Finding the perfect vacuum, especially when you have white carpets, is really no easy task. When you've got people coming in and out a lot, and there's sand to boot, the need to find a good one increases tenfold. That's not to say there's not a spot by the front door for shoes, because in our house there is... but there are still many, many times people ignore that spot and walk right in just the same. Luckily, there is currently a large array of different vacuum cleaners on the market.
Researching ahead of time, to see what kind of vacuum works best for your needs, just makes good sense. If you're home is one that will have the tracks of winter grime coming in a good part of the year, you're going to want a heavy duty vacuum. If it's one that has a pool or is close to water (and if so, lucky you!), perhaps a wet-dry vac would be more your speed.
And if it's a low pile carpet that you have in your home, and you just want to run a vacuum over it daily, you might even look into a vacuum with no motor (my mom had one of those once and used it more than she used her upright).
Of course if you have kids or pets in the house, you're also going to want to consider a hand-held vac. Kids, pets and messes go hand-in-hand, so having a portable vacuum charged and at the ready is not a bad idea at all.
We currently have a traditional upright vacuum, but to be quite honest, it's not as strong as I'd like. A little more pull would be amazing, so I wouldn't have to go over the high traffic areas so many times to ensure that they were clean.
Of course too, there are other things to consider, like budget...warranty...and maybe even brand. I know some people have their favorites and nothing else will do (I can immediately think of two brands that have a huge loyal following, I'm sure there are others). I don't have a preferred brand, but I would like to try one of the more expensive vacs that are so well loved to see if they live up to the hype.
How about you? Do you have brand loyalty towards any specific vaccuum? Or is there one type that you prefer over anything else? And if so, why? And yes, I am having a riveting vacuum cleaner discussion today (after all, the vacuum is something we use almost every day). I do hope you'll chime in.
Oh, and happy vacuuming. :)