Vacuum Cleaner Recommendation Needed ASAP Please

jamrockApril 3, 2012

We have lots of stairs, lots of hardwood floor everywhere & a few area rugs.

I need a good vacuum which can easily handle all those things - sweep stairs, sweep floor, etc. . We have no pets and I do not anticipate any.

Do you love your vacuum? Hate your vacuum and think I should avoid it?

I am assuming something not too heavy would be the way to go with all those stairs. I hear cannisters are better if you have lots of stairs. True? We have lots of stairs but other wood floor square footage more than stairs. There are no runner/rugs on the stairs.

Model numbers needed, as that is more helpful than "I love my Miele cannister", as there are 50 different Miele cannisters.

I don't want to overbuy a ton of parts I won't use, but think something to handle the hardwood without stripping off my finish (new floors), something which will really clean the rugs but not destroy them and something soft - maybe or the baseboard trim are good ideas.

Please bring on the info and advice. Please tell me anything you know about brands, types, styles - anything to help with my selection.

I want to know the good & the bad.

Thanks all.

Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

We got a Shark Lift-Away Pro and love it.

It is both a hand held canister and an upright, changes from one to the other in 2 seconds, no bags, comes with a hardwood floor attachment that both vacuums and dust at the same time.
Works well on our stairs, outstanding on our rugs.
It is light weight and has incredible suction.

Plus using a BB&B 20% off coupon you can get it for just $160.

    Bookmark   April 3, 2012 at 8:49AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Thanks Nunyabiz1. I have never heard of the Shark brand, but I will take a look at it.

Anyone else have any recommendation?


    Bookmark   April 3, 2012 at 10:19PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Well, I really can't think of any vacuum that is a joy on stairs. They all suck, and the heavier they are the more that's true. Nunya is all about his Shark and since I have never used one myself will not discuss that. I will say that we have been through 2 Shark floor steamers and a Shark Steam Iron. The floor steamers burned out, each in around a year, and the iron was a leaking dog that I returned to the store and exchanged for a Rowenta.

I am not big on the Shark "brand" personally.

Anyway, we bought a Miele Capricorn a couple years ago. It is the best vacuum I have ever used. It is a cannister with a DC powered beater bar. The wand extends with the push of a button, it does tile, hardwood, and carpet, as well as upholstery and drapes, and all the stuff comes with it. It is very quiet compared to anything we have ever owned before (Hoover, Eureka, Oreck, and Riccar)

But if stairs are a huge deal for you, you might want to check out, in addition to Nunya's recommendation, one of the ultralight commercial uprights, just for the sake of not having to lift too much weight. They also make backpack commercials that might suit having lots of stairs.

But overall, I am really happy with my no-stairs California ranch and my Miele.

    Bookmark   April 4, 2012 at 4:04PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I have the Miele Antares, which I think may be discontinued, but it was one of the lower end units. I want to say it was a little over $300 when we bought it about 5 years ago. It has been fabulous and worth every penny. Every other cheap canister vacuum I bought pooped out in a year or two, proving once again that you usually get what you pay for.

Also, I have a similar house w/ mostly hardwood and area rugs, which is why we went for the low-end model of the high-end brand; we didn't need extraordinary power. We do have a dog, but she's a non-shedding variety, so we don't have that issue, either.

Good luck!

    Bookmark   April 4, 2012 at 7:39PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Do you have allergy considerations (do you need a Hepa filter)? How important are noise and weight? Do you have deep pile carpeting?

I have an Oreck upright and a Miele canister (Callisto). Hands down the Miele is superior in every way except possibly weight. It is so quiet, an added bonus if like me, you vacuum at off hours. If you don't need a Hepa filter, you can save money. If you would like the Hepa, has a good explanation of the different models.

I almost went with the Pisces, but decided that the Callisto was a better match for the areas where the carpeting is a heavier pile. Sounds like you may not need that, so again, an area where money may be saved.

    Bookmark   April 4, 2012 at 9:40PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I have a 15 year old Miele Platinum model, I'm pretty sure it was discontinued long ago. It's an awesome machine, sits on the steps nicely, and works like new. When it dies, I'll very likely get another. If you're doing carpeting, get the electric powerhead, it does a very thorough job.


    Bookmark   April 5, 2012 at 1:05AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

We had a Dyson which we used almost daily for eight years that broke last week. Most of my home is carpet, so it gets a lot of use. Anyway, I was lucky to find the DC33 on clearance at Target yesterday for $299 (usually $399, but also $299 on Amazon-Dyson must be discontinuing the model). So I have 90 days to test drive it. I'm sure I'll keep it. We don't have stairs, so I cannot comment on that aspect of the Dyson. The Miele sounds great. 15 years. Wow!

    Bookmark   April 5, 2012 at 7:54AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I have a Simplicity Jill for steps and hardwood floors. It was about $150 a few years ago when I bought it(from the factory). I love it. My sister bought 3 of them for her kids for Christmas at the same time and they are all still going strong and they are not babied.

    Bookmark   April 5, 2012 at 8:57AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

It might help to know that eventhough the Miele S5 canister vacuums come in several different models, they are still basically the same unit. The differences are the feature list and colors. I picked the one where the controls are on the hose handle (Capricorn). The reason mine does carpets well is not because of the canister, but because of the powered head unit. They make two of these and I have the larger with the light (236?).

If you have enough uncarpeted stairs, you might think about a stick vacuum (Dirt Devil?) for them alone.

Full uprights (Dyson, Sebo) would be hard to lift up the stairs.

    Bookmark   April 5, 2012 at 2:40PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

The Shark works great on stairs, just hold the light weight canister in the left hand and use the soft brush (for hardwood)on the hose in your right hand.
Very light weight, powerful suction.

Have no idea about longevity/durability at this point, only had it for 5 months so far, use it about 3X a week and so far no problems of any kind.
Might die tomorrow or last another 20 years, who knows.

Same can be said about ANY vacuum regardless of price or where they are made however.
I see LOTS of reviews about dead Dysons though, that don't last more than 3-5 years before they are toast.

    Bookmark   April 5, 2012 at 5:00PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Jam - we have a Miele canister and our "maid" hates it so brings her own Orek as it is light weight.
When we replace our carpet plan to find a light weight vacuum.
I hate Sharks - never worked for me....

    Bookmark   April 5, 2012 at 8:43PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Thank you, thank you, thank you everyone for the information you have supplied.

Mojavean, California ranch style we are not... try NYC townhouse. Nowhere to spread out here, so we just go up high! :-) Lots of people rave about the Miele everywhere I have looked, so one may be in my future.

Kitmu, low-end model of a high-end brand is a good way to go. I guess I just need to decide how much the conveniences of having the extra tools stored on/in the vacuum's and being able to control it from the handle, etc. are worth to me in the long run.

Covingtoncat, noise and weight are important in that the lesser of both, the better. No allergies here, but I want the dust gone, gone, gone! So many models of the Miele, it would be nice if they had a helpful selector on their website to help narrow down the choices.

cj47, I see that you are another Miele lover too. I would too if something lasts me 15 years! Wow, that was money well spent even if it did cost $1200 like the Capricorn... can't complain about 15 years!

Cupofkindness, Dyson and Miele started out as the two on my radar but Dyson does not have many cannisters to choose from. Uprights seem to be their thing.

Thanks wekick. I have never heard of the Simplicity Jill vacuums, but it sure is worth taking a look.

Thanks weedmeister. The control on the handle and the tools at hand in the vacuum are certinly great. I just need to decide if those things are worth the extra $500. I guess I need to think of it as convenience over the span of many years.

Nunyabiz1, you can only tell me about your experience with the Sharks. I appreciate it.

Hi there a2gemini. Thanks for posting the info here too. I cannot believe your maid hates the Miele so much that she has brings her own. :-)

Thanks again everyone.

    Bookmark   April 6, 2012 at 10:26PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

HI Jamrock! There are many websites that compare the Miele canisters. I used allergy, because I wanted a Hepa filter. Basically there are 3 different pricing tiers within the canisters. I think what separates them are the motors, wattage, suction power, Hepa filter, and attachments. The top of the line may have digital read outs and buttons rather than dials and some other bag and filter change indicators that the lower priced models don't' have.

I wanted a hepa filter and needed something that would handle medium to deep pile carpets. All Miele's are quiet comparatively to other standard vacuum's. Some are heavier than others, due to weight of the motor. The filters add very little weight.

I would also suggest trying them out in person if at all possible. Many brick and mortar stores will meet internet pricing, but having some idea in mind in advance would be helpful, IMO.

    Bookmark   April 7, 2012 at 1:19PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Thanks covingtoncat.

I will definitelytry to find a site with the comparisons because I feel like I am thrashing around in the dark here.

Then I need to try to find a place to see them in person.

I am still waiting for something to be easy in this whole renovation process. :-)

Thanks again.

    Bookmark   April 7, 2012 at 8:56PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

We couldn't believe it either - mostly too clunky to pull around the house and too hard to go up and down stairs...

If you are close to A2, we have a great vacuum store that has many Miele models on display.

    Bookmark   April 7, 2012 at 9:27PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Another model to consider is the Pro-Team QuarterVac HEPA. It is a backpack vacuum so you need to be sure you are comfortable with this. I LOVE ours -- my wife is so-so about it.

There is nothing easier or faster on stairs, because you are not dragging anything around. It has a 50 foot cord so you're not constantly unplugging and replugging. I can vacuum our house in half the time it takes with our canister vac.

You need to get used to having the vacuum on your back and be careful about not bumping into walls, furniture, etc., but I learned this pretty quickly.

I bought the horsehair brush attachment which works great on our hardwood floors, tile, and rugs.


    Bookmark   April 7, 2012 at 11:23PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Definitely find a place to try it out.

I wanted to purchase a new canister so that I could take my older one to other house. From reading all the rave reviews here I was set to buy a top of the line Miele canister until I went to the local vacuum store to try it out. I quickly decided it against one. The handle was rather large and and even though the carpet in the store was fairly low I found it difficult to maneuver the head. After few minutes of vacuuming I realized that it was actually beginning to hurt the basal joint of my thumb.

I never had this trouble with my Kenmore Progressive canister which I use daily due to dog hair - so I bought another one.

    Bookmark   April 8, 2012 at 8:28AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Thanks a2gemini.

I don't know what you mean by "A2", but you did remind me that somewhere out in the world there are actually "vacuum stores". All along I was thinking of places like BB&B or the like to go to see the vacuums. I go out to Long Island once a week and so I checked and found that there is one called "Mr. Vac and Mrs. Sew" out there. I will go there to check out their vacuums. Hopefully they will let me touch and try them.

Thankfully I will have someone cleaning the house, but I am sure I will have to pull it out myself occasionally so it should be comfortable for me too.

Thanks billy_g. I have to keep in mind that I will not be the one using the vacuum most of the time and that most people will be OK with a "regular" non-backpack vacuum, but may have issues with something to wear on their back. My last cleaning lady was about 5'2" and weighed about 90 pounds so I don't think that it is wise to go with something worn on the back.... :-)

Thanks quilly. I definitely hear you and a2gemini's advice and will try the vacuum out first.

Much appreciated,

    Bookmark   April 8, 2012 at 8:45PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo


Our cleaning lady is short and she didn't like the backpack at all. It looks like it will be my tool for cleaning between the regular cleanings. I have a lower tolerance for dirt on the floor than DW...


    Bookmark   April 8, 2012 at 10:09PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

billy_g, tell your wife she is a lucky woman. :-)

I am married to a wonderful man, but he would just tell me to have the cleaning lady come more often... which is not a bad thing... at least he is not one to complain about the mess and then complain about us having a cleaning lady. :-)

Thanks for your help.

    Bookmark   April 8, 2012 at 10:45PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I used to get ads from Costco Online and a while back they were featuring a wonderful sounding German made vacuum called the SEBO FELIX 1 Premium
Upright Vacuum. It cost less then but I just looked up the current price and it is $699. The vacuum is a wonder on short nap carpet and bare floors. It has a 5 year warra=ntee on moving parts and labor, and it has the mosst efficient real dust removal of any vacuum I have ever seen. The only creticism I saw in the user ratings was that it was too hard to push on long pile carpet. Otherwize everyone was raving about it. If my wife wasn't so devoted to her Kirby vacuums I would get one.

    Bookmark   April 9, 2012 at 9:57AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

The clerk at my vacuum store also recommended Sebo and Riccar the last time I was there. For me buying a vacuum is like buying a purse - I have very strict criteria that it must neet.

    Bookmark   April 9, 2012 at 10:50AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I just got a Miele s700 at Costco. Buying a vacuum at Costco is almost like getting a free extended warranty imho.

    Bookmark   April 9, 2012 at 10:58AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Posted by jamrock (My Page) on
Fri, Apr 6, 12 at 22:26
Thanks wekick. I have never heard of the Simplicity Jill vacuums, but it sure is worth taking a look.

Simplicity is a sister brand To Riccar. They are both made in St. James, Mo. My sister has had Riccar vacuums and loved them. We visited the factory and outlet store where they also had a vacuum cleaner museum. The curator, Tom Gaskow who also works in the factory store recommended the one we bought.

Here is a link that might be useful: Simplicity, Riccar and vacuum cleaner museum

    Bookmark   April 9, 2012 at 11:21AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

In 2000 we wanted a vacuum that would last. We went to the local Oreck store and looked at the XL21. It is light and has lots of power. It was expensive, at over $700. But it has a 21 year full warranty and I did not like replacing vacuums every few years. So far it has worked great. We take it in every year for a full check up, that is included at no charge. They give us a loaner for a few days and completely replace any worn parts. If we have any issue at any time we take it over and they fix it immediately, like a plastic tab breaks or something. We use it on the carpeted stairs, hardwood, tile and of course carpet floors. It is very light and easy to use and has great suction. And I know that we will not spend any money on a vaccum cleaner for the next 10 years and will get at least 21 uears of service from this machine. For us it was the way to go.

    Bookmark   April 9, 2012 at 2:37PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo


With your situation, I would suggest that you purchase a canister vacuum cleaner. You have a lot of hard flooring to vacuum. You say that you have area rugs. If they are room sized and thick, I probably would suggest a canister with a power nozzle. If it is something like an oriental rug, you could do fine with a turbo brush attached to the end of a suction only canister.

I do not know what size home you have, but the small canister vacuum cleaners, like the Simplicity Jill and Riccar Sunburst have bags which may fill up quickly if you have a lot of dirt to pick up.

Not every Tacony(Riccar & Simplicity) canister vacuum cleaner is made in the USA. The Simplicity Jill(Riccar Sunburst) is made in China. I would suggest that if you like this canister, but do not want to spend the money, I can suggest the same vacuum cleaner under a different brand. With the cost of it, you could purchase three of them.

Recently, Big Lots was selling the Oreck Quest refurbished canister @$99. That is a "so-so" price, but Oreck's regular retail price is too high for what you are getting.

Bissell also markets a small canister with an electric power nozzle, which could fit your needs. It is called the CleanAlong.

Look at canister/canister with power nozzles under the Riccar/Simplicity nameplate, for small to large canisters. Also, take a look at Miele's more affordable S2 series or the higher priced S6, then the TOL S5 series. Each series will have what you need.

BTW, what vacuum cleaner are you using now? Are you happy with it?

    Bookmark   April 9, 2012 at 10:12PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Billy - I guess we both learned a lesson. The next time, I will check with the cleaning lady first!

    Bookmark   April 10, 2012 at 6:23PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

She told me in advance she wouldn't like it but I thought it would grow on her -- wrong!

Us men (we men?) are so clueless sometimes... :-)


    Bookmark   April 10, 2012 at 7:35PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Posted by geguymw (My Page) on
Mon, Apr 9, 12 at 22:12
The Simplicity Jill(Riccar Sunburst) is made in China. I would suggest that if you like this canister, but do not want to spend the money, I can suggest the same vacuum cleaner under a different brand.

Ha! I looked and you are right! I hear that some Mieles are made in China too though. When you get down to most all the parts for all of them are. Not everything from China is bad though. It still is pretty good compared to many others we have had along the same genre. I would buy another and I cannot say that about some of the other brands like it.

    Bookmark   April 10, 2012 at 10:25PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo


I made reference to Tacony's canisters, because you said they were "made in St. James, MO."

I have no problem with a vacuum cleaner made in China, as long as it is a very good product and the savings is passed along to the customer. That is why I added that if the OP wanted to save some money, I know where this same vacuum cleaner is under a different name, plus the OP could get three of them for the price of the Jill.

People who have been on here long enough, have read of vacuum cleaners I have suggested, which were made in China. In my same post in this thread, I mentioned the Oreck Quest. It will perform like the Jill. I also made the "do not buy" statement in reference to the price Oreck wants to charge people. Some of the asking prices are just too high. The problem is many just see the name brand and say "okay".

    Bookmark   April 11, 2012 at 4:03AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Posted by geguymw
I made reference to Tacony's canisters, because you said they were "made in St. James, MO."

I was going by their website which is not so accurate.

I know where this same vacuum cleaner is under a different name, plus the OP could get three of them for the price of the Jill.

Inquiring minds want to know. Where/what is it?

    Bookmark   April 11, 2012 at 7:33AM
Sign Up to comment
More Discussions
Difference between advantium and convection microwave
I had almost decided on the ge advantium (monogram)...
Need help with appliance choices, layout critique
Hey all. We have a preliminary kitchen plan attached. I...
Need a second oven/micro combo for island installation/under counter
We are getting ready to remodel our kitchen and were...
Any thoughts about Bosch and GE Profile appliances?
I am building a passive house and trying to choose...
capital precision mcr304 vs. wolf gr304?
Anyone have thoughts on these two? Also looked at GE...
Sponsored Products
Track Shine Rug 7'6" x 9'6" - GOLD
$839.00 | Horchow
Serena & Lily Zig Cotton Dhurrie
Serena & Lily
Modern Block Rug 5' x 8' - GRAY ON BEIGE
$699.00 | Horchow
Greenington Greenbank Two Seat Garden Bench
Beyond Stores
Karastan Knightsen Walnut Park Rug - 74600 12112 028099
$199.99 | Hayneedle
Atlantic Water Gardens 16 x 16-Foot Professional Pond Kit - 2900 Gallons Multico
Textured Lines Rug 10' x 14' - MEDIUM GRAY
$4,599.00 | Horchow
Beige p808be Single Bowl AstraGranite Sink
People viewed this after searching for:
© 2015 Houzz Inc. Houzz® The new way to design your home™