Need reliability? Everybody knows American made vacuum cleaners are among the best. Various US vacuum cleaner manufacturers produce really good units, so perhaps it’s about time to look for items that were created in our own country. Many of my clients are giving extra consideration to the “Made in USA” label. They want to purchase products made here, in the United States, so I’m going to compile today a list with 10 of the best vacuum cleaners produced by 10 different national companies. Moreover, I’m going to update this list every time something cooler appears.
First, some background.
Purchasing vacuum cleaners made by foreign companies
The basic idea behind the motivation of buying a product made by an US company is simple: to be sure that money will stay in our country. At macro scale, this can improve our current economy, and we need that in order to have a better way of living.
A lot of US vacuum cleaner manufacturers work hard in order to produce the best possible products, but most of us have strong reasons why we choose to purchase from outside companies:
- Their products are cheaper – You know what they always say: you always get what you pay for. There is a good reason why products produced China are cheap. Most of the time, the materials used have a lower quality, and the assembled products are not always guaranteed to be reliable. Yes, our work force is way more expensive, but this translates only to a fraction of the total cost.
- Our products take a longer time to be available – This is because the products that are produced in the US have to go through a ton of certification procedures, not to mention the testing phases which ensure the product will work effectively. Products that do not work well don’t get certified and can’t be sold in the United States.
- Their employees need their jobs – If you are concerned about their jobs, you also have to take into consideration the jobs that your fellow Americans may need.
Purchasing vacuum cleaners made by national companies
As opposed to the things mentioned above, here are some of the reasons why you should purchase from US manufacturers (or at least companies that assemble here in US):
- Highly trained workers – You can be sure that our workers are more competent and deliver much better results (in average).
- Constant Supervision – All of the items that are being made are scrutinized and supervised to ensure that people will be happy with the quality of the purchased products. You can see that by comparing those manufacturers who had to recall thousands of products vs those who never had to recall anything.
- World Class – People from other parts of the world buy American made products, because they can be sure these are made with finest quality materials and with skilled workers.
- Fairly reasonable prices – not all American made vacuum cleaners are expensive. Some of them have the same price range with those made outside of US.
US companies and the history of vacuum cleaners
Vacuum cleaners are considered important because of their use around home and office. Americans realized that there can be a better way to clean, aside from using the broom all the time, back in 1860 when Daniel Hess filed the first patent for a vacuum cleaner device. Hess described through the details on the patent that it is meant to be a machine that will suck out items from the floor, and this of course includes dirt and other possible germs and bacteria.
The very first vacuum cleaner is highly different from the vacuum cleaner that people use right now. First and foremost, nobody bought it. There is no report that it was sold to anyone. After the first appearance, more patents were submitted and other earlier models emerged. These were intended to be sold, but not a lot of people were interested in purchasing such an unusual product.
Herbert Cecil Booth was the first one who actually made it work. Based on a good design, he created a business out of selling vacuum cleaners. These units were not really meant for home use, but rather for commercial buildings. Herbert was even hired to clean certain places, establishing the fist commercial cleaning services.
From those times till today, it is trivial that a lot of breakthroughs happened and tons of improvements have been implemented. The working principle however remains the same.
As you’ve seen, we made history! And the following 10 vacuums are continuing the story:
- Kirby Avalir
It seems that the Kirby company has managed to outlast a lot of its competitors since it first came out. Kirby gives utmost importance to quality. This type of quality, meant to last from generation to generation, is usually not seen in most of today’s appliances. The reputation of this company is already well established. The company is always on the lookout for new trends that will help improve the products that they are selling. Their last but one product, the Sentria 2, is a good cleaning system. The Avalir is even better. Besides the color change, the handle is now half empty, reducing the total weight of the vacuum. Avalir also comes with an updated shampoo system which can be used on all types of hard floors, from wood and tiles to vinyl and marble (not to mention carpets and rugs). Using this hard floor kit, you can either gently mop sensitive surfaces or scrub uneven grout if needed. The newer model also has a brand new attachment which I find useful: the zippbrush. This accessory can be used to vacuum upholstery and other hard to reach carpeted areas. Check it out on the producer’s site. If you want to get it from door-to-door salesmen, make sure you read my negotiation guide from the Sentria 2 article (if you want to get a lower price). Otherwise, visit this great offer which I’m not even sure you can get offline.
- Rainbow E2 Cleaning System
Rainbow has been around for more than 75 years. If reputation is what you are looking for, you can be sure you’ve found it. The vacuuming experience is always great with products made by this company. This system is proudly American-made, although it has managed to get commercialized in other parts of the globe. The Rainbow novelty: water filtration. Based on this technology, Rainbow E2 managed to get certified by Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America (it’s asthma and allergy friendly), by the Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers (AHAM) as a home appliance that reduces air pollutants and by the Carpet and Rug Institute (CRI) for all tests (soil removal, dust containment and carpet appearance). The latest Hurricane motor delivers a great performance and is economical, both in terms of consumption and maintenance. Read what others have to say about this engineering marvel.
- Sanitaire SC889A
While Sanitaire may be highly focused on making commercial vacuum cleaners, what makes this company remarkable is their products’ availability to domestic households. Sanitaire has a large line of different uprights, so you can choose among many well praised models. I hesitated a lot before picking the SC889A as their best up to this date. Although it doesn’t come with HEPA media, the synthetic filter installed gets pretty close to the HEPA performance, blocking over 96.75% of airborne particles less than 0.3 microns. This unit features an impressive bag capacity of more than 6 quarts. The bag can be installed easily, thanks to a dual zipper system. Unlike some of Sanitaire’s older models, the brushroll has replaceable bristle strips, a great new concept on the market. Another thing that I love about this vacuum cleaner is its power cord. Not only it has an awesome length of 50 ft., it but also can be quickly changed among plugs, thanks to another new system called (surprisingly) Quick Change. If you’ve read this far, I’ll give you 3 more numbers to play with: 69, 840, 16. The 69 is, again, surprisingly, the number of decibels measured near the (turned on) unit. This means the SC889A is quiet enough to almost make it on my low noise list. 840 is the wattage. Although the power consumption is low, the suction is great. So great it can cover the whole 12″ nozzle width. You can get this baby at a discounted price which is really worth it, IMO. Last but not least, this vacuum is certified by CRI and is “Leadership in Energy and Environment Design” (LEED) compliant.
- Riccar Premium Radiance RADP
A lot of people are familiar with Riccar. It’s that brand name that sticks in your head if you only hear it once. What this company promises: it will not sell a vacuum cleaner that is borderline disappointing. The company pays extreme attention to materials used. Their market strategy: produce only high quality items that reflect their American origin. As expected, they have some of the longest warranties in the industry, which can guarantee you a worry-free buying experience. Their prices are however high, very high.
My absolute favorite, the Premium Radiance model, costs as much as an old car. But the things it can do… For starters, it has 7 layers of filtration. Yes, you read that right. Miele is among the few producers that offer a similar filtration quality in their top models. The case and handle are made almost completely out of stainless steel and aluminum. You can vacuum any type of floor, any type of carpet, no matter how deep, thanks to its 6 level height adjustment system. Another interesting thing: it has a dirt sensor and the sensing display illuminates the cleaning path based on its readings. It basically can see the dirt. The Tandem Air technology provides a powerful suction, and the 8 years of warranty give customers an extra assurance on the quality of this unit.
- Simplicity Synergy G9
The main mission of the Tacony company (owner of Riccar and Simplicity) is “save” people from really bad vacuum cleaners, according to their online motto. Being made by a single entity, Riccar and Simplicity have almost the same models, commercialized however under different names. As you probably know by now, you can buy vacuums manufactured by these brands only from ‘Mom & Pop’ stores (or other accredited retailers).
I with Simplicity Synergy G9 they’ve pretty much succeeded in confirming their market position. By choosing the Premium Radiance from Riccar, I couldn’t settle for anything less than the Synergy G9 model from Simplicity. The same tandem motor technology is used to animate the appliance. The G9 also features a dirt sensor registered as the Heads Up technology. The other specs are almost the same. A S-class HEPA Plus filter handles the exhaust air. The dimensions and weight, warranty length, height adjustment, filter indicator lights and the set of accessories are very similar to those seen in the Radiance. The bad part is that their prices are also equal. I would expect a little more sustained marketing efforts from Tacony in the near future.
- Hoover Commercial HushTone Hard-Bagged upright
Made in Cookeville, TN, this great looking commercial upright from Hoover impresses from the first sight. But however the avant-garde its design is, its specs are even more interesting. This unit has a very good suction power, which can be adjusted on 2 levels. The sound produced is under 70 db, which is wonderful for most residential setups. The nozzle can be adjusted in height on 4 levels. The bag stores as much as 1.1 gallons of dirt and debris.
The HushTone comes with a large rinsable HEPA filter, which really diminishes the operating costs. It weights about 18 lbs. and has a vacuuming width of either 13 or 15 inches, depending on the model you buy. The power cord is relatively long, measuring 40 ft. The handle is ergonomic, made for extended usage periods. The most expensive unit features a lifetime warranted belt called IntelliBelt. Speaking of the warranty, you get a 2-year limited one with this Hoover. Moreover, it’s CRI certified so you know you won’t face any issues when vacuuming carpets. The price is also good, especially on an offer such as this. At least you don’t need to break the bank to get a model which is meant to be used intensively. Overall, this is one of my favorite USA made vacuum cleaners.
- MetroVac The professionals ADM-4SF
While Metropolitan Vacuum may be considered newer as compared to other companies, no one can deny they’ve managed to increase their reputation steadily over the past years. In other words, they’ve come a long way. The company is very grateful to their customers, as they say their success has stemmed from the support that was given to them by the American people. IMO MetroVac started to think about more appealing concepts in the recent years. The well-known canisters are being redesigned.
Today, one of my favorite MetroVacs is the full sized canister under the line titled “The professionals”, model ADM-4SF. This canister has a “quadruple” HEPA, meaning it filters a little bit better than a standard HEPA. The 11.25 amp 4.0 Peak HP twin fan motor is really powerful, delivering 130 CFM. The hose is 7 ft. long, and the 2 stainless steel wands measure another 40″. The product box contains 3 useful attachments: the combo floor/rug tool, the crevice tool and the dust brush. Although it weights about 20 lbs., it has 4 rubber wheels that enhance its maneuverability. MetroVac offers 5 years of limited warranty for this product. To get you started, here’s a good price.
- Oreck XL Forever Gold
Oreck actually started out with one man’s vision, which was to ensure that cleaning will be made easier. It was David Oreck’s idea to create something new in commercial cleaning. The company thrived over the past decades, becoming one of the most reputable vacuum cleaner producers established in the United States. However, not all their products are made here. Most of their recent lines (the Magnesium i.e.) are made in China, following the relatively recent sale to TTI. In US, they retained only assembly lines for the Forever and Edge lines. The parts are still produced overseas, but that’s the case of many other reputed producers.
Thus, I’m going to pick the Oreck XL Forever Gold as my favorite American made vacuum cleaner from Oreck. The Forever is well known and needs no introduction. At the moment, I might even say this line is a bit outdated, and Oreck should consider revamping it. The XL Gold unit features a high speed brushroll that spins at 5600 rpm, SaniSeal for safely closing the HEPA bags and an Endurolife Belt which actions a powerful motor. The suction can be divided by the 2 speed power switch. This CRI certified vacuum weights 9 lbs and has a 35 ft. power cord. So far so good, but what’s impressive about this vacuum cleaner? The fact that it has a lifetime warranty. Yes, for the second time, you’ve read that right. See what customers have to say about it.
- Aerus Lux Guardian
Aerus is an almost 100 years old American company, formerly known as Electrolux. That’s where the Lux word comes from. Aerus is very particular about cleaning floors. Their main goal is to deliver quality. While Aerus is the distributor of a lot of home cleaning appliances (uprights and canisters, central vacuums, cleaning solutions), it manufactures products for other purposes as well (i.e. air and water purifiers).
The premium upright model from Aerus is the Lux Guardian. This unit has HEPA filtration, an L-shaped design that allows you to use it with ease, automatic height adjustment for different types of carpets and an on/off brushroll switch, for smoothly transitioning between carpets and bare floors. Speaking of carpets, this product is also CRI certified. It’s a bagged vac, and like some of the previous described vacuum cleaners, it also uses a self-sealing system for preventing vacuumed dust and debris from escaping. The bags filter stuff very well and are produced by a third party supplier called Home Solutions. On the nozzle you can find a performance indicator which shows you when it’s time to change the bag, filters, or when you have a clog obtruding the airflow. A powerful motor delivers 315 AWS. A 10-year warranty protects you from defects.
- Shop-Vac 963-34-00 Ultra Pro Series
Probably one of the most renowned companies which can be found on my list is Shop-Vac. This company was started in 40 years ago, and although it hasn’t been around as long as the other companies, it is still proudly American. Shop-Vac produces mostly, you guessed it, shop-vacs. Occasionally, they also manufacture industrial vacuums and accessories, as well as specific units (i.e. ash shop vacuums, backpack shop-vacs, micro-vacuums, wall-mounted shop-vacs and more).
There are so many models to choose from, that it is hard to find one which covers as many needs as possible and which can also fit into this top. I guess one of my favorites remains the classic 6.5 HP 14 gallons 963-34-00. It has a good 12 amps motor (105 CFM – 200 AWS), comes in a sturdy built casing, with a good set of accessories made out of quality materials. The hose is wide enough (2.5″ in diameter) to suck in all the stuff one can find in an ordinary garden. You won’t be bothered by the 25 lbs. thanks to its 4 well-placed wheels and to its 18 ft. power cable. Of course, you’ll also get the blower functionality. Shop-Vac offers 4 years of warranty with this product. And perks keep on rolling with this stunning offer for this Shop-Vac.
There you go, I hope I got your attention with this list. If you have another favorite US made vacuum cleaner, I would love to hear about it. Same goes for other American manufacturers I’ve missed. Use the form bellow and join the conversation.