Canister Vacuums vs Upright Vacuums | Advantages, Drawbacks

Most people know whether they prefer Skippy from Jif or Coke from Pepsi. But when the matter comes to vacuums, how do we choose between uprights or canisters? Few people go by facts, others by price and some choose blindly– but for most, it’s merely a matter of requirement and preference. No matter which camp you choose to fit in, a little bit extra information might help justify your decision. It certainly could not hurt. So, stick to the showdown of the century (well, not really… but it made you laugh—didn’t it?). Kidding aside, here are a few ways to tell which type of vacuum fits your floor, house, and type of carpet. So, check out Upright vs Canister Vacuums guide below.

Upright vs Canister Vacuums

It might be a personal choice or preference to choose between a canister vacuum cleaner or upright vacuum cleaner. But there are a few differences between the two types of vacuums. Here you can get both pluses and minuses of each type of vacuum cleaners. We hope this information will help you find the best vacuum cleaner type to choose for your purposes depending on the type of carpet, floor, and furnishing present at home.

Upright vs Canister Vacuums image
Upright vs Canister Vacuums image

The major difference between upright vacuums and canister vacuum is how the motor is being attached. Canister vacuums have the motor attached to the vacuum whereas uprights have the motor separate from the vacuum attached by a hose. With this, it creates performance advantages for each vacuum that you can see in different vacuum models.

We offer a great selection of the best HEPA vacuums from the top most brands such as Maytag,  Sebo, and Miele. Considering category winner for upright vacuums, the Miele Dynamic U1 AutoEco Vacuum and for canister vacuums is the Miele Complete C3 Brilliant. The Sebo X4 Extra upright model has been a long time customers favorite vacuum. See our vacuum cleaner comparison chart to compare features, prices, and review on all of our vacuum models.

Canister Vacuum Cleaner

Canister vacuums produce very less noise than their upright vacuums. Since the motor is built in a separate unit, there is a room for better sound insulation. Most of the canister vacuums emit between 60-65 decibels. In comparison, most of the uprights start around 75 decibels.

Canister vacuums just seem to work better than most upright vacuums. Even the smallest models register around 9 amps of power works better.

  • Consider the weight, when choosing a canister vacuum. You can buy a canister vacuum which weighs as little as 7.5 pounds. You will need to settle for a stick model to find an upright vacuum size.
  • Unlike most uprights, almost all the canister vacuums have retractable cords. Apart from the convenience and flexible factor, retractable cords are safer to use. Think twice about it:
  • How many times did you get tripped over the vacuum cord—silently swearing as it dislodges from the wall and plugs? See what I mean to say?
Canister Vacuum Cleaner image

Advantages Of Canister Vacuum

  • The canister has the best suction power for all types of carpets.
  • Flexible hose: It gives the best range of motion versatility.
  • For convenience With the lightweight head, it is easy to push as opposed to pushing the entire cleaner.
  • Great at getting under furniture: Head has a lower profile which is suitable for under furniture and refrigerators.
  • Self-retracting electrical cord: You can see these on a lot of models often.
  • These are lightweight and easy to carry on stairs or anywhere else
  • A canister vacuum will often have a separate tool especially suitable  for stairs
  • For cleaning special surfaces and floors, and for convenience, it comes with the easy to swap out onboard tools.
  • Due to their design and their sealed HEPA filter systems, best vacuum for allergy sufferers.
  • Canister vacuum cleaners have good sound insulation and are therefore less noisy than Upright vacuum cleaners.


  • Dragging Canister: Usually, some people find awkward pulling behind us.
  • Smaller Wheels: Canister vacuums often require lifting over the threshold because of  their wheels
  • Changing Vacuum Heads: They can sometimes be a problem and require changing brushes when going from bare floor to the carpet (This option might not be true for a canister vacuum cleaner with straight suction extra turbo head.)

Upright Vacuum Cleaner

Upright vacuum cleaners have a popular and traditional design. the motor and the suction head are kept in the same unit, where the user has to push in front of him.

Upright vacuums have the pack of power you need to get dust, dirt and pet hair out of from the carpet, and includes onboard special tools for hard-to-reach places and area.

Upright Vacuum Cleaner image


  • Best for large areas: It is easy to use for large open carpet areas and hallways
  • It has less chance of tripping over the vacuum. Some people prefer this type.
  • Have larger vacuum bags and it requires less changing of bags
  • Usually Hose is included on most upright vacuum cleaner models this has  greater versatile with attachments
  • On an average survey, upright vacuum cleaners tend to be cheaper than canister vacuum cleaners.
  • Since they use motorized brushes, they are more efficient when cleaning thick rugs and carpets.
  • The transition between carpets and bare floors can simply be controlled with your foot.
  • Unless you use a hose attachment, you will not have to bend your back.
  • As there are no extra accessories to dismount and put away. the storage is easy.
  • They generally  have a wider cleaning path


  • Hose included is inflexible and short which can cause the vacuum cleaner to tip over due to their length.
  • Getting under furniture is generally not very easy (with few notable exceptions).
  • Less maneuverable and Harder around tight turns or furniture.
  • Unusual to find the retractable electrical cord in this vacuum.
  • Generally, it is not easy to clean or vacuum stairs.
  • Weighs heavier than a lot of canister vacuums.
  • It is heavy weighted usually which is more difficult to carry up and down stairs.
  • Does not have many specialty vacuum tools means it comes with fewer tool options for dusting upholstery and others.
  • Beater bar eats things: It can damage parts and edges of throw rugs.
  • Not designed to specific allergy sufferers

Bottom Line

The debate for upright vs canister is one of those that truly have no winner. This breakdown should help you to decide which is best for you. My preference is usually an upright for generally any type of carpet use but a canister if you need to vacuum non-carpeted areas, stairs, and other furnishes. But this is just a rule of thumb because with today’s latest technology you can find a great upright or canister for any job. For further information of Upright vs Canister Vacuums, visit regularly.

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