Should You Buy a Canister or Upright Vacuum Cleaner?


Deciding to purchase a vacuum cleaner is easier than taking a call on which one to choose for your home. There is a wide range available that may make your selection process even more difficult. What if someone breaks it up for you? Then, your job will become easier. Exactly, that’s what we are here for today. Allow us to break down the differences between Canister and Upright vacuum cleaner for you.

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Canisters and Uprights are one of the traditional vacuum cleaners since they were invented. They derive their name from their design. While an Upright vacuum stands tall and straight, Canister separates the dirt container and motor from the vacuum handle.

Canister vacuums


1. Noise

Vacuum cleaners are loud and noisy. Average Vacuum cleaners produce 70 decibel sound, which is as noisy as a toilet flush. But, Canister vacuums are less noisy and quietest of all the vacuum cleaners. They produce 60 to 65 decibels on average. If you are sensitive to loud noise, Canister is the best option for you.


2. Weight

Upright models are usually heavy. Although the difference between both is only a few pounds, Canister feels lighter than other models. Since the motor and dirt container parts are separated from the handle, canister vacuums are easy to move, push, and pull. This reduces the weight even more and makes your cleaning process easy.

Canisters are a perfect fit for huge houses with staircases and unreachable places. You can move the stick around the house while attaching the power hose to one socket at a corner.

3. Cords

Appearance is as important as any of the above factors. Canister Vacuums come with easily manageable and retractable cords, which give the vacuum a cleaner look when not in use. You can easily hide the cord inside the vacuum and avoid tripping over the hanging cords.


4. Suction ability

If you want to clean the bare floor, Canisters are a better choice. Canister vacuums have a better suctioning ability as compared to other cleaners. So, Canisters are a good choice for bare floors and dirty carpets.


1. Storage

Although the stick and body parts are separated, moving multiple parts around the house makes your job difficult. Even storing the multiple units becomes worrisome. For people with back pain, note that Canisters are low to the ground. While rolling Canisters from room to room, it may bang into or scuff around your furniture.


2. Bulky design

Although the canister part is easy to move and store, the hose and hand cannot be easily moved or stored. Also, they cannot be easily stored in closets, and the wand or head part has a habit of falling off, if not placed properly.

Upright Vacuum cleaners


1. Easy usage

Unlike Canisters, Upright vacuums are simple in design, and their one-piece model is easy to move around the house. You don’t have to bend to handle an upright vacuum. Carrying, pulling, or pushing uprights is easier than canisters.


2. Easy storage

You don’t have to worry about storage issues too. As their one-piece model occupies less space, they stand upright on their own without much external effort. Some upright vacuums come with wall mounts that lessen the hassle of storage issues.

3. Balance

Large heads of upright vacuums help them balance well and help in easily dusting the large areas without much effort. Large heads make the cleaning of larger and spacious rooms easier and faster.


4. Cleaning

Unlike canisters, Uprights are mostly bagless. They come with plastic receptacles instead, which makes the cleaning process of vacuums easier and hassle-free. Once you are done with dusting and collecting the dirt, it is easy to dispose of.


1. Noise

Unlike canisters, Upright vacuums produce a loud noise. It can be annoying and cause a headache if you have to vacuum a large house daily. While canister vacuums produce 60 to 65 decibels of noise, Upright models generate 70 and more decibels of noise. Hence, this is definitely a disadvantage if you are looking for upright models.


2. Weight

The weight of the vacuum cleaner is another factor that is most commonly considered while buying. Canisters are lighter in weight as compared to Upright vacuums. The average weight of an upright model is 20 lbs, and it can be more too. That’s a bit on the heavier side if you have to move and lift the vacuum around your house.

The weight becomes more noticeable, and the process becomes troubling for larger houses where vacuuming takes a longer time. But, there are other models too that come in lesser weight or even a cordless stick vacuum serves a better purpose if weight is a concern for you.

3. Maneuverability

Upright models are good for spacious areas, but when it comes to unreachable corners, they are not the best choice. Although attachments can be added, it’s a hassle to bend and reach corners every day. Even vacuuming the staircase is a headache with upright models.

As the head part is larger and wider, there is a fair share of chances for the head to be wider than the stairs making the vacuuming of stairs a bit tricky.

You may have to lift the heavier frame from one step to another, which is a cumbersome process each and every day. Unlike Canisters, upright models don’t come with retractable cords. This may increase the tripping hazards.



Canisters and Upright models are both a good choice. But do not forget to weigh in the pros and cons of both models before making a final call. Storage, ease of use, maneuverability, weight, and noise all are equally important.

Hence, make sure you choose a vacuum cleaner that doesn’t just meet the requirements of your house but serves your best interest as well. You can make a couple of compromises, but there are other models too that do an equally decent job.


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