Does dust really get up your nose? According to the NHS, one in five of us could be suffering from indoor allergies. But does this matter when you’re buying a new vacuum cleaner?
Some vacuum cleaners are better than others when it comes to vacuuming up particles and then keeping them locked in.
If your vacuum is ‘leaking’ it could be undoing all your hard work and letting out those aggravating allergens. Our tests at Which? assess how well vacuums retain the dust they pick up, but how aware are we of the vacuums that do this best? Does allergen retention feature in your vacuum buying considerations?
It’s a sore subject
I never used to suffer from hay fever, nor was I affected by dust mites. Growing up I only had a slight touch of asthma. And, if I’m honest, this only ever came to light when I was facing the school’s dreaded cross country run… where I felt lying in the sun was a better use of my time.
Sadly, this is no longer true. Perhaps as atonement for my sins of PE avoidance, my body has decided it no longer likes to associate itself dust. Pollen is also apparently in my bad books, with the mere thought of pollen causing itchy, swollen eyes and a runny nose.
Today, I’m forced to take preventative measures, such as buying hypoallergenic products and maintaining a small pharmacy of medication to acclimatise to the now hostile environment. But I haven’t changed my vacuum cleaner, and I’m wondering whether I should.
Allergen-fighting vacuum cleaners
If you’ve perused our selection of vacuum tests, you may have noticed that we test vacs for the retention of fine particles. This includes how well the offending dust and dirt is taken up, and how well the vacuum copes at keeping the offending particles in the machine.
You can also buy vacuums with special filters, or retro fit them later. Allergy UK recommends a high filtration vacuum cleaner, preferably with Hepa or S-class filters (both designed to retain particles), to control the amount of allergens inside your home.
So, the question is – do you consider the allergen-fighting capabilities of vacuum cleaners when you’re shopping for a new one? And if you don’t, will you from now on?