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Stationary Vacuum vs Traditional Vacuum: Pros and Cons

We all remember that trusty Hoover in our grandparent’s house. Upright vacuum cleaners have been around for quite some time. Although they’re heavy and take up a considerable amount of space in the closet, upright vacs work great on carpets, and they always come with an attachment tool or two.

Traditional Vacuum vs Stationary

On the other hand, stationary vacuums, while they do produce suction, differ greatly from traditional upright vacuums. These vacuums require you to bring the dirt to them, and some models must be installed under your cabinetry. However, stationary vacuum cleaners offer hands-free operation, and they get rid of lingering dirt and dust on hard floors.

Want to know more about traditional and stationary vacuums? Here are the good and the not-so-good aspects of each.


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Traditional Vacuums: The Pros

Pro 1: They Clean Carpets

Traditional upright vacuums were originally designed for cleaning carpets, and that’s what they do best. These vacuum cleaners boast powerful suction, which is often of the cyclonic-filtering variety. They are also equipped with a brushroll, which allows them to reach deep in between carpet fibers, lifting dirt that isn’t immediately visible to the eye.

Traditional Vacuum

Pro 2: They Also Clean Hard Floors

Models made before the days of cyclonic suction, adjustable nozzles, and other snazzy features weren’t meant for use on linoleum and hardwoods. Modern uprights can vacuum both carpets and hard floors. To do so, you can adjust the head to meet the height of the floor. Depending on the model, variable-speed suction is also available to tailor the suction strength to the task at hand.

Pro 3: An Almost Limitless Reach

No matter the size of the room, traditional vacuum cleaners can reach every corner. As long as there is access to an electrical outlet, you can vacuum wherever there is dirt. Features like swivel steering are becoming commonplace, allowing you to clean in awkward spaces. Some upright models even have a lift-off canister, so you can vacuum stairs and areas above your head.

Pro 4: Virtually All Models Come With Attachments

As hard as we tried, we could not think of one traditional upright vacuum cleaner that didn’t come with at least one accessory. In fact, the standard number of accessories is two – a dust brush and a crevice nozzle. Plenty of uprights come with more attachments that just the basics, including motorized brushes and dual-function tools.

Vacuum Cleaners

Traditional Vacuums: The Cons

Con 1: They’re Heavy

While there are lightweight uprights, those are few and far between. Most often, traditional uprights have some bulk to them. Usually, an upright weighs anywhere from 15 to 20 pounds; however, there are a few that range from 12 to 14 pounds.

Con 2: They Commandeer the Closet

The widest part of an upright vacuum is its floor head, which measures about 12 or 14 inches, depending on the specific model. They are also tall enough to come up to the average person’s torso. You can’t fold them to make these vacuums compact; therefore, they will take up a lot of room, especially if your storage closet’s floor is just 2 or 3 feet squared.

Stationary vs Traditional

Con 3: Wheels Can Be Problematic

On plush carpet, the carpet fibers may get trapped in the wheel housing. Even when the pile is medium-height, the weight of the upright may push down on the fibers, leaving lines where the wheels traveled. If the wheels are black or made of hard plastic, there is an inherent risk of the wheels putting scuff marks on hard floors.

Con 4: The Power Cord

Due to the high wattage of the motor, all traditional, full-size uprights are corded. The longer the cord, the more likely it’ll trip someone. Then, there is the arduous task of wrapping the power cord when you’re finished vacuuming. Some upright models offer an auto-rewind feature that retracts the cord with the push of a button, but this is not the norm.

Related Post: What is a Touchless Stationary Vacuum?

Stationary Vacuums: The Pros

Pro 1: Hands-Free Operation

The main selling point of a stationary vacuum is that you don’t have to touch it with your hands to use it. If the stationary vac only works manually, you can push a button with your foot. If the stationary vac has an automatic-suction feature, sensors will activate the suction, so your foot won’t have to do it.

Stationary vs Traditional Vacuum

Pro 2: Dirt Lines Gone

Sweeping a floor is a simple task. Making it look spotless isn’t always so easy. No matter how much you sweep, there is always a light line of dirt or dust left on the floor. Stationary vacuums use suction to eliminate the remaining dirt in a way that a dustpan can’t.

Pro 3: No Bending Over

Although the process of sweeping is straightforward, it can do a number on your back. The elderly and those who suffer from mobility issues such as arthritis are the ones who suffer the most. For some people, bending over just to sweep dirt into a pan is impossible. With a stationary vacuum, you can control the suction and get rid of all the debris without hurting your back.

Pro 4: They Are Space-Friendly

Stationary vacuums come in two varieties – built-in and free-standing. Built-in stationary vacuums don’t take up any floor space because they fit behind the kick plate under a cabinet. Free-standing versions do need open floor space, but they don’t require a lot because they are much smaller than traditional vacuums.

Related Stationary Vacuum Articles

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 • Stationary Vacuum vs. Traditional Vacuum

Stationary Vacuums: The Cons

Con 1: They’re Incompatible With Carpets

Yes, stationary units are vacuum cleaners in the sense that they suction debris. Unlike traditional uprights, stationary vacs just don’t help you clean carpets. You have to sweep the debris toward the inlet. This necessitates the use of a broomstick, and brooms simply don’t work on carpets (at least, not efficiently).

Stationary Vacuums

Con 2: Their Reach Is Limited

The downside mentioned above brings us to our next point. You must bring the debris to the stationary vacuum instead of taking the vacuum to the mess on the floor. This increases the chance of scattering fine dirt and dust around the floor on the way to the vacuum.

Con 3: Attachments Aren’t Standard

All the tools and the hose that come with an upright are rarely included with a stationary vacuum. Some built-in stationary vacuum manufacturers offer accessory kits as a separate purchase, and these kits do include a hose, a crevice nozzle, and a brush. However, these kits aren’t available for free-standing stationary vacuums.

Stationary Vacuum vs Traditional Vacuum

Con 4: Built-Ins Require Installation

For free-standing models, setup is basically plug-and-play. Built-ins are much different. They come with a template that you use to measure the space on the kick plate that the stationary vac needs. You must cut the kick plate with a saw and use a screwdriver to secure the vacuum. Installation can easily take 30 minutes – longer if you’re a novice.

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EyeVac Pro Touchless Vacuum Automatic Dustpan...
EyeVac PRO
• 1400 Watt Motor
• High-Efficiency Filtration
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• 13 x 7.5 x 20.5 in
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The EyeVac PRO is a quick cleanup vacuum that boasts a stylish design complimenting any space. Featuring a powerful 1400 Watt motor and high-efficiency air filter, it's perfect for quick cleaning spills.
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Sweep directly up to the front of the EyeVac Home. Infrared sensors detect debris and Instantly activate. Watch as EyeVac cleans your floors instantly! EyeVac’s high efficiency dual filter removes dirt, returning clean air to your home.
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Last Update: 2024-05-26 | Affiliate links/Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

About the author

Hi I’m Alex, founder of HouseholdMe.com and I’d like to say thank you for dropping by. Like most of you, the first thing I look at before buying something online is reviews or buying guides. By reading what other people say will help me gauge whether or not a product is good or not.  I am trying to help people find answers, solve problems, and get inspired.

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