Barrel vacuums are generally the most lightweight vacuum cleaners and their compact size makes them easy to stow away, helpful for elderly or infirm homeowners. However, these models don’t have the same carpet grooming tools on the floorhead and often don’t perform as well as uprights on heavy carpets.
Cordless Vacuum Cleaners
These models tend to be light in design and are often known as stick or broom vacuum cleaners because of their shape. They work on a rechargeable battery system. More powerful models are now coming on the market, able to run for longer without needing a boost, but these types are really only suitable for small homes, or for a quick clear-up in busy areas such as the kitchen. Cordless vacuums are perhaps the best vacuum cleaner for those living in an apartment.
Handheld Vacuum Cleaners
Handheld devices are lightweight vacuum cleaners that don’t require a bag. They can be very useful for tidying up spills and a daily clean of your home’s key ‘mess-zones’. Often found in commercial offices, the best handheld vacuum cleaner will help keep a particular room, such as the study, clean without the need for a larger appliance. Again, these will not replace a full-size vacuum, so are usually intended as a back-up tool.
Robot Vacuum Cleaners
The latest vacuum technology has produced robot or automatic cleaners that you can programme to clean a specified area and leave to get on with the job. The best robot vacuum cleaner is equipped with rubber guards and sensors that detect obstacles, in order to avoid any collisions.
There are obvious advantages here, especially for those with hectic lifestyles: you can set the vacuum to run, even when you’re not at home! However, some argue that you can’t achieve the same level of cleaning without being able to direct your vacuum into the corners and along the fringes of a room. The best robot vacuum cleaner is likely to come with a high price tag, but the convenience means you may use it more often, so getting better value for money in return.
Other Vacuum Cleaner Tips
Remember to test vacuum cleaners in-store, if possible, picking it up to test the carrying weight and extending the plug cord to get an idea of the reach. You might also want to check which cleaning tools come with the model – and don’t forget to turn it on to hear how noisy it is! All of these things are likely to affect how well it performs according to your needs, so it’s important to be sure before you buy.