Vacuum Shopping for Today’s Carpets

black and white vacuum cleanersAccording to Consumer Reports Magazine, ultra-soft and thick carpets have become more popular recently, and sales have grown to more than 10 percent of the market in the past five years. So in reaction to this trend, carpet makers have begun testing and recommending vacuums that can handle the needs of their super thick (often hard to clean) carpeting. (Examples of plush carpet include Caress by Shaw and Karastan by Mohawk.)

In fact, vacuum manufacturers have begun designing models specifically for “ultra-soft” carpeting. Which is good news to consumers, if in fact these machines can perform as their claims say they can. Too often consumers purchase the perfect vacuum only to learn within a couple of months that the suction is inadequate and poor or it decreases continually over time, despite the cleaning of the bags and filter systems.

Consumer reports has done some product testing for those of seeking a better machine to clean our homes and they found that Kenmore vacuums designed for thick carpets work very well. The magazine sites the Kenmore Elite Crossover Ultra 10335 upright, $300, and the Kenmore Elite 700 Series 81714 canister, $400 as cleaning well and moving easily (some other models can get bogged down by the thickness of a carpet, making it hard to move and maneuver) on thick carpeting.

Off their list of recommendations were the Maytag M500, $300, the Fuller Brush Mighty Maid FBMM-PWCF, $400, and the Oreck Magnesium, $500. These were not recommend because they were not top performers overall.

The other issue with vacuums is how long they last. Didn’t your mother’s vacuum last forever? But today, grab a cheaper model off the shelf and you will find yourself needing to purchase a new one far sooner than you should have to.

Dyson has excellent customer reviews. Many of which claim to have their vacuum for more than 8 years with it still going strong and cleaning well.

But, the lifespan of any vacuum cleaner will depend on the quality of the brand, if you clean out the bags and filters, and provide proper maintenance to it. Some brands boast they will last up to 20-years or longer, although some studies of vacuum cleaners estimate a lifespan for many is about three years. According to Great Vacs, Kirby brand vacuums can last for 25 years, but there is disputed evidence on these figures.

One of the influential factors for vacuum longevity, along with maintenance, is if you have pets. Pet hair contributes additional hair, which will burn out the motor of a vacuum faster than if you were living pet-free. But, if you are looking for performance and durability, there are several other things you should take into account when looking for in your next vacuum.

  • Metal lasts longer than plastic. A metal casing can last decades if it is not abused. Plastic will be damaged easier, though it is lighter for the overall weight of the vacuum.

  • A motor with a plastic shell will seal in heat trapping it until it wears out the motor.

  • Look for metal in your roller brushes, since they are by far the most durable. Wood is next on the list of durability, and plastic roller brushes, typically used in the least expensive vacuums will easily get hair wound around them and melt if that hair gets caught in the bearings.

  • The lesser quality vacuums will be harder to use and maneuver on thick carpeting and the suction may not be enough to get it deep down clean.

The best advice is shop around within your price range and find the best quality construction you can afford. Seek metal over plastic parts, even if it means your vacuum is heavier than some other models.

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