Oct. 21, 2004 -- It's not your mother's cleaning closet. Gone are the old brooms and dust pans. A new breed of high-tech vacuums are sweeping the nation now.
Ellen Levine, editor in chief of "Good Housekeeping," revealed the results of the magazine's latest vacuum tests on "Good Morning America."
The Good Housekeeping Institute recently tested 11 new upright vacuum cleaners, including the new Dyson model and two new robot vacuums.
The upright vacuums were tested for performance, suction, airflow, safety and ease of use. The robot vacuums were tested for pickup performance on low pile carpeting, safety and ease of use.
Roomba Discovery from IRobot: $249
Good Housekeeping Institute overall view: Roombas are best suited for bare floors and low pile carpeting and for maintenance cleaning of surface soil between regular deep cleanings. They can clean places where traditional upright vacuums often cannot, like under furniture and beds. The Roomba has the "Good Housekeeping" seal of approval.
Dyson DCO7: $399
Good Housekeeping Institute overall view: The Dyson had the best pull of all the uprights in the tests. A good vacuum, but you don't have to spend $400 to get a top upright vacuum.
Eureka Boss: $129.99 (A "Good Housekeeping" Best Value)
A bagless model that's a good cleaner at a great price. The institute liked that the vacuum didn't tip over when hose was stretched tight -- a problem with some other vacuums tested.
Hoover Savvy: $279.99 (A "Good Housekeeping" Best Overall)
Can be used with a bag (especially good for allergy sufferers) or bagless. Top performer in our carpet cleaning tests, devouring ground-in sugar, oatmeal and sand. Also has great features: You can use the vacuum with or without a bag. Sleek nozzle slips underneath furniture easily. Hand tool with rotating brush is great for upholstery. A brush-roll shutoff button to help avoid accidents with children nearby
Getting the Most Out of Your Vacuum
Change the bag: If your upright vacuum has bags, replace the bag when it looks about two-thirds full. Empty the dirt container. If you have a bagless upright vacuum, empty the dirt container after every two uses.
Clean your filter: For a bagless vacuum, remove the filter from the dust cup once a month and tap it clean, or rinse it, if possible. For bagless and bag vacuums, check any other filters once or twice a year. Pay attention. Don't let a vacuum sit idly in one spot while the brush roll is spinning. This can ruin your carpet.
Upright vacuums make up about 75 percent of the vacuum market. Canister models make up most of the remainder, with a small percentage going to robot vacuums. Uprights are especially good for carpets. Vacuums are confusing to purchase, since they often look alike and seem to be similar. That's why vacuums are one of the requested topics for information by callers to "Good Housekeeping" and by visitors to the Good Housekeeping Web site (www.goodhousekeeping.com).