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How to chose the best vacuum. Review
The first tip is to match the vacuum to your cleaning needs.
Most uprights are better than canisters for carpets. They also cost less on average.
Most canisters are better than uprights for wood floors, drapes, upholstery, and under furniture.
Look for vacuums with HEPA filters which are much better at trapping dust in the vacuum and not redistributing it through your house.
Better suction equals better cleaning for solid surface floors as well as drapes and upholstry. Make sure you try the model before you buy it if possible.
Check the weight of the unit. A heavy vacuum will tire you out more easily than a lighter model and will be more difficult to lift when taking in and out of your closet.
Don't forget about noise. A loud vacuum can damage your hearing over time. Make sure you wear ear plugs if you purchase a really loud vacuum or try purchasing a quieter model.
Consumer magazine recently gave the Sears Kenmore Progressive 25614 their highest rating for canister vacuums and also listed the Hoover WindTunnel Bagless S3765-040 as exceptional value.