Bring Home Legendary Power: A Complete Guide to Kirby Vacuums

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For over 100 years, the Kirby name has been synonymous with unrelenting, industrial-grade vacuum cleaning power. Known for their heavy, metal machines built to last decades, Kirby vacuums are the undisputed workhorses of the floor care world.

But with a variety of models available, how do you know which Kirby is right for your home and budget? This guide has you covered on all things Kirby.

We’ll dive into:

  • The top vacuum cleaners in Kirby’s lineup and their standout features
  • Key factors to consider when picking your Kirby vacuum
  • Answers to the most common questions about Kirby vacuums

Let’s get started! Bringing a Kirby vacuum into your home will give you pristine floors for years to come.

The Best Kirby Vacuum Cleaners

While Kirby’s vacuums may look retro, their cleaning performance is state-of-the-art. Kirby packs immense suction power into sturdy metal frames able to withstand daily use and abuse. Here are some of Kirby’s greatest hits when it comes to vacuums:

Kirby Avalir 2

The Avalir 2 represents Kirby’s most powerful upright vacuum. This multi-surface cleaning dynamo comes packed with features.

An enormous 12 amp motor delivers unrelenting suction power. Coupled with the TechDrive power assist drive system, pushing the Avalir 2 across carpets and floors feels almost effortless.

The Avalir 2 features a uniquely shaped multi-surface brush roll that adapts to carpets or bare floors for optimal contact. A HEPA filter captures a tremendous 99.97% of dust and allergens.

Onboard storage provides quick access to tools like a crevice nozzle, upholstery brush and more. At 26 pounds, this beast is heavy but the cleaning results cannot be matched. Backed by a limited lifetime warranty on critical parts, the Kirby Avalir 2 is built for the long haul.

Kirby Airetrek S Canister Vacuum

For a more portable Kirby designed for hard floors, check out the Airetrek S canister vacuum. This lightweight-for-a-Kirby 14 pound machine glides across tile, vinyl, wood and other hard surface floors.

The Airetrek S features variable fan speed settings from low to high depending on the cleaning intensity needed. A HEPA filter ensures superior filtration while capturing allergens. An 8 foot hose provides extended reach.

While it can’t match the raw power of Kirby’s upright vacuums, the Airetrek S excels at quick hard floor touch ups and cleaning in cramped spaces thanks to its flexible hose and body. The Airetrek S represents an affordable entry point into the Kirby brand.

Kirby Cordless Vacuum

For grab-and-go convenience, Kirby also offers a lithium-ion cordless stick vacuum. At under 8 pounds, this portable cleaner provides freedom from cords and respectable cleaning power.

The detachable battery delivers around 40 minutes of fade-free runtime. The wireless charging stand conveniently stores and recharges the vacuum.

LED headlights illuminate debris and dust in dark corners. Choose from hard floor and carpet power settings. While not as robust as a corded Kirby, the cordless stick vacuum nicely balances power and mobility.

Kirby Avalir

The Avalir delivers virtually identical whole-home cleaning performance to the Avalir 2 but with a few less bells and whistles to hit a more affordable price point.

You still get Kirby’s phenomenal 12 amp motor, multi-surface brush roll, and TechDrive power assist technology. This Avalir model lacks the Avalir 2’s LED headlights, onboard tool storage, and carpet shampooer functionality but provides the core Kirby cleaning experience for hundreds less.

If you want a true cleaning workhorse without all the extras, the standard Avalir gets the job done for less.

Choosing the Perfect Kirby Vacuum For You

Kirby uprights, canisters, and cordless models each bring something unique to the table. Keep these factors in mind while finding your perfect Kirby match:

Upright vs Canister

Kirby Avalir uprights have the raw power and storage for larger homes with lots of carpets. The motor and suction are right at the cleaning head for maximum efficiency across large areas.

Canisters like the Airetrek S excel at hard floor cleaning with great maneuverability for tight spaces. Their lightweight design and long hoses make them ideal for apartments and homes with mostly bare floors.

Suction Power

Speaking of power, Kirby upright vacuums house tremendously strong commercial-grade motors. We’re talking 12 amps of relentless suction to pull dirt from deep in carpets. The canisters and cordless Kirby models have less suction but are better suited for quick cleanups.

Filtration System

To keep all that sucked up dust and dander from spewing back out, Kirby vacuums utilize HEPA filters or variations like their HEPA Cotton filters.

HEPA filters stop 99.97% of particles, perfect for allergy sufferers. Kirby’s oversized bags also lock in debris and allergens.

Cordless or Corded

Kirby cordless vacuums allow freedom of movement up to 40 minutes before needing a recharge. They work great for small messes.

For whole home heavy duty cleaning though, Kirby’s corded models really shine. Unlimited vacuum power means no fading or interruptions.


Having the right cleaning attachments makes tasks easier. Kirby uprights feature onboard storage for handy access to tools like crevice nozzles, dusting brushes, upholstery tools and more. Canisters come with useful bare floor and utility nozzles as well.

Bag or Bagless?

Here’s a distinctive Kirby feature – disposable vacuum bags to collect dirt and debris. These commercial-style bags trap dust mites, pollen, and dander much better than bagless designs. No messy emptying required, just change the bag.

Durability and Warranty

You won’t find cheap plastic components on Kirby vacuums. Metal bodies, gears, fans – it’s built to last decades not just years. Kirby also provides limited lifetime coverage on the key components, leading to decades of use. Pay more up front and get a lifetime of service in return.


Kirby vacuums do reside on the higher end of the pricing spectrum. But you get what you pay for in terms of nearly indestructible construction and powerful cleaning. Finance options are available to spread out payments. Focus on quality over price.

Frequently Asked Kirby Vacuum Questions

Here are answers to some of the most common questions people have about Kirby vacuums:

Why are Kirby vacuums so expensive?

You can easily pay $1500 – $3000 for a new Kirby upright thanks to their commercial-grade components and extreme durability. They’re constructed from metal rather than plastic. This quality does come at a price but also ensures decades of reliable use.

You also get full bags, attachments, and lifetime maintenance at no extra cost. Over 10 to 20 years, a Kirby saves you money compared to replacing cheaper vacuums that break.

How long can I expect my Kirby vacuum to last?

Treated properly, Kirby vacuums can operate for 10 to 20 years. The powerful motors and metal chassis laugh off heavy daily use. Only parts subject to wear like belts and brushes need occasional replacement. With a lifetime warranty on the key components, Kirby vacuums seemingly last forever.

How often should I change the bags on my Kirby?

Plan to change disposable Kirby vacuum bags every 4 to 8 weeks for the average household. Kirby bags have a fill indicator that turns orange when the bag is around 3/4 full.

Don’t wait until completely packed or performance can suffer. New bags are an inexpensive way to keep your Kirby working like new.

What are the differences between Kirby models?

The Avalir and Avalir 2 uprights offer whole home cleaning with amazing power and storage for accessories. The Airetrek S canister focuses on hard floor cleaning from a portable body. The cordless stick provides lightweight convenience but less overall suction.

There are variations in motor strength, accessories, and features across Kirby’s catalog but unrelenting cleaning is their universal hallmark.

Do Kirby vacuums have bags or are they bagless?

All current Kirby models use canvas bags that trap and conceal dust. These commercial bags have huge capacity and contain allergens much better than bagless designs. There are currently no bagless Kirby vacuums.

How heavy are Kirby vacuums?

Known for their metal chassis, Kirby upright vacuums weigh in around 23 – 26 pounds. The canisters are lighter at about 14 pounds. So yes, Kirby vacuums are heavy, but this stem from their nearly indestructible construction. The power assist drive helps move the extra weight with ease.

Are Kirby vacuums good for carpets?

Absolutely! With double digit amp motors, Kirby uprights like the Avalir 2 offer some of the best carpet cleaning around. The adjustable height settings allow you to get the suction power right down into carpet fibers for a deep clean. Plus the powered brushroll loosens trapped debris and dirt.

Can you use Kirby vacuums on hard floors?

While they excel on carpets, Kirby vacuums work great on hard floors too when used properly. Turning off the brushroll prevents scattering of debris. Optional hard floor kits improve dust pickup. The Airetrek S canister is optimized for bare floors. So Kirbys can transition smoothly from carpets to hardwood or tile.

What warranties cover Kirby vacuums?

Kirby proudly stands behind their vacuums with generous coverage. You get a limited lifetime warranty on the steel chassis, fan, and other core components – for the true lifetime of the machine. Belts, bulbs, and similar parts have shorter 1-2 year coverage. Bags and labor may be covered for the first year.

Bring Home a Kirby for a Lifetime of Clean Floors

From their trademark longevity to their commercial levels of suction power, Kirby vacuums are in a class of their own. While they represent a serious investment upfront, you’re rewarded with a vacuum that can last 20+ years and provide impeccable floor care season after season.

Choosing between Kirby’s stalwart uprights to their more portable canisters and cordless models comes down to understanding your home’s flooring and cleaning needs. Kirby’s lineup has a rugged metal vacuum ready to meet every challenge. Bring home decades of cleaning confidence with the unmatched power of a Kirby.


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