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Expensive vacuums aren’t always best




If you’re in the market for a new vacuum and tempted to spend hundreds of dollars, do some homework first.

With so many new features, shopping for a vacuum might seem like shopping for a new car. Various brands now offer easy handling, compactness, selfcleaning filters, reduced noise, or removal of tough pet hair.

But according to Consumer Reports, not all the most expensive vacuums do well at the most basic task: cleaning.

“It can be difficult to separate the hype from the performance. Paying more does not guarantee better performance,” said Bob Markovich, Consumer Reports’ home and yard editor.

A review of more than 60 upright and canister vacuums for the March 2008 publication rates a $300 Kenmore Progressive as the best buy, beating the buzzedabout Dyson models and a highly rated $1,350 Kirby Sentria, which was deemed excellent overall but less effective at pet hair. The magazine rated vacuums from Aerus, Rainbow and Filter Queen that sell for more than $1,000 near the bottom of its list.

Consumer Reports provides these tips for choosing a vacuum cleaner:

– Choose the right kind: Uprights are better for carpets, while canisters are better for drapes, upholstery and stairs.

– Useful features: A brush on/off switch helps prevent scattering dirt and protects bare floors, while manual pile height adjustment lets people match brush and carpet height more precisely.

– Think twice about bagless: Emptying a bin can be a frequent and dusty task. If you have allergy concerns, you’ll probably prefer a bag. And although HEPA bags and filters can provide added filtration, they don’t guarantee that a vacuum won’t spew dust.


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