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Floorcare Glossary

2-in-1 Dusting Brush & Upholstery Tool

Perfect for more delicate fabrics, this attachment comes with some Hoover models. This tool’s gentle bristles unsettle dust, so you can clean fabrics gently, without the risk of damaging them.

Above Floor Cleaning

Some vacuums come with tools and features that allow for convenient cleaning of hard to reach areas.

Allergy Treated

Cleaners that have been allergy treated prevent the build-up of bacteria, for a more hygienic appliance.


Many vacuum cleaners will work with a range of attachments, giving you more flexibility in how you clean. Attachments may be included with the model or available for individual purchase.


These appliances allow air to flow through a bag, which is used to filter and trap dirt. Bagged models will require you to replace the bag once it becomes full.


Vacuum cleaners without bags contain filters and a dust bin, for collecting dirt and debris. Filters will need to be removed periodically – many models feature washable filters, so they can be re-used without the need for replacement.

Ball Technology

Dyson vacuums with Ball Technology have been designed for easy movement around your home. The Ball design allows for better manoeuvrability and can self-right if the machine topples over, for uninterrupted cleaning.

Boost Mode

A Dyson feature, this setting increases the suction power of the vacuum cleaner, for clearing stubborn marks and ground-in dirt.

Brush Bar

Found in the vacuum cleaner head, the brush bar picks up dust and dirt from the floor.


The capacity of your vacuum cleaner’s dust bin is measured in litres. Machines with larger dust bins will need to be emptied less frequently, making them convenient if you need to cover a lot of floor space.

Carpet Cleaning Performance Rating

Ranging from A to G, this grade shows how effective your vacuum cleaner is at picking up dirt and debris from carpets. The closer to an A your machine is, the better it is at cleaning your carpets.

Charge Time

The time it takes for a cordless vacuum’s battery to fully recharge.

Cord Length

The length of a vacuum cleaner’s power cable. This is important to note, as a longer cable length allows for greater movement and easier cleaning from room to room.


Cordless vacuum cleaners use an internal battery pack for power, which can be recharged between uses. Many people prefer cordless models as they are lightweight, with greater ease and flexibility of use.

Crevice Tool

An attachment for your vacuum cleaner, the crevice tool is designed to get into tight spaces and difficult corners.

Cyclone Technology

Dyson vacuum cleaners use cyclonic separation to remove dust and dirt from the air with centrifugal force.


Cylinder cleaners are usually smaller, lighter and quieter than ‘Upright’ models, with a long reach for accessing hard-to-reach spots. This makes them ideal for vacuuming tricky spots like stairs or upholstery.

Docking Station

Vacuum cleaners using batteries will sit in a docking station to charge. Docking stations can often be wall-mounted, for more convenient storage.

Dust Bin

 Bagless vacuum cleaners contain an internal dust bin. This must be emptied periodically to eject built-up dust. A number of handheld vacuum cleaners have ‘Easy Empty’ mechanisms for ejecting dirt and debris, to help prevent you from getting your hands dirty.

Dust Bin Capacity

See Capacity.

Dust Emission Rating

Rated from A-G, this grade indicates how clean you vacuum cleaner’s exhaust air will be.

Easy Empty

Available on many Bagless models, Easy Empty features are designed to make ejecting dirt and debris from your vacuum cleaner simple. Often, a single button will empty the internal dust bin.


A feature on some Bosch models, EasyClean allows you to eject dust and dirt from the appliance at the press of a button. See ‘Easy Empty’.

Edge Cleaning

Vacuum cleaners with good edge cleaning provide strong suction from edge-to-edge of the appliance’s cleaning head. Models with good edge cleaning are useful for cleaning right up to the wall, with enough suction to clear stubborn dirt.

Energy Rating

The overall energy efficiency of your vacuum cleaner is shown by its energy rating. These range from A+++ to D, with A+++ being the most efficient.


Most vacuums come with a filter to remove dust and dirt from the air passing through the machine. There are numerous different types of filters, such as cartridge, cloth and foam. Filters need to be replaced, or washed, on a regular basis to maintain the performance of the vacuum.

Floor Types

These include carpet, ceramic tiles, hardwood floors and more. It is worth bearing in mind what floor types are present in your house when buying a new vacuum cleaner, as some models may be better able to clean them than others.


Lightweight, cordless vacuum cleaners. Handheld models are perfect for cleaning up high, or in tricky spots around the house.

HEPA Filter

HEPA stands for High Efficiency Particulate Air. These powerful filters force air through a fine mesh, trapping tiny particles such as pet dander, pollen, dust mites and more.

Low Profile Cleaning

Vacuums that recline to allow for easy cleaning under furniture.

Noise Level

The noise level of your vacuum cleaner is measured in decibels. Noise levels can vary between 65 and 90 decibels, however the most recent models do not exceed 80 db.

On Board Tools

Some vacuum cleaners come with a range of attachments, allowing you to quickly and easily swap between them for more flexible cleaning. These can include dusting and upholstery brushes.

Pets Turbo Brush

This attachment comes with some Hoover models, and is purpose-built to remove any stubborn pet hairs from your carpet. Pet hair can carry odours and allergens, so pet owners should look for models capable of removing hair.

Power Cable

Vacuum cleaners with a power cable must be plugged into the mains to be operated. If you are buying a corded vacuum cleaner, consider the length of the power cord when purchasing your appliance, as this will determine how far the cleaner can be moved when operating.

Robotic Vacuum Cleaner

These sophisticated devices can be set to clean at certain times and in specified paths around your house. Many models even have automatic recharging capabilities.


These robotic vacuum cleaners have a full suite of sensors to guide them around your home, cleaning up dust and debris.

Run Time

The run time of a cordless vacuum cleaner indicates how long it can run continuously for before needing to be recharged.

S-Class Filtration

Another name for HEPA Filters. See HEPA Filter.

Steam Mops

Using steam to thoroughly clean hard floors, carpets and fabrics, removing stubborn marks and killing bacteria. Steam mops remove the need for chemicals to clean your floors and carpets, and leave tiles shining.

Stick Vacuum

Ideal for smaller homes, these lightweight, handheld models are easy to carry and great for cleaning tricky spots.

Stretch Hose

This extendable tube gives you better flexibility and reach, allowing you to clean with greater control and precision. The stretch hose is great for cleaning up high and around edges.

Turbo Mode

Found on cordless vacuums, this mode boosts the power of the vacuum for an even deeper clean.

Turbo Mode (Robotic)

A Miele feature – when Turbo mode is engaged, your robot vacuum will move on a wider path than usual, perfect for covering rooms quickly.

Upholstery Tool

Various models of vacuum cleaner come with a dedicated upholstery tool. These attachments are often wider, with a fabric strip to lift lint. Perfect for cleaning dust from furniture, cushions and more.


Upright cleaners are often larger and more energy efficient than ‘Cylinder’ cleaners, with a greater dust capacity. They generally offer more powerful suction, perfect for getting pet hair out of your carpets.

Wall Mount

Some handheld and stick vacuum cleaners come with a wall mount, allowing them to be conveniently stored when not in use. In some cases, these wall mounts will also charge the appliance.

Washable Filter

Separating dirt and debris from your vacuum cleaner’s airflow, washable filters feature on many bagless models. While they will need to be removed and cleaned periodically, they are reusable, unlike vacuum cleaner bags which must be replaced.

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