Does a Kirby Vacuum Really Work?

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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?

83 Customer Reviews on “Does a Kirby Vacuum Really Work?

  1. If u could give a negative # for a rating this would be the product u would do it on. We hesitantly purchased our kirby 3 years ago and made the mistake of letting the rep take my bissel vacuum cleaner (which we had owned for at least 5 years and the only issue was the hose would clogg about once a month). We have had nothing but problems since day one. We have pets, and used to foster more animals. Sales rep insisted this was the best product for pet hair. LIE #1. The bags are ridiculously expensive, and have to be replaced often. Not to mention the smell that comes from them when you vacuum. This was one if my concerns when the pushy sales rep gave us the pitch, they promised there would be no awful odors while vacuuming. Just LIE #2. You’ll go through 2-3 belts a year. Today the hunk of junk completely stopped sucking, that life time warranty they woo you with, that is just LIE #3. You have to pay to have your piece of crap fixed. Satisfaction guarantee is LIE #4, there isn’t one. You are stuck paying for your piece of junk whether you like it or not. DO NOT BUY THIS VACUUM, you will regret it.

    1. Shannon,

      Bummer to hear your story, but a couple of points you made are problematic. The bags don’t have to be replaced any faster or longer than any other bag….except that that are very large bags thus can hold a lot more debris before replacing them. Smell: salesman was misleading it seems…..but Kirby bags don’t smell any different than other bags. You can buy charcoal hepa bags though from Kirby or aftermarket companies that DO control odors more. Sales tactics claiming lifetime warranty IS very misleading. Belts: yes, with heavy use I could ‘see’ going through several belts a year ($2-3) as they are the sacrificial point , it seems….and have been told by a Kirby technician, of the design. I’ve only experienced one issue with ONE of my Kirbys’ over the years ( Sentria II model) which had a power switch go out ( I actually bought the Kirby cheap b/c of that). It took $36 for the part to fix it. in contrast to your story, I would HIGHLY recommend Kirby if you don’t like having to replace plastic vacuums every 2-5 years, have like buying a product that has ongoing PARTS easily available, and has the strongest airflow of any upright vacuum.

  2. 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

  3. 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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