Gone are they days when I would clean before I would eat in the mornings!

I came from a family of four sons and one daughter, me. I came from a mother, who came from a mother etc, etc to whom a super clean house was a life long ambition. It really was all about the neighbours I think. Being admired and praised for having the cleanest house in the street was their only aim. I'm not condeming them, its who they were and how they were brought up. I just didn't have a say in it so from I was a child (long time ago now I have to say) cleaning and cleaning up after my 4 brothers was simply the way things were done in our house.

Fast forward to 2010 and the onset of RD. I am not struggling against my upbringing anymore. I have given in and am now able to look at the untidy kitchen, unmade bed, sofa throw with too many dog hairs on it, the odd unidentified sticky spot on the hall floor and on it goes.....

When I have my pain under control and I have the energy I do try my best to keep my wee bungalow presentable. No its not as nice as I used to have it but its not a dungeon either. I find if I bring the 'hoover' out on to the hall so it is easy to get at instead of under a shelf in the storage room. Its handy and I'm full of good intentions but sometimes it is just too much and I end up with one of those dry mop things and just swish it around the rooms and under thebest as best I can. Grand as a temporary measure but with two dogs, one who sheds loads, I really need somethig more appropriate to my limitations.

So friends and fellow sufferers, what is the most suitable 'hoover' for me and people like me? I spent a small fortune on a 1600 Mieli that can do everything but recite Yeats. It is a wonder of technology but not great if your hands, arms, shoulders, neck are crying out in pain. So I got on the WWW looking for an alternative. I'm now looking at a Borsh (spelling) rechargable, lightweight that seems to tick all the boxes but again not what you would call inexpensive. I had a small rechargable before and it was great to run around the floors daily so that huge balls of white dog hair weren't meeting people at the front door!

I would really love to hear your own stories and recommendations......XX

22 Replies

  • I was in the same predicament Jean having spent not an inconsiderable amount on an upright Dyson Animal ball when we came back to our house here with carpets after having so-easy-to-care-for tiles. We bought this thinking the ball type may be easier to manoevre but what we didn't take into account just how heavy it is, it takes a lot of effort to move the thing around, both my wrist & shoulder were getting sore as well. It's not quite so easy to keep things looking reasonable with dogs is it (I don't aim as high either any more!)? So we bought a Hoover which was a little better but I still needed to have a sit down & a drink of water rest doing room at a time.

    Then Victoria posted a question on behalf of someone who had asked about vacuums on the helpline, this is the link healthunlocked.com/nras/pos.... Following the recommendations we bought a GTech AirRAM K9 & posted what amounted to a consumer report on it! Best thing ever but you can read just how I praised it here healthunlocked.com/nras/pos.... Four months later & the recommendation holds true, I can do 3 quite large rooms & a hallway in one go & still have enough battery power to do the stairs, another hallway, 3 large bedrooms & a walk-in wardrobe. I do rest between doing the two floors but only because I'm ready for a drink, not so much because of the effort.

    I hope my input helps & you receive plenty more suggestions so you can make an informed decision. I know how it is as it becomes quite expensive if like me you have two redundant vacuum cleaners just taking up room in the cupboard under the stairs! x :O :(

  • I have no worries as I always have my Daughter-in-Law to pass things like this on too. She and my son have a big house and now have extra rooms built on as the family got bigger. She can't wait to get her hands on the Miele. Going to go back to the WWW and do some more research. The GT looked grand but I just could not see myself being able to hold anything of any weight up to clean curtains/walls etc, etc. It just 'looks' heavy and not able to be held with one hand. I'll see what replys I get. From the links you sent to me the GT seems to be the favorite. Maybe I should go into a shop and actually hold the thing inmy hand and see for myself. Watch this space....

  • That's good, I believe in re-cycling wherever possible! My s-i-l inherited the Hoover that we left here, the one which my f-i-l put up in his attic when we left 13 years ago to live in Spain. Quite why I don't know as it was so rubbish at picking up the dog hairs but she was in need of a replacement was just pleased to have one that worked better than her old Electrolux! She gave that which we in turn gave to the shop as Dyson had a promotion for money off when you traded in your old vacuum, win win all round!! That is if it hadn't been so awkward & heavy to use!

    We didn't buy the hand held AirRAM just the upright one which I took a pic of. It weighs 3.5 kilos & happily I can do the stairs with it, I just have a little brush to get the hairs out of the corners & vacuum them up. We have curtains but they're never drawn though when they start to look dusty I have them dry cleaned, I've never vacuumed them even with the Hoover or the Dyson, we have high ceilings & I can't reach. I don't know if the AirRam is in the shops but I'm sure if you made sure whoever you bought it from accept returns you should be ok. We bought ours direct as I'd read quite a few reviews saying that the guarantee was void if it wasn't bought from GTech so for peace of mind we spent the extra. Delivery was super quick, next day though I'm not sure that would be the case to NI Jean.

    Just checked, the handheld is 1.6 kilos Jean. x

  • 1.6.....very light indeed. I think I'm going to have to go to a shop and try the things for myself. I do a lot of buying on the internet but just couldn't be bothered with all that repacking and posting. If it was a shop returning would be no problem........my head is swimming with all of this.......going to get dressed and take my two babies to the ppark for a walk and a bit of fresh air.....talk later. XX

  • Interesting you say that it's that heavy as when I ve tried to use a 1kg dumb bell for wrist exercise I am unable to hold it, yet the handheld I can.

  • I didn't get the handheld one Georje so I don't know how heavy it feels to use personally though someone did say on another post that it can be heavy to hold with the extension tools on. Maybe GTech got the balance right & it appears lighter in use than the weight they say it is?

  • I used to own a Dyson until a couple months ago and now am the proud owner of a cordless Gtech Air Ram upright and handheld, I bought the two for £149.00 on line. They promised that if I could not work it that it could be returned within 30days with money back less £10 for delivery charge.

    I have to admit I use the handheld most days, like you I have a cat who sheds fur this device comes in real handy and means you don't have to hoover the whole place! Drop anything on the floor out it comes, my place has never been cleaner since contacting this disease and since the two have been purchased.

    I have used the handheld on the stairs as my back loves it, as I can sit down using this where as with the Dyson I had to stand and bend over.

    So whichever you go with make sure they will take it back if you are unable to use through your RA. Good luck in your search.

  • This one seems to be the over all winner looking back at this post from the past. Just how heavy is the hand held? My wrists are very weak and I have to ware splints on both of them......I'm really not convinced it is the one for me though.

  • Not sure, but it must be less than 1kg dumbbell as I can't hold one of those. I've just checked the device and can't see any sizes on it. Perhaps look at the website to see if it says there.

  • Less than 1KG, that is impressive! I like the idea too of a cordless, fighting with a long cord that is plugged in to a scoket in another room just takes its it out of me......I love rechargables.

    The Bosch (again please forgive my spelling if it is incorrect) was the closest I could find that had the same power of a conventional vacuum, lightweight at 3 or 4 KG and cordless. It really was everything I was looking for.......back to the drawing board for me I think. Thanks for the reply and hoping your well. Jean.

  • Had a thought, mum is 80 riddles with Oa specially in hands, she's just bought the two as she found it easy when trying out mine, she uses a glove supplied by oh for her hand. Hope this was what your after.

  • How about one of those remote control vacuums... I don't know anyone who has one so can't vouch for their effectiveness and they are expensiv.


  • A friend of mine has one but it's not too good at picking up pet hairs, though of course someone who doesn't have pets may find one handy. Corners are a problem too but I suppose it depends on which make you choose though for the money she paid I would expect it to do everything but make the dinner!

  • I got a cheap upright one from Argos and so far it's been the best I have had. Upright, so I don't bend, fairly light, and with an easy carrying handle. Any chance you can check out family and friends hoovers and see which feel best?

  • The small lightweight Dyson ball cleaner suits me, it's multi floor and light. Need to empty more often but that's better than lugging a heavy cleaner round. Good luck

  • Hi jeanabell60,

    I really liked your post and thought it funny. I don't have rheumatoid arthritis but some other form that caused six discs to prolapse in my back and inflammatory eye disease which has ruined my sight. I have been on a low dose of steroids for it, for 20 years. My husband, (who could always be relied on to do the vacuuming,) contracted RA last December and now cannot walk or do anything! (He decided against the DMARD's because he has advanced lung disease and wouldn't survive on them for long.) So he is in hospital today, getting a knee replacement. I was thinking about doing a bit of dusting and vacuuming until I read your post, and laughed! I don't feel well from where inflammation in my Eustachian tubes has caused me dizziness and unsteadiness on my feet, and I'll have my husband to look after when they kick him out of hospital, at their earliest convenience. I am sure there are no germs in my house he has not already been exposed to and become immune to! So he is only getting clean sheets on his bed, no vacuuming! Thanks for cheering me up with your honesty. Regards, Scruffyrabbit

  • Awh Scruffyrabbit, thanks you so much for your lovely comment. I'mglad I was able to give you a wee bit of a lift,from the sound of it you could be doing with it. I know a very nice girl who when I need help will come over and do a bit of cleaning for me and doesn't charge me a small fortune, she is veru nice.

    I used to have one of those big old Nilfisk vacuums that I was able to dance around the house with and I lived in a two story house then. Now I have to choose the least painful option. I have had loads off opinion on here as you can see but I'm afraid I'm no further forward.

    Hope things improve for you and your hubby, my heart goes out to you as you really have a lot to be coping with......take good care of yourself and all the very best. Jean XXX

  • Another vote for the Gtech airram. I bought it from Lakeland as they have a 5 year return policy and I wasn't sure I would like it. I love it, light to push around, I can move chairs with one hand and push it around with the other. It goes under beds and tables without any bending by me. Being cordless there is no bending down to plug in in different rooms. Because of the angles the handle can move, you can do up close to skirting boards so no fighting with a hose attachment. The best thing for me is that it's so light I can pick it up and put it on a table and empty the containers of dirt all without bending And leaning over.

    I rave about it so much I should work for them!

  • What a glowing review, yes you should be working for them......I have come to the conclusion that I'm going to have to go to a shop and just try it myself. Of course cordless is anabsolute must, no more electric cords ever again. Thanks again for your 'review'! X

  • I had the same problem and then I treated myself to a GTech Air Ram BEST thing ever - easy light and does the job x

  • I looked this up and it isn't what I thought it was at all. I think I'll have a closer look at the Gtech over the week-end. Love that its cordless. Thanks for the reply. Jean.

  • Please look at a mains powered light weight vacuum cleaner. Most of the departmental stores have staff to give you the technical run down.

    Any unit with battery power, you have to watch out!

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