Outside view of VIDA Building

The Best Vacuum for You

Photographs of the 5 most common types of vacuums


January 2022


There are more types of vacuums on the market than ever. While choosing the right brand and model is important, deciding which type of vacuum you need is actually your first decision. You could get the best upright vacuum money can buy, but if your situation really calls for a cordless stick vacuum you won’t be happy with your purchase. To help you on your journey, here are the most common vacuum types and what each is best for.

Upright Vacuums

They’re great for cleaning carpets, especially plush or shag carpets. They also cost less than canister vacuums and have a wider cleaning swath. However, they do weigh more than other vacuums, so depending on your physical condition they can give you a real workout.

Canister Vacuums

Compared to upright vacuums, they work better on bare floors and fit under furniture more easily. Those that include a separate power head can clean carpets as well as an upright. However, because you’re dealing with a wand, hose, and canister, they’re not as maneuverable and take up more storage space.

Cordless Stick Vacuums

With recent battery improvements, these have more power than they used to. However, they can be pricy and their batteries have a limited life. On the plus side, there’s no cord to bog you down, they’re great for quick clean-ups, and they less room to store.

Corded Stick Vacuums

More lightweight than an upright and more powerful than a cordless, these vacuums are a favorite with many apartment dwellers. However, they can’t match the cleaning power of an upright or canister model.

Robot Vacuums

For the time crunched, you just push a button and stand aside. They’re great if your apartment isn’t cluttered, because they don’t do well if there are a lot of things on the floor to maneuver around. They also don’t come close to uprights and canisters when it comes to cleaning plush or shag carpeting.