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How often should you vacuum? Cleaning experts weigh in


We don’t always have the answers, but we have some people on speed dial who do — which is why we present to you our series FYI where we have experts explain if lip balm is actually badhow often should you wash your hair and more. 

On a scale of dusting to junk drawer organizing, vacuuming falls right in the middle. It’s not the absolute worst (toilet cleaning probably wins that award), but it’s certainly not a blastt. 

To help you stay on schedule, we spoke with cleaning experts to help you figure out exactly how often you should vacuum your floors and get tips on how to vacuum (yes, there is a right way). 

SKIP AHEAD How often should you vacuum? | What happens if you don’t vacuum often enough? | Do you need different vacuums for hardwood floors and carpet? | 5 highly rated vacuums to consider

How often should you vacuum? 

Going a month without vacuuming is usually too long, while daily is unnecessary for many homes. Beyond that, how often you should vacuum is based on several personal factors. For high-traffic areas (like the kitchen or family room), vacuuming every few days may be necessary, says Karen Maguire, founder of CleanerMatch, a site that helps people find cleaners in their area. Less trafficked areas (like the formal dining room you only use on holidays) may be able to go a week or two without vacuuming. 

The type of flooring you have may also influence how often you need to vacuum. “Hardwood floors tend to show dirt more because of their smooth surface,” says Rhonda Wilson, a lead cleaner at FreshSpace Cleaning. “If you want to keep them looking clean, you’ll likely have to vacuum more often.” Carpet can hide dust and debris a bit better. “However, carpets can also trap allergens and dust deep within their fibers, which can cause respiratory issues if not managed properly,” adds Wilson. “If you or anyone in your household has allergies, it’s especially important to vacuum your carpets regularly to maintain good indoor air quality.”

The time of year may also influence how frequently you clean your floors. “Vacuum more often in fall and spring when doors are open and dirt gets tracked inside,” says Maguire. And vacuum weekly at minimum in winter to remove exterior salt and sand residue.” 

What happens if you don’t vacuum often enough? 

Getting a little lax with your vacuuming every once in a while isn’t going to cause any major damage, but it is important to stick to a regular schedule most of the time. “Neglecting to vacuum regularly can lead to all sorts of issues,” says Wilson. “For example, if you have pets and don’t vacuum enough, their fur can accumulate in the carpets, leading to a buildup of allergens that can worsen your allergies.” Other problems can occur: Dirt and debris can get caked into carpet fibers and become harder to remove the longer you leave them there. “Pests can also take up residence in your carpets if they’re not vacuumed enough — you do not want to deal with a flea infestation,” says Wilson. “Vacuuming may seem like a hassle, but it’s well worth it in the long run.”

Do you need different vacuums for hardwood floors and carpets? 

The answer to this question depends on what settings your vacuum has. Many models have a setting for hardwood floors, which can also be used on tile or laminate. Then, those same vacuums may have a carpet setting — some even have settings for low-pile or high-pile rugs. If you don’t have a vacuum with multiple settings, you’ll want to know what to look for in a vacuum for either floor surface type. “Use an upright vacuum with a rotating brush for carpets to properly agitate and remove embedded dirt,” says Maguire. “For hard floors, a canister vacuum with a floor brush is better to pick up large particles without scattering them.”

Our favorite highly-rated vacuums

Whether you want a robot vacuum, a stick vacuum, or some other type, there are plenty of highly rated options available to you—no matter what your budget is. Here, we’ve rounded up a few worth your consideration. These have at least a 4.0-star average rating from over 1,000 reviews.

Shark Rotator Pet Upright Vacuum

Featured on our list of the best upright vacuums, this vacuum is ideal for anyone with pets. It can pick up pet hair from difficult surfaces like shag with its grippy PowerFins HairPro Brushroll, according to the brand. It’s designed to self-clean and neutralize odors while being gentle enough to use on hardwood floors. The large capacity dust cup keeps allergens sealed with HEPA filtration, which prevents dust and particles from escaping.

Dyson V11 Torque Drive Cordless Vacuum

Dyson is a favorite amongst experts we’ve spoken to and NBC Select staff. “I love the brand’s cordless vacuums because they’re great for compact apartments with minimal storage space,” says NBC Select updates editor Mili Godio. The Dyson V11 Torque made our list of best vacuums of 2024. It weighs just over 6 pounds, has a run time of up to 60 minutes on a single charge.

iRobot Roomba 692

iRobot makes some of the most popular models. The vacuum works on carpets and hard floors and uses sensors to detect dirtier areas to spend more time cleaning them. With the iRobot app, you can set your vacuum to clean on a schedule and view your cleaning history.

Miele Compact C1

You can use this vacuum on both carpet or bare floors, and it comes with multiple attachments like a dusting brush, upholstery tool and crevice nozzle. This model also made our list of best vacuums of 2024 and NBC Select managing editor Leah Ginsberg shares that the Miele Compact C1 is lightweight, quiet and simple to use. “It’s easy to replace the bags and filters,” she says. “I also love that it has a button that makes the plug automatically whip back into the vacuum — for whatever reason, I hate manually wrapping wires and plugs around vacuums.” 

Bissell CleanView Upright Vacuum 

This vacuum was listed as the best-budget buy on our list of upright vacuums. It has a “triple action” roll brush, which loosens, lifts and removes embedded dirt and pet hair, according to Bissell. For under $100, in my opinion, the technology is quite impressive. It comes with a Pet TurboEraserTool for scrubbing stairs or furniture for any stubborn stains or hair, along with a crevice tool for sucking up dust on the ceiling.

Meet our experts

At NBC Select, we work with experts with specialized knowledge and authority based on relevant training or experience. We also ensure all expert advice and recommendations are made independently and without undisclosed financial conflicts of interest.

  • Rhonda Wilson is a lead cleaner at FreshSpace Cleaning
  • Karen Maguire is the founder of CleanerMatch, a site that helps people find cleaners in their area

Why trust NBC Select?

Bethany Heitman is a contributor at NBC Select and a journalist who regularly covers beauty, home and lifestyle. For this story, she interviewed two cleaning experts.

Catch up on Select’s in-depth coverage of personal finance, tech and tools, wellness and more, and follow us on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and TikTok to stay up to date.


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