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How to Choose a Vacuum Cleaner for Allergy Sufferers?

Published by: Katherine Frame

How to Choose a Vacuum Cleaner for Allergies & Asthma

Our naked eye often fails to notice the tiny microscopic particles that settle in our homes. Hence, we often look at our house, and it seems clean to us, but we forget about the dust particles that might be making their way into our homes and settling in our upholstery, beds, and carpets. Other such airborne particles also act as allergens in our house. 

People with eczema and asthmatic problems are always told to make dusting and vacuuming a part of their routine.

In this guide, we’ll help you pick the right vacuum cleaner as we’ll let you know about the factors that should be kept in mind while buying a vacuum cleaner for allergies.

How to Choose a Vacuum Cleaner for Allergies, Asthma, and Eczema

Various features need to be taken into consideration when you’re buying a vacuum cleaner for allergies.

This section will talk about some of the main features you should look for while purchasing. Choosing a vacuum cleaner with these features will ensure that allergens don’t thrive in your home. 

1. Filter technology

When you’re on a hunt to buy a vacuum cleaner for allergies, the first thing that you need to ensure is that the vacuum can remove a minimum of 99.97% of allergens present in your house. This includes dust particles, debris, dander, and mold. 

You should also look for a certification from the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America, as it will mean that the machine is fit to do the job accurately. 

HEPA filters also work great for removing fine particles from the air so you can look for a vacuum cleaner with HEPA filters.

Note: Also read about HEPA vs True HEPA to know about how effective they are.

2. Surface

Carpets & furniture fibers are not your best friends if you have allergies. Dust & dirt particles settle on these elements very quickly, and they don’t get off easily.

To ensure that your home stays free from such troubling particles, you should look for a powerful vacuum cleaner

You should also buy a vacuum that comes with appropriate features and attachments to get rid of dust and debris thoroughly. 

If you have carpet flooring, consider purchasing a vacuum with adjustable height and an upholstery brush. On the contrary, homes with hardwood floors should be cleaned with a soft head vacuum. 

3. The Type 

Several types and variants of vacuum cleaners are available in the market. You’ll be surprised at the number of types that are there. Considering you have allergies, you should go for an upright, stick, or canister vacuum cleaner. 

Handheld vacuum vs Canister vacuum

All of these vacuums will prove to be effective & efficient. Your choice of the type of vacuum will also depend upon other factors. To make an informed decision, you should go through the pros and cons of each of these types. 

4. Filtration Level

Another crucial consideration is the filtration level of the vacuum. You’ll find various filters available in the market, including water filters, air purifying filters, and high-efficiency filters. 

Different vacuums make use of different systems to create the cleaning mechanism of your vacuum. You need to pick the filter wisely so that your vacuum filter gets rid of all the allergens of different sizes.

Make sure that you don’t purchase a vacuum that comes with exhaust filters. The quality of these filters is not up to the mark, and their material is not made to hold allergens. 

Hence, if you buy a vacuum with such filters, the vacuum won’t perform well as it will pass the allergens back into your home’s air. 

5. Airtight Construction

You need to ensure that when you buy a vacuum for allergies, it has been airtight. If the vacuum is not fully sealed and has openings, it will allow the allergens and other harmful particles to break loose. This way, the vacuum won’t be of any use as the allergens will still cause problems. 

Buying a fully sealed vacuum cleaner will ensure that all the allergens that the vacuum cleaner has absorbed retain themselves in the cleaner and don’t return to your clean home. 

For this, you should be reading the description provided by the manufacturer of the vacuum cleaner. Manufacturers often use the terms 100% sealed or fully sealed to indicate that the machine comes with this feature. 

6. Air Purification

A few vacuum cleaners come with certain extra features to go the extra mile to ensure that your home stays clean. Air purification is one additional feature that you should look for when purchasing a vacuum cleaner for allergies. 

Activated charcoal acts as an impeccable air purifier. If your vacuum comes with this feature, it will be able to get rid of bad smells. 

A Micro-fresh filter is another filter that will eliminate bacteria, and it will give your home a delightful smell. If you have pets, you should consider purchasing a vacuum with this special filter. 

Note: This feature makes the cleaning process better, but you also need to keep in mind that you will have to clean your vacuum more often for this feature to work efficiently. Hence, vacuums with the air purifying feature require more maintenance. 

7. Bagless vs. Bagged Vaccum Cleaner

When you talk about the money factor, bagless vacuum cleaners are less expensive than bagged vacuum cleaners. 

Bagless Vacuum Cleaner

However, bagged vacuum cleaners are considered a better option for allergies as they retain the dust and debris inside them and are very hygienic. 

You should go for a bagged vacuum cleaner as it will keep the air clean and you’ll be able to breathe dust-free air at home. 

Other Factors to Take into Account

Other than the main factors that need to be considered, there are several other factors that you should consider while buying a vacuum cleaner for allergies. Here are a few features that you should be looking for:

1. Maneuverability

Maneuverability refers to the ease with which your vacuum can be steered. You should pick a vacuum with a flexible head to rotate easily and clean difficult spots. You should also consider the nozzle’s height.

You need to ensure that your vacuum cleaner is flexible enough to clean the area under your furniture. 

2. Comfort

For something you will be using regularly, you need to ensure that it is comfortable to use & has a good grip. Look for a vacuum with an ergonomic handle so that you don’t get tired while using it. 

You can also consider buying upright vacuums or stick vacuums if you don’t like to bend a lot or if you are someone with a significant back problem. 

3. Accessories

You have to ensure that your vacuum comes with all the necessary attachments and accessories as the main nozzle of the machine cannot perform all the jobs. 

You need accessories that will be able to clean different spaces. Check if your vacuum comes with brushes of various sizes, upholstery nozzles, and crevice tools.

Some other extra attachments include a mini-power brush, and a pet tool, among others. 

4. Noise Levels

It is unpleasant to work with a noisy device that creates an irritating environment for everyone around. Using a loud vacuum to clean your house can make it stressful for pets, kids, and elders, or anyone for that matter present in your home. 

To eliminate this problem, check the dB levels of the vacuum before purchasing it. The dB levels should be tolerable. The vacuum should produce <70dB. Hence, you need to pick a model that is powerful yet doesn’t create much noise. 

Few Extra Tips For Clean Air

  • Before cleaning your home using a vacuum cleaner, take an electrostatic or microfiber cloth to dust everything. 
  • Try to replace carpeting with other forms of flooring such as hardwood or tiles as carpets become home to dust, debris, and several other contaminants. Moreover, with carpet flooring, it’ll become necessary for you to vacuum more frequently. 
  • Wash your rugs with warm water once every week. Practicing this will ensure that allergy triggers and other particles get killed. 


Allergies can cause a lot of discomfort, and they can be problematic if they are highly severe. If you are allergic, buying a vacuum cleaner with the right features becomes very important. 

While buying a vacuum cleaner, you should look at factors such as the type of vacuum you’re buying, filtration levels, odor filtration, & the technology that has been used to build it. Keeping these factors in mind will ensure that you buy the right vacuum cleaner as per your needs. 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Is my carpet the cause of my allergies?

If you have a carpet at home, you should consider steam cleaning it every now & then so that you can eliminate all kinds of allergens such as dust mites. However, if you don’t find that effective, you should get rid of your carpet and go with hard flooring.

How to maintain a vacuum cleaner for allergies?

You need to take that extra step to ensure that your surroundings stay spic and span for allergies. To do so, you should focus on maintaining the suction power of your vacuum cleaner, as it’ll prove to be effective in getting rid of allergens present in your home. So, you should be cleaning your vacuum internally, and you should regularly replace the filters to ensure that it is clean at all times. We suggest you go through your vacuum’s guide as every vacuum functions differently.

Are bagged vacuum cleaners better than bagless vacuums?

Yes, bagged vacuum cleaners are better for homes where people have allergies. This is because the vacuum bag acts as a filter, and it effectively grabs ahold of all the dust particles.

I have allergies. How many times a week should I vacuum?

If you have allergies, you should clean using a vacuum at least once a week. If the severity of your allergy is on the higher side, you should consider using a vacuum twice a week. Moreover, if you have pets, you’ll have to increase the frequency of cleaning using a vacuum cleaner.

Is sweeping better than vacuuming?

Sweeping comes in handy when you need to get rid of floors filled with large dust particles. However, when you talk about eliminating tiny and fine dust particles, vacuum cleaner proves to be the best option. For keeping your home free from allergens, a vacuum cleaner proves to be a better option compared to sweeping.

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Article by:

Katherine Frame

Katherine Frame is a professional writer and reviewer who worked in higher education for eight years before working on The Hardware Hub. She has written for multiple home magazines and blogs.

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