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The Hoover HL4 Pet is another quality upright vacuum cleaner from the company. It takes the main technology of the larger HL5, including an Anti-Twist floor head that won’t get tangled with hair, and a lift-out cylinder and puts it into a slightly smaller, lighter and cheaper package. Cleaning ability is very good, although you only get two tools in the box, which is a little limited.


  • Good value
  • High suction power
  • Easy to move around


  • Limited accessories

Key Features

  • TypeThis is an plug-in upright vacuum cleaner, which has a removable cylinder for easier cleaning on stairs, cars and so on.
  • PowerI measured this vacuum at a powerful 243AW, which means it’s quick to use handhelds tools and sucks dirt off the floor quickly on a single pass.


Hoover continues to revamp its upright line of plug-in vacuum cleaners with this new addition. I’ve got the Hoover HL4 Pet edition on review, although there’s also a standard edition that doesn’t have the mini pet tool with it.

Light, easy to use and powerful, this is a good standard upright vacuum cleaner, although it would have been nice if the floor head could be used when the cylinder is removed

Design and features

  • Lift-off cylinder
  • Only a crevice tool and a pet tool are in the box
  • Anti-Twist floor brush

The Hoover HL4 Pet is similar to the HL5 Pet that I reviewed recently. Both look similar from the outside, but the HL4 Pet is a touch smaller and touch less powerful, although that won’t make much difference in day-to-day use.

This version of the vacuum cleaner comes with a pet tool, which is useful for pet beds, sofas and other soft furnishings, alongside a crevice tool. There’s also a standard version of the HL4, which comes with a crevice tool only.

Hoover HL4 Pet accessories
Image Credit (Trusted Reviews)

There’s normally a £20 a difference between the two models. Aside from tools and colours, both versions of the HL4 are the same.

As with the HL5, the HL4 comes with one of Hoover’s Anti-Twist floor heads, which uses bristles arranged in a V-shape to prevent hair from wrapping around them. It’s good to see, as cutting tangled hair out of a floor brush is never fun.

Hoover HL4 Pet floor head
Image Credit (Trusted Reviews)

This vacuum cleaner is very simple to use. There’s a single rocket switch, which turns the vacuum cleaner on and off, choosing either carpet or hard floor mode. There’s no difference in the suction power, just the speed at which the floor brush moves.

Hoover HL4 Pet power switch
Image Credit (Trusted Reviews)

If you find there’s too much suction, the wand has a vent that can be used to reduce suction power.

Hoover HL4 Pet air vent
Image Credit (Trusted Reviews)

In its regular mode, you just tilt the vacuum cleaner back and start pushing it around. At 5kg, this vacuum cleaner’s not particularly heavy, and I found it easy to move around, as it’s well balanced. There are also a couple of LED headlights in the floor head that highlight dark areas.

Hoover HL4 Pet lights
Image Credit (Trusted Reviews)

For spot cleaning, the hose or hose and wand can be removed, taking either of the attachments on the end. With the wand attached, there’s room to reach up high, and clean around the ceiling; with just the 2m hose, there’s enough reach and manoeuvrability to clean close-up, such as around sofa cushions.

Hoover HL4 Pet cleaning up high
Image Credit (Trusted Reviews)

The entire cylinder can also be removed via the foot switch on the bottom. With the floor head removed, the cylinder is easier to carry around for cleaning in the car or on stairs.

Hoover HL4 Pet with cylinder removed
Image Credit (Trusted Reviews)

It is a shame that the floor head can’t be used in this mode, for getting right under sofas. Only Shark’s vacuum cleaners, such as the NZ860UKT, can do this with their Powered Lift-Away mode.

There’s a 1.2-litre bin on this model, which is big enough to take a full load of dirt from an average house clean. The bin lifts fully out, with a button to open the lower flap to ditch the dirt. I could also open the top to clean out the bin.

Hoover HL4 Pet bin
Image Credit (Trusted Reviews)

There are two filters in this vacuum cleaner. There’s one underneath the bin, which can be removed and washed.

Hoover HL4 Pet filter
Image Credit (Trusted Reviews)

There’s a secondary post-motor HEPA filter, which can also be removed and washed. Cleaning filters is a job that should be done regularly to keep suction at maximum power.

Hoover HL4 Pet HEPA filter
Image Credit (Trusted Reviews)


  • Strong suction
  • Excellent cleaning on all surfaces

To test the Hoover HL4 Pet, I first measured its suction power in AirWatts (AW). At the handle, the vacuum cleaner returned a result of 243AW, which is only a little behind the Shark NZ860UKT.

Hoover HL4 performance graphPerformance comparison bar chart of Hoover and Shark vacuum cleaners.
Image Credit (Trusted Reviews)

This power level is particularly useful when using the crevice tool, as more suction means you can pick up more and from a great distance. Measuring suction distance, I found that this vacuum cleaner could remove rice grains from a distance of 3cm – that shows its power for sucking up spills around the kitchen or getting dirt out of those hard-to-reach areas in cars.

Hoover HL4 Pet rice suction test before
Image Credit (Trusted Reviews)
Hoover HL4 Pet rice suction test after
Image Credit (Trusted Reviews)

Next, I went for my standard carpet test, sprinkling 20g of flour onto the carpet. Giving the cleaner a pass forwards and back through the flour, it left a clean strip in the middle, although pick-up towards the edge of the head wasn’t as good.

Hoover HL4 Pet carpet test dirty
Image Credit (Trusted Reviews)
Hoover HL4 Pet carpet test clean
Image Credit (Trusted Reviews)

Giving a few swipes over the mess until the carpet looked clean, I found that it had collected 97.35% of the mess; the rest will be around the floor head or in the hose. Still, that’s an excellent result that puts this vacuum cleaner near the top of the table.

Hoover HL4 Pet carpet test fully clean
Image Credit (Trusted Reviews)

Next, I moved on to the tough edge test, sprinkling 10g of flour on the skirting board. Running the Hoover HL4 along the skirting, it cleaned very well, leaving just a trace of a mess behind, which I tackled with the crevice tool. Overall, this saw 97% of the dust collected into the bin.

Hoover HL4 Pet edge test dirty
Image Credit (Trusted Reviews)
Hoover HL4 Pet edge test clean
Image Credit (Trusted Reviews)

I then sprinkled 20g of rice onto a hard floor, and then let the Hoover HL4 Pet pick up the mess. No rice grains dropped back out and the vacuum cleaner managed 100% collection.

Hoover HL4 Pet hard floor test dirty
Image Credit (Trusted Reviews)

Moving on to my pet hair test, I combed cat hair into the carpet. Here, the Hoover HL4 Pet was able to remove everything.

Hoover HL4 Pet pet hair test dirty
Image Credit (Trusted Reviews)
Hoover HL4 Pet pet hair test clean
Image Credit (Trusted Reviews)

To test out the Anti-Twist capability, I dropped strands of long human hair onto the floor. Here, the vacuum picked them all up, with just one errant hair remaining after I switched the cleaner off; this disappeared with further use.

Hoover HL4 Pet human hair test dirty
Hoover HL4 Pet human hair test underneath of roller

At 71.3dB, the Hoover HL4 Pet is relatively quiet; obviously, it’s still a loud device, but I didn’t find the sound too intrusive.

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Should you buy it?

You want a well priced vacuum that cleans well

A little cheaper than its big brother, the HL4 has decent suction power and works well on all surfaces.

You want more flexibility

With only two accessories in the box, some cleaners have a wider variety of tools for dusting and more.

Final Thoughts

A little cheaper than the Hoover HL5 Pet, the HL4 Pet is a touch less powerful, although you wouldn’t know it from its cleaning results. Excellent pick-up on all surfaces make it a great cleaner, and it’s flexible, too.

The Shark Stratos NZ860UKT is a little more powerful and its Powered Lift-Away mode makes it more flexible, but it’s a lot more expensive. Alternatively, check out my guide to the best vacuum cleaners for some alternatives.

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How we test

We test every vacuum cleaner we review thoroughly over an extended period of time. We use industry standard tests to compare features properly. We’ll always tell you what we find. We never, ever, accept money to review a product.

Find out more about how we test in our ethics policy.

Used as our main vacuum cleaner for the review period

Tested for at least a week

Tested using tools to measure actual suction performance

Tested with real-world dirt in real-world situations for fair comparisons with other vacuum cleaners


What accessories does the Hoover HL4 Pet come with?

This model has a crevice tool and a mini pet brush.

Can you use the floor head when the cylinder is removed?

No, you can only use the manual tools.

Trusted Reviews test data

AirWatts (high)
Sound (high)

Full specs

Size (Dimensions)
Release Date
First Reviewed Date
Model Number
Vacuum cleaner type
Provided heads
Bin capacity
Run time

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