A guide to vacuum cleaners for the home


Many people do not realise that, initially, upright and cylinder vacuum cleaners were intended for different functions. The upright cleaner was aimed at temperate climes where most people covered their floors with carpets. The cylinder vacuum cleaner was produced for warmer areas of the world, eg Spain, Florida. Therefore, many cylinder machines did not include vigorous rotating brushes. To cater for the varied floor coverings used in UK homes, all good quality cylinder vacuum cleaners now include rotating brushes. These appliances are now widespread and admired by many consumers as they offer various benefits compared with upright vacuum cleaners. Some of these are described below.

Lighter and less cumbersome than upright vacuum cleaners

Cylinder vacuum cleaners tend to be considerably lighter than their upright counterparts as their construction is less bulky. They can weigh as little as one stone thus enabling easy pick up and movement.

Small size and easy storage

Perfect for homes, apartments and caravans with restricted space, cylinder vacuum cleaners have a small chassis which enables them to be kept in tiny space, for example, in a cabinet in the kitchen.

Manoeuvrability in restricted area

It is very straightforward to clean under furniture, for example chairs and tables, with a cylinder vacuum cleaner as the dust bin and cleaning head are not attached above the chassis of the machine. Cleaning round beds and chairs is easy using the extendable hose and cleaning head, enabling the cleaner itself to be positioned away from the furniture.

Broad cleaning width

A cylinder vacuum cleaner provides the user with a longer reach and more flexibility when cleaning due to the design which separates the suction head from the chassis of the machine.

Perfect for hard flooring

The cylinder vacuum cleaner will excel on hard flooring – tiles, wood, laminate, vinyl or stone. These machines were initially manufactured for these types of floor covering but these days rotating brushes to use on carpets are often included.

Less noise

If you live in a house where shift workers or elderly people need peace and quiet at times, the cylinder vacuum cleaner is ideal. They are far less noisy than upright cleaners and the quietest ones have a noise level of about 75 dBa.

Cylinder vacuum cleaners with variable power

Most people have a variety of floor coverings and soft furnishings in their home. It will certainly facilitate cleaning if you use a cylinder vacuum cleaner with an adjustable variety of power options. This enables long, medium and short pile carpets and also delicate fabrics to be vacuumed without causing excessive wear and tear, simply by adjusting the suction to suit the type of material being cleaned.


Some cylinder vacuum cleaners are now manufactured with a wet/dry/blower function. These are obviously more commonly used in commercial and industrial buildings, but can be useful in the home environment. They will easily deal with spillages and can blow material away instead of sweeping, whilst it also functions as a traditional cylinder vacuum cleaner.

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