If this is your first time living alone, a vacuum probably isn’t a purchase you’ve made before. A quality vacuum is one of the most useful cleaning tools you can have in your first apartment, but where do you even get started shopping for one? Here are the most important steps to help you know whether a vacuum will work well or not.
Decide on your vacuuming needs
Whether anything works well or not is somewhat subjective depending on what you need, so determining how you’ll use a vacuum is an important step before buying one. There are a wide variety of vacuums on the market, so this step will help you narrow down your options.
Decide whether you need a cordless vacuum or if you’re okay with using a plug-in vacuum to save money. Do you need a small vacuum that can easily be lugged out to your car to keep it clean? Do you need a variety of hose attachments for different uses around your apartment? Do you need a vacuum that’s specifically optimized to clean up pet hair? These are good questions to ask yourself beforehand to determine your buying needs.
Buy from a reputable brand
With some things, you can often get away with buying cheap off-brands, but vacuums can be finicky and prone to breaking, so it’s best to stick with reputable name brands. If you’re shopping online, odds are you’ll see plenty of ultra-cheap vacuums with obscure brand names, but you get what you pay for when picking the cheapest option in a vacuum.
If you aren’t familiar with the most common vacuum brands, one way to ensure that you’re purchasing from a legitimate company is to buy your vacuum at a home improvement or department store. These stores will typically only stock items from reputable brands that customers have been happy with.
Read the reviews
As with buying anything else, customer reviews are one of your best resources for making a judgment call on a vacuum. Even just a quick glance at the star rating on an item can give you a good idea of whether customers generally like it or not. A good rule of thumb is to always try to buy items that are rated at least four or four and a half stars.
It can also be good to look at the number of reviews a vacuum has and read some of the positive and negative reviews. An item with 30,000 five-star reviews will have a much more proven track record than one with 150 five-star reviews. Reading both positive and negative reviews can help give you a more accurate idea of what the pros and cons of this vacuum will be and if there’s anything that’s a major selling point or dealbreaker for you.
Read the return policy and consider a warranty
No matter how much research you do, sometimes you’ll buy products that just don’t work how you want them to. A vacuum can be an expensive purchase, so it’s important to read the return policy and make sure you can get your money back if it doesn’t work well. If you’re purchasing an expensive vacuum, consider paying extra for an extended warranty or protection plan in case the vacuum breaks.