Canister Vs Upright Vacuum Cleaners

Canister and upright vacuum cleaners are two types of vacuum cleaners that are commonly used in households and commercial settings. We just make a comparison of Canister Vs Upright Vacuum Cleaners. The main difference between the two is the way they are designed and their layout. Canister vacuums have a design where the motor and dustbin are housed in a separate canister unit connected to the handle and energy head via a hose. Upright vacuums, on the other hand, have a one-piece design where the motor, dustbin, and handle are all integrated into one unit. The energy head, which is responsible for suction, is located at the bottom of the device and is connected to the dustbin and handle.

The design and layout of the device are what give them their names. Canister vacuums are named based on the canister that houses the motor and dustbin, while upright vacuums are named based on their vertical design and the way they stand upright with the energy head at the bottom.

On the other hand, canister vacuums have a different design where the motor and dustbin are housed in a separate canister unit connected to the handle and energy head via a hose. The handle and energy head are the only parts that are held by the user during cleaning.

The choice between a canister and an upright vacuum cleaner largely depends on the cleaning needs, personal preference, and budget. Canister vacuums are generally quieter, offer stronger suction for hard floors, and tend to be more expensive. In contrast, upright vacuums are specially designed to effectively clean carpets, making them more efficient in this task. They are also more budget-friendly and easier to maneuver and store. In summary, Canister vacuums are ideal for cleaning hard floors and carpets while upright vacuums are best for cleaning carpets.

Canister Vs Upright Vacuum Cleaners

Canister Vacuums


Canister vacuums are a versatile and popular choice for many homeowners. They offer a number of advantages over upright vacuums that make them particularly well-suited for certain cleaning tasks.

  • One of the main advantages of canister vacuums is their noise level. They are generally quieter than upright vacuums, with noise levels around 60-65 decibels compared to the average of 70 decibels for most vacuum cleaners. This makes them an ideal choice for households where noise sensitivity is an issue. The decibel scale is logarithmic, so a few decibels can make a big difference in terms of perceived loudness.
  • Another advantage of canister vacuums is their weight and maneuverability. They tend to be slightly lighter than upright vacuums, which makes them easier to move around and maneuver, especially when cleaning stairs and tight spaces. The design of canister vacuums also makes them feel much lighter as the majority of the device sits stationary while you use the lightweight wand and the attached head to clean.
  • Furthermore, a common feature among canister vacuums is the presence of a retractable cord. This means that the cord can be stored inside the canister when the vacuum is not in use, making it more convenient and less cluttered. This feature provides the vacuum with a cleaner appearance and reduces the chances of tripping over the cord. It makes the storage of the vacuum cleaner easy and it does not take up much space.
  • Finally, canister vacuums generally have more suction power than upright vacuums. This power makes them particularly well suited for cleaning bare floors, hardwood floors, tile, and other hard surfaces. They have more power to suction the dirt and debris from the deeper fibers of the carpets, leaving them cleaner and fresher.

In summary, canister vacuums offer a range of advantages, including quieter operation, better maneuverability, retractable cords, and powerful suction making them an ideal choice for cleaning hard floors and carpets. They are also great for people who are looking for a lightweight option, or for those who have limited storage space.


  • Canister vacuums, while offering many advantages over upright vacuums, can be more difficult to store due to their bulky design. The canister itself can be cumbersome and requires more space than an upright vacuum. Instead of having a single unit to move around, you have two pieces to worry about- the canister and the wand/head. 
  • If you’re vacuuming the whole house, you’ll have to roll or carry the canister from room to room, which can be a hassle. And when storing the vacuum, the hose, wand, and head generally can’t stand on their own accord, which means they will take up more space.
  • Additionally, because of the design of canister vacuums, they can be more prone to causing damage to walls and furniture if they are not handled carefully.

Overall, while canister vacuums offer many advantages, they may not be the best option for those who are short on storage space or have limited mobility. If storage and ease of use are important to you, you may want to consider an upright vacuum or a handheld vacuum cleaner.

Upright Vacuums


  • The one-piece design of upright vacuums makes them easy to move from room to room. You don’t have to bend down to deal with a separate canister as with canister vacuums. 
  • The handle on upright vacuums makes it easy to maneuver and transport the device with just one hand, providing added convenience while in use.
  • Upright vacuums can easily stand up on their own inside a closet or anywhere else you have a place for them. This makes them easy to store and eliminates the need for additional storage space. 
  • Some models provide customized wall mounts that can help save floor space in rooms such as a mudroom, garage, or the room where you keep your vacuum.
  • The large head of upright vacuums is also an advantage when vacuuming large areas. Its large surface area allows for efficient cleaning of even the biggest spaces.
  • The large head covers a wide surface area and makes it easier to clean large areas quickly. Additionally, the large head can also accommodate more dirt and debris, which means less time spent emptying the dustbin.


Upright vacuums are a popular choice for many homeowners due to their convenience and effectiveness in cleaning large areas. However, there are certain characteristics of upright vacuums that may make them less suitable for certain cleaning tasks or for certain users.

  • One of the main disadvantages of upright vacuums is their noise level. They are almost always louder than canister vacuums, which can be a concern for some users. The unibody design of upright vacuums makes it difficult to muffle the sound from the motor, which results in higher decibel levels.
  • Another disadvantage of upright vacuums is their weight. Upright vacuums can weigh 20 lbs or more, which can make them tiring to use for prolonged periods of time. This can be especially challenging for users who have physical limitations or for those who need to clean large areas on a regular basis.
  • Upright vacuums can also be less maneuverable than canister vacuums. They don’t have the same flexibility when it comes to reaching tight spaces, corners, and crevices. 
  • Finally, the power cord of upright vacuums can be a source of inconvenience. Most upright vacuums do not include a retractable cord. Instead, they tend to have hooks around which you can wrap the loose cord. Because of this, the cord is far more likely to get tangled and/or become a trip hazard. 


In conclusion, both canister and upright vacuums have their own set of advantages and disadvantages. Canister vacuums are more versatile in terms of maneuverability and are better suited for cleaning tight spaces, corners and crevices, and stairs. They are also generally quieter than upright vacuums. On the other hand, upright vacuums are more powerful and better suited for cleaning large areas, and some models are lightweight. Ultimately, the choice between a canister or an upright vacuum will depend on your specific cleaning needs and preferences. It’s important to consider factors such as noise level, weight, maneuverability, and power cord when making a decision. It’s also good to keep in mind that some cordless stick vacuums are also a good option for those concerned about weight, and they have the added benefit of no cord to get tangled or trip hazard.

Canister Vs Upright Vacuum Cleaners

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