The Difference Between An Upright Vacuum Cleaner And A Canister Vacuum Cleaner

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If you are heading to the market to look for a vacuum cleaner, chances are that you’ll find two different types of vacuum cleaners namely: upright vacuum cleaner and a canister vacuum cleaner.

So, what exactly is the difference between the two? Buyers have always wanted to know.

The best answer is this:
An upright vacuum cleaner will have both the suction head and motor on a single unit that pushes in front of the user.

On the other hand, a canister comprises of a wheeled body that pulls behind the user. From the political aspect of it, there’s no right or wrong answer that pertains to the canister-upright question. Instead, it’s a matter or personal preference and needs.

So in this article, we’ll look at the advantages and disadvantages to let you decide on your own.

1 Upright vacuum cleaner advantages
Upright proponents will love the convenience of sliding the machine out of the closet, pushing it over the flow surface before returning it to where it belongs. Again, self-propelled ones make work easier regardless of the direction you push them in.

(a) If you shop carefully, you can always find an upright that incorporates the maneuverability and reach that its canister counterpart has.

This model will have a long hose as well as attachment for cleaning upholstery. It will clean corners and even spaces under furniture without the traditional upright kickback that’s associated with dust/debris on your feet.

(b) A variety of models come with telescoping hoses to reach 15 meters or more. This is just enough to take care of staircases.

(c) Majority of upright vacuum cleaner in the market come with a foot switch to let users easily transition between static suction for bare floor and beater head for carpets.

Just in case you find bending over to empty a canister tiresome, both the bagged and bag-less versions of the upright vacuum cleaner will be an a ideal choice.

The upright bag also tends to hold more debris hence saving time and money on frequent replacements.

(a) They perform poorly on tight spaces. You have to invest in models that come with detachable hoses as well as other specialty equipment to reach tight spaces.

(b) The upright vacuum is sheer in bulk, making it difficult to carry up and down. Not an ideal choice for the frail.

2 Canister vacuum cleaner advantages

(a) It’s been designed for users who love maneuverability, say cleaning under coffee table as well as other low-profile furniture items. Obviously this is not possible with a typical upright vacuum cleaner.

(b) They are compact and light in weight, so carrying them up and down is easy. This kind of vacuum cleaner also moves around quite effortlessly while reaching tight spaces because it’s only the head that moves.

(c) They are very easy to store as they don’t consume much space. In fact, they don’t take more than a cubic feet of space, so they can fit really well in your closet.

There is no wrapping cords around in order for it to fit inside the closet. This is ideal for older people who may not have much energy to put back everything together once tasks are completed.


(a) Of course critics must speak. They tend to argue that it’s a lot more work to haul the unit than to push a standard upright vacuum cleaner.

(b) They are generally costly to keep and run because they require separate heads for bare floors and carpets.

You have to change the heads manually depending on the nature of the surface you want to work on. So consumers argue that they pay more for a canister vacuum cleaner as opposed to an upright vacuum cleaner of the same quality.

So, which one of the two are you going for?
It depends on your preference and needs. Each individual’s needs are different, hence one may go for a canister while the other one an upright vacuum cleaner.

Do you want the machine in front of you or behind? Are you going to carry it up and downstairs all the time? Your decision depends on your physical abilities as well as your cleaning needs.

Many stores will let you test and compare side-by-side to determine what’s best for you. Just try all models to choose the best one.

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