A vacuum cleaner is a mechanical device used to suck up dirt, dust, and other particles from various surfaces.

In a very brief preliminary explanation, I can say that it is mainly divided into three parts: the head, the hose, and the body. The vacuum head is where all the dirt is sucked up. The hose connects the head to the body. The body of a vacuum cleaner houses all of its electrical components.

But how does it work and how important are the different parts when you are going to choose a good vacuum cleaner? Join me to see it in detail.


The parts of a vacuum cleaner in detail

The elements that you can find in a vacuum cleaner depend on the type or model, but in general, we can distinguish the following:

Air entrance

It is part of the vacuum cleaner that performs the first function, because it extracts air, collecting dirt from the outside into the interior of the vacuum cleaner for cleaning. The air inlet can be an opening at the top of the machine or a slot on one of its sides, which is more common. Some models have both types of jacks. In any case, they use built-in nozzles and hoses.

The amount of air it sucks in depends on the power of the vacuum cleaner (in watts, w) and the suction capacity (in kilopascals, kPa). The higher these measurements, the more dust it is capable of cleaning. Therefore, if your vacuum cleaner loses suction power, it may be due to an obstruction in the air intake.


The filter is one of the most remarkable parts of a vacuum cleaner. It is responsible for separating dirt from the airflow and retains particles that could damage the fan, motor, or bag. So it is always recommended to buy a vacuum cleaner with a good filtering system to achieve a longer useful life for the device.

You can find them in various shapes and materials, although they are usually made of paper, foam, or fabric. The material used to make the filter will depend on how fine the particles that need to be removed from the air are. To do this, you can look at the HEPA classification established by European regulations.

Maintenance can vary depending on how the filter is since paper ones are disposable, a good option for allergy sufferers, and fabric ones are usually reusable and can be washed with water. Be careful: make sure you can find spare parts of the same brand at a good price. The best brands of vacuum cleaners usually offer spare parts, but if you opt for cheap models you can have problems.

Another good option for allergy sufferers is vacuum cleaners with a water filter, which pass air through a reservoir of water, trapping dust as it goes.

The motor

Without a doubt, the motor of a vacuum cleaner is the most important part, it is the driving force. Without him, it wouldn’t work. When the motor breaks down or burns out there is nothing you can do to save it since it feeds the entire body of the machine so that it works correctly. 

The motor of a vacuum cleaner can be of two types: bypass electric or direct. The former has more power than direct but also weighs more and is often noisier and is often implemented in industrial vacuum cleaners. The second is quieter, but has fewer watts, although they tend to be cheaper to manufacture and have lower maintenance costs for a home vacuum cleaner.


The fan is an essential component in creating suction in a vacuum, as it helps move air across its blades. It is in charge of bringing the air from the inlet port to the outlet port, so it must be very clean for the vacuum cleaner to work at full capacity and for the air to enter and exit smoothly.

Air vent

The air outlet port is an opening through which the vacuum expels clean, filtered air. It gets rid of the sucked-in dirt and dust particles, which will go into the tank, and removes the trapped air through suction. Therefore, choosing a good filter is essential, because it will leave the environment free of harmful particles.

This hole is usually located at the back of your vacuum cleaner and you mustn’t cover it so that it can perform well, otherwise, it can collapse and be damaged. If you keep it in good condition, the air expelled is cleaner. 


As you may already know, the sucked dirt and dust are collected in a section of the vacuum cleaner. The deposit can be made up of a washable or disposable bag or directly in a container that you can clean and empty in the bin.

A bagged vacuum cleaner collects dirt and dust hermetically. This allows for better overall maintenance, without having to clean it as often. But you also have to replace it, which is an additional cost. It can be a great option for those allergic to dust because you don’t have direct contact with dirt. 

If you do not have any type of condition, I recommend the bagless tank, because it is cheaper and you can easily keep it clean with water.

Read another article about How to know which vacuum cleaner is more powerful?

Hose or flexible tube

The hose or flexible tube of a vacuum cleaner is the part that connects the vacuum cleaner to the part that sucks up dirt and debris. It is usually made of rubber, plastic, or metal, and can be rolled up when not in use for easy storage.

Conveniently, you look at its length to know if you can reach all the corners that you need to clean.

Other accessories

In addition to the previous tube, you can find a multitude of accessories depending on what you need to vacuum. The most common are usually the brushes for the floor, furniture, and upholstery.

But there are also smaller tubes that are usually included in car vacuum cleaners, hoses with wide nozzles typical of ash vacuum cleaners, specific to collect dog or cat hair that usually include pet or parquet vacuum cleaners, among others.

Power source

Finally, a vacuum cleaner needs electricity to work, but depending on the type of machine you buy, you can do it permanently (with cable) or with a rechargeable battery (without cable).

The cordless is often used a lot for handheld or broom vacuum cleaners in which you need more freedom of movement so as not to depend on a plug. It is advisable to take a good look at what its autonomy is, that is, how long the battery will last.

In the case of corded vacuum cleaners, which are the most common, it is only necessary to take into account the size of the cord so that you do not have to change the plug so many times during cleaning. They are usually more powerful and suck better than cordless ones, although they are less mobile.

What types of vacuum cleaners can you find?

All the parts that I have analyzed can vary depending on the type of vacuum cleaner you need. Not sure which one is right for you? Below, you can see some of the most common vacuum cleaners:

Sled vacuum cleaners:

It is the most common option for cleaning at home, because it consists of a small body, with an accessible and easy-to-clean tank, as well as a flexible plastic tube that you can adapt to your liking.

Within the sled models, you can find vacuum cleaners with a bag or vacuum cleaners without a bag, and they are very cheap. 

Broom vacuum cleaners:

It is a version mainly intended to vacuum dirt from the floor in a comfortable way, banishing the traditional brush.

Due to its upright position, it is less inconvenient than the sled vacuum cleaner’s floor attachment. And on many occasions, they carry a small removable handheld vacuum cleaner for the rest of the home or the car.

Handheld vacuum cleaners:

They have a more limited function, since their size and autonomy are usually reduced; although you can find corded options for your mattresses and upholstery, such as vacuum cleaners for allergy sufferers.

It is useful for small cleaning jobs or to keep the car free of dust or crumbs.

Robot vacuum cleaners:

This is one of the most widespread novelties in recent years since it autonomously cleans the floor of your house.

It is more expensive, but it is more practical if you want to save time because it does it by itself. You can also find robots that scrub at the same time as vacuum or window-cleaning robots.

Injection-extraction vacuum cleaners:

If you have carpet or want deeper disinfection of the floor, carpets, or your vehicle, washer-vacuum cleaners may be the best model. You can find it in a sled, broom, or hand version, depending on what you need.