Vacuum Cleaner Buying Guide
A vacuum cleaner is a household cleaning essential, but when it comes time to buy a new one, the endless options can be daunting. The key is to know what you’re looking for before you buy. Use our guide to brush up on the different types of machines and key features to look for!

 Vacuum Cleaner Types

 Features to Consider
 
Bag vs. bagless: Bagless vacuums save the cost and hassle of bags, but they usually have filters that need to be cleaned or replaced over time. Vacuums with bags minimize your contact with the dirt, which may be better for people with allergies or asthma.
Floor settings: Most vacuums have settings that adjust the roller brush height for different types of floors. If you’ll be using your vacuum on a lot of different surfaces (bare floors, thick pile carpet, etc.), make sure the vacuum has settings for them.
HEPA filters: Many vacuums have a filter that stops fine dirt particles from passing through the machine and out the exhaust. Special high efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filters trap 99.97% of all particles, and are a good option for those with allergies or extra sensitivity to dust.
Cyclonic action: Vacuums with this feature force air into a cylindrical chamber to spin the dirt into the collection bin. This process reduces the dirt that clogs the filters, improving the vacuum’s air flow and suction.
Edge cleaner: This feature allows vacuums to pick up dirt even along the edges of the head so you to clean right up to where the carpet meets the wall.
Full container indicator: Some vacuums have an indicator light to tell you when the bag or bin is full and needs to be emptied.
Motor protection system: This feature protects the blower motor from overheating or overloading, especially if jammed.
Retractable cord: Some vacuums have cords that retract into the machine so you don’t need to wind them around the back of the machine.
Self propulsion: Some heavier models have a motor that propels the vacuum forward so it requires less effort to push back and forth.
Suction settings: Many vacuums allow you to adjust the suction level so you can turn it down for more delicate items like curtains.