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Zanussi ZAN1930UEL Review - Stairs, Pet Hair and Verdict Review


On carpet, the multi-purpose floor-head delivers excellent cleaning results, even up to the edge of the skirting. This is assuming you can actually move the head across the carpet in the first place.

The high suction and poor head design makes cleaning carpet feel akin to pushing around a pallet of bricks. It sucks down so hard that even with my not inconsiderable weight behind it, sometimes it just wouldn’t move. Pulling back is nearly as tough – so just as well those push-fit tubes stay together like they’re glued.

Opening the suction release vent frees things up a little, but certainly not enough to make carpet cleaning an easy experience. It also dramatically reduces cleaning performance and energy efficiency.

With the vent closed, hoofing the head around just one small room ended with me having to take a break for a sit-down and a cup of tea. This is a cleaner with which you’ll need to be very physical on carpets.

Zanussi ZAN1930UEL

Zanussi ZAN1930UEL

The poor multi-purpose head design translates to poor performance on hard floors too. Results look good on the forward stroke, but the brushes catch larger particles rather than sweeping them into the suction, and simply drop them on the back stroke (see hard floor result picture 1). How did this cleaner get an EU A-rating for hard floors, you may well ask?

Zanussi ZAN1930UEL

Zanussi ZAN1930UEL

The dedicated hard-floor head – despite looking like a replica of the multi-purpose head – is a much better design. Two wheels on the outer edges make the head easy to move around and tilt the bristles, allowing larger particles to be sucked into the airflow rather than swept away (see hard floor result picture 2). On open floors the results are outstanding, although the end wheels do limit the vac’s suction right up-close to room boundaries.

Zanussi ZAN1930UEL – Stairs

A cable length of 4.3m rates as the shortest we’ve ever tested, and words such as “woeful” and “inadequate” don’t really do justice to its impracticality for stairs and general cleaning alike. Due to the position of our mains plug sockets, two steps in the middle of our flight remained untouched by the Zanussi – we simply couldn’t get there without an extension lead.

On a positive note, the cleaner is easy to carry and fairly stable when placed on a step; but we knew from the start that the main floor-head would be impossible to use on stairs.

It’s propensity to stick and be difficult to move would actually make stair-cleaning a dangerous proposition. Thankfully, the mini turbo-brush tool comes into its own here. Attached directly to the handle it is light, easy to move around and capable of cleaning into all but the tightest corners.

This tool, too, has its fair share of design flaws though. The main one being that the brush is recessed slightly too far inside the head. As a result, on short pile carpets it simply skims across the surface.

As such, it doesn’t offer any beating action to dislodge dirt and has only a passable sweeping action. Cleaning wasn’t too bad, thanks again to the Zanussi’s high level of suction. However, you’re getting very little additional benefit from the spinning brush other than, ironically, stopping the tool sticking down to the carpet.

Moreover, the brush spins very fast on simple plastic bearings so makes a lot of noise – up to a whopping 90dB when you lift it off between steps. That’s petrol-lawnmower noisy, and the pitch is an aggressive rattling squeal. While the tool held together fine during testing, I’d put money on it falling apart spectacularly before the year’s guarantee is out.

This left us using the rather-too-small upholstery tool for stairs. Not only does its compact size mean it covers very little ground in a single pass, it also focuses the suction by pinning itself to your carpet. If you need something to lift up old carpet tiles, this is it. Opening the suction slider offers some freedom of movement, but it’s far from easy cleaning.

Zanussi ZAN1930UEL

Zanussi ZAN1930UEL – Pet Hair  

This particular model is marketed in many retailers as a pet-specific cleaner due to the inclusion of a mini turbo-brush floor-head. Rightly so, since rotating brush bars are the way to go to pick up those tenacious fur balls.

However, our patch of mixed Collie and Labrador hair took a lengthy 15 seconds to clean – way outside what we’d call a “pass” for a pet cleaner.

Again, the reason for this stems back to the design of the turbo-brush tool; the brush bar itself is just a little too far inset into the head. The brush tends to skim over the upper surface of the carpet and so fails to really grab and lift pet hairs. Again, the excellent suction power alone came to the rescue, but we’ve seen far better pet-hair cleaning results from other turbo brushes.

Should I buy the Zanussi ZAN1930UEL?

Zanussi’s Cyclon Compact ZAN1930UEL promises versatility and power, but it delivers only on the latter. A very short cable and generally poor tool design – save the hard-floor head – transpire to make it heavy work to use, impractical for stairs and only partially effective for pet hair.

Add in the woeful exhaust dust-emission rating and the near-£100 asking price is no longer the bargain it at first appears. Those with big arms, or only hard floors, will be served by the Classic’s limited talents, but it’s certainly no all-rounder.


Impressively powerful but difficult to manoeuvre, impractical for stairs and poor on dust emission too.

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