Does a Kirby Vacuum Really Work?

Does a Kirby Vacuum Really Work?
3.8 (76.61%) 59 vote[s]

Does the Kirby Vacuum work?If you’ve ever been pitched by a Kirby Vacuum salesperson, you probably wondered if it actually worked the way they demonstrated. For the price that they charge they’d better work, right? Some of the things it can do are pretty convincing, and get people to pay several times more than an ordinary vacuum. So does this piece of machinery justify its price tag, or are you only lini

Overview
The Kirby Vaccum company does not sell their vacuums in stores. They rely on sending out their sales reps to provide in-home demonstrations so that you can get a first hand look at the results they provide. It’s a pretty good way to get a room of your house vacuumed and shampooed for free, but be prepared to listen to the whole spiel, and you might even find that it wins you over with its comparison tests and features.

The Claim
Some of the claims that a Kirby rep will make is that this vacuum can pull dirt out of your carpet, and from under your carpet, even from under the padding. So you are sucking up all the dirt and dust, from the flooring underneath your carpet and padding, as well as all of the surface stuff. They also claim that if you use the Kirby on your mattress, it will pull out all of the dust mites which are causing you allergies and other symptoms. They do a pretty convincing test of this, showing the white and cream colored dust mites on a black pad.

They also claim that their vacuum lasts so long, it will prevent you from having to buy another vacuum for the rest of your life. Most people do indeed find that their Kirby works just fine ten years down the road. Plus you can have it serviced if it breaks down, so it’s not a product that relies on you buying a new one again and again.

The Hype
The hype comes in the form of this vacuum being sold door to door. It’s one of the few remaining products out there that still has people coming into your home to try to get you to make a purchase. The reason for this is that it’s a high-end vacuum, and if you saw it on the shelves next to other units like the Shark Navigator Lift-Away at $250 you would never buy it.

The Cost
The cost of a Kirby vacuum is actually negotiable. The sales rep will let you know how low they’re willing to go if you haggle with them.

The Commitment
The Kirby is not like a Roomba where you can set it and forget it, and it will do all the work for you. It is something that you’re going to have to learn how to use properly – the sales rep can give you a rundown on that – but you’ll have to be the one to move it around your house and do the cleaning. It’s not the lightest vacuum, so you might want to consider something else if you’re not able to lift and carry heavy things.

Evaluation
A Kirby Vacuum is amazingly powerful. At one demonstration in a home it was able to pick up glitter from a living room. When asked what the glitter was from, the owner of the house said it was from Christmas. This was in May, and she had vacuumed the carpets every day as part of her daily cleaning routine. She was amazed that her current vacuum had been unable to pick up the glitter, because it had made its way under the carpeting and padding.

The Kirby vacuum was able to suck it up, through the padding, and through the carpeting, and into the unit. She was also impressed with the Kirby’s power cord, and how it resists tangles. She showed how her current vacuum had become a tangled mess from so much use.

One of the things that impresses most people is when they put the Kirby up against your current vacuum and have you go over the same spot again and again, and then they use the Kirby vacuum over that spot and pick up a tone of dust and dirt. It’s pretty convincing of its suction power.

Final Kirby Vacuum Review

A Kirby Vacuum is like a Sherman tank, it will last you as long as you want it to last you. It is great at sucking up dirt, and has a HEPA filtration system that does wonders for allergy sufferers. The only stumbling blocks it has are its price, and its weight. If you can get over those two things, it’s a great addition to your home.

Our Recommendation
A Kirby Vacuum is a great investment for those that are suffering from allergies, and for those that want to preserve the life of their carpeting. It’s not an easy purchase to make, because of the price tag, but as far as something that will last you at least ten years, it becomes a matter of value for the dollar. If you want to split the difference, get a Dyson which is only 2-3 times the cost of an ordinary vacuum, but has similar power and features. And if you’re looking for one of the best vacuums at a price point that won’t set you back, get the Shark Navigator Lift-Away and call it a day.

What do you think? Does the Kirby Vacuum work or not?

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{ 20 comments… read them below or add one }

RLG August 11, 2013 at 1:32 pm

I used to have a Kirby vacuum many years ago. The Kirby was one of the best on the market. The one thing I hated about the Kirby is it was so heavy. You got a workout just by vacuuming with it. I don’t know if Kirby is still in business, but if they are, then maybe they have made the Kirby lighter than it used to be years ago. I also remember the Kirby was expensive. I had ours financed as it was well over a thousand dollars and I felt like I would never get it paid off. A good vacuum, but so heavy.

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kelton August 3, 2018 at 5:50 pm

exactly how much lifting are you doing with a vacuum? I read other’s testimonials saying similar. I have several Kirby’s, I ONLY lift it to go up stairs. If you grab it by the upper handle, it Feels real heavy, but if you grab the lower handle, it balances it nicely and you’re using your body/legs….about the same weight if you picked up your 3 yr old child…or your dog…or a suitcase packed with clothes. Its NOT THAT BAD…..can’t you just roll it around the house? Yes, I agree its heavy ( So are Miele’s, Maytag’s, and some Rainbows when full of water), but you rarely need to lift it. Isn’t the sheer cleaning power worth it? IT seems to offset the heaviness to me for sure…b/c, isn’t your main goal when vacuuming to actually CLEAN? SOOOO many vacuums don’t really do that…they surface clean, Kirby’s direct air motor really gets below the carpet/cushions and pulls out virtually all the dust/dirt/dander etc

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Luu September 28, 2018 at 5:11 pm

Im not sure if yours was a new version but I got mine several years ago and it was actually quite light. I have a two story house and carry it up and down stairs with ease, and vacuuming with it is also a breeze especially with the drive feature where i can vacuum with just a finger to push. I think the only thing I do not like of course is the price, as well as how big the head unit part is, If i want to get under my sofas I have to attach the hose because it will not reach other as I try to vacuum with the big unit. Good vacuum, I have seen a dramatic difference in the way my allergies have improved as well, not sneezing and stuffed as much as I used to.

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anthonyjamaalbanks September 16, 2013 at 1:39 am

Its good for using it as a mattress cleaning business just charge people a price that they can afford

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Kate October 21, 2015 at 1:22 am

I recently got a Kirby. My old vacuum was way past it prime. Both my husband and I have noticed our carpets are fluffier again. I grew up with a Kirby in my parents home. They are good, but they are pricy, but I do agree it may be prolonging my carpet’s life.

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Trish October 26, 2016 at 5:46 pm

I just had a Kirby demonstration done in my house last week. The salesperson was trying to win a trip to Disney. She might as well have said that I would be one of the people financing it. Not a great sales pitch, if you ask me. They offered me Lysol wipes for my time. A few years ago, I was offered a set of drinking glasses.

As far as the vacuum goes, it worked great. It’s still quite heavy. I couldn’t get over the price or the fact that I would have to lug it up and down the stairs. The price started at around $2100. After several “no’s”, it got down to $1388. That was their final price before leaving my home. I also didn’t like how insulting they could be at the cleanliness of my home. I have a Dyson and a Shark Navigator Liftaway. I wasn’t looking for a new vacuum, so I didn’t buy one.

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michael June 8, 2018 at 5:43 pm

wheal a shark and dyson (diesoon) are pices of poop

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John Conway July 19, 2017 at 4:39 am

I sold Kirby Heritage and Heritage II. Wouldn’t use anything else. the secret to carrying a Kirby ANYWHERE is NOT to grab it at the top of the handle. Grab it at the BOTTOM of the handle just above the motor unit. This distributes the weight more evenly so it is easier to carry upstairs, outside, etc.

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Kevin P. April 23, 2018 at 11:53 pm

A perky young woman came to our door and offered to clean a carpet or floor in our house for free, just so we could see how the Kirby cleaner works. There would be no sales pressure, she promised. We would be delighted with how clean the carpet was, and if we were, all they asked is that we tell our friends. Figuring we had nothing to lose, we let them in. The boss followed with nice young gentleman who started in on a very lengthy sales demonstration that he was required to do before actually cleaning the carpet. He went through his sales presentation competently and respectfully, but we didn’t sign up for a sales presentation. It took over an hour and a half, and he still hadn’t shampooed the carpet. Instead he was obliged to insert one paper disc after another (dozens of them) into the machine, vacuum an area, and show us the dirty disc. It got old fast. Before actually shampooing the carpet, he invited the boss back, who used a practiced blend of charm and subtle pressure (and staging a sort of sit-in in the middle of the room where he seemed comfortable waiting for our willpower to erode) to try to sell us a vacuum cleaner. This was clearly not what the cheerful young woman had promised. Finally, we told him we were uncomfortable and feeling pressured, and were not in a position to buy. A good deal of negotiating and price dropping followed, and at last he wrote down his “final figure” and left. It was still twice as much as one would expect to pay for a vacuum cleaner. At last the respectful young gentleman got to work on the carpet, and about 45 minutes later he left. Now, this was an older Berber carpet in need of a good professional cleaning. I didn’t expect their machine – which is not a steam cleaner – to get it clean, and it didn’t. In fact, if I didn’t know it had been cleaned, I would really be able to see any dramatic difference. Oh, and, no, we didn’t buy. Unless you have an afternoon to spare and a healthy amount of sales resistance (or money to spend), I wouldn’t recommend letting a Kirby sales team into your home.

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tim June 6, 2018 at 9:22 pm

This is perhaps the best/funniest/most accurate review I have seen! This just happened to us

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Charles McKinley October 3, 2018 at 11:36 pm

Your experience sounds so much like the one I had yesterday I don’t need to write one. They showed their pricing plan and I told them there was no way I would pay $3000 ( yes $3000) for a vacuum cleaner. They went through all their sales tactics and I told them I thought I was in a used car lot cause that’s what they do. They did come down to $1400 just before I threw them out. My wife went off on me cause I was so polite and calm. I told her I had been through them before, I knew what was coming and I had no intention of buying( I didn’t), I just wanted the carpet cleaned. She just stopped and said “Oh”.

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Michelle Perry May 15, 2018 at 6:00 pm

Kirby G series diamond something. I have never in my 50 years, had a vacuum that I hated so much. I have to fight with it daily to take it apart and put it back together, I have to fight with it to get the brush to spin, it already killed a belt, and it smells like it’s on fire half the time. Worst vacuum ever!

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kelly fuller July 16, 2018 at 10:39 pm

Michelle Perry . wow, so sorry to hear of that ( me being a new Kirby fan). I would highly suggest you find a kirby repair shop…or a vacuum shop that deals with Kirby’s, to get a refresher course in how to use your vacuum and the attachments. I have several of these and I almost never ‘fight’ to put it together. Its an incredibly versatile machine that can do most everything you need for cleaning your home with. There’s a reason they’ve been around for over 100 years, durable fantastic machines ( albeit, a bit heavy, and takes more time to put all together, but nothing much will deep clean like a Kirby)

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Anna October 6, 2018 at 5:26 am

I just bought a kirby tonight and paid 1500 i hope i didnt make a mistake and buying it cause im gonna b payinv 61 every mo so i really hope im not gonna regret it later .i hope i made the right decision . I know its alot of money coming out my pocket but i hole i did the right move .i hope it helps my alergies as well .

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Jim February 5, 2019 at 11:46 pm

Just spent 2 hours with the Kirby guys in my house, does it have incredible suction-yes. They actually even spot shampooed an area that the pet had soiled, once again it came clean, however the starting price was 2400 with attachments like shampoo kit and turbo brush extra. by the time they starting packing up the price was 999 with everything thrown in. Seems like a great vacuum but 999 still way too expensive.

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Donna May 19, 2018 at 8:45 pm

Just had a demo for kirby,was told 15 minutes, lasted almost 1-2 hrs. The price was outrageous but did clean good and vacuum good but very high sales pitching. Too much for me,on my way to work,and they still stayed when I told them to leave.because I had to go to work.

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Kelton June 25, 2018 at 8:27 pm

I bought a Kirby used, thats the best value way to get one, new, they really overcharge due to multiple ‘levels’ of management/sales team. Its a tremendously effective cleaning machine….will lengthen life of carpet b/c of what it removes ( on the carpet, in the carpet and below)..ie sand type materials actually cut down the fibers. Anyway, I don’t understand those who say they have such a hard time with using the attachments…its a really versatile machine. I am an avid Rainbow vacuum guy but was won over by some engineer’s videos on how clean a Kirby is with a HEPA bag, so I added a Kirby to my home cleaning arsenal. So its a little heavy, grab it by the bottom handle and its not a problem for anyone. The big selling point to me, besides the evidence of what it pulls out of your carpet/bed/furniture, is that it will last a lifetime. You can get all the parts for it for repair/reconditioning…its not a bunch of plastic that breaks easily. I bought a 2nd one from 1985 ( Heritage II model) and it works wonderfully!

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Ccw October 17, 2018 at 7:41 pm

I’ve had a Kirby for 15 years and am getting ready to buy a new, lighter one. I’ll give my old one to my daughter. I’ve moved several times and this vacuum is the best. It’s good on carpets, bare floors, tile…just everything we’ve lived with. I keep it serviced and clean it regularly. It’s been through 3 kids and about 6 moves. I’ve had it longer than any car I’ve owned. It’s not for everyone, but that’s okay. Nothing is. But for me -and my mom, a Kirby is worth every penny and we really enjoy having ours.

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JASON November 19, 2018 at 10:12 pm

I purchased a used Kirby Avalir with all the attachments and shampooer from a pawn shop for under $200 just last week. They are the best on the market but I would never pay full price. Check your local pawn shops or Craigslist for deals.

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Kimberly January 30, 2019 at 8:25 pm

We love our Kirby. We all suffer from allergies and thos vaccum has helped us all so much. Plus with all the attatchments i can clean in places I have never been able to reach before

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