Adding an additional HEPA filter, the Numatic Henry Allergy HVA160 ensures that dirt is locked away, making it a great choice for homes with allergy sufferers. Otherwise, this is a regular Henry vacuum cleaner: a solid, reliable and powerful cleaner that does well across all floor types. It’s a little untidy to store and can be hard to push on some surfaces, but these are minor complaints about an otherwise well-priced vacuum cleaner.
- Extra filtration
- Lots of power
- Cleans brilliantly
- A little untidy to store
- Can be hard to push floor head on some surfaces
- TypeThis is a plug-in cylinder vacuum cleaner that collects dirt in bags
- ReachThe 10m power cable will enable you to clean a wide area without having to swap power outlets often
The Henry range is beloved for good reason: the vacuum cleaners are powerful, simple to use and deliver a huge amount of power.
The Henry Allergy HVA160 adds boosted HEPA filtration to the mix, preventing any harmful particles from escaping into the wild. If you have a home with allergy sufferers, then it’s an excellent choice.
Design and Features
- Onboard storage
- Two floor heads
- A little bulky
From the outside, the main difference between the Henry Allergy HVA160 and the standard Henry is the colour; the Henry Allergy is decked out in a light blue colour. The eyes and smile are still present, giving this vacuum all of Henry’s customary charm.
At 7.5kg, the Henry Allergy is quite a beast of a vacuum – although, for the most part, you can just drag it around on its wheels. With a total cleaning range (hose plus cable length) of 12.5m, the vacuum can tackle an entire floor using just a single power socket.
The Henry comes with a manual handle on top rather than using a spring-loaded cable tidy. This requires a bit more work to reel the power cable back in, but the upside is that there’s one less feature that could go wrong.
At the rear of the cleaner you’ll find some slots for holding the accessories, which will accommodate two of the provided tools plus the extension tube.
Bundled tools include the crevice tool, hard brush, and soft brush/upholstery tool. There’s also the standard floor head in the box, with a foot-switch to move from carpet to hard floor modes, plus a dedicated head for hard floors. I didn’t find the latter particularly useful; I found it easier to stick with the regular floor head. There are no motorised tools here.
As has been the case for years, the Henry Allergy HVA160 has a three-part wand: a curved section that’s home to a vent for adjusting power, plus two slide-on poles. Connected together, the wand offers plenty of reach, plus it’s pretty easy to get the floor head flat on the floor for getting under furniture.
The only slight issue is that the metal poles do have a tendency to become stiffer over time and therefore more difficult to pull apart. I recommend you separate them at the end of every clean as a preventative measure.
There’s room on the vacuum cleaner’s body to store a single floor head, but the hose and tubes need to be stacked on top, so storing the Henry neatly will take some effort.
Unclip the sides of the vacuum cleaner, and the motor lifts off. Inside sits the main filter – standard for Henry vacuum cleaners. Take this out, and there’s the huge 6-litre HEPA bag. This will see you through some time to come, self-sealing when it’s time to remove it. The own-brand bags are excellent; avoid the cheap compatibles, since they don’t offer the same level of filtering.
In the lid, there’s an additional HEPA filter that can be removed and cleaned. This is the filter that keeps everything locked inside the vacuum cleaner’s body.
A single power switch turns the vacuum cleaner on and off. Note that there are no selectable power modes, bar the aforementioned vent.
- Huge amounts of power
- Excellent cleaning
- Can be difficult to push the floor head at times
I measured the raw power of the Henry Allergy HVA160 at a massive 402AW, dropping to only 281AW with the vent open. That’s about the same power as the Stihl SE 33 wet and dry cleaner, and a lot more powerful than the Shark CZ500UKT.
The reason for this is that the Shark vacuum cleaner relies on its motorised brush for dirt agitation, so it doesn’t need as much suction power to clean well. The Henry Allergy uses dumber accessories, relying on power to suck up dirt. It works well, but the slight downside is that the floor head can be hard to push across some surfaces and has a tendency to suck up lighter rugs and the like. I found that I had to open the vent when vacuuming on certain surfaces.
On the flip side, cleaning with the nozzles is super-fast. Following a bit of DIY – drilling some holes and stripping cables – the Henry Allergy made short work of the mess, quickly sucking up the debris, including some fairly chunky offcuts of wire.
In my tests, the vacuum cleaned brilliantly. I started on carpet, spreading an X of flour onto the floor. A forward and backward pass left a perfectly clean path through the mess.
The same was true for my tough edge test, where I sprinkled flour right up to the skirting board on carpet tiles. Here, the Henry Allergy performed perfectly.
Pet hair wasn’t an issue, either – the Henry Allergy removed every trace of cat hair that I’d combed into the carpet.
Switching to the hard floor test, I sprinkled a teaspoon of flour onto the floor. I used the hard floor head initially, but this proved quite difficult to push, so I swapped for the regular head, set to hard floor mode. Again, the pickup was perfect.
I measured sound at a quiet 69.1dB.
Should you buy it?
If you have allergy sufferers and want to lock all the dust away, then this powerful vacuum is for you.
It’s quite bulky and isn’t always the easiest to push around, so a cleaner with a motorised brush bar may make more sense.
Offering the same quality performance as the regular Numatic Henry, the Henry Allergy HVA160 adds an extra HEPA filter to keep everything locked away. If your home comprises allergy sufferers, then this is the vacuum cleaner for you. It’s also worth pointing out that I’ve seen the Allergy for sale for less than the regular Henry, so I’d certainly consider this model over the regular Henry if the price was right.
The negative points are minor: this vacuum can be difficult to push across some surfaces, and a cleaner with adjustable power and a motorised brush may make sense to some; and, it isn’t the neatest to store. Those points aside, this is another great vacuum from Numatic. Those looking for a different type of cleaner should check out my guide to the best vacuum cleaners.
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
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The Allergy version comes with an additional HEPA filter, and a hard floor head.
No, the Henry Allergy is the only option.