Performance and Ease of Use Are Strongest Drivers of Overall Satisfaction

WESTLAKE VILLAGE, Calif.: 13 March 2013 Miele again ranks highest in customer satisfaction with upright vacuums and also ranks highest in satisfaction with canister vacuums, a newly created segment for 2013, according to the J.D. Power and Associates 2013 Vacuum Customer Experience Benchmark StudySM released today.
Key Findings
  • Performance and ease of use are the most important factors among customers of both canister and upright vacuums.
  • On average, there is only a $23 gap in price between canister ($244) and upright ($221) vacuums.
  • Suction power is the highest-rated attribute among both canister and upright vacuum customers, and is the only attribute to receive a rating above eight (on a 10-point scale).
Now in its second year, the study measures satisfaction with upright and canister vacuums by examining six key factors: performance; ease of use; features; styling; price; and warranty. The benchmark study is designed to help customers with purchase decisions and to assist manufacturers in their efforts to meet customer needs.
Satisfaction scores among the 13 upright vacuum brands and the 10 canister vacuum brands included in the study are similar: the upright vacuum segment average is 752 (on a 1,000-point scale), compared with 756 in the canister vacuum segment.  
Miele ranks highest in the upright segment (816) and performs particularly well in the performance, styling and features factors. Dyson follows Miele in the upright vacuum segment (810), achieving high scores in ease of use and warranty. 
Miele also ranks highest in the canister segment (805), performing particularly well in performance, ease of use and features. Dyson (789) follows Miele, performing well in styling. Notably, Shark earns among the highest scores in the price factor in both segments and performs above average in each segment on price.  
"While customers of both upright and canister vacuums place a high importance on performance and ease of use, upright vacuum customers are more price sensitive," said Christina Cooley, senior manager of the home improvement industries practice at J.D. Power and Associates. "However, it is interesting to note that across the study, there is only a $23 gap between the average prices of canisters ($244) and uprights ($221)."
Suction power is the highest-rated attribute in both segments, and is the only attribute to receive a rating above eight (on a 10-point scale).
"The majority of brands deliver on the basic operational function of the vacuum itself," said Cooley. "This creates an opportunity for both upright and canister brands to differentiate themselves in the areas of ease of use and other value-add features of their vacuums."
Overall, customers experience very few problems with their vacuum in the first year of ownership, with similar levels among customers of both upright and canister vacuums (3% vs. 4%, respectively).
J.D. Power and Associates offers the following tips to consumers who are shopping for a vacuum cleaner: 
  • When considering an upright or canister vacuum, focus on your needs. Based on the layout of your home, floor types, and specific needs (e.g., pets and allergies), determine which type and brand of vacuum will be best for you.
  • There is a significant price difference across brands. Rather than making a quick decision for the short term, invest in a vacuum for the long term to ensure your needs are met and to maximize the cost of use over time.
  • Do not assume a vacuum with more features is necessarily better. It is more important to purchase a vacuum that meets your specific needs.
The 2013 Vacuum Customer Experience Benchmark Study is based on responses from more than 5,000 customers who purchased an upright vacuum and/or a canister vacuum from February 2012 to February 2013.

About J.D. Power and Associates

Headquartered in Westlake Village, Calif., J.D. Power and Associates is a global marketing information services company providing forecasting, performance improvement, social media and customer satisfaction insights and solutions. The company's quality and satisfaction measurements are based on responses from millions of consumers annually. For more information on car reviews and ratings, car insurance, health insurance, cell phone ratings, and more, please visit J.D. Power and Associates is a business unit of The McGraw-Hill Companies.

About The McGraw-Hill Companies

The McGraw-Hill Companies (NYSE: MHP), a financial intelligence and education company, signed an agreement to sell its McGraw-Hill Education business to investment funds affiliated with Apollo Global Management, LLC in November 2012. Following the sale closing, expected in early 2013, the Company will be renamed McGraw Hill Financial (subject to shareholder approval) and will be a powerhouse in benchmarks, content and analytics for the global capital and commodity markets. The Company's leading brands will include: Standard & Poor's, S&P Capital IQ, S&P Dow Jones Indices, Platts, Crisil, J.D. Power and Associates, McGraw-Hill Construction and Aviation Week. The Company will have approximately 17,000 employees in more than 30 countries.  Additional information is available at

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Media Contacts:

John Tews

Troy, Michigan

(248) 680-6218