As a busy professional house cleaning company in Vegas, we burn through a lot of vacuums. We rely on the vacuum cleaners a lot. Clients get upset if the floor is not vacuumed properly and our vacuums have to run all day long, every day, taking on a lot of debris and pet hair.
In the beginning, we started with upright Bissell's from Walmart. They were under $100 and worked fabulously for about 5-7 days. Afterwards, the motors burned, they got clogged up. When we tried to return them, we've learned that Bissell has a special new directive to address refunds only through manufacturer, not retailer. And that you only have a narrow window in which to return them.
We next tried Hoovers from Costco. The price was right - about $80. And they were beautiful and looked promising. Unfortunately, they ended up being no sturdier than Bissell's. Thanks to Costco's fabulous return policy, though, at least we didn't waste our money.
Our next to-go-to vacuums became Orecks. The nice part about Orecks is that they are so simple, with so few moving parts, that they are hard to break. They last about couple of months with us before having to be repaired/ re-tooled. But while they work, they do a great job and they are powerful. The main drawback is that they don't have the attachments for upholstery or baseboards. For that reason, they are probably not ideal for a regular house cleaning.
The best vacuum we found that works so well on upholstery is Miele canister. German-engineered, it works flawlessly and quietly, looks gorgeous, and is a pleasure to use on hardwood floors and upholstery in one's home. It's a bit tougher to use on high carpet, however. And at over $300, it's pricey.
We've also looked into Dyson's. Many of our upscale clients have Dyson's in their homes for their regular house cleaning tasks. They are beautiful and powerful. However, they are very heavy, are somewhat difficult to maneuver, and are expensive at nearly $500. As a side note, Craigslist is teaming with used Dyson's for sale, at fraction of this cost.
Finally, our current reigning favorite all-around vacuum that is super powerful, durable and a great value - is an upright Panasonic. It's light, has the most powerful suction of all of the above vacuums, and is both relatively light and tough. With prices ranging between $113 (Walmart) and $130 (Amazon), they are a fantastic buy.