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November 21, 2011 (WPVI) -- If buying a vacuum is on your "to do" list before the holiday company arrives, this report is for you.
Prices for some vacuums are going through the roof - costing more than $1,000. But Consumer Reports says there are plenty of good-performing vacuums that go for just $100 - the price point most people pay.
Consumer Reports takes the job of testing vacuums seriously. It tests uprights, canisters, bagged, and bagless - ranging in price from $50 all the way up to $1,500!
The machines are put through a battery of tests. First up? Carpet cleaning - a vacuum's toughest job.
Medium-pile rugs are sprinkled with carefully-composed dirt, which is embedded deep into the rug with a 30-pound weight. Then testers pass a vacuum over the carpet 16 times.
John Galeotafiore from Somsuemr Reports tells us, "We weigh the carpet, as well as the vacuum, to determine how much dirt the vacuum picks up."
Testers don't stop there. The vacuums also have to pick up sand from bare floors.
Shedding pets present another big challenge for vacuums. Consumer Reports uses real cat hair embedded into carpet to see how well the vacuums can handle that, too.
So do you have to shell out big bucks to get a top-performing vacuum?
Galeotafiore says, "There are very good vacuums that cost 3, 4, even 700-dollars. But we found several that were near the top of our ratings that cost about 100."
Those include the Eureka AirSpeed - a bagless vacuum that's excellent on bare floors and impressive at cleaning carpet.
For a bagged vacuum, consider the Hoover Widepath Tempo. It rated excellent for cleaning both bare floors and carpet.
If you are looking for a canister vacuum, Consumer Reports says unfortunately you won't find one for even close to $100. Testers recommend the $500 Kenmore Intuition model number 28014. It excels at cleaning bare floors and pet hair.
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