Canister vs. Upright Vacuum: Which Style is Good for You

Canister vs. Upright Vacuum cleaner

Hey! Are you about to buy a vacuum cleaner and you don’t know whether to get the recent multipurpose canister vacuum or the traditional upright vacuum? I will make a comprehensive canister vs. upright vacuum comparison for you under discussion.

As you read further, you will discover many facts about the canister vacuum and the upright vacuum ranging from the amazing features you never thought they possess, their respective specifications, differences, cleaning efficiency, merits, and demerits, specific usage, etc. You will surely find this review informative and helpful. Just read along!

canister vacuum cleaner

Canister vs. Upright Vacuum: Feature

According to the canister vs. upright vacuum specification table, you will see the winner is Canister vacuum. There are so many advantages to a canister vacuum than an upright vacuum!

Cleaning Efficiency

The canister vacuums come with a variety of motor power that yields powerful cleaning suction. Such motors include the Pet PowerMate and the Vortex Motor which have suction power as high as 1200 Watts and 9 – 12 amps. It can clean the wet and dry dirt. However, upright vacuum motors include the 207 to 306 AW and only clean the dry and hard surfaces. Based on the power and cleaning purpose, it means that the canister vacuum has much more power. What ’s more, the WATER + HEPA filter system of the canister is better than the HEPA filter system of upright vacuum can clean house efficiency!

using canister vacuum

Flexible Hose

Unlike the Upright vacuums, the canister vacuums have long hoses that help you to reach tight spaces such as underneath cabinets, shelves, stairs, beds, etc. Depending on the models, hoses could be as long as 6 to 10 ft or more! Interestingly, most of the hoses are built to turn 360° so that even while you’re at a location, you can maneuver your hose to clean literally anywhere! Plus, you don’t have to carry the motor unit around. Isn’t cleaning just so wonderfully easy with the canister vacuums?

Cleaning components and tools

Talk of excellent cleaning, you definitely cannot achieve that with just the traditional cleaning brush or mop. Canister vacuums make cleaning exquisite with many cleaning tools meant to serve diverse cleaning purposes and to make cleaning easier for you. These components include advanced technology like the use of remotes, WiFi connectivity, automatic retractable cords, auto shutdown, one-touch buttons, and many others. Cleaning tools also range from nozzles to brushes and to crevice tools for different floor surfaces. You really cannot have enough of canister vacuums. The components will wow you! But an upright vacuum cannot do that!

canister vacuum cleaner detail


 While upright vacuums unnecessarily use up a lot of storage space, the upright vacuum is compact and easy to store. They come in handy for quick clean up.


When the canister vacuum working, the voice is much quiet from 60 TO 65 dB. However, the noise of the upright vacuum is 75 dB and above which is very noisy!

Canister and Upright Vacuum Further Review

Canister vacuum

The canister vacuum is easy to identify. It has a wand connected to the hose and the hose in turn is attached to the motor which is often placed at the back and dragged along during cleaning. Mind you, the motor often comes with caster wheels so they are easy to move. A canister vacuum may be corded or cordless. Whichever one you get, rest assured that you have a wide cleaning coverage because even the corded ones come with cords as long as 21ft or more. What more could we ask of the canister vacuum’s design? It is perfectly built to clean.

  • Canister vacuums are excellent for multipurpose vacuuming. Useful for both dry and wet cleaning and on various surfaces.
  • Generally lightweight, weighing from 9 to 22 pounds.
  • Highly efficient, giving you 75 to 100% cleaning efficiency depending on model
  • Very quick and easier to use than upright vacs
  • Its HEPA filter makes it safe for allergic people and those with breathing difficulty
  • They are strong and can last as long as 7 years or more depending on usage.
  • Relatively more expensive than upright vacuums
  • Most faulty parts of canister vacuums are difficult to replace

Specific Usage

Both the canister vacuums and the upright vacuums are excellent cleaning instruments. But if you’re wondering what situations will warrant the use of the canister vacuum over the Upright vacuum, we’ll tell you.

  • Canister vacuums are best for pet hairs
  • They are your most suitable options for prolonged cleaning
  • Individuals with breathing difficulties and those with allergies should stick strictly to the canister vacuums

Upright Vacuum

Fine, we admit that Upright vacuums are less sophisticated but you know what? It also means they are less complex. Very easy to use. As a matter of fact, it’s as simple as plug and use! No need for unnecessary assemblage of components. Everything is compact and ready. Plus, they are awesome instruments for covering a large space at a time. The vacuum heads are built so wide that they clean much in no time. Most upright vacuums are bagless and this saves you the stress of having to remove, rewash and replace the bag when necessary. There are often no hoses and the motor is directly attached to the vacuum head to make carriage easier. No need for squatting and stretching that often comes with the canister vacuums with hoses.

Upright Vacuum Cleaner

  • Upright VAC’s are way more compact than canister vacuums
  • They are stronger and more reliable for cleaning
  • They are cost effective, requiring less maintenance cost
  • They are easy to store since they don’t come with excessive loose components
  • They are easier to maneuver around the apartment
  • Highly efficient for vacuuming hard surfaces
  • They are relatively heavier than canister VAC’s
  • Too noisy, producing sound as high as7.5dB or more
  • Not in anyway suitable for corners

Specific Usage

Here are situations when you should choose the Upright vacs over the canister vacs

  • If you don’t have enough storage space in your apartment, use the upright vacuums because they are easier to store.
  • Upright vacuums are most suitable for rugs and hardwood
  • Aged people and individuals with back sprains should opt for the upright vacuum since it requires less bending

Our Recommendations for Canister Vacuum

Dyson Ball MultiFloor Canister Vacuum

Some of the amazing features that endear Dyson products to us are that they built to serve multipurpose cleaning of different surfaces and they come with a powerful motor. This very Dyson Canister product does not fail in this regard. With a suction of 2800AW, this vacuum stands as one of the best Canister vacuum cleaners out there. It is bagless but it instead comes with a portable easy-to-empty 0.53 capacity trash bin. It also comes with impressive features that make cleaning easy for you, such as the cyclone technology and a  HEPA filter system. This might just be the most suitable canister vacuum on the market for you. Give it a try!

Dyson Ball MultiFloor Canister Vacuum

  • HEPA filter system releases back clean air into your home
  • Suitable for every type of floor
  • No need to change or replace bags since it is bagless
  • Comes with an appealing 5-year warranty
  • Its cyclone technology makes it suction quite fast
  • Dirt tank is easy to empty; with just one button
  • Its turbo brush is controlled at the handle so you don’t have to bend down from time to time
  • A little expensive
  • At 20 pounds, it cannot be used for extensive cleaning.
  • Not perfect for homes with pet hair

Dyson Cinetic Animal Canister Vacuum

What the Dyson brand fails to do in the Dyson Ball MultiFloor Vacuum, it certainly makes up for it here. If you’re a lover of pets and Dyson, the Cinetic Animal Canister Vacuum is your best choice. We are pretty much impressed by its ability to suction up pet airs and small fibers around the house. Although it lacks a filter system, it is specially built to keep out dust by oscillating, and this ensures that there’s never a loss of suction while cleaning. It vacuums all the way!

Dyson Cinetic Animal Canister Vacuum

  • Apart from pet hairs, it also works wonders on hard floor
  • Weighs only 12.1 pounds and easy to carry around your apartment
  • A whooping warranty period of 5 years
  • Saves the efforts of washing dirty filters
  • It is designed to move easily while cleaning
  • Quite expensive too
  • Absence of filter makes it unsafe to use for those with allergies and breathing difficulties
  • Assembling it before use could be a little technical and time-demanding.

Miele C3 Marin Canister Vacuum

Those who have used this vac before would have been expecting to see it on our list, and sure they’re right! The Miele C3 is anoher amazing Canister Vacuum as far as cleaning efficiency is concerned. It comes with a number of electronic and nonelectric components that combine to give your home an exquisite look. These components include a stainless steel wand, a foot pedal control system to give you convenience, an electro brush, a swivel neck that rotates at 180° and several others.

Miele C3 Marin Canister Vacuum

  • Its 33-ft electric cord gives you as much coverage as you want
  • With a 1200W Vortex Motor, this vac gives you ample suction power
  • Has an AirClean Sealed System Construction that assures you of clean air and keeps you safe from allergens
  • Has a tendency to last as  long as 20 years if well managed
  • Flexible enough to go into corners and tight spaces
  • Can work on a variety of surfaces ranging from upholstery to tile
  • Maintenance cost is highly demanding since you have to replace the  bags and filters
  • Its power head breaks down easily

Our Recommendations for Upright Vacuum

Dyson Ball Animal 2

If you don’t want to go through the hassles of assembling a Canister vacuum and dragging it about or If you’ve got pets at home or in your cars, here is your best shot. Dyson have managed to incorporate a HEPA filter into this upright Vacuum and we’re glad they did. It emits clean air and suctions powerfully at 306 AW. It also comes with key features like the telescopic wand, a stair tool, turbine tool, a 35-ft long cord, and also works pretty well on multiple surfaces. Users worldwide are happy with Dyson products; you can be one of them too!

Dyson Ball Animal 2

  • Great for pet owners
  • Easy to use and maneuver when cleaning
  • Leaves your home with a fresh purified air
  • Suitable for multiple surfaces and tough floors
  • Comes with extra components that makes it flexible to use
  • At 17.5 pounds, it could be a little difficult to carry
  • Its suction power could be too strong for soft carpets and upholsteries
  • Its brush head often gets clogged

Bissel CleanView Bagless Vacuum

For an upright Vacuum, nothing beats this Bissel upright bagless vacuum. It is cheap, lightweight, efficient and powerful. Here is one vacuum built with a multi-cyclonic system to provide extra power and suction to enable it to work more effectively and for a longer period. Other features include a washable filter, a turbo brush, an extension wand, and a 1.0L capacity dirt tank.

Bissel CleanView Bagless Vacuum

  • Works at an amazing speed
  • Highly efficient! We rate it 98%
  • One of the cheapest vacuums on the market
  • Comes with a 2-year warranty
  • Useful for brushing multiple surfaces including curtains, window panes, beddings, etc
  • Its 25-ft power cord gives you a wide cleaning reach
  • Not excessively heavy at 15 pounds
  • After using for some time, the noise gets louder
  • Requires assemblage and that could be stressful
  • Not suitable for daily or very frequent vacuuming

If you ask for our professional opinion on which specific instruments are best for you, here it is: if you’re a lover of a canister vacuum, you might consider the Dyson Ball MultiFloor Canister Vacuum. That vac is an embodiment of form and function. You will definitely enjoy it. On the other hand, if you’re a fan of upright vacuums, we would recommend the Bissel CleanView Bagless Vacuum. There is no upright vac like it in terms of cost-effectiveness, efficiency, and durability!

Canister vs. Upright Vacuum cleaner-1

Canister Vs. Upright Vacuums? Factors to Consider Before Choosing

We promised to help you decide. Now is the time. if you must choose one, please consider the following:

  • Budget

Basically, Canister Vacuums are much more expensive than upright vacuums. If you have to manage the limited funds available, kindly go for the upright vacs.

  • Cleaning purpose

If you do a lot of dual cleaning or you want a vac that will operate well both for pet hairs and liquid messes, the canister vacuum is your best option! On the other hand, if your apartment consists mainly hard wood and tiles, you might want to consider the upright vac.

  • Allergic or not

Here is another important factor you should consider. If you’ve got any breathing difficulty or you have anyone who is allergic to dust around, the Canister vacuums are highly recommended to you.

  • Storage Space

You might want to stick to the Canister vacuums if your apartment has a wide storage space where you can store all the accessories and components but for college students who live in dorms and hostels, individuals with small apartments, you should consider the upright vacuums because they are easy to store.

Canister vs. Upright Vacuum Verdict

Both vacuum types are competitively close and are pretty awesome for cleaning. We recommend that you opt for an upright vacuum if your apartment has mostly thick carpets and rugs. This is because the brushes of the upright vacuum are designed to vacuum especially hard surfaces. On the other hand, if your house contains various surfaces including bare floors, hardwood, upholstery, tiles, etc the canister vacuum is a better option.

However, We maintain that the canister vacuums are better than the upright vacuum for the following reasons:

  • Canister vacuums are more efficient
  • They are more mobile and easy to operate
  • They produce less noise
  • They perform multiple cleaning functions
  • They have the relatively higher suction power

Notwithstanding, the ultimate decision is yours to make. Whether you’re a fan of the canister or upright vacuums, in the next section, you will find our further review of their wonderful features and recommendations, you will find your pick.

On the overall, we must add that both the Canister vacuum and the Upright Vacuum are excellent cleaning instruments. They do the job just fine with very little differences in their operations. If you can afford both, that would be wonderful. But if you have to choose one, please consider the factors above and choose right. As a matter of fact, there is no absolute verdict even though we believe that Canister Vacuums are better. It is all a matter of perspective and purpose. Ensure you consider the odds, weigh the merits over the demeris and choose whichever fits your taste.

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