Vacuum cleaners come in various types and configurations. Some of the vacuums belong to more than one group according to the type and/or configuration.
Types and configurations are given in the following list and they are sorted alphabetically.
Backpack Vacuum Cleaners
Backpack vacuum cleaners are mostly cylinder vacuum cleaners strapped on the user’s back. They are often used for commercial or industrial cleaning since they allow user to move quickly from one area to another.
To help user moving around, they are powered mostly by electric motor with long power cord. For even greater mobility and autonomy, cordless backpack vacuum cleaner are used. These portable backpack vacuum cleaners can operate from rechargeable batteries or they can operate using mains power while recharging batteries at the same time.
For more on this topic, check Backpack Vacuum Cleaners.
Canister or Cylinder Vacuum Cleaners
Cylinder or canister models dominate Continental European market. Electric motor and dirt collector (with or without bag) are constructed as separate unit with wheels.
This unit is connected with cleaning head with flexible hose.
Cleaning heads are often powered with separate electric motor, since main motor is fair away due to flexible hose. Some models have cleaning attachments powered with small turbine that uses air flow as power source or they use motion of power head wheels over cleaning surface.
For more on this topic, check Canister Vacuum Cleaners.
Carpet shampooer or shampoo vacuum cleaner is type of wet and dry vacuum cleaner that uses water and/or special cleaning liquid for removing dried strains and similar dirty spots and areas that can't be effectively cleaned by ordinary vacuum cleaners.
Cleaning brush or brushes often use vibrations to help shampoo and cleaning liquid penetrate deeper in to the carpet, separate the dirt from fibers and bring the dirt and dust to the surface, where it is removed by vacuum suction together with dirty cleaning liquid.
For more on this topic, check Carpet Shampooer.
Carpet sweeper is technically not a vacuum cleaner. Carpet sweeper is mechanical device for cleaning carpets and similar floors.
They are largely superseded by vacuum cleaners, but they are still in use at homes and commercial applications where their lightweight and quiet operation is appreciated.
They enable users to quickly clean smaller flourr or sugar spills (or anything similar) without making any noise that could disturb anybody in the room being cleaned.
For more on this topic, check Carpet Sweepers.
Central Vacuum Cleaners
Central vacuum cleaner is cylindrical vacuum cleaner system that has power unit (usually electric motor) and dirt collection and filtration unit located in fixed position in the building.
Vacuum inlets are connected by pipes throughout the building – only the hose and cleaning head need to be carried around.
Central vacuum cleaner operates in stand-by mode – it is operated by a switch on the hose handle or when hose is plugged into the wall vacuum inlets.
For more on this topic, check Central Vacuum Cleaners.
Cordless Vacuum Cleaner
Cordless vacuum cleaners as power source have onboard batteries of various types and sizes. Such vacuums have great autonomy since they don't depend on mains power for operation.
However, their operation time, air flow, mechanical cleaning tools and suction strength is limited because of the limited amount of energy stored in the batteries.
For more on this topic, check Cordless Vacuum Cleaners.
Cyclonic Vacuum Cleaners
Cyclonic vacuum cleaners use cyclonic separation principle to separate dirt from the air flow – centrifugal forces in the air flow 'force' dirt particles to the edge of cylindrical container and away from the main air flow.
Small vortexes are created in shaped hollows of some cyclonic models and can achieve incredible rotational speeds and centrifugal forces.
For more on this topic, check Cyclonic Vacuum Cleaners.
Drum Vacuum Cleaners
Drum vacuum cleaners are heavy-duty or industrial versions of cylinder vacuum cleaners. Cylinder consists of a large vertical drum, which can be on wheels or even stationary.
Power comes from larger electric motors or they are connected to central air compressor and they use Venturi effect to produce suction power.
Drum vacuum cleaners are mostly used in hotels, larger homes and similar areas where there is need for regular cleaning of larger surfaces.
For more on this topic, check Drum Vacuum Cleaners.
Garden Leaf Vacuums, Mulchers and Blowers
Areas covered with various vegetation require constant care in order to look great. Garden leaf vacuums, mulchers and blowers are used to keep the gardens, driveways, yards and similar areas clean and tidy.
Garden leaf vacuums, mulchers and blowers come in various sizes, types and prices and choosing right one can be a daunting task. But it shouldn't! :)
For more on this topic, check Garden Leaf Vacuums, Mulchers and Blowers.
Handheld Vacuum Cleaners
Handheld vacuum cleaners are small vacuum cleaners that can be operated using only one hand.
They are mostly powered by rechargeable batteries (cordless handheld vacuum cleaner) or sometimes by mains power (corded handheld vacuum cleaner).
Small vacuum cleaners powered by rechargeable batteries are often found in the kitchens, cars and similar areas where dirt must be cleaned quickly and from tight and narrow areas.
For more on this topic, check Handheld Vacuum Cleaners.
Nasal Aspirators - Nose Vacuums
When a baby or small child is unable to breathe properly because of a stuffy nose, a nasal aspirator (nose vacuum, snot sucker ...) can be very helpful in removing the mucus and other fluids or even objects from the nostrils.
Since the mucus can be thick and sticky, it might be difficult for a baby or small child to expel it from the nostrils.
Nasal aspirators clean nostrils using vacuum (hence - 'nose vacuum cleaner') to remove secretion products or even foreign objects.
Most common types are battery operated nasal aspirators which operate like small handheld cordless vacuum cleaners.
For more on this topic, check Baby Nasal Aspirators.
Robotic Vacuum Cleaners
Robotic vacuum cleaner, often called simply robovac, is form of autonomous vacuum cleaner that operates as carpet sweeper and vacuum cleaner. They have motorized brushes that sweep dirt and debris from the floor.
They have motorized brushes that sweep dirt and debris from the floor and have fan connected to electric motor to create suction and collect remaining dust and dirt.
For more on this topic, check Robotic Vacuum Cleaners.
Steam mops come in various sizes and versions. Some people already have big and expensive multi-floor vacuums, but require steam cleaner.
In such cases, investment in similar multi-floor steam vacuum cleaner is not the best option for them and buying smaller, but cheaper steam mop is probably the best option.
Also, if you have floors that are regularly cleaned by other means, but do tolerate steam cleaning, give a steam mop a try, you might surprise yourself.
For more on this topic, check Steam Mops.
Steam Vacuum Cleaners
Steam Vacuum Cleaner is wet and dry type of vacuum cleaner that uses steam at high temperature for additional floor cleaning.
his is great solution for those who are allergic to mites, pollen and similar small particles that can cause problems with respiratory system and similar.
On the other hand, it is very important to be careful with cleaning sensitive surfaces because they can react with hot steam.
For more on this topic, check Steam Vacuum Cleaners.
Stick Vacuum Cleaners
Stick vacuum cleaners or broom vacuum cleaners are long and narrow (like a 'stick', hence the name) upright vacuum cleaners.
Due to their size and shape, they are light, very maneuverable, often can reach spaces other upright or canister vacuums can't. Due to their acceptable price, they are often used as second home vacuum cleaner for emergencies and by elderly people who lack strength for 'wrestling' with stronger, but heavier vacuum cleaners.
For more on this topic, check Stick Vacuum Cleaners.
Upright Vacuum Cleaners
Upright vacuum cleaners are frequently found in the US, Britain and several Commonwealth countries. They are not common in Continental Europe like cylinder vacuum cleaners.
On the bottom, they have cleaning head with handle and bag connected on top of it.
Upright vacuum cleaners commonly have a beater bar, rotating brush and other powered tools and attachments that remove debris and dirt.
For more on this topic, check Upright Vacuum Cleaners.
Wet-Dry Vacuum Cleaners
Wet-dry vacuum cleaners are specialized types of drum or cylinder vacuum cleaners that can be used to clean wet dirt or even liquids. After cleaning wet dirt or liquids, they have to be cleaned thoroughly to avoid developing any unpleasant odors.
They are powered with electric motor or by compressed air – compressed air wet-dry vacuum cleaners are common in industrial plants, manufacturing facilities and workshops that already have steady supply of compressed air.
For more on this topic, check Wet-Dry Vacuum Cleaners.