A top rated canister vacuum is convenient for the fact that it has a flexible hose and there is no need for the main unit to be in the exact spot where you want to vacuum, taking into consideration that it comes with a lot of tools and a series of features, makes it more versatile than an upright vacuum. Before purchasing there are several factors to consider:
1. Ease of use - Weight: lift the vacuum to make sure it's not difficult to carry - Handle: check if the handle is conveniently positioned making sure the vacuum is easy to carry - Mobility / Protection: check if the vacuum has proper wheels so that it won't scratch the surface while offering the best maneuverability. Shock absorbers are a plus for furnishings. - Accessibility: the on/off switch should be easily accessible either by hand or foot - Attachments: make sure the attachments are easy to attach and detach - Ergonomic: make sure the vacuum is comfortable if you prefer a backpack vacuum
2. Bagged or bagless - Bagged vacuum cleaners have non-disposable but usually disposable bags made of material that captures fine dust particles which can be a plus if you are allergic. This means you will either have to clean the bag or buy replacement bags. - Bagless vacuums have a plastic or metal container that holds the dirt and a filter that protects the motor from the dust particles. The containers and filters are washable so there is no need for buying replacement bags. Sometimes the filters are dishwasher safe.
3. Operating radius Take into consideration the operating radius. You might need a long hose while sometimes a long hose it's more of a pain. The cord's length should be long enough so you won't need to often change the socket or use an extension cord while vacuuming. We recommend you to choose a vacuum with a telescopic wand rather than two-piece wands for more maneuverability.
4. Nozzles and tools - For high traffic areas and pet hair a powered nozzle is the best choice. This means that there are 2 motors one for suction and the other motor powers the agitator brush which lifts the pet hair and loosen dirt. If you have wood or tile floors make sure the vacuum comes with a bare floor tool also. - Look for a long extension wand if you want to reach high ceilings, top of curtains or ceiling fans, preferable a telescopic wand. - If you have upholstered furniture than an upholstery brush is mandatory. Most of the vacuums include a dusting tool also useful for furniture surfaces and a crevice tool for narrow areas. - Make sure all tools are easily accessible, conveniently stored and easy to attach and detach.
5. Extra features. Some of the extra features are highly important while others are not, so take into consideration the following: - If you have dark corners you should consider the headlight often located on the nozzle or sometimes on the grip. - A long cord length should come with the automatic cord rewind feature. - Adjustable suction power is needed for draperies or carpets so you won't suck the life out of those :) - Another useful feature is the blower port.
6. Where can one purchase If you don't have time or you don't want to go to an electronics store we recommend buying online from Amazon.com. This will save you time and money and you can also read other customer reviews before buying. Watch the following video for the top canister vacuum recommendations: