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Thread Number: 34128  /  Tag: Recent Vacuum Cleaners from past 20 years
What's Most Important To You: Filtration, Airflow, or Ergonomics?
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Post# 369798   4/2/2017 at 13:49 by wyaple (Ohio, USA)        

You are only allowed to pick one (please play along). And please give at least a 1 sentence reason for your choice.

Let's define what each one means in this case:

1) Filtration: Miele and Rainbow videos constantly tout their exhaust filtration, so that's what I would like to concentrate on. In fact one Miele video I saw proudly claimed, "filtration is THE most important thing when considering a vacuum". So to reiterate, filtration is referring to the quality of the exhaust, not dust/dirt separation of the bag/cyclones.

2) Airflow: The almighty CFM from the nozzle head is what we're referring to. Dirty air machines typically have the most and bag less machines the least.

3) Ergonomics: In other words, usability. How well does a machine have to fit the typical user's ability to feel good when using the vacuum.

My answer: Airflow wins every time until there comes a time when I can no longer physically handle the most powerful beasts any longer. I hope to be the only 100 year old man still pathetically attempting to push a Kirby Heritage II Legend and a 70's Hoover Custom Convertible if only to prove just how wimpy a society we've become.


Post# 369800 , Reply# 1   4/2/2017 at 13:59 by sebo4me (Cardiff)        

sebo4me's profile picture
Firstly you need good airflow to pull the dirt and allergens out of the carpet and then an efficient filter to keep them in the cleaner. So airflow and filtration are
Of equal importance to me.

Post# 369838 , Reply# 2   4/2/2017 at 19:33 by Tseg (World Traveller)        

Getting dirt off the ground, 1st. Keeping it out of the air, 2nd. Enjoy using it painlessly, 3rd. The problem is many excel at 1 or 2 of the 3. Very few are very good at all 3. A vacuum without all 3 is deficient. Related to the ergo category is also usability... If it lacks tools to get to places that need cleaned it remains a poser. If the floor around my bed is clean but I have 5 inches of dust under the bed I cannot get to, my house remains unclean.

Post# 369839 , Reply# 3   4/2/2017 at 20:23 by kenkart (Mocksville, NC)        

I use only very vintage machines, true some are no where near as powerful as some of todays plastic, but I get the house clean, you just vacuum slower and get the same result, I just cant stand to look at a cheap clunky pile of plastic and I REALLY hate a pistol grip, Give me my AirWay, Electrolux G , Saniway or Compact anyday, the newest upright I use is a Kirby Classic 3, or Electroluxes first upright, A monstrosity but a real piece of engineering, More often than not I use a 1958 801 Royal, a 510 or 561 Kirby or a U-4 GE from 1964, I wouldn't trade any of them for all the new Mieles and Sebos made.

Post# 369849 , Reply# 4   4/2/2017 at 22:20 by n0oxy (Saint Louis Missouri, United States)        
most important

First, let me say that I am a total canister fan, I don't like uprights and don't have any. So, I would rank them in this order. Airflow first, or to broaden it a bit, cleaning ability. If the vacuum does not clean well, the filtration and how it feels to use it are meaningless. It doesn't have to suck the paint off the wall, but it needs to get the job done. For example, my electrolux 1205 probably would not win a suction or airflow contest, but it still cleans well. Second would be how the hose feels when holding it. I much prefer a pistol grip as opposed to the gas pump grip. A few of my vacuums have the gas pump grip and I can deal with it, but it's not what I prefer when holding a hose. I would have toput filtration at the bottom of the list. Having said that, I don't want a vacuum that is blowing dust all over the place, if your vacuum is doing that, then using it serves no purpose. I don't like bagless vacuums and would never have one, they are a mess to empty and will clog the filters very quickly. I also suggest always using cloth bags instead of paper bags if possible. That said, I would not pay extra for a hepa exhaust filter. For example, on Miele vacuums, a standard exhaust filter is included with each package of bags, you can also pay extra for a hepa exhaust filter, I'm quite content to use the standard exhaust filter since I don't have any allergies. So, that's my order of priority for these vacuum characteristics.

Post# 369851 , Reply# 5   4/2/2017 at 22:28 by human (Pines of Carolina)        

human's profile picture
1 Airflow--That's why I like my Kirbys
2 Ergonomics--It needs to be designed for a human to use
3 Filtration--HEPA's not a big concern

Post# 369857 , Reply# 6   4/2/2017 at 23:23 by Mixman (Central NJ)        
Ergonomics is everything!!!

Ergonomics!!!!! Let's face it guys most of the better vacuums have more than enough airflow for most home tasks. Filtration is important too, and most of the best bagged vacs are good enough, but if you can't stand the usability, you will not use that great filtrating, best airflow vac. So the others will not matter if you can't stand to use it.

Post# 369891 , Reply# 7   4/3/2017 at 10:54 by sptyks (Woburn, MA)        

sptyks's profile picture


1  Airflow / Cleaning ability


2  Filtration / No dust leakage


3  Ergonomics / Comfortable to use


And that's why I love my Kirby's



Post# 369897 , Reply# 8   4/3/2017 at 12:26 by crazykirbydude (Lexington, KY)        

Airflow is most important to me. I feel like so many companies like Dyson and Shark tout their filtration and ease of use, but their airflow really suffers due to all of the paths and tubes on them. Kirby is a great vacuum that nails two of the aspects right on the head. It has excellent airflow and it's Micron Magic filtration system is top of the line. However the newer units with TechDrive PowerAssist and Toe Touch Control are harder for some people to use. Don't get me wrong, I love Kirby, but it is confusing for non experienced users. The one company I think nails all three right on the head is Aerus Electrolux. Their products have excellent airflow, a four ply filter bag and no fancy bells and whistles to confuse people. Their machines, like Kirby's, are extremely durable.

Post# 369908 , Reply# 9   4/3/2017 at 13:54 by matt8808 (Teesside - North East - UK)        

Ergonomics first for me.

I have a Kirby Sentria II that I bought brand new but rarely use these days as it is much quicker and easier to vacuum the house with my cylinder Miele C3 Cat & Dog. Noise level is also an issue for me.... I much prefer the silent power of the Miele.

Post# 369922 , Reply# 10   4/3/2017 at 19:01 by Blackheart (North Dakota)        

Without a doubt performance is my biggest concern.

Post# 369949 , Reply# 11   4/4/2017 at 02:17 by tolivac (Greenville,NC)        

I feel that all THREE of these work together to make the vacuum work for you.

Post# 370013 , Reply# 12   4/4/2017 at 13:38 by dysonman1 (Rolla, Missouri)        

dysonman1's profile picture
I'll say airflow, but it has to be qualified.
When the machine is down on the carpet, properly adjusted and in cleaning mode, the airflow through the machine is important as it removes the dirt which the brush roll beats and sweeps out. When the machine is not on the carpet, airflow is unimportant. That's why I consider Kirby's 'suction tester' plate that covers the bottom, as well as the Baird meter, to be 'tricks'.

That's one reason I have a Vacuflo central vacuum - nothing to stop that all-important airflow.

Post# 370016 , Reply# 13   4/4/2017 at 14:07 by sebo4me (Cardiff)        

sebo4me's profile picture
Yes airflow is very important. But I wouldn't want a cleaner that sucked in lots of dust at one end but threw it all back out at the other. So airflow and filtration are equally important as is ergonomics. They all go together to make a good vacuum cleaner.

Post# 370018 , Reply# 14   4/4/2017 at 14:08 by sptyks (Woburn, MA)        

sptyks's profile picture

It seems to me, that with a direct air machine the more airflow you have when the machine is not on the carpet, the more airflow you will have when the machine is in use on the carpet.

Post# 370029 , Reply# 15   4/4/2017 at 14:51 by wyaple (Ohio, USA)        
I Think Tom G. Means...

When cleaning things other than flooring, like drapes, couches, etc?

BTW, Tom if you are able, can you enlighten me with two things from your VacuFlow central vacuum.

1) What are the motor specs (or what's the make and model of the motor and I can look them up I suppose)

2) And what does a Baird meter (or other anemometer) read when connected to the end of your hide-a-hose?

I'd like to see how much airflow is lost from the motor through all your piping to the end on the hose.


Post# 370487 , Reply# 16   4/11/2017 at 13:36 by hooverkid (PA,USA)        

hooverkid's profile picture
Well I'd say that airflow is important but so is filtration. Personally I like to use my Filter Queen when filtration is important and my Kenmore branded Singer twinfan or Kirby D50 when filtration is less important

Post# 370541 , Reply# 17   4/12/2017 at 09:25 by suckolux (Yuba City, CA)        

suckolux's profile picture
Gosh tough call as I have issues handling machines?
Ergonomics? Air Flow and Noise level are all about even for me.Everything after that is less important in my home. I think

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