What vacuum cleaners really suck?

I’ve decided to retire Sparky the Dirt Devil (he got that nickname just recently) and purchase a new vacuum cleaner. I’d like to upgrade and am willing to pay as much as mid-200s (U.S. dollars) for a new one. Up to $300 if you can talk me into it. So, what have you Dopers found to be the most reliable, powerful vacuum? How about those “wind tunnel” vacuums–do they live up to the hype we see in the commercials?

I’ve had a Hoover Self-Propelled WindTunnel Premium for almost two years and it works great. Picks everything up, including cat hair. The only thing I don’t like is that it’s noisy. I paid about $450 for mine. I bought a Hoover because my old vacuum was a Hoover canister that I bought in '92. I gave it to a friend of mine and it still works perfectly.

It’s been my experience that, vacuum wise, you get what you pay for. I bought a used Kenmore, worked well for a couple of years then stopped. Bought a cheap Eureka at Target. It made a lot of noise and wouldn’t pick up a peice of string from my clingy carpet. I had my Kenmore fixed ($50.00) at it works like a champ.

Consider this one.

I once bought a used Kirby for around $100, it worked just as good a new one. (I know because I worked as a Kirby salesman for 2 days, that job REALLY sucked!) Had to get rid of it when I moved to the UK, now I’ve got a Dyson that is great. No bags, and funky colors.

I think it depends on what you’re looking for, ** Strainger, ** a number of people like the kind with no bags, but my son has asthma, and the bagless wonders tend to have more problems with particles put back in the air.

I’ve had two Eurekas, and hated them both, upright and the cannister models. One repairman actually told me, they are built to die in a few years. I WASN’T happy to hear that either!

I’ve now had my Hoover Dimension a few years now, it’s an upright, and it’s really good. It was about two hundred dollars at Sears, but I’ve seen it cheaper at Wal Mart, dagnabbit!! :wink:

Happy Sucking!

I’ve been looking at vacuums recently, as well. My 12 year old Panasonic canister (which is no longer being made and for which I have been unable to purchase bags-I found some that fit, but I’m running low) is making strange noises and doing a less than stellar job. I looked at Consumer Reports, and was almost ready to go with the Hoover Wind Tunnel, when I started reading about Miele vacuums. I’m looking at $400-450 for a mid-size canister, but they seem to be worth it. The major complaint with the Hoover is that it is quite noisy. The advantage of the Miele is that it is both quieter, does a very good job, has a HEPA filter option (which I will opt for, as my oldest has severe seasonal allergies) and should last longer.

I had a used early 70’s Hoover for six years that would suck the cat off the carpet. I used to get it tuned up every year, I loved it. It died last year, and I bought a Eureka “Precision” which is a piece of crap. Don’t know what to recommend, but I’ll echo others who advise against Eureka.

We had quite a discussion on this a few months ago.
I’ll ss if I can find the link, or try searching…
I know it’s here somewhere!

A lot of people complain about the special bags ya gotta use, but they are the best I’ve ever used. They last a long time, the first one my parents bought was ruined by my brother (they aren’t wet/dry vacs) and the second one is going on 30 years old, and it still works perfectly. The initial cost is high, but like anything else, quality stuff is usually cheaper in the long run.

If you’re really concerned about the cost of the vacuum bags, you can carefully empty them and reuse them a couple times at least.

Only vacuum I will ever have is a Kirby. I bought a used Legend II model for peanuts, and it’s amazing. Good suction, and it always picks up everything first time. The carpet shampoo facility works very well, and the whole thing is built like a tank.

On the downside, it’s heavy, the bags are expensive, and some people don’t like the fuss involved with using the attachments. In all honesty, these things have never bothered me, and I would definitely buy another Kirby in the future. Never buy a brand new one, though - used ones are just as good, and can be bought for the same cost as a Hoover.

My step-mom swears by her Oreck. http://www.oreck.com/oreck/home.cfm She constantly has grand kids, dogs, and oodles of people in her house and her carpet (six years old) with regular carpet cleaning, looks brand new.

I used one when I was briefly a hotel “housekeeper” and swore that if I could afford one someday I would get one. I would prefer the commercial vaccums since I have the cat and the dog and it’s very dusty where I live…hmmm, you just helped me find out what to do with the money that’s burning a hole in checking account. :wink:

Oh and Strainger, if you want the “Good Housekeeping” deal of approval, here’s what I could find on the site:

techchick needs to learn to “preview” I get too used to other boards where you can edit!

deal = seal


Thanks for your input, everyone! Lots of good ideas here. I especially need something that’ll suck the cat fur off the couch. There’s one spot that’s designated for him to sit/lie on (yes, I’m a bastard pet owner who doesn’t let my cat crawl all over the furniture), which get’s pretty hairy, but somehow his fur has magically appeared on the love seat, my roommate’s futon, and the back of the couch. Wonder how that happened.

Good point about the asthma thing, Anti Pro. I haven’t had to use my inhaler for almost 5 years (whoo-hoo!), but that’s definitely something I should keep in mind.