For nearly one-hundred years, The Kirby Company has manufactured superior, American-made home cleaning systems. Kirby does not sell directly to the public but continues a long tradition of distributing its home cleaning systems through independent distributors, who are responsible for running their own businesses. Over the years, this distribution system has afforded thousands of men and women the opportunity to live the American dream of owning and operating their own businesses.
Experience has taught us that customers prefer to try our premium cleaning systems in their own homes before purchasing. Customer satisfaction is our top priority. If customers have any questions or concerns regarding the in-home demonstrations of Kirby cleaning systems or the cleaning systems themselves, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org, or call us at 800-494-8586, Monday – Friday, 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m., EST.
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First, I'll comment on the salesman experience since that seems to be the main reason Kirby has gotten so many low reviews. Yes, it was very long. I'd say around 4 hours, however, to be fair this vacuum does A LOT so it would be very difficult to see what all it can do in a super short amount of time. The gentleman that did our demonstration was super nice. I'll throw in here that I had 9 kids at the time who were all into the demonstration and he was really cool about it and even let them use it. He was very thorough and in the process vacuumed my sofa, loveseat, walls, curtains, ceiling and mattress as well as cleaned a couple of windows. Even if I hadn't bought it, it was worth the time just to get all that cleaning done for free!
Now, onto what the Kirby can do. What really sold me on it was the fact that I had literally just washed and dried my sofa and loveseat cushion covers and put them back on about 10 minutes before he arrived. The dirt that the Kirby was sucking out when I had just cleaned them really amazed me. It even pulled a tremendous amount of dirt out of the living room area rug I had just bought that day! Besides all that, this vacuum does it all...vacuums, shampoos, air cleaner, inflator, window cleaner, unclogs sinks...you can even paint with it (spray). It has tons of attachments for basically anything you'll ever need to do in the cleaning world. I've kept my vehicle upholstery looking brand new and cleaning curtains while they are still hanging and vacuuming ceilings are a breeze. I have had my Kirby for almost 2 years now and it is by far the smartest purchase I have made for all my cleaning needs.
Hi Rhonda! Thank you so much for your review! We are pleased to hear you had such a positive experience with the independent distributor who demonstrated the Kirby.
Remember family having one that was probably 20 years old when I was 7. They replaced it over something stupid without letting me look at it (I was already repairing lamp cords and other kids toys lol). Found a Heritage II dumped out for the trash 5 years or so ago. This vacuum would have been brand new when I was 7. Couldn’t pass it up. $40 and I did a complete rebuilt including replacing the broken plastic part that connected the bag to the vacuum. This machine blew me away. I have never seen a vacuum work as well as it did. I had a Shark professional that it replaced as a daily cleaner. I had no attachments so I decided to make the plunge and get a new one. Contrary to what rumors spread these can be purchased for a lot less than the price usually seen floating around on reviews.
In comes my Avalir 2. Put it all together and it’s absolutely awesome. It makes a much more stable vacuum when using the hose and not as an upright than the shark. It’s extremely powerful, and even comes with power assist. Using this is nowhere near clunky like a mower. It’s butter smooth requiring you to do absolutely nothing. It has a transmission in it and it senses when you push forward and pull back. It’s literally butter smooth. You don’t know it’s powered. You just click it on and it simple makes the vacuum feel 1/4 the weight it is. The attachments are well thought out and useful rather than some crappy junk thrown together to say it has a bunch of features. The Kirby’s are well designed and useful. I have no problems reaching my 10 foot ceiling without it being uncomfortable. In canister mode it rolls around with me easily I don’t have to constantly pick it up and move it a few feet. The ability to adjust height is great and easy to use.
Needless to say there is no better vacuum made. I’ve seen and or used about all the other so called top of the line ones and they felt cheap and were almost all plastic. When you buy a Kirby, you buy it for life. The maintenance is even simple enough anyone what can change oil would have no trouble at all keeping one going for decades without ever needing serviced at a shop.
Typically I would run my shark over the wood floor and then follow up with a mop. The mop would always be filthy. After a good pas with the Kirby and running the brush quickly around the corners I went back with the mop to shine it and get some stick spots up. The mop was so clean I didn’t have to wash anything off it before putting it up. Basically it just added floor shine and removed some sugary drops that got sticky. I have not received the shampoo, grout and tile, and wood floor cleaning parts, at that point it will replace the old shampooer I have and the little Swiffer like mop. You might think you bought a Cadillac vacuum at 300 bucks, but a Kirby is the Rolls Royce of vacuums, and no you don’t have to pay 3000 dollars for one, you can get one under a grand. They are also extremely nice looking with polished aluminum bodies.
There are two types of people in the world, ones with clean houses and others who don’t yet own a Kirby. It’s worth every cent and it will stay with you for life, and that counts for something today when everything is designed to be disposable. After you buy 2 sharks, you have basically paid for a Kirby. Just get the Kirby.
I cannot rate the salesman service as there weren’t any within 300 miles of me so I had to order it online and assemble it myself, and I don’t get the special Kirby perks. I dont work for Kirby or own Kirby stock. It’s the truth. The Kirby is not all just hype. It’s worth every penny, both my 40 something year old heritage II and the new Avalir 2 both prove it. They are built the same with the same high quality parts. In fact if it wasn’t due to Kirby adding a safety switch on the new model to keep it from turning on the motor without something covering the suction fan all the attachments and heads would be interchangeable. The parts to keep it alive forever are dirt cheap, and easy to change.
Hi Ash, thank you for your review on your Kirby experience! We are pleased to hear you are happy with your new Avalir 2!
I've had my Kirby Sentra for 6 years now. It's the best vacuum cleaner I've ever owned. I've had every other type of big box retail cleaner - Dyson, Shark, Toshiba, Sharp, Bosch, Dirt Devil, Hoover, and every type of shop-vac imaginable - and all have worked fine, however nothing compares to the Kirby. The Kirby is by far, one of the best vacuum cleaners made worldwide.
A few notes; a brand new Kirby is like a brand new Mercedes - they're expensive brand new. If you're looking to buy a Kirby, do what I did and buy a used one from eBay or Amazon. A Kirby is not some Chinese made piece of plastic junk - it'll last a lifetime and there are thousands of testimonials to back that up. It's a solid, heavy duty piece of American made machinery and the company has been in business since 1906. The brand has an international reputation for quality and performance that is over a hundred years old - so for those that don't know the history of the company and product, it's sold on a door-to-door basis, however you can find dealers that repair them and sell used ones.
Many reviewers seem to be in sticker shock at the price of a new Kirby, but put it in perspective. An iPad or tablet computer would set you back the same amount and you'd be lucky if the thing lasted 3 years. Used Kirby's are usually in fantastic shape, however there may be one that was used by some idiot to vacuum gravel driveways, so do your homework just like you would with a used car. Once you've familiarized yourself with your Kirby use it properly - don't lug it up and down the stairs, use the proper disposable cloth bags which do an excellent job of catching dust. The suction power on a Kirby is amazing as well. Once a year, just like your car, take it to a Kirby dealer for a major tune up and cleaning. You'll be glad you did. Your Kirby will last you for much longer than any other vacuum cleaner you've ever bought. I know, because every brand of vacuum cleaner I mentioned above, I don't have anymore. They all broke.
When my father passed away in October, I got his and my mom's Kirby Sentria. All I can say is, “WOW !! !” It puts my other upright and all others before it, to shame. And the proof is in the dirt collection bag. I vacuum 2 to 3 times a week. Other vacuum’s bags would have to be replaced after many, many uses. But when I started using the Kirby, the carpet and floors were so filthy (I had no idea), I went through 3 bags in the first use. It made me sick to know that all the effort that I had been putting into keeping my floors clean was so pointless.
I liked it so much, I have bought a second Sentria, identical to it. Not because I had a problem, but because I have a large, single story, 4 bedroom, 2800 sq foot home. My spouse helps with the vacuuming and he was having to use the POS vacuum. So, now we both are vacuuming with the same awesome machines. Are they heavy? Yes, very. I would not recommend “one” for a multi story home. Definitely, get one per floor. But hey, it’s a good thing because these beasts are all metal. There’s very little plastic to break on or in a Kirby vacuum. They are built to last generations. They have suction like no other vacuum I’ve ever used. But it’s true, they do appear be be designed for dust, dirt and crumbs only. They do not pick coins or other small plastic or metal objects. I guess Kirby doesn’t want you to vacuum up something that accidentally made it’s way to the floor. It will spit it back out. Another good thing in my opinion.
Clearly the reviews other than how Kirby's are sold on here are caused from owner operator. Btw let me begin by saying we had a Dyson, Hoover & Dirt Devil and all are in our dump now. Wife had a Dyson when we married. After owning Kirby of my own for almost 20 years and using my mom's old design in the 60/70's I absolutely know the do/don'ts on them and I'll explain.
If the owners saying they don't have suction would only go to Youtube and watch vids or read how to set the machine upright, maybe even paid attention to the demonstration if they ever had one they'd know it's not set correctly so it will indeed fail to pick up dirt & small particles of paper. Its nozzle has to be set correctly or it will fail because Kirby aren't designed to just skim above carpet like a Dirt Devil, Hoover or Dyson etc.
Kirby are deep cleaning units that "when" set up right actually lift the carpet up off the actual floor in front of the suction head. So' if you don't see it lifting carpet you're not setting it right. Having said this Kirby does miss a serious step when teaching operation and so my own trial and error came into play. Missed step? Oh yes' because if you have small paper/plastic/food pieces lying all over the room then one must start with the Kirby vacuum just above the carpet like a cheap vac runs at first. This is where the above mentioned cheap vacs are set even at their lowest settings and why people "think" they clean so great when they actually miss the deep down dirt/sand that destroys all your carpet fibers over time.
Oh yes cheap vacuumed carpets look clean and you see the dirt in the canister but your deep dirt remains unless a Kirby gets it out. In truth "No" vac built today will get it all out not even built in wall vacs but nothing gets you as close to this as a Kirby. NOTHING! Now after what I call the top skimmer setting is ran, I set my Kirby to its "advertised" normal setting position as shown in the Kirby videos.
The reason for an extra step is there is no room between the roller brush and carpet for the larger pieces so it pushes them around since a Kirby actually lifts the carpet up. It's why it cleans under carpets too and others will not come close to that. So I just set mine exactly how Kirby says but I'll raise it a click or two as I encounter any larger pieces sitting on top of the carpet to allow it to pass between brush/carpet. Nothing hard about that and it makes a world of difference. Kirby must know it & should include it.
So if a Kirby working good/bad is all about the setting folks! Also there are several aftermarket bag companies selling bags too restrictive so buyer beware on your bags. Had some bad ones myself. Heavy? Not at all after learning how to use/pick it up correctly. I have 7 bad discs in my back and it's not an issue. I don't have stairs though but learn on vids how to pick one up right. It's not bad.
It's heavier built to last and have real power. Truth is lightweight electric motors have very little copper windings inside and why they simply wear out after a few yrs. Many today now use junk China copper plated aluminum winding even. This is for any electric motor btw, it need the copper to last. It's why Kirbys are passed down generations but many who inherit them have no idea how they even work and leave bad reviews everywhere and touting Dyson's rule when they don't.
They don't mention how many times the cheap vacs been to a shop or they're on their 3rd unit or motor in ten yrs. Simply stop in and ask any vacuum repair shop to see their back room you'll see what truly keeps them in business. Hoovers & Bissels but mainly Dysons line these shops. WATCH A KIRBY VIDEO OR READ UP ON THEM IF YOURS IS NOT VACUUMING, IT WILL HELP IN OPERATION. I ASSURE YOU... By far Kirby makes the best vacs made in over 100 yrs if you know exactly how to operate one. I can only hope these people never ever inherit bulldozers.
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The manager came into my home to try and push me to buy the vacuum. I made it clear I did not want it, and would not be purchasing it. The manager then made false claims such as "dust mites are the number 1 cause of COPD" and became very irate with me when I informed him of this. As he was yelling aggressively at me I kicked him out. He did finally leave, but called me a pig prior to doing so. Apparently he works for a subcompany(?) called Champion Industries but as no one would give me a last name or any business cards, that could be a lie.
Hello, we were very sorry to hear about your experience with an independent salesperson. Would you mind private messaging us with your contact info so that we can gather some additional details and then act appropriately? Thank you very much. The Kirby Company
I got home from work last week to two salesmen in my home. My fiancé had off work that day and apparently they were there for two hours before I got home. He was drunk when he let them in and was drinking throughout the entire time they were there. They told him that if he bought this vacuum, they would go to the store and buy him beer. Which they did. I got home and they had a bottle of wine waiting for me too. I immediately thought it was weird. When do salesmen go buy alcohol for the people whose homes they are in? WHEN THEY WANT THEM TO BUY SOMETHING.
They completely took advantage of the fact that he was obviously drunk and had no idea what he was signing up for. I worked a long shift so I was irritated they were there in the first place and I thought it was weird they had been there for hours too. However, they seemed nice and I felt bad because they had invested a lot of time at this point so I figured I would let them do their demonstration. They also kept telling us that this sale would help them win a contest, so naturally I felt like I couldn’t say no. I started drinking at that point, and so did the two salesmen. They were there for another 2 hours after I got home and I was drunk at that point. They got us drunk and had us sign a legal contract. We had no idea what we were doing.
Also, they told us it would cost $2000 and it would be $100 payments a month. The next day when we sat down and actually read the contract (we didn’t read it before signing it the night before for obvious reasons and they knew we didn’t read it) they gave us a 25% interest rate. So that’s $4850, which is insane for a vacuum. They NEVER verbalized to us how much it really cost. The next few days we called multiple numbers to try and return it but we never heard back from anyone until today. It’s in the contract that you have a three day period to return it, yet we couldn’t get ahold of anyone.
Today we were told we have to send it by mail, which we didn’t realize. These salespeople completely took advantage of us and now we’re stuck with a $5000 vacuum we can’t afford. We are beyond upset and no one is being helpful in any way. Kirby employees got us drunk, drank with us, and then had us sign a legal contract. Because no one is being cooperative, they will be hearing from our attorney shortly.
Hi Emily. We are concerned to hear about your experience with an independent distributorship and the salespeople associated and would like the opportunity to further investigate. Can you please private message us your contact information so that one of our CR Specialists can reach out right away? Thank you
Updated on 11/04/2019: I purchased a vacuum cleaner/shampooer and was required to trade in my new vacuum cleaner which was purchased less than a month at that time. I just found the paper work and was told after calling your company that the distributor is no longer in business. They sold Kirby and was contracted by Kirby to sell. Who is responsible for their unethical business practices? Everyone I met who has previously purchased a Kirby vacuum cleaner was never required to trade in their current vacuum (I just found all the paper work confirming $698 trade in value) on contract. What happens now?
I spoke to a lady by the name of Brenda at your office after I received a response from Consumer Affairs to contact 800-494-8586 who was no help and just rude! She even went to the extent to ask my how old I was. I explained that I am disabled and was then with multiple sclerosis and now a spinal cord tumor. I would appreciate a call back. My number was personal messaged to the person who responded to my first review and have not heard back yet. I figured I'd call and that call to Brenda just irritated me even more. Is that the way to handle this situation? Scammed and upset yet Kirby has no back bone or insurance for companies that used me as a disabled person as prey to make over $2,000 on a Kirby Vacuum that I can barely use because of its weight and my condition? Yet I still manage but to think of how Kirby now wants nothing to do with this case.
I found all of the paper work and the numbers and trade in value!!!! UNBELIEVABLE BUT TRUE! Would love to share with someone who cares to help. Please look at my personal message which I sent and provided my Cell number for a call back. I thought I was wise to call the 800 number provided above, however, to no avail.
Original review: When I was recently disabled back in 2011-2013, I had a knock on my door from a Kirby salesman. He spent over 3 hours in my home and told me I was approved to pay $75 a month for a new Kirby. I told him I just bought a new one a few weeks earlier, he said, “I can give you this Kirby for only $1,400 only and if you give us your current vacuum cleaner!” I just bought that vacuum at Sears not even a month before. I was so disgusted with myself to have been scammed and sold a $1,400 vacuum “sale of the day" when I turned in what I currently owned!
I saw this site and hope that I receive communication from someone at ConsumerAffairs. I was scammed. I’ve spoken to many people till this day. No one was ever required to turn in their old (in my case new vacuum cleaner) to get approved to pay $75 a month until I paid it off. It came out directly from my checking account. I so wish to put justice into place by the help of your company (ConsumerAffairs). Something needs to be done about this experience I still have a problem digesting. Not only does it weigh a thousand pounds but have never even used the shampooed due to chronic back problems. P
Hi Marilyn, we're sorry to hear about your experience with and independent distributor. Just so we are clear, did this happen recently, or in 2011-13? Could you please private message us a good number to reach you at or give us a call directly at 1-800-494-8586? We look forward to hearing from you, and appreciate you reaching out with your review. - The Kirby Company
The salesman came to my door with free Gain pods. I LOVE Gain but couldn't afford the nicer laundry detergent. I was all by myself in the world following the death of my daughter when she was 23 and left to me her 2 very sickly babies. My husband refused to stay with the 3 of us so I do the best I can for them with only my Social Security Disability once per month. I was excited to get "free" Gain detergent if I ONLY would LOOK at their Kirby and allow them to clean one floor free since I have no carpet. Three hours later I was "approved" for financing?? Really? A credit score of 220, raising 2 grandchildren, divorced, disabled and living on the tiny fixed income of my Social Security, state medical insurance and food stamps...
Amazing how someone like me was having this HUNK OF JUNK I can't lift, attach pieces to as I am disabled, cannot push or pull and definitely cannot make payments for a vacuum for my 700 square foot house that has no carpet!! I demanded the forceful hard salesmen (2 of them against just me) to take the BS machine I have no use for and being handicapped cannot even use with them but there it sat as they hurried out the door with my coerced signature they practically signed for me and hurried me so hard I had no time to read. It still sits in the box they left scattered all over my house that took me days to collect and pack up with the help of my neighbor.
I called, wrote, e-mailed over and over but they refuse to come get this thing yet are quick to keep mailing me payment coupon books. I cannot make any payments so that thing in the corner can sit there until it rusts, decays, gets buried under dusts, what ever happens. I have no wages to attached, they can't take my first born as she is dead, I guess they could lock me up and cause my disabled grandbabies to go into foster care. I don't know what will happen to me over this huge regret that has stolen my happiness, what I had left.
Donna, we are so sorry to hear about your daughter, and the tough situation you are in! We are so disappointed to hear about your experience with an Independent distributor, and would like to gather some more information so we can further investigate and further assist you. Could you please private message us a good number to reach you at or give us a call directly at 1-800-494-8586? We look forward to hearing from you, and appreciate you reaching out with your review. - The Kirby Company
I made the mistake of opening my door. I was told there was a new cleaning company in the area and they needed reviews to get their name out. In return for the review they would shampoo my living room free of charge. They wouldn't sell me anything, all I had to do was answer 10 questions. We just got a new puppy so I thought, awesome. 15 mins later they were there. It was Kirby. I was irritated they lied, but gave them them a chance. What was supposed to be an hour turned in to over 3. He did his demonstration. Part of it was pouring a ton of baking soda on the floor and doing my vacuum over it and then the Kirby. I never told him he could use my vacuum. He just grabbed it and used it.
After he finished shampooing he cleaned the shampoo end in my kitchen sink over dishes! And left dirt all over them. He also used my cleaning products to clean the kirby. I was annoyed, but it wasn't a huge deal. Fast forward 2 days. I go to use my vacuum. It no longer works. My husband looks up online and it states you should never vacuum large amounts of baking soda as it ruins the motor. So now I have no vacuum. Never let them in your home. They leave a mess and ruin your things.
Hi Kassidi, we are disappointed to hear about your recent experience with an Independent distributor. We would love to gather more information regarding this particular distributor, if you don't mind private messaging us you number or giving us a call at 1-800-494-8586. We look forward to hearing from you! - The Kirby Company
Kirby expert review by ConsumerAffairs
The Kirby Company is a division of the Scott Fetzer Company, which was founded in 1914. It is named after Jim Kirby, who designed the company's early vacuum cleaners.
Scheduled demonstrations: Potential buyers can schedule demonstrations to help them decide whether they want to own Kirby vacuums.
Useful tools: Kirby home care systems have tools that let them convert into everything from air pumps to carpet shampoo systems.
Customer service: Kirby offers a wide range of customer services, including online how-to videos and phone support.
Limited warranty: All Kirby vacuums come with three-year limited warranties.
Maintenance services: Rebuild and maintenance services are available to lengthen the life of Kirby vacuums.
Best for: Kirby's flexible vacuum system makes it useful for homeowners, renters, landlords and drivers.
Kirby Vacuum Cleaners Company Information
- Company Name:
- Year Founded:
- 1920 West 114th Street
- Postal Code:
- United States
- (800) 494-8586