Canister vacuum cleaners are pound-for-pound the most versatile vacuums available on the market today. They will match an upright vacuum on carpet cleaning and truly set themselves apart when it comes to cleaning stairs and bare floors.
The hoses on these vacuums are always at the same length so they won't cause the vacuum to tip over when the airflow is restricted while using the hose for attachments. When the bare floor tools are used they will act as a broom while the suction is your dustpan; this means it will pick up debris off of the floor instead of simply kicking it behind the vacuum.
Look for the "Safe for Soft Carpet and Frieze" sign to ensure that the vacuum you choose can clean all carpeting types.