In India, you predominantly find 5 types of vacuum cleaners available in the market. While canister vacuum cleaners are the most common option, stick and robotic vacuum cleaners are gaining immense popularity due to the convenience they offer. Let us take a look at each option in detail, its design, pros and cons and whom they are best suited for.
Canister Vacuum Cleaner
Canister vacuum cleaners are the most popular type of vacuum cleaners in India. Predominantly because they are available at a wide variety of prices. You can get a canister vacuum cleaner anywhere from Rs. 2000 to up to 10,000 or so.
These vacuum cleaners have a header attachment, which can be changed to clean a variety of surfaces. The one with a wide head is for cleaning the floor and then you get attachments for cleaning between window sills, upholstery and so on. These attachments are connected to the long hose giving it a sufficient range of motion. The hose is connected to the main body which has the filter, motor and dust collection unit.
In higher-end options, the vacuum cleaner’s dust collection unit has a HEPA filter which captures even minute dust particles. Such vacuum cleaners are an ideal option for those who suffer from dust allergies or asthma. BLACK+DECKER VM2825 and Osmon Cyclonic Vacuum cleaner are two such vacuum cleaners with HEPA filter.
Bagged and Bagless vacuum cleaners are available in this segment. Vacuum cleaners with bags have a higher cost of ownership as you need to buy bags often. But the advantage is that you can put it directly in the trash without having to come in contact with the dust, making it a good option for those who have dust allergies. Unfortunately, they are not quite common in India.
Dust gets collected in a small container or reusable bag in a bagless vacuum cleaner. You have to clean it periodically. Else, the suction power wouldn’t be adequate.
Further, an advantage of canister vacuum cleaners is that they come with a wide variety of attachments which makes them a versatile cleaning appliance. Some of them even have the option to adjust the suction power and attachments for cleaning keyboards.
The disadvantages of canister vacuum cleaners are that being bulky, it is a bit difficult to move them around the house, especially for cleaning stairs. They are also a bit difficult to store as they have numerous attachments and a bulky body.
Who Is It Suitable For?
Canister vacuum cleaners are ideal for those who have a single-floor home without stairs. They are a comparatively economical option to consider and have good suction power too.
Related reading: Why Do You Need A Mattress Protector?
Handheld Vacuum Cleaner
Handheld vacuum cleaners are smaller in size and apt for cleaning cars, upholstery, electronic devices etc. They usually don’t have a high suction power like canister vacuum cleaners. You can find them with a cord and cordless.
If you are using it for cleaning the car, ensure it either can be connected to the power socket in the car or if its cord has the necessary length to connect to the nearest power socket in your home. Alternatively, you could opt for a cordless vacuum cleaner. But, generally, their batteries aren’t very durable.
Cordless vacuum cleaners usually come with a number of attachments for reaching crevices and for cleaning upholstery. They also have a HEPA filter. Being lightweight and compact, they are easy to carry and store away.
The main drawback of handheld vacuum cleaners is their low power.
Who is it Suitable for?
Handheld vacuum cleaners are ideal for cleaning cars, cupboards and shelves. Opt for a cordless handheld vacuum cleaner if your car is parked away from a power socket. Else, ensure they have a power plug compatible with the socket in the car.
Related reading: 6 Vacuum Cleaner Hacks That Work
Stick Vacuum Cleaner
Stick vacuum cleaners are comparatively expensive. Mostly, their price starts from Rs. 10,000 onwards. The header is attached to a long stick which is further connected to a motor and dust collection unit, which has a handle. These options too have a number of attachments which makes them useful for cleaning crevices, upholstery, window sills etc. They can be used for cleaning cobwebs on the ceiling too.
The main advantage of a stick vacuum cleaner is that it is very easy to manoeuvre. They usually run on batteries and hence, you needn’t worry about dangling cords. It makes cleaning quite effortless and is a suitable option if you have stairs at your home.
But it has drawbacks too. First of all, as they have a small dust collection container, you have to clear it every 1-2 days, or else the suction power will be less. Then, as it runs on batteries, it usually has a run time of 30-45 minutes only, which may not be sufficient when you are deep cleaning. Further, the batteries may need replacement every 2-3 years too.
Who Is It Suitable For?
A Stick vacuum cleaner is an ideal option for those who are willing to splurge and be in control while cleaning. It is an easy-to-manoeuvre vacuum cleaner and is a good option for elderly folks. It is also an ideal choice for homes with stairs. However, as the head of the unit is a bit heavy, it may not be a great choice if you have pain in your wrist or hand. Also, the battery lasts just 30 minutes to an hour depending on the model.
Related reading: How To Wash Pillow?
Robotic Vacuum Cleaner
Robotic vacuum cleaners are the most advanced option of vacuum cleaners available in the market today. They have various sensors which help navigate and map the home or office. So, it moves on its own to clean up the home and returns back to the docking station when the battery is low.
Higher-end robotic vacuum cleaners are capable of storing maps of different floors of your home. Thus, it ensures all the areas are covered thoroughly every time. You can cordon off areas through the app to clean just specific areas you need. But, a budget-friendly option doesn’t have the ability to create and store maps. Instead, it just navigates around the house using various sensors in a bid to cover the entire area. But often they tend to omit certain areas. In such scenarios, you may have to direct it to the needed areas using the mobile app.
The main advantage of robotic vacuum cleaners is that it is absolutely hands-free. You can schedule cleaning and simply forget about it. At the designated time, the machine will clean your house like clockwork. The drawback however is the low run time. As mentioned, it may also miss out on cleaning spaces. If there are steps in your home or sill between two rooms, your robot vacuum cleaner may not be able to navigate between the rooms.
Also, some robot vacuum cleaners have mopping and vacuum functions. But, the container to hold soapy water has usually just around 300-500ml and the mop is a thin microfibre cloth attached to the bottom of the vacuum cleaner. It doesn’t do a neat job at all. So, unless you have a dedicated mopping robot, it is usually not worth it.
Who Is It Suitable For?
Robotic vacuum cleaners are ideal for those who wish to take their mind off cleaning. It is a good option if you have kids who tend to mess up the floor often.
Wet & Dry Vacuum Cleaner
Wet and dry vacuum cleaners are bulky and difficult to stow away. But, they are extremely versatile. You can use it to clean dry and wet spills with ease. Be it your balcony or your garage, you can clean the space hassle-free. If you have ever sought professional cleaning of your sofa or bed, you would have seen that they use a wet and dry vacuum cleaner for the same. After scrubbing the surface thoroughly using a brush and cleaning agent, they vacuum it to remove the moisture and let it dry for a day. So, if you have a wet and dry vacuum cleaner, you can pretty much deep clean upholsteries and mattresses on your own.
Note that these machines do not have the functionality to mop.
The main disadvantage of wet and dry vacuum cleaners is that they are bulky and difficult to move around the house. Cleaning the dirt container is also not easy. But, considering its versatility, it is definitely an excellent option to consider.
Who Is It Suitable For?
A wet and dry vacuum cleaner is an ideal choice for those who want an appliance to clean their balcony, utility areas, garages and such places which tend to get wet and dirty. As mentioned earlier, it is helpful for deep cleaning mattresses and upholstery too.