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Stick vacuum or canister? Here is the model that has the longest life (by far)

Unrivaled for sucking up dust and pet hair from floors, vacuum cleaners are among the must-haves of the contemporary household. Constantly improved, they are infinitely more manageable than the first gasoline-powered models, to the point of freeing themselves, for some, from their sled. But do stick vacuum cleaners have a better lifespan than their predecessors? The 5th edition of the Fnac Darty after-sales service barometer answers the question objectively.

Also to discover: Natural cleaning: 15 easy tips and recipes from cleaning pros

A short history of the vacuum cleaner: from the gasoline model to autonomous robots

At the beginning of the 20th century: the first petrol and electric vacuum cleaners

The first motorized vacuum cleaner was invented in 1901 by British engineer Hubert Cecil Booth. This gasoline-powered model, so cumbersome that it had to be pulled by horses, was later improved by James Spangler.

This concierge of a department store imagines the first electric vacuum cleaner, using a pillowcase, a fan and a broomstick. He marketed his invention in 1908 and sold the rights to his patent to the Hoover company, whose name became so famous that it now designates all bagged vacuum cleaners in the English language.

Also to discover: How long do the French really spend vacuuming?

At the end of the 20th century: the first bagless vacuum cleaners

Finally, the first bagless vacuum cleaner was marketed in 1993. An improvement which made it possible to limit waste and the loss of dust suction, while improving the life of the device.

Since then, two little new ones have appeared, after handheld vacuum cleaners: robot vacuum cleaners and stick vacuum cleaners. But are these technological inventions more resistant than traditional sled models? Nothing is less sure.

Canister vacuum cleaners have a (much) longer lifespan than upright models

© iStock

According to the 5th edition of the Fnac/Darty* after-sales service barometer, canister vacuum cleaners, whether they have a bag or not, are much more durable than their little brothers with brooms and robots.

To reach this conclusion, household appliance specialists analyzed their durability according to two main criteria. First, their reliability – their ability to operate for a long time before failing. Then, their reparability, assessed through the repair rate of the device and the availability of its spare parts, at affordable prices.

The durability index of a canister vacuum cleaner: 127.5 against 68 for a stick vacuum cleaner

The canister vacuum cleaner is the most resistant

And the result is clear: canister vacuum cleaners get the nice score of 127.5/200, against 68/200 for broom models. Devices with a bag are even rated at 128, thanks to reliability and repairability indices of 127 and 130 respectively. On average, their spare parts are available for 10 years, at an average cost equivalent to 12% of the product price.

The stick vacuum cleaner is less reliable

A man vacuuming the floor.
© iStock

Conversely, the stick vacuum has an infinitely lower reliability score: 26/200. Their repairability is still rated at 108, but their spare parts are available for only 7 years, at a price that represents 20% of that of the finished product.

The most durable canister vacuum brand: Moulinex

On the brand side, Moulinex stands out, for models without bag as with. In both cases, it shares the podium with Rowenta and Miele.

Ranking of bagless canister vacuum cleaners with the longest lifespan

  • Moulinex: 178
  • Rowenta: 153
  • Miele : 143
  • Hoover : 118
  • Electrolux : 116

The ranking of canister vacuum cleaners with the best lifespan

  • Moulinex: 168
  • Rowenta: 147
  • Miele : 146
  • Hoover : 134
  • Electrolux : 101

Robot vacuums are the least durable of them all

A robot vacuum cleaner and a cat.© iStock

The least durable vacuum cleaners of all are the freestanding models. Their durability index is rated at 59/200 by the Fnac/Darty after-sales service barometer, due to their reliability, which is considered very poor: 18/200.

In terms of repairability, parts for robot vacuum cleaners are available for 7 years, at a cost of 1% of the price of the vacuum cleaner, which allows this type of model to obtain a score of 101.

3 tips to improve the life of your vacuum cleaner

  • Empty the bin after each use.
  • Do not vacuum plaster, sand or ashes.
  • Clean, or even change, the filters regularly (for canister vacuum cleaners)

* The Fnac/Darty after-sales service barometer is based on the study of the comments of 10,403 respondents, the listing of 921,226 interventions by its after-sales service and the analysis of 580,138 breakdowns of dozens of household appliances from all types (hair dryer, fan heater, etc.).

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