Why Are Vacuums So Loud? [You’re In For a Shock!]

Did you know that the technology to create quieter vacuum cleaners exists but we don’t always use it?

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That’s right. Vacuum cleaners are loud on purpose (unless you are experiencing an issue with your vacuum). Here is why:

Product sound design engineers alter the auditory features of vacuums to make them sound a certain way. This is because humans equate a loud sound with greater suction power. Manufacturers make their vacuum cleaners louder to give users the illusion of picking up more debris than they would with a quieter vacuum.

This does not just happen with vacuums, and it is not the only reason why vacuum cleaners are loud!

Let’s dive deeper into the topic 🙂 

Why Are Vacuum Cleaners So Loud?

There are 3 reasons why vacuum cleaners are so loud straight out of the store:

  • Manufacturers alter the sound of their vacuum cleaners to give users the illusion of picking up more debris than they would if they used a quieter vacuum
  • Sound design is also used for branding so that users can associate a specific sound with a brand
  • The third purpose of active sound design is trying to elicit behavior

Now, I would lie if I said I know exactly what type of behavior active sound should elicit with vacuums, but it does make sense for other products.

For example, companies make potato chips crunchy as it makes people want to eat more of them.

Without the crunching sound, potato chips are perceived to be weaker. 

Are Vacuums Intentionally Loud?

Yes, vacuums are intentionally loud. This is called “sound manipulation” and its purpose is to change the perception of the public to make them think that the vacuum they are using is more effective than a quieter vacuum cleaner.

And the sound manipulation is not just done to obvious parts like the fan.

Even a vacuum cleaner dust bin is designed in a way that the sound of dust particles hitting the inside of the vacuum is loud enough to provide you with a sense of satisfaction!


How Many Decibels Is The Average Vacuum Cleaner?

Most vacuum cleaners output noise of 70 decibels (dB). This is done so that your hearing is not damaged while using the vacuum. 

How Do I Make My Vacuum Cleaner Quieter?

Unless your vacuum is loud due to a clogged filter, a full canister, or any other issue, you cannot alter the default sound of a vacuum cleaner.

Your best option is to purchase a more modern vacuum cleaner, designed to be quieter than the average vacuum.

Here is a list of quiet vacuum cleaners that have excellent reviews:


Unless your vacuum is loud because of a dirty filter, stuck debris, a full canister, or any other issues, you can rest assured that your vacuum was designed that way.

  1. To give you the illusion of picking up more dirt
  2. To allow you to associate a vacuum cleaner with a specific branding
  3. To elicit behavior

Modern vacuum cleaners are getting quieter, though. So, make sure you research the latest models if you are looking to switch to a quieter vacuum cleaner!