Now the dirty little secret of vacuuming can be told. Across the world, 4 percent of people vacuum in their underwear and 2 percent wear nothing at all. Vacuuming in the buff is most popular in northern climes with Norwegians, Swedes, and Americans doffing their duds most often. Naked vacuuming is almost unheard of in Chile and Japan. That’s according to the Electrolux Global Vacuuming Survey, which asked 28,000 people in 23 countries about their vacuuming habits and preferences.
Enthusiasm for vacuuming varies from country to country, reports Electrolux. Consider South Korea, where one in three people vacuum once a day and 11 percent vacuum several times daily. Around the world, most people get out the vacuum one to five times a week although others admit to cleaning far less often. South Koreans are also proud of their vacuums, with 27 percent saying they leave their machine out in the open instead of stashing it in a closet.
The survey also found cultural differences in when parents think their children should start helping out with the vacuuming. In Finland, for example, 26 percent of respondents said that the right age to start is between 3 and 5, while some residents of South Korea and Turkey think that chore should wait until a child is 18 or older. Globally, most children younger than 18 help out with the vacuuming at home.
One thing that people across the world were in agreement about was that noise is the most annoying feature of vacuuming. Of course, Electrolux took the opportunity to promote its Electrolux UltraSilencer. And with good reason, it’s one of the quietest vacuums in Consumer Reports tests.
Three models of Electrolux UltraSilencer canister vacuums (the EL7060, EL7061, and EL6986A) got excellent scores for quietness. The only other canister vacuum that quiet was a Miele, which did not perform as well as the others. The UltraSilencers were also excellent at cleaning bare floors and removing pet hair and had low emissions. Our top-rated canister is the Kenmore Progressive 21714, $400, which had mediocre noise scores but was excellent at cleaning bare floors and pet hair and very good at carpet.
While Electrolux said that most people in the countries surveyed prefer canister vacuums, in America the overwhelming preference is for upright vacuums. In our tests of uprights, the Miele S 7210 Twist, $450, came out on top with excellent scores for cleaning carpet and pet hair and very good for bare floors. While not as quiet as the UltraSilencers, it was less noisy than many other models in our labs.
Electrolux also asked people how they felt after vacuuming. Proud? Satisfied? Tired? It may come as no surprise that the folks who felt the happiest after vacuuming were the South Koreans.