Winter is almost gone, hence you’ll soon need to start the spring cleaning. Among all the chores, carpet cleaning is the most difficult and complex, especially to someone who lacks the ideal cleaning equipment. Fortunately for you, I’ve took a few days to test some great products and to build this guide that will help you choose the right tools for the job. If you own a house or a condo which has lots of carpeted floors and if you don’t want to be the person that gets an overpriced vacuum cleaner, or who returns them it just 2-3 days of use, read on. You’ll learn in less than 2 minutes what product to buy, from where, and for what price.
We all know it, some forms of dirt are more stubborn than others. Carpets are accommodating dirt and debris quite well, calling for a special kind of appliance to handle them. While vacuum cleaners have made carpet cleaning a little cheaper, a number of people still get it all wrong. There are different types of carpets which differ in fabric and design, which implies that using a single vacuum cleaner on all these is a mistake. Instead, one should understand the particularities of each one and get the specific vacuum cleaner which is endowed with the right specs to handle them. Of course that in most cases, one can’t afford to get several cleaning machines, I assure you I completely understand this and I’m taking it into account. In the first section of this article, I’ll highlight some of the most common carpet types that we encounter all over, and then I’ll add a brief description of the best vacuum cleaners for each particular type, together with a general description of the attributes ideal for removing various forms of carpet dirt. I conclude this post with a comparison chart of 5 vacuum cleaners that I firmly recommend for handling carpets and rugs.
If you own a shag carpet, you probably understand that it is a little difficult to clean it without causing the slightest damage. It is recommended that you use a vacuum cleaner which does not pull out the fibers in any way, which explains further why some vacuum cleaners are less useful. Shag carpets store incredible amounts of dust and indirectly, allergens. Thus, a good machine, fit to vacuum shag carpets should be endowed with powerful HEPA filters so that it can conveniently remove dust, allergens and dirt from the carpet while taking care of the person using the appliance. Similarly, such a vacuum should have large wheels, especially if it will be used on a long pile shag carpet. Remember, a long pile shag carpet has thick tangles and will therefore tend to restrict movement. Swivel heads don’t necessarily perform great on such surfaces. To ensure that the appliance moves easily over the thick carpet, therefore, it should be sturdy and solid.
Lightweight should be another important factor. This is because it is a little difficult to push the appliance over the carpet. To reduce the effort used and enhance better cleaning, it is easier to lift the appliance. Cordless would be a nice touch. The machine should also have a low profile setting, because you most likely need to reach areas under furniture. A powerful motor is needed for a vacuum cleaner to work on shag carpets. Roller brushes should as well come along with such a machine because they are highly recommended in lifting dirt, dust and debris.
If you have berber carpets in your home, you probably have seen the kind of fibers that they are made of. At first sight, one may think this type of carpet is easy to clean and maintain. There are however a few points we need to talk about. Regardless of the fiber, ensure the rotating brush of your vacuum cleaner is turned off, because it will destroy the carpet. The rotating brush simply pulls little loops and eventually ruins the weave as well as the carpet itself. Another need-to-have characteristic of a vacuum cleaner designed for this type of carpet is a high amount of suction power. This is the only inclusion that can convincingly lift the dirt when the rotating brush has been ruled out. In other words, ensure that you get an upright vacuum cleaner which has the ON/OFF brush roll selector and with a minimum 100 AW suction power.
If your entire home has berber carpet, select a canister vacuum with a stationery vertical brush. If this is missing, a rotating brush which is easily disengaged can suffice. Find brushes which agitate and loosen debris that has been lodged deep into the weave.
Another feature of the best berber carpet vacuum should be the excellent filtration system, because carpet fibers tend to attract electrostatic dust. A collapsible wand is highly functional especially when cleaning the stairs. Make sure you get as many attachments as you can, you never know when you’ll need a crevice tool or a soft furniture brush to go along.
The plush high-profile carpet is very soft and perhaps most difficult to clean. For maximum cleaning effectiveness, ensure that you choose a vacuum cleaner which has the following main specs:
- Rotating brushes
- Strong airflow
- Adjustable height settings
Rotating brushes are the best for this kind of carpet because it easily gets stained and besides, a lot of power is needed to dislodge the dirt from the carpet’s weaves. With a strong airflow on the other hand, your vacuum cleaner will be able to lift dirt, dust and debris from the deepest level of the carpet’s fibers.
Thus, adjustable height settings are recommended because you need a vacuum cleaner that can get as close to the carpet as possible. Besides, you can avoid leaving deep brush marks behind if you lift it a few millimeters. As a rule of the thumb (and I know it sounds trivial, but I just can’t stress enough on this) always remember that a good vacuum cleaner should have a strong motor and an excellent filtration system.
A frieze carpet is very expensive, which means you have to take absolute care when doing the vacuuming. The best appliance is an upright vacuum cleaner which has various height adjustments. If it has a beater brush or rather a beater bar, ensure there is a switch to turn it off or disengage it because you might end up damaging the carpet’s fibers.
Canister vacuum cleaners also present a good option. They are easy to use and their nozzle head is light and gentle. A good suction will allow you to dislodge dirt from the fibers, and will therefore enhance the longevity of your carpets.
If you can get a lightweight vacuum cleaner with adjustable power settings, then you might’ve found the perfect appliance to frieze carpets. A switch should allow you to select the suction power that is needed to clean a particular area. Choose one with a strong motor, and perhaps floor cleaning attachments such as brushes with long and soft bristles to ensure that your carpet is safe.
Coir carpets are trendy, but unfortunately, really tough to clean. Although many good quality models reach $30/sqm, people love them because they give an elegant feeling to the whole room. I bet you’ll find a lot of these on top rental apartments from Airbnb, Booking, TripAdvisor and so on.
A vacuum cleaner that would work on these needs to have a good suction, soft brush bristles and most importantly, it needs to be light. Dragging a 25 lbs. unit all over the flooring will eventually damage the coir carpet fibers. The suction power is decisive: I’ve met people that we’re using the hose alone, with no head nozzles attached, in order to gain just a little more “juice” from the unit.
My main recommendation for this type of flooring is a powerful canister. Miele has a nice range of models that would fit the job description. There are cheaper options for those with a tight budget, so make sure you also check units from Panasonic, Electrolux or Dyson. Anything with over 300 AW should do just fine. Speaking of Dyson, if you own a small condo, you might find useful its latest cordless, the V6. On max mode, it provides 100 AW, enough to get most of the stuff out of your coir carpets.
Other stuff to take home
Proper maintenance is the only practice that will keep your carpets looking new for a reasonable period. While vacuuming is presented as one of your best cleaning options, not all vacuum cleaners are the suitable to be used on very delicate carpets and rugs. If you’re going for a general-purpose appliance, search for a good vacuum cleaner with different floor settings. When opting for an appliance specially meant to remove dirt and debris from carpets and rugs on the other hand, ensure you settle for one that has an excellent filtration system, preferably HEPA or S-class filtration. This way, it is able to pick the finest of particles while being protected from mites and allergens.
Motor and suction power are also important considerations. Since carpets are stubborn to clean, you need high suction power. Whether you buy a canister vacuum or not, it is not ideal to use a hard brush on soft fiber rugs, a reason why you need a powerful motor and high suction to dislodge dirt from these surfaces. ON the other hand, a 250+ AW suction may damage delicate carpets. Suction control should allow users to limit the airflow as pleased.
If you settle for a bagless vacuum cleaner, ensure that the dirt cup is either transparent or has an indicator to alert you that it is full. Similarly, a low base will allow you to clean areas under furniture. Other “nice-to-have” features include:
- An ergonomic design
- Scrubber attachements
- Multiple accessories
- Several brushroll types
And now, here are 5 brand new vacuum cleaners good for carpets, which I’d say are worth it:
Dyson Cinetic Big Ball
When compared against other vacuum cleaners on carpets and hardwood floors, this vacuum cleaner displays an upbeat performance. For starters, it’s an upright, the latest from Dyson, descending directly from the DC65. One of the features that have helped it achieve a top position in my list is its strong suction power. Suffice to say, it has been built to work with the kind of suction power that ordinary upright vacuum cleaners lack.
The Dyson Cinetic Big Ball comes with a new cyclonic technology which supposingly will help you to save on buying new filters, since you won’t need any. It works wonders on both carpets and hard floors, which is very rare to find with an ordinary vac, but then again, this is not an ordinary vac, is it? The short and stiff bristles achieve the deepest form of carpet penetration. Unlike its older brother, it features a direct-drive motor which pushes the brush bar deep into carpets, providing more cleaning power. Complete with a nice pack of accessories, it is one of the best machines that you’ve ever encountered, picking all the dirt and releasing it straight into the litter bin. It’s a bit expensive, but occasionally you can find a nice discount.
Miele Dynamic U1 Cat and Dog
This is a new revamped version of the S7 series. It’s an ultra maneuverable vacuum cleaner, built with SwivelNeck technology to ensure that users will push it around using less energy. It features an unique electro-brush, which is designed to follow the contours of your carpet. It automatically adjusts to different carpet depths to provide gentle and consistent cleaning.
It also features Miele’s Airclean Sealed system, a HEPA filter capable of capturing and retaining 99.99% of dust, dirt and allergens, an active charcoal filter that will eliminate all odors and the AirClean FilterBags which ensure that what’s collected stays collected. Besides the normal attachments such as the crevice nozzle, upholstery tool and dusting brush, this appliance also treats you with Miele’s ultimate cleaning experience which encompasses large castor wheels, digital controls and a more than generous warranty. Pricey, but every now and then you can get lucky.
Miele Complete C3 Brilliant
This is a chance to manage all your carpet and rug cleaning endeavors using a modern and maneuverable vacuum cleaner. The Complete C3 line of canister vacuum cleaners from Miele is absolutely astounding. Almost all models are very good for carpets, but the Brilliant has the most features. Built with the exclusive German technology, it has almost everything you would ever want from such an appliance: powerful suction, amazing hospital grade filtration, digital controls, LED lighting and a complete set of attachments. A key feature is the amazing warranty of 10 years (5 years for the motor). From the bottom up, I can’t really find any good reason why not to buy this vacuum cleaner, except of course its spicy price.
Comes with 3 different cleaning heads: the SEB236 Premium Electrobrush, the SBD 285-3 AllTeQ Combination tool and the SBB 400-3 Parquet Twister XL floor brush. The SEB236 Premium Electrobrush is the one recommended to be used on carpets. Check out a great deal on this vac.
Shark Rotator TruePet Powered Lift-Away
The uniqueness of this vacuum cleaner draws from its ability to remove more dirt from carpets and rugs compared to many other bagless uprights. One thing is for sure, it’s the most versatile so far. The NV652 can be used in 3 different ways: as a regular upright, as a canister or as a lift-away unit. A key feature is the HEPA filtration system, which is capable of trapping various forms of dirt including pollen, allergens and dust. Coming with one of the most powerful suctions ever installed on a consumer vacuum, you will obviously notice the difference every time you use it. Another advantage: it can reach a considerable distance regardless of how far your power source may be, thanks to its long power cord.
And the perks don’t stop here. This vacuum has an incredible set of attachments. The LED lights bring a nice touch to your cleaning experience. There is a special cleaning mode for carpets. And if you have pets, rest assured you are covered by its powerful pet tool. The best thing about this vacuum cleaner is its price.
Oreck Commercial U2000RB2L-1
You’ll basically get the best upright from Oreck’s successful Commercial line. And not just any vacuum: you’ll get a powerful upright, a versatile cleaner, a reliable cleaner. You won’t get too many accessories, or height adjustment, but for what it’s worth it, I believe this product works very well on most low-to-medium pile types of carpets and rugs.
The upright is light weight (about 8 lbs.) and versatile. It features a strong 6500 rpm motor that is designed to handle entangled rug fibers. It is not designed to be equipped with a hose, but compensates with a very high dust capacity.
Another perk is the fact that is bagged. Although bagless units have taken over the market, classic vacuuming ways still prove to be efficient and sometimes, even more practical. Most of the times, bagged units seal dust perfectly. The Commercial collection comes with Advanced Fine Filtration, intuitive controls placed on an ergonomic handle, and a 1 year warranty (5 years on the belt). Overall, I’ve got to give it to Oreck, they’ve assembled one of the simplest yet satisfying vacuum cleaners I’ve ever tested.
Given the quality of the product, the price is spectacular.
There you go, I’ve covered all the basics with this guide, and provided you with 5 different choices that are worth it. If you have a fully carpeted home, you should either buy me a bear, or thank me using the form bellow. Leaving the jokes aside, every feedback would be much appreciated.
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