Some people will tell you to clean (just the mechanical filter pads) on a canister monthly, some will tell you to let a canister go 6 months between cleanings.
Basically, the longer you let the filter go without cleaning, the more likely it is to become a nitrate factory. Obviously you can mitigate those nitrates with frequent water changes.
What I would suggest is cleaning the mechanical filter pads about once every month or so, but not the biomedia. There's no need to clean the biomedia unless it gets gunked up. And even when you do rinse the biomedia, only rinse like 1/4 or 1/3 of it at a time, gently in tank water.
I like the Eheim 22XX (2213/15/17) filters. They're very simply designed and straightforward. You run ceramic rings, a blue filter pad, biomedia, and another blue filter pad. The ceramic rings trap large waste particles, the first filter pad traps smaller waste particles, then there's the biomedia, then another filter pad. You don't need to rinse that last filter pad often or at all in some cases.
In the 22XX filters you'd want to rinse the ceramic rings when you rinsed the first blue filter pad, as they both collect waste. But you'd leave the biomedia alone.
If you want a filter that's slightly more user friendly (because it uses individual media baskets) look at the Rena XP series canisters. I don't like those as much though.