To get the Electrolux UltraSilencer(#EL6986B) as quiet as it is there are sacrifices that make it not work for all types of flooring, specifically thick carpet.
As with many canister vacuums, the more affordable options are usually designed with bare flooring (tile, hardwood, linoleum, etc) in mind. That means they typically lack a motorized brushroll. That’s not to say canisters aren’t supposed to be used with carpet; Miele makes arguably the best canisters available that perform amazingly on carpet. It’s just when it comes to entry-level canisters they typically don’t feature a brushroll.
What it does come with, however, is an air-driven brushroll attachment: the turbobrush. The suction of the vacuum spins a brush that agitates carpet. It’s not as strong as a typical motorized brushroll, but it’s satisfactory for carpet that’s not very thick. You will not be able to clean anything thicker than low to medium-pile carpet with the Electrolux UltraSilencer.
Now, with that out of the way:
What makes the Electrolux UltraSilencer so quiet?
It’s a combination of things that aren’t found in your average off-the-shelf vacuum:
- A Bag! No bagless vacuum made today gets this quiet.
- Sound dampening system
- No motorized brushroll
- Well-sealed filter system
Most people are so used to bagless vacuums that they haven’t experienced the amazing lack-of-noise from many bagged vacuums made today. Much of the noise from a vacuum can be attributed to poor seals in the suction system. For example, the constant removal and replacement of a bagless dustbin means over time it just doesn’t quite fit as tightly as it did before, which was lackluster to begin with.
Not only does using a bag mean tighter seals, but better filtration. That whining you hear from your bagless vacuum is the sound of dust and allergens escaping along with the air that’s making the noise. What good is a HEPA filter if debris never even makes it that far?
Whether on purpose or not, the lack of a motorized brushroll means less noise. Less motors, less noise. You will hear more noise from using the turbo brushroll attachment.
How quiet is it? Show me the numbers!
Electrolux claims the UltraSilencer has a noise level of about 65 dB. But what does that mean?
Let’s put it into perspective:
A garbage disposal, dishwasher, and a freight train (at a distance of 50 feet) produces about 80 dB of noise.
A car traveling at 65 mph while standing 25 feet away produces about 70 dB of noise. This is also where most vacuum cleaners are at.
Conversation in a restaurant, or an air conditioning unit at 100 feet is about 60 dB. This is half as loud as 70 dB (the dB scale is not linear).
So as you can see, even just 5 dB less than a typical vacuum is a big difference.
- Hardwood, tile, linoleum, or any type of bare flooring
- Low pile carpet
The standard cleaner head is a simple brush that lowers or raises using a toggle switch that has a carpet or bare floor option. There is no rotating brush with this attachment. It is ideal for cleaning bare flooring such as hardwood or tile, but is only capable of cleaning low-pile carpet due to the lack of agitation.
The turbo nozzle is great for low to medium-pile carpet. Obviously, since it lacks the strength of a motorized brushroll the performance will be best on low pile carpet.
With all that in mind, it’s important to know what a vacuum is built for before you purchase, and what you intend to clean with it. This vacuum is great for a home with mostly bare flooring and the occasional area rug.
You’ve already seen the two primary floor cleaning attachments, but with the 6 feet hose you are able to clean much more than that. Canister vacuums are great for above-floor cleaning as the hose is already in your hand, just simply attach a nozzle.
In addition to the floor cleaner heads mentioned before, you get:
- Combination dusting brush and upholstery nozzle
- Crevice nozzle
For more information on these attachments, check out page 6 of the manual.
You get a 1 year parts and labor warranty starting from the original date of purchase.
Bags and Filters
So if you’ve made it this far, perhaps a vacuum with a bag doesn’t seem so bad to you.
Truthfully, I’ve never much cared for emptying a bagless vacuum. Dust and hair always fly up into the air when I empty the dustbin into the trash. I want the least exposure to allergens as possible.
Bags are so simple and are honestly not that expensive, especially for the UltraSilencer. Then think about how much cleaner the air you breathe will be and maybe you be buying as much allergy medicine.
The anti-allergy bags trap over 99% of dust and allergens, and are sold in sets of 4 or 8. Electrolux recommends changing them every 30-60 days, which of course depends on how often and what you vacuum.
So you can get excellent filtration that’s friendly to allergies and asthma sufferers for about $10 every 6 months. That’s not expensive.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Does the UltraSilencer have a beater bar (aka brushroll)?
A: The standard floor attachment does not, but it does come with a turbo nozzle as well. The turbo nozzle uses the suction of the vacuum to spin a brush (beater bar). It has less power than a motorized beater bar, but is good for low-pile carpet.
Q: Are the wheels plastic or rubber?
A: They are plastic coated with rubber. So these are ideal for hardwood or tile that you don’t want to get scratched.
Q: Does it have a auto retractable cord?
A: Yes, just press a button to retract the cord.
Q: How many amps does this vacuum draw?
A: 9 Amps
The Electrolux UltraSilencer is a bag canister vacuum best used on bare flooring, but is capable on low-pile carpet. It’s very quiet and provides excellent filtration.
It’s exactly what you’re looking for if you are tired of loud vacuums. Vacuuming doesn’t have to be a miserable experience!
Are there any other quiet canister vacuums to consider?
Miele makes some of the best canister vacuums you can buy. They are, of course, all bag vacuums. The entry-level Miele canister: the Classic C1 Olympus is amazingly quiet. If you’ve been using random bagless vacuums for most of your life, turning on the Miele C1 Olympus will absolutely astonish you.
Even quieter is the Miele Compact C2 Onyx. The C2 and C3 series vacuums have a top-of-the-line filtration system that results in one of the quietest vacuums around.