When cleaning should suck

I’m not a vacuum-cleaner hobbyist. I don’t particularly like to clean. But I found myself recently in need of a new vacuum, after my old Kenmore lost its suction despite making Darth Vader type noises. Those of you who know me won’t be surprised that I spent hours doing research to find my optimal vacuum cleaner — one that balanced performance with value. (I will spare you the details of my analysis, but for those of you in the market for a great professional-level flat iron I would recommend the Sedu: http://www.folica.com/Sedu_Ionic_Cera_d1560.html)

Here were my criteria:

  • Vacuum cleaner must be lightweight. I don’t like cleaning as it is, and can be easily deterred by something as simple as lifting a heavy vacuum cleaner up the stairs.
  • Vacuum cleaner should last a long time — 10+ years. I don’t want to be researching vacuum cleaners again any time soon.
  • Cleaner should work on both hard surfaces (wood floors, slate) and carpet (I have relatively low-pile carpet).
  • Bonus points if it’s cute.
  • Less than $500. I’m not a cleaning pro.

My research resulted in the purchase of a Miele S4 Galaxy Series Carina S4210 cannister vacuum. I love it. It is quiet. It is cute. It’s yellow. It sucks like nobody’s business. At $389, it’s the lower-end Miele but all the reviews point to its reliability (I almost went with an Electrolux cannister — my parents have had an Electrolux for the past 30 years that is still going — but read that since Electrolux was purchased by Eureka, they suck a little more and not in a good way. Apparently, leaving the vacuum plugged in when not in use can cause shorts, resulting in a need for frequent repairs). It’s good on both floors and low-pile carpets / rugs, and has six settings. If you have shaggy rugs, you’d probably want to upgrade to some of the higher end models. Even the guy at the Oreck store said that he liked Mieles.

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