vacuum cleaner decision

Terry KolbergDecember 29, 2008

I have read what I can find on vacuum cleaners and still not decided. I am thinking about a refurbished Electrolux 3 Ultra or a Bosch from Costco (cannot find many reviews on the Bosch) Both are in the $200's range. Then sometimes I think maybe I should get a $500 Miele -(everyone seems happy with Miele) -but I always want to find a deal on something and it bothers me that they are the same price all over. Even thought we have had Central vacs in other houses -I will not pay over $500 for a vacuum. Any input form anyone is appreciated. Terry

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It isn't on your list, but I would highly recommend a Dyson. (Hi all, I mostly lurk here...)

    Bookmark   December 29, 2008 at 7:59PM
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Terry Kolberg

I forgot to mention that I need a canister -have alot of hardwood floor. Terry

    Bookmark   December 30, 2008 at 12:41AM
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I have hardwoods too... and like the Hoover WindTunnel. Does the wood and the carpets very well.

BTW - you say you need a canister with hardwoods. Why would that be?

    Bookmark   December 30, 2008 at 11:25AM
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WTKOLB, you'll get a lot of answers if you post this question in the Home Decorating forum. You can also do a search and find information posted in the past. Link to the forum below.

Here is a link that might be useful: Home Decorating

    Bookmark   December 31, 2008 at 12:05AM
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I love my Miele, but to be honest, it is more than I need with wood floors, especially since we don't have any shedding pets.
I use the Miele over the whole house every couple of weeks, but on each floor (we are three stories, divided) I have an inexpensive electric broom with a cup that empties. Keeps the dust bunnies at bay, and the brush pops off to look like a dustbuster, so I can do a quick wipe over the baseboards.
I think a stronger vac is more important with carpeting and pets.

    Bookmark   December 31, 2008 at 8:37AM
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I recently purchased a Miele. Pro's: lightweight, easy to pull, quiet, like the way it "parks". Con's: the cord is not very long compared w/ my old Kenmore, I have to change the attachment to go from carpet to wood as compared w/ my old Kenmore where I just flipped a switch w/ my thumb also when I'm using the attachment for rugs/carpet it doesn't just glide back and forth, there's some effort to pull it back towards me. Hope that makes sense - due to my health ( had to go w/ something super-lightweight) I'm happy w/ it, however wish I had been aware of those things when I had my BRIEF test drive @ the store.

    Bookmark   January 3, 2009 at 7:08PM
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I have mostly wood floors, and thought I needed a canister, too. But after reading so many Dyson recommendations, I bought one before they came out with a canister. With two large dogs (one longhaired) and three cats (ditto), vacuuming has always been a challenge. But the Dyson does an excellent job.

I also bought an inexpensive bagless canister made for Home Depot, which I thought I'd use for touch-ups. But I'm more likely to reach for the Dyson.

    Bookmark   January 4, 2009 at 12:48PM
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I use to own a housekeeping business and we use to only use Dyson. They are great vacuums. Though I will be honest I don't own one anymore I bought a Kirby we have 4 cats 2 kids lots of hair and all they are pricey but I love the vacuum that and they come to my house and service the thing for me. But we are also looking at a Dyson for the upstairs in my house I hate lugging the vacuum up the stairs!

    Bookmark   January 7, 2009 at 5:22AM
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I too was just facing this decision. I ended up with the Sears Progressive. Mostly wooden floors and ceramic tile - I really like it. I think it was $279 - I just didn't want to spend tons but wanted something good.

    Bookmark   January 7, 2009 at 9:43AM
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As I said before, I don't have shedding pets. However, my sister and her family, which includes a very shedding German Shepherd just left after a week long stay. YIKES. My little vacuum with the cup you empty just doesn't cut it. It will be Miele for the next couple of weeks! (Every time I finish up, morel hair comes tumbling past me. I swear it's laughing!!!)

    Bookmark   January 7, 2009 at 9:52AM
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Ditto to the sears kenmore progressive. very durable and very effective.

    Bookmark   January 9, 2009 at 10:40PM
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I bought a $500 or $600 Miele (a red star I think--it was low end for them) about 5 years ago and I have some buyers remorse. Maybe it's that I had a Kenmore before and I just was used to the way it worked. Perhaps the lowend Miele is better design now.

Pros--it's very lightweight, easy to manuever and it sucks stuff up pretty well. It's pretty ;-) --race car red. I think my husband liked it (but not enough to use it much)

Cons--It only uses Miele brand bags and they are expensive and you have to buy them from the store.

What I dislke most is how difficult it is to take the powerhead thingie off (its has a power cord that that plugs into the handle at an awkward angle). I have hardwoods downstairs and carpet up, so I need to use both the powerhead and the hardwood cleaner. Frequently, on the hardwoods, I wind up using the power head with the beater turned off, since it's such a pain to change out the head. My old Kenmore powerhead came on and off with the click of one button.

I don't hate it, but for that much money, I would expect to love it. If I had a do-over, I would have bought another Kenmore. I tried the Dyson upright--which I really liked--but I a canister girl and they didn't have a one in the US at the time.

    Bookmark   January 12, 2009 at 8:19PM
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I bought a Hoover Whisper upright and I love it! You can only find them at Walmart and they around around $99.00. It's a bagless and extremely easy to empty - you just hold over trashcan and push a button!

This vacuum also has a button to push that turns off the beaters on the bottom so you can use on wood, ceramic tile, etc without harming them.

I found out about this vacuum on There is a guy on that forum that lives and breaths vacuums and he highly recommends this on. He says it made basically the same as a dyson, but of course much, much cheaper.

    Bookmark   January 15, 2009 at 3:54PM
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mcbird it full of reviews for literally everything.

    Bookmark   January 16, 2009 at 5:33PM
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why did no one mention a Roomba?

    Bookmark   January 18, 2009 at 10:06AM
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Circus Peanut

Miele has since changed their design and the powerhead doesn't need to be plugged in separately to the handle any more - the cord is now integral, so you just have to snap the powerhead on and off at the bottom. Just thought I'd mention it, in case you have the opportunity to trade the old one in for a newer model. :)

    Bookmark   January 19, 2009 at 11:10PM
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Circus Peanut,

Thanks for the info--if that has been fixed in newer models then I would think the Miele would work much better. I can't see me spending that much money again for a vacuum so I won't replace mine ;-)

By the way, LOVE your kitchen (I'm mostly a Kitchen Forum lurker). I can't believe it's mostly DIY--the copper counter is incredible. I think your style and selection of materials is a perfect combination and the whole thing is gorgeous.


    Bookmark   January 21, 2009 at 9:18AM
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Dyson is a pretty good vacuum :)

Don't Agonize, Organize! -

    Bookmark   January 27, 2009 at 10:29AM
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I haven't been over here in a while, but we have a ten year old Miele White Star. We have brick floors and Oriental rugs throughout and found that the White Star (a cannister) worked best on both. It's also very easy to use and lightweight with several great tools.
The negatives:
(1) we have a DD with long blond hair and a Tibetan Spaniel with rather long hair, too. This particular vac just does not do well getting up the dog hair. And, DD's hair is constantly binding up the brush on it. I have to take the head apart just about evey time I vacuum and clean it!
(2) it only takes Miele bags and they're pricey!

The one BIG problem I have with replacing this vac with the Dyson Animal is that the Dyson has such a huge head that I feel it would be a PIA when trying to vacuum around and under things. I don't have room to store two vacs, but I am looking to replace my Miele ASAP.

    Bookmark   January 28, 2009 at 3:36PM
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I have a Dyson DC-18 that I've had for about a year, I guess. I LOVE it! It is so well designed to make everything I hated about previous vacuums obsolete. It's easy to use, easy to switch from hard floors to carpets, easy to steer, easy to clean the brushes, easy to empty, no bags, and no belts to change. Plus, it sucks up more dirt than any vacuum I've ever had, including my Kirby. This is one of those purchases I'm really glad I made.

    Bookmark   February 5, 2009 at 6:03PM
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After research and much reading here and on other forums on the Internet, I bought a Dyson last year from Bed, Bath & Beyond. They did a price match for it with another store that was offering them on sale that I found in an Internet search, and I had a 20% off B,B&B coupon, so the Dyson, which normally sold for $500+, cost us around $230. It was the best investment I've ever made. We have hardwood floors downstairs, carpet up, and that machine picks up everything! I had vacuumed the upstairs with our old Electrolux upright shortly before I tried the new Dyson, and there was half a container full of dirt and debris that this machine got out of those carpets. I love that there's no bags to buy, belts to replace, and that it's so easy to use.

    Bookmark   February 12, 2009 at 7:59PM
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my husband retired "disabled" from Rexair they make the Rainbow vacuum and we have 2 of them, they are awfully high priced but they are a great cannister machine, they use water plus heppa filters to filter the air and you get really clean air when you use them, heavy and awkward, but what cannisters that work well aren't

    Bookmark   February 14, 2009 at 10:47AM
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My Dyson just died and I took it in for repairs. The repair guy smiled and said he gets about 30 Dysons to repair each month. He said vac. service centers would love to sue the Dyson guy because he's selling $99 plastic cheap vac's for the price of good, well constructed ones. The cost to repair the Dyson was $150. We said no and invested in a Riccar. It made our 2 year old carpet that looked very old due to being flattened out look like new again. The Dyson wasn't powerful enough to pull the knap of the carpet up. The Riccar restored our carpet to new looking again! It also picked up all the dog hair without binding up the roller brush like the Dyson. We could hear the the Riccar suck up bits of sand etc from deep within the carpet. It was amazing to see the difference a real professional vac makes!

    Bookmark   February 24, 2009 at 2:34PM
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Our old vac just blew up last month, after 15 years of faithful service. It had been used recently on a building site, so think the plaster dust finally killed it.
But we spent the past 4 weeks trying to sort through all the info, opinions, reviews etc to decide which one to get.
I was stunned at how emotional and righteous some of the sites could get... over a vacuum.
One thing we learnt. No matter how convincing a sales person might sound, they are still selling the ones they sell. We nearly got sucked in a few times (pardon the pun), because the salespeople sounded so informed... when we looked into it later, they were just spouting the manufacturers' spiels anyway. And I think every single sales person told us they owned that particular one they were trying to sell us, so they could vouch for it personally.
For us, it was a toss up between a Dyson, Miele and Nilfisk.
But then it got confusing, because now the Miele and Nilfisk make some of theirs in China and they're a cheaper version of the original European ones.
Then we had to toss up between bags and bagless. I get sinus easily, so emptying out dust seemed to be a no-no.
On the other hand, the bagless are supposed to be more dust free.
Then we have heard of some people buying little old el-cheapos at the supermarket, and finding them wonderful. And even if they only last a few years, they can replace them for a fraction of the price of an expensive one.
People told us they loved their Dysons, but the plastic bits broke easily.. on the other hand, Dyson was wonderful about repairing and replacing these, so it didn't matter to them.
We finally, after nearly tearing our hair out, settled for the same one we had before.... the top Nilfisk model.
What decided us was the feet attachments. We need something that is low enough to reach under our door mullions, and to reach into corners, and under furniture. Some of the feet on the other machines were great cumbersome things that didn't allow you to suck up stuff in corners, along edges and under things.
Might seem a petty thing to decide on, but we find it's the corners and edges where we get the most bugs and fluff collecting.
Also, the one we decided on has a really long cord and hose, whereas the others didn't. Saves plugging in extensions etc.
The very best thing we did was go to a specialist vaccum cleaner shop and TRY them out. The one I thought I'd like, felt really awkward to actually use and pull along. So if you could find a place that sells all types of brands and lets you actually vacuum their floor, that is a huge help.
I must have vacuumed half their shop floor for them, but it was what finally decided me. The salesman was great. Got out one of each brand that we were choosing between, left us alone for half an hour, and let me pretend I was at home with the machine.
Sorry this is long, but we've just been through the mill with this, and it is a fair investment if you're buying an expensive machine, and we use them often, so want to have one we like.
Hope you find the one that suits you.
Cheers lily

    Bookmark   February 24, 2009 at 6:28PM
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Miscindy, I was interested in all that you had to say about the Riccar,so I went in search of Riccar. I found several sites, but no price. what price range does this fall in? I have been a Electrolux user forever,until my age caught up with me ,and it got to heavy. Gailee

    Bookmark   February 26, 2009 at 11:01AM
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Anyone shopping for a new vacuum would be doing themselves a VERY big favor to talk with a good vacuum repair person about the models they are considering,to get the scoop on what kind of repairs or issues they can expect to run into.
Also, make sure you HAVE a repair place close by that will work on your vacuum, otherwise repairs might become a super big irritation, not to mention costly due to transporting them to a dealer and/or repair place.

I learned so much from my local repairman. Too much to go into here, but he did say that if you don't have a significant pet hair problem, but DO have a lot of hardwood floors it would be best to go with a model specifically designed for hardwood. The reason being that most uprights
are designed for carpeting and even the ones that can be lowered are often too high off the ground to do a good job.
He also said their suction works a little differently too and usually is not evenly distributed enough in the intake area to do as well for hardwoods. For instance, he said the Dyson would pick up more on the left side than the right due to its design.

Anyway, he said that there is no 'ideal vacuum' that does all types of jobs well, so concentrate on finding one that covers your specific needs.

For me, although I have mainly hardwood floors with area rugs, I also have a LOT of pet hair. So I'm getting the Dyson DC25 even though it is not the ideal hardwood floor choice. So a bit of a compromise.

By the way, for those considering a Dyson, he also told me that a common repair issue with Dysons is that their 'clutch' needs to be replaced. This is covered by their warranty, but can be an inconvenience sometimes their parts are often slow in getting to the repair places.

This is not true for the newer ball models which don't have a clutch. He also said they've improved an issue they were having with the older ball models in the newest version.
And he warned that if those people with lots of hair to pick
up don't keep their filters cleaned, the hair will eventually bypass the filters and clog the motor which will mean the end of your expensive vacuum. So clean those filters every few months. He also said the much cheaper Eureka uses the same motor and has good suction BUT has serious clogging issues from hair.

Anyway, hope that helps.

    Bookmark   February 27, 2009 at 3:39PM
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