The essence of choosing a vacuum cleaner that works for you and your home goes without saying. Your flooring type, the kind of carpet in your home, your need to clean stairs and other areas above the floor, how quickly you need jobs done and whether there’s someone in your home who’s asthmatic or allergic to dust will likely determine the type of a vacuum cleaner you can buy.
The type of vacuum cleaner you own can make a big difference in your quality of life, especially if you or your children suffer from asthma, allergies or any respiratory condition that allergen particles aggravate. According to various studies, traditional vacuum cleaners can aggravate allergic or asthmatic symptoms by redistributing allergens on floors into the air.
HEPA vacuum cleaners are critical for persons suffering from asthma or allergies. High efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filters retain all particles, large or small – .3 microns at a 99.97% efficiency level. Whereas airborne particles are usually about 2.4 microns in size, ordinary cleaners only capture 30 to 50 microns in particle size and allow the rest to flow back into the air you breathe. The most harmful particle size is about .3 microns, which is less than tiny!
A HEPA air cleaner draws allergens in air towards its filter whereas a HEPA vacuum cleaner removes them from carpets, furniture, curtains, etc. The allergens can be stirred and inhaled by humans. Although central vacuum cleaners are the best for asthmatic and allergic users as they’re stationary and more powerful, they have no onboard tools.
With a high quality HEPA vacuum cleaner, you can control pet dander, dust mites, irritants and pollen or allergens present in your home to solve this issue. These vacuum cleaners don’t just remove dirt and allergens from your floors, carpets, curtains and/or furniture, but also enhance your indoor air quality, making it safe and breathable.
However, whereas some vacuum cleaners are great at eliminating pet hair and dirt from your carpet, they spew fine particles, which are the most harmful, back into the atmosphere. Therefore, a good vacuum cleaner removes dirt and allergens on surfaces and keeps the air you breathe clean by not redistributing the particles in air.
With many HEPA vacuum cleaners on the market, making an informed buying decision can be difficult. First, you need to decide on the type of HEPA vacuum cleaner you want, and suits your unique needs. Your flooring type or carpeting will determine the type of vacuum cleaner you can choose.
Type of flooring in your home
– although minimal carpeting is advised for homes with persons suffering from asthma or allergy, carpets are still extensively used in homes. In such a case, a high end upright vacuum cleaner with powerful suction comes in handy to give you value for your money.
A canister vacuum cleaner is ideal for a home with a mix of wooden floors and carpeting for a seamless transition from bare floors to carpets.
Canister vs. Upright Vacuum Cleaners
– upright vacuum cleaners are compact in design and easier to store in closets. They have a higher suction power at low prices, making them ideal if vacuuming your carpets is a major concern. However, they’re mostly heavy and take some effort to move around.
They also don’t have completely sealed or post-motor HEPA systems designed for efficient and easy use with onboard tools. Canister vacuum cleaners, on the other hand, support easy transition from one floor type to another. They’re lightweight for portable cleaning and come with on-board tools for above-the floor cleaning of furniture, upholstery and curtains.
On the con side, canister vacuum cleaners are difficult to store. Basic vacuum cleaners without full-size canisters are designed with less efficacy and power. What’s more, they aren’t ideal for cleaning carpets. Also choose from handheld vacuum cleaners
, carpet cleaners
and wet/dry vacuum cleaners
. We hope that this buying guide will help you make an informed decision.
When it comes to HEPA vacuum cleaners, the cheapest vacuums aren’t likely to be the most efficient in terms of performance. Cheap HEPA vacuums can also mean poor quality; such a cleaner cannot stand regular use for prolonged periods. This means buying a good vacuum cleaner would see you spend more for high performance in a product you can use for years.
A high quality HEPA vacuum cleaner also means you can enjoy living in a clean environment free from dust and allergens, making it safe for those with asthma or allergies. Expect to pay anything between $100 and $1000 for a good vacuum cleaner. A high-end HEPA vacuum cleaner for commercial use can cost more.
HEPA vacuum cleaners are handy when there’s a need to keep your home dust, dirt and allergen free. Unlike ordinary vacuum cleaners, they come with special features to ensure that you don’t just vacuum your floors, carpets and other surfaces, but stop the allergens from getting back into the air you breathe. Therefore, it’s important to know what you need to look for in this kind of vacuum cleaner to get the best value for your money.
Here are a few important features to look out for in HEPA vacuum cleaner:
- Type such as upright, handheld, stick or canister vacuum cleaners
- Portable and lightweight size for easy cleaning
- Bagged or bagless for airtight use
- Sealed filtration system for airtight use
- Turbohead or powerhead for thin or thick carpeting
- Cleaning hard-to-reach places such as crevices and edges
- Attachments such as above-the-floor cleaning accessories
- Robotic vacuum cleaners for hands-free use
- High power for high performance
- Quiet vacuum cleaners for eco-friendly cleaning
- Compact design for easy maneuverability and storage
With the right HEPA vacuum cleaner designed for performance, you’ll not just keep your home allergen and dust free, but also enjoy using your cleaner for many years.
Construction and Design
Type – decide whether you want a canister, upright, handheld or stick HEPA vacuum cleaner. Whereas canisters are ideal for cleaning various hard yet smooth floors, upright vacuum cleaners are used to clean carpets.
Handheld and stick HEPA vacuum cleaners are mostly used for spot or quick spills cleaning in large homes as they’re versatile, compact and lightweight.
Bagged vs. Bagless – bagged vacuum cleaners are ideal for homes with asthmatic or allergic people as dust goes into a sealable bag. However, these types of vacuum cleaners lose suction power as the bag fills up. Therefore, it’s important to monitor the change indicator for the dust bag. Bagless vacuum cleaners don’t come with the expense of buying new bags as dust is collected in a plastic bin.
Size – go for lightweight and portable HEPA vacuum cleaners for easy cleaning and maneuverability.
Sealed Filtration Systems – go for a HEPA vacuum cleaner with a HEPA filter and sealed system to make it allergen and dust tight. This guarantees that no dust, dirt or allergens collected get to leak back into the air you breathe. Also consider vacuum cleaners with technologies such as UV lighting and charcoal to take care of odor filtration.
Filter Bags – if you have to buy a bagged vacuum cleaner, ensure it comes with a filter bag instead of paper bags. They’re bags in many layers for multi-stage filtration with each layer designed differently to capture allergens and dust particles you can’t see with your naked eyes.
Turbohead vs. Powerhead – if you own thin, low pile carpets, opt for HEPA vacuums with air-driven turboheads. For high pile or thick carpet, you need a more powerful head to suck up dirt embedded deep into the carpet. Powerheads are powered by electric motors to give the brush roll the extra push to clean deep into your carpet.
Make sure that your vacuum cleaner comes with ability to turn off the brush roll if you need to use direct suction power on your hard but smooth floor. If you want a versatile vacuum cleaner that can clean all kinds of carpets, opt for electric powerheads with adjustable heights. Since this type of vacuum cleaner is expensive, it’s ideal for professional use.
Reach – is there need to clean hard-to-reach places? Opt for a HEPA vacuum cleaner designed just for that. Consider the hose and cord lengths and whether the cleaner comes with a crevice tool or not. Do you need to clean crevices, cracks and edges? Does your vacuum of choice support that?
Attachments & Other Options – do you need an adjustable electric wand to use with ceiling fan and upholstery tools or a headlight? Do you need a vacuum cleaner with auto height adjustment from carpet to hard flooring when cleaning? Do you need a cleaner that comes with above-the-floor cleaning accessories?
If you choose a bagged HEPA vacuum cleaner, ensure it comes with a bag change indicator to enable you replace the bag before the performance of your cleaner deteriorates.
Auto Cleaning – also decide if you want a HEPA vacuum designed for hands-free cleaning even when you’re not around. In such a case, you can consider robotic HEPA vacuum cleaners.
Performance and Ease of Use
Choose a HEPPA vacuum cleaner that’s easy to use. The tools and buttons it comes with should be reachable and intuitive. Is the dust bin easy to empty? Is the bag easy to change? It’d be better if the vacuum cleaner’s easy to maneuver around the house, especially in tight spaces. Consider vacuum cleaners designed for 360 degree swivel (wheels and hose in canisters) for easy maneuverability.
Go for lightweight and compact cleaners with comfortable grips on the handles. Is there the need to bend while using the vacuum cleaner or you can use it while standing with all the controls at your finger tips? Your ideal vacuum cleaner should be designed for high performance in cleaning dust, dirt, odor, allergens and even pet hair on your flooring and carpets.
Look out for efficiency in cleaning powerful suctions whether your ideal vacuum cleaner is versatile or not. Find out a vacuum cleaner’s rate of air flow in CFM or air watts to determine its power. A powerful brush roll ensures easy and smooth carpet cleaning. Note that amperage determines the amount of power a vacuum cleaner consumes and not how powerful it is.
Vacuum cleaners with high air flow rates and air watts are powerful enough to deliver high performance. Buy a vacuum cleaner from a reputable brand with many happy previous customers. Look out for feedback from customers who have purchased the same vacuum cleaner. Also consider vacuum cleaners with two-fan motors instead of those with a single motor for powerful performance.
Go for quiet cleaners that you can use even in the wee hours of the night; this also makes the cleaner eco-friendly. Last but not least, buy a durable HEPA vacuum cleaner backed with many years warranty to ensure you can use your cleaner year-after-year with peace of mind.
Choose a HEPA vacuum cleaner designed to clean your specific flooring type, be it a carpet, hard flooring or both. The best HEPA vacuum cleaners come with sealed filtration systems and a HEPA filter to ensure that vacuumed dust and allergens don’t find their way back into the atmosphere. Find out if one of our recommended HEPA vacuum cleaners is what you need.
Whether you need to clean your carpet, your hardwood floors, or simply need to spot clean, there’s a HEPA vacuum cleaner out there to meet your needs. We hope that with our review of the top five HEPA vacuum cleaners, you’ll be in a position to pick the right vacuum cleaner to meet your needs. In case you need something different, check out our other vacuum cleaner reviews.