There are many different types of vacuums on the market, making a vacuum purchase confusing and overwhelming. The following is an overview of vacuum types and some considerations when choosing the best carpet vacuum to maintain carpet quality and life.
Common types of vacuum cleaners
Many people appreciate the convenience of robotic vacuums that can be scheduled to operate on their own. They work well on carpets, rugs, and hardwood floors, and can run on daily for frequent cleaning. They include boundary sensors to avoid hitting furniture and room baseboard memories to remember a cleaning path. Robotic vacuums rest on small charging stations that take up little room and are cordless. While robotic vacuums are convenient and easily pick up small dust particles and pet hair, long hair will wrap around the beater brush and need to be cleaned frequently.
Canister vacuums are appropriate for hard surfaces, small carpeted areas, and stairs. The motor and dirt receptacle is in a separate unit and there is a suction hose with attachments for floor cleaning. There are three types of canister vacuums with the only difference being in the floor attachment. One is a straight suction and features a non-revolving brush that is appropriate for flat carpets and hard floors. Another type is the turbo or turbine as it has the common beater brush powered by the airflow of the vacuum’s suction and loosens dirt from carpet fibers. The third type is known as a power team, and like the straight suction, also has a beater brush, but the difference is a separate motor to operate the beater brush. They all easily reach under furniture and most include a retractable cord for convenience.
Upright vacuums are very popular as they are the most versatile and appropriate for everyday use on all floor types and in large areas. They feature a beater brush with revolving brush rollers to loosen dirt from carpet fibers, making it easier to suction debris. Many offer a feature to turn off the beater brush and use a suction only to prevent damage when cleaning special rugs or hardwood floors. It is common for upright vacuums to include attachments to reach high areas, and while most recently manufactured upright models are bagless, some models use filtered bags to collect dirt. Upright vacuums may have one motor that powers both the beater brush and suction or two separate motors dedicated to powering each function.
Stick vacuums are a type of upright vacuum but are lighter weight and often battery-powered and rechargeable. Some have the flexibility to adapt to a handheld vacuum by removing the top portion from the beater brush and use attachments to reach small crevices or high areas. This is convenient for cleaning spills, cars, or areas where a large vacuum is impractical. Their upright design, soft bristles, and ability to turn off the beater brush make them appropriate for cleaning most surfaces from carpets to rugs to hardwood floors and their lightweight design makes them easy to navigate around and under furniture. Most include a receptacle that collects dirt instead of filtered bags.
How to choose a vacuum based on the carpet surface type?
Most dirt being cleaned from carpets and floors comes from shoes and pets, and this dirt is typically dry with sharp edges. When this type of soil is walked on repeatedly, it damages the carpet fibers. When carpet areas begin to look dirty and worn out with traffic areas, it often is simply damaged carpet fibers with the light reflecting from the fibers rather than the carpet being dirty.
It is important to regularly use a vacuum that effectively removes the dirt from the carpet to prevent damaged carpet fibers. Choose a vacuum with the most aggressive beater brush and bristle stiffness that your carpet can handle to best pull dirt up from the carpet base so it can easily be suctioned away. For synthetic carpets in high traffic areas that will undoubtedly see more dirt, a vacuum with a strong bristle beater brush is necessary. While pet hair does not damage carpet fibers, a strong bristle beater brush is also effective in removing pet hair.
Since one of the important purposes of a vacuum cleaner is to clean the carpet, it is advisable to start with carpet types in the decision-making process.
Nylon or polyester carpet
Most of today’s wall-to-wall carpeting is made from synthetic fiber like nylon or polyester. These are very durable fibers intended to withstand higher traffic and soil levels. To keep these carpets clean and prevent them from damage caused by the soil, it is best to frequently vacuum them with an upright or canister vacuum that has an aggressive beater brush with stiff bristles.
Triexta is considered most similar to nylon carpets but comes at a cheaper price. It is stain-resistant and can often be cleaned with just water; however, the fibers are prone to damage from the soil and they do not bounce back well with frequent traffic. For this reason, the triexta carpet should be vacuumed frequently with an upright or canister vacuum that has an aggressive beater brush.
Wool and silk carpet
Natural fibers like wool and silk need to be vacuumed with care. Wool and silk are very durable and have been used for centuries; however, the bristles of a beater brush can damage their fibers if they are too stiff. It is important to use soft or flexible bristles, on these types of carpets. If these rugs are a high dollar or very old and see little traffic and soil, it may be advisable to use a vacuum with suction only with the beater brush turned off or a model with soft bristles.
Olefin, or polypropylene, is a synthetic fiber used in some carpets. It is less expensive compared to some other fibers but will need to be replaced more frequently. Olefin mimics the appearance of wool and is used in looped Berber and area rugs. A positive characteristic of Olefin carpet is its ability to resist stains; however, it is best to use in low-traffic areas as the fibers tend to show wear and tear easily. Because Olefin is susceptible to fiber damage from dirt, it is important to vacuum this carpet frequently. Its low pile design makes a stick vacuum a good option.
Acrylic carpet is also made to mimic the feel of wool. It is mold and mildew resistant and like Olefin, acrylic carpet is stain-resistant, but it also does not hold up well to foot traffic. Acrylic carpets have a low pile, making stick/handheld vacuum a perfect option for frequent vacuuming.
Other natural fibers carpet
Other types of natural fiber rugs like jute, cotton, bamboo, sisal, seagrass, and leather often require soft bristles or suction only. Some vacuums come with specialty tools designed specifically for these types of rugs or the stick/handheld vacuum is an appropriate option. Hard flooring like vinyl, engineered wood, and hardwood should be cleaned with a stick model with either a beater brush turned off and suction only or a soft bristle beater brush.
Check out the most popular vacuums
The Dreame V11 is one of the most popular cordless vacuums for its features, flexibility, and price. It is a good option for everyday use and is appropriate for hard floor surfaces as well as low pile carpet and those requiring soft bristle brushes. The tool is diverse as it can be transformed from a stick vacuum to a handheld, making it easy to use on stairs and under furniture. It comes with a variety of tools to reach higher places and small crevices and deals with factors like pet hair and long hair like a pro. The rechargeable battery lasts for up to four hours, eliminating the need to stop and recharge in the middle of cleaning.
An additional important feature of the Dream V11 is the HEPA filter, meaning the vacuum not only picks up dirt but also retains dirt rather than redistributing it back into the room. The HEPA filter removes 99.97% of all dust particles that are as small as 0.3 microns and is the highest standard for filtration. This is particularly important for those who suffer from allergies, asthma, and other breathing conditions.
A Dreame V11 will keep your carpet clean and maintain its value for years to come.