You might not give your vacuum cleaner much thought—that is, until it's time to buy a new one. Today's models are efficient machines with truly impressive cleaning power. Like other appliances and electric tools, we recommend a little research and proper timing before you shop, so you can get the best deal.
Aside from figuring out which type of vacuum cleaner suits your needs, doing your research on various models, and deciding on a budget, you also should know when to purchase one. When you buy can determine how much you pay and impact the available selection. So, when is the best time to buy a vacuum?
To get an excellent deal on a wide selection of vacuums, the best time to buy one is in the spring. Having said that, spring isn't the only time of year you can get a great price, and likely not the only moment you're going to need to buy one. Find a breakdown of the best times throughout the year to buy a vacuum cleaner below.
The Best Times to Buy a Vacuum
The overall best time to buy a vacuum is from March through May. "Spring is a key time of year for vacuum purchases as people look to tackle their cleaning chores," says Meighan McLaughlin, Senior Brand Manager of Upright Vacuums at Bissell. Thanks to an uptick in the number of people deep cleaning their homes, many vacuum retailers run sales this time of the year.
New vacuum models are also typically slated to release in June, meaning last season's goods must go. Department stores and manufacturers have to make space for the incoming class of vacuums, so you can often get high-end models from the previous season at very agreeable price points in the springtime. However, do note, that the sales are more likely to be on last year's models, not the vacuums that just came out in June.
Most major retailers and big-box stores (as well as many small, locally owned businesses) offer seasonal discounts during the holidays. Vacuum cleaners may not be a go-to gift, but with an uptick of shoppers in stores and online, retailers seize the opportunity to sell more products. This time of year is a close second best time to buy.
Black Friday and Cyber Monday
Black Friday (the day after Thanksgiving) is well-known as one of the best times to buy appliances, and vacuums are no exception. Whether you're shopping in stores or online, it's not hard to find a great deal.
Additionally, according to McLaughlin, "New models are introduced on an almost quarterly basis," so again, retailers need to sell their existing inventory to make room for new products coming out in January, making November and December great times to shop the previous season's vacuums.
That said, with so many people rushing to score discounted products, stock might be limited. You may want to check which retailers will be running Black Friday vacuum sales beforehand so you're ready to make your move when the day comes.
If you miss out on a Black Friday sale, there's always Cyber Monday. Falling on the Monday after Thanksgiving, the 24-hour shopping event encourages consumers to buy products online. Retailers of all sizes participate in Cyber Monday, often running sales on vacuums and other cleaning gadgets.
While Black Friday and Cyber Monday are technically two separate events, they're often considered part of one long holiday weekend, the Cyber Five. In recent years, many online shops have held sales the entire weekend, and sometimes, the whole week of Thanksgiving.
The Worst Times to Buy a Vacuum
While you can get better deals at certain times of the year, there aren't really any "bad" times to buy a vacuum. That said, you're less likely to find discounted vacuum cleaners in the summer, fall, and deep winter months starting in January.
This mostly has to do with when new models are released. As we mentioned, new vacuums often come out at the beginning of each quarter or bi-annually in January and June. At that point, the sales have usually ended. However, all of this depends on the retailer.
Vacuum Buying Tips
Beyond knowing when to purchase a vacuum, we've compiled a few buying tips. Here are a few things to keep in mind.
1. Invest in a Durable Model
This might seem obvious, but the more durable the model, the less frequently you'll need to buy a new one. Even if a cheap model seems like it's worth it, trust us, it's better to invest in a high-quality, reliable vacuum cleaner, that's ideally on sale. It will give you the most bang for your buck—especially if you have a busy household with kids, pets, or substantial foot traffic.
2. Consider Online Shopping First
Both online and in-store shopping have a myriad of benefits, and can help you get the best discount. One of the main benefits of shopping online is that you can quickly check prices and review deals from multiple retailers. Since you can't really test out vacuums in-store anyway, it makes sense to research and find your perfect match online. You can read what real reviewers found once they've put the vacuum to work. Plus, it'll be delivered right to your door.
If you do decide to purchase online, make sure the vacuum brand you're purchasing from lists many ways for you to get in touch with customer support, should you need it, advises Jennifer Lichtenheim, Vice President & General Manager, Americas, iRobot.
3. Sign Up for Promos
Hear us out on this one—sign up for marketing emails—at least temporarily until you buy a vacuum. You can also keep an eye on weekly ads and special promotions through retailers' websites. Plus, you can always add a few vacuums to your online 'shopping cart,' then close out of your online shopping trip. Online retailers may send you an email about a special promotion after you abandon your cart.
4. Negotiate In-Store
If you shop in-store, you might be able to haggle the price or negotiate for a floor model. Oftentimes if you've done your research and can show the store that the vacuums they carry are cheaper elsewhere, you'll get a better deal. It's a good idea to have screenshots or websites pulled up just in case. And, if you want the floor model, make sure you can return it in case there is any damage.
5. Shop Locally
While big-box stores will have plenty of deals, don't forget to shop small, locally-owned appliance dealers, too. It's a really good idea to visit a few local stores, regardless if you plan to ultimately shop online.
"In-person shopping allows you to touch [and] feel the product, and gives you the option of taking home the product the same day. If you’re in an immediate need for a new vacuum, this is an easy solution for you," Bob Boyle, Director, Kenmore Brand Management says.
6. Know What Type of Vacuum and the Features You Want
Do you know which type of vacuum you want—or better yet, which type is right for your floors? The most common types of vacuum cleaners include upright, canister (AKA cylinder), stick, and handheld. Whether your home is mostly carpet, hardwood, laminate, or tile, there's a vacuum that works on each material. The type of vacuum you want, and the features that come with each can affect the price, so it's good to have an idea of what you want before shopping around.
Generally, speaking you'll find that robot vacuums are the most expensive option, followed by upright vacuums (including some fancier cordless and stick models). Canister vacuums are typically more affordable than upright models, and handhelds are usually the least expensive, though they're often not powerful enough to clean an entire home. Typically, people use robot or stick vacuums as secondary vacuums for smaller spaces.
That said, you can get a more budget-friendly upright, stick, and even some robotic vacuums depending on the time of year during which you choose to buy. At full price, robot vacuums typically range from around $200 to $1,600. Upright models can cost as low as $50 or as high as $800. Canister vacuum cleaners range from about $50 to $600.
7. Check Out the Warranty
Most manufacturers have a set warranty, but given that you'll be using this vacuum often, you'll want to make sure to ask what it is. Some are as little as one year, and others will cover you for up to five years. "Vacuum warranties vary by brand and product," says McLaughlin. "Many of our BISSELL vacuum warranties last for one to five years, depending on the type of vacuum, features, and price point."
The longer the warranty, the better it is for you. Make sure to double-check that both the hose and batteries are covered in the warranty, as those tend to fail the most. McLaughlin also adds that "stick vacs or robots may not have as long of warranties [as upright vacuums], so you may want to keep that in mind if a warranty is important to you."
The best time to buy a vacuum is March through May, right in the thick of spring cleaning.