Upright or Cylinder Vacuum: Which Is Best For You?

August 4, 2016

Everyone likes a sparkling, sanitized home and a vacuum is an integral part of your cleaning arsenal. We will look today at some differences between upright and cylinder models.

We understand that everyone has different requirements so we will outline the key similarities and disparities between these types of vacuum cleaner.

Like with anything in life, if you are well-informed you can make the best decision armed with the knowledge that your purchase will be a sound investment not something you regret spending money on.

  • Upright

Great for cleaning homes which are mostly carpeted. The attached brush will work wonders on the pile of your carpet and spirit away all ingrained dirt and grime

  • Cylinder

These dinky vacuums are much more compact than uprights. If you have a smaller home then a cylinder model could be just what you are looking for.

Upright Vacuum

When we think of vacuums, the standard upright is what immediately springs to mind. The upright works well cleaning all types of flooring but really comes into its own for carpeted areas. Many of these models, although large, are extremely easy to maneuver. Innovations in technology have led to simple steering and overall movement. If you suffer from lower back pain, an upright eliminates much of the bending and stretching required with a cylinder. Added size brings with it increased capacity. With an upright, you will be spared emptying your vacuum on a regular basis.

Cylinder Vacuum

If you have a smaller home then the reduced size and weight of a cylinder vacuum is a definite selling point. They are no trouble to move around and can be stored away after use in limited spaces. Although an upright is not badly restricted in terms of maneuverability, it goes without saying that a cylinder will be simpler still to cart around. If you are getting older or find physical exercise more problematic then a cylinder is a good way to make your life easier. A cylinder is truly multi-purpose. Whether your home is carpeted or has hard floors, a cylinder vacuum acquits itself admirably on all surfaces. It will also make cleaning your stairs a walk in the park.

Overall, if you have the need to clean hard-to-reach areas and want an affordable and versatile vacuum, a cylinder model could be just what the doctor ordered.

How about some of the main features of vacuum cleaners?

We will outline now some key points for you to consider when choosing between these two very different varieties of cleaner.

  • Performance

If you are looking for raw power, an upright is the perfect choice.

NLOS (no loss of suction) technology offers superior cleaning power. This takes advantage of a multi-cyclonic action. Say goodbye to clogged filters and maintain maximum suction power.

Most cylinder vacuums are potent enough to get your house cleaned but they are never going to compete with an upright in terms of overall performance. When it comes to power, uprights rule the roost.

  • Bagged or Bagless

By far the majority of vaccums now come free of bags. It’s quicker and simpler to remove the bin than to replace the bag. It’s also, clearly, more cost-effective and environmentally-friendly.

The advantage of the bagged variant is more capacity. With some bags, the dust is sealed away to facilitate disposal. With others it’s a messier procedure. Read some honest product reviews to check on this.

If you suffer from allergies or asthma, it’s worth targeting a bagless upright which removes allergens from the airflow.

Think carefully about which suits you best.

Whether you are using an upright or a cylinder vacuum, the choice about whether or not you want a bag will depend on the factors outlined above more than whether it’s an upright or cylinder.

  • Maneuverability

Weighing anywhere between 1-10kg, uprights vary significantly in terms of size.

Think about where you will use your vacuum. If you are carrying it up and down stairs frequently then consider a lighter model. If you need to clean the stairs themselves regularly then an upright is not the best option without special tools.

Overall, uprights are not difficult to move around but consider these provisos when researching the best model to buy.

Cylinders, on the other hand, are tailor-made for carrying around and using to access awkward spots without overexerting yourself.

In a heads-up between these two types of vacuum for maneuverability, the cylinder wins hands down.

  • Capacity

Most uprights will hold between 1-4 liters of dust.

To generalize, the larger the capacity the larger the vacuum cleaner.

Cylinders, although smaller, tend to hold roughly the same amount of dirt so there is not much between them on this score.

Analyze your requirements and take into account the size of your home. This will help you to get the upright which works best for you.

  • Pet Hair

Any pet owner knows just how tough it can be to satisfactorily remove animal hair. As well as being unsightly and difficult to deal with, pet hair leaves unpleasant odors.

If you have pets at home, it’s worth investigating designated Pet models. With boosted suction power and high speed brushes, this specialist vacuums will make cleaning up after your animal a breeze. They also often come with brushes and attachments – known as mini turbo tools – to further simplify the process.

Uprights are generally a sound bet for coping with the mess left behind by pets but it’s worth investing the time to choose the most suitable version.

The advantage of cleaning with a cylinder is that you get closer to any stubborn stains and can work on them more easily. They are also more practical to carry around making cleaning up behind your pet hassle-free.

  • Accesspries and Attachments

Homes come in different shapes and sizes with lots of nooks and crannies that can be hard to clean.

Most uprights and cylinders come with a range of accessories to make this tricky jobs a bit less problematic.

Crevice tools help you get around and under furniture or kitchen appliances. Upholstery tools are great for cleaning fabric – they work well in the car too – while dusting brushes are wonderful for the finishing touches of cleaning.

Different models come with different attachments so look into the ones which will be most useful for you and make sure they are included. Whether you decide upon an upright or cylinder, make certain that the accessories provided are the ones that you need most.


As the saying goes, there are horses for courses. It is almost impossible to describe either an upright or a cylinder vacuum as “better” or “worse”. They are simply different.

If you have a large, carpeted house and don’t mind spending on a good quality cleaner then an upright vacuum would likely be more suitable.

For those with lots of stairs to clean and the need for a more compact unit, a cylinder offers many plus points and also comes in at a lesser price.


Think carefully about which type of vacuum meshes best with your needs. Pay close attention to whether or not you want a bag and what attachments you will get then use this information to make sure you buy the best upright or cylinder vacuum that you can afford.

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