If you or someone you love suffers from allergies or respiratory issues, you already know how much of a difference a clean home can make. With several decades of cleaning houses between us, our team has seen firsthand the effects of good cleaning and…not so good cleaning. While we can’t come into your home (unless you live close to the Chicago area), we can recommend vacuum cleaners that do a good job of removing particles from your carpets. Vacuuming alone is unlikely to eliminate all of your health issues (not even if you get your hands on ULPA filtration), but it can make whatever respiratory symptoms you have more bearable for a while. To us it makes sense to invest in a vacuum that’ll make living–and breathing–easier. Two of the best HEPA filtering vacuums on the market right now come from Oreck in the form of the Elevate Conquer (UK30300) and Elevate Command (UK30200). How do they compare? Read on to find out!
Reasons to buy the Oreck Elevate Conquer Lightweight Upright Filtration Bag Vacuum (UK30300).
We’ve reviewed the Conquer before, and still rank it as one of the two best ultralight vacuum cleaners on the market. While it has many admirable features (e.g., the ease with which it can be steered, the lightweight construction and gorgeous design…), when it comes to pros for families with allergies, it cleaning and filtration abilities are what really count. Fortunately, the Conquer delivers. The filter is the best you’ll find on a domestic vacuum cleaner today; it’s designed to trap all but 300 particles out of a million when those particles are .3 microns in diameter (a 99.97% capture rate at 3 microns).
To provide frames of reference, a millimeter is 1,000 microns wide. Dust mites? Around 300. A human hair? Around 100. Pollen grains? Around 25-50. Pet dander? Around 1-15. Mold spores and bacteria? Around 1-10. Tobacco smoke? Under 1. To put it another way, the more you vacuum with the Conquer, the more likely you are to rid your carpet of pollen, mold, dander, dust mites (i.e., what we collectively call dust), and smoke.
Frequent vacuuming with the Conquer can literally reduce the likelihood of suffering from allergic and respiratory issues in your home. We’re no scientists, but those on our team who have used the Conquer (or its other .3 micron-filtering cousin, the Magnesium RS), agree: it filters better than any other domestic upright vacuum cleaner on the market, whether on carpet (where allergens love to hide) or on bare surfaces (which are easier to keep clean).
Reasons to buy the Oreck Elevate Command Lightweight Upright Filtration Bag Vacuum (UK30200).
The Command is the slightly cheaper sibling of the Conquer, and as a result, it doesn’t have the same degree of HEPA filtering capabilities as those you’ll find in the Conquer. Yes, it still has excellent handling with its swivel steering system, it still gives you 5 bright LEDs to allow you to clean in the dark, and it still comes with the impressively sleek design, solid and ergonomic construction, and the two-speed minimal control system for slower cleaning on bare or fragile surfaces (e.g., hardwood floors or Oriental and Persian rugs) and faster cleaning on challenging surfaces (e.g., everything else). However, it doesn’t come with a .3 level micron filter, but a 5 micron filter and a 99% capture rate. This might not sound like much of a difference (and to be honest, it isn’t if no one in your home environment suffers from airborne allergies or respiratory issues), but you should know that it means two significant things: First of all, not only will particles smaller than 5 microns make it through (e.g., some or all of a variety of agents stopped by the Conquer, including pet dander, bacteria, fungal spores, and all tobacco smoke), you’ll also let through more of them at the 5 micron level; a 99% capture rate means that 10,000 out of every million particles at that size will pass through.
Conclusion – Which HEPA vacuum does a better job in removing particles?
While we have no complaints about how the Conquer and Command clean visible particles, a clear difference emerges at the microscopic level. To put it simply, the filter in the Command won’t stop nearly as many allergens from passing right back into the air after you’re done vacuuming as that in the Conquer. If this matters, choose the Conquer. If it doesn’t, choose the Command and save a bit of money.
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