How to Choose a Vacuum: 10 Tips for Finding the Best Vacuum Cleaner

How to Choose a Vacuum: 10 Tips for Finding the Best Vacuum Cleaner

Hello, my name is Kassy. And I’m on my third vacuum this year.🤦‍♀️

With three girls in the house, we take a toll on vacuums… because vacuums don’t like hair.

Thankfully, the first two vacuums I killed this year were purchased a little while ago and had limped along as best they could.  So this little problem hasn’t completely killed my budget… yet.

The Ultimate Shark Apex Vacuum Review: Plus 10 Tips for Finding Your Next Vacuum

The first vacuum was a wedding present and it worked quite well for 8.5 years. The only trouble was that every time I vacuumed, I would have to roll it over and cut my hair out of its claws. 

If I forgot to do this a couple of times (or more than a couple, I have more important things to think about, right?) the brush would stop spinning due to the amount of hair wrapped around it.

The poor thing put up with being a part of our family as long as it could, but finally gave up the ghost last year around this time. 

Thankfully it died in an I’m-serious-I’m-not-vacuuming-this-house-anymore fashion because my budget-conscious husband was still trying to tell me that it was working fine…Even when he had to use both hands to move it across the floor.

But he couldn’t really argue when a wheel fell off…

Next, instead of springing for a new vacuum, Ross suggested that we try using the whole-house vacuum that came with the house. 

Like I said, frugal doesn’t even begin to describe him.

So off I went to use my “new” vacuum. I couldn’t believe how much easier it was to move across the floor (I probably should have switched long before.)

It was so much lighter to move around because all I needed was the hose.

I really thought this vacuum and me were meant to be and we were going to last forever. Until less than six months later, my new vacuum went to a farm where it could run and play with other vacuums all day long.

Now we had no choice but to look for a new vacuum.

But how are you supposed to decide which vacuum you should buy? 

If you haven’t been vacuum hunting in a while, you may not know that there are 2,537,148,012 choices out there… each claiming to be the best vacuum and have the most advanced features.

Each “Top 10 Vacuums List” had different recommendations (probably depending on who sponsored the post).

You can now narrow your search down by brand, model, features, colors, vacuum type (cordless, standard, lightweight, ball), et cetera, et cetera, et cetera.

I hit a low point in my self-esteem when Ross, trying to help me decide how to look for a new vacuum, said to me,  “Why don’t we look at the top-rated pet vacuums. I want this next vacuum to last for a while.”

We don’t have any pets.

The Search Began…

So I started looking into the best pet vacuums. 

But I was slightly frustrated that most of the reviews out there were done by professional vacuum reviewers. The majority of them had 10 different vacuums that had been shipped to them by different companies so they could review them.

Seriously, where were the women who are sick and tired of cutting their own hair out of their vacuum?

Finally, one review stuck out to me as I watched YouTube videos and searched Pinterest. The Shark Apex Vacuum had a “Zero hair-wrap technology” on their pet vacuum.


There was a convincing video review of a guy with two golden retrievers vacuuming up their hair after he brushed it.

I was intrigued, but skeptical.

Could this possibly work for a human? My hair is a lot longer than a dog’s. 

We decided to give it a try.

The first time I vacuumed with it, my upstairs hadn’t been vacuumed in about 6 weeks. (We make big purchases carefully and slowly. It may or may not have taken us two years to find the perfect Papasan chair for our living room…)

While I vacuumed my neglected upstairs floor, the container filled completely up with grime and hair. Gross. I wasn’t quite expecting that. 

I mean, I knew it had been a little while, but we aren’t that dirty. And remember we don’t have any pets. Maybe Ross was onto something about needing a pet vacuum.

Then I remembered that my first vacuum had been slowing down for a while, and the second vacuum was so light that it was probably skipping across the floor. This was probably more than just the past six weeks of dirt. Yikes!

Then came the real test. I held my breath and laid the vacuum down to check its undercarriage. I figured that there would be less hair than with previous vacuums, but there still had to be some, right?

Wrong! There wasn’t any hair wrapped around the roller.

THe Dust Cup After My First Vacuum
The Dust Cup After My First Vacuum
The Brush Roller AFter My First Vacuum
The Brush Roller After My First Vacuum

It has been four months and I haven’t had to cut hair out of the vacuum at all. I don’t know how it does it. It might be magic. But I’m not asking any questions.

Needless to say, I’m quite pleased that this vacuum has solved my biggest pain point of cleaning my floors! 

So how do you figure out which vacuum is for you? And how do you weed your way through all the Top 10 Vacuum Lists and decide which set of pros and cons to go with?

As someone who recently went through this challenge of going through all the available options on the market, I feel like I can shed some light on the subject. 

In this post, I’m going to go over the things that have actually mattered since buying a new vacuum and tell you the pros and cons of my Shark Vacuum. From a real mom, with lots of hair, who didn’t get a vacuum sent to her for free.

How to Choose a Vacuum Cleaner

1. Get a Brush That Won’t Wrap Hair

Seriously. It’s magical. If you have anyone in your family that sheds, pet or otherwise, you won’t regret this.  It has changed my vacuuming life.

Now I don’t have to worry about my vacuum slowing down when it gets bogged down with hair or about cutting it free every couple uses.

Plus, it is better for the vacuum. It isn’t good for the motor when the roller is getting wrapped up with hair creating resistance. Both problems get solved if you get a vacuum with zero-hair-wrap.

2. Go for Lightweight

I know that nine years is a long time, and maybe all the vacuums out there are this light now, but I was pleasantly surprised by how much easier this vacuum was to use and to tote up and down the stairs than my first vacuum was.

If you have a one-story house, this may not make a huge difference to you, but I haul my vacuum up a flight of stairs at least once a week. Often with a one-year-old on my hip. A lighter vacuum is amazing for this!

In one of the pros and cons videos, I was watching about my Shark, the guy was complaining about it getting a little heavy because the canister is attached to the area you use to move the vacuum.

Um, I’m in shape I guess, but I’m not THAT strong. Any mom who is used to hauling toddlers around can handle this baby easily. 

It may also seem like the vacuum is light to me because, unlike a child, a vacuum doesn’t try to wriggle out of your arms when you are carrying it.

3. Will It Fit Under and Around Furniture?

This was a selling point for me on the Shark because I wanted to be able to get under my couches and beds without having to redecorate every week. 

If you want to get even further under the beds, the Shark also has a powered lift-away feature so it can reach even further under the bed.

In our house, it easily fits beside the toilets when I am vacuuming the bathrooms and beside my dresser when I am vacuuming the bedroom. 

If you think this would be helpful for you, pay attention to the size of the vacuum head when you are looking at your options.

I honestly hadn’t thought about this before getting my Shark and realizing how much easier it was to get all around the furniture. Now I’m hooked!

10 Tips for Choosing Your Next Vacuum: Plus My Shark Apex Vacuum Review

4. Choose a Vacuum That Can Switch Between Carpet and Hardwood

Since purchasing my vacuum, I have officially stopped sweeping. Yes, I said it. No more sweeping in my house. 

Ok, maybe that’s a slight stretch…I do have a one-year-old after all. 

I will sweep up the occasional spill, and sometimes after supper. But nothing else!

I actually stopped sweeping as a general rule when I was using the whole house vacuum. It was easy to carry the hard floor attachment around and switch it when I needed to.

I found that the floors stay cleaner longer when the dirt goes directly to the garbage can, instead of trying to get all the dirt from the floor onto the dustpan and from the dustpan into the garbage.

Plus there would always be a couple of lingering crumbs that had found the perfect hiding place until I put the broom away. When I use a vacuum, the pieces that were stuck near the edges get sucked up too.

With my Shark Vacuum, I don’t have to worry about carrying around an attachment. 

The vacuum easily switches between hard floors and carpeted floors with a handy switch right on the handle, so I don’t even need to stop vacuuming.

5. Check Out the Buttons

My Shark has a lot of different ways that the vacuum can come apart. Way more than my last vacuum did.

But even with my last vacuum having fewer buttons, I would always end up pushing the wrong one when I needed to empty the canister. It was annoying. (First world problems, am I right!?)

With my Shark, every release button is clearly labeled and easy to read. 

Get a vacuum with clear labels to save yourself from the guessing game.

6. Check Out the Alternate Modes of Use

Until my most recent vacuum purchase, my vacuums have all been pretty basic. They do all the things that vacuums are supposed to do, but nothing more.

One perk of the Shark that I adore is the three different ways you can use them. 

In addition to the standard model that comes to most people’s mind’s when they are thinking of a vacuum, there are two additional ways to vacuum with this Shark.

The Above Floor Mode

Before my shark vacuum, I vacuumed my stairs with a frequency that would make a clean-freak cringe. 

It was a pain, it never looked like I vacuumed them even if I did, and frankly, I didn’t like doing it.

With the above floor mode of my shark though, my stairs are doing much better, hygienically speaking.

Powered Lift-Away Mode

The Powered Lift-Away mode makes it easy to reach way under beds and couches without having to move heavy furniture (yes, please!).

You can see the different modes of the Shark Vacuum here.

7. Does the Vacuum Have Lights?

I never thought a vacuum needed lights…

Until I had a vacuum with lights! The lights on the head unit of the vacuum make it easy to see if you got everything from that spill your toddler just had, or if you need to make another pass over it.

8. What is the Noise Level Like?

I didn’t particularly pay attention to this when I was watching reviews… although they did talk about it. But I was pleasantly surprised by the noise level of this vacuum.

My younger daughter had been terrified of my other vacuum and I would generally have to vacuum with her on my hip or in the Lillebaby while I vacuumed (#momlife). 

But the Shark is so much quieter than my previous vacuums that she isn’t scared at all.

Sure, it still sounds like a vacuum (you can’t exactly have a conversation when it’s going). 

But now she now runs around and thinks it’s a game to run away from the vacuum, instead of acting like it is going to eat her.

9. Power Cord Length

This is my main complaint against my Shark. 

I don’t have a huge house. About 850 square feet on each of my two floors. 

When I was watching the videos and people were talking about the cord being short, I shrugged it off because I don’t have a big house and I’ve never had a problem reaching a whole floor without having to find a different outlet.

With this vacuum, there is only one outlet on each floor that I can reach everything from… and even then, it’s a stretch.

If you have a large house you may want to take this into account. I would still personally choose this vacuum even if I had a larger house. But if you don’t have a shedding problem and don’t really need the zero hair-wrap feature as I do, you might want to consider something with a longer power cord.

How to Choose the Best Vacuum for People Who Shed: 10 Things to Consider When Choosing a Vacuum

10. Hose Length

Again, I appreciate that the makers of my Shark Vacuum were going for a sleek minimalist design, but the hose length is also something that could be improved upon.

For me, this isn’t a huge issue because I mainly use my vacuum for cleaning the floors. But whenever I need to kill a spider, I’m surprised and disappointed at how close I have to get to it.

I hope this post helps you find your perfect vacuum!

When picking the best vacuum for you, the most important thing to consider is how you use your vacuum. Then find one that has the features you need for the job.

Here’s a quick recap of the Pros and Cons of my Shark Vacuum in case you are considering one for your home:


  1. Zero Hair Wrap Technology. It works. End of story.
  2. Lightweight. It makes vacuuming less of a workout.
  3. Small Vacuum Head. It fits under and around my furniture.
  4. Easy Transition. Between Hardwood and Carpet Floors.
  5. Clearly Marked Release Buttons. 
  6. Three useful modes of use.
  7. Bright Lights on the vacuum head and handle.
  8. Noise Level. It is much quieter than my previous vacuums.


  1. Power Cord Length. You will most likely have to switch outlets to complete your vacuuming.
  2. Hose Length. You have to be very close to the vacuum if you want to use the hose attachment. It doesn’t stretch very much.

You May Also Enjoy…

Making your own simple weekly cleaning routine. which I show you how to do in the post 5 Steps to Creating a Weekly Cleaning Schedule. Or you can check out My Simple Weekly Cleaning Schedule: The Routine That Took Me From Overwhelmed to In Control if you want to see mine!

Also, I simplify the most time-consuming tasks for moms in How to Solve the Laundry Problem and The Busy Mom’s Guide for Cleaning Your Kitchen the Easy Way!

How to Choose the Best Vacuum for Kids and Hair

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