LJWorld.com weblogs Shop Talk with Jenn and Julie

Vacuum cleaner dilemma


I need a new vacuum cleaner.  My current machine does not turn off unless you unplug it.  For the last year or so, the brush roll seems to have a mind of its own.  The unit, a Eureka upright, is about 6 years old.  I guess it's time to put it to rest.

For years, I worked for Eureka Vacuums, so I have always felt loyalty toward this company.  But now with so many different options, and since I've been away from the industry for many years, I feel like I'm at a crossroads as to what brand and type of cleaner to purchase.

Everyone I know that owns a Dyson, loves it.  I've heard people say they didn't realize how bad their previous cleaner was until they used a Dyson.

I notice this week Target has the Shark brand advertised (receive a $20 gift card with purchase).  I don't know much about this brand.

Walmart has Bissell advertised.  And I know Costco has a pretty good selection of Dysons.

If any of you have any recommendations about which cleaner brand and type I should consider, your comments would be appreciated.


SuperJenn 5 years, 9 months ago

Dyson, all the way. When we moved into our new house we used our Dyson on the floors that had very obviously been cleaned already....and were amazed at what we got up. (Eww)

After moaning and groaning over the price of the Dyson.... even my husband admits that it is one of our best purchases!

headdoctor 5 years, 9 months ago

Dyson may work well for some but it is still a $75 vacuum cleaner with the price pumped up with millions of dollars spent in promotion. Much of the hype behind vacuum sales are publicity stunts like the one that can pick up a bowling ball. With vacuums it isn't always about how much suction it has. It is about motor size, how much air volume it moves, and how stiff the brushes are. There are $40 to $80 vacuums that will out perform the expensive ones. Since vacuums by design and are built to self destruct one should check into repair costs. I gave up on the expensive ones since I can replace the cheaper ones for less than the repair of many of the expensive ones. One thing to keep in mind is there is no perfect all around vacuum. Canister vacuums with attachments don't make a good upright and uprights make very poor canister ones.

The only way I have found to beat the vacuum cycle is to have cheap access to parts and know how to work on them yourself. At the same time I treat it like my vehicle. If I have to spend more time working on it than using it, I get rid of it.

bmoody51 5 years, 9 months ago

Why don't you buy locally at Lawrence Vacuum and Sewing Center, 1449 W. 23rd? Your money contributes to the LOCAL economy and supports a LOCAL business. Then if you ever do need service, you have a place to go for repairs. I don't believe Walmart services vacuums. And sometimes you get what you pay for. The vacuums at Lawrence Vac are every bit as good if not better than the discounted seconds you get at Walmart.

Lawrence Burton 5 years, 9 months ago

I purchased a Royal at Lawrence Sewing and Vacuum about 8 years ago. The cost was about the same as a Dyson. I know the Dyson commercials are cool but who do you think is paying for it. You are the consumer. The parts are all cheap injection molded plastic that snaps together. It is like a Hoover on steroids. It does a great lob on cleaning your carpet, but when it needs service (and it will) where do you take it? If you find a person who will consider fixing it, then will they be able to find parts? You can call Dyson and ship it to a service center and wait weeks for them to fix it. My Royal needed a new brush roller after about 7 years of weekly service in a mostly carpet 2 story home. I just walked in their store and $21 later I have a just like new vacuum. I don’t know where you would get a Dyson serviced (belt changed, new brush roller, new power switch etc).

I just had a relative take their Bissell with a "lifetime belt"(lifetime is only implied not guaranteed by a warranty) to get the belt replaced after it broke (they spent $220 on it 2 years ago). The repair guy in Shawnee told them it will cost-$65 for labor $14 for the parts $12 for rush delivery of the parts (non rush delivery takes 5-6 weeks for the belt to get delivered from the Bissell parts warehouse. The vacuum does do a good job. They are happy with it and don't plan on getting a new one any time soon.

I know it must seem like I don’t like Dyson but I do. I think it is a very powerful vacuum cleaner. My Royal is just as powerful. I have a friend who owns one and they love it. It is only a year old and still works like new. I tried to talk them out of it but the commercials sucked them in. I just don’t like products that say they are the latest and greatest but service sucks. If you don’t believe what you are reading, Go to Dysons website and try looking for anything that has to do with service or a warranty. Royal may not the best choice if you don't have service center in your area. If you live in or around Lawrence Royal is the best choice.

Dont spend $400 - $500 with out doing research. Check out things like life expectancy, ease of repair, parts availability and functionality. All of these will help you determine your average annual cost of your vaccum. Choose the brand that works the best for you.

Thanks for reading LB

Patricia Davis 5 years, 9 months ago

I f you have allergies, go Miele. Why have to deal with the cloud of dust with the bagless?

labmonkey 5 years, 9 months ago

Get a Simplicity at a mom and pop store. They are a bit pricey, but they are American made and last forever, and are second to none. We have two black dogs with lighter carpet and our Simplicity works great. If they break down, they have an unbeatable warranty. Stay away from the Wal-Mart and Target Chinese brands. A $400 vacuum that works well and lasts 10 years is a hell of a lot better value than a $150 vacuum you have to replace every two years.

nomorebobsplease 5 years, 9 months ago

I spent over $500 on a Dyson Animal (the purple one) about 9 years ago. I did replace the clutch (handyman hubby, actually) a few months ago, but I blame that failure on preteen/teen boy vacuumers (who definitely do not pre-pickup a lot of the big stuff) and who have weird things like BB's in their rooms that hide in the carpet until sucked up. I LOVE the Dyson, and I will buy another when this one eventually hits the dust.

headdoctor 5 years, 9 months ago

It is good you have had good luck with your Dyson. Probably due to when you purchased it. Many have not been so lucky, especially with ones manufactured in recent years. Pets along with teens of either sex(and long hair) are hell on any vacuum.

DanR 5 years, 9 months ago

Get a Riccar. Made in St. James, Missouri. They're usually sold at Sew 'n' Vac shops which have knowledgeable people to help you pick out the model that's suited for you. Ours is going on 15 years strong. It's well built, but not too heavy, and has power with not a lot of noise. If it ever dies, I'd get another in a heartbeat.

sweetiepie 5 years, 9 months ago

I bought a Dyson about 2 months ago (the cannister style) and the box has been sitting in the kitchen ever since--waiting for me to decide whether I am actually going to keep the vacuum or return it. My dilemma: 1. It cleans wonderfully--I have an area rug that always looks new after I use the Dyson. 2. It is without a doubt the most awkward, unwieldy machine I've ever used.

With regard to #2--I've always used cannister vacs so I'm used to pulling them around but this one flips over regularly. And it's almost impossible to store. With previous units, I would just take the hose off of the body and store the vac in a cupboard and the hose in a drawer. Not with a Dyson! The hose is (for some unfathomable reason) permanently attached to the body of the vacuum which adds about 2-3 feet to the depth needed in a closet to store the thing. I think if there was some way to take the hose off, I might finally decide to keep it and get rid of the boxes. But that's not possible.

And while that see-through dirt collector shows you how much your Dyson has picked up, I challenge anyone to empty it without ending up with dirt all over the floor (which you then have to vacuum up). I can't help but think there is a better vacuum out there. When I was reading reviews, several said that Consumer Reports says the Dirt Devil (about $100) is the best upright you can buy! Now if only they made a cannister vac.

Michael Pinegar 5 years, 9 months ago

I always use Lawrence Vacuum & sewing center. You always get "more suck for your buck".

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