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Types of Vacuum Cleaners and their Uses

Vacuum cleaners are an essential part of modern life and hygiene. There is no household in the US without a vacuum cleaner.

They have made life easier for many saving them from conditions such as backaches. They are also suitable for cleaning different parts of homes that are difficult to clean or reach.

Here are the types of vacuum cleaners and their uses.

There are different types of vacuum cleaners, making it challenging to select the best one. Vacuum cleaners are made for different purposes, and each has its strengths and weakness.

Choosing the right vacuum cleaner is simple as long as you understand the intended use, the pros, and the cons. Here are some of the most common types of vacuums in the market today.

Stick and Handheld vacuum cleaners

This group of vacuum cleaners is suitable for clearing small messes. They can either be corded or cordless based on your preferences.

They are perfect for quick cleaning, and you must remember to empty the bin frequently.

Handheld Vacuums

Handheld vacuum cleaners are small and lightweight, and the users can hold them on hand while vacuuming.

The portable vacuum cleaner is suitable for performing smaller vacuuming activities such as vacuuming inside cars and furniture surfaces.

They have narrow bodies and have broader heads to improve their vacuuming effectiveness.

The vacuums have particular challenges, such as limited capacity. They cannot be used to clean dirt and debris from large surfaces due to smaller dirt cups.

Most of them are battery-powered, meaning they cannot last long. Finally, they come with lesser suction power making them less effective in cleaning certain surfaces such as hardwood floors.

One of the most common types of handheld vacuum cleaners is car vacuum cleaners. Handheld vacuum cleaners are also suitable for low-pile carpet cleaning and bare floors; they can also clean pet hairs on the floor, upholstery, or stairs.

Stick Vacuums

Stick vacuum cleaners have a similar structure to upright vacuum cleaners, but they lack a large cylinder on the back. The stick is attached to the cleaning head for suction.

It is lightweight and makes it suitable for smaller cleaning activities. The stick vacuum cleaners are very versatile and can be used to clean different surfaces and hidden areas.

They have a low noise level making them suitable for cleaning small messes in apartments located in crowded residential areas.

Upright vacuum cleaners

Upright vacuum cleaners are vacuums with a high stick and a cylinder on the back.

They are the most preferred type of vacuums due to maneuverability and additional attachments or accessories that come with the package. They come with a dusting brush to clean pet hairs and carpet surfaces.

They are also easy to store since they require smaller spaces.

They have a storage compartment to keep all the accessories for easy retrieval and space-saving.

They have a wide mouth, making them fit for home cleaning since they have different features suitable for cleaning different floor surfaces.

They are fit for wall to wall carpet, hardwood surfaces, cleaning deep-pile carpets, and area rugs.

Window vacuum cleaners

The window vacuum cleaners are used for cleaning moisture from window surfaces. They are considered handheld vacuum cleaners and are used to clean the window surface with difficult to clean moisture.

They are also suitable for cleaning spills on glass surfaces or kitchen tabletops. However, many users complain they are not as versatile as advertised, and they can sometimes be very heavy.

Robotic vacuums

Robot vacuum cleaners are modern-day vacuums due to technological advancements. The robot vacuum cleaners come with hands-free performance and can be controlled using mobile phones.

Users do not have to monitor the vacuum cleaner as it cleans; all you need is to set it up to clean all messes easily.

Many prefer them because of their automated cleaning capabilities, and they have a sturdier build than other vacuum cleaners.

They are self-charging and will charge automatically until they reach full capacity and stop. When the battery gets lower, the vacuum will move to the docking station for charging.

They can get damaged easily and cost much to repair; hence, you need to monitor your pets not to play with them.

They have a rotating brush to clear up all debris. Since they are low in height, they can clean areas such as under the beds saving you from backaches and the trouble of bending when cleaning such areas.

Their batteries last longer than other battery-powered vacuums.

They cannot do deep cleaning, such as cleaning stained carpets. You can only use them to clean dusty areas. They cannot also fit into tight spots and may find it difficult to clean areas with obstacles.

They are not ideal for area rugs and shag carpets; they can easily get entangled in the thread, forcing you to pull them out.

Bagged or Bagless Vacuum Cleaner

Here’s what you need to know about bagged or bagless vacuum cleaners.

Bagged vacuum cleaners

They rely on the bags to store the dirt and debris sucked from the floor. The bags are zipped to the cloth section of the vacuum cleaner before you begin cleaning.

They are suitable for those who require high hygiene levels due to conditions such as allergies and asthma.

The bags are airtight; hence you do not have to worry about the debris escaping while disposing of the contents.

They have a high maintenance cost since you need sufficient bags for storing debris and regularly dispose and replace the filters.

They have a strong suction power when the dirtbag is empty than when it is almost full. Another challenge is throwing the bags before you fill them.

Bagless vacuum cleaners

They are more popular and less expensive. Once the dirt compartment is full, you are required o empty it to continue cleaning.

Some of them have a button at the base of the dirt compartment that enables you to empty the debris without touching it. They have washable filters; hence the maintenance cost is lower.

Some bagless vacuum cleaners are not suitable for getting rid of allergens; the debris can escape into the air during the emptying process.

The suction power in bagless vacuum cleaners also declines as the dirt compartment nears capacity. You need to empty them frequently to enjoy the full suction power.

You also need to wash the filters regularly to improve the vacuum’s suction power.

Backpack vacuum cleaners

They are the most portable types of vacuums; there is no pushing or pulling; all you have to do is hang it on your back. They are great on hardwood flows but not on carpets.

Too much use of these types of vacuums could expose you to back problems.

Corded vacuum cleaners

They have power extension cords plugged into the power source. Corded vacuum cleaners are one of the longest-existing and basic types of vacuums.

They are the most common type of vacuums available in homes.

Many people consider them the best to buy due to their years of existence. They are compelling and can attend to all sorts of dirt and debris cleaning.

They have large life spans and a bigger storage capacity hence suitable for cleaning large surface areas.

Cordless vacuum cleaners

They are the modern option for corded vacuum cleaners. They come without cords and rely on a battery for power needs.

They are lightweight and easy to maneuver, making them suitable for vacuuming by anyone, including teens. They have a low suction power compared to corded ones.

An example of a cordless vacuum cleaner is the stick vacuum cleaner. They come with innovative technology, and instead of buttons, some have smaller touch screens and LCDs to control and monitor the vacuum.

Cordless vacuum cleaners can also be converted to handheld vacuum cleaners to clean RVs, cars, and boats or to clear small messes on different surfaces.

Since they depend on a battery, you cannot use them longer. You can set them in low settings and use them for about 20 to 45 minutes.

These types of vacuums weigh less than 12 pounds, making them one of the lightest vacuums in the market.

Most of them are bagless, and the dustbin has to be emptied regularly because it cant hold much debris. They have HEPA filtration or a regular filtration system.

Wet-dry vacuum cleaners

These vacuum cleaners are suitable for people who require additional cleaning functions besides dirt and debris cleaning.

They are suitable for cleaning wet or liquid messes. They come with a container that holds the sucked dirt and liquid.

They are also applicable for flooring cleaning, making them perfect for cleaning garages and stores that may contain all sorts of mess.

They are very bulky, making them difficult to handle and store. They are noisy, and you can not use them at certain times of the day or in specific locations.

They have a strong suction power which makes them suitable for large-scale cleaning.

Cannister vacuums

The first vacuum to be invented was a canister vacuum. They are powerful like upright vacuum cleaners, but they feature slender bodies.

The body, which is a canister, is attached to a long hose using an extension wand with an electric or non-electric head. They are suitable fr cleaning area rugs and bare floors.

They are flexible and can be used to clean hard-to-reach areas such as under furniture. They are versatile and multi-functional hence suitable for both home and office cleaning.

They are the most efficient types of vacuum cleaners; however, they tend to be very expensive than other types of vacuum cleaners.

They are light and not as heavy to carry around as upright vacuum cleaners. They also have a large debris storage compartment making them a better option for cleaning large areas.

One of the most common types of canister vacuums is HEPA vacuum cleaners. They are called so because they have HEPA filters and are suitable for vacuuming pet hair and banders.

HEPA vacuum cleaners are suitable for those allergic to dust and debris, such as pet hair. They are the ultimate home vacuum cleaners due to the sophisticated filtration technology consisting of a combination of filters.

The HEPA filters ensure good air circulation within the house since the trapped air is not released back into the environment until it is fully purified.

Carpet extractors

They are perfect for wall-to-wall carpet cleaning and also area rugs. They use hot water, detergent, a powered scrub brush, and powerful suction to clean and scrub debris in the carpets.

They are also called steam cleaners or carpet shampooers. They are mostly used for commercial carpet and rug cleaning businesses.

They can also be used to clean car interiors, furniture surfaces, and stairs carpets.

They wash the carpet and suck up all the debris, including the liquid leaving the carpets clean and dry as before. They are perfect fr cleaning stained carpets and rigs.


Buying a vacuum cleaner requires you to understand the specific purpose and the types of vacuums available.

Before settling for any model, ensure it will give you easy time cleaning and meets all your needs.

Ensure you consider other factors such as material, suction power, maintenance costs, and flexibility before settling on the final vacuum cleaner.

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