Choosing the Best Commercial Vacuum Cleaner

Posted by Shannon Hanson on

Choosing the Best Commercial Vacuum Cleaner

Office buildings and educational institutions share a need to keep their floors and stairways clean. Learn some tips for choosing the best commercial vacuum cleaner.


Commercial vacuums are in near constant use. They need to be tough. Most are made with durability in mind and parts that can endure heavy use. Check what the manufacturer says about the lifespan of the vacuum you’re considering and about how often it might need fresh parts or service.

Type and Ergonomics

The kind of facility you are cleaning may dictate the type of commercial vacuum cleaners to choose. Manufacturing facilities and warehouses might want a wet/dry vacuum, while hotels and offices might do well with an upright.

  • Wet/dry vacuums are able to clear spills, leaks, and rainwater that finds its way to the floor.
  • Upright vacuums may fit on housekeeping carts and are easy to maneuver around furniture.
  • Canister vacuums are quieter and more versatile for cleaning stairs and under furniture or shelving. Their canister stays behind on the floor while the user works with the wand and vacuum head only.
  • Handheld vacuums work well for drapes and blinds, while backpack vacuums for large facilities where cleaning staff must use them for long hours are less typical but might be perfect for your workplace.

When choosing a commercial vacuum, think about how the commercial vacuum cleaner will affect its user physically. Does the handle fit different-sized hands comfortably? Are the controls easily accessed? Will the user have to maintain a bent-over position using it or can they stand up straight?


Commercial vacuums may feature a variety of attachments for cleaning upholstery, baseboards, or crevices. They should have settings for hard floors and height adjustments for various types of carpet. For offices and hotels, bumpers that protect walls are important. The diameter of the hose is a factor in the amount of dust, dirt, and debris the machine can remove with each pass across a section of floor.

Also consider capacity and whether the vacuum uses bags or is bagless. There are pros and cons for both, related to sustainability, expense, and dust when emptying the machine. Weight is important if cleaners will be expected to haul the vacuum around.


The Carpet and Rug Institute (CRI) maintains standards for dirt and dust removal, containment, and the effect cleaning equipment can have on carpet texture. Certified vacuums meet CRI standards and should remove dirt effectively without damaging your carpet’s texture.


HEPA filters are the standard for removing allergens, germs, and dust. HEPA stands for “High Efficiency Particulate Air” filter. Not all vacuums come with or accommodate HEPA filters, but the presence of a HEPA filter may be a deciding factor in choosing the best commercial vacuum cleaner.

Length of Hose and Cord

The areas where the vacuum will be used, plus safety regulations for the building will affect the length of both the hose and the cord you’ll need. Some commercial vacuum cleaners have hoses and wands that detach, while others have “store aboard” type hoses and attachments.

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