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 email@example.com, 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 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.
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.
The salesman came when my daughter was napping. He kept me outside way longer than I wanted but I was trying to keep my dogs from barking so I was just trying to keep them calm. He said he was with a natural cleaning company and wanted to come show me some products later. If I would have known it was Kirby I wouldn’t have let them in.
A family I nannied for stupidly bought one and I was forced to use that huge heavy thing when there and hated it. I was too nice and let them in anyways because I don’t like confrontation. The sales guy was going on and on about how horrible my current vacuum was since he was still picking up so much dog hair and dust. Jokes on him I hadn’t vacuumed that part in a few days. I’m sure my “Bad” vacuum would do just the same if it was used. The only way I got him out after an HOUR AND A HALF. Was that I had to put my daughter to bed and there was no way I could buy it as my husband is in Afghanistan and it’s not like I can just call and ask to buy it, not like I would have anyways.
Not to mention he left dog hair and dirt everywhere for laying the pads everywhere and half-ass cleaning them up. Way overpriced and heavy junk in my opinion. I’m mad that I even let them in, but I was definitely lied to to be let in. I feel sorry for anyone that has these people in their house for hours and are guilted into spending thousands of dollars on a VACUUM.
I recently purchased the Avalir 2. I was impressed with the number of capabilities offered. After having it awhile, I am not so impressed. I have trouble with it picking up larger, but still small, things off the carpet. It’s not pleasant to have to haul out a bag of attachments and switch out heads to get the floor and the edges in a single cleaning session. I am used to quickly getting the crevices as I go along, not having to stop the work to switch attachments and go back around the room. But the reason I am writing a one star review is because the multi-surface shampoo system was supposed to clean my hard floors. “Make them shine.” It didn’t. Just followed the instructions to mop my floor, with the proper floor tool, roller, water, solution and tank...and I effectively got wet floors.
It took a couple of passes of a drizzle on the floors before I realized I neglected to drop it down to the lowest setting.
Then I thought it was cleaning. It only picks off a fraction of the water put down. I dumped out the tray a couple of times and the water was dirty as the floor really needed attention. But shortly after dumping the waste water the first time, the machine was leaving puddles smeared wherever I went forward. It also seemed to be jumping a bit if I tried going faster than a turtle's pace backwards. I “finished” my floor by setting it for extended periods on spots that were a bit gunky then going over the floor backwards to pickup the puddle smears of dirty water.
There’s no chance of getting corners mopped with the machine and many 3” edges weren’t mopped because it’s not possible to get the side of the machine along all edges. When I stopped and cleaned things up, I let the floor dry. What I have now is a floor that is sticky all over instead of in just the spots where pop spills hadn’t been properly cleaned at the time of the incidents. So, while I thought I was getting a decent deal on an investment of $1500 for the vacuum, MSSS, a bunch of bags and belts, and all the attachments, I now am doubting our investment.
Shouldn’t have let them take my old vacuum so it could pickup the bigger pieces before using the Kirby. And I definitely still need a mop and bucket. I have yet to try and shampoo my carpet, but I am pretty sure I will be disappointed as well. The lady that asked if I wanted a presentation said he would clean my carpet in one room. So my family quickly moved all the furniture out of the way as we had moved and vacuumed everything earlier that day. Then the salesman came and did a lot of vacuuming, but not shampoo, because it was late and the last day of the month.
Hi D, we are disappointed to read about your experience with your MSSS, and would love to further assist you on your cleaning system. If you could, please PM us a good number to reach you at, or if you prefer, give us a call directly at 1-800-494-8586. Thank you for your honest review, as we take customer feedback seriously. We look forward to hearing from you! - The Kirby Company
It started with a knock at my door offering a free carpet cleaning. I specifically said only the stairs because my infants were sleeping. They walked in and said, "I'm sorry but we need to clean a whole room to show you what this vacuum can do." Once plugged in my kids woke up. After 4 hours or more with some very fresh comments about my relationship with my partner and comments about what we do in the bedroom he told us the price and we had won a family trip for a weekend. I purchased it WITHOUT them saying I had 3 days to cancel. I didn't use it for a week until I finally did and the Kirby didn't work my $10 broom. Had to pick up dirt that the KIRBY HAD LEFT. I'm so agrivatted and trying to get legal help to stop the payments and harm my CREDIT.
Hi Aida, we are deeply concerned with your message regarding your recent experience with an independent distributor. We take matters like this very seriously and would like to gather some more information from you and your experience. If you're comfortable, please message us a good number to reach you at or call us directly at 1-800-494-8586 so we can gather more information and assist you. We look forward to hearing from you and appreciate you bringing this to our attention. - 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