Apartment Vacuum Cleaner - Challenge: Cat fur x2, roaches, and budget!
March 8, 2013 10:41 PM   Subscribe

I need to get a new vacuum cleaner, as the one I have has given up the ghost. Also I'm poor.

I have 2 cats who are really great at generating fur. In addition, the apartment building and my unit are battling a roach infestation and keeping things clean is important. I have a bunch of hardwood floors and a couple of carpets.

I need something that can pull up the fur from the carpets, and something that can also get into corners well enough to help get crumbs that the roaches love.

Finally, I'm looking for something under $200. I'm in Canada, so futureshop, canadiantire, homedepot, and other accessible stores are preferred.

I don't mind what type the thing is, so long as it's not super huge and it's effective.

Do you have a cleaner that you've really loved? One that's been affordable, but really worked for you? Please give me your recommendations!
posted by robot-hugs to Home & Garden (13 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
I bought a vaccum a few months ago on a tighter budget than that, of around $100 US... after reading through reviews etc I went with this. I can't vouch for longevity yet, but it does great in my house (mostly carpet, lots of toddler messes/food ground into carpet/etcetera). I use the tube for corners. Not sure where you might find it in Canada, but the Walmart CA website has this which has good reviews also...
posted by celtalitha at 11:41 PM on March 8, 2013 [1 favorite]

Oh, Sears Canada has it. As well as several other promising-looking models.
posted by celtalitha at 11:47 PM on March 8, 2013

I had to replace a belt recently. The repair shop had about seventy abandoned and refurbished vacuums for sale. Half of them were Dysons, but the old commercial Hoovers caught my eye. I have a model that was sold to hotels in the seventies. It really sucks.
posted by Mr. Yuck at 12:17 AM on March 9, 2013 [1 favorite]

I often find really good deals on vacuums on craigslist and am able to afford much better than if I bought new (I also have a cat who sheds enough that I could probably reconstruct a whole new cat every several days). Especially with roaches added into the equation! I have burned through sub $200 vacuums from Target without feeling like I was getting up enough hair. Finally I found an old Kirby on craigslist for $200 and it was a whole new world. The thing is ugly and heavy, but it has good suction. I couldn't have said that for anything I could afford that was new to me.
posted by sweltering at 2:48 AM on March 9, 2013 [1 favorite]

I have two cats who make hair like it's their job and the only vacuum I've had that doesn't break is an old red Hoover that uses bags. I'd gone through a ton of bagless vacuums but all of them lost suction. Eventually my mom gave me an old, red, Hoover that hasn't balked in three years.

So, I'm not sure that that particular vacuum is still available (it was my grandmother's and she died fifteen years ago) but I would definitely recommend one that uses bags.
posted by smirkyfodder at 4:02 AM on March 9, 2013

We've had a Shark Navigator (amazon us) for two years and have been really pleased with it. We've got a dog and cat and two years in I'm still impressed with how much hair and dander it picks up. We have replaced the filters once (a 15-20 dollar expense). Costco sells it with a bunch of attachments here and I believe it's a better deal than amazon.
posted by jeffch at 5:09 AM on March 9, 2013

My sister got a Dirt Devil Featherlite at least 5 years ago; I liked it so much I got one too. It's cheap ($80 at amazon.ca) and has been better than several more expensive vacuums I've had. It's bagged, gets good suction, and the belts are pretty easy to change. Plus it's small. We've both got pets (she's got 2 cats, I've got a cat and a dog) and it seems to do a good job on the fur issue.
posted by katemonster at 5:45 AM on March 9, 2013

Came to say try Craigslist.

Also for the crumbs in corners -- a good old fashioned broom and dustpan might just do the trick. I've done it both ways, and find the broom easier for getting things out of crevasses.
posted by DoubleLune at 5:54 AM on March 9, 2013

We have no carpets, a cat and a rambunctious dog. We use a small wet/dry vac (similar to this one). It's a little non-traditional, but it's very powerful, and I don't have to worry about breaking it if I suck up a penny or something. And since it's also a wet vac, we used it a lot in our last (carpeted) place when rambunctious dog was a rambunctious puppy and still having accidents.
posted by dogmom at 6:48 AM on March 9, 2013

I love this site, consumersearch, for reviews. They grab reviews from a bunch of other sources and give you the best choices. Two of the highest rated vacuums on their list are well under $200.
posted by orme at 6:49 AM on March 9, 2013

I bought a Kerby G4 at a flea market for $60. It needed new motor brushes ($10 if you do the repair yourself) and eventually a new brush ($30). But these things seriously last forever and they are great machines. Once you know what they look like you can spot em a mile away, and whatever the condition, you know it's repairable cause that's how they are built.
posted by cman at 9:16 AM on March 9, 2013

I'd try to find a used Dyson. I know many people have negative views of the company, and their products new are expensive. But one of the best purchases I've ever made was my Dyson. I moved into a new place, I have no pets, and thought the place was pretty clean. After using it once, the canister was half full of pet hair. This was after using the vacuum that was left at the house.

Vacuums are in my opinion one thing you just have to suck up and save to get a really good one. The difference between good and excellent are scary when you clean out the bag/canister.

But on your budget I'd either wait or try to find one used.
posted by efalk at 12:32 PM on March 9, 2013

If used, get a Kerby. They are tanks.

If new, we like our Shark a lot. We have a spiral staircase to get to our second floor, so hauling the Kirby wasn't a real option.
posted by craven_morhead at 12:15 PM on March 13, 2013

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