Canister vs Upright Vacuum Cleaners: Which One is Better?

Canister vs Upright Vacuum Cleaners
Vacuum Cleaning Advice

Obviously, you have reached this part of the internet because of one simple question—which is the better choice between canister vs upright vacuum cleaners?

Lucky for you, we have wondered the same thing. Thus, in this article, you will find the answer to this exact question.

Keeping a house nice and clean all the time can be quite challenging, more so if you have toddlers and pets lying around throwing stuff and leaving trash all over the place.

These are just a few of the numerous reasons why we seek the help of household cleaning appliances such as a vacuum.
However, with the seemingly endless choices there are, we find it hard to decide which type and model to buy. So, below is a quick guide on how to choose the best one that matches your specific needs.

A Brief Guide to a Canister vs Upright Vacuum

There is a long list of factors that you need to consider when choosing a household cleaning must-have such as a vacuum. Check out some of them below. These will help you choose between a canister vs upright vacuum.

  • Weight

Thanks to the continuous advancement in technology, newer vacuum cleaner models are not as heavy as their predecessors. In fact, some are so light they only weigh no more than five pounds! However, weight is not the only consideration that you need to focus on.

With heavier weight comes more power and even more functionalities. If you are looking for self-propelled vacuums, then you can expect to find models that are around 20 pounds. Luckily, you won’t have to drag all that weight yourself since the motor will do most of the work.

  • Dirt Container

This factor depends on the size of your abode and how much dirt you want to clean on a regular basis. For vacuum cleaners with bags, find out how big the bag is and how much dirt it can hold before it needs to be replaced. The same questions apply to vacuum cleaners with dirt containers or dust cups.

  • Warranty

Similar to any purchase, you would want some assurance that what you’re buying is as real and effective as the ads say. This type of cleaning appliance tends to overheat quickly when used too much, so you might want to check where you can have it fixed and if the warranty covers any repairs. The warranty period also plays a significant role in the debate between a canister vs upright vacuum.

  • Features and Functionalities

The fact that you wish to buy a vacuum cleaner means that you need it to do specific things. This might include removing cobwebs from high corners and dust from the ceiling fan or removing pet hair and cat litter from wooden floors. Before deciding to buy one, ask yourself if the vacuum you are purchasing can do all of these.

Yet another big decision that you need to make when buying a vacuum is whether to go for a canister vs upright vacuum. Take a look at the benefits and minor problems that you may encounter when using each type of vacuum cleaner below.

Using a Canister Vacuum Cleaner


  • Great for small- to medium-sized carpets
  • Recommended for wooden and tile floors
  • Offers more mobility because of the flexible nozzle
  • Low head profile for easy cleaning under furniture
  • Best for vacuuming stairs because of its lighter weight
  • Lightweight head makes it easier to push
  • Comes with many accessories and attachments to clean different surfaces
  • Generally more powerful because of its bigger engine
  • Hassle-free operation as you only need to move the head and not the entire machine
  • Can be used to clean tight corners and hard-to-reach areas


  • Dragging the canister behind when cleaning can be annoying
  • Smaller wheels mean it has to be carried over thresholds
  • Requires some minor assembly
  • Bulkier and eats up storage space
  • Head has to be changed several times to clean various surfaces

Using an Upright Vacuum Cleaner


  • Perfect for vacuuming large areas
  • Less chance of tripping over the vacuum because it is in front of you
  • Most models have larger bags than canister types
  • Comes with attachments to clean different surfaces
  • Uses motorized brushes to easily clean rugs and carpets
  • Can go from cleaning wooden floors to carpets quickly and easily
  • Very easy to store
  • Most models have a wider cleaning path
  • Tends to be more budget-friendly
  • Can deep-clean carpets


  • Not very convenient to use when cleaning under furniture
  • Less maneuverable especially on tight turns
  • Hard to use on stairs
  • Fewer tool options
  • Tend to be noisier
  • Can be heavy (some weigh 20 pounds)
  • Not practical to use when cleaning corners and inaccessible areas

Canister vs Upright Vacuum Cleaner: The Verdict

Looking at every advantage and disadvantage of using a canister vs upright vacuum cleaner, we can say that the canister type would work best for households with mostly bare floors such as hardwood, ceramic, tile, and vinyl. However, upright vacuum cleaners are the perfect choice for rugs and carpets. Yet, you can also find models that can do both.

In the end, we would still put our money on the canister vacuum cleaner for the reasons that it’s generally silent, more powerful, and easier to handle than its counterpart. Not only can it clean both bare floors and rugs but you can also easily carry it around the house as they are more lightweight than upright ones. You just have to make sure that the accessories and attachments that it comes with can do everything you need them to do.

Final Words

After everything has been said and done, the debate between a canister vs upright vacuum all boils down to you and your cleaning needs and preferences. There are some who find it more comfortable using an upright vacuum cleaner while there are also others who like the convenience that canister vacuum cleaners offer.

Either way, you should ensure that the item you are about to purchase will live up to its reputation. This can be done by simply doing thorough research on all its features, functionalities, and attachments. You might also want to check out some valid customer reviews to get an idea of how the vacuum cleaner fares when used in real life by real-life customers.

And, that’s it! We hope that we’ve answered your question and you are now confident which of the two you are going to buy. Good luck shopping!

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