Does More Suction Power Always Mean Better Results?

We’ve all seen the ads where vacuums lift bowling balls. And sure, that’s pretty impressive.

But is that extreme suction power indicative of overall cleaning ability? Maybe not.

We’ll explain how suction power is measured and how choosing a vacuum with the right floor head can give a better result than relying on raw power alone.


How to measure vacuum suction power

The first myth that needs busting is that high wattage = high suction. A vacuum’s wattage indicates the amount of electricity it consumes, not how much suction it has. Cordless vacuums normally have about 20-200 watts, while corded vacuums are 1000-2000 watts.

The suction power of a vacuum cleaner is generally listed in the manufacturer’s spec sheets, and is generally measured in AW (air watts). Suction power is determined by how well a vacuum turns watts into air watts – and the more air watts, the more suction power.


What does a high suction power mean?

A high suction power means the volume of air is moved to the opening or nozzle quickly.

Vacuums with a high suction power are more inclined to remove those bits of dirt and dust invisible to the naked eye. A vacuum with a low suction power will likely only be able to remove the debris you can see.

While a high level of suction strength is an advantage, there are other factors to consider when shopping for a new vacuum cleaner. A high suction power alone won’t give you the most efficient clean.


Choosing the right floor head

For a thorough clean, you should look for a vacuum cleaner with the right floor head for your home. Whether you have carpet, hard floors or both, the type of floor head your vacuum has will make a huge impact on your vacuuming results.

Standard vacuum tool

These can be used on carpet and hard floors with a simple flip of a button. They come with most vacuum cleaners.

Hard floor tool

Designed to clean hard floors without scratching, hard floor tools are perfect for homes without carpet.

Turbohead floor tool

Featuring a rotating bar of bristles, turbohead floor tools give a deeper clean by extracting dirt and pet hair from carpet. These are great for people with carpeted floors and indoor pets.

Powerhead floor tool

With a separate motor inside, powerhead floor tools are the best way to deep-clean carpet. Their motorised brush bar removes deeply embedded dirt, dust, allergens, and pet hair.


When you’re in the market for a new vacuum cleaner, don’t let a strong suction rating be the only deciding factor. Keep the different types of floor tools in mind to find the perfect vacuum for your needs.