Upright vacuums are the most popular type of cleaners in the United States. They offer superior suction strength, broader cleaning paths, and motorized brush heads.
Such models are efficient at collecting animal hair and work very well on all types of carpeting. They glide perfectly over tile and hardwood flooring as well.
Due to their shape, uprights are easy to store. That being said, they are quite heavy and aren’t very mobile.
Also, they tend to be more expensive than other types of cleaners. Do the pros of upright vacs outweigh the cons? Continue reading to find out!
Types of Upright Vacuums
- Pet hair
Uprights are the best cleaning devices for picking up pet hair from the floor. Their built-in motors provide the suction required for collecting fur even from plush carpeting.
Besides, most models come with a rotating brush. It’s very efficient at agitating the hair and pulling it into the hose.
The downside of upright vacs for pet hair is that some of them are unusable for upholstery and clothing cleaning. However, you can buy one of the several 2-in-1 models to bypass this restriction. Such machines cost more, but the added versatility is worth it for pet owners.
Upright cleaners do their best work when used on carpeted floors. They employ wide cleaning paths and motorized heads to secure a thorough cleanup.
The rotating brush bristles agitate the debris stuck between the fibers to ease this process. The suction generated by the vacuum’s motor is enough not only to clean the carpet but also to renovate it.
Upright models have a large tank capacity. It’s great for collecting huge amounts of dirt nested in rugs and carpets.
Also, the majority of modern vacuums have suction and powerhead level controls. They allow you to adapt to different types of carpeting with a single button press.
- Hardwood floors
Upright vacuums work just as well on bare flooring as they do on carpets. Their efficiency is supported by the powerful motor that provides superb airflow. The latter is essential for picking up debris from hardwood floors without clogging the hose.
Most powerheads come with a feature that enables you to turn off the brush cylinder. In this mode, you can clean your floors without scratching them.
Moreover, it makes gliding over bare surfaces a breeze. Another reason why uprights are great for this surface type is the large bin size. Thus, such models allow you to clean your house several times before changing the bag.
- Laminate floors
While upright vacs aren’t ideally suited for laminate, they still manage to do a respectable job on it. However, to guarantee that your floors won’t be scratched, you have to do one of two things:
The first option is to buy a vacuum with a powerhead that can be turned off. This will ensure that the bristles won’t damage the laminate.
The second option is to purchase a hard floor-only model. You won’t be able to clean carpets with it, but such a vac will protect your laminate from any marks. The second choice is better for purists, while the first one is more suited for all-in-one vacuum loyalists.
- Cordless vacuums
On the one hand, cordless cleaners offer more portability and are lighter. On the other, they don’t have the same suction power as corded models do. Thus, such vacs are more suited for large homes that don’t have a lot of carpets.
Probably the biggest benefit of cordless vacuums is that they allow you to clean your car and upholstery. This job is even easier thanks to the variety of attachments included in most packages.
Besides, the batteries included in cordless uprights are some of the most durable on the market. They last for up to an hour of uninterrupted cleaning.
- Bagless vacuums
Detailed review: The Best-Rated Upright Bagless Vacuums
A bagless unit design gives numerous benefits to upright vacs. It makes them lighter and adds a high-end look to them. Moreover, such cleaners allow you to save money on extra bags.
These vacuums provide the same level of suction as bagged models. However, unlike the latter, such machines don’t lose power over time, no matter how full the container gets. This is possible thanks to the top-notch cyclonic filtration system.
The main drawback of these uprights is that they aren’t suited for asthmatics. Since they don’t employ HEPA filters, some allergens return into the air when the dustbin is emptied.
- Lightweight vacuums
The biggest problem with upright cleaners is how heavy they are. The combined weight of the motor, the bag compartment, the hose and the powerhead can be overwhelming.
It’s a nightmare for homemakers to carry such a unit around the house. This is especially true for multi-floor homeowners.
With that in mind, you can choose one of the several lightweight uprights available. While they do lose some of their suction and functionality, they are still great for cleaning all types of surfaces. Moreover, they are smaller, which means such vacuums can be stored with ease.
What to Consider Before Buying an Upright Vacuum Cleaner
When you’re in the process of searching for an upright cleaner, there are a lot of things you have to keep in mind. To avoid a case of buyer’s remorse, it’s recommended to factor in these characteristics:
- Size and storage. Uprights are generally easy to store. However, you should still make sure that you have the space necessary for the model you’ve chosen.
- Weight. If you dread the thought of carrying around a heavy vacuum, consider sacrificing some of the functionality for the sake of buying a lighter machine.
- Reach. There are three factors you have to think about here: cord length, hose length, and the inclusion of extension wands.
- Surface. You can either buy an all-in-one vacuum or choose a model specifically designed for the flooring type that is the most prevalent in your home.
- Wattage. The higher the wattage output, the stronger the suction you’ll enjoy.
- Noise. If you have a baby that sleeps during the day or have someone working at home, it’s better to find a model with a lower sound level.