Jump to content

Menu

Canister vs. Upright: which is better?


Petrichor
 Share

  

34 members have voted

  1. 1. Which do you currently use for the majority of your carpets?

    • Upright
      15
    • Canister
      15
    • Hand vac
      0
    • Broom
      0
    • Who has time to vacuum/sweep carpets?
      0
    • Other
      4
  2. 2. Which would you recommend?

    • Upright
      11
    • Canister
      18
    • Other
      5


Recommended Posts

I recently found out that canister vacuums are not relics, and are, in fact, still made. I recall someone telling me that they clean better as well?

 

I've only ever used an upright vacuum. Ours keep breaking or otherwise having problems. Currently, if you hold it a certain way that allows too much pressure on the brush head, the brush wont spin. 

 

It didn't clean very well before it stopped spinning, and it definitely doesn't clean well now. Especially since its weight makes me reluctant to lug it up and down stairs. Not to mention the actual vacuuming of the (two flights of) carpeted stairs.

 

Would a canister vacuum be better for us?

 

 

Adding a poll, just because :)

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

If storage is an issue, I'd go with an upright.  It has a much smaller footprint, and you don't have to deal with storing the hose and the vacuum head and the canister.  

 

I used to find that dragging the canister around was a pain in the behind.  HOWEVER, I currently have a Dyson canister, and I love it!  It has a three-wheel system that follow me around furniture quite well, and it's round shape keeps it from dinging things.  It cleans much better than my old upright, and it's quieter.  The vacuum head is much lighter to push and pull and steer than the upright, and it gets under furniture and into small spaces that the upright can't reach at all.  It's easy to dump the dirt out, and they make it easy to pull out the roller to remove my long hair.  

 

I don't find the stairs easier with the canister.  The hose isn't long enough to reach when I use the long handle, and the tools aren't as easy to change out to get around the edges.  I prefer to do the stairs with my Panasonic upright.  It's only 15 inches across, so it's easy to use sideways, holding it vertically, changing to the crevice tool every three steps to get the edges.  Also, I like my Panasonic upright because it has a really fat brush roller that doesn't collect my long hair.  I never have to clean the roller.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I went through about one upright vacuum per 1-2 years since being married. They just didn't last, and they didn't clean well. Last year I got a Miele canister vacuum... the best model they carry (got it free with rewards points!). I am in LOVE. Amazing vacuum!!! I am sold on this brand. I love the special filters, the bags are super clean and easy to use, I like the rotating motorized brush for the stairs and for cleaning the car. I even noticed a difference in the air quality of our home once I started using this vacuum. The other vacuums we had just sort of pushed dust around but this one actually CLEANS. 

 

ETA: The footprint of our Miele canister vac is actually smaller then the uprights we've had in the past. I store it upright. The pieces come apart at the click of a button. I usually store the attachments and telescoping handle removed from the hose. All in all it takes up less space and is lighter in weight then our previous upright vacuums. The only heavier part is the main electric brush head. But the canister itself is quite light.

  • Like 4
Link to comment
Share on other sites

We have a central vac system, so that's our primary device right now.

 

I bought a Panasonic canister back in the late winter for quick jobs and I puffy heart love it.  It's so convenient to use, and goes under furniture as well as the central vac.  The bag on it is the best I've ever seen on a regular vacuum (not counting central vacs), although they are rather expensive.  It's much easier to use on stairs than the uprights I've had in the past, and its footprint when stored is no bigger than an upright's.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think it can depend on what you have on the floor too. I have preferred an upright when I lived in places with mostly carpet, esp with deep pile. With my hardwoods and a few area rugs, I prefer a canister for the flexiblity.

 

I don't have $$ to get a good vacuum (would love a Miele) got tired of buying a new one every 1-3 years, so we just get $25 ones off Craigslist now. They are no better or worse than most I have purchased new and last as long.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I have only used cannister vacuums. My mother purchased an electrolux when she got married and it was the vacuum I grew up with. When I got married she decided it was time to replace hers with a new one so we went together and purchased 2 new electrolux cannister vacuums. Going on 23 years of marriage and it is still going strong. I had to replace the hose once. And some general maintenance through the years. It was a worthwhile investment.

Everyone I know with uprights has replaced then every 2-7 years for various reasons. Maybe it is different with a higher end model?

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

A billion years ago, the prevailing wisdom was canister was better for hard floors and upright for rugs and carpet. I bought my cheapish Eureka upright about 10 years ago, no signs of imminent failure yet*.

 

*technically I did replace it once, but before the new one arrived I realized the bag was overflowingly full and that was why it was no longer working. <<blush>> I was able to return the new one at no cost, except to my pride.

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I switched to a Miele canister a few years ago and would never go back to uprights.  I had this weird idea that canisters would be worse for tall people, but it's actually much more comfortable to use than my old Dyson upright.  It's light enough that my toddler can push it around, though I wouldn't let him carry it up the stairs  :laugh:  That said, I know some people who still prefer uprights.  Can you visit an actual vacuum shop and try several models out?

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I have an upright and I wish I had a canister. I'm tired of getting under beds an other heavy furniture with the hand attachment. Over time while out for walks I've paid attention to house cleaners who are unloading their stuff at various houses and they always have canisters. 

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I bought a canister last year because it was less expensive and seemed better.  Huge mistake.  It was awkward, a lot more stressing on my back and shoulders, and it was a huge hassle to lug it around and get tripped up in the wire and hose.  Not to mention storing it?  It was always falling over and taking up a huge amount of space.  Never again.  I bought an upright and put an end to that. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I bought a Shark lift-away recently. It's an upright, but the canister completely detaches so you can use it either way. It's a great vacuum - I was completely shocked at the amount of yuck that came out my carpets right after vacuuming with my Dyson. Very user friendly, too. I was worried it would be some big process that would drive me nuts, but my kids can pop the canister on and off to vacuum under their beds.

 

http://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/B00X7R1FZ2/ref=mp_s_a_1_1?qid=1439743047&sr=8-1&pi=AC_SY200_QL40&keywords=shark+powered+lift+away+vacuum&dpPl=1&dpID=31XqFQApcCL&ref=plSrch

Link to comment
Share on other sites

We finally replaced our cheap vacuum and shopped around because we have such a dusty house, even with daily cleaning. Also, we deal with terrible allergies, so we wanted something that might not be necessary for everyone.

I was convinced I wanted an upright but we went to a local shop and tried a canister. I see why they are often recommended. Not that I would always recommend a canister, but we've had ours for over a year with no plans to go back. Some people want forever houses. I wanted a forever vacuum and the one we have is perfect for us. Also, going to a local shop was important for us because I wanted someone to repair it if needed. I'm kind of the worst with appliances and I'm surprised I went over a year before needing to bring it in for a minor fix. 

We did get a Miele. I've linked this blog post (and this one on cheap vacuums) from The Sweet Home before on other vacuum threads. I ended up disagreeing with a couple of points and we got a different one than what was recommended but it reviews different options and helped me learn a little about what we needed. My only complaint is my hands are tiny and it's not the most comfortable to use for long periods, but I deal with it.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I just replaced a Panasonic canister. It cleaned well enough but was clunky. I got a Miele and love it. Cleans very well and lighter weight I'm more willing to pull it out.

 

Eta. I started with an upright before getting a canister. I'll never go back.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think the footprint on my canister is smaller because it stores upright and the hose connects to the bottom for storage. The footprint thing is a non-issue. Stairs are pretty easy too. I can hit all but the top three steps with my canister resting on the ground floor. I do those top steps when in vacuum upstairs.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Which one is "better" depends.

 

If you have carpet, an upright is better...unless your canister has a carpet attachment. It's the beater brush in an upright that makes it more effective on carpet.

 

If you have hard-surface floors, a canister is better.

 

I have 1500 sq. ft. of hardwood floors downstairs, and almost that much carpet upstairs. I keep a canister downstairs and an upright upstairs. Although I do have a carpet attachment for the canister, the upright does a better job, so I'll bring the upright downstairs once in awhile to vacuum any area rugs. I use the carpet attachment to vacuum the carpet on the stairs--much easier than using the upright!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

One other thing to keep in mind - make sure you're comparing like to like.  The $400 Miele canister is a whole different animal than the $50 Bissell one, ya know?  Though if you're not looking to spend a small fortune, the Eureka 3670G ($61 on Amazon) gets good reviews.  Bagged vs bagless also makes a difference.

 

Also - what type of flooring do you have?  You mentioned carpeted stairs, so I'm not sure if all of your house is carpet.  We've got a mix of hardwood, carpet, tile, and rugs and find the canister adapts well to all of them (including our carpeted stairs and hardwood stairs), but I think uprights are traditionally recommended for houses with tons of carpet.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I love my Dyson cordless.  It has the power/cleaning ability of the upright, but can go under furniture.  It is also light enough for kids to use.  And, it has a stair attachment which gives you a powerful handheld, cordless stair vacuum.  The charge lasts 10-15 minutes, which is plenty of time to do one floor/area of the house.  

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...