Ideally, ditching the age-old dustpan and broom combo for a “modern” vacuum cleaner should end all your housekeeping problems and leave your surfaces squeaky clean every time.
However, breaking the bank on a “hot new cleaner” does not guarantee spotless floors. Handle an underperforming vacuum cleaner—yes, there are many of them, and you will quickly realize that. Even more heartbreaking is the precious time you need to spend dusting furniture and other surfaces just after “vacuuming:” a surefire way to work yourself into a fit. But, believe it or not, these situations can also lead to more severe issues. With a subpar vacuum cleaner, you get stuck with the constant kickback of fine particles, pollen, and other allergens into the air, posing a severe health risk for people with allergies.
The Rainbow Cleaning System from Rexair LLC., with its water filtration and a HEPA neutralizer filtration system combo, touts itself as the be all end all of your home cleaning problems. It promises to rid your floors and surfaces from dust and dirt completely, and without a kickback of fine particles, leaving your home crispy clean and the air fresh and allergen-free.
With a loyal network of diehard fans (and marketers) —that never fail to toss the Rainbow brand in any convo, there might be some merit to Rexair’s claims. Rainbow vacuum cleaners have sizeable loyal customer base spread out across the country and a barrage of approving reviews online.
In this review, we take a deep dive into the Rainbow cleaning system detailing its features and how it works. Also, we review every Rainbow vacuum model on the market today to see they are as good as they are drummed up to be.
In this article, you will learn about:
The Rainbow Cleaning System Overview
One main selling of Rainbow vacuums is their use of a water filtration system. This system is unlike, and mostly superior, other popular offerings on the market that use a dirt cup or a bag paired with a standard filter.
However, contrary to what excited salespeople may lead you to believe, Rexair did not invent the water filtration system for vacuum cleaners. In fact, in the early part of vacuum cleaner evolution, Jim Kirby was one of the first inventors to use a water filtration system to capture dirt in his vacuum cleaners.
Right from the early days, the water system was quite efficient at cleaning surfaces. However, getting the disposal process right was the biggest hassle for vacuum cleaner makers. So, manufacturers quickly abandoned this system for a cloth bag, then disposable bags, to further enhance convenience.
Cloth bags reigned supreme until the early ’80s when James Dyson took the market by storm with the invention of the first bagless vacuum cleaner: the Dual Cyclone bagless vacuum cleaner.
However, both the bagged and bagless vacuum cleaning systems come with similar quirks. Try to empty the bag or cup, and you are sure to get spills of dust and other fine particles onto the floor or released into the air. These unfortunate spills lead to a pretty ironic situation where you have to dust right after vacuum-cleaning your home. Plus fine loose particles is a disaster waiting to happen for people with allergies or respiratory issues.
The Rainbow solution to this problem of spilled dust and fine particles is the age-old water filtration system for dirt collection. Since the company’s inception in 1936, Rexair have stayed true to the water filtration system, improving upon it with the use of a water filter in their bagless vacuums.
Water filtration system and HEPA neutralizer filtration
Like many modern vacuum cleaners, the Rainbow cleaning system uses a two-stage filtration system. The cleaning system on a standard vacuum comes with two hard filters (made from fiber, foam, paper, or cloth.)
The first filter is typically coarser to reduce the risk of clogging, while the second filter is smoother, so it catches as much dirt as possible from the incoming air. However, Rainbow vacuum cleaners replace both filters with a single canister of swirling water powered by a stepped-induction motor.
One superior quality of the water filtration system is that it catches considerably more dirt and keeps them captured. Getting dirt, dust, hair, and other minute particles wet is probably the most efficient ways to keep them from flying about the cleaner and the disposal bag, eventually getting released into your home air.
Rainbow’s second filter is a HEPA filter that catches dirt particles that are insoluble in water like masonry dust, pieces of drywall, and tiny metallic particles. The central water vortex is already efficient at keeping out most of the dirt. So, the HEPA filter main goal is to capture allergens and microscopic particles that can cause real health hazards.
The HEPA filter catches up to 99.97% of all airborne allergens. All E series variants of Rainbow vacuum cleaners come with the HEPA filter installed.
Also, using a water filter gets rid of the infamous clogged filter problem shared by most dry filter vacuum cleaners. Never again do you have to google “how to clean *insert brand name* clogged filter.” Toss out the bad water, rinse out the container, and you are ready for another round of vacuuming.
After the work of this unique water filtration system, It can achieve “Twice as clean”， Keep dirt and contaminants out of your home
Powerful hurricane motor
Rainbow vacuum cleaners are powered by a 1.5 horsepower motor to ensure a strong enough torque and suction to tackle your toughest cleaning jobs. Dubbed “the hurricane motor” by Rexair, this 12-amp motor moves up to 80 cubic feet of air per minute, making it one of the most powerful on vacuum cleaner market right now.
According to the Rexair website, their vacuums are powered by “switched-reluctance technology,” which is just super-geek-speak for it uses power more efficiently than most.
The main power brush sits on the underside of the cleaning nozzle. The power brush is designed to work with a wide range of floor types. A switch on the cleaning nozzle lets you adjust the height of the brush to match the surface. A higher height setting is perfect for cleaning thick carpeting. The taller brush protects the structure of your carpet. A low brush, on the other hand, is excellent for harder surfaces like tiles, bare hardwood, and carpet baseboards.
Caster wheels and reinforced dolly
All Rainbow vacuum cleaners come with a dolly and caster wheels that swivel 360 degrees. This flexibility lets you move the vacuum cleaner around quickly and get your cleaning done in minutes. Also, the dolly sports a sizeable rubber bumper that goes around all sides. This bumper eases the force of impact with people and household items and reduces the possibility of the vacuum cleaner damaging your furniture or drywall.
The primary vacuum cleaner (and a few of its attachments) come preinstalled with LED headlights that point in the plane of motion of the machine. The lighting illuminates the cleaning path ahead and ensures you never miss a dust spot.
Attachments and accessories
Rainbow vacuums come with special attachments for improved flexibility. These attachments simplify the cleaning of stairs, upholstery, and other nooks and crannies that would be difficult to clean with just the vacuum cleaner properly.
The RainbowMate attachment is a small-sized accessory that extends the reach of your vacuum cleaner. It’s excellent for limited-access areas like carpeted stairways, Upholstered furniture, and mattresses. The RainbowMate has an inbuilt motor.
The Power Nozzle attachment, also with its inbuilt motor, lets you control the suction on the fly while vacuuming. The addon features circulating brushes that bring just the right torque for attacking tough-to-reach debris along baseboards. The Power Nozzle also sports a rubberized bumper that acts as an extra layer of protection for your household items.
For thorough rug and carpet shampooing, the AquaMate uses water, a specially formulated carpet cleaning solution, repeated strokes of its revolving brush roll for deep-cleaning and rinsing of covered surfaces. The AquaMate is excellent for dealing with tough grease stains, oil spills, and the discolored “pet area.”
The MiniJet is the goto for smaller carpeted areas, tight crevices, sharp angles. The MiniJet comes with a generous ten-foot hose and trigger-controlled spray applicator that provides a great deal of maneuverability for cleaning cramped regions.
Other optional attachments are the RainJet and the JetPad.
Each vacuum cleaner comes with a bunch of accessories including a floor and wall brush, dusting brush, upholstery tool, crevice tool, confined space cleaner, refrigerator coil cleaner, and an attachment caddy.
No bags (environmental-friendly)
Thanks to the water capture system on Rainbow vacuum cleaners, you do not need to purchase bags, replace used bags, or worry about waste disposal. As a result, Rainbows are some of the most eco-friendly vacuum cleaners and are much less of a pain to use.
HEPA filter is dope
The HETA filter on the new models is the industry’s most trusted method of allergen capture, successfully catching up to 99.98% of all irritants. The HEPA filter also doubles as an air filter in some Rainbow models.
Easy to use and clean
After using a Rainbow, remove the water canister, pour out the dirty water, rinse out the cartridge, and your vacuum cleaner is ready for reuse. Also, this system saves you the hazardous exposure to dust and fine particles you get when emptying a typical vacuum bag.
Consistently power suction
A primary selling point of the Rainbows is how much more dirt they suck out compared to other vacuum cleaners on the market. This efficiency is due in part to the high-powered suction that is consistent among all Rainbow models, making them excellent cleaners no matter the surface. Plus, keep the water canister clean, and you never have to worry about clogged air filters.
Caster wheels improve maneuverability
LED lights on the primary cleaning tool and some of the attachments help with dust tracking
The Heft is real
Most Rainbow vacuum cleaners weigh a ton (figuratively.) Compared to the other offerings on the market, they are definitely on the high side. Most Rainbow vacuums weigh between 18-30 pounds. So if you are looking for a lightweight vacuum cleaner, this is not for you.
However, the dolly and caster wheels make Rainbows way more manageable to maneuver. So, the weight shouldn’t be that big a deal unless for some weird reason you are lifting your vacuum cleaner regularly.
Most Rainbows are over $1,500 and are not a good option for those on a shoestring. Why is it so expensive?
The price of their excellent quality plays a role. However, that’s not all.
Rexair uses a direct selling model with agents that do an in-home demonstration before each sale. These rainbow salespeople get a large commission on each sale. Furthermore, The retailer that supplies the salespeople pays Rexair a significant price for their inventory as well. This chain of benefiting actors also contributes significantly to the high retail prices of their products.
An excellent way to avoid this transferred cost is to buy one from reputable resellers on the internet or pick up a refurbished Rainbow at less than half the standard price.
From our findings, customer reviews for Rainbow vacuum cleaners typically fall on one of the two extremes.
Based on a sample of reviews from multiple review aggregators, approximately 95% of the reviews were outstandingly positive 5-star reviews. Users praised the durability of the vacuum cleaners, their high-end build, as well as their relatively superior cleaning ability when compared with vacuum cleaners from competitors.
An excerpt from one user’s review on Consumer Affairs states:
The other 5% of the reviews were predominantly 1-star reviews, with users chiefly complaining bitterly about the Rexair direct sale model and unruly agents.
One reviewer states:
Rainbow Vacuum vs Other Brands
For most people, this is the main pointer for picking the right vacuum. Irrespective of how much money you have, you would want to select the best product for your budget.
Compared to offerings from Dyson, Bissell, and Shark, Rainbow cleaners are quite pricey. Even the cheapest models will set you back at least $1000. However, for these prices, you get a reliable vacuum cleaner that is tested and trusted over the years.
You can purchase a cheap product that will get you through the next few years, or you could invest in a vacuum cleaner that can last the next 25 years. If you would prefer the former, the Dyson V10 Absolute is an excellent choice.
Hands down the most prominent issue when using vacuum cleaners is dust management. Dust management is where the Rainbows shine.
The filtration system on Dysons, Bissell and other models, despite being some of the best, still pass ultra-fine dust particles into the air. This dust release happens because they have to make some compromises in their smoothness filters. A perfect filtration system will clog up immediately and become ineffective.
On Rainbow vacuum cleaners, the air sucked in passes through a water layer that wets the dust particles, making them heavy so they can’t fly. Add the HEPA filter that traps 99.97% ultra-fine particles, and you have an almost perfect system. The only drawback is that you have to clean the water compartment after every use.
Suction and power
The suction power refers to the pressure difference created by the vacuum pump. As you would expect, higher suction equals more power. Rainbow vacuums are on par with other top performers in the industry with most of their models outputting 75 cubic feet of air per minute or higher.
Compared to Dysons, Rainbow pack some heft. Their saving grace is the properly reinforced dolly and caster wheels that are especially useful when you have to vacuum large areas.
You can find vacuum cleaners like the Bissell Pet Hair Eraser Handheld Vacuum that weigh just under 5 pounds. However, these lighter models would have a tough time cleaning deep rugs of carpets.
Also read: Best Vacuum for Pet Hair
Cordless vs. Corded
A new trend in the vacuum cleaner industry is cordless vacuum cleaners. Cordless cleaners are great for cleaning small areas as even the top models last only about 30 minutes before they need a recharge.
The Dyson V10 Absolute is one of the best cordless vacuum cleaners. However, if you would rather avoid the recharge hassle, you should get a Rainbows. All Rainbows are corded vacs.
With vs. without a bag
You need to replace the bag on your bagged vacuum cleaner every few months, depending on your cleaning frequency. If you are okay with buying bags and replacing them every once in a while, the Miele Complete C3 is an excellent option.
The bagless model on the Rainbows is a less expensive, more eco-friendly approach. The downside is that you have to rinse out the dust collector after each clean.
Rainbow Vacuum Reviews
Being one of the best-known brands in the business, Rexiar has released a sizable number of vacuum cleaners over the decades. Some of their vacuum cleaners have gone on to dominate the market while others are just meh.
In this section, we take a look at the top models of Rainbow vacuum cleaners that are readily available on the market.
D3 Rainbow vacuum cleaner (64 cubic feet of air per minute)
First launched in 1980, the entry-level offering from Rexiar, the D3 Rainbow vacuum cleaner, is a reliable workhorse. The D3 gives you all the basics of an efficient everyday cleaner, without having you break the bank. The D3 keeps things simple, with the Rainbow water filtration system for deep cleaning the highlight of the package. The D3 avoids all the bells, whistles, and extra firepower of the higher models.
This vacuum cleaner skips the pump style hose and features a standard tube with the power cord running along the outside of the hose. While the external cable does not detract from the function of the machine, it does deals some blows to the aesthetics and is a damage risk.
If you don’t care much for aesthetics on a vacuum cleaner—not many would, but still want a taste of that Rainbow goodness, then the D3 rainbow is definitely for you. If you can spare a bit (a lot) more cash for extra convenience and significantly more firepower then the newer models of Rainbow vacuum cleaners are all that.
D4 Rainbow vacuum cleaner (72 cubic feet of air per minute)
With a little more budget flexibility, you are in Rainbow D4 territory. For a slight increase in price, you get a more powerful vacuum. Rated at 72ft3 of air per minute, the D4 does a better job vacuuming your floors and has a more durable and aesthetic build.
With the D4, Rexair updates the looks and design of the D3 and adds a little more firepower under the hood. While the looks on the D4 Rainbow vacuum cleaner is a lot more eye-catching, the power cord remains on the outside of the central hose.
For this model, the tool dolly gets a facelift as well as significant engineering updates with the addition of a motor, a fan, water separator, and gaskets.
SE Rainbow vacuum cleaner (72 cubic feet of air per minute)
The significant change from the D4 to the SE is the power cord placement. On the SE Rainbow vacuum, Rexair moved the cord to the inside of the central hose, which is way more convenient and significantly reducing the risk of damage to the cable.
Also, they added a pump onto the handle of the hose for more power and better cleaning.
SE PE (performance edition) Rainbow (72 cubic feet of air per minute)
The SE performance edition should have been more aptly named “the convenience edition.” While it does bring some significant changes to the design, the new improvements are all in the user experience department.
The SE PE Rainbow adds a trigger to the pump handle. And this feature alone is enough to justify getting the new appliance. When using the SE PE, the trigger has to be squeezed, like a fuel pump, to keep the vacuuming going. Easing your hand off the trigger immediately stops the suction from the powerhead, allowing much more natural control of the vacuuming action.
This trigger feature is especially useful for quick pauses while vacuuming. It is a convenient fix for that accidentally catching of a sock, piece of cloth, or some carpet edge. It also improves safety, especially if you have small children running in the house.
The powerhead also gets an update that should help you finish your daily clean in a tad bit less time. Rexair ditched the traditional squarish design of the powerhead for a more triangular one that concentrates vacuuming power for a better clean so you never have to do second takes.
E2 series Rainbow vacuum cleaner (80 cubic feet of air per minute)
First released in 2004, the E2 is the third version of the E series Rainbow vacuum cleaners. The E2 marks the beginning of the most recent line of Rainbow vacuums. For this model, Rexair underwent a complete overhaul of their design, keeping just their signature water filtration system, the head, and part of the hose.
The E2 brings a new color and more contemporary design to the Rainbow vacuum cleaner. It also adds more air power for a better clean. The E2 is also the first Rainbow vacuum cleaner to feature the HEPA filter that cleans up to 99.98% of all allergens, pollen, and fine particles.
Other structural changes are a new dolly design (that locks the vacuum cleaner in, keeping it secure) and a new safety switch. You also get a new water bowl, an improved water separator, and new hose connections.
If you are looking for a top-performing vacuum cleaner, and you have no price constraints, the E series Rainbow cleaners are a no-brainer. The intense demand for these products is a testament to that fact. Thanks to consistent sales, the price of the E2 has not dropped by up to $200 in half a decade.
Yes, the older vacuums are a remarkable value for money. They are still top performers and are great workhorses for any home. However, the E series brings the latest and best the industry has on offer.
E2 Gold 2-speed Rainbow (80 cubic feet of air per minute)
The Gold 2-speed Rainbow is the 2006 update of the E2. The E2 Gold replaces the motor on the original E2 with a new brushless motor while retaining the good looks of the E2 and an identical performance profile.
The new motor comes with a 2-speed setting, with the standard speed for vacuuming, and a second speed setup that runs quietly and acts as a home air filter. The 2nd-speed setting is supposed to cleanse your home air by cycling it through the water filter canister and the HEPA filter, removing dust, pollen, and other allergens.
However, considering the price bump, we would instead opt for the original E2. Then spend around a 100 bucks on a standalone air filter machine, and let the vacuum cleaner do what vacuum cleaners do.
E2 Black 2-Speed Rainbow (80 cubic feet of air per minute)
First released in 2011, the E2 black is the newest model of Rainbow vacuum cleaners available for purchase. The significant change from other E series models is a redesign of the powerhead. The new powerhead now features new brushes with powered edges to allow for better edge-to-edge cleaning. The new brushes are especially handy for tight corners like where the end of your carpet meets the wall.
The E2 Black uses a similar 2-speed motor that lets you use your vacuum cleaner as an air filter too.
If you are in the market for a reliable vacuum cleaner without any bells and whistles, or quirks, that gets the job done efficiently every time, picking a D3 or D4 is the way to go. Plus you get that famed Rainbow super clean without getting rung up your financial advisor.
On a super tight budget, your best bet is the SE Rainbow. It an all-round excellent performer and is one of the best-selling Rainbows till date.
The SE PN2 Rainbow Vacuum brings added convenience and is also an excellent choice for tackling floors that are especially hard to clean. If you’ve had problems getting that perfect clean with other vacuums, this is the one for you.
For the latest and best you can get, cop any of the E series vacuum cleaners and you are good to go. Equipped with the extra protection of the HEPA filter, the E series cleaners guarantee a pristine home and clean air. They are the perfect choice for both kids and people prone to allergies or asthma.
Considering how durable Rainbows are, whichever version you pick, you are almost guaranteed to get excellent service and pristine floors for a long time. A large percentage of Rainbow users have had their vacuum cleaners for multiple decades.