using your vacuum cleaner at full power.

In summary :

Choose a vacuum cleaner that preferably has a rating of A or B for its filtration level (especially if you are sensitive to dust).

If you are looking for a quiet vacuum , turn to models with a noise level of less than 70 dB.

What a vacuum cleaner for pets?

When you have pets, and especially if they tend to lose their hair, it is necessary to vacuum more regularly. The general rules for finding a successful model remain valid, but some small details can make your life easier.

In terms of accessories, the presence of turbobrush or mini turbo brush makes it more effective collection of hair or long hair. If the brush has an anti-tangling device or if it is removable for easy maintenance, it’s even better.

A high level of filtration is also desirable in view of the dust that can be brought back by our four-legged friends. In addition to the traditional HEPA filter , some pet vacuum cleaners are equipped with an anti-odor filter, which can be convenient for quickly removing a “wet dog” odor. Alternatively and in a more original way, it is possible to turn to a water vacuum that can ensure a high level of filtration, at the cost of maintenance a little more laborious.

Many manufacturers now offer special animal models : some are actually adapted, while for others it is essentially marketing. If you are looking for this type of device, do not hesitate to consult our buying guide and our comparison of pet vacuum cleaners.

What vacuum cleaner to clean his car?

Unless you have an electrical outlet next to your parking space, the easiest way to clean a car is to turn to a hand vacuum . Small, lightweight, and battery operated, they are perfect for small cleanings. They can also be used in the home, and even for cleaning floors if they are part of a 2-in-1 broom vacuum.

There are several hand vacuums for cleaning cars. They are delivered with suitable accessories: long nozzle or flexible nozzle to access the interstices behind the seats, or mini turbo brush to clean the tissues in depth. The ability to be powered by a cigarette lighter is also convenient for not having to worry about the capacity of the battery.

Before buying a vacuum cleaner

Purchasing a vacuum cleaner is not a trivial matter. Essential for cleaning floors and stalking dust, your vacuum cleaner will normally accompany you for many years.

The supply is plentiful, and can leave buyers distraught. helps you find your way around: we take care of researching and synthesizing existing information, so we can provide you with objective expert advice on the available offer. All you have to do then is to make your choice according to your needs.

Which vacuum cleaner to choose?

The options available when buying a new vacuum are countless.

First of all there are the different manufacturers: the best known are Dyson, Miele, Electrolux, Philips, Roomba, among others.

You must then choose the type of vacuum cleaner: vacuum cleaner, broom, compact, bucket, robot, as well as other more specific types: commercial vacuum cleaner, industrial, etc …

Each of these categories contains several models: with bags, without bags, with HEPA filters, without wires … The number of vacuum cleaners available is enormous.

It’s easy to be overwhelmed by the amount of information available and make the wrong choice. provides you with the synthesis of research on everything that concerns vacuum cleaners, and saves you time while avoiding a hazardous choice. Here you will find user reviews on the vacuum cleaners of the main brands, but also our own analysis on vacuum cleaners of lesser known brands.

Here are some first things to guide you.

To begin…

In order to get the most out of the information this site provides you, the first step is to precisely define your need .

For example, you need to know what type of floor you plan to clean (tiling, carpet), which surface, and if you have pets in your home.

Then you have to compare the prices, the weight, and the flexibility of the available models.

The most expensive models are not always the best vacuum cleaners for all uses.

Our articles will help you select the best vacuum cleaner for you. We suggest you start with our detailed shopping guide .

You can also directly consult our ranking of the best vacuum cleaners by category.