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I love my vacuum cleaner attachments, so why don't more people use them?

Vacuum cleaner attachment heads
Vacuum cleaner attachment heads (Image credit: Shutterstock)

As a self-confessed, cleaning addict, I can’t think of anything more therapeutic than to pull out the vacuum cleaner, put on my favorite playlists and get my cleaning game on. 

So much so, that I literally have a household tool for every cleaning chore imaginable. From stick, upright and handheld vacuum cleaners to steam mops and spray mops, you name it. But there is one essential bit of cleaning kit that everyone seems to forget about: those vacuum cleaner attachments. 

You know, the bag of 10+, fancy attachments that comes inside the box with your expensive vacuum cleaner — that you’ll never ever use?  And while it’s common to think, ‘I won’t need those anyway’, before stashing away in the depths of your utility cupboards (never to be seen again), those handy vacuum cleaner attachments are incredibly useful. 

So do people really not use their vacuum cleaner attachments?  With the exception of the extension wand and crevice tool, it can be slightly confusing to know what all of the different brush heads, nozzles and other gizmos are for.

However, these could be the secret to your deep cleaning regime (I kid you not), and make all the difference!  

Here I take a look at the pros and cons of the humble but mighty vacuum cleaner attachments, and why I love them so. 

Woman cleaning sofa with attachment

Woman cleaning sofa with attachment (Image credit: Shutterstock)

What on earth are these vacuum cleaner attachments for?

In an ideal world, all we want is a powerful vacuum cleaner to handle our floors and carpets. So when you’re faced with an additional bag of accessories, it’s often tricky to decipher what each one does. Here is a summary in brief of the common cleaner attachments that comes in your box: 

  • Crevice tool - skinny tool with an angled tip designed to get into all the nooks, gaps and awkward corners. Great for cleaning baseboards, between sofa cushions, behind the radiator or vents. 
  • Extension wand - This handy attachment for the end of your wand offers more reach for those high places and ceilings. Great for cobwebs and hanging dust ebbs.  
  • Dusting brush - A round brush with inch-long, soft bristles which is great for dusty windowsills, bookshelves, around picture frames, lamps and other decorative pieces. 
  •  Upholstery tool - These are handy for cleaning your fabric sofa, curtain drapes, and cushions. 
  • Mattress tool - These are not always in every box but really handy to have when picking up dust and allergens.   
  • Turbo or stair brush - These are a smaller version of the main motorized brush head on your cleaner. Due to its compact size, it can quickly tackle stairs, deep cleaning upholstery and is great for the car.  
  • Pet groomer - Pet lovers will definitely see the benefit in this handy tool. It’s designed to suck up fur without hair clogging up the brush. 

Why I love using vacuum cleaning attachments

They can reach the awkward places your vacuum cleaner simply can't — You can try to roll your Dyson small ball vacuum cleaner under the sofa as much as you like, but it still won’t get to those awkward spots. 

They are designed to clean specific things (properly) — If you think that one brush head will handle all jobs, you’re wrong. Attachments are designed to tackle specific areas, and will get the job done so much better. You’ll get a much deeper clean on your steps with the stair brush tool rather than maneuvering your regular brush head around and doing a poor job! 

They actually make your cleaning regime quicker — Besides the obvious stopping to change over your attachments, using the precise tools for each cleaning job will make cleaning much quicker. After all, there would be no more ‘once-overs’  with your vacuum cleaner if you’ve missed a spot.  

Accessories can offer great value for money — Let’s face it, you only wanted a new vacuum cleaner yet here you are with these additional attachments to go with it!  So not only are you buying something to clean your floors, but also tools to clean your sofa, mattress, lampshades, car and anything else for that matter. Win win!

Woman cleaning with vacuum cleaner

Happy woman cleaning with vacuum cleaner (Image credit: Shutterstock)

The cons of vacuum cleaner attachments

They take up way too much space in the cupboard — If you live in a small apartment or already have a cupboard full (of more accessories), vacuum cleaner attachments can take up storage space. In any case, this is a good time to declutter and make way for your attachments - preferably somewhere you can remember. 

You may not need all 10 + of them — The common reason for not using our vacuum cleaner attachments is because we simply don’t have a need for them. Make sure to check out all the attachments first before buying your new vacuum cleaner and decide whether they're necessary. If you have no pets then maybe the pet groom attachment isn’t for you.

You would need to stop cleaning to swap out the attachments — If you’re like me and just like to ‘vac and go’, stopping mid-flow to change over the attachments can be inconvenient. In most cases, more time is wasted trying to find the correct attachment for the job. So it's always best to prepare the attachments you’ll need in advance before going head-to-head with the housework!

Cleaning baseboards with vacuum cleaner attachment

Cleaning baseboards with vacuum cleaner attachment (Image credit: Shutterstock)

Should you bother using vacuum cleaner attachments?

Absolutely! Remember you may have the best vacuum cleaner in the world, but it’s nothing without their trusted attachments. 

So the next time you take out your vac to give your home a deep clean, spare a thought for those handy, undervalued vacuum attachments from time to time. Give them all a try, and believe me, your home will be spotless! 

Cynthia Lawrence

Cynthia Lawrence specialises in Homes ecommerce, covering all things homes and garden-related. She has a wealth of editorial experience testing the latest, ‘must-have’ home appliances, writing buying guides and the handy ‘how to’ features. 


Her work has been published in various titles including, T3, Top Ten Reviews, Ideal Home, Real Homes, Livingetc. and House Beautiful, amongst many.


With a rather unhealthy obsession for all things homes and interiors, she also has an interior design blog for style inspiration and savvy storage solutions (get rid of that clutter!). When she’s not testing cool products, she’ll be searching online for more decor ideas to spruce up her family home or looking for a great bargain!