Speaking from the point of view of an allergic person, the fall season may not be the most dangerous time of the year. Usually allergies break loose during late spring, when flowers blossom and all kinds of smells travel with the light breeze of wind. But I guess it was time to update my older article on choosing the best vacuum for allergies and asthma. A lot of things changed in the vacuum cleaner biz in these last 3 years.
Allergies have a lot of triggering causes. Since you are reading this, you’re most likely a part of that statistic reports which show pollution and global warming as 2 of the main factors which contribute to the increase of allergies and asthma in the world’s population. People caring for a vacuum cleaner with good filtration tend to understand that a vacuum does more than cleaning. To those with medical problems, I can’t stress enough by saying “get the right vacuum cleaner” to keep your asthma and allergies under control. It is trivial: while conventional vacuum cleaners are suitable for most folks, allergy and asthmatic sufferers will need special, anti-allergy vacs for allergen-free homes.
Usually, when speaking of anti-allergy vacuums, the HEPA filtration technology is the most prevalent feature in the discussion. A high-quality filtration system such as HEPA prevents the dust and other foreign particles from being blown back into the air. HEPA has been designed support the suction at its best level, while filtering tiny air particles (which are sometimes even less than 0.3 microns).
There are several filtration options available out there, so getting the right vacuum can be a daunting task for many people. If you’re looking for the best vacuum cleaner to keep your allergies and asthma under control, as well as offering a convenient and reliable performance, then you may want to check out this detailed buyers guide.
- 1 Top 5 vacuums cleaners for allergies and asthma sufferers
- 2 Important Factors to Take Into Consideration
- 3 Certified vacuum cleaners for allergies
- 4 Final advice
Nowadays, allergy/asthma sufferers have so many options and can choose from a wide selection of HEPA systems. I might add that vacuum cleaners are some of the few appliances where paying a bit more yields a lot more dividends in terms of convenience, reliability and performance. But choosing a new vacuum can be a daunting task, as all big manufactures seemingly offer you the same choices. Don’t worry, I’ll help you take a closer look, so you can distinguish between them and choose the unit that best suits your needs.
Top 5 vacuums cleaners for allergies and asthma sufferers
Here’s the very best vacuum for allergies, for each vacuum type:
Miele Complete C3 Cat & Dog
- 6 levels of suction
- Large 1.18 gal. self-sealing HyClean bags with spring-loaded, self-sealing collar
- Active Air Clean HEPA Filter with active charcoal for odor elimination
- Deluxe Comfort Grip handle with Electrobrush control
- 11.9 lbs, digital controls
- AirTEQ head for better suction and more effectiveness on bare floors
- 77dB on the maximum setting
- 7-year warranty on motor and casing, and 1 year warranty on all other parts
- Currently, on sale with a good discount
- Read my full review of this water filtration vacuum
- The water filters all impurities and leaves air completely free of airborne particles
- Powerful suction
- Good range of accessories
- Light nozzle
- Large tank of up to 160 oz
- 20-foot cord, weighting 18 lbs
- 5-year warranty
- Read more reviews
Dyson Cinetic Big Ball Animal Plus Allergy
- Read my review of the Cinetic Big Ball
- No filters required, thanks to its Cinetic technology
- Weights 19.8 lbs and has a dirt bin capacity of 0.57 gallons
- Easy to steer thanks to the ball technology, automatic height adjustment
- Attachments are engineered specifically for allergy sufferers, for removing fine dust and allergens from hard to reach places.
- Certified asthma & allergy friendly
- 5-year warranty
- Best rated in hundreds of customer reviews
Dyson V10 Absolute
- Check out my popular review of the V10
- Cordless and lightweight (5.9 lbs.)
- Runs continuously for 60 minutes
- 125 AW in max mode
- HEPA filtration, captures 99.97% of particles bigger than 0.3 microns
- Quieter then previous cordless Dyson models (V6, V7 and V8)
- 2-year warranty
- Check out this best deal I’ve found
Xiaomi Roborock 2nd gen
- Read the complete review of this robotic vacuum cleaner
- Autonomous cleaning for a cleaner dust free environment, autonomous recharge and laser guided navigation
- Extra-large high performance filters and dust bin
- Precise edge cleaning
- 62db – very low sound levels
- 2h autonomy
- 1 year warranty
- Selling for a good price here
Important Factors to Take Into Consideration
Type of vacuum cleaner
There 2 main types of vacuum cleaners on the market today. You’ll have to choose between an upright or a canister. Both come in different shapes for a slightly different functionality, with some combining different features to improve their convenience, reliability and performance. If you have wall to wall carpets, then you may have to invest in a traditional upright vacuum, as they have a beater bar or a brushroll mechanism that will quickly churn up the dirt embedded deep below the surface of carpeting.
On the other hand, if you have just a few scattered rugs and lots of bare floors, a canister vacuum can seamlessly move around from one place to another. With the recent technological advances, you can also get a highly efficient cordless lightweight (such as the V10) which works best for elderly, disabled, or those with arthritis or back problems.
Upright vacuum cleaners are more traditional as they offer the most power for cleaning carpets. They have a motor-driven beater brush that agitates the carpet fibers, quickly shakes off the embedded dirt and applies a powerful suction for a proper cleanup. As for their size and upright position, most people find them a better option for using throughout the home for a fast and effective clean up.
On the other hand, canister vacuum cleaners are ideally suited for tile or hardwood flooring with just a couple scattered rugs, but could works just as well with carpets, provided that they have a powered nozzle. Canister vacuums are designed with big rubber wheels that can move smoothly over most types of flooring scratching the surface and sucking up the dirt. They are easier to manage and will reduce the time you spend cleaning your room.
Depending on personal preferences, both canister and upright vacuum cleaners have the capacity to suit your allergen-free lifestyle. However, you’ll also need to check out some of the recent options that seek to inspire convenience by improving the suction control, brush roll control and height adjustment features.
If you’re asthmatic or an allergy sufferer then the vacuum’s filtration system quality should also be a primary concern. A vacuum cleaner without a good filtration system is similar to using a leaf blower to clean your home. In short, no dust and particles should escape from the hoover’s exhaust system.
Vacuum cleaners with HEPA filtration are among the best for allergy/asthma sufferers since they are important contributors to improving your indoor air quality. Standing for High-Efficiency Particulate Air, HEPA filters are designed to arrest particulate matter (fine particles) down to 0.3 microns at 99.995% efficiency so that the exhausted air is kept cleaner than what was sucked into the vacuum. however, there are other types of filters just as good as HEPA, or even better. I.e. the water filtration vacuums work just as good, while being cheaper on the maintenance side.
The the efficiency of the filters can be measured in terms of surface area, particle size, airflow water-lift, and graduate filtration. This is important when you want to determine the vacuum’s capture velocity (the average speed of air rushing into the vacuum’s vent necessary to overcome gravity) and water-lift. The higher the capture velocity and water-lift ratings, the better it is for asthmatics and allergy sufferers.
HEPA filters are efficient as long as the vacuum cleaner body is air-tight. If there are loose ends in the machine, some air may escape and this may make the filter obsolete. So as much as you may take the quality of the filters serious, you’ll also need to ensure the vacuum’s built quality is strong enough to support its performance.
Vacuum cleaners are meant to keep your home clean and smelling fresh, but you’ll also need return favor by keeping them on regular maintenance. This may include replacing the filters, cleaning the brush bar, emptying and cleaning the dirt bin.
However, away from the regular maintenance, you should consider getting a vacuum cleaner with the best odor filtration technologies. Some of the top available technologies include the UV-lighting and active carbon-charcoal that are designed remove pet odors and other foul smells that may affect the quality of your allergen-free air.
There’s also the micro-fresh filter which is more suitable for individuals suffering from asthma and allergies, and are extremely health conscious. The micro-fresh has a special, allergen-free additive that removes bacteria from the air.
Bagged or bagless
I made a small round up on this theme a few years ago. The result was trivial: bagless vacuum cleaners are still very allergy unfriendly. Though choosing bagless vacuum cleaners may be tempting for quick and easy cleanup, they are not always the best for someone suffering from asthma and allergies. You need maximum protection and minimal exposure to the contents of the vacuum cleaner. So, all those who have allergy should go with vacuums that use dirt bags, as these provide an extra layer of protection.
The game changer here is how you will be getting rid of the debris and dirt. In bagless models, the bin opens usually at the bottom, by pressing a button. This will effectively put you in contact with the contents of the bin. Most of the units that use bags have an auto-seal feature that doesn’t allow any dust to escape from the bag. In other words, what gets inside the bag stays there. One good piece of advice I might add here: always buy original bags, even though they are a bit more expensive. The originals are made of high-quality materials, unlike their China brothers which may easily tear up, break or lose contents.
Maneuverability and comfort
Many units come with handles that easily fit in your hand, and some high end products even have all the speed and mode controls right on the handle, which helps you in conveniently managing the vac from your standing position rather than bending down all the time (which is a risk factor for allergy/asthma sufferers). Moreover, today almost every unit is equipped with a head that can turn and swivel in all directions, making vacuuming much easier. Some great designs allow you to lie the unit flat, so you can easily get underneath beds and couches where dust usually accumulates.
Allergy sufferers need to cleaner like freaks. If you’re reading this, chances are you’ll find pretty useful a galore of attachments. If you’re basic cleaner then you don’t need them, but if you’re a cleaning pro, you cannot do without them. As much as you may be out here looking for the right vacuum cleaner for your asthmatic condition or allergy problems, you also have to pay attention to other special features and accessories that would suit your preferences. Some vacuums cleaners are designed with flexibility and usefulness in mind to serve different user interests. If you’re worried about the hard-to-reach spaces in your home or interested in other attachments (such as dust bags and extra brushes), make sure you get a vacuum cleaner that has what it takes. Just ensure you research on your preferred accessories well, because some manufacturers may even come with fake product descriptions.
Though the noise is not really a primary factor in choosing a vacuum for asthma/allergy conditions, it’s still important to find a low-noise unit. If you don’t like when your pet flees at the sight of vacuum cleaner, you should consider buying a low-noise vacuum cleaner. These models come with proper insulating materials that will reduce the noise-causing vibrations and better made fans and motors so they are most likely better for your condition too. Also check out my small talk on quiet vacuum cleaners.
Given the quality of modern filtration systems for asthma/allergy sufferers, you’ll need a vacuum cleaner with enough suction and motor power for that proper clean up. Consequently, you should understand how the sealed suction and airflow concepts affect the overall rate of the vacuum’s performance. The sealed suction (water-lift) refers to the vacuum’s power to life (pick up) debris from the surface, while airflow is the measure of vacuum’s ability to suck debris into the dust bag after the first suction. Therefore, a good suction power indicates the vacuum’s ability to work well with HEPA filters and other high filtration systems that need powerful suction. Out of the two concepts – suction and airflow – the more accurate one is the seal suction which measures the suction power. For upright vacuum cleaners, you should consider up to 300 Air Watts, while canisters reach up to 400 Air Watts.
Air Volume Adjustment – some conventional vacuum cleaners often suck the curtains off the window because of poor air suction control. This often attracts dust and other foreign material into your home when cleaning, which isn’t safe for people with asthma/allergy conditions. You’ll, therefore, need a good vacuum with effective air volume adjustments to regulate the fans and motors’ “breathability”.
Height adjustment – have automatic height adjustment implies the vacuum cleaner has the ability to regulate the distance between the floor and the inlet to ensure the airflow is fully sealed. Sealed airflow is important to make sure all the dirt is sucked into the bin without escaping into the air. Manual height adjustment controls could also work, but I’ll have to use them as you vacuum along.
Edge cleaning – this refers to the ability of a vacuum to perfectly clean the edges of your room. As the edges are prone to housing bacteria and dust mites, this is important. The best vacuum cleaners come with side brushes that can churn up the corners and edges for effective cleaning. Most canister vacuums are equipped with brush or crevice tool for edge cleaning, while upright vacs should have brushes with the right width that can extend into the edges and corners.
Certified vacuum cleaners for allergies
Vacuum cleaner producers often appeal to 3rd party organisms for certifying their products. One such initiative is the Asthma & Allergy friendly™ Certification Program. As you can imagine, these services are paid by the manufacturers. This should raise distortion/misrepresentation issues, but I believe the 3rd party services maintain an undeniable quality standard. Excluding the financial part, if the products pass the tests, they get a badge that certifies their compliance to the organization’s standards, such as the one from the left image.
As you already know, getting the perfect vacuum cleaner can’t be an easy task unless you take the aforementioned factors into consideration seriously. If you’re asthmatic or an allergy sufferer you would want to make sure that your hoover does more than just cleaning your spaces. This will reduce your exposure to dust, allergen and other irritant particles.
Even after getting the right vacuum cleaner, you’ll still need to stick to the correct vacuuming procedures to ensure you and your family are kept safe. Depending on the state of your rooms, you’ll need the right vacuuming gear (which often includes dust masks). Avoid vacuuming when you’re about to go to bed and don’t vacuum with your entire family at home. Allow some time for the airborne particles to settle after vacuuming. Always vacuum when your kids are at school or playing outside. If you are using a bagless, empty the bin outside. These strict guidelines are meant to keep you and your family safe from the dust, mites, allergens, and other foreign particles that flows around when vacuuming.
So, what do you think? Have I nailed everything? Did I miss something? Have a better product to talk about? Use the comments form to talk about it.