How Long Do Vacuums Last?

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Categories Vacuuming
Properly maintained vacuums can last a number of years — but how many can you expect from yours?

Everyone has a vacuum, right? It’s perhaps one of the most popular cleaning tools we have in the home.

But buying a vacuum is not so easy. Most of the time, we concentrate on the brand, suction, or style of vacuum. But one of the most important specifications to consider when purchasing a new one is its longevity.

Of course, it’s not always that straightforward. Manufacturers may tell you what filters or battery the vacuum has, but they don’t really state how long it will last.


Types of Vacuums and Their Lifespan

Vacuums can last a median of eight years (1). Of course, some will last a few years less than this, while others can run longer.

Let’s take a look at the average lifespan of different types of vacuums to find the right one for you.

1. Upright Vacuum

Man cleaning the carpet with an upright vacuum

Considered the “original” vacuum design, the upright is the biggest and most bulky type you can get. But this shouldn’t be viewed solely as a negative.

Sure, they might not be easy to store or so versatile to carry around. But they’re often built to last, typically with more suction and sturdier construction.

This means that you may expect an upright vacuum to last a long time — we’d say near the eight-year milestone or beyond.

In addition, they’re normally corded. This means you don’t have to worry about the life of any batteries.

2. Canister Vacuum

Pretty woman cleaning the carpet with a canister vacuum

A canister vacuum offers similar suction and power to an upright vacuum. They’re corded too. So, you can probably expect a similar lifespan of up to or exceeding eight years.

But they’re viewed as a more portable option. This might mean that they’re not as durable and may break with misuse.

3. Stick Vacuum

Woman cleans the floor with cordless stick vacuum

Stick vacuums are all about being lightweight and versatile for cleaning. Sure, this makes them easy to use around the home. But they’re not going to be the most durable vacuum ever. They’re also not designed for cleaning heavily soiled floors.

We’d estimate that stick vacuums may last for around five to eight years. The most well-known brands might also be more trusted when it comes to this style.

4. Robot Vacuum

Robot vacuum on hardwood floor

One of the newest inventions when it comes to vacuums is the robot vacuum. This operates on its own. Robot vacuums are ideal if you’re at work all day or just want to chill out and not worry about vacuuming.

Unfortunately, they just aren’t going to be as robust as upright vacuums. They may also be more likely to run into trouble since you’re not operating them directly.

Robot vacuums also operate by battery power. If it’s built into the vacuum, this may mean you can’t replace them.

That means your vacuum will only last as long as the battery does. Lithium-ion batteries may last longer than other types. But still, we’d say that robot vacuums may only last between three to five years.

5. Handheld

Cleaning the sofa with a handheld vacuum

Last but not least is a handheld vacuum. These are designed to be lightweight and easy to use around the house and even in the car.

The motor isn’t as powerful as other options and they also run on batteries. A handheld vacuum may last around two to three years, depending on how well you take care of it.

Factors That Influence How Long a Vacuum Lasts

The lifespan of your vacuum is never guaranteed. But it’s not totally unpredictable like the lottery. Certain additional factors can influence indicate how long your vacuum might last.

1. The Brand

The manufacturer plays a huge part in controlling the longevity of a vacuum. As a general rule, bigger branded vacuums tend to be better than unbranded, local store products. Although, of course, this isn’t always the case.

But such brands often have more money to play with and so use premium parts. They’re also likely to complete product research and generally have higher standards.

They may also offer you a warranty with the vacuum. This is great for peace of mind. But even more, it might indicate the minimum time they expect the product to last.

Shark

Shark is a well-known brand for vacuum cleaners and particularly good for upright ones. They’re more affordable than some other big brands.

We’d say that you can enjoy a good Shark vacuum for around five to seven years. While it may be under the median age of a vacuum, this is a trade-off for the more affordable price tag.

Regardless, we’re still impressed that this company offers a five-year warranty on the Shark APEX AZ1002 vacuum. Customers seem to really like the sturdy and powerful construction of this one.

Dyson

If there’s one brand everybody knows when it comes to vacuums, it’s Dyson. This British company offers good cyclonic technology and powerful motors.

We’re impressed with their products and it’s estimated that Dyson vacuums may last around seven to 10 years. For example, the Dyson Ball Animal 2 Upright Vacuum even includes a five-year warranty.

Bissell

Known for great floor products is the brand called Bissell. They’ve been making products since 1876 — so they’ve got a lot of experience.

We’d say you can enjoy a Bissell vacuum for around eight years. For example, the Bissell Cleanview Upright Bagless 1831 vacuum is robust and receives excellent reviews.

Surprisingly, it only offers a two-year guarantee. So, you may be taking a slight risk with this one. But the company seems reliable, advanced, and trustworthy.

Hoover

Ever heard someone call a vacuum a Hoover? Well, this is all down to this brand. They were so popular in the 20th century that the word became synonymous with vacuum, particularly in the UK.

This company has a lot of experience when it comes to this cleaning tool. While the lifespan will depend on the model, the higher end models we’d say could last up to 15 years. This might be a good investment for you.

Some of their products have a 10-year guarantee, so you’re set with one of their vacuums (2).

Miele

Miele is one of your high-end appliance companies. This means your vacuum is going to be expensive. But is it worth the investment?

Well, we’d say it could be. They’ve engineered and tested their vacuums extensively and they say that they can last up to 20 years.

Customers seem to love the Miele Complete C2 Canister vacuum. It’s powerful and also seems durable. Yet, it does only offer a two-year guarantee — not as much as some other brands.

2. Maintenance

One of the most important factors you can control is maintenance. If you take care of your vacuum, you might get more use out of it for many years to come. We’re talking about cleaning it at least once per month.

Also, if you experience a problem, don’t ignore it. For example, if there’s a strange noise or a sudden loss of suction, it may still be possible to get your vacuum repaired.

Regularly maintaining your vacuum may help to increase how long the model lasts. We’ve got some tips for you to follow.

Empty the Dust Canister or Bag Regularly

It doesn’t matter whether you’ve got a bagged or bagless vacuum, be sure to empty it regularly.

If you let it fill to the brim and still vacuum around the home, there’s a chance it might clog the machine. Plus, it’s going to affect how well you can clean too.

Clean the Filters

The filters on your vacuum capture pollen, dust, bacteria particles, and smoke. Naturally, this means they’ll eventually get dirty and clog up. You’ve got to keep on top of this by cleaning the filters.

A lot of vacuums come with washable and reusable filters. So, it’s best to make cleaning them part of your regular routine. When they get dirty with dust and debris, wash them under the faucet.

There’s no need for any chemicals to be used — water is enough to rinse away the dirt. Just be sure to dry them thoroughly before inserting them back into the vacuum. You don’t want mold to grow and for the spores to be released into the air.

Mold could make you sick and cause eye irritation. It could also cause a sore throat, skin rash, or nasal congestion (3).

It’s also recommended to completely replace filters every two to three years for cleaning efficiency.

Untangle the Motorized Brush

The motorized brush at the base of your vacuum is what captures all the dirt, debris, long hair, and carpet fibers. It’s one of the most important parts.

But as it collects all of this grime, dirt can wrap around and put stress on it. This may eventually stop the motorized brush from spinning and cleaning your home.

To avoid this, every couple of weeks you should cut away any hair and debris from the motorized brush. You can do this with scissors.

3. Usage

The more you use your vacuum, the more likely it will have a shorter lifespan. Using it regularly will expose the machine to more wear and tear, especially if you have large spaces.

This is particularly true if your floors and carpet are dirty and heavily soiled — your vacuum has to work harder.

But misuse can also shorten the life of your vacuum. For example, not using the correct height adjustment for high carpet pile or not choosing the right model for your needs.

Stick, handheld, and robot vacuums, for instance, aren’t for heavily soiled floors. Use an upright vacuum instead.

Cleaning up Liquids

Some handheld vacuums are designed to clean up light water spills and accidents. This is often known as having wet/dry vacuuming ability.

But most upright, stick, and canister vacuums aren’t. If you do try to vacuum up liquids, this may damage your machine. You also run the risk of electrocuting yourself.

So, it’s best to reach for a mop or paper towel to clean up liquid if you’re planning on getting a regular vacuum.

Being Careless with the Power Cord

If you don’t hold the power cord away from the vacuum during use, it may get cut and frayed by the motorized brush. Eventually, this is going to make your vacuum unsafe to use, with the exposure of electric wires.

In addition, make sure you don’t pull your vacuum by the cord (4).

Not Tidying up First

We know you want to get all of the household chores done and dusted. But skipping the tidying up stage may end up damaging your vacuum.

Small objects such as toys and coins, as well as broken glass and screws, can break your vacuum. This includes the bag or, even worse, the motor.


Time to Vacuum

There’s a lot to consider when you’re purchasing a new vacuum. Longevity should be the main factor so that you can get your money’s worth out of your new purchase.

Upright vacuums may last the longest due to their robust and durable design. But several factors play a part in this machine’s lifespan.

For one, the brand has a lot of influence on how the machine is manufactured. We’d say that Miele vacuums may last the longest at up to 20 years. But regular maintenance is important, as well as using your vacuum properly.

Do you have a favorite vacuum? Let us know in the comments!

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About the Author

Amy Anthony

Amy is a stay-at-home-mom, seasoned writer, and a home cleaning and organization aficionado. Amy enjoys having an absolutely spotless home and has worked hard to develop strategies to keep it that way, despite having 2 kids and 3 dogs!
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