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Numatic Henry XL Plus Review

Verdict

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A brute of a vacuum cleaner, the Henry XL Plus has tons of power and a huge 15-litre capacity. Thanks to its self-seal HepaFlo bags, it keeps dust locked away. Considering its wide range of tools, this is a great choice for anyone who has a very large home or wants to tackle bigger jobs, such as DIY debris removal. But it’s a bulky vacuum cleaner to store, it offers the same power as its little brother, and it can be difficult to push on carpets.

Pros

  • Powerful suction
  • Huge capacity
  • Great set of tools

Cons

  • Regular floorhead not so good for pet hair

Availability

  • UKRRP: £167.99

Key Features

  • TypeThis is a bagged cylinder vacuum cleaner.
  • PowerI measured this vacuum cleaner at 431AW.

Introduction

There are times when a regular vacuum cleaner just won’t cut it – there’s simply too much dust to collect or too big an area to tackle. For those jobs, there’s the Henry XL Plus, a supersized version of the much-loved Henry.

Design and Features

  • Huge 15-litre capacity
  • Wide range of tools
  • Only one bag in the box

It’s difficult to tell from pictures just how large the Henry XL Plus is. Trust me: it’s big, measuring 510x350x370mm and weighing 10kg – this vacuum cleaner really does deserve its XL moniker.

Henry XL Plus close-up
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The extra space is put to good use with a huge 15-litre capacity, which is more than double the capacity of the 6-litre regular Henry. That’s an enormous amount of space and makes this vacuum cleaner better suited to larger homes and DIY projects.

Bags for this machine are slightly more expensive, with the NVM-2BH HepaFlo bags costing £11.99 for a pack of five. Still, each bag should last a long time. As with the regular Henry’s bags, the XL ones are self-sealing, so there’s no dust spillage when emptying.

Henry XL Plus bag
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While the bags add filtration to the system, there’s also a large filter that sits on top of them, locking dust into the bag and preventing it from spilling out.

Henry XL Plus filter
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Apart from its size, the Henry XL Plus is very similar to its smaller brother. Once the vacuum cleaner motor is locked into place, there’s a single on/off power button to toggle power. There are no power controls, so it’s maximum power or nothing.

Henry XL Plus power button
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If you find that there’s too much suction, the three-part wand has an air vent at the top, which you can open to reduce airflow. I found this very stiff to begin with, and it took a bit of opening and closing to get the vent working smoothly. I did have to use it in anger, too. This vacuum cleaner can be difficult to push on carpet with the vent fully closed.

Although it’s big, the Henry XL Plus is easy to move around, with its two large wheels at the back and two smaller wheels that turn at the front. With a 12.5m power cable, which winds back into the body, most homes can be vacuumed using just one or two power sockets.

Henry XL Plus cable winder
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The reach from the wand and hose is good, too. I found that I could easily clean up around the tops of walls. The reach was also good enough to tackle stairs without having to pick up and carry the vacuum cleaner. I could do the bottom half from the bottom of the stairs and then get the rest from the top.

Henry XL Plus cleaning up high
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As this is the Plus model, a lot more tools are provided here than with the regular Henry, including crevice and mattress tools, brush and turbo brush (great for pet hair) and a flexible crevice tool.

Henry XL Plus accessories
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The latter is particularly useful for getting into those hard-to-reach areas, such as between the car seats or behind radiators.

Henry XL Plus flexible crevice tool
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It’s nice to see the turbo tool, which uses suction power to spin the brushes to agitate dirt. It’s ideal for pet hair, although it’s a shame that the brush isn’t an anti-tangle one.

There’s a regular floorhead, with a button to switch between hard floor and carpet modes. Plus, there’s also a dedicated hard floor tool, although I found that I didn’t need it, as the regular floorhead was good enough.

Henry XL Plus floorhead
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At the back of the vacuum cleaner, there are storage slots for four tools, so you can carry around the ones that you use the most. Next to these slots is a holder for the floorhead, keeping the wand vertical for storage. This makes things neater, but the long hose and large body mean that the Henry XL Plus isn’t the easiest vacuum cleaner to store, although few cylinder vacuum cleaners can lay claim to that, with the Shark Bagless Cylinder Vacuum Cleaner CZ500UKT being the one exception.

Henry XL Plus storage
Image Credit (Trusted Reviews)

Performance

  • Very powerful
  • Does well on regular messes
  • Turbo tool handles pet hair

I started by measuring the Henry XL Plus’s power in airwatts. At 431AW, it’s similar to the suction power of the regular-sized Henry. The Shark CZ500UKT is a little behind this, although it uses a motorised brush to agitate dirt, so it doesn’t need so much power.

Having this level of power can be useful for the types of tasks that the Henry XL Plus is aimed for. With DIY debris, the suction power let me quickly vacuum up sawdust and larger bits of debris. With a less-powerful vacuum cleaner, this kind of pick-up would have taken longer.

Switching to my regular real-world tests, I was impressed by the results. I started with my carpet test, sprinkling a teaspoon of flour on the floor. I had to open the air vent, as this vacuum cleaner was too difficult to push otherwise, but the results were great.

Thanks to the wide floorhead, I managed a big clean strip right through the middle of the mess. Cleaning up the remainder didn’t take long.

Henry XL Plus dirty carpet
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Henry XL Plus clean carpet
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Moving on, I turned to the tricky edge test, sprinkling flour right up to the skirting board on carpet tiles. Here, the Henry XL Plus dealt with the mess easily, removing every trace of dust right up to the edge.

Henry XL Plus dirty edge
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Henry XL Plus clean edge
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Pet hair removal wasn’t so good with the normal floorhead. It tended to push hair around and get it stuck to fabric strips underneath. However, the turbo tool came into its own, easily removing pet hair. I’d happily use this tool to clean a sofa or pet bed, but it’s a little small for vacuuming carpets. Those with pets should check out my guide to the best vacuums for pet hair.

Henry XL Plus dirty pet hair
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Henry XL Plus clean pet hair
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Finally, I moved on to the hard floor test. I sprinkled a teaspoon of rice grains on the floor and used the floorhead in hard floor mode. Most grains were collected, but some were pushed together into a clump. 

Henry XL Plus dirty hard floor
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Henry XL Plus clean hard floor
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I had to tackle the spill from a few angles to collect everything successfully, but no rice dropped back out to the floor.

I measured the Henry XL Plus at 67.2dB, which is similar to the noise levels produced by the regular Henry. That means this vacuum cleaner is surprisingly quiet and not annoying to have on at all.

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Should you buy it?

If you’d like a large vacuum cleaner with a huge capacity for bigger jobs, this one is well-priced, powerful and comes with lots of tools.

If you need to tackle wet spills, a wet and dry vacuum cleaner is a better choice, while those who want superior pet hair removal should look elsewhere.

Final Thoughts

The Henry XL Plus is a whopper of a vacuum cleaner and a great choice for those who want a lot of suction power to tackle more difficult jobs, such as DIY. That said, if you’d like a cleaner for dirtier jobs, the Karcher WD6 P Premium wet and dry vacuum cleaner is a good alternative that can also take on wet spills.

If you don’t need quite as much capacity, the regular Henry has similar cleaning power in a smaller body, while there are further alternatives in my guide to the best vacuum cleaners.

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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.

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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

FAQs

What’s the difference between the Henry XL Plus and the regular Henry?

You get a much larger capacity here, with 15-litre bags. Otherwise, the two vacuum cleaners are very similar.

What tools does the Henry XL Plus ship with?

It comes with a crevice tool, mattress tool, brush, turbo brush, flexible crevice tool, carpet/hard floor head and hard floor head.

Trusted Reviews test data

AirWatts (high)
Sound (high)

Full specs

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