Can clean hard floors and carpet, as well as vacuum
Great for pet hair
Accessories can be expensive
Review Price: £749
Optional crevice, upholstery brush, hose and extension tubes
Optional powered upholstery brush, wet- and dry-floor cleaner, and carpet cleaner
3-litre dust bags
Automatic power mode
What is the Vorwerk Kobold VK200?
Vorwerk is a sizeable vacuum cleaner company, but possibly not one you’ve heard of before. That’s because its cleaners, such as the Vorwerk Kobold VK200, typically only sold via in-home demonstrations.
The reason behind this is two-fold. First, the vacuum has a huge number of accessories available for it, from standard fare such as the crevice tool, up to a carpet dry cleaner and wet-floor mop. I’ve been assured that Vorwerk actively stops people buying accessories that they won’t use or need. Given the price of the system – which starts at £749 and goes up to £1500 – that’s a good thing.
Second, the range of accessories makes the Kobold VK200 a little trickier to use than some vacuum cleaners, so a demonstration is a good way to get an idea of the cleaner’s rather impressive power. That said, some variants of the cleaner are available online, but some accessories remain demonstration-only.
The Kobold VK200 has a distinctive-looking white plastic and green-trimmed body. I quite like it; it looks modern enough without going over the top.
While the VK200 might look like any other upright vacuum cleaner, it’s the attention to detail that really makes this cleaner stand out. For starters, there are two switches to remove the attached accessory: one at the top and one at the bottom. This makes changing accessories really comfortable.
The handle is height-adjustable, so you can line it up comfortably for your height and vacuum without having to bend down. And with the EB400 main brush attached, the vacuum cleaner can stand upright by itself.
Cleverly, when the cleaner is turned on using the switch at the top, locking it into upright position cuts the power. That’s a handy way of being able to respond to someone or to pick up the phone. When not in use, the cleaner can just hang by the hook at its rear.
Take the main accessory off and attach the optional hose, and the VK200 turns into a handheld vacuum, supported by the carrying handle at the front.
That plastic body is strong, too. How strong, you ask? Well, it can take the weight of a fully grown man standing on it. While you shouldn’t do that too often, it demonstrates that the VK200 can take a good deal of punishment.
Vacuum bags slip into the rear of the machine. Having bags can actually be a good thing, since they seal in the dust and stop it escaping. Vorwerk’s bags cost £18 for a pack of six and have a spring door that snaps shut to keep dust from spilling out.
Bags come packed like nappies, and you just clip the new one in and slam the door on the back, with the bag expanding through use. You need a fair amount of welly to open and close the bag door, but don’t be afraid to give it a hard push.
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In the side of the cleaner is a small compartment that takes a little block of sweet-smelling fragrance (Dovian Fragrance Chips, £6 for six) to leave your home smelling fresh after a round of cleaning.
A big shout out to the smart user guide, which pictorially takes you through how to use all of the accessories, complementing the dryer full manual.
Vorwerk Kobold VK200 – Accessories
Vorwerk is the king of accessories. The main EB200 motorised brush will do the job for most of the house and is included in the base price.
Cleverly, it features a sensor that can determine the type of floor it’s on. For hard floors, the head is pushed up, off the floor, and the power jumps up; on carpets, the head moves closer to the floor to allow the brushes to make contact. Suction power is adjusted automatically to suit the floor type, too.
Other accessories are available at a cost; buy the whole lot and you’ll easily end up doubling the base price. The main vacuum and EB200 are available to buy online, as are the majority of nozzles. The specialist cleaning heads can only be bought after organising a demonstration.
The CRV15 crevice tool set (£19) is incredible. As well as being extendable, it’s flexible and has a brush that you can attach. It’s ideal for getting down the back of radiators to really clean them out.
And, you get a funky horseshoe-shaped tool that clamps itself to the wall, collecting dust as you drill holes.
The SD15 soft nozzle (£19) is handy for dusting and brushing. Cleverly, it can be extended, making it either softer or harder.
For more flexible cleaning on stairs, walls or above cupboards, there’s both the ESS200 flexible hose (£50) and the TR15 hard plastic extension tube (£19). If you’d like to use these accessories hands-free, the carry strap (£9) is a good idea, clipping to the eyelets on the VK200’s main body.
For stairs and walls, there’s a FD15 flexo-nozzle (£19). The smaller insert comes out to offer fine control, and even clips together, so you can use it as a crevice nozzle.
From this point, the accessories are available only via demonstration.
There’s a smaller motorised upholstery brush, with which you can direct power into the front, sucking dirt out of those hard-to-reach areas. The motorised part can be removed and clicked into the dual mattress options: the MP440 massages the dry-sanitising agent (Lavenia, £15 for six bags) into place, and the MR440 is used for vacuuming. The MR440 head uses a set of vibrating rubber strips to loosen dirt.
Now, we’re on to the big boys. The VF200 is used to spread the Kobosan Active dry cleaning solution (£25 for five bags) onto your carpets before you vacuum them up.
And, the SP600 is a wet-floor cleaner and vacuum attachment in one, using a cleaning solution (Koboclean, £9 for 500ml) and microfibre cloth to clean hard floors gently. There’s a range of microfibre cloths available for different types of floors: universal, parquet and soft – all available for £29 for a three-pack.
In all, there’s an accessory for every single job that you could want to do.
Vorwerk Kobold VK200 – How noisy is it?
Impressively, the VK200 isn’t particularly loud. Testing from head height, stood next to the vacuum cleaner, I registered the VK200 at 624dB on low power, 72.9dB on medium power and 82.4dB on maximum.
Vorwerk Kobold VK200 – How does it clean carpets and hard floors?
Using the Kobold VK200 is super-easy. While you can manually choose the power, it’s more convenient to stick it on auto, letting the EB400 head adjust its rollers and power automatically. It works brilliantly, too. Moving from hard floor to carpet changes the settings almost instantly.
Importantly, the flexible mounting attachment makes it really easy to vacuum at practically any angle, reaching under sofas and furniture and manoeuvring around furniture easily.
Starting with hard floors, I gave a sweep through a spillage of oats. A larger spec was flicked out of the way, but the remainder was picked up perfectly. And, the loose bits that were moved around were easy to pick up with further sweeps.
Finishing up, I switched to the SP530 Duo Clean with a multi-purpose microfibre cloth on it. Cloths are held onto a plastic plate by both a plastic clip and a velcro.
Effortlessly sliding across the tiles, the VK200 neatly cleaned everything, leaving a slight wet gleam at the end, which dried in a few minutes. Certainly, I achieved better results with less drying time than using a mop.
Once done, you just tap the release switch with your foot and the plate drops off for easy microfibre removal; you just need to wash the cloths at 60ºC.
Moving to carpets, a spillage of flour was picked up right up to the skirting board, with nothing left behind after only a single sweep. That’s impressive cleaning performance on any level.
Using the VF200 carpet freshener, you can actually clean carpets as well as getting the dust and dirt out them. The VF200 is filled with Kobosan Active – a soft, spongy material. You push the vacuum when turned off to spread the Kobosan, before turning the VK200 on to massage it into the carpet. Wait 30 minutes, vacuum off and you should have cleaner carpets.
I tested by scribbling biro onto a bit of test carpet. Following the 30-minute wait time, a quick vacuum lifted out most of the stain. Only on very close inspection could you see where the stain had been – but you wouldn’t notice unless you were looking for it. Vorwerk sells a spot-removal liquid that should deal with more stubborn stains before using the Kobosan.
Vorwerk Kobold VK200 – How does it clean mattresses?
Using the Lavena mattress-cleaning powder, it’s possible to sanitise your mattress. That’s an important job since sweat, dead skin cells and dust mites can inhabit your mattress.
With the Kobold VK200, your mattress should first be vacuumed with the MP440 mattress head, which glided effortlessly across my test mattress. Next, you spread out the Lavena powder, which has a nice lavender scent to it. Finally, you massage the powder into the bed with the PB440, which has a rotating head.
This is a fairly messy job – some of the Lavena powder ended up spread around the floor next to the bed – so hold off vacuuming your room until after the mattress has been cleaned.
Cleverly, since this attachment doesn’t vacuum, the VK200 turns off the suction power, so it’s really quiet to use. After waiting 30 minutes, you can vacuum the powder off, leaving a fresh-smelling clean mattress.
Vorwerk Kobold VK200 – How does it cope with pet hair?
Switching to the P440 electric upholstery brush, I tackled the cat’s bed, which is awash with hairs trapped in the fibres of the blanket. Impressively, the P440 swept across the blanket, pulling out the majority of pet hair without sucking up the cloth and jamming the vacuum cleaner.
A few sweeps later, the bed looked cleaner; I could even see the colour of the original blanket. To be fair, after a lot of use, nothing is ever going to get all of the pet hair out.
The same tool can be used on soft furnishings, with its clever air-flow director letting you direct airflow through the front nozzle. It’s perfect for getting dust out of the edges of cushions and the like.
Vorwerk Kobold VK200 – How easy is it to use on stairs?
Converting the Kobold VK200 to handheld mode, you can hold it by the handle or attach the shoulder strap and wear it as a fetching fashion item. Either way, the VK200 is light enough to carry around.
Cleaning the stairs, the VD15 is the ideal attachment choice. The wider brush copes with most treads well, but you can pull off a smaller brush and even convert it to a crevice tool to get into the edges.
Vorwerk Kobold VK200 – How does it clean other things?
The huge number of accessories means that dust isn’t safe anywhere. With the TR15 telescopic tube, I could quickly clean the tops of cupboards and even vacuum the walls.
The VD15 crevice tool deserves special mention. Its extendable, flexible tips slipped down the back of my radiators, cleaning out all of the dust that’s been accumulating for years. DIY fans will love the picture-hanging attachment, which suctions itself to the wall and sucks in the dust as you drill, for a mess-free finish.
Why buy the Vorwerk Kobold VK200?
If you want the cleaning power and accessories to tackle it all, then the Vorwerk Kobold VK200 is the vacuum cleaner for you. Yes, it isn’t cheap (particularly if you buy a load of the accessories), but you get a five-year warranty for the price, and the cleaners are well known for their longevity.
Cleaning power is excellent, coping with hard floors and carpets automatically, with options to clean as well as vacuum. Plus, the VK200 is thoughtfully designed and easy to manoeuvre, too, making it a pleasure to use.
Still, that price is high enough to put some people off. However, those who take the plunge will end up with a vacuum cleaner that lasts and a house that’s super-clean.
A smart, powerful and well-built vacuum cleaner – the Vorwerk Kobold VK200 can handle any cleaning challenge.