We’ve been in the cleaning business long enough to know that every brand has its bargain. Whether you’re buying an Oreck, a Dyson, or any other high-end cleaner, there’s always a sweet spot where you get the most value for your money. We gathered our team and our collection of Orecks to figure out which offered the most features of the flagship models (e.g., the Magnesium RS and Elevate Conquer) without their flagship prices, and settled on the Magnesium SP (LW100) and the Elevate Control (UK30100). Which does a better all-around job? Read on to find out!
For us, the Magnesium SP was the clear winner between the two Orecks in terms of its proximity to the high-end Orecks. The first significant difference was in filtering ability; it includes exactly the same HEPA filtration system as that in the $500 Orecks. This is a blessing for families with allergies, as the 99.97% capture rate at .3 microns means the vacuum was capable of trapping virtually all elements of pollen, dust, dander, spores, bacteria, and dust mites in a carpet and not re-releasing them back into the air after vacuuming.
We were also taken by the eye-catching design and solid construction of the SP. At just under 12 pounds, was significantly heavier than the RS (which weighed just under 8 pounds), but it was still light enough to move from one room to the next without much fatigue. We also liked the preservation of the dual speed system from the high-end Orecks; the higher speed worked well with most carpets while the lower speed was well-suited to hardwood floors and Persian and Oriental rugs. Oh, and did we mention the preservation of the 7-year limited warranty? We liked that too (as well as the free 3 yearly tune-ups).
Overall, we found the SP a more-than-acceptable substitute for the RS and Conquer; the main things we missed from the higher-end cleaners were the reduced weight and easier steering.
Pros and Cons of the Oreck Elevate Control Upright Lighweight Filtration Bag Vacuum (UK30100)
The Control is a competent and well-designed vacuum, and in a competition with most other cleaners, it would come out far ahead with its thoughtful engineering. However, in comparison to the SP, some of our team members judged it lacking in a number of subtle but significant ways.
First and foremost, it lacked the advanced filtration system of the Conquer and instead had the not nearly as precise filter stuffed into the Command, making this a less than ideal choice for families with allergies. Next, at just under 16 pounds, it weighed significantly more than the Magnesium lines, although to be fair, it weighed the same as its fellow Elevate cleaners. Third, it lacked the fluid motion and steering capabilities of the Conquer and RS; more than with any other high- or mid-level Oreck, it felt like we were pushing a vacuum cleaner. Of course, we were pushing a vacuum cleaner, but if we’d wanted a typical experience in this area, there were cheaper models we could have considered.
On the plus side, the cleaning abilities of the Control were strong, and did not feel far off from those of the Conquest or RS, even though we’d still give those the edge on carpeted surfaces. We do wish Oreck had also chosen to include the two-speed system present on both Magnesiums and the other two Elevate cleaners, as we were constantly reaching for a way to adjust the pacing and power when moving from one surface to the other. On the other hand, you don’t miss what you’ve never had, and our interns, who had never used any Oreck, never mind the flagship models, didn’t feel like they were suffering.
Conclusion – Which Oreck is the Better Deal?
While we had ardent fans of both the Magnesium SP and the Elevate Control, our team ultimately concluded that the Magnesium SP provides the better deal. Fitting well under $500, it features filtering, speed control, warranty protection, and maneuvering nearly equal to those of its more expensive siblings without breaking the bank.
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