Thread Number: 35747  /  Tag: Brand New Vacuum Cleaners
Which High Dollar Vacuum?
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Post# 383702   1/6/2018 at 18:22 by markhenry (USA)        


I am new here but I have done as much research as I could before I figured to sign up to this forum and ask.

After looking at many vacuum cleaners... I came to certain conclusions which some how at the same time seemed to still leave a ? at the end of each conclusion.

eg: Everyone I know that owns a Dyson, hates it because it simply sucks at sucking. I haven't met one person that has said they were happy with them. Everyone said it was the biggest waste of money, it doesn't work like their old vacuum (Other brands) etc etc.

I myself went to different stores... tested vacuums out, poured sand on the floor of the shops... and pretty much saw for myself everything I have been told by people... it just doesn't work.

Sure people might be happy with the simplicity of it, and hassle free use and whatever else... but for me I need a vacuum that actually cleans, not spend nearly $1000 on a vacuum cleaner that does nothing.

So this lead me to research further as to what is available.

I remember my family used to own a Kirby way back early 1990s, and I remember some people coming over my place early 2000s and do a Kirby demo for us in home.

Was impressive and brought back what I remember our Kirby was like.

Having said that... last few weeks I was researching for a vacuum as I need one.

I came up with some names I was farmiliar with and ones I never heard of.

1: Vorwerk - $2000, made by the company that makes the thermomix - German engineered.
2: Rainbow - Water based vacuum, never heard of this - $4000
3: Kirby - Know a decent amount about it, similar price to Rainbow here.
4: Miele C3 with HEPA filtration ($500-$1100 depending on features and wattage - think the $950 comes with HEPA and Electrobrush, the $500 comes with active air filtration - does odours not particles) and no electro brush, just turbo brush and it doesn't really spin on carpet, soon the heads down it stops turning)

So now - here we go...

After stating all this, I then go on youtube to have a look at anything I can to get some sort of information.

Based on my opening remarks, i watch someone do a interesting test (Kirby vs Dyson)... they go over the ground with a Kirby first for 55 passes on the carpet, then they use their Dyson to go over the same area after that. Guess what? The Dyson picked stuff up the Kirby did not. Then they did the same thing again but this time with the Dyson first and then the Kirby after that... and guess what? The Kirby picked stuff up the Dyson didn't.

So essentially that told me that whichever vacuum goes last will always pick up more stuff. (Don't understand why that can be)

So now thinking back to those Kirby demonstrators (sales people) in the home that first vacuum with the one you have then the Kirby to show you how it picks stuff up... well they could of went over the house with a Kirby first and then the vacuum I had and would of been same result?

So I don't see how on earth that proves anything nor do I understand how a weaker vacuum can pick up stuff a stronger one didn't... I mean you can go over all of it with a Kirby, turn it off then turn the Kirby on again and go over it again and it will pick up what the Kirby didn't before... really don't get how that works.

To try and keep this post short(er), I went down to Miele show room, read a lot of good reviews about them, they got HEPA filtration etc. Great... but do they vacuum (clean) as good as say the Kirby?

So with all this floating around in my head, I came across a Rainbow. Never heard of it before, did some research, found a lot of people say in terms of vacuum quality they really pick up everything + make the air clean (which to me is important... not that I have any allergies, but if the house can smell dustless/fresh, I like it.)

Some fortunate few have Kirby and Rainbow and have done some youtube videos between them 2, and in some situations seemed like rainbows picked up more than a kirby.. + no bag to replace + no dust coming out of them keeping it clean.

Having said that, the latest Kirby has a HEPA filtration bag and they some how improved suction/airflow to not be so lost in a bag type machine.

So with all this going on...

Kirby or Rainbow? - Which one cleans the floor better? Which one will clean beds better? Which one will keep air cleaner? - So over all... im just after the best machine to keep the house spotless, and because kirby and rainbow will cost me the same ridiculous price... what am I better off going with? (Yes I know one you have to muck around with the water etc) Im simply after the machine that does the job effectively/cleanest.


Post# 383703 , Reply# 1   1/6/2018 at 18:42 by jade_angel (Newport News, VA)        

Of those two, I'd favor the Kirby. Rainbows are interesting, but the water filtration isn't quite what it's cracked up to be. You can get a Kirby for a lot less than 4k, though.

Mieles are very good vacuums. They have a few funky features, but are pretty solid. You might also look at Sebo, also very high quality, German-made. I think they're even more durable. Other good brands to look at are Riccar and Simplicity (they're two brands from the same company).

Post# 383704 , Reply# 2   1/6/2018 at 19:17 by huskyvacs (Indiana)        

huskyvacs's profile picture
If you want a clean carpet, you need a vacuum with a beater bar, something to vibrate and shake the dirt out of the nap. Pretty much all modern vacuums you get from WalMart are all just surface cleaners. They get what's on top but they don't suck through the carpet fiber down to the padding like a Kirby would. Also modern vacuums have to be rated "safe" so they will have less suction than vintage or antique vacuums, and stronger motors cost more money to produce, which gets tacked onto the retail price.

My 1920's Hoover 700, its' idea of cleaning a throw rug is to try and suck it through the brushroll and into the bag. It does best on huge heavy rugs, as they didn't have cheapo rubber backed throw mats back in the great depression. But if you get close, you can see every time the beater bar hits the carpet, the dirt will bounce out of the fibers and up to the surface.

Post# 383708 , Reply# 3   1/6/2018 at 20:47 by Hank (Cali)        

hank's profile picture
Whatever you buy don’t buy your machine from a door to door salesman. If you get a Kirby get one used I’ve gotten working models from free to the current newest model the avalir for just over 200, the one the salesman hoses people on now a days. Miele or sebo are great choices but harder to find on the used market but if you have a good dealer in town the warranties are top notch.

Post# 383729 , Reply# 4   1/7/2018 at 07:45 by eurekaprince (Montreal, Canada)        

eurekaprince's profile picture
Hi Markhenry,

You will get better advice from vacuumlanders if you can tell us more about your vacuum-cleaning needs and preferences: Do you live in a large home? What percentage of your home’s floors are carpeted? Do you have mostly bare floors with area rugs, or do you have wall-to-wall broadloom? Is it a multi-story home with lots of stairs? Do you have cats and/or dogs which leave lots of pet hair on rugs and furniture? Are you a young person that can handle a heavier vacuum, or are you a senior or someone with physical challenges?

And what are your cleaning habits or preferences? Do you tend to dust furniture and bookshelves with a cloth or with a vacuum? Do you vacuum your bare floors, or prefer to use a mop or Swiffer? Do you vacuum curtains and drapes and blinds? Do you do the vacuuming yourself or do you have hired help to do the cleaning for you?

All the answers you provide can help us recommend cleaners that will better match your specific needs.

Post# 383734 , Reply# 5   1/7/2018 at 09:42 by n0oxy (Saint Louis Missouri, United States)        
my suggestions

Any time you go over a carpet with a vacuum, then go over it again with another one, the second one will get more dirt out. The Kirby demonstration banks on the consumer not knowing this and so they think the Kirby is cleaning much better. If the Kirby cleaned first, and then another vacuum was used, the second one would pull something out of the carpet, so this demonstration is basically meaningless.
Rainbows are good machines, if you want a good water filtration machine without the high price, check out the Sirena, it's much cheaper and will work just as well. You didn't say if you prefer a canister or upright, I'm a die hard canister person myself, but the brands I am going to suggest also make good uprights. Miele is a decently made German brand, Sebo is also German and I think is slightly better quality than Miele. Riccar and Simplicity are made by Tacony and are excellent machines. Another really good canister is the Electrolux Ultra One. I would avoid the Dysons, not only are they disgusting to empty but are not very good quality, same with the Shark. Don't bother with anything at Walmart either, if you want a good quality machine, you won't find it there. Lindhaus is also very good, they are an Italian based brand.

Post# 383738 , Reply# 6   1/7/2018 at 10:07 by jade_angel (Newport News, VA)        

The reason why the second vacuum always wins is that no vacuum, however good, gets all the dirt every time. Also, almost every vacuum, however bad, gets at least a little bit. So, unless you managed to get the rug within epsilon of perfect (and you probably didn't - it's hard to do), when you vacuum it you'll get some dust.

That said, a good vac does get a larger percentage of the cruft at a time, and takes fewer strokes to get most of the cruft. Bad ones - like most of the Wally World Specials - mostly only get the junk on the surface and don't really touch deep-down dust, as has been mentioned, mostly because of low airflow. Bagless machines in general have pretty poor airflow because the cyclonic separators restrict airflow a lot.

What matters to really clean a carpet is airflow, agitation and in distant last place sealed suction. Agitation matters more for heavy dirt like sand, while airflow is king for fine dust. For pet hair, especially fine, staticky cat fur, a good brush and good airflow are key. Kirbys do very well on the airflow front, as do most other direct-air uprights - Sanitaire and Royal have well-deserved reputations for doing very well on carpet. For agitation, Riccar and Simplicity do very well, as do Royal, Sanitaire and Kirby. I don't think the Mieles and Sebos do quite as well on agitation, but they still do well - it's good vs great here, not good vs bad.

One note on Royal, though - when most of us talk about Royals, we're referring to the metal uprights that they've made since forever. Those are fantastic carpet cleaners, quite possibly the best out there. They also make a lot of plastic machines that are pretty much re-badged Hoovers. These machines are OK, but not fantastic and not really worth the markup, in my opinion. (Hoover, also, is not what they once were.)

Post# 383753 , Reply# 7   1/7/2018 at 14:10 by n0oxy (Saint Louis Missouri, United States)        
some more advice

As has been stated, if you want a Royal, go for the metal ones, when I was visiting friends in Pennsylvania, the hotel I stayed at was using plastic bagless royals, they are junk. Even the staff, who were not vacuum experts did not like them. I would avoid anything bagless other than a good water filtration machine that uses a separator such as the Rainbow or Sirena. Not only are the bagless machines a mess to empty and usually end up spraying dust all over the place, but the filters will clog very quickly and will eventually need to be replaced. With a bagged vacuum, when you replace the bag, you have reset your vacuum's primary filtration.
For cleaning carpet, you need a machine with good airflow and good agitation. The uprights that have been mentioned will provide this, and a power nozzle canister will also work just as well. I don't think you said whether you needed to clean hard floors as well, if so, you need a machine that allows you to switch off the spinning brush and preferably allow you to attach a good floor brush. I know many on here suggest a good upright for the carpet and a canister for everything else, and that will certainly work, but again, a power nozzle canister will provide the best of both worlds. The dirty air uprights such as the Kirby, Sanitaire, etc. will work great on carpets, but not as well on hard floors and not as well with attachments. The upright that comes the closest to providing all of the flexibility of a power team canister is the Sebo Felix. Not only can you switch off the brush roll, but you can also remove the power head and attach a hard floor brush.
I will mention one more idea. If you really want something powerful, get a central vacuum unit, and attach a central vacuum hose directly to it. You can then choose the carpet and or hard floor tools that you want, the cleaning power this set up provides is awesome.

Post# 383758 , Reply# 8   1/7/2018 at 15:52 by markhenry (USA)        

Hey and thanks for that.

The place im living in is carpet (old carpet) besides the bathroom which is tiled (those small 1-2" tile squares). The whole place is one of those old sort of homes.

We don't dust often enough, but I see grey dust building up on the furniture and the mirror within a week, we also have a piano and 2 cats inside... needless to say, I was looking for a vacuum that I can use to vacuum the piano (I assume this is faster than wiping with a microfibre cloth) and a vacuum that can vacuum the furniture (wooden draws inside bedroom etc... dont remember what you call them, you keep all your tshirts,underwear, socks etc in them usually and have a flat top where you might keep jewelery, perfume etc on it)...

So I wanted something that can clean furniture without scratching it.

Also I need something that can clean under lounge chairs and under the bed. I didn't notice but after a few months vacuuming all the time with the upright... I am never getting under the bed etc and the amount of hair collecting under there is amazing.

So definitely want something that can be used for tight spots... has the thin nozzle to vacuum along the skirting boards/wall, good for furniture/piano without scratching and mainly carpets.

I have used uprights mostly... but when I worked in a factory, I used a canister style there (big round thing looks like rainbow but has a bag inside it)... I found that really easy and convenient to vacuum with.

Rainbow may be heavy..... but its only heavy when you need to move it... with the size of the hose... you can almost do an entire room without moving it once. In which case you are just vacuuming with a light hose... uprights on other hand, are heavy from start to end as you are moving them to vacuum...

Im young (Under 40) and have no problem with weight of a cleaner - No disabilities/problems.

I do want 'clean' air after I am finished cleaning though, sick of smelling dust. I mean, the garbage I have, I finish vacuuming, great, I smell dust everywhere, great. So what did I really do? Not too much. I picked up the cat hair and everything, but the dust by the next day settles back down on the carpet.

Kirby may have awesome suction/agitation and clean better than everything, my question is how well does it keep the stuff in though?

If for example: Kirby does suck more up than a rainbow (perhaps not by much though) but releases stuff back out in the air... while rainbow sucks up 'less' by a little but keeps it all in... in the end both cleaned identically as well just one didn't leave a smell behind.

(Dunno if that is the case but im making an example to get an idea of how well what cleans... like actual cleaning)

So theres some more info.

Post# 383765 , Reply# 9   1/7/2018 at 17:41 by eurekaprince (Montreal, Canada)        

eurekaprince's profile picture it sounds like you really do need a way of cleaning lots of different surfaces including carpeting.

As many of my colleagues here on Vacuumland know, I’m not very enthusiastic about combination vacuums that try to do everything. For me, power nozzle canisters and uprights with tools on board are overly complicated, heavy, bulky and not that easy to use. They are also more repair- prone.

Because of this, I prefer two separate cleaners: a tooless upright only for carpets, and a suction-only canister for everything else. Together, they can cost less than a combo machine (about $800-$1,000) and really don’t take up much more storage space.

My “dynamic duo” of choice is the Miele Alize canister and the Hoover Lightweight Platinum bagged upright. Consumer Reports rated the Hoover “excellent” at deep carpet cleaning and the Miele “excellent” for air flow through the hose for bare floor and above the floor cleaning. Miele also offers an extensive array of attachments to clean all kinds of surfaces and in all kinds of situations.

Both are very easy to use, powerful, filter well and get the jobs done with ease. I clean a room from top to bottom first with the Miele - even using the AirTeq Carpet Nozzle for surface cleaning of any carpets. I finish the room with the Hoover upright for a deep down carpet cleaning from far end of the room to the door - backing out so as not to leave any footprints.

Post# 383777 , Reply# 10   1/7/2018 at 19:12 by countryguy (Astorville, ON, Canada)        

countryguy's profile picture
Whereas Eurekaprince prefers 2 vacuums, I would rather have a canister with a power nozzle as I like to switch between vacuuming the carpet/floor and using the dust brush, crevice tool, etc. so that I can get an entire room cleaned before moving onto the next room. If you have an upright and a canister you either have to bring both vacuums with you from room to room (major inconvenience in my opinion) or you do all of your above floor cleaning first and then the carpets (or vice versa). I have many canisters with power nozzles - old and new. Aerus (formerly Electrolux) is a well known brand. I have the top of the line Guardian PLatinum - filters very well, is very quiet and also includes a mini motorized power nozzle for furniture and stairs. I also have an almost 50 year old Electrolux with power nozzle, Hoover Celebrity, and am expecting a recently purchased Filter Queen to arrive tomorrow.


Post# 383779 , Reply# 11   1/7/2018 at 19:19 by kirby519 (Wisconsin)        

Buying High End vacuums like Kirby or Rainbow Is a bidding game.

They can sell them for a fraction of what "the asking price is" I bought a new Kirby in 1987. list $1,100.00 Paid $499.00 for the basic machine added the rug renovator and zip brush for $150.00 more. BTW still using it.

Post# 383781 , Reply# 12   1/7/2018 at 19:54 by n0oxy (Saint Louis Missouri, United States)        
I would definitely suggest a power nozzle canister

Since you want to get under the bed and other things, I would definitely suggest a canister with a power nozzle. Most uprights simply will not be able to do that, a power nozzle canister will clean your carpets just as well as an upright, and for dusting your furniture, remove the power nozzle and attach a dusting brush. Now that we have a bit more information, I can suggest a few different ones.
If you want a water filtration machine similar to a rainbow, I would check out the Sirena, it works just as well but is much cheaper. For bagged power nozzle canisters, I would suggest the Sebo D4 or the Riccar Prima. Miele also makes several power team canisters that you may want to look at. The Electrolux Ultra One Deluxe is also a very nice machine that is very quiet. If you want a Sebo that is a bit cheaper than the D4, the K3 would be a good choice, it's a bit smaller than the D4.

Post# 383786 , Reply# 13   1/7/2018 at 20:42 by markhenry (USA)        

Thanks for the feedback.

I prefer to do one room before moving to the next. I wouldn't want 2 machines and I need something to vacuum the bed. I had no idea dust mites live in a mattress. Wonder what I will pull out of this bed *eek*.


What is the Kirby like in terms of filtration? The latest one, Avalair or something... it has HEPA Bags.... does it release dust out of the machine still or is it gonna keep the air clean like a rainbow?

Post# 383789 , Reply# 14   1/7/2018 at 20:57 by countryguy (Astorville, ON, Canada)        

countryguy's profile picture
If you vacuum one room at a time then you are not going to want a Kirby since the switchover from rugs to above the floor cleaning is cumbersome. Also the Kirby will not fit under the bed. Most higher end vacuums these days have Hepa filtration. Any canister with a power nozzle can be used to vacuum the mattress.


Post# 383796 , Reply# 15   1/7/2018 at 23:14 by Kirbyvertibles (Independence, KS)        

kirbyvertibles's profile picture
Both are excellent choices. Both filter very well. Personally I prefer a tank type cleaner however I do love a good upright as well. Kirby is a great machine and one of if Not the most reliable machine on the market. A rainbow can be a bit more troublesome unless you take care of it.
I would say, sounds like you might benefit better with a Kirby.

Post# 383811 , Reply# 16   1/8/2018 at 01:45 by markhenry (USA)        

There is one other thing to mention...

I need to be able to vacuum the curtains and stuff because cats always jump up on the window sill, and soon they get on that... you see fine hair hanging off the ends of the curtains... not to mention all my cotton clothes and woollen suit has hair on it from them!

I tried the hose in the upright vacuum i got on my shorts (Cotton)... forget it... that hair ain't coming out, and when my shorts are black... every hair is visible and it looks like dirty grub but the pants ARE clean BAH

Also wasn't sure if it was worth mentioning... I don't plan to stay in this place forever, I plan to move out somewhere in 2-3 years that has wooden floors (or tiled if I can't find wooden) in most of the house...

Would the rainbow be better for that new place? If so... might be better to go in that direction than the Kirby. At least then I have something good for here (furniture, carpet etc - close to Kirby quality) and more suitable for hard floors when I move out, rather than having to go buy something else at that time to suit the new place.

Given the type of person I am (a nature/natural) - That is what intrigued me about the whole 'water vacuuming'.

Then the question is... the Rainbow is Asthma Allergy something certified and something else certified.

Perhaps that will give the freshest/cleanest smell in the home?

But how well/bad does it actually 'clean'...

If I vacuum 2 (maybe 3) times per week... will it eventually get everything out of the carpet... in which case it isn't about which vacuum cleans better (first time) as doing it often enough either 1 will get 'everything' out... and then as long as I vacuum regular, there wont be a chance for stuff to fall back down deep into the carpet as it is being vacuumed more frequently, and therefor it is as clean as it will get... ??

Post# 383816 , Reply# 17   1/8/2018 at 06:58 by eurekaprince (Montreal, Canada)        

eurekaprince's profile picture
Just keep in mind that when filled with water, the Rainbow is very heavy to carry up a flight of stairs. As well, it seems that the process of keeping it hygienically clean after each use is not that simple...check the internet for what is required before storing it away.

Also, I sometimes wonder if dumping lots of pet hair down the toilet is good for your plumbing.

Post# 383817 , Reply# 18   1/8/2018 at 07:22 by eurekaprince (Montreal, Canada)        

eurekaprince's profile picture
I found a video by Rainbow explaining what you need to do before storing the machine. They recommend you strain the dirty water before pouring it into a sink or toilet.

See YouTube clip below:

CLICK HERE TO GO TO eurekaprince's LINK

Post# 383904 , Reply# 19   1/8/2018 at 21:01 by kirby519 (Wisconsin)        

From what you describe you would probably benefit from a good canister/tank type vacuum. Rainbow wouldn't be my first choice. Due to set up and clean up. I know there are bagged machines that have far better air flow and suction than the Rainbow.

I have used most Domestic and Commercial machines due to my job. For me it is the Kirby 98% of the time. I grew up with them and it lends itself well to my style of cleaning and or needs. I'm not one that feels the need to vacuum every square inch of flooring or ever piece of furniture every time I get the vacuum out.

Even when I had a cat here I didn't vacuum every thing every time. I do have a Dirt Devil hand vacuum I used to surface clean the furniture as needed in-between those end of the month detailed cleanings.

Post# 383925 , Reply# 20   1/9/2018 at 09:34 by sptyks (Skowhegan, Maine)        

sptyks's profile picture



FYI - All of the Kirby G series machines, including Avalir, are capable of using the newer Kirby HEPA bags. When using a HEPA bag in your Kirby, you will actually be cleaning the air in the room as you vacuum.


Also, because of their massive airflow, Kirby and the newer Royal metal upright vacuums will deep clean your carpets better than any other vacuum, Upright or Canister. Kirby Avalir has won CRI's GOLD seal of approval (Royal won Silver) for cleaning ability and Air Filtration.




Post# 383941 , Reply# 21   1/9/2018 at 13:06 by jade_angel (Newport News, VA)        

FWIW, the Royal 18" models are listed as Gold in the latest listings now too.


Post# 384353 , Reply# 22   1/16/2018 at 15:15 by Ultralux88 (Denver, Colorado)        

ultralux88's profile picture

I've honestly never found keeping the Rainbow clean to be that big of a hassle to be honest. Less of a bother than attaching the hose to the front of a Kirby if you want my opinion...

Post# 384397 , Reply# 23   1/17/2018 at 18:57 by n0oxy (Saint Louis Missouri, United States)        
maintaining a rainbow

It's not difficult, it's actually easier than a lot of the other bagless machines because you don't have to worry about the fine dust clogging it. First, dump the water down the toilet or outside, remove the separator from the bottom of the motor unit and take that along with the basin to the sink. Wash them both with dish washing soap and water, just like washing a couple of food dishes. Reattach the separator to the motor shaft and tighten it finger tight with the nut. That's pretty much it, you may need to replace the hepa filter and clean the fan after a few years but this should not be a common thing. I do actually think the Sirena's basin is a bit easier to clean, the Rainbow's basin has a roof on it that dirt tends to cling to and removing this can take some extra time. The Sirena's basin is completely open, nothing above the opening where the water is so this does not happen. Still, maintaining both units is the same. And be sure not to store either machine with the motor unit attached to the basin, best to put the motor unit on the cart and store the basin elsewhere.

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