How do I Choose the Best Vacuum Cleaner Filter?

Anna B. Smith

To choose the best vacuum cleaner filter, consumers should examine the make and model number of their exact cleaner, and consider whether they require a specialty allergen filter or reusable filter to fit their needs. An individual who suffers from constant allergy attacks may wish to purchase the type of filter that prevents small particles from re-entering the air during the cleaning process. Those who vacuum constantly, or who live with pets, often find it beneficial to use a filter which can be washed and replaced in the machine without buying a new cartridge. This type of part is both clean, efficient, and less expensive over the life of the cleaner than other disposable products. These items may be purchased online or from licensed vacuum sellers.

A vacuum cleaner.
A vacuum cleaner.

A vacuum cleaner filter is designed to purify the air sucked into the machine during the cleaning process before returning it to the environment of the home. Pollen, hair, animal dander, and dust may sometimes be too small and lightweight to settle into the vacuum's canister or bag. The filter can prevent these particles from returning to the air by trapping them. This part is typically round or square, depending on the design of the cleaner itself, and made from paper or foam. Some models have folds across the surface which are intended to improve the efficiency of the product's performance.

A man using a vacuum cleaner.
A man using a vacuum cleaner.

Consumers may wish to begin by examining the type of vacuum cleaner they already own. Many models will only accept a vacuum cleaner filter which has been designed specifically for use with that particular brand. The manufacturer's name is often printed on the outside of the unit, while the specific model number is located in the owner's manual. If this is the case, the consumer may purchase the required part from an online vacuum supplier who carries products for multiple brands, or from the dealer from which the model was originally purchased. Each filter is also typically labeled with the make and model numbers with which it is compatible.

Those with significant allergy problems should consider purchasing a high efficiency particulate air (HEPA) vacuum cleaner filter. This product is designed to capture up to 90% of the smallest particles in a home and prevent them from being recirculated into the air. Genuine HEPA filters are assigned different serial numbers to guarantee that they have met and exceeded quality control standards of trapping particles .3 microns in size and larger.

Homeowners who frequently vacuum large surface areas and come in contact with large amounts of dust debris may find it cost effective to purchase a washable vacuum cleaner filter. These products are frequently made by generic parts distributors, and are designed to fit a variety of manufactured models and brands. Most of these generic filters are still labeled with the type of models they will fit. The part is made from durable, reusable materials and may be removed and washed at any time. They typically require a light rinse with water and a mild detergent, such as dish soap, and must be sufficiently dried before reusing them. Consumers can use their filters as frequently as they need, without being forced to buy an endless supply of parts.

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