Recommend Me A Vacuum Cleaner

Zero promised to buy me a vacuum for Valentine's day. The one that just died was a hand me down from my mom, so I've never had the pleasure of shopping for the perfect vacuum. My parasitology professor told me he's really happy with his Rainbow Vacuum but said it cost somewhere around $1800. That's a little out of my price range. I'm thinking somewhere around $200-300 but if it's really spiffy then I'm willing to spend up to $500. Attachments for corners and upholstery get extra points.

So please, won't you give me pointers towards something that sucks? (har har) Sorry, bad joke.

Edit: It should be added that I want a vacuum designed for carpet, not hardwood floors.

Well, if it's just for minor stuff (a little dirtt, kitty litter, whathaveyou), I would recommend the Swiffer Wetjet. And no, in spite of the rumors, it is not harmful to pets. We use it just fine, and if you recall from the pets thread, we have quite a large number of the furry little buggers.

EDIT: Plus, it's cheap - $20 for just 3 pads and a 500 ml bottle of cleaner, $23 for 12 pads, 1 liter of cleaner, and 1 liter of antibacterial cleaner.

If you have rugs, though, the Swiffer is not recommended.

Roomba. Then you don't have to do any actual vacuuming.

I need a vacuum, not a mop. Silly.

bennard wrote:
Roomba. Then you don't have to do any actual vacuuming.

Seconded. We have two and could not imagine living without those little buggers.

lunabean wrote:
I need a vacuum, not a mop. Silly. :P

D'oh, my bad. Brain not work good. I meant the Swivel Sweeper. Got the two confused. Swivel Sweeper, Swiffer. Easy mistake to make. They look similar, too.

Consumer Reports is your friend!
I chose mine after a little research and establishing that there is no way I'd pay more for a vacuum than I would be willing to lay down for a graphics card.
I just spent 5 minutes trying to determine a model number, but all I can find are descriptors of what my vacuum features.
It's Hoover Dual Chamber Windtunnel Bagless Upright with a 12 amp motor.
I live in a small apartment and vacuum once every 6 months if it needs it or not.
I think if I cleaned more often the bagless feature would piss me off more because it's a pain to clean out while inside and a pain to take outside and clean. But if you had a garage, or didn't live on the third floor I'm sure it wouldn't be such a big deal.

Check out the models from Oreck. They're about as simple as an upscale vacuum gets, and with vacuums, simpler is better. Right now I'm languishing with a cheap Dirt Devil vacuum, and whenever I make the pilgrimage to my mom's, I like to break out her Oreck and vacuum her house for kicks.

I have allergies and I just started getting shots for them; my wife is on a crusade to make the house as allergy-free as possible. She bought the Kenmore Progressive Vacuum. She said Consumer Reports gave it a 'Best Buy' recommendation (I think she said it was in the March issue if you want to check it out). It seems to be helping so far, it's much better than the one we had before. I think she paid somewhere around $300 for it.

Consumer Reports rates the following as the top four:

1. Kenmore (Sears) Progressive with Direct Drive 35922 (bag) $300

2. Hoover Windtunnel 2 U8311-900 (bag) $250

3. Kenmore (Sears) Pgoressive with Direct drive 36932 (bagless) $300

4. Eureka Boss Smart Vac Ultra 4870 (bag) $150 (threw this one in since it and #1 were CR Best Buys)

We recently bought #3 to help with our Golden Retriever's hair problems, and it works wonders. It's got this dirt sensor that will really slow you down, though. I refuse to move to a new spot until it tells me that the spot I'm on is clean. It seems to work really well, too. I try to fool it all the time by taking it back over areas I've already cleaned. Plus, heavily traveled areas take much longer to clean than ones that get very little traffic. So a room that may have taken me 10 minutes before, now takes 30-40! But the dirt bucket is pretty full afterwards. We got the bagless one because with the Golden, we'd go through bags like crazy.

I hear that the Dyson is the way to go.

I just finished watching a Beavis & Butthead DVD, so I'm going to recuse myself.

Also: A vacuum for Valentine's? Zero's either a jerk or a really lucky man. Perhaps both.

luna, allow me to be completely serious. Riccar is the way to go. It's as light as an Oreck, but costs much less, and sucks even better.

I use the RSL1A and love it. If you upgrade to the next class of that 8-pound model series, you get HEPA filtration as well. Mine is just "EcoPure" but it still works great. It works so well, my girlfriend has pretty much claimed it as her own and it stays at her place most of the time now. I have to beg her to give it back to me long enough to vacuum (which at my bachelor pad is not very often, as expected).

Drawbacks are: No attachments, at least that I know of. The bags cost a bit more, since they're fancy and good for you. You have to go to a boutique vacuum dealer to find them. Your friends and family will constantly be borrowing it if they live less than 15 minutes away.

Good luck in your decision!

What ever you decide I recommend getting a bagless one.

wordsmythe wrote:
A vacuum for Valentine's? Zero's either a jerk or a really lucky man. Perhaps both. :wink:

What can I say? We're unconventional conventionalists.

Thanks for all the suggestions so far, guys!

I have, per Consumer Reports' suggestion, an earlier version of that Kenmore vacuum. It sucks! But in the best possible way. It is excellent, and wasn't terribly expensive. It has a very good 'dirt sensor' light on it that tells you when the carpet is actually clean. I find that very handy. It's partially motor driven (no pushing, only pulling), has a good headlight, and pulls stuff up very well. My sister and mother both have Mieles, which are good for low noise (nice if you have pets, the Mieles don't sent most pets into paroxysms of fear), but this thing kicks the crap out of them for actual suckage, without being particularly obnoxious noise-wise.

I had taken the model number from CR and went in to buy it, but when I got there, the saleslady told me I didn't want that one. Instead, she steered me to the exact same thing, for the same price, but with a much longer power cord. I think the first digit in the model number was incremented... I thought I wanted something like "29152", and she sold me a "39152" instead.

If you buy the current Kenmore, check to see if they're still doing that. That long cord is really useful!

Oh, edit to add: it comes with a full set of standard attachments, crevice tool, couple brush thingies, long hose extenders to get into high places. Same basic things I've seen most good vacuums with. These are well designed, and store on the back of the unit, so you won't misplace them.

First, I'd just like to say that contributing to this thread makes me feel weaker and less masculine. I'm not sure why.

Second, assuming you're worth $400-500 to Zero (boy it feels good to be on the other end of that nonsense! ), Dysons are amazing. My wife and I took turns vacuuming rooms and then running over to the other and saying "Holy crap! Look what I just got out of X room!" We've had it for almost four years, it's never needed any maintenance and sucks just as well it did when we got it (I'm sooo tempted to say "Just like my wife!" at this point, but I'm too wise for that). We have a couple dogs, a 20 month old son (who doesn't shed, per se, but causes plenty of messes) and live in a 5,500 square foot house where the central vac system is only roughed in. The Dyson? We likey!

More Dyson love: It's the first appliance my son kissed, so, y'know, it has a special place in my heart. It has a ton of well thought out gadgets/mechanisms that seem to ease some of my pain when I decide the local dirt level has surpassed my detection range.

The only downside I can think of is if your carpets are of a certain quality, as the ones in our previous house were, the Dyson will actually pull carpet strands out of the backing weave or whatever the hell it's called. I mean, I'm not sure that's a negative for the Dyson, really, but I thought I'd point it out.

EDIT: The Dyson handheld I'm a lot less enthusiastic about. It's just as good at actually vacuuming, but it doesn't seem to hold a charge for very long.

Shouldn't this be in Tech & Help?

Wounder wrote:
First, I'd just like to say that contributing to this thread makes me feel weaker and less masculine. I'm not sure why.

Second, assuming you're worth $400-500 to Zero (boy it feels good to be on the other end of that nonsense! ), Dysons are amazing. My wife and I took turns vacuuming rooms and then running over to the other and saying "Holy crap! Look what I just got out of X room!" We've had it for almost four years, it's never needed any maintenance and sucks just as well it did when we got it (I'm sooo tempted to say "Just like my wife!" at this point, but I'm too wise for that). We have a couple dogs, a 20 month old son (who doesn't shed, per se, but causes plenty of messes) and live in a 5,500 square foot house where the central vac system is only roughed in. The Dyson? We likey!

More Dyson love: It's the first appliance my son kissed, so, y'know, it has a special place in my heart. It has a ton of well thought out gadgets/mechanisms that seem to ease some of my pain when I decide the local dirt level has surpassed my detection range.

The only downside I can think of is if your carpets are of a certain quality, as the ones in our previous house were, the Dyson will actually pull carpet strands out of the backing weave or whatever the hell it's called. I mean, I'm not sure that's a negative for the Dyson, really, but I thought I'd point it out.

EDIT: The Dyson handheld I'm a lot less enthusiastic about. It's just as good at actually vacuuming, but it doesn't seem to hold a charge for very long.

Seconded*.

*Actually thirded as I am a filthy, filthy skimmer.

Dyson FTW. You can get a costco model that's not super pricey. We live in a very messy-yet-allergic household and the thing rocks. Corners and upholstery don't stand a chance, and you can do the entire staircase with just the hose.

Kyreth wrote:
What ever you decide I recommend getting a bagless one.

I agree. We got a Dyson knockoff made by Eureka, but I've had a pretty good experience with it (I had to look it up... it's a Eureka Boss 4D). It runs about $140 (we bought this one because it was only $100 at a NEX tent sale). Not having to deal with bags anymore is a freaking blessing. I've also done the "go from room to room seeing how much crap it picks up" thing. It's really amazing, especially for a knockoff.

If your willing to spend up to around $300, I'd suggest you look past this one though. It's nice for the low price, but there are better vacuums out there.

We recently moved into a house that's all hard floors except for the bedrooms. I now find our 7 year-old Kenmore Progressive upright to be a total PITA to drag around everywhere. Anybody have recommendations for a canister vac or something else that does a good job on hard floors?

[Edit: don't say "swiffer" because they leave behind way too much]

Not sure if pets are a problem or not, but my wife and used to have an awful time with vacuums croaking due to pet hair. When we finally broke down and bought a nice vacuum cleaner we get a Simplicity Synergy.

http://www.simplicityvac.com/products/uprights/synergy/

That vacuum is rock solid.

Strekos wrote:
Anybody have recommendations for a canister vac or something else that does a good job on hard floors?

The one I linked to will do bare floors as well, and is fairly decent at it. Though, I'll normally sweep first, then suck up the pile, just because the broom is a lot easier to use (no cord, no attachments needed, lighter, easier to move around, a lot more fun and safe to smack the inquisitive cat or dog with, etc).

PurEvil wrote:
Strekos wrote:
Anybody have recommendations for a canister vac or something else that does a good job on hard floors?

The one I linked to will do bare floors as well, and is fairly decent at it. Though, I'll normally sweep first, then suck up the pile, just because the broom is a lot easier to use (no cord, no attachments needed, lighter, easier to move around, a lot more fun and safe to smack the inquisitive cat or dog with, etc).

Sweeping is right out because of allergies.

I think the one you linked to will have the same limitation that my current upright has, which is that the roller brush drives it around on carpet but you turn that off on the bare floor, which means pushing and pulling the 20lb+ thing by yourself. This gets old, fast.

DSGamer wrote:
Not sure if pets are a problem or not

Oh no, not for Luna!

BTW: Why on earth do people want headlights on their vacuums? How often does it seem like a good idea to vacuum in the dark?

The Dyson does a kick ass job on hardwood floors (even getting crap out of the beveled edges of planks). Also, there are a host of attachments with the purple pet version that make using the long wand on floors even easier to use. The hose is something over 15' long, so it's rare I'm in a room I can't make that work.

The Dyson is no harder to push around on bare floors than it is on carpet. I was going to say the drive gear engages in both modes, but honestly I'm not sure there is a drive. I do know there's never been a time when I've felt I was struggling to shove the vac around. Unless my son was trying to ride it.

I'll have to go try pushing a Dyson around. Which one do you have?

[edit: nm, "the purple pet" one]

Dyson....all the way. It doesn't lose suction, and what they don't advertize is that it has almost twice the suction. Very happy with mine.

I use an Electrolux upright. We had one for 20 years and it finally died, so we went and bought another one. I do most of the vacuuming, so this is a recommendation from an expert.

I have a maid I can highly recommend.