Upright vs Canister Vacuum Cleaners


Updated on January 11, 2023

Keeping the house or your office clean is something that you need to ensure at all times. If you plan on maintaining your home, it is a good idea to invest in proper equipment. Could you imagine working in a place that is dirty simply because you don’t have the right tools to get rid of dust and small bits of rubbish? Can you imagine going home with so much dust and dirt accumulating on your floors? If you can’t imagine yourself in these scenarios, then it’s a good idea to invest in the right type of vacuum cleaner.

Upright vs CanisterBut of course, not all vacuum cleaners are the same. Two popular options in the market are upright and canister vacuum cleaners. So, what are the basic considerations when choosing the best vacuum for your needs? You want to check the area which you are going to clean. Next, you also want to check the price range of both canister and upright vacuum cleaners. And, of course, you want to check the pros and the cons of each.

Top Four Things To Consider

To determine which of the different types of vacuum is best for you, here are some things that you should consider.

Floor Type And Difficult Corners

The upright vacuum cleaner is best known for homes that have a large carpeted floor area. What makes them ideal for this scenario is the fact that you can easily clean the floor and avoid missing spots.

You might be wondering what makes upright vacuum cleaners the preferred option when dealing with large floor areas, especially carpeted ones? You can take a look at the design of this particular model pictured, which has a no-nonsense design that consists of a motor and suction head. All you need to do is push to cover areas of the floor.

A Dyson upright vacuumOn the other hand, if you have other types of flooring, it is best to buy the canister vacuum cleaner. This type offers versatility, especially when you have a large amount of furniture occupying floor space. With its long hose, you can easily clean corners and difficult areas that would otherwise require the lifting of furniture and other appliances when using an upright vacuum cleaner.

Aside from cleaning floors, the canister vacuum cleaner also works well on curtains, blinds, sofas, mattresses, and almost any other hard-to-reach area. This is something that your average upright vacuum cleaner cannot do quite so easily, if at all. All of these things are possible with the canister type due to the extended flexible hose; however, one disadvantage of the hose over an upright version is that it can be potentially hazardous in terms of tripping over.


A lot of minimalist homes make use of upright vacuum cleaners because of their easy-to-store feature. Many in the market are now lightweight and are easy to fit neatly even in small closets. This makes it perfect especially for modern homes, including small flats and apartments with limited storage areas; you can fit this cleaning equipment in an organized manner. On the other hand, the canister vacuum cleaner can be quite bulky, and the long hose can sometimes be a nuisance in terms of packing away. As a rule of thumb, it’s best to invest in a canister vacuum cleaner if you have a large space at home. Not only will this come in handy in cleaning the ceiling and other hard-to-reach areas, but you also have enough room to store it.


A canister vacuum with multiple attachmentsAnother important consideration when it comes to choosing is the versatility of the device. So which option is more versatile than the other? It really depends on what you are looking for. For instance, is your cleaning flow important when vacuuming the floors and other parts of the house? Though canisters can provide you an all-around option in cleaning different areas of the house, you may have to change the head attachment which can disrupt your cleaning rhythm. Though you manually change the head, this type comes in handy when cleaning the stairs. Can you imagine carrying an upright vacuum all the way to the top? Also, upright vacuum cleaners rarely have options when it comes to interchangeable heads. This means that it potentially can’t be used in cleaning upholstery and hard to reach corners.

The modern-day canisters have also been built with HEPA systems. This means that you can minimize the presence of allergens in your home. Combined with powerful suction designs, this option is best for someone who is sensitive to dust.


Though we want the best out there, people work with the resources they have. For most people today, getting the best bang for their buck is always the most important thing. If you have a small budget, you’d probably find a decent upright vacuum cleaner, while the same budget can only buy you a mediocre version of the canister vacuum cleaner.

The prices of devices differ depending on the brand that you decide to use. Keep in mind that you should be reading the reviews, and scrutinizing the specifications in order to get the best deal out there. One common mistake is to settle for the cheapest or the most expensive without considering the other important factors that can affect your overall cleaning experience.


You have to ask yourself many questions before you even consider taking the plunge and buying. For instance, if you are the type of individual who is sensitive to allergens, then perhaps consider settling for the more expensive canister type. With their powerful HEPA filter designs, you can have peace of mind by minimizing the presence of small dust mites that can trigger irritations.

You also want to consider your overall workflow. If you are not bothered by changing heads manually when cleaning your home, then a canister will again make a good option. However, if you are dealing with small spaces, or large spaces of carpet, and limited space in your closet, then perhaps stick to the upright vacuum cleaner.

You may argue that canister vacuum cleaners are more powerful than your typical upright vacuum cleaners. But of course, not every home needs powerful cleaning equipment. There are instances when smaller and less powerful machines can get the job done just as good.