I need a new vacuum - any doper suggestions?

The thing that I did not like about Rainbows is the extra time it takes. One must do a few minutes pre and post vacuuming. Basically it boiled down to if it wasn’t pretty convenient, it wouldn’t be used as much. Also we have stairs and I have heard the Rainbows are fairly heavy. I also do not like canisters as much as uprights for general home vacuuming. I do like the water filtration idea, and they certainly look like well-made vacuums, but am not willing to pay the cost of convenience.

Just to touch on the pet hair part of the Q, I use an ordinary scrub brush on my carpets to remove most hair. Just brush a few strokes in the same direction and look at all the hair it picks up. So much easier than getting out the vacuum for some minor touch-ups.

Any suggestions for those of us who don’t care so much?

Not that having a Dyson wouldn’t be great, but there is no way that at my current position in life I’d even consider paying $429 for a vacuum cleaner. Perhaps if I put a higher priority on clean floors or had more money, sure. But as it is, I’m happy to settle with more dirt and dust for a lower priced machine.

Are there any “good enough” cleaners in the <$200 (or even lower) price range?

Another vote for the Dyson brand. They’re a bit on the pricey side, but worth every penny.

(So sayeth I, a man slowly coming to grips with his domesticity, yet shuddering from the fact he gets all excited now about bright yellow vacuum cleaners).

I have a Filter Queen, they are pricey but it has been running for 20 years. It has handled 2 dogs, 2 kids and all sorts of remodels.

Well worth the money though - I have two small very hairy dogs and my Dyson picks up all the hair on the first pass, while with my previous [Miele] vacuum I had to go over each piece of carpet many times to get it all lifted.

Toddly - I’m using my mother’s Filter Queen right now. I’m sure it’s at least 25 years old and still works wonderfully.


FWIW, there was a Dyson thread here. CR did review Dyson last year. It was in the middle of the pack somewhere.

Well, the Dyson that I ordered got here today. So first thing I did was vacuum with our old Hoover and then re-vacuum with the Dyson. And I did a damn fine job with the Hoover - making multiple, overlapping passes. The floor looked pretty clean. Then I pulled out the multi-color Dyson. I was expecting a lot, and it delivered and more. This thing just seems to outright excel at picking up pet hair. No exposed belts on the beaterbrush either. I was quite surprised at how much pet hair and fine dust it gobbled up. It seems to be well built, and the suction power is just awesome. It seems to have a pretty beefy motor as well.

There is also something oddly satisfying about seeing all the crap it picks up swirl in the clear cylinder. It is much quieter than my old Hoover as well - not a whole lot of motor noise, most of the noise is from all the airflow. I tested the “Animal tool” on my stairs and it did very well.

All in all, I am extremely happy with the quality of this vac. When Mrs. Beltbuckle gets home tonight, I think she will be do. I even saved a room for her so that she can give it a whirl on virgin carpet (ok that sounds bad :slight_smile: ).

I really want Dyson’s Ballbarrow after seeing the pictures now.

amarinth , there are plenty of good vacuums in your price range. Here are Consumer Reports’s top rated vacuums:
[li]Hoover, [WindTunnel Self Propelled Ultra] $300[/li][li]Kenmore (Sears), [Progressive with Direct Drive 31912], $230[/li][li]Eureka, [Boss Smart Vac Ultra 4870] $140, CR Best Buy[/li][li]Eureka, [Ultra Whirlwind 4885 ], $250[/li][li]Hoover [WindTunnel U6630-900], $400[/li][li]Hoover [Tempo], $80[/li][li]Hoover [WindTunnel Bagless U5750-900], $200[/li][li]Kenmore (Sears) [33289 ], $80[/li][/ol]

The Eureka Boss seems to be a good vac well within your range.


Yes, you are correct. CR rated the Dyson number 10 out of 33 vacs, in 4/2004.

Thank you!

So what was the number 1 rated brand?

I’ve got the Kenmore Whispertone which is the Consumer Reoprts top-recommended canister vac. Personally, I’ve found that cansiter vacs clean better and last waaaaay longer than uprights (tho’ I’m curious to try a Dyson now). Plus, the attatchments are easier to use and the Kenmore comes with an extra smaller beater brush head to use on furniture. It’s great for pet hair. (I have two white cats and a black sofa :eek: ) Another bonus is the Kenmore is only around $230 and is often on sale…

Considering that smoke currently comes out of my Dirt Devil when I turn it on, this is a very timely thread. The darn thing is only about 4 years old, too, and is only used for one area rug, about 10’ by 12’.

OK, I have a large, furry cat, but still, this is ridiculous - I guess sometimes you do get what you pay for. How long should the darn things last? I’m willing to shell out more than I did for the last one, but don’t know if I can stomach the idea of $400. That’s just bonkers for something that only needs to cover a small area - I have hardwood floors.

I got a Dyson. It rules. Don’t pay full price though.

I had a Dirt Devil upright, and the thing literally self-destructed. I was vacuuming one day, and all of a sudden this horrible grinding a screeching began, and almost instantly the smell of burning rubber hit my nostrils. By the time I could hit the “off” switch, it was too late; my vacuum had vacuumed itself.

After prying the cat off of the ceiling, I had a peek underneath, and it was a mess of bits of rubber belt and chewed-up chunks of plastic. I attempted to clear away the debris and turn it on again, but my efforts met with a quiet “foomp” sound; almost immediately came a motionless buzzing sound, followed by some sparks and more of that disturbing burning odor; the motor was fried, and the thing was now a fire hazard. Considering it unsalvagable, I tossed the whole thing and bought the Dyson. My Dirt Devil, btw, was only a few months old, and had seen less action than it should have, given my hatred of household chores.

The reason I got the Dirt Devil is because a cheap Hoover upright did almost the same goddamn thing.

The moral of this story: Any vacuum under $150 is probably junk, and you’re better off spending more money for a quality unit. I probably blew $650 over the course of a year on three vacuum cleaners, and if I’d just sucked it up and spent the money on a good one in the first place, I’d have come out ahead.

Gotta say, I was a bit put off by the Dyson’s $400 price tag. That’s the no-frills “yellow” model, the red model comes with a “floor vac” attachment (really just for hard-to-reach areas, the upright by itself can be switched to brushless mode for uncarpeted) for another $30, the purple “animal” version comes with the powered brush attachment and some carpet care supplies for roughly $500.

Then I picked one up after seeing some good reviews here, and with an in-store demo. I just got the base model (despite having a cat, I think $100 is a bit much for just a few attachments and the carpet powder).

This thing really sucks (in a good way, we are talking vacuums here). The first thing I did when I got it home was attack my couch then the corduroy-upholstered recliner that my cat had been shedding on for the past year. Halfway through doing the chair, I hit the “please empty now” line on the cannister (and the suction was still good even at that point). I hadn’t even hit the floors yet.

Plus–and please don’t laugh too hard–this thing is just fun to play with. The hose, retractable wand, cannister, attachments, etc all re-orient in that easy way you remember from playing with Transformers as a kid, with parts clicking, snapping, sliding and swiveling into place. Goofy, but I don’t care.

With a 2 year warrenty and lifetime guarantee on the filters, I think the price is justifiable.