Both a carpet sweeper and a vacuum cleaner serve their own purposes. If you’re considering one to replace the other, then you might want to take a step back.
I’ve seen people want to buy a carpet sweeper to replace or to get instead of a vacuum cleaner. While a carpet sweeper will pick up some dirt, it won’t be as effective as a regular vacuum cleaner.
Let’s go over some of the benefits of each, so we can see whether one will work better for you or not.
A carpet sweeper is like a broom for your carpet. Most carpet sweepers are manually powered, which means it only works when you push it – kind of like the old-style rotary lawnmowers. You do have some sweepers that are powered by a battery and can be more effective than the manual ones.
Some countries will call a vacuum cleaner a sweeper, but we’re talking about the small carpet sweepers that don’t use suction in this article. I thought that was interesting and needed to be pointed out.
Carpet Sweeper Pros:
There are several good reasons to use a carpet sweeper over a vacuum cleaner, here is a list of the most important ones.
- Simplicity and Ease of Use: Carpet sweepers are typically small and lightweight with a simple design, making them easy to operate. They don’t often require electricity or cords, allowing for hassle-free cleaning without the need for power outlets.
- They’re Quiet: Carpet sweepers operate silently compared to vacuum cleaners, which can be great in environments where noise is a concern. This makes them ideal for cleaning during quiet hours or in areas where loud noise is a problem.
- Energy Efficiency: Most carpet sweepers do not rely on electricity or battery power, this makes them more energy-efficient than vacuum cleaners. This aspect can be especially appealing for those looking to reduce their energy consumption and environmental impact.
- Maintenance and Cost: Carpet sweepers generally have fewer moving parts compared to vacuum cleaners, resulting in lower maintenance and costs. They often have only a spinning brush that can be easily cleaned or replaced if necessary, without the need for complex maintenance procedures or professional servicing.
- Portability and Convenience: Due to their lightweight and compact design, carpet sweepers are more portable. They can be easily carried from one room to another or taken along when traveling.
- Gentle Cleaning: Some delicate carpets or rugs may be sensitive to the strong suction power of vacuum cleaners. Carpet sweepers provide a gentler cleaning option, as they rely on brushes and bristles to lift dirt and debris without exerting excessive force on the carpet fibers. Since they most often get their power from you, it’s you who can determine how rough of a cleaning the floor gets.
- Quick Maintenance: Carpet sweepers typically have a simple dustbin that can be easily emptied when full. Unlike vacuum cleaners, there are no bags or filters to replace, reducing ongoing maintenance and associated costs.
- Easier to Store: Carpet sweepers are smaller and take up less space, making them easier to store in comparison to vacuum cleaners.
Carpet Sweeper Cons:
There are a few cons to keep in mind for carpet sweepers when comparing them to vacuum cleaners. These are cons for carpet sweepers, but also pros for vacuum cleaners.
- Limited Cleaning Power: Carpet sweepers rely on mechanical (often powered by you) brushes to pick up dirt and debris from the floors. They may struggle with really removing fine particles, pet hair, or deeply down dirt, especially on thicker or heavily soiled carpets. Vacuum cleaners, on the other hand, use suction power to lift and remove dirt.
- Inefficient for Large Areas: Carpet sweepers are generally more suitable for smaller or not super dirty areas. Due to their manual operation, they can be time-consuming and labor-intensive when it comes to cleaning larger spaces. Vacuum cleaners, with their larger capacity and motorized operation, are more efficient for tackling larger carpeted areas.
- Limited Versatility: While carpet sweepers work well on carpets, they may not be as effective on other surfaces like hardwood floors, tile, or upholstery. Vacuum cleaners often come with various attachments and settings to accommodate different surfaces, making them more useful in terms of cleaning options.
- Lack of Filtration: Unlike vacuum cleaners that typically employ filtration systems or HEPA Filters to trap allergens and dust particles, carpet sweepers lack them. This means they may not be as effective at reducing allergens or improving indoor air quality, which can be a concern for individuals with allergies.
- No Deep Cleaning Capability: Carpet sweepers primarily focus on surface-level cleaning. They may not be able to penetrate deep into the carpet fibers to remove stubborn stains or deeply embedded dirt. Vacuum cleaners often come with additional features such as rotating brushes, steam cleaning options, or specialized attachments for deep cleaning purposes. Carpet sweepers can’t even get the baking soda or other carpet cleaning power out, which is not a good thing.
- Limited Carpet Care Features: Vacuum cleaners offer more advanced features for carpet care, such as adjustable height settings for different carpet thicknesses or specialized brush systems for cleaning furniture.
What A Vacuum Cleaner Does Better
I’ve already gone over the cons of a carpet sweeper, which also relates to the pros of a vacuum cleaner.
But I want to list off a few more things that make a vacuum cleaner better than a carpet sweeper.
- More Vacuum Cleaner Options: You can get a vacuum cleaner to fit your exact need, from a shop vacuum cleaner to clean wet messes to a nice Dyson stick vacuum cleaner for hard to reach areas like your ceiling fan.
- Filters: Vacuum cleaners often come equipped with advanced filtration systems, such as HEPA filters, that capture and trap microscopic allergens, dust mites, pollen, and other particles. This is particularly beneficial for individuals with allergies, asthma, or respiratory sensitivities, as it helps improve indoor air quality.
- Different Cleaning Modes: Many vacuum cleaners offer specialized cleaning modes or settings, such as low-pile or high-pile carpet settings, hardwood floor settings, or even specific modes for tackling pet hair. These settings optimize the cleaning performance for different surfaces and specific cleaning challenges.
- Better, Deeper Cleaning: Many vacuum cleaners offer additional features and functions that enable deep cleaning. These can include rotating brushes, beater bars, or steam cleaning capabilities. These features help to agitate and dislodge embedded dirt, allergens, and stains from carpets, providing a more thorough and effective cleaning result.
What Should You Get?
When it comes to vacuum cleaners vs. carpet sweepers, it comes down to a few reasons to get one over the other.
- Your home.
- Power or electricity options.
The carpet sweeper will be cheaper, but won’t clean as deeply. This maybe okay for some, depending on your home, especially if you don’t have many power outlets or no power at all.
A vacuum cleaner will have more power, give a deeper clean, and save you on time when cleaning.
At the end of the day, it depends on your home and current situation. Having either is better than not having one. It may not even be for your home, but your work or business that needs something to clean between the cleaners that come later, and noise level is a concern.
Best Vacuum Cleaner Or Carpet Sweeper
If you want to know what is the best vacuum cleaner, or what other options you should consider, I have a post that covers that here. It shocks many people when I suggest a shop vacuum, but it’s a good idea to have one around your home.
As for the best carpet sweeper, you can’t go wrong with these:
- Bissell Natural Sweep*
- Bissell Perfect Sweep Turbo*
- Fuller Brush Electrostatic Carpet & Floor Sweeper*
Ideally, a carpet sweeper and a vacuum cleaner both will be a nicely added option to your home. Or, a vacuum cleaner and cordless shop vacuum, especially for wet messes, would be even better.