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Canister VS Upright Vacuum Cleaners: What’s better?

The design of the vacuum cleaner determines the name. The upright vacuum cleaners can be used as an all-in-one device. They are upright and balanced on the powerhead/power nozzle (the part that suckers). The dirt container, handle, and powerhead are all connected as one unit.

The motor and dirt container is separated from the handle and powerhead by canister vacuums. Next, the handle and the head connects to the canister that houses the motor, dirt container, and hose.

Your use, preference, and budget will all play a major role in choosing between upright or canister vacuums. Canister vacuums such as Miele Blizzard CX1 are usually quieter and provide more suction for bare floors than upright ones. However, they can be more expensive. On the other hand, upright vacuums like Shark NV752 are more efficient and less costly. They can also be moved and stored easily. For a detailed breakdown of all the differences and advantages, continue reading.

Canister Vacuums:

Canister vacuums have many advantages.

Noise Level

Vacuum cleaners can be loud, regardless of the style. The average vacuum cleaner emits 70 decibels. It is approximately the close-to noise level as a flushing toilet. Canister vacuums are typically quieter than the average, around 60-65 decibels.

Compare that to the upright vacuums with 70 decibels. Although a few decibels may not seem like much, the decibel scale can be logarithmic. Simply put, 73 decibels is twice as loud 70 dB is and half as loud 76 dB. Therefore, canister vacuums are the best choice if you or someone in your household is sensitive to noise.

Weight and maneuverability

Canister vacuums are generally lighter than upright models. Although the difference may only be a few ounces, canister vacuums feel lighter. Instead of pushing and pulling the entire vacuum across the floor, you can use the attached, lightweight wand to clean.

This is particularly noticeable when vacuuming tight spaces and stairs. You might consider a stick or handheld model if you are looking for a lighter option.

Manageable, Retractable Cords

Most canister vacuums have retractable cords hidden inside the canister when they are not in use, which gives the vacuum a cleaner appearance and decreases the chance of it tripping on the cord. However, this can be frustrating and even painful if you have ever tried it.

Suction Power

Canister vacuums have a higher suction power than upright models. These vacuums are especially well-suited to cleaning bare floors because of their high suction power. They are also effective at cleaning carpets. However, they tend to be more efficient than upright vacuums.

Canister vacuums have their disadvantages

It’s not easy to store

While canister vacuums are more maneuverable than upright ones, the canister can be heavy. Instead of having one unit to move, there are two. The hose connecting to the canister and the wand are often long enough to allow you to use the canister in small spaces.

However, if you are vacuuming your entire house, you will need to move the canister around from one room to the next. In addition, if you’re not careful, the vacuum can bang into walls and furniture. Folks with back-related problems should also be aware that many canister vacuums are very low and require that you bend down when turning them on or out.

Bulky Design

Canister vacuums can be difficult to store due to their disjointed design. The upright models are balanced on their heads, so they can be tucked away in a closet. Although the canister of a canister vacuum can be held in place, the head, hose, and wand are not stable. Although they should fit in most closets, they will take up more space and can tip over if not balanced properly.

Upright Vacuums:

Advantages of upright vacuums

It’s easy to use

Upright vacuums are easier to maneuver from one room to another because they are built in one piece. Instead of bending down to reach the canister, upright vacuums have a handle that allows you to pull, push, or carry the entire device with one hand.

It’s easy to store

The upright vacuums can stand on their own in a closet or any other place they find. In addition, many models come with customized wall mounts to free up space in your garage or mudroom.

Large Vacuum Head

When vacuuming large areas, the large head allows upright vacuums that can balance on their own is a great help. In addition, the large footprint allows you to quickly clean even the biggest rooms.

It is easy to empty and clean.

Many upright vacuum cleaners are not bagless and instead come with plastic receptacles which can snap in and out. It makes cleaning them much easier once you have collected all the dirt and other debris.

Disadvantages of upright vacuums

Noise Level

As mentioned above, upright vacuums are nearly always louder than canister vacuums. A quiet upright vacuum are still there with around 70 decibels. However, the unibody design of upright vacuums makes it difficult to muffle the motor’s sound.


Vacuums that are upright can weigh up to 20 lbs. This might not appear like a lot, considering they don’t need to be lifted off the ground as often. However, their weight increases the longer you vacuum. There are lightweight upright vacuums that weigh less than 10 pounds. If weight is an issue, a cordless stick vacuum is better than an upright or canister model.


The upright vacuum can’t reach corners and crevices like canister vacuums. Although attachments can be added, they can still prove difficult to reach behind or around furniture. It can be difficult to vacuum stairs with an upright. You will need to lift the heavy structure from one step to another. Their head may be larger than the steps, making it difficult to balance the vacuum.

Don’t forget the power cord. Most upright vacuum cleaners do not include a retractable cord. Instead, they usually have hooks that you can wrap the loose cord around. This makes it more likely that the cord will become tangled or trip-hazardous.


This canister vs. upright vacuum comparison should have helped you understand the differences. Of course, each style has its strengths, but you will now be able to choose the one that best suits your cleaning needs.

Read more: How to remove fabric smell?


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