Best →

What is a Cyclonic Vacuum

Christen da Costa Profile image

Written by:

Updated June 27, 2022

You’re here because you’re wondering, “What is a cyclonic vacuum?” That’s a fair question since buzz terms like “cyclonic technology” and “cyclonic separation” are plastered across vacuum cleaner packaging. Domestic appliances don’t come cheap, and some of the best vacuum cleaners can be very expensive. Learning more about cyclonic vacuums before investing in one will help you best determine where your money belongs.


  • You’ll generally think of upright vacuums as having cyclonic technology, but handheld, stick, and even some central vacuum systems include this technology. The airflow on these various units will be different, too.
  • Due to cyclonic separation, these vacuum cleaners can separate debris into a separate container which means the air they release is cleaner than in regular vacuums.
  • The most significant benefit to cyclonic vacuum cleaners is that they don’t lose suction as you clean since they handle debris management differently than regular vacuum cleaners.

What is a Cyclonic Vacuum

What is a cyclonic vacuum? That’s the million-dollar question. Luckily, it’s one quickly answered. These types of vacuum cleaners use cyclonic technology to filter airborne particles and heavier dirt particles from the vac’s air stream. This allows them to be far more hygienic than regular vacuums and typically have stronger air watts. It also allows them to never lose suction because of how they handle the disposal of debris. And talking about debris, do you know what a shop vac is? It’s also useful for getting rid of heavy debris.

Insider Tip

Cyclonic vacuum cleaners don’t lose their suction as you clean due to their design, unlike regular vacuum cleaners.

How Cyclonic Vacuums Work

Simply put, they use a unique style of technology that allows them to separate all debris from your vacuum cleaner’s air stream. Because of their design, cyclonic vacuums are also cheaper to own. No bag means you can forgo the extra cost of having to replace that bag. Instead, dust particles and other debris empty into a separate internal canister. Additionally, if you want a vacuum that works well for home renovations and getting rid of wet and dry messes, check out our guide to how a wet-dry vac works.

Explaining Cyclonic Technology

Their unique design creates centrifugal force, pushing air-contaminating particles out of the vacuum’s flow of air and into a separate, internal canister. This is accomplished through a process known as cyclonic separation.

The Benefits of Cyclonic Vacuums

There are quite a few reasons for going with cyclonic technology. Here are a few:

  • Cyclonic vacuum cleaners don’t lose their suction as you clean due to their design, unlike regular vacuum cleaners.
  • Their design is considered healthier because it filters out heavier dirt particles and even some more lightweight particles.
  • You end up saving a ton of money by eliminating the need to change out bags.


Do Dual and Multi-Cyclonic Vacuum Cleaners Require a Filter?

Whether any type of cyclonic vacuum cleaner requires a filter or not depends on its type. Filter-free versions do exist and may be worth looking into.

Why Did Straight-Suction Vacuums Fall out of Favor?

The answer mostly comes down to hygiene. While the straight-suction style of vacuum cleaner worked, it released many allergens, such as dust particles or dander, back into the air. You could invest in the most powerful vacuum and it could still spew dust particles back into the air.

What Type of Vacuums Have Cyclonic Technology?

Upright vacuum cleaners are the most popular style to feature cyclonic technology. However, there are a couple of other types that do, as well. Stick, and even some handheld vacuum cleaners both come in cyclonic versions. You may also find cyclonic technology in central vacuum cleaning systems.

Are Cyclonic Vacuums Better Than Regular Ones

In general, they’re a more efficient and hygienic choice. This is because the disposal of debris happens in a much different way than regular vacuum cleaners. They pull dust particles and other unwanted materials away into a separate compartment to keep exhaust air clean.

STAT: Powerful cyclonic action captures up to 90% of dust particles before entering the main canister. (source)

Christen da Costa Profile image