A lightweight vacuum that sucks
February 9, 2021 6:15 PM   Subscribe

ISO a lightweight vacuum. Special snowflake details below.

Our 10-year-old Dyson is coming to the end of its life. I've never been very enamoured of the Dyson--I know people rave about them, but my experience with it hasn't been life-changing or anything. It's fairly loud and I hate its filter, plus I've never found it to be amazing at getting the ground-in dirt. I do love how lightweight it is (it's a DC24 ball one, about 12 lbs) and that it's easy to carry up and down the stairs, but that's about it.

I bought the Shark APEX DuoClean (about 17 lbs), and it was so heavy and awkward to take up and down the stairs (compared to the Dyson), even with the lift-away part, I had to return it. It hurt my wrist to run it (it pulls forward automatically) so I'm thinking that a cordless vacuum with its motor closer to the handle also probably wouldn't work.

So ideally what I'd like is something:
- very lightweight for vacuuming carpeted stairs
- upright or canister, not a robot vacuum
- quiet
- bagless (preferred but not necessary)
- corded rather than cordless
- works well on carpet and hardwood
- available in Canada

Our house also has outlets for central vac so if that's the better option, I'm willing to entertain it.
posted by pised to Home & Garden (9 answers total) 7 users marked this as a favorite
I highly recommend Miele canister vacuums. I've used them (I'm on my second, and it's still like new) since 1996. Definitely sold in Canada. Super portable with one hand when heading upstairs. Get it tuned up once in a while, and it'll last a good long time.
posted by heyho at 8:37 PM on February 9, 2021 [1 favorite]

I have a Miele C-something canister vacuum (the kind with the power head). It’s everything you want except bagless. Mind you, I hate it like no other and just bought a Dyson V10 cordless stick vac which is the answer to my vacuum dreams, so we may not have the same taste in vacuums, but I can tell you that the Miele is an excellent vacuum if the neverending hassle of a canister vacuum doesn’t send you into a murderous rage.
posted by HotToddy at 9:28 PM on February 9, 2021

Miele canister. So well-made, even in mine, the cheapest model. Quiet.

Not sure what the hassle of a canister is supposed to be. Yes, it's got a bag. The bag is self-sealing. To me, it's easier to deal with emptying it than a bagless, where the dirt can spill everywhere, or rise in a cloud of dust. You have to change out the filter and the wee square of foam from time to time--they're right there, no great fiddling required.
posted by praemunire at 10:05 PM on February 9, 2021

We had a centra-vac put in years ago. I'd never go back. It's very lightweight, quiet because it's in the basement, bagless, corded, works on everything, and it's available in Canada because you have one. I absolutely can't fathom why you'd use anything else. I was under the distinct impression that a portable vacuum was only for people who couldn't afford a centra-vac. If you have the system in place, use it. If it's just the tubing, get a base unit and have someone hook it up. It's exactly what you want and you have it.
posted by AugustusCrunch at 10:45 PM on February 9, 2021 [2 favorites]

Youtube has a rather set of channels created by people who review vacuum cleaners. For example ibaisaic or Vacuum Wars. Personally I find these channels a bit strange - but they are absolutely your friend if you are wanting footage of how your intended model copes with the strange dirt obstacles that get put in its way.

I used the recommendations to buy a Miele CX1 Blizzard bagless cleaner. After a year of use: this was worked really well. Well made, easy to clean, very powerful, quiet and fairly lightweight for hauling up and down stairs.
posted by rongorongo at 1:28 AM on February 10, 2021

I bought this SOWTECH half a year ago. Didn't use it that often, and I have low worn carpet plus wood laminate floor so these are... okay. Keeps the dust and debris off. But for $35, you can barely get a Dustbuster (tm) for that price. :D
posted by kschang at 2:54 AM on February 10, 2021

Shark Rocket meets all of your criteria and has been working very well for us and reasonable price.
posted by radsqd at 8:25 AM on February 10, 2021

On the other side of the spectrum from Miele (though I've also had/loved those), I just got the Hoover recommended on Wirecutter as a second vacuum and so far I like it more than Dyson. It's under 10lbs and uses a swappable battery which makes it easier to separate the charging location and vacuum location. Best aspect over Dyson is that you can vacuum with or without the brush running - our dyson just kicks out debris when using it on hard floors.
posted by homesickness at 1:10 PM on February 10, 2021

I would just like to mention that having both an upstairs vacuum AND a downstairs vacuum is fabulous.
posted by SLC Mom at 12:50 PM on February 11, 2021 [1 favorite]

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