Today you'll learn how long vacuum cleaners last.

If you're looking to learn how long your vacuum cleaner should last you, you've come to the right place.

In this guide, we'll cover how long different types of vacuum cleaners last, and how long your vacuum should last you.

Keep reading!

Types Of Vacuums And Their Lifespan

1. Upright Vacuums

upright vacuum cleaners

Upright vacuums are the most common type and will last for at least eight years. They're easily found in nearly every household.

Their name comes from the fact that they rest in an upright position when they're not in use. The result of this is a vacuum that's easy to store when the cleaning work is done. They also tend to be large and bulky, though small hybrids do exist.

Upright vacuums are good for general-purpose vacuuming. However, unless they contain hose accessories, cleaning stairways and underneath furniture can be difficult to do.

2. Canister Vacuums

canister vacuums

A canister vacuum will last you eight or more years. Most vacuums in this category are a bit like upright models but feature a larger, more robust body at the lower portion of the machine. This is where the dust and debris go when sucked into the vacuum.

The swivels are typically slim and easy to turn. Many newer canister vacuums have plugs that automatically roll with the press of a button. This makes vacuuming a lot easier for stairs and other inclined surfaces.

3. Stick Vacuums

A stick vacuum is lightweight by design, one factor in its five to eight-year lifespan. These are very popular for people living in apartments or homes that require cleaning in confined spaces.

They're easy to pick up with one hand and can suck up dirt very well.

The suction power may or may not be comparable to larger vacuums.

Those that run off AC power tend to have a better function, though wireless models are sold with great power and runtime.

They can pick up dirt from hard and carpeted floor containers in large quantities, including dirt and loose grime.

4. Handheld Vacuums

Handheld vacuums serve multiple purposes. One is to help disabled individuals vacuum spaces without risking pain and injury to them during the cleaning process.

Another is to allow small children to better clean without having them pick up heavier vacuums. Still, the primary use for handheld vacuums is the ease of maneuverability.

They can be held by a single hand, can reach areas that bigger models can't, and are easy to dispense when cleaning is done.

Motors on handheld vacuums aren't always from strongest. They're sometimes featured on larger vacuum models as an accessory. Handheld cleaners are very useful for cleaning vehicles, with many models having DC as well as AC adapters.

5. Robot Vacuums

robot vacuum cleaner

Robot vacuums are some of the latest types and have exploded in popularity over the last decade.

Expect one to last between three and five years, though longer if you're capable of changing within that time. They're easy to find almost anywhere vacuums or home electronics are sold. They're wireless, meaning that the motors are powered by a lithium-ion battery.

Most feature onboard computers that can map out the floorplan on your home. Some even have WiFi, where you can operate the machine through your laptop or smartphone.

In this case, a robot vacuum can clean up when you're not around. Many homes with a smart hookup consider robot vacuums an essential part of their home's auto-cleaning setup.

The average robot vacuum can be pricey, but costs have gone down from what they were in the recent past. Today, cheap and costly models are retailed.

6. Central Vacuum Systems

Central vacuum systems are installed in a similar way that air conditioning and heating units are placed into homes. Central vacuum systems are great for large homes.

They can make vacuuming much easier since the only thing required to use one after install is a flexible hose.

They have some of the longest lifespans of all vacuums, going up to 20 years with proper upkeep. Here's why they last for so long.

Central vacuums come with a large single body that stores the debris. In most current models, this is either a bag or a bagless container. This part is usually placed in an inconspicuous part of the home, such as the basement.

Pipes that lead to the central vacuum's body are built into the walls, with outlets for the hose placed in designated spots throughout each room and hallway.

This is where the hose attaches. Central vacuums are wired to turn on with a switch that rests next to the hose outlet. When cleaning, you can remove the hose from one outlet and place it in another, wherever they've been installed.

On the downside, central vacuums can be pricey to install and require that electrical wire and tubes leading to the main unit be placed behind drywall.

But for big homes with many rooms or multiple floors, it's a great way to vacuum without relying on portable cleaners. It eliminates the cumbersome burden of lifting heavy vacuums to keep dirt off the floor.

7. Backpack Vacuums

Backpack vacuums are cleaners that can be worn, usually behind the back of the person operating the machine.

Their lifespan hovers between five to eight years when bought in a size that fits the wearer well and is properly maintained.

They're light enough to not cause strain on the wearer's back, and sometimes double as a vacuum and a blower.

They're popularly owned, worn, and operated by professional cleaning companies, such as those contracted with hotels or hired by owners of real estate.

They can be found in retail stores that sell electronics. The easiest way to purchase a backpack vacuum is online, where numerous models are easy to find and acquire. Some are plugged in, though many now operate with powerful batteries.

They have outstanding range, though it might be a bit difficult for wearers to vacuum hard-to-reach areas since the pack itself can cause strain when attempting to squat when cleaning.

8. Wet/Dry Shop Vacuums

Shop vacs are vacuums capable of picking up damp and dry debris without damaging the motor or filter.

These are called wet and dry vacuums, or shop vacuums.

Shop vacs are usually rolled, having very large capacities for holding debris.

Due to their weighted design and heavy build, a wet/dry vacuum can last about a decade before replacing is needed.

That's many hours of runtime during the pickup of both solid and liquid substances.

When cleaning, they can suck up liquids from carpets, hard floors, and dry items like flaking paint and matted pet hair.

Wet and dry vacuums tend to be heavy-duty, used by cleaners that prefer to kill two birds with one stone.

But for the average consumer wet and dry units hold up well when small children are present, kids that may frequently spill dry and wet food items. It's common to see filters on them, such as HEPA filters.

Factors That Influence How Long a Vacuum Lasts

1. The Brand

The brand of a vacuum cleaner is important in the quality of the vacuum you shop for. Name brand companies are usually better than off-brand.

There are exceptions to this, of course, but it's good to set the standard with vacuums that you're familiar with and know looking at others that you don't.

Name brand vacuum manufacturers have the funds and resources to use parts that are high in quality and last for a long time.

There are also exceptions for this too since electronics as a whole are notorious for inflating prices after building products with cheaply acquired parts. But for most familiar vacuum companies, this won't be a huge issue.

Both name-brand and off-brand vacuum companies love to sweeten their deals with extended warranties.

The average is a year, but some high-quality models may see a warranty go for several years.

On a related note, it's strongly recommended that you check whether or not you must register the vacuum cleaner that you've bought for the warranty to be validated, no matter what brand you buy from.

For some vacuums, a warranty begins after the product is purchased.

But others may require that you visit the brand's website, or call after purchase to begin your warranty.

This isn't always made clear, so double-check unless you know for a fact that the warranty for your unit is already set.


Shark is a vacuum brand that's known for building upright units. Many of them are inexpensive compared to the competition.

You can expect a Shark vacuum cleaner to last to a decade with good upkeep and regular maintenance. Their warranty typically goes from one to five years.


The average lifespan of a typical Bissell vacuum is nearly a decade, so don't pass it up if you want a unit that's built with tough parts.

Bissell vacuums are very popular, even for people that aren't knowledgeable about vacuums at all. Find them anywhere electronics are sold, online and in brick and mortar stores. They make a wide range of vacuuming units.

Bissell produces portable, wet and dry, upright, and robot vacuums. For over 100 years, the company has put out good products that last for a long time.


Hoover vacuums, when used with care, can take over well over ten years before they break down. With that kind of time, buying a Hoover product is a great investment.

Hoover makes the kind of vacuums that professional cleaners like to use. They also build good central vacuum systems, large and capable of holding many pounds of debris. Hoover dominates the vacuum industry and has done so for many decades.

Every vacuum type can be found under their belt, with new units coming out all the time.


Dyson is another name brand that makes some of the highest standard lightweight vacuums around. 10 years is the average time your Dyson will last, though you could easily keep one for longer if you're careful.

Handheld vacuums are another one of their specialties. Dyson has upright vacuums that take away much of the burdens and annoyances that people have avoided them for. They're versatile, easy to carry, and easy to maneuver up and downstairs.


Miele is another name-brand seller of vacuums, who produces vacuum cleaners with 10 to 20-year timespans.

The prices for their units tend to rank high, so you can expect anything coming from them to be good in quality and function power.

Miele vacuums undergo testing for defects and imperfections. 

Some of what's retailed is of the lightweight kind, cleaners built with strong parts and turn and handle better than even other high-end models.

2. The Maintenance

Not everyone knows how to properly maintain their vacuum.

It's nothing to be ashamed of, and the manufacturers sometimes do a poor job of informing their customers what they should do to ensure that the unit lasts a while.

But regular cleaning, emptying, and changing of filters will put less strain on the motor and help it to operate at a consistent HP.

Clean The Filters

Cleaning a vacuum cleaner is a crucial task any vacuum owner needs to do.

Besides the motor, filters are the second rain of your vacuum cleaner. But these must be changed quite often. Find out what kind of filters your next vacuum needs before you buy it.

Some filters are better at trapping harmful bacteria, viruses, and pathogens than others, such as HEPA filters.

But there are reusable filters. These are easy to wash in a sink, and best for people that dislike having to change the old for the new on multiple occasions.

Empty The Bag Or Dust Canister Regularly

If you forget to empty the dust canister or bag even one time after vacuuming, you could create a situation inside of the unit that requires you to detail the entire thing from the inside out.

That's because vacuums are like Petri dishes for everything that comes off your floor. What happens next are odors, some of them very difficult to get out, and a poorer functioning vacuum overall.

It cannot be dressed enough that you should empty your cleaner whenever you're finished using it, especially if there are damp substances inside.

Untangle The Brush

Tangled brushes can block the function of the motor, forcing it to work harder to the point of overheating.

But on its own, a tangled brush is unsightly and difficult to pick up dirt with. you can untangle it by cutting through the tangled mess with scissors, or removing it with a comb. When doing this, consider washing out the brush if it comes off.

3. The Usage

The hours that you put into your vacuum slowly shave away its lifespan.

Most are designed to last for about ten years with good maintenance. But the longer you keep it running.

The shorter its life will be. This may seem a bit obvious, especially since vacuums are powered by motors.

Not Tidying Up Before-Hand

Vacuums are built to handle tough surfaces. However, that doesn't mean that you should clean up a bit before putting it down and turning it on.

Give your floors a quick inspection so you can see what the vacuum will pick up. Some items are known to damage vacuums, such as glass pieces, pebbles, and liquid substances.

Cains are also known to break vacuum bags and cause scratches in the ling of containers and hoses. Keep your floor free of hazards to your vacuum.

Being Careless With The Power Cord

Always keep the power cord in an area where it's easy for you to grab it and move it. Furthermore, place it in a location on the floor where it won't be a tripping hazard.

It is sometimes easier said than done. Sure wireless and robot vacuums don't have this problem, but you can avoid potential injury by finding a routine spot to rest the slack of your cord as you clean.

Cleaning Up Liquids

With wet and dry vacuums you can clean up liquid material. When this is a feature, it'll be listed with the product description. If not, you should assume that liquids will damage the vacuum.

Canister, stick, and central vacuums tend to not handle liquid materials. Some portable cleaners can, which will be advertised when such a case exists.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the average life expectancy of a vacuum?

In the United States, a vacuum lasts an average of eight years. The higher than average for an individual vacuum, the more you'll likely spend on it.

These models are assembled well and outfitted with great parts that aren't cheap to find.

Vacuums under the average are cheaper and easier to find, some of them made by name brand companies. Warranties for these are arbitrary, where one product could carry it for many years and another for less than a year.

How often should I replace my vacuum?

Before you replace a vacuum, understand how long the unit that you have right now should last.

This assumes that you haven't neglected the cleaner, and perform maintenance on it to the point where it lasts the time specified by the manufacturer.

When meeting this standard, you should replace the vacuum within the last year or two of your current unit's lifespan.

Why do vacuums always break?

Vacuums usually break from people using them carelessly, aging, and faulty design at manufacture. Anything manufactured can potentially break, but vacuums are heavy-duty.

They're constantly on the floor and consist of many moving parts. Breaking is bound to happen under such stresses, though aging and damages are mitigated through regular upkeep and cleaning of the vacuum itself.


Vacuums are no longer the rudimentary cleaning tools of yesteryear.

They've evolved into robots, large units capable of moving debris through vent-like chutes, and are light enough for the disabled to move without getting themselves hurt. Truly, vacuums have come a long way.

But since they're engineered machines, they do have limitations and won't last forever.

Still, doing your homework to see which ages slowly, which has a better warranty, and knowing which units are recommended for certain households guarantees a vacuum that reaches past even what the manufacturer specifies.

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