Upright Vs. Canister Vacuum: Basics and Similarities | Vacuums 360 - Sew & Vac

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Upright Vs. Canister Vacuum: Basics and Similarities

Upright Vs. Canister Vacuum: Basics and Similarities

For those who are in the market for a new vacuum cleaner, one of the first choices – even before the brand you’re choosing in many cases – is the type of vacuum to purchase. And two of the most popular types here for standard home cleaning needs, two that homeowners are often choosing between, are the canister and upright vacuums.

At Vacuums 360, we’re proud to offer a huge range of vacuum cleaners and vacuum cleaner repairs, spanning not only a huge variety of brands, from Dyson vacuum cleaners to Oreck, Shark and many others, but also a variety of vacuum types. These include both the canister and upright vacuum models, plus significant expertise from our team about the best uses of these models and which will be ideal for your home or building setup. This two-part blog series will go over everything you need to know when making this choice.

Upright Vacuum

At least in the USA, the upright vacuum is by far the most popular type of home vacuum cleaner on the market. It’s the type most homeowners are familiar with: A dirt container and a motor that are both attached to the power-cleaning head, creating a single unit that moves together while standing about hip-high for the user.

Many upright vacuum models, especially newer ones, will come with self-propelling features that make them easy to move across surfaces. This helps account for the fact that upright vacuums are generally heavier than their canister counterparts – this is because all their components are in the same unit. Upright vacuums are very easy to store and maintain, and are ideal for cleaning carpets, open spaces and large rooms. These vacuums also come complete with various accessories, like handheld attachments and hoses.

Canister Vacuum

A canister vacuum, the type that’s more popular in Europe and in certain situations in North America, is one that has components in separate units. The canister body unit is attached to a powerhead using plastic tubes and a hose, while the body unit – which contains the bag container – is wheeled around behind.

Canister vacuums come with powerful suction capabilities, plus can be extended to any length using attachment tubes. This means they can sometimes reach places upright vacuums cannot, making them often ideal for areas like upholstery or below furniture. Canister vacuums are lighter than their upright counterparts in most cases, but are also tougher to store due to their bulkiness.


As you’ve likely gleaned from reading to this point, these models aren’t truly all that different. Both are available in both bagged or bagless options, as well, plus cord or cordless options. All come with a HEPA filter and air purifier, plus accessories for a full clean. The primary differences are basic movement and storage, areas where both models hold some basic advantages and disadvantages.

For more on choosing between an upright and canister vacuum, or to learn about any of our vacuum cleaner sales or repair services, speak to the staff at Vacuums 360 today.

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