I don’t vacuum my apartment enough. My wife would tell you that. We have three cats and they shed, and mixed with all the other normal dust and human hair (including my wife’s) that falls to the ground on a daily basis, vacuuming brings up a grody gray mass of hairy fluff every time I run our old Shark Navigator around the apartment. And every once in a while, it occurs to me to flip the vacuum over and perform a hair-ectomy on the inevitable mass of hair wrapped around the brushroll of that vacuum cleaner, which is difficult and frustrating (and especially tough for someone with allergies like me; I end up with hives on my wrists after that job), but actually does seem to liven up the suction/efficiency of the vacuum a little for a while … until the mass builds up again.
That’s not the only frustrating part about the old vacuum. The seal around the dust cup is mostly busted, the suction at the end of the hose has never been great, it doesn’t maneuver that well, etc. etc. It’s just an older vacuum that I’ve felt has needed replaced for a while. So, about a month ago, I started shopping for a new vacuum online, and I went DEEP. I read a ton of reviews: so many articles, so much analysis on suction, efficiency, HEPA filters, brushrolls, hose suction, unit weight, ergonomics, and practically every other consideration one could have when shopping for a vacuum cleaner.
There’s never been a better time to make a purchase like this. There’s such a wealth of information available about vacuum cleaners online, I told a friend that I feel bad for the people who were shopping for vacuum cleaners in the 1980s and 1990s and pretty much had to take a salesman’s word for it on their pricey purchase. They lived not knowing that they were still years away from a technological near-singularity that would bring them thousands of opinions on vacuum cleaners directly to their faces wherever they are (even on the toilet).
In the process of this research, I found perhaps one of the best YouTube channels I’ve ever seen: Vacuum Wars. This guy runs a cleaning service and apparently uses some of his own income to buy practically every new vacuum cleaner (including the robot ones) that hits the market, then puts them through intensive testing (again on his own dime) and reports his findings to an adoring public. Even now that I’ve made a vacuum purchase (spoiler alert), I find myself still sometimes watching his informative and interesting videos about vacuum products I wouldn’t have bought and especially won’t now that I’ve made my choice. He’s that good.
Anyway, it was this fellow with his scientific method and years of cleaning experience who led me to my eventual choice for a home vacuum cleaner: The new Shark Vertex lift-away upright. It’s about $350 as of this writing (I got it for $400, including some pet hair attachments and a steam cleaner), which is pricey but not quite as pricey as some of the Dysons I was considering, and not THAT much more pricey than the top-of-the-line Bissels I was considering. And it’s very much worth it, from my perspective.
Rather than blabber on about all the features about it I like, I’ll just share the Vacuum Wars review of the Vertex and say that I second everything he says. The day I received the vacuum in the mail, I’d just finished vacuuming with my old Shark, so I vacuumed again with the new one and pulled up SO MUCH MORE DIRT AND FUR! The rollers DON’T GET TANGLED WITH HAIR ANYMORE! The hose is ACTUALLY USEFUL! Just watch and be amazed!