Keeping your floors clean and free from debris is essential for the safety of your staff and visitors. But keeping them clean requires investment in cleaning materials and equipment like floor sweepers.

While you can get away with a mop and bucket for smaller areas, anything larger than 100 sqm can be cleaned more efficiently with an industrial floor sweeper. But with so many different types of sweepers available, which one is right for your business?

In this blog, we’ll explore the different types of floor sweepers available and look at the types of spaces they are best suited for. So if you are unsure which floor sweeper to choose, this blog will provide you with the information you need.

The types of industrial floor sweepers

There are essentially two different types of floor sweepers available. They each have their pros and cons, so we’ll look at them individually.

Ride-on sweepers

Ride-on sweepers are controlled by an operator that sits on the machine. They control the sweeper using a steering wheel and motor controls. Most ride-on machines are powered by an electric motor and have built-in dirt tanks.

Ride-on sweepers can cover a huge area in a single session. Even a small ride-on machine has an operating speed of 6km/h and can cover up to 5,000m2/h. This makes them ideal for cleaning large areas such as schools, exhibition halls and shopping malls.

Pedestrian sweepers

Pedestrian sweepers are pushed from behind by the operator. They still contain an electric motor and built-in dirt tanks, but the motor is less powerful than a ride-on sweeper. This means pedestrian sweepers have a much slower operating speed.

The latest pedestrian sweepers are incredibly efficient, however. Even a small sweeper can cover 2,300 m2/h. With larger pedestrian sweepers able to cover 4,000 m2/h. Pedestrian sweepers are also more manoeuvrable than ride-on sweepers.

Which floor sweeper is right for your business?

Now you know the different types of machines available, which one should you choose? Here we’ll look at several types of building to recommend the best sweeper.


Warehouses come in lots of shapes and sizes. For smaller warehouses and industrial units of up to 2000 sqm. A pedestrian sweeper will be the most efficient. When you get above 5000 sqm a ride-on sweeper starts to make more sense.

Schools and colleges

The average classroom size in state-funded schools is around 70 sqm. A typical primary school will have five classrooms plus around 1000 sqm of public space. For a school this size a pedestrian sweeper is most efficient.

A state-funded secondary school will have around 30 classrooms of 70 sqm plus 5,000 sqm of public space. A school of this size will be best served by a combination of pedestrian cleaners for classrooms, and ride-on sweepers for public areas.

Healthcare facilities

Like schools, healthcare facilities come in a range of different sizes. You will need to assess the size and type of facility to be cleaned before making a decision on which sweeper is the most suitable.

We have provided the following information as a guide. A doctor’s surgery or healthcare centre up to 3,000 sqm can be cleaned with a pedestrian sweeper. Nursing homes and hospitals larger than 5,000 sqm will require a combination of pedestrian sweepers for hospital wards and consultation rooms, with ride-on sweepers used for public areas.


Retail outlets typically contain a combination of flooring types including carpet, tiles and concrete. When choosing a sweeper for retail you need to ensure the sweeper is suitable for cleaning all the different floor types you have.

For small retail outlets of less than 3,000 sqm, we recommend a pedestrian sweeper. For larger retail outlets and supermarkets larger than 4,000 sqm, we recommend a ride-on sweeper. A pedestrian sweeper may also be required for any cafe areas you have.


Managers of hospitality facilities need to think carefully about which machine is most suitable. Because most hospitality areas have set tables and lounge areas which are difficult to clean with a ride-on sweeper.

For this reason, we typically recommend smaller more manoeuvrable pedestrian sweepers for hospitality areas. However, a large banqueting hall, where the tables can be removed, can be cleaned more efficiently using a ride-on sweeper.

Need help choosing a floor sweeper? Get in touch today

Are you looking to upgrade your floor cleaning equipment? Get in touch with our floor cleaning equipment specialists today for help choosing the right machine. We’ll carefully assess your needs before recommending the most suitable solution.

You can get in touch by completing the contact form here. Alternatively, give us a call and one of our friendly advisors will talk you through the various ride-on and pedestrian sweeper options we have available.