Types of Vacuum Cleaners

Updated: Dec 22, 2023 7:26 PM


Looking into the types of vacuum cleaners out there probably means you need to invest in a new model soon. There are quite a few styles to choose from, and in this article, we’ll break down the major types you need to know about before buying yourself a new vacuum cleaner. There are lots of popular vacuum cleaners on the market, so it shouldn’t be too hard to find one you like.


  • There are five main different types of vacuum cleaners available, with some deviations between them like being corded or cordless.
  • Most people will need to invest in a couple of different types of vacuum cleaners to make sure they can meet all of their household cleaning needs.
  • Your lifestyle will be the main factor in determining what types of vacuum cleaners are best suited to taking care of your cleaning tasks.

Types of Vacuum Cleaners

While there might be more types of vacuum cleaners, especially once you start breaking down each individual category, the five types below are the main contenders you need to know about. There are a few different choices you can make so read carefully to find out what each type is best at doing.

Insider Tip

There are five main types of vacuum cleaners available.

The Different Types of Vacuums

There are five main types of vacuum cleaners available. Most folks will end up needing to buy a couple for their living space. This is because some are better equipped for deep cleanings, and others are better for daily spot cleaning. No matter what kind of cleaning power you need, each one has its own advantages and disadvantages, which we’ll go over below in further detail. You can also consider certain important factors like vacuum airflow to help narrow down the choices.

Upright Vacuums

An upright vacuum is most likely what you think of when you think “vacuum cleaner.” These have the classic silhouette that we’ve come to expect. They have powerful suction (the suction power of vacuum cleaners is an important factor when choosing a vacuum), and almost always come corded. Upright models are a great choice for your first high-end vacuum. Upright vacuum cleaners come in bagged or bagless versions, which refers to where dirt and dust are collected. Bagged vacuum cleaners are considered more hygienic than bagless models. Bagless vacuums generate less waste on the other hand.

Canister Vacuums

Less popular nowadays, canister vacuums have a body with wheels that are connected to a long wand with the sucking head attachment at the other end of it. They sometimes offer a second motor in the head of the powerhead. Debris is sucked into the canister in the body for storage.

Insider Tip

While you can find higher-end models for stick vacuums, it is recommended to just go with an affordable version and save up for a nicer upright model.

Stick Vacuums

These are a college kid’s delight. Stick vacuums have a broomstick-like silhouette and carry far less power than upright vacuums or canister vacuums. They generally come in two versions: corded or uncorded. While you can find higher-end models for stick vacuums, it is recommended to just go with an affordable version and save up for a nicer upright model. Cordless vacuums are nice bagless options if you’re going with stick models, but a cordless stick vacuum tends to be very expensive. Cordless models also tend to have lower suction power for a deep cleaning job versus corded ones. Keep your needs in mind though, so you can find the perfect vacuum for you.

Handheld Vacuums

Great for daily clean-up, handheld models can also be found in people’s cars for the same reason. These highly portable options will give you the ability to get messes fixed in a flash. They have far less power than their bulky counterparts. Couches, counters, and other high-traffic living areas will benefit greatly from having a handheld vacuum run over regularly.

Robotic Vacuums

Finally, we have robotic vacuum cleaners. These are the most technologically advanced versions out there today and can be a fabulous addition to anybody’s cleaning routine. Some of them come with smart technology that allows you to control them from an app on your phone. Robotic vacuums can be great for daily spot cleaning. They even have self-emptying models to make your job even easier.


Bagged vacuum cleaners are considered more hygienic than bagless models.


How do you know what type of vacuum cleaner to buy?

Always consider what your lifestyle is like. Think about what types of flooring you have in your home, how many levels or floors there are, and what your budget looks like. Using the list of vacuums above, it should be easy to figure out what you need to invest in as far as a cleaning system.

What Type of Area Should a Commercial Canister Vacuum be Used to Clean?

You can use a commercial canister vacuum for the following floor types:

  • Concrete Flooring
  • Carpeted Floors
  • Fixtures
  • Drapes and Curtains

Why do vacuum cleaners lose suction?

When it comes to vacuum cleaners losing suction power, the main culprit is normally a clog. There are several things that could be wrong, however, so it is best to ask a professional if you’re worried about it. Contact the manufacturer to figure out what your next step should be.

What type of vacuum is best for carpets?

There are some specific types of vacuum that are much better for cleaning carpets. Beater bar vacuum cleaners come with agitators that get ground-in dirt out of even the thickest carpets, for example. You should always look into carpet care guidelines before trying to clean your carpet.

STAT: Although they can be more expensive, vacuums with a High-Efficiency Particulate Arrestance (HEPA) filter can remove 99.7 percent fine dust and airborne particles, according to the pros. (source)

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