Vacuum Cleaner Suction

What is a Vacuum Cleaner Suction?

A vacuum cleaner is a part of the basics nowadays. One must have purchased a vacuum cleaner once in a lifetime. We all know that a vacuum cleaner sucks the debris, dust, dirt, pollutants, and other particles from the floor, and other furniture. So, what makes it suck these things? Is it the motor? Is it the baggage? Or does it have something special to pick such things?

The answer is it has a suction system. Yes, every vacuum has a suction system to pick all the pollutants out of your home. And though, vacuum cleaner suction is an essential part of a vacuum cleaner. Since suction is integral for the highest performance of any vacuum cleaner, we are dedicating this article to the suction of vacuum cleaners. How the suction is measured, what is the best suction for a vacuum cleaner, and how you can fix the lost suction power of your vacuum cleaner, we have got you covered here. Picking a vacuum cleaner with the right suction quality will reduce the maintenance, risks, and increase the productivity of the vacuum cleaner. Let us understand how.

How is vacuum cleaner suction measured?

While there are plenty of vacuum cleaner options on stream, it is mandatory to choose a vacuum cleaner with the right vacuum suction power. Measuring the suction power is an important factor to keep in mind while buying your new vacuum cleaner. There are some standards that you must refer to, before getting your new vacuum.

Let us move further to understand how does a suction is measured in a vacuum cleaner:


The amperage rating is a basic specification of a powerful suction vacuum. It shows the maximum pressure of electric current that flows through the vacuum cleaner. A normal household appliance holds a maximum of 12 amps rating. Do not confuse between the motor’s amps with the suction power amps.

Water lift

Water lift is a measurement of how well the power is being supplied for lifting the particles, dust, and debris from the floor. Vacuum with the best suction has the highest water lift or sealed suction power.

Air watts

When you are finding out which vacuum has the best suction, check the air watts. Air watts are measured in CFM and it has the formula to be used. You can check the air watts by calculating it with this formula:

Air Watts = Air Flow (in CFM) × Vacuum (in the inches of water lift)/ 8.5

Note- Do not confuse air watts with watts.

Suction basket

It’s important to know the size of the suction bag. The bag should not be too large, or else it will often deliver loose performance. And should not be too small either, as it will get full more often and reduce the suction power.


Wattage is an important factor to consider vacuum cleaner suction power calculation. Watts rating can be obtained by this calculation:

Wattage = Amps drawn from the motor × Voltage of the motor

Voltages are generally between 103 to 120 volts. Some manufacturers may not always provide the wattage rating, but only the voltage rating.

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Don’t mix an airflow with the air watts. These are two different aspects of a vacuum cleaner. Airflow is also measured in Cubic Feet Per Minute (CFM). It determines the force of power supply across the surface to pick all the debris. It also moves the particles into the bags or containers. This one is an essential function as it works as a dual aspect, from picking up the debris to releasing it into the suction basket.


In a practical suction cleaner, there is no role of horsepower. This rating is used only for marketing purposes by the manufacturers. A vacuum cleaner looks good with this specification, but we have nothing to do with this. There is also a misconception that the more horsepower means more cleaning capacity.

Other Important factors for measurement

  • Pick a normal rating vacuum cleaner for bathroom suction purposes. There are tiny suction cups available in the market for this type of chores.
  • When you face a shark vacuum no suction, follow the steps from the heading “How can I improve the suction on my vacuum cleaner?”
  • How to fix a vacuum cleaner with no suction, this question has been a problem for many people. We have covered the topic below.

What is a good suction power for a vacuum cleaner?

The suction system is the heart of a vacuum cleaner. The higher the suction power, the better the vacuum cleaner will work. The suction power of vacuum cleaner is an essential feature to consider while buying a vacuum cleaner.

To determine which vacuum has best suction power, all you have to do is consider the following features:


Some people think that the most powerful vacuum suction is the one with high wattage. This is a complete illusion. A vacuum can have a high wattage and may deliver the worst suction. Once you figure out what type of vacuum cleaner you want, decide the wattage. 350 W to 450 W will be enough for doing all the household chores efficiently.

350 W– A normal and inexpensive one, that is good for dry cleaning.

400 W– Good for cleaning carpet and removing a good amount of dust.

450 W– Useful for long-cover coatings, upholstered furniture, and carpet as well.

For best results, choose a vacuum that has a suction power regulator. It will allow for cleaning all types of surfaces.

Air watts

To compare in a better way, manufacturers measure air watts of the vacuums. This tells us how much air can be moved through the cleaner that converts the power into the suction. The more the air watts, the more powerful suction vacuum gets.

The airflow is measured in CFM (Cubic Feet Per Minute). Look for a decent CFM.

Sealed Suction

The sealed suction is rated as a water lift capacity of a vacuum cleaner. This feature tells us how good the vacuum is going to work. In case all other features confuse you while making a wise purchase decision, check this one. The more water lift power would mean the vac is great as a cleaner.


Many people believe that the more filters a vacuum has, the better the cleaning is. Contrary to this popular belief, excess filtration proves to be a blockage to the suction system. Generally, two filters are enough.


Noiseless vacuum cleaners seem a distant dream. And a bit of noise is okay to tolerate. But some vacuums make a lot less noise. If you don’t want to get bothered with the disturbing noise, choose a vacuum cleaner with low noise.

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The dust-collecting capacity of a vacuum cleaner greatly impacts its cleaning ability. If the dust bag happens to be small, the airflow will be restricted, hence, poor cleaning ability. But with large-sized dust bins, the airflow is huge and the vacuum sucks all the dust and debris in.

Vacuum cleaner suction power calculation based on the purpose

Different types of cleaning require different suction. Once you decide why you want a vacuum cleaner, it becomes easier for you to select your suction cleaner.

Hard floor and wooden floor

Tiles, parquet, flagstones, wooden floors, and hard floor, such types of flooring require the maximum suction power.

Loose flooring

It’s not advisable to use a high suction motor for loose floors such as vinyl, laminate, or linoleum.


It includes three types of carpet; a low-pile, a high-pile, and a rug. Dust and dirt will stick on high-pile and low-pile carpet in a large amount. Both of these need maximum suction for effective cleaning. However, a rug can’t be cleaned through a high-power suction.

Vacuum cleaners come with adjustable attachments. It’s important to put on the right attachment for a particular purpose.

Ranges of Suction Quality

The suction power of a vacuum cleaner must be carefully chosen, basing it solely on the purpose of having the vacuum cleaner in the first place.

Let us understand the optimum range for every functionality:

Basic Suction Quality

The basic range is equipped with below 50% specifications. This type of vacuums don’t perform impressively and have small suction baskets. If you don’t use a vacuum very often, this can be your best fit.

Mid-range Suction Quality

This range includes 50% of the special features. These vacuum cleaners are good for daily use purposes.

Top-performing Suction Quality

If you want a vacuum cleaner with the top-notch quality suction, this may be your pick. The top-performing suction quality has more than 70% specifications and is useful for heavy chores.

How can I improve the suction on my vacuum cleaner?

It is often seen that the vacuum cleaner suction pressure decreases with its usage. As you use a vacuum regularly, or for heavy operations, you might notice a falling performance of your vacuum. A vacuum suction decreases majorly due to the following reasons:

1. Stress on bags

2. Blockage

3. Impact on filters

4. Gaps in the airflow

5. Worn out motor

One or all from the above may be the reason behind the reduced suction power of your vacuum. By keeping these things in mind, you can keep your vacuum cleaner suction power calculation at top performance all the time.

Worn-out bags

Worn out bags can kill the suction of any vacuum cleaner. It’s important to change your suction basket every three months. Suction power decreases when the bag is full. Check if the bag is full, and keep cleaning it regularly. Additionally, check if there are any holes or rips in the bag. Always buy a high-quality vacuum cleaner bag, cheaper bags don’t last long.

When you are a proud owner of a bagless vacuum cleaner, check if the dust canister is full. If so, make sure to attend to it regularly as it can decrease the suction power.


When a vacuum cleaner has a narrow diameter tube or hose, they are likely to get the blockages more often. To check for any such blockages, switch off the vacuum and unplug the hosing. In case of an upright vacuum, check the brush area for a probable blockage. Blockage damages suction capacity rather sooner.

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Impact on filters

For most powerful vacuum suction, vacuum cleaners have two filters inside; a pre-motor filter and a post-motor one. Check if the pre-motor filter is full of dust. If so, it can reduce the suction quality of your vac at a great level. Some filters feature washable technology, and that’s a pro. Wash the filters often to keep the suction system safe. Rinse them with warm water and air dry them for 24 hours. In case the filters are unwashable, it is important to replace them to keep the suction from dying soon.

Gaps in the Airflow

If you start seeing gaps in the tube of your vacuum, it’s time to change the tube as soon as possible. Even a little leakage in the airflow can make a huge difference. Always make sure that the hosing doesn’t have any hole or gap. To ensure this, make a habit of checking the hose regularly for any such gaps.

Worn-out motors

Faulty motors can pose a major problem for any vacuum’s smooth suction function. When you have all the other features up to the mark but are still experiencing reduced suction, the blame surely falls on the motor. Replacing a vacuum cleaner’s motor is not easy, but it is neither impossible. Possibly, you might not need to change the whole motor, but just some parts of the motor such as carbon brushes. A powerful suction vacuum requires high-quality motors. So if you are planning on replacing your vacuum’s motor with a new one, make sure it is suitable for your unit.

Here are some tips that will help you fix the suction on your vacuum cleaner:

  • Super suction vacuums come with high-quality and branded bags. Hence, you must choose branded suction baskets.
  • You can choose a vacuum cleaner by keeping certain qualities in your mind. But always consider which vacuum has best suction and then make a decision.
  • The suction power of vacuum cleaners decreases due to the above-mentioned reasons. It may be any one of them or a combination of a few. While finding out the reason, scan all of them one by one.

So, to improve the suction, only vacuum cleaner replacement is not an option.

What vacuum cleaner has the best suction?

We tried to discuss all the possible qualities of the best suction vacuum cleaner. Be it the wattage, airflow, air watts, filters, or the noise, look for all of them to maintain the best suction. If you have a Miele vacuum with no suction, you need to check its cleaner bag, plugged hose, filters, and probable damage in the hose.


The ability of a vacuum cleaner relies on different features and it may vary for different purposes. Most people believe higher inputs can produce a higher output. This isn’t the right idea while selecting a vacuum. Some vacuums are made for small chores, some for the big deals, and some can complete the normal household operations. It is always good to measure the suction power yourself. To do so, decide why you need a vacuum cleaner and then measure the suction accordingly. The best vacuum cleaner suction can be measured by considering watts, air watts, air flows, and filters.

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