Selecting a high-quality vacuum for your home goes far beyond the question of “Which vacuum works best?” In reality, the answer to this question is extremely relative. An incredible amount of innovation has enabled consumers to enjoy a rich selection of vacuums to choose from, all with varying features. Instead of trying to pick out the ‘best’ vacuum, it is much more important to consider your unique living space requirements and preferences.

When debating between an upright and a canister vacuum, there are many factors to be considered. Both styles offer unique advantages that may or may not suit your specific situation. If you’re unsure of which vacuum style would be most advantageous for your home, take a look at these pivotal questions, which can assist in determining the best vacuum choice for you.

How much power do you need?

While great strides have been made in upright vacuum technology, canisters tend to have an edge over uprights when it comes to power. Because canister engines are not restricted by size limitations, they tend to have a greater capacity for high-power performance. With that said, not all canister vacuums are built with intensive high-power motors, so it’s important to research the engine of each unit considered if power is a priority in your household.

What’s your floorplan like?

If the vacuum will mostly be used on a large, open space, then an upright is the way to go. Uprights can cover larger surface areas in a shorter amount of time because of their straightforward push design. However, if your floorplan has a complex design, such as multiple levels, staircases, or raised areas, then a canister will provide the mobility you need to access these different areas quickly.

Do you have mobility or strength limitations?

Upright units are generally much heavier than canisters, so if you have weight bearing restrictions, then a canister may be the better choice. With that said, uprights require less lifting since they function by pushing. If you have mobility problems, then an upright will be easier to use.

What type of flooring do you have?

While both upright and canister vacuums will offer incredible performance across multiple surfaces, upright units tend to be a stronger choice for thick, plush carpet because of their fundamental design.

Are you sensitive to noise?

Cutting-edge canister vacuums are often much quieter than upright vacuums. This is particularly advantageous for individuals with noise sensitivities or those who live in apartment-style residences with noise restrictions.

Do you plan to use an assortment of specialty nozzles?

Because of their unique hose and nozzle design, canister vacuums usually offer an abundance of specialty nozzle attachments that can aid in cleaning specific surfaces. Variable speed allows canisters to clean delicate items like silk, rugs of value, etc.

Does someone else clean your home?

Vacuums with automatic settings take the guesswork out of making the proper combination of settings and materials.

Are you on a budget?

If cost is a factor in your decision, then it’s important to know that upright vacuums tend to be more affordable than canister vacuums. However, both styles are available to accommodate a large spectrum of budgets, so it is good to consider the range of units in each category before ruling one style out due to initial cost.

Do you have a design preference?

Finally, if aesthetic design is ranked higher on your list than functional features, then you may make your decision based on the visual appearance of one style over the other. Uprights carry a traditional, recognizable design, while canisters offer an alternative, segmented style that may catch your eye.

It’s important to consider the unique benefits of both upright vacuums and canister vacuums when selecting a unit for your home. Be sure to take inventory of these questions before making an ultimate decision.