Which is the best compact vacuum cleaner

Vacuum cleaners: branded appliances comparison 2021

A vacuum cleaner is part of the basic equipment of every household. Consumers have the choice between devices with dust bags and bagless vacuum cleaners, which instead remove the dust in one integrated dust box collect. There is also the choice between a traditional (corded) vacuum cleaner or a cordless battery vacuum cleaner.

In addition to the decision for or against dust bags, other criteria must be taken into account when choosing a suitable device. These include the Energy efficiency (Power consumption) and volume of the respective vacuum cleaner, its ability Hard floors and Carpets efficient to clean Weight and Radius of action as well as that supplied accessories.

Cordless hand vacuum cleaner test / comparison

Cordless upright vacuum test / comparison

Vacuum cleaner test / comparison

Vacuum cleaner test / comparison

Table of Contents

The selection of vacuum cleaners is huge: Siemens, AEG, Miele and Philips, for example, offer vacuum cleaners (with and without bags) in all sizes and types on the German household appliance market, plus international companies such as Samsung, Dyson and Dirt Devil.

The choice can become a torture and that's exactly why you will find them all with us important information summarized on the subject of "vacuum cleaner".

Vacuum cleaners: then and now

Anyone who wants to sell vacuum cleaners these days, even if they are just the very simple canister vacuum cleaners for normal private households, has to know a lot more about these household appliances than that vacuum cleaner salesman Jürgens, who we in every year between Christmas and New Year Loriot's "Representative Visit" admire.

One of the reasons for this is that an enormous technical development This device has taken place: In addition to the classic cylinder vacuum cleaner, there are now also battery-operated handheld or stick vacuum cleaners, there are bagless vacuum cleaners, vacuum robots or cyclone vacuum cleaners. Those people who want to remove dust in their everyday environment with technology that is as easy to use as possible benefit from this variety of devices and the performance of modern vacuum cleaners.

Siemens vacuum cleaner with a clear control panel.

Modern cylinder vacuum cleaners are characterized by low energy consumption and easy operation.

But not only the operating effort, but also Weight and power consumption have been further optimized, i.e. they are much smaller than around 1950, at a time when the first vacuum cleaners were being manufactured in series for use in normal households. The Multifunctionality household appliances in general (and vacuum cleaners in particular) have developed enormously since then.

Where does all the dust come from?

An average German household generates around 6 milligrams of dust per square meter every day. Surprisingly, the person himself is the one largest dust producer: over 80% of the dust particles near the wall consist of dead skin cells that settle there on furniture, shelves and picture frames due to the special type of air circulation.

If you want to feel comfortable in your four walls, you shouldn't make any compromises when it comes to cleanliness.

Powerful cylinder vacuum cleaners reliably collect dust, flakes of skin and other debris.

All kinds of bacteria, mites and molds feed on the flakes of skin, but also on tiny plant particles and food crumbs. Come in addition: House dust mites and Molds are living beings that produce excretions themselves, which then increase the amount of dust again. And the more people (or animals) live in a household, the greater this amount of dust becomes.

So it is no wonder that even in particularly meticulously clean households there is still enough dust that you have to get to grips with with a vacuum cleaner.

What are the areas of application for cylinder vacuum cleaners?

Older readers may still remember that in the past, carpets were taken outside into the garden to be knocked out. There they were hung over a carpet rod and with the Carpet beater Worked on until you thought that all the dust was loosened from the carpet.

You have to imagine what that meant for cleaning the carpets in a multi-room apartment on the third floor of an apartment building: first the carpets had to be taken out of the rooms, then down the stairs and brought into the garden or backyard. Then they had to be knocked out and then we went back to the 3rd floor with the carpets.

This is one of the reasons why, until well into the 1950s, carpets were only found in the apartments of that part of the population who had sufficient staff for this work.

Modern cylinder vacuum cleaners are delivered with different nozzles.

This means that a wide variety of requirements can be met with a single device.

Only after vacuum cleaners began their triumphant advance in households did carpets become more widespread. Nowadays there are corresponding for the different types of carpet adapted vacuum cleaner nozzlesthat are also useful for cleaning long-haired carpets. Usually the normal one does it Standard floor nozzlewhich can normally be adjusted to the height of the carpet by turning a small lever.

This term includes, for example, the widely used Laminate and parquet floors. Here, too, the standard floor nozzle can do a good job, as it is almost always provided with a brush ring that can be pushed out by adjusting the lever on the top of the floor nozzle mentioned above.

The delivery standard of cylinder vacuum cleaners has long been part of the Crevice nozzlewith which you can also vacuum in couches, for example, without any problems. But not only the cracks in the couch, but all those places in the apartment that can no longer be reached with the relatively wide floor nozzle (approx. 30 cm) can be cleaned with the crevice nozzle without any problems.

Some devices are even delivered with length-adjustable crevice nozzles. This is how you reach the winding corners and joints in the apartment!

That is of course a wide field of application. It starts with armed protests from the nursery when the vacuum cleaner even comes near the superstructure of one of the laboriously crafted paper ships. Or if you think that the lego-brick replica of the Eiffel Tower, which has been standing in the corner of the living room for a few months, needs to be freed of cobwebs and dust.

Certainly a solution will be found in all of these cases, most of the time it is that classic dust brushwho helps - and spreads the dust in the apartment, to the delight of allergy sufferers. However, modern vacuum cleaners have become so versatile that in many cases they can also help with very sensitive objects.

Well done: at Miele, the various dust nozzles and attachments are integrated into the appliance housing.

So the right tool is always at hand for different floors and requirements.

Just think of furniture, window panes or computer screens: all vacuum cleaners nowadays have one as an accessory for these Furniture brush (Other names: furniture brush, suction brush) with a circular suction opening and a soft tufts of hair to the front so as not to leave scratches on the sensitive surfaces to be vacuumed.

Especially in offices with many Computer screens and other electrical bits and pieces on the tables, these suction brushes prove to be a useful addition to the standard floor nozzle.

Which vacuum cleaner parameters are there?

This is an important parameter for every electric vacuum cleaner that depends on the socket. The radius of action will from the socket to the dust nozzle measured - so it includes the entire extension cable together with the telescopic tube and the suction hose.

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Most cylinder vacuum cleaners today have an action radius of approx. 10 meters, which is completely sufficient for the private apartment sector. For everything else such as gyms, conference rooms or beer tents, the normal cylinder vacuum cleaners are not intended at all.

If you want to avoid being plugged in from one socket to the other when cleaning the entire apartment (from room to room), you should consider purchasing a vacuum robot. However, these are currently still up quite a bit more expensive than a classic canister vacuum cleaner.

The Suction power a vacuum cleaner depends on many properties of these devices. On the one hand, of course, the nominal power plays a role, i.e. the power (measured in watts) that the electric motor can absorb at the maximum (please also note our explanations in the section on the EU characteristic values).

But what is even more important is that by improving the efficiency of this motor, the actual suction power that is applied to the Suction nozzles occurs, increase significantly. And depending on which suction nozzle you use, the suction power also changes: the narrower the opening (more precisely: the smaller the suction surface of the nozzle through which the dust gets into the dust bag or dust box), the stronger the suction power.

This can then become so strong that the suction attachment sticks to the floor or the curtains. Then only a reduction of the electrical power via the power regulator helps or you "let out some air", m.a.W. one opens the Secondary air opening on the intake manifold, so that the pressure in the intake manifold decreases.

There are, however, other important factors that influence suction performance, and these include Size and condition of the filter bags as well as the quality of the Exhaust air filter. Large filter bags are good for increased suction power, but a filled filter bag reduces the suction power and, above all, the amount of air flow per unit of time, the so-called "volume flow". This is an important part of the suction power and is also reduced by a heavily soiled exhaust air filter (see the section on filters: HEPA, Air-Clean, etc.).

What about the equipment and accessories?

First of all, one thing about terminology: Dust bags are the same as filter bags. They catch the dust that is sucked in and release the air to the outside via a filter. In some operating instructions you will just find the term "filter", but that is misleading because there is next to the Bag filter There are also other filters in the vacuum cleaner, but they have completely different tasks than the bag filter.

The importance of this not entirely insignificant functional part of a cylinder vacuum cleaner can be recognized by the fact that in Germany, according to industry estimates, for example 220 million euros per year for vacuum cleaner bags issued. The range of dust bags is accordingly overwhelming - there is even a dust bag database with around 1,120 bags for around 42,000 different devices.

If you buy a new vacuum cleaner, you will first find a wide selection of dust bags from the manufacturer of the same. But since vacuum cleaners belong to the "long-life" household appliances, it can happen that the appliance is no longer manufactured after a few years. Nevertheless, you can still find dust bags - thanks to the extensive standardization of the devices, the newer dust bags usually fit into the old devices.

Filters: HEPA, Air-Clean, etc.

Cylinder vacuum cleaners usually have two other filters that you should make sure that they are functional:

  • the Motor protection filterwhich does not serve to protect the user, but, as the name suggests, protects the motor itself. Of what? Well, imagine that the dust bag bursts once. Then, due to the high negative pressure, the entire contents of the bag are thrown into the surrounding space. There could also be tiny shards of glass or metal parts underneath - and they could indeed damage parts of the engine. Food scraps and dust would also damage the motor in the long term - if it were not protected by this filter.

  • and the Exhaust air filter, which is also available with the bagless vacuum cleaner. Similar to the motor protection filter, the exhaust air filter has the shape of a rectangular plate, which, however, does not sit in front of the engine, but in front of the exhaust air duct. The manufacturers advertise these filters with imaginative names: "Air-Clean" (Miele), "Ultra Air II Hygienefilterung" (Siemens) and - most importantly - HEPA, an abbreviation for High E.fficiency Particulate A.irfilter. Occasionally you will also find EPA - that is, a E.fficiency Particulate A.irfilter.

HEPA filters are designed to filter even the smallest dust particles out of the air.

HEPA filters are therefore particularly recommended for allergy sufferers, among others.

For the user, only one thing is essential: for information such as "E12" or "HEPA13", only the number is important (in this case 12 or 13, the so-called "HEPA class"), since these are according to EU -Standard specify the degree of separation of the filter for particles around 0.1 to 0.3 micrometers. Ever higher the (H) EPA class, the more the air is purerthat comes out of the vacuum cleaner!

Vacuum cleaner without bag (with dust box)

Bagless vacuum cleaners have been around since the mid-1990s. These are enjoying increasing popularity and are now being offered by a large number of manufacturers at attractive prices. There are essentially two types of device manufactured:

Most of these bagless devices work on the principle of the centrifugal separator: they create a small hurricane, one cycloneby sucking the air tangentially through an inlet cylinder into a cone.

The resulting rotation becomes stronger and stronger towards the bottom of the cone, i.e. the particles move faster and faster in a circle, much like a figure skater performing a pirouette.

At the edges of the cone, all heavy dust and dirt particles are slowed down and then fall into the one below Dust box. The cleaned air is sucked off in the center of the cone and fed back into the outside air via a filter. You can see: also a Cyclone vacuum cleaner works according to simple physical laws.

Advantages and benefits
  • Cost savings as there are no filter bags
  • The exhaust air filter rarely needs to be cleaned

If you put the word "Multi" in front of the "Zyklon", you get one Multi-cyclone vacuum cleanerwhich contains not just one, but several such cyclones. You can recognize these vacuum cleaners from afar by their striking shape: around the suction hose there are a number of other small cyclones which, in a second cleaning stage, catch the finer dust particles that the main cyclone was unable to remove from the air flow.

Since the diameter of these "mini-cones" is considerably smaller than that of the main cyclone, there is also that in them Rotation speed the circulating air larger.

A multi-cyclone vacuum cleaner works so effectively that the filter only very rarely needs to be cleaned. The dirt ends up where it should: in the dust box.

Advantages and benefits
  • No dust filter bags
  • Catches even the smallest dust particles
  • Very infrequent cleaning of the exhaust air filter

Most customers (around two thirds) still prefer the vacuum cleaner with a bag. The main reason may be that with the bagless vacuum cleaners, the Dust box emptied must be - and here it can hardly be avoided to come into contact with the dust.

Allergy sufferers will therefore always prefer a vacuum cleaner with a bag. But those who are less sensitive to dust contact could favor a bagless vacuum cleaner because

  • this cheaper in the long term is - there is no need to buy the bags regularly,
  • there is less rubbish, so the vacuum cleaner more environmentally friendly is.

These two arguments are not particularly powerful, however, since vacuum cleaner bags nowadays cost between 1 and 2 euros and only take up a tiny part of household waste. With the current state of the art, therefore, only the long term speaks for the bagless vacuum cleaner low price advantage.

Which EU characteristic values ​​exist for vacuum cleaners?

Since September 1, 2014, the regulations of the Ecodesign Directivewhich was decided by the EU Commission in 2013. Above all, one must know one thing here: the provisions of this EU regulation only apply to devices that are sold new.

So anyone who buys a used vacuum cleaner somewhere is not bound by the Ecodesign Directive. That means for us consumers that we can use our old devices for another 10 years continue to use are allowed - if they last that long, which is by the way not so rare with vacuum cleaners.

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