Vacuum cleaners are an essential part of the arsenal of cleaning supplies in most households.
They come in a variety of forms, shapes and sizes, from large industrial-type machines for larger jobs to handheld, battery-operated machines for smaller cleaning tasks.
Vacuum cleaners come in a range of prices as well, from less than £30 to over £500, depending on the type of machine, the brand, the quality of construction and effectiveness, and the technology involved in its manufacture.
Here’s our roundup of the best vacuum cleaners currently available on the market in the UK.
Best Vacuum Cleaners in the UK
1. Numatic HVR200-11 Henry Vacuum Cleaner
Type: Cylinder, corded
Wattage: 580 watts
The cheerful and iconic design of Henry vacuum cleaners makes them one of the most recognisable vacuum cleaners on the market, and they’ve been around since the early 1980s.
But is there more to this Henry vacuum cleaner than a happy smiling face?
This vacuum has some excellent features, such as a high efficiency motor, a TriTex filtration system to improve filtration and cleanliness, and a versatile toolkit.
The HVR200-11 Henry Vacuum Cleaner has an impressive 9-litre capacity which means you can clean for longer without having to stop and empty the contents.
There’s also a 10 m cable so you can reach all areas of your home more easily without having to change plug sockets, and it’s also handy for reaching garages so you can vacuum your car. It’s easy to store too, with a neat and tidy rewind storage system.
This is a reliable, powerful vacuum cleaner that works hard and is suitable for most homes; however those with a bad back might want to give this cylinder vacuum cleaner a miss in favour of an upright model.
2. Miele Complete C3 Cat & Dog PowerLine Cylinder Vacuum Cleaner
The Miele Complete C3 Cat & Dog Powerline Cylinder Vacuum Cleaner is a powerful cylinder cleaner aimed at pet owners and those who suffer from allergies.
The AirClean filter system is one of the best filters around, trapping 99.9% of fine dust from the air, and it also removes pet odours to make the air in your home feel and smell fresh. It’s easy to tell when the filter needs changing thanks to a helpful time strip.
This vacuum cleaner comes with six accessories, and the turbo-brush floor head and mini turbo-brush tools are both extremely effective at removing ground-in pet fur from carpets and furniture.
The bag replacement has been designed with allergy sufferers in mind and doesn’t create too much dust when changed.
Cleaning up larger debris such as spilt cereal isn’t a strong point for this cleaner, however it’s still one of the best vacuum cleaners to buy if you are a pet owner or suffer from allergies.
3. Miele Blizzard CX1 PowerLine Cylinder Vacuum Cleaner
Type: Cylinder, corded
Wattage: 890 watts
This Miele vacuum cleaner has a ton of features that will help you keep all your floors dust and dirt free.
Let’s start with the EcoTeQ head. This is specially designed for this vacuum cleaner and offers way more suction than a typical vacuum cleaner head.
Combine this with the 890-watt motor, and you have all the suction power you’ll ever need.
There is also the ComfortClean feature. On most other vacuum cleaners, you need to clean the filters to keep the vacuum working correctly. But the ComfortClean feature ensures the filters stay clean all the time.
There are sensors on the filters that let the vacuum cleaner know that they need cleaning, and then the vacuum does all of the hard work for you. So, you can clean your home while the vacuum cleaner cleans the filters.
There is much more to love about this Miele vacuum cleaner, but one of the most impressive features is that it has been lab-tested for the equivalent of 20 years.
So, while this vacuum cleaner is more expensive than most, it offers 20 years of use, exceptional build quality and all the powerful features you need to make cleaning easy.
4. BLACK+DECKER PV1820LGB 18 V Lithium-Ion Compact Pivot Vacuum
If you already have a large vacuum cleaner and would like a smaller handheld vacuum for the small jobs, this cordless Black and Decker vacuum is a fan favourite.
The flat nozzle allows you to easily reach under lower furniture and can be pivoted up to 200 degrees.
So, you can clean under the sofa, high up on bookshelves and effortlessly clean the skirting boards just by changing the position of the nozzle.
This is powered by an 18-volt battery that can provide 10 minutes of very powerful suction. So, while this vacuum cleaner certainly has extremely impressive suction for its size, it is only designed for smaller jobs around the home.
However, if you already have a larger vacuum cleaner, this handheld one has plenty of features to further your cleaning ability.
5. Shark Cordless Stick Vacuum Cleaner IZ201UKT
Type: Stick, cordless
Wattage: 450 watts
I am a big fan of Shark vacuum cleaners. Having owned a Shark vacuum for several years and having a Labrador to clean up after, I can say that Shark makes really good quality vacuum cleaners at fantastic prices.
Unlike many other cordless vacuum cleaners, this one has some surprising power. Most users note that after the first use, their carpets look brand new, even when they have pets.
This vacuum also has a very impressive battery life of 40 minutes in the energy-saving mode. Plus, the battery is removable, and batteries for this vacuum are also available to buy separately.
Every part of this vacuum cleaner from Shark has been designed with practicality in mind.
From the flexible hose to allow you to easily reach under furniture to the powerful Duo Brush head that ensures your carpets look amazing for longer. You’ll love every feature this vacuum cleaner offers.
6. Shark Anti Hair Wrap HZ500UK Bagless Vacuum Cleaner
Now, if cordless vacuum cleaners aren’t your thing; you’d prefer a vacuum cleaner that can run endlessly, this model from Shark may be up your street.
This is very similar to the cordless model we showed above but has a 10-metre-long power cord instead of a battery.
The 10-metre power cord means you won’t need to keep changing plug sockets as you clean.
In fact, depending on the size of your home, you’ll likely be able to use one central plug socket downstairs and one upstairs.
This vacuum cleaner also has the amazing DuoClean Brush head. This draws in all debris and hair from all types of floors and means you don’t need to swap settings when moving from hard floors to carpets.
The vacuum cleaner just works everywhere. It is powerful, practical and precise, perfect for any home, but pet owners love this vacuum as it makes light work of getting rid of pet hair from carpets.
7. Gtech AirRam MK2 Cordless Vacuum Cleaner
Type: Upright, cordless
The Gtech AirRam MK2 is a cordless stick vacuum cleaner that’s simple and lightweight to use.
It has an impressive running time of 40 minutes if charged for 4 hours, and a 1-hour short charge can top this up further. If you’re in the middle of cleaning and wonder how much charge is left in the battery, you can simply check the handy 4-stage LED.
It works just as well on hard floors as carpets, and you don’t need to change any settings between different surfaces.
This vacuum cleaner is cheaper than a lot of cordless models, however unlike some cordless models you can’t convert it into a handheld cleaner for sofas etc., and it’s only really suitable for use on floors.
This vacuum cleaner has been designed to reach into hard to clean areas, and it does this particularly well. It’s also an easy vacuum cleaner to store.
One area which lets this vacuum cleaner down is cleaning pet hair, which can remain stuck in the carpet – so you may wish to look at other models if you’re a pet owner.
8. Shark TruePet Cordless Handheld Vacuum Cleaner WV200UK
Lightweight and powerful handheld vacuum cleaners such as this are really handy for loads of tasks.
You can use them to keep your car looking great, even after a long trip with the kids or a messy dog walk.
Or you can use a vacuum cleaner like this when you spill something in the kitchen. Handheld vacuum cleaners are a great choice.
Instead of needing to drag the big vacuum cleaner out of the cupboard you store it in, find a plug socket, unwind the power cord and use it for one minute, you can simply grab the handheld one and get to work. And you certainly can get to the work with the powerful suction that this Shark vacuum cleaner offers.
It only has 8 minutes of run-time on a single charge, but it has some of the best suction of any compact and lightweight handheld vacuum cleaner on the market.
It is only 600 grams in weight but offers some of the most powerful suction in a very small package. You’ll be grabbing this vacuum cleaner all the time for the small, quick jobs.
9. Vax Air Stretch Upright Vacuum Cleaner
With over 70 miles per hour of airflow and a 17-metre reach, this vacuum cleaner is extremely powerful and handy.
The cyclone design ensures that there is no loss of suction during use, and it collects and filters the air very efficiently.
The spiral brushes also ensure that all dirt and hair are captured, even if it is deep in the pile of the carpet.
This hose can be removed from this upright vacuum cleaner to help with vacuuming the stairs and many other spaces.
The impressively long hose (as well as the long power cord) has been designed to allow you to vacuum the stairs without needing to balance the vacuum cleaner on the stairs too.
Despite it only being 5 kg in weight, the extra-long hose and power cord are a lovely touch for those that don’t want to keep lifting the vacuum cleaning during use.
With a nicely sized collection bin, incredible suction, well-designed brush head, long hose and power cord, as well as the included attachments, Vax has made one of our favourite cleaners ever here.
10. Dyson V8 Absolute Cordless Vacuum Cleaner
The Dyson V8 belongs to Dyson’s premium range of vacuum cleaners. It’s more expensive to buy than the Dyson V6 and V7 models, but it does come with more accessories and tools, and perhaps more importantly boasts a longer run time of around 40 minutes.
Advanced features also include a battery-life indicator, an easy-to-use hygienic dust-ejector, and the Quiet Mark stamp of approval – perfect if you need to use it once the kids are in bed!
The new bin-emptying feature is a real bonus for allergy sufferers, with a silicone collar that pushes out dust and debris, resulting in less contact with the dust.
Pet hair and ground-in dirt and debris can be removed easily using the mini-motorised tool.
This vacuum can also be quickly converted into a handheld version for cleaning cars, hard to reach spaces and furniture.
The only real disadvantage of this vacuum cleaner, apart from the high price, is that the battery power doesn’t last very long when using the turbo mode.
How to Choose a Vacuum Cleaner
Let’s face it. It’s the job that nobody wants to do. You find yourself reaching for the vacuum cleaner more often than you’d like. However, not many people think about whether their current machine is doing the job efficiently.
As there are so many options out there, it can be difficult to narrow it down to what suits you and your home, so here’s a list of things you must know before making your final decision.
Things to think about before making your purchase
What kind of floors are fitted in your house? Hardwood, carpets, tiles..?
It’s important to choose a vacuum cleaner to suit the kind of surface(s) you will be working with. If you have lots of different flooring in your house then that’s fine too, you’ll need something that works with everything.
Do you have children and/or pets?
Think about how often you are currently having to vacuum as this will be an important factor in deciding which to go for. If you have children or own a pet like a cat or a dog, you know you’re going to be hoovering every inch of the house on a regular basis, so keep that in mind!
Does anyone in your home have any allergies eg. Asthma?
If someone in your family home suffers from asthma, you may need to consider the type of filter that the vacuum has but we’ll talk a bit more about this later.
Vacuum cleaners for homes with tiles or hardwood floors
It’s easy to assume that homes featuring only hardwood floors only need a good sweep. No vacuum necessary but it’s super important that you do own a vacuum cleaner—even if it’s used less than someone who owns only carpet.
As you may not be using it so frequently, I’d suggest going for something that’s very compact and therefore easy to store out of site when it isn’t being used. I’d suggest going for a barrel vacuum. They are not only small but also lightweight- it’s a win win!
Vacuum cleaners for homes with carpet floors
When it comes to cleaning carpets, one of the most important things to think about is the suction power of the vacuum you’re pondering over. Unlike a hard floor, your carpet hides a lot of the dirt so you want to ensure that your carpet is getting the deep-clean that it needs. A regular vacuum just won’t cut it.
A great choice would be to go for an upright vacuum that has cyclonic technology which essentially means that it works to separate dirt from air and prevents clogging to ensure excellent suction power, even while the bin is starting to fill up!
Vacuum cleaners for homes with children and/or pets
Cleaning a home full of pet hair and “kids making memories” can be extremely tiresome. Although it’s important to suggest that you still take into consideration the type of flooring you have; I’d suggest on top of that, you also have a handheld or stick vacuum in order to clean furniture like sofas and cushions quickly and more efficiently without the struggle of lifting a heavy up-right machine.
Although it’s costly to purchase two different vacuums, you’ll get that back in time spent cleaning and the amount of times you need to do it – you’re welcome!
Vacuum cleaners for homes with allergy sufferers
If you or a member of your family suffers from allergies or asthma, something that’s important to think about is the type of filter said vacuum has. Your standard filter releases dust particles into the air which will act as an irritant to those who suffer with things like asthma.
You should be keeping your eyes peeled for something which has a HEPA filter as these type of filters “removes and traps nearly all dust particles and pollutants”. One such vacuum cleaner is the Duronic VC7 Bagless Upright Handheld Stick Vac, which is a small and affordable vacuum cleaner that will help remove dust from the air.
What about Watts?
The number of watts a vacuum has tells you how much power goes into the vacuum so in theory this should mean a better suction power the higher the watts but there are other things that contribute towards a good suction power so be sure to ask about this when speaking to a sales member!
To bag or not to bag?
This is the kind of thing that’s always up for debate but luckily it doesn’t matter whether you decide to choose a vacuum that has bags or not as they still offer the same cleaning power.
Weigh up whether you want to be purchasing bags or not, also take allergies into consideration.
Although bag-less vacuums are more convenient, if someone in the family has any allergies your best bet is to go for a bag as they are more hygienic. It’s all down to preference!
If you have any other queries, you can leave a comment below or talk to a professional in a shop on the day of your purchase as they will be able to choose something specific to everything you need.
Hopefully now you will feel more confident in asking around and will know exactly what it is that you need.
Vacuum Cleaner FAQs
While vacuum cleaners are quite common, many people don’t fully understand how they work and what many of the benefits and risks are.
Since vacuum cleaners are an important part of most households’ cleaning regimen, it’s important to know how the vacuum cleaner you choose affects your health, your home, and your wallet.
Read on to learn the answers to some frequently asked questions about vacuum cleaners.
Are vacuum cleaners bad for your health?
Most people use vacuum cleaners to rid their homes of dirt and dust that may cause allergies or illness for themselves and their families.
However, it’s important to realize that under certain conditions, some vacuum cleaners can actually make matters worse by releasing dirt, dust, and allergens into the air.
It comes as no surprise that newer, more expensive models tend to be better at trapping such problematic materials within the filter, so keep this in mind when selecting a vacuum cleaner to purchase.
If you or someone in your family is sensitive to dust or other common household allergens, you might want to avoid purchasing a lower-end model that will cause dust to be released into the air rather than trapped within the filter.
Models that use HEPA filters are especially good at trapping dirt, dust, and allergens.
If you have an older vacuum cleaner or a lower-end model, regular cleanings, filter changes, and bag changes (or emptying of the receptacle in bagless models) will help reduce the amount of dirt, dust, and allergens released into the air.
Keep in mind that with bagless models, the debris trapped in the receptacle tends to become dislodged and may be released into the air when emptying it into the trash, so they may not be the best choice if you or someone in your family is highly allergic to household allergens such as dust.
Do vacuum cleaners cause cancer?
If you have shopped for a vacuum cleaner recently, you may have noticed that some models come with a warning sticker stating that they may contain hazardous materials that have been known to cause cancer.
Usually, the materials used to make vacuum cleaners are safe, but some models do have traces of lead or petroleum byproducts. This may cause serious concern for some, as these materials have been linked with serious illness including cancer.
While the levels used to manufacture the machines are typically very low, there is no guarantee, and it’s often impossible to know just how much exposure you’re getting while using the vacuum cleaner.
If you find yourself feeling wary of such chemicals, it may be helpful to research brands and models that use materials that you are more comfortable introducing into your home.
Can vacuum cleaners cause hearing loss?
The risk to your hearing will vary with the type of machine you use. Some vacuum cleaners produce more noise than others.
Prolonged exposure to noise levels above 85 decibels has been shown to affect hearing. Some vacuum cleaners will reach this level, and should be used only for short periods of time, unless proper personal protective devices such as ear plugs are worn, to reduce the harm done to your hearing.
Some household vacuum cleaners are much quieter to the point that you can barely hear them, such as self-operated roaming models that are designed to clean with minimal disruption to your routine.
The best way to know if a vacuum cleaner will harm your ears is to test it out before buying it. If you notice that you have to shout over the vacuum cleaner, it is probably too loud to use for prolonged periods of time.
Can vacuum cleaners overheat?
Some vacuum cleaners may begin to overheat with age or excessive use. Usually this is due to poor airflow, which can be caused by a variety of different things such as buildup of dirt and dust, a clogged hose or filter, or wear-and-tear on the motor.
Many modern vacuum cleaners come equipped with a thermal shut-off in case the machine begins to overheat. Older models, however, may not have this safety feature.
This is important to keep in mind if your vacuum cleaner is aging and has not been kept particularly clean.
The best way to prevent your vacuum cleaner from overheating is to keep it clean and perform regular filter changes, as well as replacing the bag when it becomes too full, or regularly emptying the receptacle on bagless models.
If your machine has a thermal shut-off feature and automatically turns off due to overheating, it will take a few hours for the machine to cool properly and to turn back on.
Do vacuum cleaners use a lot of electricity?
Some vacuum cleaners are more energy-efficient than others. The energy efficiency of the machine will depend on a variety of factors, including its size, its intended purpose, and its age.
As with other appliances, an easy way to determine whether a vacuum cleaner is energy efficient is to look for an Energy Star rating, which are typically advertised on the box, since this is a desirable quality for most households.
As a general rule, bagless models are more energy efficient than traditional models that use waste bags.
After considering these five frequently asked questions, you are now well-equipped to choose the right vacuum cleaner.
With this information in mind, you will be sure to choose the model that best suits your health, household, and financial needs.
If we had to pick just one vacuum cleaner to recommend for most households, it would be the Numatic HVR200-11 Henry Vacuum Cleaner. It’s a powerful and reliable vacuum cleaner with a long power cord, allowing you to hoover every corner in the house. The cylinder design also makes it a good choice for tackling the stairs.
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