Upright vacuums have been used commonly for a long, but now households are considering canister vacuums also—however, the decision of canister vs. upright vacuum depends on your purpose, budget, and personal preference.
Both the models have got their names from their designs. Canister vacuums are costlier but quieter and offer better suction on bare floors. Upright vacuums are less expensive, effective for cleaning carpets, and easier to move and store.
The blog gives you detailed insights into the canister and upright vacuums. It includes the advantages and disadvantages of both vacuum types. The article will help you decide the best vacuum cleaner for your home that meets your requirements.
A canister vacuum features a wheeled body attached to a powerhead and vacuum wand through a flexible plastic hose. The vacuum’s canister portion contains the main motor, dust bags, and filter. Many canister models feature HEPA filters that enable the gadget to suck 99.99% of allergens, pet hairs, and debris with higher ability.
The powerhead might have a small motor based on the model type. Canister vacuums usually feel lighter to use as you need to move only the powerhead and wand while cleaning. The wheels make it convenient to drag the vacuum all around the house.
Advantages of Canister Vacuums
Generally, canister vacuums are slightly lighter than upright vacuum cleaners. Although the difference is only a few pounds, the canister vacuum’s design makes it lighter. You do not need to push and pull the entire device across.
A comparison of canister versus upright vacuums suggests that canister is easier to carry. Instead, the vacuum’s majority portion sits stationary while you need only the lightweight wand and head attached for cleaning. The difference between the two vacuums concerning weight is that canister is easy to maneuver in tight spaces, stairs, under, or behind furniture.
Average vacuum models make roughly 70 dB of noise. However, the canister vacuum is quieter than usual models as it makes 60-65 dB noise. Upright vacuums make around 70 dB. If you are sensitive to noise, a canister vacuum is a clear choice.
Suction power and flow rate
The canister vacuum has more suction power than upright vacuums. The higher power makes them well suitable for cleaning bare floors. They are good at cleaning carpets, but upright models that use collection bags are effective carpet cleaners.
Almost all canister models have retractable cords that can hide inside the device when not in use. It offers a better appearance to the vacuum and reduces the possibility of tripping over the cord. Tripping can be pretty annoying and painful. The powerful corded gadget exhibits more power to clean.
It can be used with more tools
A canister vacuum can be equipped with several tools. It has a crevice nozzle, mechanized brush, and upholstery brush attached to enhance efficiency on carpets and rugs. The tools are placed on the canister or directly on the wand. The attachments make the vacuum more versatile.
Disadvantages of Canister Vacuums
Not easy to store
A canister vacuum’s head and wand are more navigable than upright vacuums. But the canister’s body itself is cumbersome. You will have to move two pieces rather than carrying a single unit. The hose that connects the canister to the wand is primarily long enough for small spaces.
So, the hose and wand make it harder to store than upright vacuums. It will require more storage space. However, if you vacuum the whole house, you will have to carry or roll the canister from one room to another. Beware! The device can bang into and damage walls or furniture if you are not careful. So, some users mostly do not prefer to drag the canister behind them.
Hard to Operate if you have Back Pain
A canister vacuum is low to the ground and requires you to bend over to turn on and off. So, it is difficult to operate for those who have back pain. However, some brands try to settle the problem with big enough controls to use with feet or by hand controls on the wand. But the arm motion you have to do will require you to bend a little while cleaning.
Not suitable for quick use
You cannot operate canister vacuums immediately. They require the assembly of parts before starting them, like putting accessories in place. So, they are not good for a quick start.
The traditional design is the motor, dust bags, filter, and powerhead of one unit in an upright vacuum. You will have to push all the parts together in front of you while cleaning. The all-in-one design makes the gadget feels heavier, but its weight comes with additional power.
The onboard attachments make the gadget versatile to use. It uses a motorized brush that removes dirt through suction. Some designs are bagless, while some have bags for capturing debris and dust. Other noticeable features include height adjustments for a transition from hardwood floors to dense carpets.
Advantages of Upright Vacuums
Upright vacuums are cheaper than canister vacuums.
Easy to use
The upright vacuum’s one-piece design makes it easier to use and move from one room to another. An upright model does not demand bending down to deal with it as with a canister. The handle on upright allows you to pull, push, or carry the device single-handedly.
Easy to store
Upright vacuums are capable of standing up on their own inside a closet or any place. It makes the gadget easy to store for you. Some models offer customized wall mounts that free up floor space in your garage or mudroom or wherever your vacuum stands.
Large vacuum head
Upright vacuums have large cleaning head that allows them to balance on while cleaning large areas. Its wide footprint helps to clean the largest rooms more quickly than a canister vacuum. In other words, they have a more comprehensive cleaning path.
Easy to empty
A good advantage of upright vacuums is that they are easier to clean once you collect all debris and dirt. Most models are bagless but built with plastic receptacles that can move in and out of place. The feature enables you to empty the vacuum quickly.
Disadvantages of Upright Vacuums
Higher noise level
Yes! Upright vacuums are louder than canister vacuums. Most of the models make more than 70 dB sound.
Cleaning the Corners is Difficult
Upright vacuums are not capable of reaching all those corners and cervices where canister vacuums can reach. You can add attachments to the gadget, but it will still be challenging to reach and clean behind furniture.
It isn’t easy to clean stairs with an upright vacuum as you will have to lift its heavy frame from one step to another. There is a possibility that their broadhead is even bigger than steps, making balancing a challenge. Most upright vacuums do not have a retractable cord. Instead, you can wrap the loose cord around the hooks present. So, it is likely for the cord to get tangled.
Upright vacuums weigh up to 20 lbs or more. It might not sound too heavy as there is no need to lift them entirely off the ground. But you will notice the vacuum’s weight during the extended time you vacuum. You can find some lightweight upright vacuum cleaners that weigh only 1 up to 10 pounds. If the gadget’s weight is a big concern, cordless models will be a better choice for you.
Canister VS Upright Vacuums
Until some years ago, upright vacuums were preferred for carpets and area rugs, while canister vacuums were ideal for bare floors. However, both models now come with superior features to enhance cleaning ability.
Canister vs. upright vacuum will help you make the distinction between the two. You can consider buying an upright vacuum cleaners if your house has carpets and rugs primarily as surfaces. Their rotating brushes are better at extracting dust from thick carpets efficiently.
A canister vac is a good option for homeowners with stairs, corners, and surfaces to clean. They have multiple attachments that allow you to clean carpets, window blinds, covered furniture, and wood floors.
However, overall, I would suggest the canister vacuum models has an advantage over an upright vacuum cleaner. Canister vacuums are flexible and easier to carry up and down the stairs as their weight is distributed between the powerhead and canister.
They are silent, powerful, and easier to handle with a larger dirt-holding capacity. So, you can clean almost anything with canister models from floor to ceiling in one handy machine. You can go through our Vacuum buying guide if you want to know more about vacuums, their features, and their uses.