Are you confused about what type of vacuum cleaner will be best for your home?

There are various types of vacuums to choose from, and unless you research, it can be difficult to choose the right one for your home. However, do not fear.

Say goodbye to dirty and dusty floors with one of these types of vacuum cleaners.

Below, you will find descriptions, pros, and cons of the 8 main vacuum cleaner types to help you on your way to making the right purchasing decision.

You'll also find the answers to a few frequently asked questions to help you on your journey, as well.

8 Types Of Vacuum Cleaners Explained

There are 8 main types of vacuum cleaners that we will discuss thoroughly in this article.

Let's get started finding you the right type of vacuum cleaner for your home.

1. Upright Vacuums

upright vacuum type

Upright vacuum cleaners are designed to focus best on larger homes with carpet flooring. They use a brush that is motorized to remove and loosen up dirt left behind in the carpet through powerful suction.

When most people think of a vacuum cleaner, the upright vacuum type is the design that people think of.

It is possible for some upright vacuum cleaners to clean hardwood floors, as well, but it depends on the brand.


  • They usually come with attachments for broader cleaning situations.
  • They stand alone when not in use.
  • They usually have a wider cleaning path.


  • They are more difficult to maneuver in tight places, like corners and under furniture.
  • They tend to be on the heavier side.

Additional Specs

  • Type: Upright
  • Cleaning Surface: Hard floors and carpets
  • Noise Level: Loud
  • Best for Cleaning: Hair, dust, allergens
  • Storage Size: Medium
  • Price: Low to high end
  • Maneuverability: Medium

2. Handheld Vacuums

Handheld vacuums were designed for those that have small areas in their home that can be difficult to reach with other types of vacuums.

This type is also excellent for keeping areas, like cars, clean, as well.

There are corded and cordless models that you can choose from, but it is all dependent on your preference for this type of vacuum.

Finally, if your home has a lot of small areas or stairs, a handheld vacuum can assist in cleaning these tight places with ease.


  • They can be cordless or corded.
  • They are designed to get into small nooks and crannies.
  • They can be used for in homes or cars.


  • They don't have as much power as some other types.
  • They aren't designed for large space general cleaning.

Additional Specs

  • Type: Handheld
  • Cleaning Surface: Carpets, cars, most fabrics, hard floors
  • Noise Level: Quiet
  • Best for Cleaning: Crumbs, dust, hair
  • Storage Size: Small
  • Price: Lower end
  • Maneuverability: Easy

3. Canister Vacuums

canister vacuum type

When in need of a powerful vacuum cleaner, you cannot go wrong with the Canister style.

They are designed to be some of the most powerful vacuum models on the market, but they are usually lightweight designed, as well.

This means that you can enjoy a powerful suction without having to worry about the weight of the vacuum cleaner wearing you down.

Plus, canister vacuums come with a variety of tools that make different cleaning jobs easier and more manageable without having to switch to another machine.


  • They have a lot of power.
  • They are usually lightweight.
  • They usually come with different tools for various cleaning jobs.


Additional Specs

  • Type: Canister
  • Cleaning Surface: Stairs, carpets, fabrics, hard floors
  • Noise Level: Moderate
  • Best for Cleaning: Dust, pet hair, food, dirt
  • Storage Size: Large
  • Price: Higher end
  • Maneuverability: Difficult

4. Stick Vacuums

Stick vacuums were designed for people who live in smaller homes or apartments.

They are meant to clean up small messes, and they also have a lightweight design that helps people who aren't capable of picking up or moving heavy things.

Due to their small size, they are also easier to use in tight spaces where larger types can't reach without wielding some sort of attachment.

Finally, they don't take up a lot of space when storing them, which means you can keep your cleaning closet tidier.


  • They are excellent for small messes.
  • They are generally lightweight.
  • They are easy to store.


  • They have smaller dirt bin capacity.
  • They tend to be on the noisy side.

Additional Specs

  • Type: Stick
  • Cleaning Surface: Rugs, light carpet, hard floors
  • Noise Level: Loud
  • Best for Cleaning: Surface litter
  • Storage Size: Small
  • Price: Low to Medium end
  • Maneuverability: Easy

5. Robot Vacuums

robot vacuum type

Like with most products, robotic vacuum cleaners are designed to provide you with a service and the convenience of not having to manually perform mundane cleaning tasks.

This type of vacuum usually comes with some sort of smart app that will allow you to control it from a smart device of your choosing.

They are designed to be able to reach hard areas, like under furniture, without having to worry about moving it around like with other types of vacuum cleaners.

Finally, due to their size, robot vacuums can be stored practically anywhere because they take up very little space.


  • They allow you to relax while it cleans for you.
  • Most models can be controlled with smart devices.
  • They take up little to no storage space.


  • The average price for these types are higher.
  • They are not designed for large messes.

Additional Specs

  • Type: Robot
  • Cleaning Surface: Carpets, hard floors
  • Noise Level: Quiet
  • Best for Cleaning: Dust, crumbs, hair, dirt
  • Storage Size: Small
  • Price: Medium to High end
  • Maneuverability: Easy

6. Backpack Vacuums

Using a vacuum cleaner can be harsh on someone that experiences back pain, and the backpack vacuum cleaner was designed to lighten the strain of cleaning for these people.

The actual machine is in a backpack-style carrying system, and it has a wand-like hose to pick up the dirt.

Due to it using a wand, this type of vacuum can be used in tight places and corners with ease.

They are excellent for homes that might have soil or a lot of dust tracked into the home, and they can usually be used on most types of surfaces.


  • They are designed to help those with back pain still clean.
  • The hand wand is usually lightweight.
  • They are designed to pick up dust and soil.


  • Sometimes people have issues adjusting the straps.
  • They usually have small storage bags for picked up debris.

Additional Specs

  • Type: Backpack
  • Cleaning Surface: Furniture, floors, carpets
  • Noise Level: Medium
  • Best for Cleaning: Dust, soil
  • Storage Size: Large
  • Price: Medium to High end
  • Maneuverability: Easy

7. Wet/Dry Vacuums

wet dry shop vac type

One of the best things about wet and dry vacuum cleaners is they are excellent for homes that have a lot of hard floors and carpets mixed.

They are often used for industrial sites because they can pick up both wet and dry debris, which means you don't have to constantly switch between mops and vacuums.

However, this also makes them a little difficult to use and maneuver effectively.

They are generally in the medium to high price range, but they are capable of picking up debris that other types cannot, like glass.


  • They can clean up both wet and dry debris.
  • They are designed to be easy to clean out.
  • They can be used at industrial sites and homes.


  • They tend to keep scents from things vacuumed up.
  • They are generally corded.

Additional Specs

  • Type: Wet and Dry
  • Cleaning Surface: Furniture, cars, floors
  • Noise Level: Medium
  • Best for Cleaning: Foods, glass, liquids, solids, dust
  • Storage Size: Large
  • Price: Low to Medium end
  • Maneuverability: Difficult

8. Central Vacuum Systems

If you are looking to improve the value of your home, you might consider a central vacuum system.

These systems are permanent fixtures in your home, but they are designed to help promote healthier air quality inside of your home overall.

Plus, they can help to keep your home clean without the tedious daily or weekly cleaning process that other vacuum cleaners require.


  • They are designed to be on the quiet side.
  • They can add monetary value to your home.
  • They help to promote healthier air quality inside.


  • They are not as energy efficient as other types.
  • Even the lower end models are still expensive for most.

Additional Specs

  • Type: Central vacuum system
  • Cleaning Surface: Hard floor, furniture, carpets
  • Noise Level: Quiet
  • Best for Cleaning: Dander, dirt, debris
  • Storage Size: Small
  • Price: Higher end
  • Maneuverability: Medium

Is a vacuum cleaner really necessary?

If you wish to keep your home clean and clear of various allergens that can cause issues, then the consensus is yes a vacuum cleaner is necessary.

Regardless of the type of vacuum cleaner you choose, they are designed to help remove debris, like dirt, dust, pet hair, etc, that can be harmful to one's health.

So, whether you have allergies or just like a clean home, having a quality vacuum cleaner is necessary and can make all of the difference.

Advantages of a Vacuum Cleaner

Several advantages having the right type of vacuum cleaner can provide.

It not only will help to keep your home clean, but some vacuum cleaners can help pull allergens from your home that might be harmful.

They are also a low-cost tool that can provide you with several health benefits.

  • They help to eliminate things like dust mites.
  • They can provide those with allergies relief by eliminating harmful particles and pollutants in the air.
  • They can even provide you with adequate exercise.

Another advantage to using a vacuum cleaner is that they can be used on the following types of floors:

  • Hard floors
  • Tile floors
  • Vinyl floors
  • Carpets

Bagged vs. Bagless Vacuum Cleaners

This is a situation that you might find yourself in with a few different types of vacuum cleaners. Each has its pros and cons, but ultimately it comes down to your personal preference and what aspects are more important to you.

For instance, if you or someone in your home has issues with allergies or asthma, you might want to go with a bagless vacuum because they usually come with HEPA filters that help to keep allergens trapped even when changing them out.

However, if you are looking for a vacuum cleaner that is capable of deep cleaning your home, then you might want to go with a bagged vacuum cleaner because they have the potential of getting deeper into carpets and rugs.

Bagged vacuums

  • Better at deep cleaning carpets
  • Usually made from heavier and more durable material
  • Bags generally hold more debris at one time
  • Issue for those who are sensitive to allergens
  • Can be messier to switch out

Bagless vacuums

  • Often contains some sort of filter for allergens
  • Doesn't require you to constantly purchase new bags
  • Usually made from lighter materials
  • Have to change out filters frequently

Insights and Takeaways

When you are considering a new vacuum cleaner, you should make sure that you understand the different types and what they are good at, and what they are not before making any final purchasing decision.

Make a checklist of things that you need in your vacuum cleaner, and ask yourself questions.

How large is the area I need to clean? Will I have access to power ports? Will I need to get into small crevices? These are just a few of the questions that can help lead you to the proper decision.

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