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14 Best Vacuum Cleaners You Can Buy

Andy Vandervell


A good vacuum cleaner can make an arduous task a bearable one. Our Best Vacuum Cleaner Round-up has every type covered, including bagged machines, bagless models, cordless vacuums, cylinder vacuums and uprights.

Several brands are included in our round-up, including Miele, Shark, Dyson and Vax. All the models in our round-up have been tested by our expert husband and wife reviewing team, Richard and Jackie Stevenson.

The round-up includes summaries of their full reviews, but you can click the read more link on each to read the full review and see before and after photos from each machine.

Hit the Next arrow above or click here to start the list now, or read on for more advice and information on which type you should buy, how we test and a summary of the best vacuum cleaners we’ve tested.

Watch: First look at Dyson's new robot vacuum cleaner, the 360 Eye

What's the best type of vacuum cleaner?

There are two key choices to make here. First, you need to choose between bagged and bagless vacuum cleaners; secondly, are you better off with an upright or a cylinder vacuum cleaner? We’ll get to those in a moment.

But there’s one further option – cordless vacuum cleaners. They’re a new trend in vacuum cleaners. Most aren’t as powerful as corded vacuum cleaners, but they make up for that with versatility and simplicity. Ridding yourself of the cable makes spot cleans much easier, so they’re a great alternative if you already have a decent corded vacuum cleaner for tougher jobs.

This week's best vacuum cleaner deals

Miele Complete C3 Cat & Dog Powerline at Amazon.co.uk | Was £250 | Now £224

Vax Air Cordless Lift U85-ACLG-B at Amazon.co.uk | Was £300 | Now £199

Miele Complete C3 Total Solution Allergy PowerLine at Amazon.co.uk | Was £300 | Now £239.99

Dyson V8 Absolute at Amazon.co.uk | Was £529.99 | Now £454

Vax Air Cordless Lift U85-ACLG-B at Amazon.com | Was $299 | Now $249.99

Dyson V6 Fluffy at Amazon.com | Was $419 | Now $376

Dyson V8 Absolute at Amazon.com | Was $817 | Now $599

Bagged vs Bagless – Which is best?

Dyson popularised bagless vacuum cleaners, but there are clear advantages and disadvantages to both types. The main benefit of a bagless vacuum cleaner is no loss of suction, or at least a smaller reduction, as your cleaner fills up. Performance varies from brand to brand, depending on the quality of their systems, but that’s the key selling point.

The problem with bagless vacuum cleaners is that they can send dust back into your room when emptied unless you’re very careful. That’s where bagged vacuum cleaners are best, particularly the self-sealing kind used by the likes of Miele. A bagged vacuum cleaner is a better option if you’re an allergy sufferer.

Another advantage of bagless vacuum cleaners is that you don’t have to buy bags, saving some money in the long run. However, most bagless cleaners need to have their filters cleaned once a month or so, which means leaving them to dry for at least 24 hours. The only exception are some new Dysons, which are among the first to have no filter whatsoever.

Upright vs Cylinder Vacuum Cleaners

Whether you choose an upright or a cylinder vacuum cleaner largely comes down to the style of cleaner you prefer. Cylinder cleaners are normally easier to store, but pulling them around can become annoying. They’re not the best for people with bad backs, either, due to you having to bend down often to pick them up.

A good upright will breeze around your floors with ease, and they normally have wider cleaning heads that cover a larger area in one sweep. It can be tricky to get under furniture with an upright, but some are designed to avoid this problem.

If you’re unsure, see if you can try some out first.

How we test vacuum cleaners

Every vacuum cleaner in our round-up has been individually reviewed – each summary includes a link to our full, in-depth review of the product where you can read about the pros and cons, and see how well it cleans in our before-and-after photos.

When we review vacuum cleaners we look at the following things:

Manoeuvrability –Here we look at how easy it is to steer, pull and lift the machine. We test on carpets and hard floors and look for problems such as overbalancing on upright machines, flexibility and common issues like “sticking” heads on hard floors due to poorly designed cleaner heads.

Carpet cleaning – We test using white powder on dark carpets and include before-and-after photos of carpet cleaning after three sweeps, where one sweep is up and down across the area.

Edge cleaning – Our carpet test also includes how well the machine cleans up to the edge of skirting boards before you have to resort to specialist crevice tools.

Hard floor cleaning – We conduct similar tests on hard floors and look at how well the vacuum cleaner sucks dust up from crevices and gaps in flooring.

Pet hair cleaning – We test how long and how many sweeps it takes to clean a 40cm-diameter circle of combed-in pet hair.

Cleaning on stairs – We see how easy it is to clean on stairs using the tools provided. We pay particular attention to how long the detachable hose is and how easy it is to carry the vacuum cleaner if you need to.

Noise – We measure how noisy the machine is in decibels recorded at head level.

We also check to see what accessories are included, how well they work and how versatile the machine is. For example, some vacuum cleaners are good at specific jobs or have small capacities that mean they're only suitable for smaller homes, while others have lots of tools that make them suitable for a variety of jobs.

Other details we check are the cord length on corded vacuum cleaners, the battery life on cordless models and how easy it is to empty bagless models.


December 8, 2014, 3:15 pm

Bought a Dyson Ball and found it to suck well, but the ball idea is daft. Harder to manoeuvre and the handle felt flimsy and flexed too much trying to steer the thing. The little wheels at the back that hold it upright whilst not in use are a pain to use too. Go for a no-ball Dyson. Much better.

Prem Desai

December 8, 2014, 5:25 pm

I have a real issue with bagless vacuum cleaners.

People are suckers when it comes to saving pennies - usually spending several pounds extra and getting an inferior product (plasma vs LCD TVs?).

- Vacuum cleaner bags cost less than £10 a year (do your sums)
- Bagless vacuums have a smaller capacity and have to be emptied after EVERY use.
- Bagless vacuums are a joke when emptying - all the HEPA allergy stuff goes out of the window because of the mess it makes.
- Bagless vacuums have washable filters. You cannot use your machine whilst they are drying (takes almost a day).


December 8, 2014, 7:29 pm

I'm still getting over the awful Dyson dc 25 very similar to the animal one which is without doubt the worst piece of badly made rubbish i have ever had the misfortune to buy, I could tell you all the ways it has gone wrong but it would turn into a book.

If I meet doctor WHO i would travel back in time to the day in currys i bought it and kick my past self really hard in the nuts as he was about to buy it!


December 9, 2014, 11:08 am

Yep, I'll never go back to Dyson. I bought a Miele about 7 years ago, not one thing has broken on it, even the clip that you attach the pole too is still fine. The tube is in perfect condition, (not sure what they make it out of, it's indestructible) And it still sucks as hard as when it was new. And yet it's still nice and light, for doing the stairs etc, I hated the Dyson for doing the stairs grrr.. I've a feeling when it comes to vacuum cleaners TR are scoring based on the geekeness, rather than the usefulness here. I suppose it is a Tech site, but still..


January 20, 2015, 11:15 pm

Problem with any review is that is conducted over a short timespan, not tested over a few years like and owner will.

Look at the Amazon reviews for the DC25 - 742 reviews at an average of 4.5*s. Tesco's is 4.7/5 from 2,701 reviews and Revoo is 9.9/10 from 1,873. That must be a lot of people leaving reviews at the initial satisfaction stage unless your experiences aren't the norm...


January 21, 2015, 9:00 am

Have a Dyson Animal Cylinder vac, which is around 7 years old. Still does a great job and nothing has broken yet... The Miele vacuums have also been praised on reviews and ratings, maybe try one when the Dyson fails.

Florence Kate

February 22, 2015, 10:35 pm

i personally like mile vacuum because i am using it and i am very satisfy with its performance and quality.

Vacuum Companion

April 16, 2015, 9:55 pm

Some nice picks you got here, especially the Miele Complete C3 Cat & Dog. It's definitely one of our favorites. Perfect for homes with lots of carpet and hardwood flooring.

Cleaning Stuff

May 13, 2015, 3:33 pm

Totally agree. Just go with the vacuums that come with reusable/washable bags.

Home Floor Experts

May 14, 2015, 5:43 pm

The C3 Cat & Dog is a fantastic vacuum indeed. Been testing it out for a while now and it hasn't disappointed.

andrea taylor

June 24, 2015, 5:32 pm

I bought a henry and its great for hard floors but so hard for carpets...I find it impossible on carpets even with the vents on the handle open and on low power...they she make an attachment available for carpets....would I buy another ...NO......


June 27, 2015, 8:31 pm

The Henry is only suitable for small apartments etc., it is completely useless for larger areas - the stupid thing keeps falling over and/or is so light that it easily gets stuck behind ever the slightest objects in the way!
The Dyson is a very heavy cumbersome machine that needs more cleaning than a many other vacuums and not particularly efficient either. Too slow for large areas.
The vacuums that use bags are far more efficient, far cleaner and lighter to handle and are energy and time saving.


June 29, 2015, 6:15 pm

I have used Henry's for years and have never had any problem. It is a basic and very straightforward vacuum cleaner. I wouldn't use any other vacuum cleaner.


June 29, 2015, 6:17 pm

I just empty the bag I have in my Henry every couple of months. You have to pull some stuff out over the bin, but I have never needed to buy disposable bags, which is better for the environment and better for my wallet.

charles jaggers

July 4, 2015, 9:20 am

Dysons do the job for me had them since they first came out.

charles jaggers

July 4, 2015, 9:23 am

not true had dysons for many years.twenty at least.The best and most advanced product on the market.


July 5, 2015, 6:30 am

It's certainly not about watts. I still use an Electrolux 502 daily, it was made in 1979 and has a 450 watt motor. It's the best vacuum cleaner I've ever had - it was probably the best vacuum you could buy throughout the 80's. The point of a vacuum is to keep your carpets clean by lifting and beating the pile not to extract every microbe from every corner of our planet - its one of the reasons allergies are on the rise, not because we don't remove microscopic particles from our floors, but exactly because we DO. My main vac is the Miele S7 upright - had it years and like my other Miele appliances, totally faultless - shame it didn't really take off here


July 5, 2015, 6:36 am

Yet you've had to have a few of them I suspect. Dyson did well by showing us the dirt circling around and everyone fell for it. 'look how good it is you can see the dust' - well when I pop a new bag in my 36 year old Electrolux and run it for 20 seconds and then peer in the bag, lo and behold - lots of dust. Dyson's are overpriced and incredibly flimsy machines. My mum also raves about Dyson's but neglects the fact she's had to have 6-7 of them. No wonder James Dyson is a rich man

charles jaggers

July 5, 2015, 9:16 am

No wonder other companies are enviously trying to bad mouth Dyson they are so good I have had two in 20 years still working perfectly Are these reviews genuine notice I was attacked straight away

charles jaggers

July 5, 2015, 9:19 am

Dysons are my favourite I have had two in twenty years very very reliable

Cleaning Stuff

July 5, 2015, 3:25 pm

Did you see me say/write anything against Dyson as a brand? I was just going for the idea that a reusable bag is the best thing to do for the health of our ecology and planet. Reduce, Reuse, Recycle.


July 10, 2015, 1:30 pm

SEBO for me every time. Miele are good but SEBO are better. Far more durable and better user-centric design. I even use my 8 year old SEBO Felix outside to chop the heads off weeds on the concrete slabs! I even made a video of it on YouTube.

Jon samuels

July 10, 2015, 9:13 pm

I'm henry HVR henry HVR I am, I'm the best of the rest, who leads where others follow....


July 11, 2015, 12:41 am

Miele are the best. I have one in the garage for dirty work and is still sucking strong after 20 years. I bought a new one when we moved house last year. Lovely bit of kit. Well built, sucks like mad, light to manoeuvre and quiet. The rotatory brush in the head works well. I've had Dysons and they are way over-rated. The Dysons we've had have fallen apart after 2 years, had very little suck and the prices are ridiculous. The Miele is about half the price, sucks like mad and lasts for years. Dysons are a plastic gimmick and beats me why people are conned into paying so much for one. I had to change the broken drive belts. Just simple rubber bands with no reinforcement. The first would always jamb and burn through so I used to get through all 2 spare bands at once, and these were 5 GBP about 15 years ago. Awful rubbish.


July 11, 2015, 12:46 am

Ours is a 2.2 kW. Fantastic machine and much better priced that a lot of the competition. BTW, check the price at Amazon using Camaliser. I got mine at a knock-down price of 180 GBP for the day.

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