Although ideally it can be very good to have both of these cleaning appliances in your home for different tasks, this may not be practical. Even if you are considering getting both, it can still be useful to know what the strengths and weaknesses are of both types of device when it comes to cleaning your home.
Steam cleaners come in a few different variants, from long handled models to small and compact variants. They tend to vary a lot in terms of how fast they heat up and how long they can operate for, so these are generally the main things you will want to look for when researching any potential cleaners for your home.
Steam cleaners are especially good at cleaning fabrics, such as carpets or rugs and so on, but also very effective at getting stains off of hard or wooden floors too. They are quite general purpose, moving towards replacing the traditional mop in most senses.
That said, they cannot fill the role of a traditional vacuum cleaner, but do work as a great and very convenient additional device to have in the home. If you want a more general purpose cleaner, then you should bear in mind that an upright mop style steamer will probably not be a good choice, as this type is fairly limited to floor cleaning alone. That said, the more general purpose variants will come with a wide range of attachments that can be fitted to enable you to use it for a number of different tasks.
Generally, we assume vacuums to be large and upright, and while there are still a good number of these versions available, there is a growing number of alternative models to choose from, some more focused on being light and mobile rather than power. The standard version of vacuum normally has variants with bags or a cyclone device. Cyclone cleaners are generally more powerful, and arguably more convenient as they don‘t require bags to be bought or changed as you can simply empty the canister on the instead. While this might be preferable in many cases, they do tend to be a bit heavier and more unwieldy than the standard bag versions, although there are an increasing number of cyclone Hoovers that are designed to be lighter and easier to use.
The smaller, or canister vacuums as they are known, are far more lighter and mobile than the standard kind, although generally do not have comparable power, especially if they are not cyclone operated. That said, again there are more variants coming out that combine the cyclone technology more efficiently to enhance the power available. These are normally a good choice for a second hover, that might need to be kept upstairs for convenience for example, or left in the garage for cleaning the car and other tasks that don’t require prolonged use.
There are also a number of smaller handheld devices that are available, which are not really designed for heavy duty cleaning. Instead, these are really for small spillages or cleaning cushions and so on. That said, these can be very handy for things like a spare room that is not used very often. You probably won’t need to Hoover in such a room as much, so a handheld will do the job when needed. They are also very useful in the office or car, as they are compact enough to be stored in out of the way without taking up much space.