What Essential Features Do You Need In a Vacuum?

Purchasing a vacuum cleaner may seem like a straightforward task, not until you see the endless list of models available in the market. With the wide array of options, it’s easy to get confused and end up getting a machine that won’t meet your needs and lead to wasted money.

As such, you must determine what aspects to look at and make an informed judgment and a smart purchase. Not to worry, as we’ve listed the essential features that vacuum cleaners must have – helping you choose the perfect vacuum cleaner for your home!

Good Vacuum Power Performance

One of the first things a vacuum cleaner should deliver is good performance or cleaning ability. Truth to be told, there are various specifications you need to evaluate to fully assess the capacity of a vacuum cleaner. Yet, the most important indicators are the water lift and airflow.

Water lift refers to the power of a vacuum cleaner to “lift” or suck dirt and debris from the floor surface. Meanwhile, airflow, the most important aspect, refers to air volume moved through the vacuum. The more airflow, the better the cleaning ability a vacuum cleaner has.

Still, there should still be a balance. A vacuum with an outstanding airflow but has dismal suction will not suck dirt well. On the other hand, a vacuum with a decent airflow rating and decent suction power will perform more efficiently.

Some manufacturers will brag about the amps or watts of their vacuum. Don’t fall prey, as the motor power doesn’t translate to performance. It only indicates the electrical power a motor consumes and not the cleaning ability of a vacuum.

A lady vacuuming the floor

Good Design and Structure

Another essential feature is having a good design and structure, which involves many aspects, such as size and weight, maneuverability, and maximum reach, among many others.

First, the vacuum’s weight varies greatly, depending on the model, type, and intended purpose or environment. If you live in an apartment or smaller house, you should opt for compact and lightweight types, such as a cordless and stick model. Maneuverability and maximum reach come into the picture, as choosing such a model allows you to carry and maneuver your vacuum around your area easier, sans any cord to block your way.

If you have a larger house instead or have a small essential backyard garden that can be a source of dirt and soil, full-sized upright models are your best bet. While they weigh around 20 to 40 pounds, they are perfect for covering more area and more efficient cleaning. Just look for ones with a longer power supply cable to ensure better maneuverability and a better range of action. 

Another factor worth checking is the handling system. With the weight of a full upright unit, it’s important that the vacuum is easy to grip while its wheels or rollers are rolling smoothly for better ease of movement. If not, it can stress your back, wrist, and hips, making every session a pain rather than a fun cleaning activity.


A vacuum cleaner’s housing can be made of various materials, ranging from plastic, stainless steel, and polished chrome. As getting a vacuum cleaner can be a considerable investment for your home, apart from performance, it’s crucial to value durability more than aesthetics.

Find one that can last you a long time, and an excellent way to do that is by veering away from shady brands. While discounts on various shopping sites from less-known brands are exciting, it’s often better to go for more reliable manufacturers who have proven the durability and performance of their products.

A man cleaning the floor using a vacuum

Low Noise Levels

Vacuum cleaners are renowned for being traditionally noisy. That isn’t the case anymore, as many models in the market today are designed to be relatively quiet. If you live in a community or have household members sensitive to noise, a quiet model can do wonders for you. Apart from the comfort, you can also sneak in cleaning up your floors, even during woo hours.

Efficient Filtration

Dirt and debris collected by the vacuum are kept inside by its filters. A vacuum with an inefficient filtration system would allow the release of all the particulates it sucked back to the environment. An efficient one ensures dust, dirt, and allergens are trapped. Various types of filters are available, such as polyester filters, washable polyester cartridges, and HEPA filters. The latter does the best job as it can filter about 99.97 percent of airborne particles. Some manufacturers try to deceive buyers by tagging their products as HEPA-type or HEPA-like. So, opt for vacuum cleaners with their filter labeled as true-HEPA or simply HEPA to get the best filtration efficiency. Other units even boast more outstanding filtration systems that undergo two to four stages, straining particles 0.03 microns or less.

A modern vacuum cleaner

Ample Bag or Tank Capacity

Vacuum cleaners have a limit on the amount of dirt and debris they can collect. Once its bag or tank fills, you need to change it often to continue vacuuming efficiently. If you have a large floor area to cover, choosing a bigger bag or tank size is suitable, so you won’t end up having to change them often. A larger capacity is also warranted if you have pets that shed hair, as their dander usually fills up the bag or tank quickly. If you have a smaller space or don’t have high traffic in your home that needs frequent vacuuming, models with smaller bag and tank capacities may already suffice.


Vacuum cleaners nowadays have additional attachments that make cleaning a whole lot easier. These accessories include tools intended for clearing various areas and surfaces. During your vacuum selection stage, it’s best to check the quantity and type of the supplied attachments right away. The most common items include a round brush, universal brush, squeegee, extensible wands, filter and brush cleaners, and flat lance. All these make cleaning with your vacuum more efficient and flexible, saving you much time and effort.

Vacuuming party remnants on the floor

Final Words

That’s the rundown of the essential features a vacuum cleaner should have. Be sure to consider and match them to your home’s unique cleaning requirements and pick the perfect model that will suit your needs. Happy cleaning!