Why Are Vacuums so Loud? [Top 3 reasons]

Image showing a loud vacuum cleaner.

Why are vacuums so loud? It’s mainly due to a powerful motor that creates a strong suction power. Additionally, the design rarely includes any muffling elements and filters cause a lot of vibration, especially the ones created for capturing very small particles. This leads to the conclusion that the noise of a vacuum is actually a combination of different elements.

On the other hand, it’s important to address that an abnormally loud vacuum can actually be broken. If your vacuum makes an exceptionally loud noise during cleaning, try to measure the actual noise level and compare it with the standard vacuum noise level (around 70 decibels). 

Keep in mind that: Using a vacuum that’s too loud can permanently damage your hearing. Use ear protection or get a quieter vacuum cleaner.

What makes a vacuum cleaner loud?

The noise of a vacuum cleaner is actually a combination of different things. In most cases, the motor is the primary source of noise in a vacuum cleaner. The motor powers the suction, which is used to suck up dirt and debris from the floor.

Infographic showing reasons why your vacuum is so loud.
Infographic showing different reasons why vacuums can be so loud

Different reasons why your vacuum creates a loud noise:

  • Faulty filters. Filters in a vacuum cleaner can get clogged or just be incorrectly designed, obstructing the airflow and making the vacuum louder and less efficient. From what we know, vacuums with smaller filters also produce louder noise levels.
  • Unfortunate design. Plastic elements that cover the vacuum’s motor can be loosely fitted creating a lot of vibrations that make the cleaning tool louder.
  • Different air pressure. Fans that are present in vacuums work at very high speed sucking in the air and at the same time creating different pressure behind and in front of the fan. This results in a noisy cleaning session.

If you think your vacuum cleaner creates an unusually loud noise, it may be worth testing the dB levels. Noise above 75 dB is rather unusual and can be the result of a faulty model. What can also happen is that with time, your vacuum cleaner gets exploited or damaged. There may a be few reasons why your vacuum cleaner becomes louder with time, here are just a few of them:

  • Clogged parts. Vacuums that are unusually loud often have a problem with something blocking the airflow. The most common parts that get obstructed with dirt and debris are the hose, nozzle, dirt container, brush roll, or fans.
  • Blocked filters. Filters can get clogged due to the buildup of dirt and debris over time, or specific particles such as dog hair, dust mites, and even mold. Dirty filters also significantly reduce the suction of vacuums.
  • Broken elements. Broken elements in a vacuum cleaner can also be responsible for unusually loud noise. Parts such as filters, fans, hoses, or a belt can cause the vacuum to struggle to create airflow and suction, leading to loud noise.

Proper maintenance is necessary to make your vacuum cleaner stay in good condition. Deep cleaning your vacuum, replacing certain parts, and lubricating the motor can help keep the noise level at regular levels.

Why should you care about the vacuum noise level?

There are many different reasons why you should care about the noise level of your vacuum cleaner. Many of them can influence the well-being of people around you, however, what’s more important is the possible noise-induced hearing loss.

Here are some reasons why you should take care of this problem:

  • Noise-induced hearing loss. When you are exposed to high noise levels (above 85 decibels) for long periods of time it can lead to permanent damage to your inner ear’s hair cells. Once they get damaged, there is no way to repair or regenerate them, causing permanent hearing loss.
  • Productivity levels. Loud vacuum cleaners can cause disturbance to those around them, as well as lower their productivity levels. Prolonged exposure to loud noise lowers our concentration levels and also increases stress levels.
  • The comfort of use. Vacuum cleaners can become hard to use as they get louder. Hearing protection may be necessary to thoroughly vacuum the whole house, without the risk of any negative health effects.

Those are only a few reasons why you should get a relatively quiet vacuum cleaner. If that’s not an option, remember to use some type of hearing protection such as earplugs, earmuffs, or noise-canceling headphones.

How to prevent your vacuum from being loud?

Since you now know why this topic is important, now we can give you actionable tips on how to reduce the noise of your vacuum cleaner. You can treat this information as regular maintenance tips for all types of vacuums. Besides the information given by us, be sure to read the user’s manual on basic maintenance recommended by the manufacturer.

Follow those tips to reduce the noise level of your vacuum cleaner:

  • Regularly clean and replace filters. Filters that get clogged restrict the airflow and produce a lot of noise. Cleaning them regularly will significantly help not only with how loud your vacuum cleaner is but suction power.
  • Deep clean the vacuum. Deep cleaning of all vacuum’s elements such as the hose, nozzle, or brushroll will definitely help keep it in good condition. Free airflow means lower noise level and healthy condition of the tool.
  • Lubricate the motor. This is something extra that can ensure the motor (the part that is responsible for providing all the power) works well. Lubricating motor can also prolong the life of your vacuum cleaner.
  • Look for a quiet vacuum cleaner. There are many vacuum cleaners on the market that operate at lower dB levels, making them much more comfortable and safe for regular household cleaning.

Are there silent vacuum cleaners?

Why there are so many loud vacuums? – Experts say, that public perception demands vacuum cleaners to be loud, in order for them to be effective. This can stray far from truth but manufacturers do not hesitate when designing their new products. However are there really no silent vacuum cleaners?

There are no completely silent vacuum cleaners available on the market, however, it’s easy to find ones operating at extremely low dB levels. When shopping, compare decibels level assuming that a standard vacuum cleaner operates at around 70 dB. Anything below that level can be considered beneficial in terms of your physical and mental health.

How to pick a silent vacuum cleaner?

If you don’t plan on purchasing a vacuum specifically designed for silent cleaning, there are a few tips that you can take into account. Try to look for tools with new technology, operating without any brushes, and noise reduction features. What’s interesting, heavy hoovers usually do much better at keeping the noise on the lower side. Additionally, ask if you can test a vacuum before buying. When that’s not possible, try to find reviews online.


In summary, the top 3 reasons why vacuums are so loud are powerful motors, lack of any muffling elements, and problems with filters. There’s also an option that your vacuum cleaner got exploited or broken over time. Be sure to do basic maintenance regularly to keep the machine operating at a satisfying level, and keep the noise level low. If your vacuum naturally operates at a very loud noise level, we highly recommend using some kind of hearing protection.

If there are more problems related to your vacuum cleaner, try reading our other articles – Why does my vacuum smell like burning rubber? and Why does my vacuum smell like a dog?