Ultimate Vacuum Buying Guide: How To Choose The Best Cleaning Companion

Ultimate Vacuum Buying Guide: How To Choose The Best Cleaning Companion

Vacuum cleaners have become an indispensable part of our daily lives, transforming the way we clean our homes and maintaining a healthy living environment. From their humble beginnings in the early 20th century to the sophisticated and versatile machines of today, vacuums have come a long way. There are so many things to consider when choosing the best vacuum cleaner for your home, and it can sometimes be hard to know where to start. That's why our team has put together this handy guide for you. Let's make that choice easier!

Smart Technology For Smarter Cleaning

Over the years, vacuum cleaners have undergone significant technological advancements. Bagless systems, HEPA filters, cyclonic technology, and various attachments have become common features, enhancing their efficiency and usability. Today, vacuums are not only powerful cleaning tools but also equipped with smart features, making them more convenient and user-friendly.

Benefits of Owning A Vacuum Cleaner

  1. Efficiency: Vacuum cleaners are highly efficient at removing dirt, dust, and allergens from various surfaces, providing a thorough and quick cleaning experience.
  2. Time-Saving: Compared to traditional cleaning methods, vacuums save time and effort, allowing you to clean large areas in a fraction of the time.
  3. Allergen Reduction: Many modern vacuum cleaners come with HEPA filters, capable of trapping small particles and allergens, promoting a healthier indoor environment.
  4. Versatility: With a wide range of attachments and accessories, vacuums can adapt to different cleaning tasks, from carpets and hardwood floors to upholstery and curtains.
  5. Convenience: Advances in technology have led to the development of cordless, bagless, and smart vacuums, offering increased convenience and flexibility in cleaning.

What Is The Best Type of Vaccum? How To Choose The Right One For You

Choosing the right type of vacuum depends on your specific needs, the layout of your home, and the surfaces you'll be cleaning. Here, we'll explore the main types of vacuums available in the market:

Stick Vacuums

Lightweight, convenient and cordless. Stick vacuums have swept the industry since they made their first appearance, and for good reason. Consumers are often happy to trade a reduction in power for the ease of use the best stick vacuums offer. When considering a stick vacuum, there's a diversity of battery life, suction and power, so it's worth doing your research on particular models. The best cordless vacuum cleaners will rival many corded models in terms of suction capability too.


  • Lightweight and easy to maneuver.
  • Ideal for small spaces and quick cleanups.
  • Cordless models offer flexibility.


  • Limited dustbin capacity.
  • May not be as powerful as larger models.

What to look for when buying a stick vacuum:

  1. Battery life and charging time.
  2. Attachments for different surfaces.
  3. Dustbin capacity.

Shop Stick Vacuums

Barrel Vacuums

Barrel vacuums, also known as canister vacuums, consist of a separate unit for the motor and dustbin connected by a hose. They often come with a variety of attachments and are suitable for a wide range of cleaning tasks. These are an excellent choice for many homes. They're extremely versatile, lighter than uprights and still provide the same powerful suction. The best barrel vacuum cleaners will also include a range of attachments that make cleaning cars and other small spaces a breeze. On the downside, the dust chamber can often be smaller than uprights, but they're easy to empty.


  • Powerful suction.
  • Versatile with multiple attachments.
  • Suitable for various floor types.


  • Can be bulkier and heavier.
  • Storage may be less convenient.

What to look for when buying a barrel vacuum:

  1. Suction power.
  2. Hose length and flexibility.
  3. Attachments for different surfaces.

Shop Barrel Vacuums

Wet/Dry Vacuums

Wet/dry vacuums are designed to handle both wet and dry messes. They are ideal for cleaning spills to prevent water damage and can be used in workshops or garages. Popular for their ability to vacuum and mop in one go, they cut down on both cleaning times and appliance storage. You can get these in corded or stick varieties and although the technology is new, they do a great job. However, many people still like to have separate appliances and choose a regular vacuum cleaner and steam mop combination for different areas around the house.


  • Versatile for wet and dry cleaning.
  • Often more robust and durable.
  • Larger dustbin or drum capacity.


  • May be heavier and less maneuverable.
  • Not always suitable for everyday household cleaning.

What to look for when buying a wet/dry vacuum:

  1. Capacity for wet and dry debris.
  2. Hose and cord length.
  3. Filtration system.

Handheld Vacuums

Handheld vacuums are compact, portable, and perfect for quick spot cleaning or reaching areas that larger vacuums can't easily access. These handy little tools were once nicknamed 'dust busters', and although they aren't as popular as they once were, handheld vacuum cleaners do still have a handy purpose. Perfect for spot cleaning and smaller jobs, they typically have decent power, but the battery life is shorter than stick vacuum cleaners. The best handheld vacuums are a great lightweight tool for around the home and car.


  • Lightweight and easy to carry.
  • Ideal for quick spills and spot cleaning.
  • Convenient for car interiors.


  • Limited power compared to larger models.
  • Smaller dustbin capacity.

What to look for when buying a handheld vacuum:

  1. Battery life.
  2. Attachments for different surfaces.
  3. Charging time

Shop Handheld Vacuums

Robotic Vacuums

Robotic vacuums have gained popularity for their hands-free operation. They use sensors and navigation technology to autonomously clean floors, making them an excellent choice for busy households. Robot vacuums have been available for quite a while, but they've only become common in the past few years. They're growing in popularity because they clean while you go about your day, no elbow grease required. When it comes to robot vacuums, the quality of each model can vary dramatically. The best robot vacuums have good power and functionality, large dust catchers, and impressive battery life, but they aren't all like that. Reading the reviews and thinking about your household's needs will help you choose the best robot vacuum for your home.

Note: Find our comprehensive buying guide on robotic vacuums here.

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Steam Mops

Steam mops use steam to clean and sanitise hard floors, eliminating the need for chemical cleaners. They are effective in removing dirt, stains, and bacteria.


  • Chemical-free cleaning.
  • Sanitises and deodorises.
  • Suitable for sealed hard floors.


  • Not ideal for carpets or upholstery.
  • May not pick up debris like traditional vacuums.

What to look for when buying a steam mop:

  1. Water tank capacity.
  2. Heating time.
  3. Compatibility with different floor types.

Shop Steam Mops

What to Look For When Purchasing a Vacuum

1. Surface Type

Consider the types of surfaces you'll be cleaning. Different vacuums are designed for specific surfaces such as carpets, hardwood floors, tiles, or a combination of these. Make sure the vacuum you choose is suitable for the majority of surfaces in your home.

2. Suction Power

Suction power is a crucial factor in determining a vacuum's cleaning efficiency. Higher suction power is generally more effective at lifting dirt and debris from surfaces. Look for models with adjustable suction settings to accommodate different cleaning needs.

3. Filtration System

For allergy sufferers or those concerned about air quality, the filtration system is paramount. HEPA filters are highly effective in trapping small particles and allergens. Some vacuums may also feature multi-stage filtration for enhanced cleaning.

4. Corded vs. Cordless

Cordless vacuums provide greater flexibility and convenience, but they come with the trade-off of limited battery life. Corded models ensure continuous power but may limit mobility. Consider your cleaning preferences and the size of the areas you'll be cleaning.

5. Capacity

The dustbin or dustbag capacity determines how often you'll need to empty or replace it. Larger capacities are suitable for more extensive cleaning sessions, while smaller capacities may require more frequent maintenance.

6. Maneuverability

The design and features of a vacuum impact its maneuverability. Swivel steering, lightweight construction, and adjustable handles contribute to ease of use, especially in tight or cluttered spaces.

7. Noise Level

Consider the noise level of the vacuum, especially if you have a noise-sensitive household or if you prefer a quieter cleaning experience. Some vacuums are designed to operate more quietly.

Some more questions to consider when choosing a vacuum:

What you look for in a vacuum cleaner will depend on your priorities. A few more considerations to keep in mind are:

  • Is it bagless or bagged?
  • Is it powered or cordless?
  • Does it come with a HEPA filter for allergies?
  • Is there an adjustable head?
  • Does it have a range of suction settings?
  • Is it a good size and weight for your body strength?
  • Does it have the attachments you need?
  • Does it have the correct energy consumption for your needs?
  • Does it come with a warranty?

The best vacuum cleaner for pet hair will differ from the best car vacuum cleaner, so it's important to consider what you'll use it for.

Vacuum Attachment Heads And Cleaning Tools

Most vacuums come with a selection of attachments which is great if you have a range of flooring types in your home. Motorised brushes are great for pet hair and deep cleaning carpet, and a combination tool can be useful on tiles. When it comes to attachments, they can be bulky, so keep that in mind if you have minimal storage in your home.

Vacuum Maintenance and Care Tips

Owning a vacuum is an investment in the cleanliness and hygiene of your home. To ensure your vacuum operates at peak performance and has a long lifespan, follow these maintenance and care tips:

Tip 1: Regular Cleaning

Dustbin/Bag: Empty the dustbin or replace the bag regularly to prevent reduced suction power and maintain optimal performance.

Filters: Clean or replace filters as recommended by the manufacturer to maintain efficient filtration and prevent clogs.

Tip 2: Brush Roll Maintenance

Hair and Debris: Check the brush roll for tangled hair or debris, especially if you have pets. Clear any obstructions to prevent strain on the motor.

Tip 3: Inspect Belts and Hoses

Belts: Check for signs of wear and tear on the belts. Replace them if they are loose, damaged, or slipping.

Hoses: Ensure hoses are free from clogs or kinks, maintaining proper airflow.

Tip 4: Unclog the Vacuum

Attachments: Regularly check and clean attachments, removing any debris or blockages that could impede performance.

Hose: If the vacuum loses suction, check the hose for clogs and clear them to restore airflow.

Tip 5: Check for Wear and Tear

  • Inspect the power cord for any damage. If frayed or worn, replace it to avoid electrical hazards.
  • Check the wheels and rollers for smooth operation and replace if they show signs of wear.

Tip 6: Store Properly

  • Store your vacuum in a dry and cool place to prevent mould or unpleasant odours.
  • Wind the power cord properly to avoid damage and tangling.

Tip 7: Follow Manufacturer Guidelines

  • Always refer to the user manual for specific care instructions provided by the manufacturer.
  • Adhere to recommended maintenance schedules to keep your vacuum in top condition.

What Are The Best Vacuum Brands in Australia?


Shark is synonymous with innovative and high-performance cleaning solutions. Their ethos revolves around providing cutting-edge technology to make cleaning tasks more efficient and convenient. With a commitment to customer satisfaction, Shark vacuums are known for their powerful suction, versatile features, and user-friendly designs.


  • DuoClean Technology: Combines a bristle brush for deep cleaning carpets with a soft brush roll for pulling in larger particles on hard floors.
  • Anti-Allergen Complete Seal: A filtration system that captures and traps 99.9% of dust and allergens inside the vacuum, preventing them from being released back into the air.
  • Lift-Away Technology: Allows the vacuum to transform into a portable canister for easy above-floor cleaning

Shop Shark Vacuums


Prinetti is recognised for providing reliable and affordable household appliances, including vacuum cleaners. Their ethos revolves around simplicity, functionality, and delivering value for money. Prinetti vacuums are designed to meet everyday cleaning needs with practical features and a focus on user-friendly operation.


  • Cyclonic Filtration: Utilises cyclonic technology to maintain strong suction and separate fine particles from larger debris.
  • Compact Design: Emphasises space-saving and easy storage, making Prinetti vacuums suitable for smaller living spaces.
  • Multiple Attachments: Offers a range of attachments for versatile cleaning, allowing users to tackle different surfaces and tasks.

Shop Prinetti Vacuums

Vacuum Cleaners - Top FAQs

Do I need a HEPA filter?

Most vacuums have sufficient filters to remove dust and allergens from your home. But with seasonal allergies what they are in Australia, the best HEPA filter you can buy will offer more peace of mind.

Should I empty my vacuum after every use?

Your vacuum will perform better and last longer when emptied regularly. But if you vacuum daily and the dust catcher is fairly empty after use, there's no need to clean it every time.

How often should I vacuum my home?

There's a range of factors to consider here: do you have pets or children, wear shoes inside, or is anyone in your home allergic to dust? Generally, once a week for low-traffic areas is sufficient and more often for high-traffic zones.

How do you know if a vacuum has good suction?

The best way to find out these details is to read a range of reviews and get familiar with the models you're considering. Often, different brands use different terminology so take some time to investigate. Also, don't confuse higher power for higher suction - the two don't always correlate.

To find out our fan favourites and read reviews, sort by 'top-rated' for our vacuums range.

Clean Smarter, Not Harder

Finding the perfect cleaning companion for your home requires consideration of various factors such as surface type, suction power, and maintenance needs. From the sleek and agile stick vacuums to the robust wet/dry vacuums, each type has its unique advantages.

So, whether you opt for the futuristic features of a robotic vacuum or the classic efficiency of a barrel vacuum, remember to prioritise your specific cleaning requirements. Regular maintenance and proper care will not only extend the life of your vacuum but also ensure that it continues to deliver the cleaning performance you desire. Browse our entire range of vacuums online and in-store today to find the right fit for you!