Best Vacuum Cleaner 2021 – Buyer’s Guide
Best Vacuum Cleaner 2021 – Buyer’s Guide
Vacuum cleaners are an investment appliance. They are supposed to last us for a long time without us worrying about replacing them with a newer, more expensive model every year or so. The best vacuum cleaners can last well over a decade, which is why it is absolutely crucial that you make an informed decision when picking out a new vacuum cleaner for your house. Reading best vacuum cleaner reviews is a good place to start, but before you buy any device, it might be best to educate yourself on how it works, and what to do to keep it functional for as long as possible.
We use vacuum cleaners to keep our homes clean, shiny, and dust-free – and since you’ll be using it often, it’s worth getting one with great cleaning performance that does the job well. You don’t want it being overwhelmed at the task at hand, or breaking down after just a few months of use. But the best vacuum cleaner for you depends on a fair few factors.
Things like having all the right floor head types readily available, the need for other attachments, such as an upholstery tool, or the decision whether or not to go with a bagless model all play a role in determining your final decision. Plan your purchase in a way that will also save you money in the long term — don’t focus most of your attention on the initial investment.
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 vacuum will best suit your lifestyle. This guide has been made to aid you in making the right decision. This is why, aside from a list of what we consider to be the best vacuum cleaners out there, you’ll also get a comprehensive guide to the various aspects of these machines.
The Best Vacuum Cleaners – Our Top Picks
If you’re not too sure about what type of vacuum cleaner will be the best fit for you home, you’re not alone! Not many people are too knowledgeable about that topic, which is why we’ve prepared a list of our top picks. Regardless of whether you’re looking for a cordless vacuum cleaner, care about ease of use or want to make sure that it picks up all of the fine dust in and around your living space, you’re bound to find something for yourself!
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Uprights are your traditional vacuum cleaners. You use the handle to push them along the floor, which is great if you want to remain pretty upright when doing the cleaning too.
Upright vacuum cleaners are often the best choice for suction and general cleaning performance and come with various attachments and a hose to allow you to reach into corners or clean the sofa after the cat has had a nap. As they are the most widely available, they will suit any budget and you have free reign over your wish list.
The best vacuums will be able to switch between floor types, have plenty of connections so you can clean your whole home and will also be easy to push over the floor. Additionally, you may need a generous length power cable, and easy to empty dust compartment.
Advantages of upright vacuum cleaners:
- Most widely available,
- You can find one within any price range,
- One of the best choices when it comes to carrying out a deep clean of the floors,
- Effective when cleaning carpets and rugs
Disadvantages of upright vacuum cleaners:
- Certain models of upright vacuum cleaners tend to “lose” some dust as you clean,
- You’re limited by the length of the cord, which could be a problem if your power outlets aren’t conveniently placed around the house.
Uprights are great, but if you have a large room or like to move freely, you’ve probably been stopped in your tracks once or twice because of the power cord. Cordless models stop this, as you just recharge them after every use. Then, you’re free to use them where you wish.
They’ve been around for a few years now, and while they can still suffer from issues such as short battery life, in general, they’re much better than they used to be. They may not be the best for high-demand households with pet hairs, crumbs from dinner and grass trailed through, but are perfect for those quick touch-ups or non-carpeted surfaces such as hardwood floors.
The best cordless vacuum cleaner for you will be able to get into all areas of your home as well as picking up just as well as a corded model would. You will also see them referred to as a stick vacuum because of the style.
Advantages of cordless stick vacuum cleaners:
- Cordless vacuum cleaners are incredibly easy to use,
- Very convenient for quick touch-ups or cleaning up small messes on the go,
- Cordless upright vacuums can be a great alternative to traditional models if the power outlets are inconveniently placed around your home
Disadvantages of cordless stick vacuum cleaners:
- The cleaning power of cordless models is generally much lower than in the case of other vacuums,
- Cleaning pet hair or carpets might be a pain due to low power,
- The battery life of most models is still too short for people living in large houses.
If you like to give the car a vacuum every so often or struggle using the full-sized machine for going over the stairs/cleaning up spills, then having a little handheld model within reach is the perfect solution.
Many now have great suction, as well as various attachments which will allow you to vacuum anywhere, from a nozzle for the living room corners, a brush for the car seats and a larger rotary bush for the sofa. The best handheld vacuum will be lightweight, easy to bring out when needed but also have sufficient cleaning performance so you don’t have to bring out the full-sized vacuum afterwards.
Advantages of handheld vacuums:
- Improved suction makes for a convincing argument to buy a handheld model,
- They are lightweight,
- Nearly every handheld vacuum cleaner is incredibly easy to operate,
- When equipped with a crevice tool, it is the best option for cleaning tight and hard to reach spaces
Disadvantages of handheld vacuums:
- Handhelds are very expensive due to their innovativeness, but their price does not reflect their cleaning ability,
- For now, they can only serve as a mere supplement to your upright vacuum cleaner or another full-size model.
Still a relatively new category of vacuum, but they have stuck around long enough to be more than just a fad. Robot vacuums are great for anyone who simply never has time to run the Hoover or Shark over the floor, as they can be left to their own devices and either run daily at a set time or as and when you tell them to.
Even the best robotic vacuum cleaner probably won’t replace your upright just yet, and nor are they great for those homes which have high cleaning demands, but they’re good for any rooms which are on the more peaceful side (such as parents bedrooms or conservatory).
They are best for anyone without pets or kids, who has predominantly hardwood floors and a relatively spacious one-level home.
Advantages of robotic vacuums:
- The auto mode can save you a lot of time and energy
- Great for cleaning hard floor surfaces
- Easy to set up
Disadvantages of robotic vacuums:
- Your robot vacuum may sometimes get “confused” and stuck on a deep pile of dust and dirt
- These vacuums don’t have the best cleaning power
- Navigating between different floor types may prove to be a challenge for your robot vacuum
You may think of them as a bit old-school, but cylinder vacuums are still very popular. They can be lighter to use than uprights, and easier to store too. In fact, there are many people out there convinced that they are still the best vacuum cleaner category, full stop.
Many are dedicated to getting rid of allergens in the home, such as pet hair or pollen. Cleaning performance is often high, and the dirt is trapped in the cylinder so can’t be released again. They are nice and easy to manoeuvre too, so you can get into all those hard-to-reach corners.
Advantages of cylinder vacuums:
- Cylinder vacuum cleaners are the best type for picking pet hair and allergens, making them the perfect pick for pet owners and allergy sufferers,
- Good for both carpets and hard floors, no need to compromise on the quality of your cleaning,
- Suction strength can be regulated in most models,
- If you’re looking for the best vacuum cleaner under £200, chances are that it’s going to be a cylinder vacuum cleaner,
- The wand can be regulated, enabling you to reach crevices and other tight spaces,
Disadvantages of cylinder vacuums:
- Carrying the cylinder around the house may be inconvenient for some,
- The wide availability of cylinder vacuums means that it’s easy to pick a subpar model.
Help and Resources
Vacuum Buying Guide
In general, the higher the wattage of your corded vacuum cleaner, the more powerful it is. The same applies to cordless stick 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.
Don’t be led into thinking that you’ve got to go for the most powerful vacuum cleaner out there! A lot of the time, a low-power machine will do the job just fine, particularly if you’re operating on a small surface area and mostly hard floors. On the other hand, not enough power can prove to be an issue in large homes and apartments with varying floor types.
If you’re looking for cordless vacuum cleaners, robot, or handheld ones, you might want to make sure that it is not too powerful, as it can have a significant impact on your battery life. If a cylinder vacuum cleaner is what you’re after, though, you should try and get one that’s as powerful as possible to get the job done flawlessly.
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.
Keep in mind, however, that quiet vacuums are usually not very powerful, which can be a significant drawback if strong suction and a lot of power is what you’re after. Vacuum cleaners that are both quiet and effective tend to cost a lot of money, so if noise is your primary concern, you might have to splash a lot of cash to buy the right vacuum for your house.
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.
In general, robot vacuum cleaners and other cordless types are more energy-efficient, simply because charging the battery doesn’t take up as much power as actively using it to power the machine. They are also among some of the least effective pieces of equipment when it comes to picking up big piles of dust particles, offer lower suction and pretty much only work best on hard floors and in very particular situations. Check out some of the links on our site to figure out whether or not a robot vacuum cleaner is a right appliance for you.
A vacuum cleaner’s capacity will usually range between 1-6 litres, with upright and cylinder vacuums being of higher capacity than 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.
Don’t make the mistake of thinking that the best vacuum cleaners all have large capacities! That is not entirely true. Regardless of whether we’re talking about bagged or bagless vacuum cleaners, sizeable capacity doesn’t always translate into better performance. Sure, it might be able to suck up more dust in one go, but if it doesn’t do so efficiently, its capacity is just a (quite literally) empty feature to hike up the price.
The capacity you need from your new vacuum cleaner is directly related to the size of your house or apartment. If you live in a sizeable property and like to clean everything up in one go, then more capacity could make your life a lot easier. If, on the other hand, you live in a one-bedroom flat and it only takes you a couple of minutes to cover its entire surface when vacuuming, you might want to look into some of the smaller, bagless models — a cordless or even a handheld vacuum cleaner are both feasible options.
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.
A lot of people nowadays are inclined to buy models that do away with having to use the cord entirely. It is certainly an option to look into if you hate getting tangled up in cables, or are sick of having to plug in and out of different outlets in order to reach certain parts of the house. In some homes, however, cordless isn’t the best choice to go with. There is the issue of battery life to consider, as well as the fact that cordless models are much less powerful than their counterparts. If you live in a large home with a mix of hard floors and multiple carpets, you should probably be on the lookout for a high-quality cylinder or upright vacuum cleaner, and most of the best ones still come with a cord in 2021.
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.
For example, a floor head that doubles a floor brush is a great attachment to have at the ready if you work with hard floors. On the other hand, you shouldn’t rely on it too much when cleaning carpets — the brush hairs can make sliding the floor head around the carpet a lot more difficult and time-consuming than in the case of a smooth one.
Some of the non-obvious attachments, such as a turbo brush or a rotating brush, could also be valuable additions to your set, as they can increase your device’s cleaning power and make sucking up any deep pile of dust or pet hair much simpler. There are also vacuum cleaner attachments that can help increase the suction, which is especially helpful when you feel that your machine is not performing as well as it used to, but you don’t want to spend too much on a new model.
To bag or not to bag? That is the question. Bagged vacuum cleaners are usually cheaper to buy than their bagless counterparts; 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 the initial purchase.
Some of the best vacuum cleaner models out there are bagged ones. Although you might not be able to find a cordless model that makes use of bags, if you don’t care about cables, you should not cross bagged vacuums out just yet. Because of their decrease in popularity, you may often be able to buy one at a discounted price!
How Do I Properly Use A Vacuum Cleaner?
Most people think that once they get a vacuum cleaner, the suction power and the “on/off” button are the only things they need to be wary of when operating the device. Once you figure out what is the best vacuum cleaner to buy and bring it into your house, you should spend some time learning about your particular model in order to be able to use it properly. Regardless of whether you use a bagged or bagless vacuum cleaner, one with a cable or a device that relies on its battery life, you need to learn how to use it. Don’t just jump into vacuuming. The same goes for attachments. You shouldn’t vacuum a carpet with a brush bar floor head. You should also pay special attention to how you attach certain parts, such as a rotating brush, as their proper functioning may depend on that.
Believe it or not, using these handy cleaning devices is a lot more difficult than you’d imagine. And there is a real technique to it all, as well. Read about the Ten Mistakes You Are Making before you buy a new one, so you can make the most of its benefits from day one.