My vacuum cleaner doesn't suck.
February 9, 2014 10:59 AM   Subscribe

I have hardwood floors in every room except the kitchen and bathroom, which both have ceramic tile. I have cats who shed and track litter. I have a lot of hair which sheds. I have a hobby which results in a lot of tiny glass splinters. This is all on one floor. What is my best vacuum cleaner which will pick up all the hair and not get tangled up, will pick up the litter and won't get destroyed by small pieces of glass? I'd prefer something smaller rather than larger as I have limited storage and something bagless would be better than not, but I am not sure how the dust vs small glass pieces will balance that out. I am in Canada.

For people who will suggest Dyson: they make about 20 different ones, so I'd need to know which specific one. I'd be very interested in a different, less expensive, brand if it is high quality, but don't necessarily have a maximum price to pay. But I really want specific model recommendations, not just brands. I don't care about noise or attachments.
posted by jeather to Home & Garden (18 answers total) 8 users marked this as a favorite
I love my Miele canister vacuum. Works great on my hardwood floors, picks up cat litter, cat hair with powerful suction. Hepa filters keep the dust in the bag.
posted by brookeb at 11:05 AM on February 9, 2014 [4 favorites]

+1 for Miele.

We have the pet hair one, and it is amazing. The S 7260 Cat & Dog. It sucks up the copious hair produced by our two long-haired dogs, as well as all the glass I break when I do dishes. We've had it for about 2 years now, and it's as awesome as the day we got it. It comes with a turbo attachment for cleaning pet hair off furniture that is very useful.
posted by jeffamaphone at 11:11 AM on February 9, 2014 [1 favorite]

I was looking for a new vacuum several years ago.

Very happy with the Dyson we got. Cat hair, etc, no problem at all.
posted by colin_l at 11:14 AM on February 9, 2014

Maybe this is crazy, but a shop-vac may actually be a good alternative to a traditional vacuum cleaner. You can use with bags or without bags, easy to clean and keep clean, and they are very affordable. Most would not be able to consider this practical because it's useless on carpet.
posted by belau at 11:27 AM on February 9, 2014 [10 favorites]

For pet-related cleaning, the Dyson you want is the Animal.
posted by jquinby at 11:28 AM on February 9, 2014 [1 favorite]

Consumer Reports gives the Hoover Flair stickvac a high rating. I'm shopping for one myself in much the same situation (minus the glass slivers).
posted by fivesavagepalms at 11:41 AM on February 9, 2014

I really like my Dyson Animal (I have 4 dogs and hardwoods). However, I'm not sure if it's made to vacuum glass. I feel like a Shop-vac is perfect for those types of messes.
posted by bluespark25 at 11:47 AM on February 9, 2014

Miele canister, Miele canister, Miele canister.

We were sick of buying the latest Consumer Reports-recommended vacuum every year and a half after the last one pooped out or would cost as much to fix as to buy a new one when some plastic part snapped. So we ponied up more money than we had conceived of spending on a vacuum cleaner and bought a Miele canister four years ago. It's still working great, not a single hitch, totally worth it.

Plus, most Miele brand bags (look for GN or FJM) use tough, multi-layered, sealed bags which prevent punctures or the escape of vacuumed materials, which you would certainly want for glass shards and litter. They are explicitly recommended for vacuuming and disposing of broken glass in the marketing materials, and our occasional experience vacuuming glass shards bears that out. (The Dysons do not use bags, which would make the disposal of glass shards very awkward.)
posted by eschatfische at 11:56 AM on February 9, 2014 [3 favorites]

As mentioned, if price is a factor, then the shop-vac is the crude yet cheerful blunt-force option. The Dyson and Miele are both more efficient and more elegant, but at a higher price range.
posted by ovvl at 12:10 PM on February 9, 2014

I keep a Shop Vac around to deal with the cat litter & c., and then use a Shark for cat hair on the carpet upstairs.
posted by thomas j wise at 12:24 PM on February 9, 2014

You need the Bissell Power Edge Pet Hard Floor Vacuum or as we call it in my house the Fucking-Genius-Machine. It is not like other vacuums and will make you giddy with joy. It's basically a small shop vac connected to rubber squeegees and it picks up everything you point it at. It's also only $50.
posted by fshgrl at 12:33 PM on February 9, 2014 [1 favorite]

With the glass shards, bagged might actually be better than bagless. Bagless vacuums are a really cool concept, but it means you have a container full of fluffy dust and staticky pet hair and tiny pointy glass shards, that you have to hold over a trash can and dump, and bang around until it stops sticking to the sides, and resist the temptation to poke at it with your fingers, because something might cut you. The bags, you just pull out and get rid of. Or maybe I've just had a bad experience with an annoying-to-empty bagless. (it was at my mom's house, not mine, or I'd tell you what not to get)
posted by aimedwander at 2:39 PM on February 9, 2014 [1 favorite]

I really like my Miele S2121 canister vacuum, which I've had for three years. It works well on cat hair, dust, and kitty litter. I've cleaned up a fair amount of broken glass with it, just from Christmas tree ornaments, dropped drinking glasses, etc, and it's been fine; I don't know how it would be for your hobby, but the bags are sturdy.
posted by The corpse in the library at 5:08 PM on February 9, 2014 [1 favorite]

I love love love my Miele Calima 300. We have a big old yellow lab who sheds like crazy on our hardwood and linoleum floors. We also live in a rural area with a million fir trees and always track in lots of needles and dirt on our work boots. The only thing I would change would be to have bought it sooner.
posted by Beti at 8:28 PM on February 9, 2014

I like using a broom regularly for to get the big chunks. You can keep brooms in several rooms for spot use. If the litterbox(es) are in the bathroom, try using a low-pile rug or mat inside the bathroom door to limit how far they can track litter. Also consider a dustbuster near the litterbox. They're not terribly expensive, so when they begin to fail, and they will, they're not so bad to replace.
posted by theora55 at 8:48 PM on February 9, 2014

I asked this nearly three years ago, and bought a Miele cat & dog. I love it so much I would like to marry it.

Turns out I think I would have been happy even with the basic Miele. We rarely use the carpet head (as we only have a few large rugs) - although when we do, it's amazing! Even without the carpet head, it picks up cat hair better than anything I've seen before. It's stayed in as-new condition for three years, and I've only been through two and a half boxes of bags.
posted by lollusc at 12:15 AM on February 10, 2014 [1 favorite]

Oh, and I have vacuumed broken glass with my Miele multiple times with no problems.

Did I mention how much I love it? I love it a lot. A lot.

I can't believe I thought other vacuum cleaners were the way vacuum cleaners should be.

(Bonus feature: it has a "quiet" setting which is quiet enough to not freak out the cat, and yet STILL sucks better than other vacuum cleaners I have owned before.)
posted by lollusc at 12:17 AM on February 10, 2014 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: I got my new Miele today (it's a fairly basic one) and so far it has done an admirable job at kitty litter. The cats aren't in much of a shedding season, but the speed at which that litter goes is worth it.
posted by jeather at 3:59 PM on March 17, 2014

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