I can’t remember when but a few years back I bought a Hoover Nano-Lite1For those who care, Model # was U2440-900. from Target. It has served me extremely well but recently broke down and died. I needed a new vacuum – and I like to research before I make these sorts of purchases. Not so much to save money as to find a really solid product. I don’t mind paying a little more, I do mind products and services that waste my time.
The first thing I did was see if the Hoover Nano-Lite was still available (it isn’t). My next step was to hop on over to Target and browse through their selection of vacuums. Why Target? Because Target tends to offer a decent range of the most popular products representative of the market as a whole – yet doesn’t offer anything. If I go onto Amazon I will give up researching – there are simply too many choices, so Target is a good way to narrow things down (and this is where I think places like Target still have a lead over Amazon).
Even using Target I ended up with a fairly vast list of potential vacuums. So I narrowed it down by seeing the features that the Nano-Lite had that I really liked and then finding the models that best matched or exceeded these features at a reasonable price point.2A reasonable price point is always a compromise between feature set and quality versus cost for the feature set and quality. For example, one may only pay a few dollars extra to move from a flaky product to a good product, and a few more to move to a really good product – to move into the top echelon of great products there is a huge price premium – and so the price per feature/increase in quality becomes significantly greater than at lower levels.
In the end I came down to two models – the Bissell CleanView 9595 and the Hoover Sprint UH20040. I’ve included a table below comparing the two models.
The Bissell was slightly more expensive but had a 4.5 rating on Target as opposed to the Hoovers 4, its cord was 2′ longer than the Hoover, and it came with a 2 year warranty. On the other hand, the Hoover was less expensive, had a 1′ longer hose, and weighed 2.6 lbs less.
In the end I decided to go with the Sprint primarily because of the lower weight (though still higher than the Nano-Lite). For me, weight had been one of the biggest factors in buying the Nano-Lite – I really love a vacuum I can easily maneuver/carry. I’m also a sucker for system monitoring (where the device monitors its own health)…oh, and the lower price didn’t hurt.
The vacuum should arrive in the mail tomorrow and I’ll be sure to give an update to everyone if I decide I made a mistake. Before I close this post let me just highlight a few items about vacuums generally you might want to know:
- Not all vacuums have roller bars. I saw several nice, less-expensive vacuums but they didn’t have roller bars. These work on hard floors but really aren’t great on carpet.
- By “tools” I mean essentially the detachable hose – some of the less-expensive models, especially stick vacuums don’t have a detachable hose – which to me is silly. Why would I want a tiny vacuum if in order to clean I now need to use two devices?
- Some vacuums are bagless (like all three above) while others have bags. I’m torn over which is better. The bagless are less expensive to maintain (no need to buy more bags) but I’m not a big fan of the way dust sprouts everywhere when you dump them out.
- A washable filter is nice, but you probably aren’t talking about a HEPA quality filter. I made this trade-off, but it isn’t one everyone will want to make. If you have allergies you may want to pay more to get a true HEPA filter…just remember these will also cost more to replace.
- Capacity is important. These lite little vacuums are great for mobility, but their waste area isn’t huge. If you are coming from a more traditional vacuum, I’d guess that the waste disposal is 1/3rd the size on one of these little guys. I never found this to be problematic (and I had four cats), but you may.
- By “path” I mean how wide the area that sucks up waste is on the vacuum. This is important to note. Some vacuums have much smaller sucking areas – such as 8″. This means that you’ll have to do more passes to cover the entirety of a room. On the other hand, if the path is too wide it will make it difficult to fit into narrow areas and require more moving of furniture.
- You’ll also notice that none of these units are handheld. One of the nice features of the stick vacuums (which didn’t usually have tools) was that they detached to become handheld units. I decided that this wasn’t as important as the tools…though I’d really like to see an affordable unit combine these two aspects.
- Finally, you’ll note that the ampage on these units is 10 amps each. The amps are the power of the motor. Some of the smaller, cheaper vacuums have significantly lower ampage – like 1.25-2 amps. I haven’t used a unit with this little ampage but I have a hard time believing the motor will be able to suck up waste effectively with so little power behind it.
Here is hoping that my research may make someone else’s research a little less extensive. 🙂