Sweepers vs. Vacuums: What Is the Difference?

Sweepers and Vacuums are both essential equipment when it comes to cleaning floors in your facility. Ensuring you are using the correct equipment in various areas can help improve productivity and keep your facility looking as clean as possible. While there can be similarities between the functions of sweepers and vacuums, there are key differences that are important to note in order to choose the right equipment for your cleaning.


A sweeper is a piece of equipment that uses brushes to sweep and pick up dirt off floors. Sweepers come in upright models that one would need to manually push to pick up debris. Sweepers are also built as large machines that one can stand behind and push without as much force or exertion. Sweepers are ideal for cleaning outdoor spaces such as sidewalks, garages, and patios, as well as hard floors such as tile and hardwood.  Many sweepers also have a side broom that is great for sweeping dirt from corners, into the path of the sweeper. This side broom allows larger sweepers to gather and pick up debris from the corners of your room.

A vacuum is a piece of cleaning equipment that is motorized and comes in different models such as backpack vacuums and upright vacuums. Vacuums are ideally used on carpet and upholstery as they use suction to pick up dirt. Vacuums are able to penetrate further into the surface and pick up dirt that may be buried in a carpet. While sweepers have a side brush to pick up dirt in harder to reach places, many vacuums have additional extensions that can pick up dirt in smaller places.


While there are many differences between sweepers and vacuums, it is important to note their similarities, in order to understand more about each product. Both sweepers and vacuums are designed to remove dirt from the floor. Both products also have a brush roll design that is used to infiltrate the surface and loosen dust and debris. They also both have a receptable that deposits the debris after it is picked up by the machine.  Both machines are ideal for quick clean up of debris and dirt.

Knowing the differences between vacuums and sweepers is important when trying to distinguish what equipment you may need for your facility. Many facilities may need both sweepers and vacuums to keep areas clean, while others may need one or the other. If you are interested in learning more about sweepers and vacuums? Contact your local Sales Representative or reach out to our Equipment Sales and Service team at enichols.com.