Which Upright Vacuum Cleaner to Choose? February 2020


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The upright vacuum cleaner is increasingly adopted by French households. Simple and practical, it impresses above all by its ease of handling and wireless use. But not all of them are as practical as they seem.

A big hit in the appliance market, the canister vacuum is gradually threatening the canister vacuum in homes. And for good reason, the “floor care” category has been pulling the small appliance sector upwards for years according to GIFAM (Grouping of brands of household appliances). In fact, it occupies a quarter of the total EMP with a growth of 6.1% in 2019.

This craze is not surprising since it offers manoeuvrability increasingly worked on by manufacturers, a suction power sometimes identical to that of canister vacuum cleaners and a greater and greater autonomy. In addition, he also gets rid of the electric wire and the dust bag.

Long confined to the role of a secondary vacuum cleaner in the home, some current models can now qualify as a primary appliance in small spaces. And with good reason: on-board motors are more and more powerful, lithium-ion batteries are more “generous”; the brushes supplied (often motorized) allow the vacuum cleaners to clean all types of floors in the house efficiently and quickly. The upright vacuum cleaner can now be considered as the only vacuum cleaner appliance in the home, at least for small and medium-sized areas.

Rowenta, Dyson, Philips, Xiaomi… all these brands offer wireless vacuum cleaners at varying prices. From entry-level to top-of-the-range, prices range from 80 euros to 800 euros. In order to help you make the best choice in your act of purchase, we offer you this comparison which lists many models. You can also consult our purchasing guide for the best devices of the moment.

Let our experts guide you

How to choose a cordless upright vacuum cleaner?

  • Above all, the device must be practical and easy to use. Whether stick format or not, the product must be light enough for use at height and its balance must be optimized. We look at the different power levels available on each model as well as the list of accessories supplied with the product (the motorized brush is always a plus). The overall use and quality of the materials are also important criteria.

Can the canister vacuum replace a canister vacuum?

  • The upright vacuum cleaner, which is sometimes intended to be the main vacuum cleaner in the home, must vacuum perfectly, if possible on all floors in the house. Its motor is expected to be just as powerful as that of a canister vacuum cleaner This must be done effortlessly, without the brush (motorized or not) sticking to the floor.

What is the noise level of a canister vacuum?

  • A vacuum cleaner is bound to make noise, and Dyson won’t argue with that. On average, the noise level varies between 60 and 85 dB(A). Even the best models can suffer from too high a noise level. This criterion may be more or less important depending on the users; it seems important to us that everyone should be able to make an informed choice.

How do I maintain my upright vacuum?

  • A vacuum cleaner that requires very frequent filter cleaning creates constraints for the user. The tests carried out in this context allow us to evaluate the quality of filtration, which is very uneven from one device to another. We also observe how the dust collector is emptied, whether the (motorized) brush is easy to clean, whether the hair and bristles can be removed easily. In general, rubber brushes are easier to clean because they accumulate less hair and bristle.

What is the autonomy of a upright vacuum cleaner?

  • Autonomy can be very variable depending on the model. It ranges from 20 minutes to more than 60 minutes in normal mode for the best devices. The battery (often lithium ion) therefore has a considerable role, especially when it is removable and the first battery can be recharged when the second is in operation. This criterion is more important if it is the main vacuum cleaner in a large household.

Does the power of a canister vacuum cleaner make the performance?

  • The power of a canister vacuum is not necessarily related to performance. This is because a canister vacuum cleaner can have a powerful motor and still not offer a good level of suction. The brush has a very important role in cleaning since it is the one that removes the waste from the floor. The battery is also a performance factor, as it is essential that it is powerful enough to power the engine. In short, the performance of a canister vacuum cleaner does not depend on the motor alone, the suction power or the brush (motorized or not); it is the optimization of all these factors that makes the best models.

How do I clean the filter of my upright vacuum cleaner?

  • The vacuum sweeper has a filtration system consisting mostly of a HEPA filter, a front motor filter and also a cyclonic filter. The HEPA filter gets dusty and can sometimes be cleaned with water. Then remember to let it dry for about 24 hours. This is particularly the case on Dyson models.

What are bagged sweepers worth?

  • While the vast majority of vacuum cleaners have a dust collector, some have a dust bag, as is the case with some Kobold (VB100 and VK200) that you will find in our comparison. This vacuum cleaner with bag offers just as interesting, if not better, cleaning than some vacuum cleaners with a simple collector. However, it is more expensive (in the case of the Vorwerk, it costs 4 € per 0.8 litre bag) and less environmentally friendly.

What is the average weight of a canister vacuum?

  • When we average the weight of the vacuum cleaners in our comparison, we notice that it is about 3 kg. The lighter the appliance, the easier it is to use it at heights (for cleaning curtains or vacuuming tall furniture). You must therefore separate the motor block from the stick to place an accessory such as a suction nozzle or mini motorized brush in order to suck into the corners.

What is the difference between cyclonic and multicyclonic technology?

  • Cyclonic technology is defined by a centrifugal force that separates dust from the air. The finest particles will then be retained by the filter. While the multicyclonic system, developed by Dyson, separates the dust from the air in two filtration stages: a first cyclone sends the larger dust into the collector, and a second cyclone sends the smaller dust into the collector.

What is the charging time of a upright vacuum cleaner?

  • Most vacuum cleaners come with lithium-ion batteries, which are not only light but also recharge quickly. They are also more expensive. If the autonomy varies between 20 minutes and 60 minutes, the charging time can vary between 2 hours and 5 hours. Some wall mounts allow you to store the unit while charging the battery, which is very convenient.

Which upright vacuum cleaner for pet owners?

  • A canister vacuum is a sinequanone solution for pet owners. Easily accessible and manoeuvrable, it can be used to suck up hair on the floor as well as on sofas. But to enjoy better suction on different surfaces, it is best for pet owners to choose a model that comes with a classic motorized brush and a turbo brush.

Which upright vacuum cleaner to clean your car?

  • To clean your car, the best thing to do is to choose a model in stick format because they are lighter. Products supplied with a wide range of accessories such as long or angled nozzles for vacuuming in difficult corners should also be favoured. A (motorized) turbo brush is also welcome for the benches. Follow our buying guide to compare the best models for this use.

Select 2 or more products to compare.

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