23 Different Types of Vacuum Cleaners

If you are looking for a new vacuum cleaner, but aren’t sure what kind of vacuum cleaner you should purchase, then this is the guide for you. By reading through this guide, you are going to learn all about a wide assortment of different vacuum cleaners and what they offer. That way, you can then determine which type of vacuum cleaner is right for your vacuuming needs.

23 Different Types of Vacuum Cleaners

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Upright Vacuum

If you look at all of the different vacuum cleaners that are available, you will find that upright vacuums are the most common. The reason for this is the fact that upright vacuums are extremely affordable and very powerful.

A standard upright vacuum is a large and relatively tall machine. On the bottom of an upright vacuum there is a large brush, in the middle there is a dust tank, and on top there’s a handle. Due to these different mechanisms, and their placement, an upright vacuum can be moved across any floor, and it can remove the dirt, dust, and debris on those floors.

Robot Vacuum

A robot vacuum is a small, circle-shaped machine. Inside of the small circle-shape that comprises a robot vacuum, there are various systems that all coalesce to create a powerful vacuum. These systems can be accessed using a remote control, smartphone, or some other smart device. Because of these systems, a robot vacuum is completely automated, allowing you to simply sit back and relax, as the robot vacuum cleans your floors.

Since robot vacuums are far smaller than most vacuum cleaners, they lack the suction power and brushing capabilities of those vacuums. While they are still quite powerful, they aren’t ideal for especially thick or dirty floors.

Canister Vacuum

Just as the title implies, a canister vacuum is a vacuum that is shaped like a canister. Within this canister, there are various mechanisms that allow the vacuum to generate large amounts of suction, and to store what is being vacuumed up. Right underneath the canister, there are wheels, which allow you to move the canister vacuum around.

Even though canister vacuums are smaller than upright vacuums, they are still very powerful. They can easily vacuum on hard and soft floors, removing whatever happens to be on those surfaces. Most of them, however, don’t have any brushes – you vacuum with a large vacuum hose – making it harder to vacuum certain surfaces.

Handheld Vacuum

A handheld vacuum is a very small vacuum that, as you may have guessed, can be held in your hand. Since these vacuum cleaners can be held in your hand, they are perfect for vacuuming in small and tight spaces that other vacuum cleaners cannot reach. You can also use them to reach beds, tables, countertops, and other surfaces that regular vacuums can’t quite access.

Since handheld vacuums are, of course, quite small, they aren’t designed for regular vacuuming. To go along with that, they aren’t able to vacuum up large swathes of material at any one time. But, they are perfect for removing small messes and vacuuming in hard-to-reach spaces.

Pet Vacuum

A pet vacuum is a type of vacuum that has been designed to remove pet hair and, in some cases, other pet messes. Even though a pet vacuum may sound very specific, there isn’t actually one type of vacuum – a canister vacuum or an upright vacuum, for example – that is considered a pet vacuum.

Since just about any vacuum can be considered a “pet vacuum”, there are only a few prerequisites to be considered as such. The first is that pet vacuums must have strong brushes that can remove pet hair from just about any surface. The second prerequisite is that they must offer strong suction power, so that the pet hair, and other debris, can be removed.

Deep Cleaner (Carpet Cleaner)

A deep cleaner is, essentially, a carpet cleaner. But, even though a carpet cleaner may not appear to be a vacuum, it most certainly is. Within just about every carpet cleaner, there is a vacuuming system that allows the cleaner to remove the dirt, gunk, and grime that has been loosened up. But, along with that, this system removes the water that was used during the cleaning process.

Beyond the vacuuming system, a deep cleaner also contains a thick brush system and a water system. Both of these systems make it easy for thick carpets to be thoroughly cleaned, allowing the gunk and grime to be eliminated.

Central Vacuum

Every single vacuum that we’ve discussed so far has been mobile. But, a central vacuum is immobile, and it serves as a fixture of a home or building, rather than as a mobile device.

To use a central vacuum, it must first be set up in a permanent place. Then, a series of pipes and connections must be constructed within the building the central vacuum is being used in. Right after that, anyone can take a vacuuming hose and plug it into one of the pipe outlets, and they will have access to an extraordinary amount of suction power.

A central vacuum is extremely useful for large buildings, because it negates the need for multiple vacuum cleaners. Rather, all you must do is plug a vacuum hose into the central vacuum, and you can begin vacuuming.

Canister Wet/Dry Vacuum

A canister wet/dry vacuum is a standard canister vacuum that has one difference. This difference is the fact that, with a canister wet/dry vacuum, you are able to vacuum up dry material and wet material. If you spill some water, for example, you can use a canister wet/dry vacuum to clean it up. But, you can also vacuum up things like dirt and dust, as you would with a regular vacuum cleaner.

A canister wet/dry vacuum is extremely useful, because they make it so much easier to deal with wet messes. If a flood takes place, and you need to remove lots of water, then a canister wet/dry vacuum is very useful.

Handheld Wet/Dry Vacuum

Just as the name implies, a handheld wet/dry vacuum is a handheld vacuum that can vacuum up wet and dry material. Since a handheld vacuum is, of course, handheld, these vacuums are very small and can be held in just one hand. Because of this, they aren’t ideal for cleaning up large wet messes, but they are great for cleaning up small wet messes.

Most of the people who own handheld wet/dry vacuums find them very useful for cleaning up water that has spilled, a glass of spilled milk, or even a slightly damp spot on a car seat. These are simple tasks that handheld vacuums excel at!

Upright Wet/Dry Vacuum

As with the previous wet/dry vacuums, an upright wet/dry vacuum is a standard upright vacuum that can remove wet and dry messes. By using an upright wet/dry vacuum, you have access to a very powerful upright vacuum that performs all of the functions that a regular upright vacuum offers, while also being able to clean wet messes.

The main difference between an upright wet/dry vacuum and a canister wet/dry vacuum – beyond the design – is the fact that upright vacuums tend to be better for wet surfaces. If you have a wet carpet or wet floors – assuming they aren’t too wet – then upright wet/dry vacuums are great.

Backpack Vacuum

A backpack vacuum is a vacuum that you wear on your back, as you would a backpack. Most of the backpack vacuums that are available are just canister vacuums that have been modified in a couple of key ways.

Since backpack vacuums are designed to be worn on your back, they are outfitted with all kinds of comfort-features. Features such as a nice harness that feels good to wear, less weight within the vacuum cleaner, and hoses that you can hold on either hand to vacuum whatever is in your path. These make backpack vacuums very easy-to-use, without negating the vacuuming power that they offer.

Commercial Vacuum

A commercial vacuum is a vacuum that is designed to clean a commercial-sized building – a large office building, for example. Because of this, commercial vacuums tend to be a little larger than most other vacuums, while also offering greater suction and brushing power.

If you go online, you can find commercial vacuums of all sorts. There are upright commercial vacuums, canister commercial vacuums, wet/dry commercial vacuums; along with many others. But, the main thing that sets those vacuums apart from their other variants is the fact that commercial versions of those vacuums tend to offer greater suction power. That way, it is easier to clean a large commercial-sized building.

Carpet Sweeper

A carpet sweeper is a simple, mechanical device that was very popular before vacuum cleaners became widespread. Since vacuum cleaners serve the same function as a carpet sweeper, and often in a more efficient manner, carpet sweepers are nowhere near as popular as they used to be.

To use a carpet sweeper, all you must do is push the carpet sweeper across a carpet. As you do so, the rollers and brushes within the carpet sweeper gather the dirt and dust that is on the carpet. Then, all of this material is thrown into a dirt box, where it can then be disposed of.

Upholstery Vacuum

If you go online and search “upholstery vacuum”, you will find quite a few different results. There are upholstery handheld vacuums, upholstery upright vacuums; along with many others. An upholstery vacuum, because of this, is simply a vacuum cleaner that can be used to vacuum upholstery surfaces.

Most of the upholstery vacuums that you can purchase come with a special upholstery tool. By using this upholstery tool, you are able to vacuum on upholstery surfaces – couches and chairs, to name two examples – and this allows you to remove the dirt, dust, and debris that is on those surfaces. But, without the tool, many vacuums wouldn’t be able to properly vacuum those upholstery surfaces.

Sweeping & Mopping Robot Vacuum

A sweeping and mopping robot vacuum is a standard robot vacuum that offers sweeping and mopping functionality. By offering this functionality, the robot vacuum is able to vacuum your floors, but it can also sweep those floors and mop them as it vacuums them.

More often than not, the sweeping feature is simply a continuation of the vacuuming function. By having the sweeping feature, sweeping dirt and dust into the vacuum cleaner is a lot easier. But, the mopping function transforms the entire experience, because it allows stains and messes the vacuum cleaner can’t remove to be removed. Despite this, though, most robot mopping systems are designed to supplement traditional mopping, rather than replace it.

Stationary Vacuum

A stationary vacuum is a unique vacuum cleaner that is excellent for small spaces that have especially dirty floors. The reason for this is the fact that a stationary vacuum must be set up in a particular space, on the floor. By being set up on the floor, you are then able to sweep all kinds of dirt, dust, and debris into the vacuum. That way, you no longer need to use a dustpan for removing that material.

Even though stationary vacuums are very simple and quite basic, they do offer plenty of convenience. If you are trying to clean an especially dirty floor, having one negates the need for you to constantly sweep that material into a dustpan.

Leaf Vacuum

A leaf vacuum is, as the name implies, a vacuum that is designed for removing leaves. But, unlike most vacuum cleaners, a leaf vacuum is capable of taking what’s been vacuumed and pushing it outwards. By having this feature, you can more easily dispose of leaves.

To use a leaf vacuum, all you must do is move the vacuum where there are leaves. By doing this, the leaves will be sucked into the vacuum. Then, you can move the vacuum towards where you want the leaves to go – perhaps, a bag, or a pile – and the vacuum can propel them to that spot.

Ash Vacuum

Just as a leaf vacuum is a vacuum designed to remove leaves, an ash vacuum is a vacuum designed for removing ashes. But, the most notable benefit of an ash vacuum, besides negating the need for you to pick up those ashes, is the fact that ash vacuums filter out and contain ashes. Because of this, the ashes that you vacuum up are unable to escape from the vacuum, ensuring that the pollution is contained.

Most ash vacuums are quite small, and they are almost always made out of metal. Within an ash vacuum, there is a strong filter that breaks down the ash and contains it. That way, you can dispose of it safely when you have finished vacuuming.

Pool Vacuum

A pool vacuum is a vacuum cleaner that you can use to clean your pool. These days, due to the rise of automatic pool cleaners and other devices, there are quite a few different pool vacuums that you can purchase.

While a pool vacuum is moving across the depths of your pool, it relies on powerful bursts of suction that are designed to gather up the dirt, gunk, and grime that’s in its path. Then, depending on the pool vacuum, these are either thrown into a large filter or into your pool’s suction or pressure system. Regardless of where they go, though, they are disposed of, and your pool is much cleaner.

Drywall Sander Vacuum

A drywall sander vacuum is a vacuum that is designed to remove excessive dust from a drywall sanding operation. Most drywall sander vacuums can be attached to a drywall sander and then activated during the drywall sanding operation. As a drywall sander is running, then, the dust coming from the drywall is gathered up, ensuring that you don’t breathe that dust in.

While you can purchase a drywall sander vacuum separately, most drywall sander vacuums are sold with drywall sanders. That way, there is no need to go out and buy a separate device to perform what is, essentially, the same task.

Shoulder Vacuum

Just as a backpack vacuum is a vacuum that you wear on your back, a shoulder vacuum is a vacuum that you wear on your shoulder. Most shoulder vacuums are smaller than backpack vacuums, but they rely on a hose for the vacuuming process.

Since shoulder vacuums are small and mobile, they are great for vacuuming in tight and narrow spaces. Plus, shoulder vacuums don’t consist of any large or cumbersome brushes, just a thin hose. This makes it a lot easier to vacuum in those spaces, while also being able to vacuum in spaces that very few other vacuum hoses can reach – behind a piece of furniture, for example.

Computer Vacuum

A computer vacuum is a very small vacuum cleaner that’s designed to clean the internal components within a computer. To do this, a computer vacuum blows air throughout those components, which allows the dirt and dust to loosen up. Then, by doing this, all of that loose material can then be vacuumed up and thrown into the vacuum. Right after the vacuuming process, the material can be disposed of.

Most computer vacuums, it must be said, don’t offer much when it comes to the “vacuum” portion of the device. Rather, they are ideal for blowing dust and dirt out, but they don’t always have an easy time vacuuming that dirt and dust up.

Desktop Vacuum

A desktop vacuum is a small vacuum cleaner that is designed for cleaning desktops. To do this, a desktop vacuum relies on a small motor and a filter. The small motor generates the necessary suction power, and the filters are used to filter out the materials flowing into the desktop vacuum.

While a desktop vacuum is designed for desktops, they can be used to clean many other surfaces. Surfaces such as countertops, chairs, car seats; among many others. They are great for removing dirt, dust, and crumbs from all kinds of surfaces, ensuring that your surface is nice and clean.


In the end, there are a wide variety of different vacuum cleaners that you can purchase. Each one of these vacuum cleaners is very useful, but the right vacuum cleaner for you is the vacuum cleaner that fulfills your vacuuming needs in the best and most efficient manner possible!

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