Upright Vacuum Cleaners: The Ultimate Guide

An upright vacuum cleaner is one of the best types of vacuum cleaners available. It was what a vacuum cleaner was originally designed as, and it remains a powerful machine. Upright vacuum cleaners are versatile and can be used for many different purposes. We really like upright vacuum cleaners because they are powerful, reliable, and easy to use.

However, there are so many different upright vacuums available and some of them are better than others. Also, some of them will not provide you with everything you need to do a good cleaning job. For this reason we thought we would put a useful upright vacuum cleaner buying guide together.

Within this guide you will find the main features you should look for when buying your vacuum cleaner. Some of them are more important than others, also some you will not care about.

If you do not think an upright vacuum cleaner is for you, check out our cordless vacuum cleaner buying guide here. If you read this and decide an upright vacuum cleaner IS FOR you but are not sure which one to choose, go here to find all of our upright vacuum cleaner reviews, for better or worse.


Before we start this guide we thought we should discuss the issue of purpose. The type of upright vacuum cleaner you will want will all depend on the purpose of your cleaning. It will also impact which features you should look for and pay attention to. If you are not sure which category of purpose you are in, we will explain a few now.

Casual at home

The first type of purpose for an upright vacuum cleaner is casually at home. This would be when you clean your house often but not regularly. You will not have a set day for cleaning, and when you do clean it will not be for long. For these reasons, you will want a powerful vacuum in order to do the cleaning quickly. If it is a powerful vacuum cleaner then you also will not need to clean as often. You will not really need to worry about the dust compartment or weight. This is because you will not be using the upright vacuum cleaner long enough for either of these to be an issue. The range of the vacuum cleaner is more of a preference, as it makes it hassle free when cleaning.

Regular at home

The other at home purpose is regular cleaning. You will have a specific day or date that you vacuum and clean your home. Typically this will be once a week or possible once every two weeks. Depending on the size of your home, when you clean it will be for a long time as you do the entire home. For these reasons you will want a lightweight upright vacuum cleaner. This is because you will be moving around a lot and you want to be able to lift the vacuum easily, many times.

We recommend that you also look for a large dust compartment. When you are cleaning you will fill up the dirt compartment a lot quicker than other users. Therefore you are going to want a large compartment so you have to empty it as little as often. This will just give you less hassle and make the process quicker.

We also advise looking for a vacuum cleaner with a long range and also a long cord. This will mean you can clean more than one room without having to change the socket. Having to change the socket every time you change rooms can be annoying and tiring. Not to mention it will drastically increase the time taken to do the vacuuming.

Casual at work or the office

The next purpose for an upright vacuum cleaner is casual cleaning at your work or in an office. It will be for the occasional spill that needs cleaning. Alternatively it may just be a communal vacuum that everyone uses to stay on top of cleaning. For these reasons you are going to want a light, compact upright vacuum cleaner. This is because you are going to be using it quickly and storing it somewhere. So you are going to want the vacuum to be light so anyone can use it without an issue. You will also want a large dust compartment so it does not have to be emptied that often.


The final purpose which you may be buying an upright vacuum cleaner is for professional. By this we mean you clean for a living and go to different locations for cleaning. If you are purchasing your own vacuum to start your own business there are several features to look for. Firstly, you are going to want a light vacuum cleaner as you will be moving it around a lot. You will also be taking it on your mode of transport often so you need to be able to put it in and out easily. The next feature you are going to want to look for is a large dust compartment. This will save you time and energy from having to empty the dust compartment often. It will also mean you can complete your job quickly without emptying the compartment.

Another feature you are going to want to look for is a long cord and long range of cleaning. If you are cleaning professionally a long cord will mean you can clean large areas without having to change sockets. This can be beyond useful and we recommend a very long cord. Also if you have a long range of cleaning then you will be able to do a better cleaning job.

The final feature you should look for is a powerful upright vacuum cleaner. This is because you want to give the best service and a powerful suction will clean anything. If you have a pathetic little vacuum cleaner you are not going to be able to clean anything and you will not get hired again. So make sure you have a powerful vacuum cleaner. A powerful vacuum cleaner may be one of the most important features, so make sure you check it.


The weight of a vacuum cleaner is always an important feature to consider when purchasing your vacuum cleaner. This is because whatever you do with it, you will feel the weight. The weight is a factor similar to power, that it will always be important. But the importance of the weight depends on what you are using it for.

If you are using it casually at home then the weight will not really be important to you. Although a lightweight vacuum cleaner will always be better. The weight of the upright vacuum cleaner is much more important and relevant if you use it all the time. But you do not want to lose suction power by getting a lighter vacuum cleaner. This is often the problem with getting a lighter vacuum as it has a smaller motor. So when looking for the weight of the vacuum cleaner make sure you check the power of the upright vacuum cleaner. This is mainly so you don’t get screwed over and purchase a weak vacuum cleaner.

Power and Type of Suction

The next key factor to look at is one of the most important, if not the most important factor. Power. Power its all about power and suction! How powerful your vacuum cleaner is will determine how good a job it does at cleaning whatever you want to clean. The type of suction will also affect how well it performs at cleaning, including different surfaces. We will first look at the power side of things then the type of suction.


When buying an upright vacuum cleaner you are going to want it to be powerful as it is normally quite big in size. We advise you get a vacuum cleaner with at least 800 watts of power at a bare minimum. We would actually advise nothing less than 1000 watts. But depending on what the features of the vacuum are sometimes you get more power by actually getting a lower power. What I mean by this is that if you have an 800-watt vacuum with a boost function then it could easily reach 1000 watts of power. By purchasing an 800-watt vacuum you will have likely saved yourself money.

Obviously the size of power you need again depends on how often you clean and for what purpose you clean. If you clean irregularly and only certain areas that look dirty. You do not need to splash the cash and purchase a huge upright vacuum cleaner with massive suction power. That is just being over the top, you should get a small compact vacuum cleaner with a sufficient power supply.

Type of suction

This is not a massive point so I will not spend to long on it. The long and short of it is that different vacuum cleaners have different technologies. This means they clean and suck dirt in different ways, some better and some worse. We love cyclone technology which is Dyson’s technology but similar programs can be found in other vacuums. This technology generates no loss of suction and this is what you really should be looking for when purchasing a vacuum cleaner. Then you do not lose any suction or power when changing rooms or surfaces, giving you the best possible clean.


The range of the upright vacuum cleaner is one of the most important features to consider. This is because it will either hinder or help you clean because you will not have to change sockets. It will allow you to clean more without having to stop and change anything. There are two types of range we are going to explain, the range of the cord and the range of the vacuum cleaner.

Cord Range

The first type of range we are going to look at is the cord range. This is what you need for the actual vacuum to turn on. You should look for a cord as long as possible because this means you can keep cleaning without having to change the socket. There is nothing more annoying than cleaning a room, then having to change sockets before moving on to the next room. Therefore getting a longer cord means you can clean more than one room without having to change the sockets. We recommend getting a cord no shorter than 10m and the longer the better.

Vacuum Cleaner Range

The vacuum cleaner range may be confusing. But what we mean by this is the range you can reach by simply standing in one spot and stretching as far as possible. This can be through the vacuum cleaner itself or any attachments you can use. The purpose for a long vacuum cleaner range is that you can clean difficult areas without having to move or stretch to much. For example the corners of rooms or ceilings with a nozzle attachment. We recommend a range of at least 4m on the vacuum cleaner range. Combining this with a cord range you should have an operating radius of at least 15m. Obviously you can have a smaller range than this depending on what you are using it for, but generally this is what we recommend.

Dust compartment

The dust compartment is a very important part of an upright vacuum cleaner, you cannot clean without a dust compartment. There are two main things to look for when analyzing the dust compartment. That is the size of the compartment and also the ease of emptying and replacing the compartment.


The size of the dust compartment will determine how many times you need to stop to empty it. Every upright vacuum cleaner has a dust compartment, and therefore we recommend getting the biggest one possible. This will prevent you from having to empty to so often, saving you time and just making it an easier process. Obviously getting the biggest dust compartment is dependent on your purpose for cleaning. If you do not clean often then you will not need as large a compartment because it will not be getting filled as much. We recommend a dust compartment with at least a 1L capacity, but the bigger the better.


Emptying the dust compartment can be a long and frustrating process, trust us, we know!. That is why we recommend getting an upright vacuum cleaner which has a dust compartment that can be emptied easily. Some vacuum cleaners have a quick 1 button eject function which is what we advise you trying to get. A quick and easy ejection function also makes it a lot more hygienic because you do not have to get your hands dirty.

Special Features

The next factor you should consider when purchasing your upright vacuum cleaner is the special features abilities it has. Each vacuum cleaner is likely to have one special feature or many features, to make it better than other vacuums. These special features can include boost mode, multi surface cleaning and other features. We analyse a few of these special features next.

Boost mode

This can be a very useful feature when cleaning as it allows you to increase your power at the press of a button. Normally it is a momentary boost and is not long lasting, however it can be used for long periods of time. We recommend buying a upright vacuum cleaner which has a boost function. It is most useful when there are really dirty areas that are tough to get out, this is what the boost mode is perfect for.

Multi-Surface Cleaning

Multi–surface cleaning is a common feature available in most upright vacuum cleaners. None the less we recommend you make sure your vacuum cleaner is multi–surface enabled. Multi-surface cleaning allows you to go from one room to another without changing anything. It means you can go from cleaning a carpet to a hardwood floor easily. You do not have to change any settings or adjust the vacuum before changing surfaces. But it is not as simple as just being able to clean on anything. It maintains its suction power and provides the best clean it can when changing surfaces. This is what makes it a very useful feature and you should make sure your vacuum cleaner has this function.


There are many different special features to look at, but the last one we are going to talk about is a guarantee. It may not be a physical feature, but it definitely is something to look for when purchasing your vacuum cleaner. Many vacuum cleaners come with a manufacturer guarantee but we advise you look for a guarantee with a minimum of 4-5 years. Your vacuum cleaner is not going to break, however it is useful in case a small part snaps or stops working. Sometimes it can be expensive to replace these parts and this is the advantage of a guarantee. We like Amazon as you can return the vacuum cleaner if there is a fault, with most of the listings.

Special Attachments

Similar to special features another factor to look at is the special attachments that come with your vacuum cleaner. Special attachments can be very useful and can often turn a single upright vacuum into many different vacuums. It can enable magic wand cleaning or upholstery cleaning or pet cleaning. There are too many attachments to discuss all of them now, so we will discuss a few of the most popular ones.

Pet Head Brush

This attachment is especially useful for those with pets, although it can be used by anyone for any cleaning job. It is made up of thick tight bristles that rotate together to pick up all pet hair and dirt not missing any. This is such a useful tool as it does not miss dirt so can provide you with an exceptional clean. We always recommend trying to get a vacuum cleaner which comes with an attachment at least similar to this.

Magic Wand

A magic wand is what it sounds like, it is a long tube or nozzle that attaches to the main body of the vacuum. You can then use it to reach high corner or down tight gaps where the normal wide base would not be able to reach. The reason this is such a useful attachment is because it turns your upright vacuum cleaner into a cordless vacuum cleaner. As it is similar to a cordless vacuum cleaner it comes with all of the benefits of a cordless vacuum cleaner.


In conclusion, we have attempted to provide you with the information you need to compare different vacuum cleaners. We also hope you now have a better understanding of what you need in your vacuum cleaner. If you have any questions please comment them down below and we will be sure to try and help you guys out.

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