The most important criteria for a canister vacuum cleaner? What floor surfaces you wish to clean versus the power of the vacuum?
Canister vacuum cleaners offer 3 types of tools for floor surfaces.
Bare Floor brush – great for bare floor 10”-12” wide with soft bristles
Turbo brush – great for bare floor and light carpet that has a spinning drum roller with bristles powered by the vacuum’s suction
Power head brush – that is similar to the turbo brush but is powered by a separate motor
The turbo brush and the power head brush vacuum cleaners both have a spinning drum roller with bristles similar to that of an upright vacuum cleaner. While both brushes look and perform similarly, the power head brush vacuum cleaner has a separate motor to turn the brush on the bottom of it, making it more powerful than the turbo brush which is only powered by the vacuum’s air flow. These brushes snap the carpet fibers to allow air to get beneath the particles of dirt. If you can’t get air under these particles, you can’t suck them out regardless of how much suction power you apply with a vacuum cleaner.
When you purchase either turbo or power head vacuum cleaners to be used on carpet surfaces, you also receive a bare floor brush for non-carpeted areas.
The usual rule of thumb as to which model of vacuum cleaner to purchase is:
The bare floor tool type of canister vacuum cleaner is best for smooth surfaces and no expectation of having rugs or carpeting.