Written by James Hall | 1 Comment | Last Updated: March 20, 2017
The Vax U90-MA-Re Air Reach upright vacuum cleaner is one of the cheapest models in the Vax range, and has proved very popular amongst buyers. It has a HEPA filter, 1.5L capacity and several accessories, along with a reputation for powerful suction.
But what other features does the U90-MA-Re include? How does it compare to other Vax models? And does it provide good value for money? We’ll answer all these questions and more in this Vax U90-MA-Re Air Reach review – so let’s get started!
Overview of Vax U90-MA-Re Air Reach Features
- Lightweight upright weighing 4.9kg
- Multi-cyclonic technology to reduce suction loss
- Eco-friendly motor that contributes to the vacuum’s A rating for emissions and energy
- Strong suction power with an A rating for both hard-floor and carpet pick-up
- Turbo Tool that excels at picking up pet hair from sofas and is also useful for stairs
- 3-in-1 tool for upholstery, crevices and dusting
- Includes a HEPA filter for effective removal of dust and allergens from exhaust air
- The handle can be adjusted to 8 different positions so it’s comfortable regardless of your height
- LED indicator warns of blockages
In-Depth Look at the Vax U90-MA-Re Air Reach
Appearance and Design
The first thing that strikes you about the Vax U90-MA-Re is the bold purple and grey colour scheme. While it’s not an ugly vacuum by any stretch, it also has the look and feel of a cheaper model despite the relatively high RRP (although you won’t pay anywhere near the RRP for this model- see the price section for more info). The aesthetics of any vacuum is probably the least important feature, but the U90-MA-Re certainly doesn’t have the elegance or style of a GTech AirRam or Morphy Richards 732000.
In terms of cleaning radius, the Vax U90-MA-Re Air Reach has a generous ten metre cord and 3.6 metre hose. While there are vacuums with larger cleaning radii, this should be enough to comfortably clean most rooms without needing to change plug socket.
One thing to note is the Vax U90-MA-Re doesn’t come with “Steerable” technology. This is Vax’s system for making a vacuum more manoeuvrable, and is one of the reasons why it’s cheaper than others in the company’s product range. The U90-MA-Re also doesn’t have a lift-out cylinder. This is a useful feature found on the Vax U84 range that makes cleaning stairs much easier, but is not included with the cheaper U90 series.
The model also doesn’t have a graduated setting for adjusting height/suction. It has an option to switch between carpet and hard floor mode, but the lack of more settings is a disadvantage compared to models such as the Zanussi ZAN2000A, as the strong suction can make it “stick” to the carpet rather than easily glide over it. If you have a bad back, this might not be the best vacuum.
Editor’s note (Aug 2016): A reviewer has recently claimed newer versions of the U90-MA-Re DO have a variable suction slider. If we can find confirmation of this we’ll update this post, but for now we’re sticking to the model only having two settings for suction.
The Vax U90-MA-Re has a 1.5L dust capacity, which Vax describes as “full size.” While 1.5L isn’t tiny, it also isn’t large and you should expect to be emptying it regularly – especially considering the strong suction power (we’ll get to that in just a minute). The Vax U90-MA-Re Air Reach is a bagless model though, so emptying it more regularly won’t cost extra in bags.
Some reviewers mention they expect to empty the canister anywhere up to twice per cleaning session depending on the size of their home. This might sound like a lot, but is a trade-off considering the powerful pick-up and low price of the model. If you’re looking for a larger canister, however, the SEBO Automatic X1.1 Eco has a 5.3 litre capacity.
As we mentioned, the Vax U90-MA-Re has excellent suction power. It has received an A rating for both carpet and hard-floor pick-up, which is especially impressive considering it only weighs 4.9kg (putting it into our lightweight category), is relatively slim and also designed to be eco-friendly (which is backed up by its A rating for energy usage).
Like most other modern Vax vacuums, the U90-MA-Re comes with multi-cyclonic technology. This is a system for removing dirt from circulating air, to prevent clogging and maintain the vacuum’s powerful suction for longer. You still need to empty itregularly and perform basic maintenance, but the multi-cyclonic technology prevents suction from gradually reducing while in use.
The U90-MA-Re also excels at picking up dog and cat hair – especially with the useful turbo tool. This isn’t just a gimmicky add-on either, as the turbo tool really lives up to its “turbo” name.
Ease of Use
We’ve already talked about the lightweight design of the Vax U90-MA-Re. Now let’s look at some of the usability features:
- The handle is telescopic and can be adjusted to eight different positions.
- The vacuum is designed to be slim for easy storage.
- An LED indicator tells you when it has become blocked.
- Brushbar to switch between the two cleaning modes for carpets and hard floors
- Quick canister emptying system with release button
Considering the low price of the Vax U90-MA-Re, we think it has some useful usability features. While other vacuums in this price range tend to be “bare-bones” when it comes to extra features, the feature list of the U90-MA-Re is more comprehensive than you’d expect from this price range.
The U90-MA-Re comes with a HEPA filter, which is the most effective type of filter (along with S-Class) for preventing dust and allergens escaping. If you have allergies, or just don’t want dust and bacteria spread around your home when you clean, a model with a HEPA filter can make a big difference.
Keep in mind that you still need to maintain and wash the filter to keep it working correctly – although this is the same with all HEPA filters and not just the Vax U90-MA-Re.
Surprisingly, considering the lack of steerable technology, the U90-MA-Re has a higher RRP than the also excellent U84-Al-Pe Air. The good news is that the U90-MA-Re is often available at a considerably cheaper price – sometimes discounted by as much as 65%. This makes it a fantastic bargain and probably the better choice if you don’t need the steerable technology – especially as the U90-MA-Re is 1.1kg lighter yet comes with the same motor power.
The U90-MA-Re Air Reach ships with a turbo tool along with a 3-in-1 tool. This can be used as an upholstery tool, dusting brush and crevice tool.
The tools are stored on-board the vacuum body, making them easy to access at any time (and also reducing the chances of them getting lost).
Vax U90-MA-Re Air Reach Review Summary
Many Vax U90-MA-Re reviews have been positive, with reviewers praising the functionality of the model. Here’s an overview of positive comments about the vacuum:
- A reviewer writes that the Air Reach provides excellent value for money, especially considering it comes with a long warranty. He adds that it’s powerful enough to remove dirt other vacuums would just pass over.
- Another echoes that it provides excellent suction power, and writes that he even feels the carpet underlay being lifted up. He adds that the telescopic extension is great for reaching high places, and likes that a HEPA filter is included.
- A reviewer writes that the lightweight design of the U90-MA-Re makes it great for long cleaning sessions. She adds that the 10 metre lead is also useful.
- A buyer’s review can be summed up as “the vacuum is just easy.” He writes that it’s simple to put together on arrival, easy to empty and comfortable to carry around the home. He adds that the Turbo Tool provides excellent suction.
And some negatives:
- Several reviewers mention that the strong suction of the U90-MA-Re means it sticks firmly to the carpet and can be difficult to push. This is why graduated settings for height would be beneficial, but this feature is not included.
- A reviewer writes that the handle, which doubles as the hose extension, doesn’t feel comfortable when used for long periods.
- Another writes that the suction power is great, but that the vacuum isn’t able to pick up all pet hair from his carpet.
- A reviewer, who is largely pleased with the model, writes that the extension tube feels flimsy and cheap.
Vax U90-MA-Re Frequently Asked Questions
Q. How often does the Vax U90-MA-Re need to be emptied?
A. This depends on the size of your home and whether you have any pets. For relatively small homes without pets, you should expect to empty it at least after every two full cleans. If you have cats or dogs, especially if they shed lots of hair, or if you have a large house, you may need to empty it once or twice during a full clean.
Fortunately, the vacuum is simple to empty – and the main reason if fills so quickly is the excellent suction power.
Q. Does the Vax U90-MA-Re pick up pet hair efficiently?
A. The majority of reviewers write that the U90-MA-Re picks up more pet hair than many other vacuums, both with the main floorhead and Turbo Tool. In fact, one reviewer writes that it is the best vacuum for dog hair she has ever owned.
We think the Vax U90-MA-Re Air Reach upright vacuum cleaner is an excellent model and provides outstanding value for money (if you can find it for under £100). It’s powerful, easy to use and has a number of useful features, such as the telescopic handle, Turbo Tool and HEPA filter. There are a few problems, such as the lack of a graduated suction setting and small capacity, but overall this is an upright we recommend if you need a powerful model for a relatively cheap price. For the price of this model, click here.