Your essential guide to what all the vacuum cleaner attachments do

Crevice tools, dusting brushes, upholstery attachments and pet hair groomers? There's no end to the vacuum attachments available, and here's how to use all of them

A cordless vacuum cleaner resting against an arm chair in a living room
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Your vacuum cleaner will likely come with an array of attachments. The most common ones are crevice tools and dusting brushes, but newer vacuums have a much bigger selection for different, specific tasks around the house. 

If you have one of the best vacuum cleaners, like the Dyson V15 Detect, you might be looking at all these attachments and wondering what to do with them. Or, maybe you're hoping to get more use out of your vacuum by investing in some new attachments.

Either way, this guide aims to illuminate exactly what all those vacuum cleaner attachments do - and show you how you can make the most out of them.

1. Crevice tool

Crevice tool for vacuum cleaners

(Image credit: Amazon)

Invaluable for focused cleaning, the crevice tool can get into tight spots. Corners, baseboard edges, gaps between carpeting or wooden panels, under appliances, between stairs - the crevice tool is a necessary attachment for cleaning places that the usual brushroll can't reach.

It's also effective for small spot suction, like cleaning crumbs from the car seat or getting debris stuck under the oven.

2. Dust brush

Dust brush attachment for vacuum cleaners

(Image credit: Amazon)

Soft brushes help dislodge dust particles from windowsills, lampshades, picture frames – or any surface above the floor where dust can sit. They're great for more gentle cleaning, like cleaning TV screens or clearing the dust on delicate items.

3. Upholstery tool

Upholstery attachment for vacuum cleaners

(Image credit: Amazon)

Around 4 to 6 inches wide, this tool is designed to suck up any hairs and debris when you clean upholstery, and they'll often have strips specifically to draw out lint. They're also great on carpets, mattresses and cushions.

4. Extension wand

Extension wand for vacuum cleaners

(Image credit: Amazon)

Extension wands are fantastic at reaching higher-up places, with many versions offering an extra 18 inches – perfect for reaching things like fan blades, door frames, and air vents. You can often attach a separate attachment to the end, making it the ideal long-reach dusting companion for high-up shelves.

5. Mattress tool

Mattress tool for vacuum cleaners

(Image credit: Amazon)

Similar to the upholstery tool, mattress attachments can suck up lint, dirt and debris from mattresses thanks to their flat, wide shape. Perfect for giving your mattress a well-needed refresh or spring cleaning a bed.

6. Pet hair tool

Pet hair grooming toolkit for vacuum cleaners

(Image credit: Penn-Plax)

Designed for hands-on pet grooming, these attachments can often come up with a variety of combs, to brush loose pet hair into the vacuum cleaner. This avoids the hair falling onto carpets and furniture - but of course, make sure to be gentle with your furry friends.

7. Radiator brush

Radiator brush vacuum attachment

(Image credit: Miele)

This brush is thin enough to fit between the radiator fins, making light work of a task that would otherwise require a lot more time. 

If you don't already have one, it might be worth considering upgrading to one of the best vacuum cleaners for pet hair. Or, to make cleaning as easy as it's ever been, one of the best robot vacuums will do most of the work for you.

Dan Fauzi
Home Tech Editor

Dan is the Home Tech Editor for Homes & Gardens, covering all things cleaning, smart home, sound and automation across the Solved section. Having worked for Future PLC since July 2023, Dan was previously the Features Editor for Top Ten Reviews and looked after the wide variety of home and outdoor content across the site, but their writing about homes, gardens, tech and products started back in 2021 on brands like BBC Science Focus, YourHomeStyle, Homes & Antiques and Gardens Illustrated.

Dan is based in Bristol, UK with a BA in Philosophy and an MA in Magazine Journalism. Outside of work, you'll find them at gigs and art galleries, cycling somewhere scenic, or cooking up something good in the kitchen.