I don’t think I can ever justify buying a $700 vacuum. Yet, millions of people buy $700 vacuums. And $500 vacuums. And $250 vacuums. And $1000 vacuums. Take a look at what Consumer Reports says are the best vacuums (and this is just a sliver). Only the Hoover is priced below $200s and I’ve never used a Hoover.

I’m kind of a Bissell gal as I have always had a shedding dog and Bissell likes to manufacture vacuums that specialize in pet hair. Because I have owned several shedding dogs in my lifetime, I vacuum each and every day. Sometimes twice a day. Yup! You read that correctly. I vacuum my whole house every.single.day. Also, because I have always had dogs, I have always had wood floors. I used to have carpeting only in the bedrooms but I eliminated those years ago. I have laminate flooring in the bedrooms and home office too. Wood floors every where else, including the kitchen. Bathrooms are tiled.

I’ll just talk about my vacuum use over the last twenty years or so. I have very expensive bamboo wood flooring in my living room, kitchen, dining area and hallway (leading down to the bedrooms which now have laminate flooring). Knowing that bamboo is really grass but sustainable grass, I opted for the extra hard wood bamboo that was supposed to be resistant again dog nails and scratches. WRONG! My bamboo flooring shows every single knick, scratch, dog imprint, shoe imprint, plate dropping, pot dropping as well as every single droplet of water that oozes out of my mongrel’s mouth or falls out of the refrigerator!

After a year of frustration and upset, and after trying every single cleaning product on the planet, I have given up trying to keep my bamboo floors looking decent. My dogs have been forbidden to step paw inside my living room, so that area is almost pristine (the dog will slip in and try to wrangle going up the stairs to the 2nd floor where dogs are 1000% strictly forbidden due to allergies……..and leave alas, scratch marks….but they are at a minimum.) The rest of the bamboo flooring? Well, they’ve been scratched, pawed, knicked, dented and I decided one day, to mentally consider my bamboo flooring antique! This change of thought rendered all those knicks, scratches and dents to be medals of honor and symbols of a wood floor well lived! In other words, I consider those imperfections to be perfections now and are just simply showing off their good fortune in wear and tear.

I don’t even use fancy, expensive floor cleaners anymore. I found out, through a kind southern lady on the internet that just a shot of Dawn liquid into a half sink of very hot water and a mop cleans the floors up just fine! They’re grease and smudge free and actually shine. The knicks, dents and scratches give the floor a kind, worn, weathered look now and somehow it all works out. My living room, however, is another story. I use a good shiner/cleaner in there since no one uses the room and the flooring looks almost new AND shiny.

For twenty years I have used this simple Bissell stick vacuum to vacuum ALL my bamboo flooring as well as the sometimes carpeting or area rugs in my home. When I first bought this model, it only cost $15. It didn’t scratch the floor till the bottom rubber wore out, which took around 1.5 to 2 years. I would know when it was time to get a new vacuum when I would start to see scratches on the bamboo floors. The vacuum couldn’t be upgraded or repaired so I just bought another $15 Bissell stick vacuum and either re-used the vacuum somewhere else, tossed the old vacuum away or donated it to Goodwill.

Today, the same vacuum cost under $20 but when it came time for me to replace it two months ago, I noted that I had 5 stick vacuums inside my home! One I used in the RV. Another in the barn. Another upstairs in the kids bedrooms. Another hanging out in the front hall closet. Ridiculous! I decided I was going to look for a better, more expensive (within reason) vacuum dedicated to wood flooring AND pet hair and perhaps one that would/could last longer than 2 years!

I wanted to remain with a Bissell and I wanted to utilize the newest in vacuum technology which was to go ‘cordless’. Vacuums now had lithium batteries and no cords so literally, you could go anywhere in the house and vacuum away. After extensive research, I settled on this Bissell PowerLifter cordless model for $129. Amazon was giving a rebate, so the vacuum only cost me $107.50. It was fantastic. It picked up years of dirt my little stick vacuum had missed! Especially in my bedroom, where our dog slept (on her own bedding). I have a recently purchased shag rug in the bedroom (I thought it would give the bedroom a funky, trendy look) and the new cordless sucked up oodles of dog hair the $15 stick vacuum had missed. The unit was awesome! It made my floors sparkle.

There was just one problem. ONE IMPORTANT MAJOR PROBLEM. The ion battery only lasted 12 minutes, whereby it had to be charged and the charging took 7 hours to complete! Who in their right mind can clean a house in 12 minutes? What idiots! It was like a daily stressful challenge for me to get the vacuuming done before the battery died. It was insane! After a few weeks, I sent the vacuum back, got a refund and started aknew looking for a dependable, inexpensive, guarantee-not-to-scratch-wood-floor vacuum.

Again, silly me, thinking I would stick to Bissell (no pun intended) because of their innovative pet hair cleaning policy, I chose another stick model, but with more suction and a automatic switch from roller brush (for carpeting) to standstill (for wood floors). This 3-in-1-Turbo lightweight unit cost a bit more ($35) but I thought it would be worth it. Wrong. When the unit was delivered, first time out trying it, the unit did not switch from beater brush to standstill for wood floors. The beater brush ran continuously, which meant it would severely scratch any wood flooring irreparably. Back it went. Instantly I got my refund. And I was back to square one.

Till I remembered a YouTube video I saw from a fellow RVer.

The lady of the house/RV recommended a low cost $40 Eureka model, 169K. It had a power switch selecting either the beater brush for carpeting or the bare floor selection, a longer cord so I didn’t have to keep plugging and unplugging it around the house. It comes with two washable bags, so I never need to buy another bag for this bagless model! It also has an edge trimmer which means I could get the edges clean without using another vacuum nozzle tool. It also came apart so that it would be easy to vacuum stairs or upholstery. The lady has two toddlers AND a dog and swore by the vacuum to do all the chores one could expect from a high cost vacuum at a more reasonable price. I gave the Eureka a whirl and guess what? It’s da bomb! I love it! It super cleans my home, the pet hair and makes my floors look super clean! *AND JUST IN TIME: SEE BELOW.

The Eureka model works great on my shag area rug as well as the laminate flooring AND does NOT scratch my bamboo flooring at all!! When detached, it vacuums the mattress, and all upholstered furniture with ease.
  • Just in time: today we found out my dog has fleas. She’s had them for about a week! No problem, because I vacuum each and every day, the fleas never had a chance to multiply nor survive. Ditto for my shag carpeting. I usually weekly sprinkle baking soda on my shag carpeting to keep odors down. Little did I know that baking soda kills fleas! I did a thorough cleaning of my bedroom today (as the rest of my house, just to be sure). I washed all linens and blankets in super hot water. Ditto for doggy’s bedding. Hubby gave her a good washing with shampoo the vet recommended. Doggie now wearing a Sergesto collar ($78) after taking a super duper scrubbing bath ($16 shampoo).

So, there you have it! How NOT to buy an expensive vacuum. Would a $700 model have done any better? I doubt it. Sometimes, when money is tight, you can seek out an alternative to those high priced models which will work just as well. I love my new Eureka and I love the price I paid. It was a step up from what I was using these past twenty years and I don’t think I’ll be replacing it any time soon.

One last word of advice. I bought my Eureka directly from Amazon. Please look closely at offerings and beware 2nd or 3rd party affiliates selling their wares under the guise of Amazon. Another company was selling the same exact Eureka on the Amazon site I was on BUT the price was $30 more. Be careful and be aware!