Vacuum cleaners are an investment appliance. We use them to keep our homes clean, shiny and dust-free – and since you’ll be using it often, it’s worth getting one that does the job well. Different types work better for different needs, so before buying, be sure to ask yourself how you will use it. Do you have a large house, or a small home full of nooks and crannies? Do you have pets who are always shedding hair? Will you use it on furniture and upholstery? These kinds of questions can help you to determine which hoover will best suit your lifestyle. We’ve collected 5 of our favourite vacuum cleaners – 1 for each type – as well as a buying guide to help you make the right decision.
Our Top Pick
A heavy duty upright – good for large homes with pets
Uprights are one of the best options for people with large homes and lots of carpet. They tend to be very powerful and are particularly good at getting up pet hair. Upright hoovers are on the high capacity end of the scale, which means you don’t have to empty them as often, but the downsides are that they can be quite heavy, bulky and harder to store than a smaller model. They are usually powered via a power cable.
This Dyson DC75 Cinetic Big Ball Upright stands out for us as an upright option that is surprisingly easy to manoeuvre for a larger machine. This is due to the unique Dyson design that allows the machine to ride on a ball, giving it a smoother action as you move it around. Instead of a bag, it has a removable bin that you can empty by just pressing a button – there are no filters, so no nasty clogged areas to clean and no ongoing hoover bag costs.
One of the best things about this Dyson is its incredible suction power, which picks up even tiny microscopic dust particles – great for those with allergies. It’s super versatile, allowing you to use it on all types of flooring whether wood, carpet or tiles.
- A allergen rating
- Very easy to get into tight corners
- Excellent dyson build quality
- D Energy Rating
Our Verdict: With a nice long 5-year guarantee, we think this is a great vacuum for the larger household.
Dyson DC75 Rating: 10/10
- Power: 1300W
- Noise level: 87 dB
- Energy rating: D
- Capacity: 2.18 litres
- Filters: N/A
- Cord length: 10.8 m
- Accessories: Tangle-free turbine tool, On-board combination and stair tool
- Bag: No
Dyson DC75 user manual
Best For Allergies
An easily maneuverable vacuum ideal for floors and furniture
Cylinder models are powerful and high capacity while being lighter and easier to store than an upright. Because they are easy to manoeuvre, they can be used to reach nooks and crannies and to clean furniture. They are a great option for smaller homes as they take up less room.
This Miele Cylinder is cable-powered (with an 11m long cable) and comes with pet-specific attachments for those pesky pet hairs. The nifty foot controls allow you to choose your cleaning mode and a simple button enables you to quickly rewind the cable when you’re done.
This convenient modelcomes with a bunch of useful accessories – and to prevent them getting lost, you can actually store them inside the hoover, in a designated compartment. We love the way that the main floorhead allows you to clean right up to the edges of your carpet, as well as tackling larger areas.
- Superb German engineering
- Lots of hoovering functions and features
- Very quiet
- Good for allergies
- D energy rating
- Only colour available is brown
Our Verdict: For such a small machine it delivers a surprisingly effective clean and is very easy to use. One of the best things about this model is how long the bags last – its new HyClean bags offer 20 percent more capacity compared to previous dustbags.
Miele Complete C3 Rating: 9.9/10
- Power: 1200W
- Noise level: 74 dB
- Energy rating: D
- Capacity: 4.5 litres
- Filters: Charcoal filter
- Cord length: 10.8 m
- Accessories: Crevice nozzle, Upholstery nozzle, Dusting brush, Turbo brush
- Bag: Yes
Miele Complete C3 user manual
A fantastic, lightweight cordless option.
Cordless cleaners are becoming all the rage, and for good reason – untethered by a cord, cleaning becomes much easier and faster. Cordless models are the ideal solution for light cleaning across your home, particularly on annoying areas such as stairs and upholstery. Powered by a battery which recharges when you attach the device to its docking station, they can last up to 1-2 hours and are easily stored away, being quite small.
This Dyson V6 Cordless is the ideal solution for those with allergies, as it has powerful suction rivalling that of a regular corded hoover and allows you to reach difficult areas where dust can build up. There is an additional crevice tool specifically for this task. Its motorised head easily cleans all types of flooring and you can increase the suction where needed using ‘max power’ mode.
One of the features we particularly like about this cordless model is its bagless bin, which you empty by pushing a button that flips open the lid. You then dump the dirt straight into the bin – no need to keep replenishing your stock of hoover bags.
- Cordless makes it easy to reach anywhere
- Very powerful
- Great build quality
- Low noise
- Fantastic A energy rating
- Emptying not as easy as standard vacuums
Our Verdict: This is an ideal lightweight option for any home, offering power, convenience and versatility.
Dyson V6 Cordless Rating: 9.5/10
- Power: Suction power: 28 AW Suction power boost: 100AW
- Noise level: 150 dB
- Energy rating: A
- Capacity: 0.4 litres
- Cord length: N/A
- Accessories: Additional combination tool & crevice tool
- Bag: No
Dyson V6 Cordless user manual
Best Robot Model
Automatic robot vacuum cleaners that take the work out of cleaning
Robot vacuum-cleaners have been something of a revelation of late, as they do the cleaning for you. What’s not to love about that? Moving by themselves, they use a navigation system to move around your house and clean the floors without any effort required from you – except turning it on. They are also lightweight and easy to store away once finished. Best suited to light cleaning for smaller homes, robots are an increasingly popular choice for those looking to buy a hoover.
The Miele RX1 Scout Robot Vacuum Cleaners are battery-operated and can clean for up to 2 hours, unattended. Its smart navigation system, based on a combination of cameras and sensors, allows it to move across the room in neat parallel lines, so no areas are missed. It can even tackle the corners using rotating side brushes. Being very slim, it can clean under most furniture and is equally adept at picking up both dirt and dust.
- Excellent for hands-off cleaning
- Will continue relentlessly – battery permitting
- Great on hard floors
- Sometimes gets stuck if room is messy
- Less suction power than a manual hoover – to be expected from such a small device
Our Verdict: Powerful, reliable and a huge timesaver, Miele robotcleaners are a great novelty that means you will need have to hoover again.
Miele RX1 Scout Rating: 9.7/10
- Power: 22W
- Noise level: 60 dB
- Energy rating: A
- Capacity: 0.6 litres
- Cord length: N/A
- Accessories: Pet tool
- Bag: No
Miele RX1 Scout user manual
Keep dirt and dust build up to a minimum with this Mini Robotic Vacuum-Cleaner from Maplin. This novel and unique hoover takes care of the vacuuming while you put your feet up. With an inbuilt sensor and a rechargeable battery, the Mini Robotic Vacuum-Cleaner can be left unattended to hoover all kinds of floor types. This Mini Robotic Vacuum-Cleaner is compact and so can fit into those harder-to-reach places, measuring just 75mm in height and 280mm in diameter.
The vacuum’s inbuilt sensor system ensures this little cleaning bot doesn’t fly off tables, steps or uncontrollably crash into walls, making it safe to use in any home. It also boasts an LED light to illuminate the surface it’s cleaning, to make sure it picks up all fluff, dust and pet fur. The device runs smoothly on a rechargeable battery that is included when you buy. It’s durable and provides your robot-vacuum with lots of cleaning power. Once dead, this hoover can take a while to charge the battery before using it again, but they are still very good robot vacuum cleaners for around the house.
These Mini Robotic-Vacuum cleaners are easy to maintain, reliable and does exactly what it says on the tin. Whether you have carpet, laminate, tiled or wood floors, this will not disappoint. It works quietly and comes with two side brushes and a dusting function for a deeper clean. Reaching into small corners can be a struggle for this machine because of its circular shape, but the rest of your floor will be in tip-top condition when this robot is through with it.
- Small compact design
- Works well on all kinds of floor types
- Easy to clean
- Works on a rechargeable battery
- Takes a while to recharge
- Small dust collector
- Difficult to clean corners
Our Verdict: This is a powerful and compact option that is well suited to any home.
Maplin Mini Robotic-Vacuum Rating: 7/10
- Product: Maplin Mini Robotic Vacuum-Cleaner
- Power: 8 W
- Noise level: 65 dB
- Energy rating: Not found
- Capacity: Not found
- Cord length: Cordless
- Accessories: Two side brushes
- Bag: No
Maplin Mini Robotic Vacuum Cleaners user manual
Robot vacuums are a revelation for the modern home. The Vileda 147271 features three cleaning programmes, suitable for different sized rooms, which makes it suitable for your 5 minute spot clean or a more thorough job. The side and corner brushes are convenient additions and the vacuum is easy to use at the simple press of a button.
The Vileda Cleaning Robot is designed to move intelligently around the room, picking up dust, hairs and general household dirt as it goes. The vacuum stops in its tracks when it detects an obstacle and also has drop sensors to detect stairs and avoid falling down them.
These robot vacuum cleaners comes complete with a mains charger and rechargeable NiMH battery, an extra filter and a maintenance brush. Its small size makes it a good option for those pushed for storage space. Whilst the Vileda 147271 does not operate so strongly on carpeted floors, it does perform very well on harder surfaces and does not make much noise as it works.
- Easy to use at the press of a button
- Small size is easy to store
- Quiet operation
- Low capacity
- Not great on carpets
Our Verdict: This robot vacuum is a great time-saver, though it is most suitable for harder floors.
VILEDA 147271 Cleaning Robot Vacuum Rating: 6/10
- Product: VILEDA 147271 Cleaning Robot
- Capacity: 0.25 L
- Dimensions: 90 x 340 x 349 mm (H x W x D)
- Features (3 top features): Stair detection, 3 room size settings, counter rotating brushes
VILEDA 147271 Cleaning Robot Vacuum user manual
Best Handheld Hoover
A small handheld hoover for flexible cleaning
Sometimes, to reach those tricky areas, investing in a small handheld vacuum can be a good idea. You wouldn’t want one as your main vacuum – cleaning a floor with one of these would take hours – but for light cleaning they are highly useful. Since they are small, they’re also very easy to store.
This Vax Gator Handheld Vacuum is light, cordless and easy to empty – no bags. It has 10.8V of rechargeable power that allows it to run for 15 minutes and comes with built-in crevice tools that make it easy to get into small nooks.
- Excellent power from such a small device
- Incredibly easy to use
- Great for cars
- Good build quality
- Battery life could be longer
Our Verdict: As one of the best-selling cordless vacs on Amazon, this hoover comes highly recommended.
- Power: 10V
- Noise level: 78 dB
- Energy rating: –
- Capacity: 0.3 litres
- Cord length: N/A
- Accessories: Built-in crevice tools
- Bag: No
Vax H85-GA-B10 user manual
Vacuum Buying Guide
In general, the higher the wattage of your corded vacuum cleaner, the more powerful it is. The same applies to cordless vacuum cleaners, except they measure voltage rather than watts. There are also other variables that can affect how powerful your vacuum is, including design, airflow and brush quality.
Vacuum cleaners can be particularly noisy appliances! Noise level is measured in decibels (dB), with a lower decibel count meaning a quieter machine. If you want a vacuum that is on the quieter end of the spectrum, look for one that operates at 75 dB or below.
Naturally, you want a vacuum that is going to be as energy efficient as possible. This is true across the spectrum of appliances. A vacuum’s efficiency rating is based not only on how well it conserves energy, but also on its dust emissions and performance across a range of flooring. A vacuum can be rated anywhere from A-G, with A being the most efficient.
A vacuum cleaner’s capacity will usually range between 1-6 litres, with upright and cylinder vacuums being of higher capacity compared to small and cordless ones. More capacity means more space inside the vacuum to hold dust and dirt, meaning you don’t have to empty it or change the bag as frequently.
Most traditional vacuum cleaners have cords, and of course the longer the cord, the further you can vacuum without having to plug the hoover in somewhere else. A desirable feature to look for on corded vacuums is a rewind feature, which will pull the cord back in rather than you having to gather it up yourself. Modern cordless vacuums are obviously a much more flexible option, allowing you to carry the hoover to anywhere it is needed.
When selecting a vacuum cleaner, it’s a good idea to think about what you want to get out of it and which attachments would be useful for you to have. It’s common for vacuum cleaners to come with some extra attachments as standard: things like a crevice tool and a dusting brush. Others have attachments that are specifically designed for picking up pet hairs. You may also want to research which attachments are best suited to the type of flooring you have.
To bag or not to bag? That is the question. Bagged vacuum cleaners are usually cheaper to buy than their bagless cousins, however you then have the ongoing cost of the bags. If you do go for a bagged cleaner, look for one with self-sealing bags to avoid accidental dust spillages. Bagless models are generally much easier to empty, but the technology tends to be more expensive on initial purchase.
Are you on the lookout for a new vacuum cleaner? What features are important to you and why? Tell us about your experiences by leaving a reply below.