According to industry experts, canister vacuums have a wide range of applications. In addition to their functionality on both carpets and hard floors, canister vacuums excel at extending the vacuum’s reach for tasks such as high dusting or vacuuming in corners and under furniture.

“If you have places where you need to get under things, the canister’s wand and hose will allow you access to places where you could not go with your upright,” says Rathey.

As such, canisters are ideal for detail work. They are more effective than hooking up a detailing tool to an upright.

According to Walker, canister vacuums are popular for cleaning stairs, and a lot of housekeepers use them in hotel lobbies. Canisters also transition well between hard floors and carpeting.

“If you’re using a suction attachment — especially a wide orifice tool — rather than a beater bar, you can go over carpet and hard floors,” says Walker. “It really eliminates the need to add tasks such as sweeping or dust mopping.”

Griffin has had success with canister vacuums in schools and offices. The machines function much like a backpack — although they’re not as fast — and can clean between 3,000 and 5,000 square feet an hour.

“They’re a good alternative when people are resistant to other types of vacuums,” he says.

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