Best Vacuum Cleaner 2020 – Buyer’s Guide

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 with great cleaning performance. You don’t want it being overwhelmed at the task at hand, or breaking down after just a few months use. But the best vacuum cleaner for you depends on a fair few factors.

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.

The Best Vacuum Cleaners – Our Top Picks

IMAGE PRODUCT DETAILS
Shark DuoClean Powered Lift-Away TruePet AZ910UKT
  • Power: 750W
  • Capacity: 0.99L
  • Cord Length: 8m
  • Weight: 7kg
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Shark DuoClean with Flexology IF200UK
  • Capacity: 0.3L
  • Charge Time: 3.5 hours
  • Run Time: 22 minutes
  • Wall Mounted?: Yes
  • Convertible?: Yes
  • Extra Features: Light bar
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Eufy RoboVac 11S
  • Capacity: 0.6L
  • Charge Time: 5-6 hours
  • Run Time: 1.5 hours
  • Sensor Technology: Drop-sensing technology
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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. You may also need a generous length power cable, and easy to empty dust compartment.

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.

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.

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 it 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.

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 category cleaner full stop.

Many are dedicated at 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.

Vacuum Buying Guide

Power

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.

Noise

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.

Efficiency

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.

Capacity

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.

Cord Length

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.

Attachments

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.

Hoover Bags

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.

How Do I Properly Use A Vacuum Cleaner?

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.