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7 Advantages of a Cylinder Vacuum Cleaner

Written by James Hall |

advantages of a cylinder vacuum

Not sure whether to buy a cylinder vacuum cleaner? Here are seven advantages of cylinder vacuums, along with some potential downsides to this type of machine.

Why Buy a Cylinder Vacuum?

The main advantages of a cylinder vacuum cleaner include:

  1. Compact design that’s great for cleaning under furniture or stairs.
  2. A wide cleaning radius that reduces how often you need to change plug socket.
  3. Usually quieter than upright vacuums.
  4. Great value for money in comparison to other vacuum types.

What Are the Advantages of a Cylinder Vacuum Cleaner?

An example of a cylinder vacuum cleaner

Cylinder vacuum cleaners are often overlooked for upright or cordless models. We think this is a shame, as the top cylinder vacuums provide great cleaning performance and lots of advantages over other models.

Keep in mind that the advantages below are for the average cylinder vacuum cleaner. These benefits don’t apply to all models – especially low-quality cylinder vacuums.

1. Compact Designs

Most cylinder vacuums have a compact design – at least compared with bulky upright vacuums. This makes them easier to store and move around the home.

There are exceptions to this rule though. Not all cylinder vacuums are compact, but they are smaller (on average) than uprights.

Tip: Despite their compact designs, cylinder vacuums typically have large dust capacities. You don’t need to empty them as often as other types, which is important if you have a large home to clean.

2. Great for Cleaning Under Furniture

As cylinder vacuums have a floorhead that’s attached to a hose, rather than the main body of the vacuum, they are much better than uprights for cleaning under low furniture.

The hose of a cylinder vacuum cleaner is also useful for cleaning in tight or otherwise awkward locations. While upright vacuums often have a hose too, they are usually shorter than those found on cylinder vacs.

3. Long Hose is Useful for Stair Cleaning

Example of a cylinder vacuum hose

Another advantage of a long hose is that cylinder vacuums are great for cleaning stairs.

Instead of needing to balance a bulky upright on a step, most cylinders can reach up a flight of stairs without needing to move the main body. They also usually come with a crevice tool and upholstery nozzle to make cleaning stairs easier.

Tip: If you have pets, look for a model with a pet turbo tool. These are more effective at removing hair from carpeted stairs and upholstery.

4. Cylinder Vacuums Are Often Quiet

The motor of a cylinder vacuum is housed within the main body rather than the floorhead. This means it’s possible for manufacturers to include more sound insulation, making cylinders generally quieter than uprights.

Many cylinder vacuums also have multiple power modes so you can adjust suction and noise output. The Miele C2 Compact, for example, has six modes (including a quiet option.)

5. Value for Money

Cylinder vacuum cleaners aren’t as flashy as cordless or robotic models, but they are also much cheaper.

You can get a high-end cylinder vacuum for around £300 – and there are some excellent models that cost less than £200. In contrast, the top cordless vacuums cost more than £500.

We also think that cylinder vacuums usually provide better value than uprights, although there are some excellent choices in both categories.

6. Plenty of Bagged Cylinder Options

Bagless vacuums with cyclonic designs have become the most popular type over the last few decades, but there are still advantages to a bagged vacuum.

Bags keep dust and dirt contained, while acting as an air filter to prevent dust escaping. They also usually have self-sealing designs to prevent allergens from leaking into the air during the emptying process. This makes bagged vacuums a safer choice for allergy sufferers.

Upright and cordless vacuum cleaners often have a bagless design, but there are plenty of bagged cylinder options. So, if you’re looking for a bagged vacuum cleaner, then a cylinder vac is probably your best choice.

7. Wide Cleaning Radius

Cylinder vacuums often reach further from a power socket than upright vacuums. The combination of a power cord and long extendable hose allows you to clean a wider radius before needing to change plug sockets.

As with all the other tips in this article, however, the cleaning radius of a cylinder vacuum varies depending on which model you buy. Make sure to check both the length of the cord and hose to get an accurate idea of a vacuum’s cleaning radius.

What Are the Disadvantages of a Cylinder Vacuum?

The floorhead of a cylinder vacuum

Along with the advantages of a cylinder vacuum, there are also some downsides compared with upright or cordless vacuums. These include:

  • Most cylinder vacuums don’t have a powered brush bar in the floorhead. This can make them less effective at cleaning carpets and more difficult to push.
  • Uprights are better for cleaning large areas of carpet. The upright design also makes it easier to manoeuvre around furniture, as you can see exactly where the body is going.
  • Cylinder vacuums often bump into furniture and walls, as it can be difficult to control the body when it’s dragged behind you.
  • While cylinder vacuums are often compact, they are still much heavier than a cordless vacuum cleaner.

Did You Know…

Cylinder vacuum cleaners are known as canister vacuums in the US and other parts of the world. If you see a website talking about a canister vacuum, then this is likely to be the same as a cylinder vacuum.


Cylinder vacuum cleaners might not be as exciting as high-tech cordless models, but they provide many advantages over other types. These advantages include a wide cleaning radius, quieter operation, easier stair cleaning, and a compact design.

We also think that the average cylinder vacuum provides better performance for the price than other types of vacuum. Some of our favourite vacuums are cylinder models, such as the Miele C3 range, so don’t overlook cylinders when buying your next vacuum.

Do you have any questions about cylinder vacuums? Please use the comments form below and we’ll answer your questions as soon as possible.

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