What Are The Different Types Of Vacuum Cleaners? (With Pros And Cons)

ECOVACS T10 robot vacuum cleaner sweeping in a room.

If you are on the lookout for a new vacuum cleaner, there are many criteria you should consider before making your purchase. Factors like the size of your household, the layout of your home and the flooring all have a bearing on the type of cleaner you buy.

Then there are your personal preferences when it comes to housekeeping. Do you want something lightweight like a stick vacuum so that you can do a quick clean or a heavy-duty central vacuum that does a more thorough job? Maybe you’d like to have an active role in cleaning your home with a canister vacuum or prefer a more set-it-and-forget-it approach to your routine with a robot vacuum.

All these different considerations can be overwhelming, so we’ve got a ready reckoner of the different types of vacuum cleaners to help you decide what works best for you and your home needs.

Corded vacuums

A yellow corded vacuum cleaner on a hardwood floor.

These more conventional vacuums plug directly into your home’s power source. They usually come with retractable cords, which lets users store the cord inside the vacuum when it isn’t being used and adjust its length during cleaning.

Pros: Powerful and consistent suction, good storage capacity, reliable power source

Cons: Heavy, inconvenient to carry, difficult to use in multi-storied homes

Canister vacuums

A canister vacuum cleaner on a hardwood floor. The red-and-black canister is connected to the vacuum head with a hose and pipe.

This is a corded vacuum in which the motor and dirt container are in a canister and connected to the power head with a hose. They work best on non-carpeted floors and homes with more floor space.

Pros: Greater suction power, quiet

Cons: Inconvenient to store, difficult to take from room to room and up and down stairs

Upright vacuums

A woman in an aquamarine bathrobe holds a maroon upright vacuum cleaner to clean a hardwood floor.

This vacuum stands, as the name suggests, upright on the power head. It’s an all-in-one device in which the head, dirt container and motor are in the same unit.

Pros: Easy to store and maneuver 

Cons: Noisy, heavy, inconvenient for tight spaces and stairs

Stick vacuums

A woman in a blue shirt cleaning her curtains using a stick vacuum cleaner. She is holding the cleaner by the handle with her left hand while her right hand is free.

This is a lightweight and compact version of the upright vacuum cleaner. Buyers have the option of getting the corded or battery-powered cordless variety.

Pros: Easy to store and carry, convenient for daily use, good for cleaning tight spaces

Cons: Less powerful suction, small dustbins, run for a limited time per charge

Handheld vacuums

A woman is surrounded by other pieces of furniture, such as a wood side table with a potted plant, a light brown cupboard and a thin carpet. There is a blank white canvas on the wall above the sofa.

These small and handy cleaners, which are typically battery-operated, are useful for homes with small children and pets. They’re more likely to be secondary vacuums because of their limited storage capacity.

Pros: Good for minor messes and tight spaces, convenient for quick cleans

Cons: Small capacity, short runtime

Central vacuums

A woman wearing a yellow short-sleeved top, grey pants and yellow shoes vacuums the tiled floor of her house with a central vacuum cleaner. The cleaner's hose connects the head of the vacuum to an inlet valve.

The motor of this heavy-duty vacuum is generally kept in a separate space from the cleaning components. Dirt and dust picked up by the vacuum head travel through a long hose plugged into an inlet valve, which is connected to the central device of the cleaner via PVC pipes.

Pros: Powerful suction, quiet, improved air quality

Cons: Expensive, incompatible with small homes

Backpack vacuums

These vacuum cleaners are worn on the user’s back and come with or without cords. Since they’re portable, they’re largely used by commercial cleaners who work in large spaces or by professionals who deep-clean homes.

Pros: Easy to maneuver and carry, good for small spaces and tight corners

Cons: Expensive, risk of back pain if not worn correctly

Robot vacuums

ecovacs deebot t20 omni cleaning hardwood floor

The newest variety of vacuum cleaner is the autonomous version that uses sensors and robotic drives along with programmable controllers and cleaning routines. They are typically cordless, battery-operated, and respond to voice commands. Some of the latest models can create detailed 3D maps of a user’s home and use it to identify furniture and objects that it needs to clean around.

Pros: Cordless design, intelligent mapping, scheduled cleaning, hands-free cleaning under furniture, remote control, automatic recharge and self-cleaning, good for people with limited mobility, saves time and energy, fun to use

Cons: Risk of getting stuck, ineffective on stairs and thick surfaces like thick rugs, maintenance takes time and money

Discover Smart Vacuums, the Future of Home Cleaning

ECOVACS, pioneers in the field of smart vacuum cleaners, is at the forefront of in-home robotic cleaning solutions. The company has a host of robot vacuums that come with a variety of features. Some standout products are:


The ECOVACS DEEBOT N10 PLUS returning to the charging station during the middle of a cleaning session.


If you’re a pet owner or have a home with several carpets - or a pet owner with several carpets - the DEEBOT N10 PLUS was designed with you in mind. It has five dust collection modes to choose from and an antibacterial filter* and dust bag that can cut down any odor from pet hair by up to 99.99%*. Forgotten to charge the N10 after the last cleaning session? The vacuum will return to its charging station when it’s low on power, charge until it has enough power to finish the job, and pick up where it left off.

*The antibacterial agent SILVADUR TM 930 Antimicrobial(EPA Reg. No.:464-785) and REVACIL(EPA Reg. No.:69461-1) has been added to ECOVACS DEEBOT Antibacterial* Filter, it imparts antimicrobial activity and prevents the growth of bacteria, mold, such as escherichia coli, staphylococcus aureus, candida albicans and mildew that may cause unpleasant odors, discoloration, or deterioration of the treated product.
*99.99% antibacterial effect on common bacteria (Escherichia coli, Staphylococcus aureus). Test data from a third-party authoritative laboratory.


A DEEBOT using the Turbo 2.0 rotating mopping system to mop a tiled floor.

If you’re in the market for a two-in-one robot vacuum that sweeps and mops, then the DEEBOT X1 TURBO might just do the trick. Its primary floating brush and two side brushes, combined with its 5000Pa* suction power, all work to ensure a thorough clean. The OZMO Turbo 2.0 Rotating Mopping System rotates up to 180 times per minute to remove stubborn stains.

*The data cited above comes from ECOVACS laboratory testing. 5000Pa is what is measured at the fan port.


A woman sits on her sofa with her slippers off as she holds her phone and tells her DEEBOT X1 OMNI to return to its station.

This model uses Artificial Intelligence Visual Interpretation (AIVI) technology to recognize and avoid common household objects - such as shoes, dustbins, and cables - while cleaning. The DEEBOT X1 OMNI also comes with an OMNI Station, which spares the user the trouble of cleaning up post-cleanup. The system separates clean and used water, automatically washes and dries the cleaner’s mop pads, and refills water itself. The station also empties the vacuum’s dust bin into a large-capacity storage bag, and can even clean itself with the tap of a button.


What vacuum cleaner is best for my home?

This can depend on how hands-on or hands-free you want your housecleaning routine to be. If you have a busy work-from-home schedule or are prone to allergies, you may prefer a more autonomous cleaning experience. For instance, the ECOVACS DEEBOT family - in particular the OMNI series - can auto-empty the dust the vacuum collects and self-clean its mop pads.

How to choose a vacuum cleaner for my home?

Pick a vacuum cleaner that is versatile - one that works on a variety of surfaces, cleans different kinds of messes, and suits different family situations. A robot vacuum cleaner like the ECOVACS DEEBOT T20 OMNI can switch between the vacuum and mop modes seamlessly for hardwood flooring and carpets, clean small spills and large areas, and take care of thick pet hair and dust particles effectively.

Are robot vacuum cleaners a good option for me?

The sleek design and autonomous nature of robot vacuum cleaners make them ideal for people with different housecleaning requirements. The DEEBOT family of robot vacuum cleaners from ECOVACS, for example, is equipped with voice recognition, 3D mapping capabilities, visual recognition, and self-cleaning stations. These features can work for people who live in small spaces, with busy routines, and who have mobility issues, among others.

Related Products

DEEBOT T20 OMNI Robot Vacuum
A New Generation of All-in-One DEEBOT with Automatic Mop Lifting and Hot-water Mop Washing
ECOVACS Brand New All-in-One Vacuum and Mopping Cleaner
DEEBOT X1 TURBO Robot Vacuum & Mop
ECOVACS Brand New Multi-function Vacuum and Mopping Expert
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