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HEPA Vacuum Cleaner Buyers Guide

How to buy the right HEPA vacuum cleaner for your home or business.

HEPA Vacuum Cleaner Overview

HEPA vacuum cleaners with a totally sealed body have become the gold standard in the vacuum cleaning industry especially for those who suffer from indoor allergies and asthma. The difference in quality is however considerable and to some extent you get what you pay for. Whether you prefer a canister or upright type of model, it comes down to your floor needs (rugs, hardwoods or a mix), suction power and performance and durability.

Do I need HEPA Vacuum?

We recommend that everyone buys a good HEPA sealed body vacuum cleaner whether they have allergies or not for the very practical reason that you do not want dust particles escaping back into the air you breathe at home or the office, where you will have to vacuum them up again.

How does a HEPA Vacuum Work?

The question here is not how how it works but how effectively it works. There is a huge difference between a vacuum cleaner which will clean up all or most of the dirt visible to the naked eye, and those vacuums which will penetrate deep into a carpet's fibers and suck up the embedded dirt. We are sure that you have been disappointed with the mediocrity, let alone longevity of vacuum cleaners that you have used in the past.
HEPA vacuums capture particulates from the air which has been drawn into the vacuum and as long as the HEPA filter has been placed after the motor, the best vacuums will leave a room with cleaner air, ie less particulates than when you started vacuuming.
The better vacuum manufacturers invest the time and money in nuanced features which improve vacuum performance. Read our expert product reviews carefully as each of our manufacturers tackles this performance issue differently, but keep in mind we only rate a vacuum as five stars, if we think the vacuum actually performs very well.

Selecting a HEPA Vacuum Cleaner

  • Your first task is to decide whether you want a hand held, a cordless stick vacuum or a multi purpose vacuum which can be a canister or upright. Most U.S. households contain more than one vacuum appliance, but an upright vacuum cleaner is preferred by most US households except in the North East where bare floors predominate and canisters are more popular.
  • Choose a manufacturer with an impeccable reputation especially for longevity and safety.
  • Pay attention to the weight of the machine especially if the prime user is a female. Canister vacuums are typically lighter in weight than uprights and easier to maneuver.
  • Decide as to whether your goal is to primarily clean carpets, in which case you are more likely to choose an upright vacuum for your needs. For a mix of bare floors and thinner rugs, a canister model might be the best option.
  • We strongly recommend a vacuum cleaner with cloth/ fiber type bags for more sanitary disposal, more suction, and less chance of ripping.
  • Pay attention to the quality of the additional tools especially the soft horse hair floor brush and anything designed to clean upholstery like a mini turbo brush.

How to Use a HEPA Vacuum Cleaner

Follow your manufacturer's instructions carefully including those on the yearly filter changes. If you think your vacuum cleaner is losing suction, check for clogs, brush roll tangles and an over full bag. A powerhead on a canister is used for thick to medium carpets, a turbo brush is for thin carpets and a smooth floor brush is for hardwoods and tile.

Where to Use a HEPA Vacuum Cleaner

You can use a Hepa vacuum cleaner on your carpeted and tiled floors and stairs, which is its most common use. However, you can also use them for cleaning drapes and blinds, upholstery especially pet fur, car upholstery and all hard surfaces where dust has settled.

HEPA Vacuum Features

  • Completely sealed body for zero particle emissions.
  • Triple filter system with pre, HEPA and post motor system.
  • Dual bypass system for increased air flow and power.
  • Easy finger tip control adjustments.
  • Automatic height adjustment when moving from different thicknesses of carpet and bare floors.
  • Machine with edge guards to stop accidental bumping around corners and furniture.
  • Sufficient cord length so that you do not need to keep unplugging your vacuum.
  • Sufficient hose length for accomplishing non floor tasks.
  • Excellent grade tools which can be snapped on and off easily and are easy to access.
  • Material fiber bags for superior air flow.
  • Manufacturer with excellent safety record.
  • Light bag full indicator
  • At least a five year warranty. The best vacuums should last you easily over ten years if not more with only modest repairs.