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7 Advantages of an Upright Vacuum Cleaner

Written by James Hall |

advantages of an upright vacuum

Trying to decide whether an upright vacuum cleaner is the right choice for your household? Keep reading to learn about the advantages of upright vacuums and why you might want to buy one.

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Some of the biggest advantages of an upright vacuum cleaner include:

  1. Excel at cleaning large areas of floor.
  2. Great for carpet cleaning, as most uprights having a motorised brush bar.
  3. Reduce the need to bend down when cleaning as the vacuum remains relatively upright.
  4. Easy to manoeuvre around furniture and other items.

7 Advantages of Upright Vacuums

The UK loves upright vacuum cleaners – and it’s easy to see why. Many of us have carpets throughout the home, which uprights are brilliant for cleaning. Upright vacuums are also easy to manoeuvre, less likely to bump into walls, and often have a stretch hose.

Let’s take a closer look at the advantages of uprights and why you might want to buy one. Remember that each upright vacuum is different though – the advantages below are for the average upright, not every vacuum. Take a look at our in-depth upright vacuum reviews for information about specific models.

Note: This article is about corded upright vacuums. Cordless vacuums are a separate category with different advantages and disadvantages.

1. Great for Quickly Cleaning Large Areas of Floor

The main advantage of upright vacuums is that they are efficient at cleaning large areas of floor. Pushing the vacuum in-front allows you to quickly cover bigger areas without worrying about pulling the vacuum body behind you (as with cylinder vacuum cleaners.)

2. Usually Have a Stretch Hose

Unlike most cordless stick vacuums, uprights often come with a built-in hose. Hoses are great for cleaning awkward locations, such as stairs, car interiors, and mattresses.

Hoses also extend the cleaning reach of a vacuum. The hoses on uprights are usually shorter than cylinders though.

3. Most Have Powered Brush Rolls

Floorhead of a black upright vacuum

A big advantage of upright vacuums is that most have a rotating brush roll in the floorhead.

Powered brushes make it easier for a vacuum to remove dirt, dust, and hair from carpets, which is why uprights are often the best choice for carpet cleaning.

4. Avoid Bending Down When Cleaning

As the name suggests, this type of vacuum cleaner remains upright during cleaning. If you have a bad back, or just don’t want to bend down, then an upright vacuum is often the better choice.

On the other hand, uprights tend to be heavier than other vacuums, so you’ll need to decide whether weight or ergonomics are more important to you.

5. Easy to Manoeuvre

The design of upright vacuums makes them easy to move around furniture and other items. If your home has lots of items to weave around, then an upright is probably a more convenient choice than a cylinder vacuum.

Tip: Not all uprights are equal when it comes to manoeuvrability. The best uprights have a pivoting system for the floorhead, which makes it easy to steer the vacuum.

6. Less Chance of Bumping Furniture or Walls

A downside of cylinder vacuum cleaners as that the body of the vac is easy to accidentally pull into a wall or furniture. This can sometimes cause scuffs or marks.

Upright vacuum cleaners don’t have this problem. You can always see where the vacuum’s floorhead and body is going, so there’s less chance of hitting an item of furniture.

7. Most Uprights Are Bagless

There are some advantages to bagged vacuum cleaners, but many people prefer bagless models. Bagless vacuums are more convenient to empty, for example, and don’t require you to pay for extra bags.

Most upright vacuum cleaners are bagless models with a cyclonic system to capture dirt and dust. So, if you’re set on getting a bagless vac, there are plenty of upright options.

Note: Did you know that bagless vacuums have smaller dust capacities than bagged vacs? If you want to minimise how often you need to empty your vacuum, then a bagged model is the best choice.

What Are Some Downsides of Upright Vacuums?

It’s not all good news for upright vacuum cleaners though. Some of the downsides to this type of vacuum include:

  • Bulky and inconvenient to store. The upright design means you’ll need a large cupboard to store this type of vacuum cleaner. Cylinder vacuums are usually more compact and easier to store.
  • Difficult to clean under furniture. As the floorhead of an upright is attached to the main body of the vacuum, it can be difficult to get into awkward spaces or underneath furniture. The hose can help with this, but cylinder and stick vacuums are often the better choice for low furniture.
  • Not great for cleaning stairs. It can be difficult to use an upright vacuum on a staircase. The hose typically isn’t long enough to reach up an entire flight of stairs, so you’ll often need to move the vacuum half-way through.
  • Heavy. Upright vacuums aren’t always heavy, but they weigh more on average than other types of vacuum cleaner.
  • Smaller cleaning radius. Upright vacuums often have a smaller cleaning radius than cylinder vacuums. This is because the main floorhead is attached to the hose of a cylinder vacuum, which provides extra reach. There are uprights available with extra-long cords though.


Upright vacuum cleaners are a popular choice in the UK. They excel at cleaning large areas of carpet, due to the upright design and powered brush bar. Upright vacuums are also easy to manoeuvre around the home and allow you to clean floors without bending down.

This type of vacuum isn’t the best choice for everyone though. Uprights are difficult to use on stairs, heavy, and have a smaller cleaning radius than cylinder vacuums. Read our overview of the various types of vacuum cleaner to learn more.

Do you have any questions about the advantages of an upright vacuum cleaner? Please let us know in the comments section.

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