As a Dutchman I am not used to anything other than a canister vacuum cleaner. It was only when I started to delve into the world of vacuum cleaners that I became acquainted with completely different types of vacuum cleaners.
A canister vacuum cleaner is often called a European vacuum cleaner in America. And that is not surprising, given that this type of vacuum cleaner is very popular throughout Europe. Much more popular than the so-called ‘Upright vacuum cleaner', which is extremely popular in America.
But why actually? And what about the EU regulations regarding vacuum cleaners? In this article I will tell you everything about the European vacuum cleaner.
What is a ‘European Style Vacuum Cleaner'?
Let me describe the European style vacuum cleaner. This is a type of vacuum cleaner with wheels, also known as a canister vacuum cleaner. This model often comes with a multi-surface brush, making it suitable for many different floor types.
With a European vacuum cleaner you can choose from a vacuum cleaner with or without a bag. They almost always come with a cord and a vacuum cleaner hose that connects the suction nozzle and the vacuum cleaner rod to the vacuum cleaner.
Why is this model so popular in Europe?
In European countries, the houses are often equipped with different floor types. This is in contrast to America, where the house is often equipped with carpet. I have conducted various studies into the best choices for each floor type. From the best vacuum cleaner for hardwood floors to the best vacuum cleaner for carpet.
In countries such as the Netherlands or France, a versatile vacuum cleaner is a must. If we look at the upright vacuum cleaner in America, it is particularly suitable for thorough cleaning of long-pile and low-pile carpets. In European households this is often a small area of the home; in America the floors are often carpeted.
EU vacuum cleaner regulations
In Europe, different regulations apply to vacuum cleaners than in America. For example, vacuum cleaners were not allowed to produce more than 1,400 watts in 20214. Three years later, in 2017, this was only 900 watts. In England they were not happy with this European vacuum cleaner regulation and they even called it the ‘Hoovergate'.
In England they were not happy with this European vacuum cleaner regulation and they even called it the ‘Hoovergate'.
Maximum noise level and longer life
In addition to maximum power, Europe has also imposed noise level regulations. This noise level is also a super important part in my vacuum cleaner reviews. Because nobody wants a vacuum cleaner that makes a lot of noise. The European Union has stipulated that a vacuum cleaner may not produce more than 80 decibels of noise.
A very high limit if you ask me: I only speak of a quiet vacuum cleaner below 60 decibels. And yes, there are: in my recent AEG VX82-1-ÖKO review I measured 54.9 decibels.
Finally, there is also a European regulation that stipulates that the motor of a vacuum cleaner must last longer than 500 hours. Earlier I did research into how long a vacuum cleaner lasts, which showed that they last about 5 years on average.
Vacuum Cleaner Brands in Europe
Not only the vacuum cleaner model is different in Europe: the brands also differ! Where in America you have brands such as Hoover, Bissell and Shark, in Europe we know Miele, Philips and Bosch.
I list the most popular European vacuum cleaner brands:
|European vacuum cleaner brand|
|AEG (Electrolux)||See vacuum cleaners|
|Miele||See vacuum cleaners|
|Bosch||See vacuum cleaners|
|Philips||See vacuum cleaners|
Of course there are also worldwide vacuum cleaner brands. For example, if we look at the robot vacuum cleaner, iRobot is the global market leader. And the same goes for Dyson, which is known in every country for its stick vacuum.
The best European vacuum cleaner
I regularly test vacuum cleaners from A to Z. From popular American vacuum cleaners to versatile European canister vacuum cleaners. At the moment I rate the Philips FC9745/09 PowerPro Expert as the best European vacuum cleaner.
In my extensive review, the following plus points emerged:
- An enormous suction power on different floor types
- Doesn't make a lot of noise
- Available all over Europe
- It is a bagless vacuum cleaner that is easy to empty
- Equipped with good HEPA filters that you can easily clean
And yes, of course it complies with all EU rules!
Using European vacuum cleaners in other countries
When you buy a vacuum cleaner from another country, you have to pay close attention to the AC voltage. For example, in America you are dealing with 120V/50 Hz, while in Europe this is 230V/50 Hz. If you plug an American vacuum cleaner into a European socket, there is a very good chance that you will destroy it.
To solve this problem, a voltage transformer (view a wide range here) is necessary. This allows you to adjust the number of volts for the vacuum cleaner, so that it does not receive too little or too much power. View the standard AC voltage per region in the overview below.
|United States||110 V|
|England (United Kingdom)||230 V|
|Africa||220 V / 230 V|
So an example: suppose you buy a European vacuum cleaner for America, then you need a 220V to 110V volt transformer.
Other plug connections
In addition, you also have to take the type of plug into account: for example, a completely different type of plug is used in Europe than in America. It may therefore be necessary to also use a world plug adapter, which you can buy here.