Choosing a vacuum might sound easy – but it’s really not! With hundreds (if not thousands) of vacuums on the market from a variety of brands, each with its own set of features, reviews from buyers and drawbacks, it’s no surprise that selecting a vacuum is difficult. That’s why we’ve put together this page of the best vacuum cleaners in the UK from all the most popular categories – to help you make a decision faster and with less stress!
You should think of this page as a quick-start guide to SpotlessVacuum.co.uk. If you just want to know which vacuums we think are the best in each category, just select the category you are interested in using the links below. No fluff, just the best vacuums!
But what if you need more information? At the top of the page, you’ll see a menu for finding more information about the best vacuum cleaners in each of the categories. There are also links to more information in the content below.
This “Best Vacuum Cleaners” page aims to provide a quick overview of the best vacuums cleaners of 2018 in all categories, so you can make a fast and easy decision – but we always recommend reading more about a vacuum before you buy.
It’s also a good idea to read our guides on how to choose the various types of vacuum cleaner. If you want to buy an upright, for example, our Upright Vacuum Cleaner page contains a straight-to-the-point guide of the most important features and considerations when choosing an upright. This is also where you’ll find more information about the best upright vacuums.
And the good news is that we have a page like this for each type of vacuum!
So, with that out of the way, let’s get to our list of the best vacuum cleaners in the UK. We hope it helps you find your ideal vacuum!
Best Vacuums by Type
There are a variety of types of vacuum. Each has its own strengths and weaknesses, so it's important to choose the right type for your personal requirements. Uprights, for example, are great at vacuuming large areas of carpet - but are often heavy and difficult to manoeuvre. Cordless models, on the other hand, are lightweight and convenient, but can struggle with more difficult cleaning jobs.
Listed below are what we think are the best vacuums in each category, including uprights, cordless, cylinders and garden vacuums. Once you know which type you want, simply select it from the list below to view our top 4 picks.
Cordless vacuum cleaners have become increasingly common over the last few years - mainly due to improvements in battery life and suction power. While the Gtech AirRam was the first to compete with mains connected vacs, there are now a wide range of options from brands such as Bosch, Morphy Richards and, of course, Dyson.
A cordless offers a number of advantages. The most obvious benefit is convenience - it's a relief to not need to worry about tripping over the cord or needing to change plug sockets. Cordless vacs are also usually lightweight which adds to their manoeuvrability.
Not all cordless vacuums have the same design though. The Gtech AirRam, for example, is an "upright" replacement. It's built like a regular vacuum and is only suitable for cleaning floors. At the other end of the spectrum, the Dyson V8 is a stick model that's just as effective when cleaning cars or furniture as it is on the floor. Some models also have a detachable handheld for stairs or upholstery. As there are a variety of options, it's important to choose a model that matches your requirements.
There are some downsides too. As cordless models run on battery, they need to be charged. This can be an issue if you like to clean your entire home in one go, as some only have run-times of up to 20-25 minutes. There are, however, cordless vacuums with run-times of up to an hour, such as the Bosch listed below. Cordless models also tend to have small dust containers and the cheaper options struggle for suction power.
The good news is there are some excellent cordless vacuums available. The best models have started to catch up with corded vacuums when it comes to suction power, yet are much more convenient. Here are our top recommendations in this category. You can also view our best cordless vacuums page.
Long 40 minute run-time and excellent suction make this a true competitor to mains-connected vacuums.
Outstanding (but pricey) vac with a long run-time, strong suction and handheld mode. Our #1 cordless.
The V7 has a shorter run-time but is cheaper than the V8. It's a powerful cordless with a handheld mode.
Powerful cordless with a 75-minute run-time and 0.9 litre capacity. Not as mobile as the Dyson V8 though.
- Cordless vacuums are much more convenient to use than traditional uprights. The lack of a power cord makes them a pleasure to use, and many come with detachable handhelds or a stick design.
- They are also lightweight. If you struggle with a bulky vacuum, a cordless is probably the answer.
- Their portable design makes them great for cleaning cars or stairs, as you don't need to worry about finding a nearby plug socket.
- Most cordless vacuums are relatively slim and compact, so they are easy to store.
- Improvements in lithium-ion battery technology mean the best models don't lose suction as their battery runs low. These batteries are also easier to charge.
- Most cordless vacuums have a small dust capacity. It's rare to find one with a capacity of over 1 litre, which would be considered tiny for an upright or cylinder.
- Running on battery means even the best cordless vacuums can't compete with the best mains-powered alternatives when it comes to suction power. The gap is getting smaller though - especially with Dyson's newest V8 range (see above.)
- The biggest drawback is the vacuums can only be used for a limited time between charges. Run-times vary between 15-60 minutes, so it's important to choose one that can run for long enough to complete your chores.
Cylinder vacuums are the workhorses of the vacuum world. They probably aren't as popular in the UK as in the rest of Europe or the US, but are a great option if you need a powerful vacuum with a large capacity.
As you probably know, cylinder vacuums's body is separated from the hose and floorhead. Unlike uprights, you pull a cylinder vac behind while cleaning, and use the floor head to tackle dirt and dust. Most cylinders come with a single floor head with settings for bristle height, although there are some models with multiple options for different types of floor.
So what are the advantages of a cylinder over an upright vacuum? One of the biggest is that the design can make it easier to clean stairs, under furniture and other tricky areas. They also tend to be lighter, have large capacities and can be less expensive.
There are downsides to a cylinder model though. While the overall size of a cylinder may be smaller than an upright, the design means the hose is often difficult to store in a tidy manner. Lower quality models also often struggle with pet hair, as they don't have a motorised brush bar to remove more hair from carpet fibres. Some of the highest rated cylinder models have a turbo brush to counteract this though.
If you've decided a cylinder vacuum is the best choice for your requirements, we've listed our four top recommendations below. You can also find more information about each of these models on our cylinder vacuum page.
Powerful vacuum cleaner with great all-round performance. Also includes a tangle-free turbine tool for pet hair.
One of the most complete cylinder vacuums on the market. Strong suction, three-stage filter and much more.
An iconic cylinder vacuum cleaner with a large 9 litre capacity, strong filter and long 10 metre cable for efficient cleaning.
Outstanding bagless cylinder that's powerful, suitable for almost any surface and comes with an effective HEPA filter.
- Cylinder vacuums are often easier to use in "tricky-to-clean" areas due to their design. The hose and floor head are more convenient for getting under furniture and are usually better at cleaning along walls.
- On average, cylinder models are lighter than uprights - although there are exceptions.
- Cylinders tend to have larger dust capacities so you'll spend less time emptying your vacuum.
- A cylinder vacuum is often less convenient to store, as the hose can be difficult to tidy away.
- As the floor head is located away from the motor, many cylinders don't have a motorised brush bar. This can reduce their ability to pick up pet hair - although there are some models that have managed to solve this problem.
- Cylinders are often less convenient for cleaning large areas of floor quickly compared to upright models.
Handheld vacuums are a great choice if you need a manoeuvrable and lightweight cleaner for small jobs. They lack the power and dust capacity of larger models, but make up for this in portability and ease-of-use.
There are two types of handheld vacuum - corded and cordless. While most handhelds are cordless, there are a few excellent models with cords - such as the AEG model listed below. Corded handheld vacuums are usually more powerful but lack the convenience of cordless models. They also don't run out of battery, making them better suited for larger cleaning jobs (such as cars).
So what's the difference between a handheld and cordless vacuum? Handheld models are designed to be even lighter and smaller than stick vacuums. This makes them more portable, but they aren't suitable for cleaning large areas of floor. Their battery run-time is also shorter, with some models lasting for as little as 5 minutes before needing to be recharged.
For these reasons, it's important to have realistic expectations about handheld models. They aren't designed to replace your corded upright or cylinder, and most aren't capable of tackling pet hair or other difficult jobs.
This doesn't mean handhelds don't have a place though. They are useful for cleaning up small amounts of dirt or dust - and some can even handle liquid spills. The small size also makes them easy to whip out whenever you don't want to get out your primary vacuum. They are also great for cleaning cars, stairs and upholstery.
Prices for handheld vacuums vary greatly. The cheapest options can start at around £20, while Dyson produce a range of powerful options costing hundreds. There's also range of performance levels. The worst models struggle to pickup even the lightest dust and dirt, while the most powerful can tackle larger debris. For these reasons, it's important to read our vacuum reviews before you buy.
Listed below are our top four recommendations for a handheld vacuum. For more information, visit our handheld vacuum guide.
Powerful handheld vacuum that includes a stretch hose and HEPA Filter. Great for cars and stairs - and no need to worry about battery life.
This is probably the most powerful handheld on the market - but it's expensive. Fantastic performance on all surfaces though.
Stylish handheld vacuum cleaner that provides excellent value. Has a 15 minute run-time and turbo tool for pet hair.
Strong suction, ECO charge and an easy-to-empty design. Perfect if you need more suction than the average handheld.
- The lightweight and small design of handheld vacuums makes them portable and convenient to use for small jobs.
- They excel at cleaning cars, stairs and other areas that an upright might struggle with.
- Handhelds are often cheaper than a full vacuum, so they are suitable as a secondary vac.
- The best models are surprisingly powerful and can have a run-time of up to 30 minutes.
- Cordless handhelds often have a short battery life, so they aren't suitable for extended cleaning sessions (although there are corded and longer run-time options available.)
- They have small capacities so need to be emptied regularly.
- Handheld models don't have the suction power to compete with full-size vacuums.
Robot vacuums are finally starting to gain traction, as people begin to believe they can do a good job of cleaning their home. The first models in this category were little more than a gimmick - a tag that's been difficult to shake off. But it's been a long time since the original Roomba hit the market, and the latest models from brands such as Neato, Dyson and AirCraft provide more powerful cleaning with advanced navigation systems.
The obvious advantage of a robotic vacuum is that they can automatically clean dirt and dust from your floors. Most have some sort of scheduling mode, so you can tell the model to vacuum at a certain time of day, along with regular cleaning modes. They also have built-in navigation systems, allowing them to clean around furniture and without hitting walls.
While they don't quite have the suction power to completely replace a regular vacuum, this regular and automated cleaning is great for minimising dust and dirt between "full" cleaning sessions. The best models can keep your carpets and hard floors looking great without you needing to lift a finger.
Of course, there are some downsides to robot vacuums. They are often considerably less powerful than a "regular" vacuum. The newest models, including the Dyson 360 Eye, have increasingly strong suction, but they still can't match a corded upright or cylinder. The best models are also expensive - some can cost up to £800.
Robot vacs also can't go up or down stairs or tackle upholstery. They often have a relatively short run-time, so they need to return to base to recharge before continuing with cleaning. The best models can do this automatically, but some need to be plugged in. They also aren't a fully automated solution, as you still need to empty the dust container on a regular basis.
For these reasons, it's important to have realistic expectations. A robot vacuum isn't going to mean you never need to vacuum - unless you live in a flat or bungalow without much furniture. It's also vital to choose a high-quality robot vacuum, as the worst models have poor suction, seem unable to navigate around even the most obvious obstacles and need to be freed continuously.
Despite these drawbacks, if you love the idea of a vacuum cleaning your home while you're out, we think best robot vacuums have progressed to the point where we can recommend them. They are never going to be an essential purchase - at least until someone invents a robot that can clean your entire home - but they can reduce your workload. Here are our top four recommendations for the best robot vacs, but for more information you can visit our robot vacuum guide.
Robot vacuum with two brush blades, can clean almost any floor, automatic spot cleaning and side brush for walls.
Simple and inexpensive robotic vacuum that’s capable of cleaning hard floors and short-pile carpets with minimal fuss.
Outstanding suction for a robot vac and great navigation system. Our #1 recommendation for a robot vacuum - but expensive.
Sometimes struggles with cleaning carpets but excels at hard floors. Includes control via app unlike other Neato vacs.
- Robot vacuums can automatically clean the floors of your home. Many come with a scheduling system so you can set them to clean while you're out.
- The best models have increasingly strong suction, allowing them to pickup more dust and dirt.
- Many also come with navigation systems to allow them to avoid hitting objects and walls.
- Advanced models come with a variety of cleaning modes, including spot cleaning.
- Most also come with a docking station. The vacuum will return automatically when it needs to be charged.
- Robot vacs are expensive. Some of the priciest models cost up to £800, which is a huge amount for a non-essential appliance.
- They aren't able to fully replace your regular vacuum, as they can't clean upholstery, stairs or crevices.
- The quality of navigation system varies greatly, with many robot vacs struggling to get around even basic obstacles.
- The suction power of even the best robot vacs is considerably less than an upright or cylinder.
- They aren't a fully automated solution, as you still need to empty the bin.
Upright vacuum cleaners are probably the most popular type in the UK. There are a huge number of uprights on the market, from brands such as Dyson, Sebo, Vax and Hoover, which can make choosing difficult. The good news is there are a number of excellent models available that provide strong suction power, efficient cleaning and great value for money.
An upright vacuum cleaner is built with the motor, dust container and floor head contained within a single body. These tools often come with attachments, tools and a hose, but many have on-board storage. This makes them convenient to store, as you don't have to worry about finding a place for a long hose.
Aside from the design, the biggest difference between uprights and cylinders is that uprights often have a motorised brush in the floor head. This helps to remove more dust and dirt from carpets. It also usually makes uprights more effective at picking up pet hair - although this varies depending on the model and brand. Most uprights have a setting to adjust brush height depending on the type of floor. Some also allow you to adjust the level of suction.
There are several advantages to an upright vacuum. The first is that the design makes them perfect for quickly cleaning large areas of floor. While they are often less manoeuvrable, they make up for this in speed and ability to handle all floor types. They also often have large dust capacities, especially compared with cordless models. This means you'll spend less time emptying the machine - especially if you have a large home.
Of course, there are some drawbacks too. Uprights are often heavier than cylinder alternatives, so unless you look for a lightweight option they might not be suitable for elderly people. Their design also makes them difficult to use on stairs, although some come with attachments to help with this, and they are often noisy.
As we mentioned, there are some excellent upright vacuums on the market. We've chosen our top four picks below, but if you need more information take a look at our best upright vacuum page.
Excellent suction, dual-head floor tool and lift-out design. An outstanding upright from the US brand.
Turbo tool for hair and lift-away cylinder for stairs. Cheaper than the Shark but great all-round performance.
If you need a cheaper upright, the Air Stretch is great on carpets. It also has a huge power cord.
Powerful suction and great all-round performance. This is Dyson's last upright - but they go out with a bang.
- Upright vacuums are a popular option in UK homes, as they excel at quickly cleaning large areas of floor.
- Most have a motorised brush bar to help remove more dust, dirt and hair from the floor.
- The best models are powerful and have excellent suction power.
- They tend to have large dust capacities and many come with effective filtration systems.
- Uprights aren't as manoeuvrable or easy to use as cylinder vacuums. If you need to get under furniture or into other tricky areas of the home, an upright may not be the best choice.
- They are difficult to use on stairs, especially if a motorised attachment isn't included.
- Uprights are often heavier and noisier than cylinder vacuums.
Wet & Dry
As the name suggests, wet and dry vacuums are capable of handling liquid spills as well as dry debris. This makes them much more versatile than the typical vacuum cleaner. If you need to use a vacuum outdoors, for clearing work sites, tackling spills in the kitchen or even for unblocking sinks, a wet and dry model is a much better choice than a typical upright or cylinder.
A number of brands produce wet and dry models. Some of the most popular include Numatic (of Henry Hoover fame), Vax, Einhell and Draper. There are also handheld wet and dry vacuums available, although these are built for small spills in kitchens or bathrooms rather than work sites or large amounts of fluid.
Aside from the ability to suck up liquids, wet and dry models have a number of other advantages. The typical wet and dry model is built for heavy usage, so they are usually highly durable. They aren't subjected to the same EU regulations that limit vacuum power, so these models often have excellent suction . Many also have huge capacities - sometimes up to 30 litres - as they need the space for large quantities of fluid or debris.
There are some drawbacks though. In general, wet and dry vacuums don't have the same quality of filtration as uprights or cylinders. If you or someone in your family suffers from allergies, this is something to keep in mind. A common misconception is that wet and dry models can also clean carpets - but this isn't the case. They are great for removing water from carpets, but can't do the actual cleaning.
Listed below are our top recommendations for a wet and dry vacuum. If you'd like more information about each model, check out our wet and dry guide.
Large capacity, wide cleaning radius and powerful wet and dry vacuum that’s fitted with a safety valve for sucking up liquids.
Inexpensive wet and dry model that still provides capable suction power. Requires filters to be switched to suck up liquids.
Versatile home cleaning product that’s capable of vacuuming, carpet cleaning and spill cleaning and is surprisingly cheap.
Powerful model that’s capable of sucking up anything – from liquid to glass. Can also be used as power tool dust extractor.
- Able to handle wet spills as well as large amount of dry debris.
- These vacuums are highly durable and able to withstand debris found in workshops or gardens.
- They are also powerful and provide excellent suction power.
- Most have long power cords and big capacities so they can be used continuously for extended periods.
- Wet and dry models might be too bulky for typical everyday use, although this isn't what they are primarily built for.
- They usually don't have the same level of filtration as uprights or cylinders.
- Most require you to change the filter when switching between dry and wet modes (although there are some exceptions).
Best Vacuums for Specific Tasks
There's no such thing as the best vacuum for all situations. If you're looking for a vacuum for a specific task, such as clearing leaves in the garden or removing dirt from your car, then you need to make sure you get one that can handle this type of job.
Listed below are our top picks for a variety of tasks, including gardening, cars, carpet sweeping and steam cleaning. These vacuums may not be the best "all-round" options (although some are), but excel at a specific type of cleaning.
Cleaning a car is a surprisingly difficult task for many traditional vacuums. Aside from needing to worry about finding a nearby plug socket, uprights require you to use the hose for most of the work - and many don't come with a motorised power tool. Cylinders are a better choice, as the hose is more suited to getting into tight spaces, but the process can be frustratingly slow.
For these reasons, it's often a good idea to buy a vacuum that's designed to cope with the challenges of car cleaning. This can save you a lot of time and frustration, especially if you clean your car interior regularly.
But what defines a car vacuum? There are no industry-agreed standards, but we have certain criteria that needs to be met. These vacuums must have highly manoeuvrable designs that excel at getting into tight spaces, such as underneath seats, in glove compartments and footwells. They must also powerful enough to remove the dirt, mud, pet hair and food that often accumulates in a car. If the vacuum is cordless, the run-time must be at least 10 minutes (preferably longer).
This criteria rules out many handheld vacuums - despite what manufacturers might tell you! Fortunately, there are still some excellent handhelds that are great for car cleaning. Listed below are our top picks. Each is well-suited to the unique challenges of cleaning your car, yet still provides great value for money. For more information, view our car vacuum page.
Handheld car vacuum with a 1.5 metre integrated hose. Relatively short run-time but powerful and comes with pet attachment.
Excellent price for a car vac yet still has powerful suction and a TurboTool for pet hair. 20 minute run-time is enough for most cars.
Great all-round handheld vacuum that excels at cleaning cars. All the power of the Dyson V7 and up to 30-minutes run-time.
Innovative handheld vacuum with a pivot design that's useful for getting into car crevices. Also has an extendable nose.
- Car vacuums have the manoeuvrability to get into all the tight locations in your car's interior.
- They make cleaning your car much faster and less frustrating.
- The best models have strong suction power to remove dirt, mud, pet hair and food - despite their small size.
- Cordless car vacuums tend to have short battery run-times as they need strong suction.
- Our top picks are great for cleaning cars and above ground areas of your home, but are too small for large areas of floor.
If you need a lightweight cleaning tool that doesn't make a lot of noise, a carpet sweeper can be a great option. They are handy for when you either can't or don't want to use your regular vacuum, and are also great for people who get tired pushing a large machine around the home for extended periods.
These models don't use suction to remove dust and dirt. Instead, they rely on a rotating brush to stir up dirt and collect it in a small container. As you can imagine, this greatly reduces their efficiency, but means they are very quiet, lightweight and easy to use. Carpet sweepers are also much cheaper than full vacuums, with some models costing as little as £20.
When reviewing carpet sweepers, we look at their dirt pickup, ease of use and value. It's also important to have realistic expectations, as a sweeper is never going to match a vacuum when it comes with dust and dirt pickup.
Listed below are our top four carpet sweepers. We've included models from several brands, such as Gtech, Bissell and Leifheit. For more reviews, visit our carpet sweeper page.
Our favourite sweeper. Made by the company behind the AirRam vacuum, it has a 60 minute run-time and anti-bacterial surfaces.
A great manual carpet sweeper with side brushes (for cleaning walls) and a durable design. Also has a height setting.
Budget cordless carpet sweeper with a 45-minute run-time, 4.8V battery and a considerably cheaper price than the SW20.
Effective manual carpet sweeper that's available for a very reasonable price. Has corner brushes and twisted bristles.
- Carpet sweepers are great for keeping your carpet in respectable condition between cleaning with a vacuum.
- The lack of suction means they are very quiet, so they can be used even when people are asleep.
- They are also lightweight, easy to use and relatively cheap compared to vacuums.
- Carpet sweepers don't have any suction, so even the best models remove far less dust and dirt than a vacuum cleaner. For this reason, it's important to have realistic expectations before you buy.
- They also have small capacities so need to be emptied regularly.
If you're tired of using a rake to clean up leaves, a garden vacuum could be a great option. They are a much more efficient and painless way to clear leaves during the autumn - yet are often available for a very reasonable price.
There are several different types of garden vacuum. The most simple are leaf blowers. As the name suggests, these are used to push leaves into a smaller area, but the leaves then need to be picked up manually. Other models have both leaf blowing and suction modes, so you don't need to pickup leaves with your hands.
Choosing a garden vac is different from a regular upright or cylinder. While you still need to think about suction power and the size of the collection bag, you also need to consider whether you need a leaf blowing function, the mulching ratio (how much the leaves are reduced in size after pickup) and whether a machine is suitable for the size of your garden.
There are also both cordless and corded options available. Cordless garden vacuums, like their indoor counterparts, are more manoeuvrable and less restrictive. The downside is that they have a limited run-time before needing to be recharged and usually aren't as powerful. For large gardens, a corded model is probably the best option.
Listed below are our top four picks for the best garden vacuum. You can also view our garden vacuums page for more information.
A versatile leaf blower and vacuum with a 2500W motor. Also shreds leaves and has a variable speed function.
Powerful blower, mulcher and vacuum. Reduces leaves by a 16:1 ratio and provides great value for money.
Excellent leaf blower and vacuum for small or medium gardens. Easy to hold and reasonable price.
Cordless leaf blower with a max. output of 250km/hour. Variable speed function and surprisingly powerful.
- Garden vacuums and leaf blowers are great for cleaning up fallen leaves during autumn.
- Some models come with leaf blowing, mulching and vacuum modes, so you can move a large amount of leaves into a pile before quickly sucking them up.
- They are relatively cheap and can provide great value for money - especially if you're currently using a garden rake and bag.
- Not all come with both vacuum and leaf blowing functions - it's important to make sure you know which type you're buying.
Steam cleaners have become increasingly popular over the last few years - and for good reason. They provide a hygienic and powerful way to clean your home without using expensive cleaning products.
Unlike vacuums, these appliances use high-powered steam to remove dirt, loosen grease and kill dust mites or bacteria. While top-quality steam cleaners can make cleaning your home much faster, there are only a few models we think are worth buying. Unfortunately, there are a number of poor quality models that don't provide the cleaning power or reliability we need to recommend them.
Listed below are our top four picks for the best steam cleaner. Each has been highly rated by buyers, offers great cleaning performance and provides excellent value.
Includes both mop and handheld modes. Triangular design for cleaning into corners and other difficult areas.
Powerful handheld steam cleaner that's simple and lightweight. Includes a variety of accessories for cleaning different surfaces.
Great for cleaning large areas of floor quickly due to the "Lamellae" tool. Also includes several accessories.
Comes with both mop and handheld options. Powerful motor and several accessories for cleaning worktops and crevices.
- Clean floors or other surfaces at high pressure.
- Able to shift grease and dirt that's too stubborn for a vacuum cleaner.
- Can save hours of cleaning time each month.
- While there are some excellent models available, there are also many poor quality steam cleaners that we don't recommend.
Best Vacuum Cleaners with Specific Features
A typical vacuum cleaner, whether it's upright, cylinder or cordless, is built for one thing: removing dust, dirt, hair and other debris from floors. They don't necessarily have to do this quietly or with great filtration.
This is fine for most people, but what if you want a quiet vacuum that still provides strong suction? Or one that's lightweight so you can carry it upstairs easily?
Fortunately, some manufacturers have caught onto the fact that people often want more than just the basics when it comes to a vacuum. Listed below are our top picks for vacs with specific features, such as a low noise output or HEPA filtration.
If you have a dog, cat or any other pet that sheds, you'll already know how hard it is to keep a home "pet hair-free." To make things more difficult, many vacuums struggle to suck up hair - especially in long pile carpets or on upholstery. That's why we always recommend buying a vacuum cleaner that's designed to deal with hair if you own pets.
The main thing to look for in a pet vacuum is suction power. The more powerful a vacuum is, the greater chance it has of sucking up more pet hair. Also, the floor head design is vital - especially for upright models. Many pet vacuums also come with a motorised upholstery tool for getting rid of hair on sofas.
We've listed our top 4 pet vacuums below. You can also view more information on our pet vacuum page.
Excellent suction that excels at picking up pet hair. AirClean filter also removes pet odours from the air.
Another powerful pet vacuum with effective filter, strong suction and tangle-free turbine tool.
The cordless V8 Absolute is great at removing pet hair from carpets, hard floors and upholstery.
Convenient pet vacuum that’s cheap and lightweight. Great for quick clean-up jobs that don’t require full vacuum.
Vacuums with HEPA Filters
HEPA filters are the most effective type of vacuum filter. True HEPA filters stop over 99.7% of particles with a 0.3 micron diameter from being released into the air, which greatly cuts down on allergens, bacteria and mites circulating in your home. For this reason, vacuums with HEPA filters are often recommend for people with allergies.
For more information about HEPA filters, check out our post "What is a HEPA Filter." If you're looking for a vacuum with this type of filtration, either take a look at our top picks below or visit our HEPA vacuum page.
A powerful upright vacuum with lift-away design, anti-allergen technology and headlights for easier cleaning.
Bagged upright with powerful suction and an S-Class filter. Also has a large capacity for an upright - although it's relatively heavy.
This is the "Allergy" version of the popular C3 range. It comes with a HEPA 13 filter, Turbo brush and hardfloor brush.
Very popular and low-budget vacuum cleaner with sponge and HEPA filtration. Useful for quick cleans but can't rival "real" vacs for power.
If you struggle to carry your vacuum upstairs, or just don't want to be lugging around a 10kg appliance whenever you want to clean your floors, a lightweight vacuum is a great option. We define a lightweight model as anything under 5kg, although there are vacuums considerably lighter than this (some weigh as little as 1.6kg).
Listed below are four lightweight options. Each provides excellent performance while minimising weight and bulk. We've included an option for all the major categories - upright, cylinder and cordless - because cordless and upright models are naturally lighter. For more information and options, view our lightweight vacuum page. If you're specifically looking for an upright, view our lightweight upright vacuum page.
Lightweight by upright standards, at just 4.9kg, the Vax is also powerful and provides great value for money.
The AirRamk Mk2 weighs just 3.3kg and is great for cleaning floors. It's not as versatile as a Dyson cordless, but provides great value.
A lightweight vacuum that is perfect for getting rid of pet hair and other fluff. Includes ActiveClean filter for removing odours.
The ultra-budget Bissell is the lightest on this list at just 1.6kg. It's not as powerful as other models, but is cheap and easy to use.
Quiet or Silent Vacuums
The average vacuum cleaner is a loud appliance. This isn't usually a problem, but if you need to clean late or night or have a baby you don't want to wake, a quiet cleaner can help minimise noise disturbance.
Vacuum noise output is measured in decibels. This is a logarithmic scale, which means a vacuum with a noise output of 10dB higher is actually 10 times louder. While a "truly silent" vacuum doesn't exist yet, there are some excellent models with significantly lower noise outputs than a typical vacuum.
Listed below are our top four picks for a quiet vacuum cleaner. Each provides great cleaning performance yet has a low noise output. So if you need to clean during unsociable hours, any of these vacuums is a great place to start.
Provides a HEPA filter and brilliant performance – yet has a noise level of just 64dB making it one of the quietest cylinder models.
The Henry needs no introduction - but most people don't realise it's a surprisingly quiet vacuum cleaner (72dB).
Cylinder vacuum with a 4 litre capacity and variety of tools. Relatively cheap, powerful and a noise output of just 72dB.
Another quiet Bosch is the BGS5SCSIGB. It has a noise output of just 66dB, along with great performance on hard floors.
Best Vacuums by Budget
Like all products, more expensive vacuums generally provide better performance and are more reliable than cheaper options. This isn't always the case though - and there are some excellent vacuums available for under £100. While these models often don't have the advanced features of pricier options, they make up for this with great value and strong cleaning performance.
Here's a quick overview of our top four vacuums costing less than £100. Please note that these models costed less than £100 at the time of writing, but prices are subject to change at any time.
The Numatic James is the cheapest model in the Henry Hoover range - but it still provides excellent performance for the price.
With excellent suction and a lightweight design, the Vax is one of the most popular uprights under £100 - and the huge reach is a bonus.
A unique pivot design makes this vacuum convenient to use. It also has relatively strong suction for a handheld.
If you're looking for a pet vacuum under £100, the Vax Power Pet is a great option. Powerful and comes with a Turbo Tool & odour filter.
Best Vacuums by Brand
There are a huge number of brands selling vacuum cleaners in the UK. Some, such as iRobot, specialise in a particular type of vacuum. Others, such as Dyson or Vax, produce a range of cylinder, handheld, upright and cordless models. If you have a favourite brand and just want to know which model to buy, check out our top lists below.
Bissell are a popular manufacturer of vacuums sold in the UK. Based in Michigan, the company produces a range of vacs and carpet cleaning products, but are probably best known (at least in the UK) for their upright and cordless models.
Here are our top picks from this brand, but if you need more information check out our Bissell vacuums page.
Powerful suction with multi-cyclonic technology. Also has a TurboBrush for pet hair and multi-cyclonic tech.
Versatile BISSELL vacuum model that’s capable of steam cleaning with just 30 seconds of warm up time.
Another versatile cordless BISSELL with a 40 minute run-time, extension wand and a handheld mode.
Simple cordless vac that’s designed to make cleaning along skirting boards easy. Also has a hand vacuum.
Dyson is a brand that doesn't need any introduction. The company is one of the most famous vacuum manufacturers in the world and produce a range of models from cordless to robotic. They are also amongst the most innovative appliance companies, bringing new features such as cyclonic design and "Ball" technology to the market. Their vacuums aren't cheap, but make up for this with excellent performance.
Choosing the best Dyson vacuum is difficult, butthe four models listed below are our favourites at the time of writing. If you're looking for a Dyson vacuum, these are a good place to start.
Powerful cylinder vacuum cleaner with a pet hair tool, excellent filtration and Big Ball for extra mobility around the house.
The king of cordless vacuum cleaners due to its versatility, 60-minute run-time and brilliant cleaning performance.
The best Dyson upright on the market at the moment. Powerful, great with pet hair and easy to manoeuvre around the home.
The successor to the V6 provides a longer 30-minute run-time, hygienic emptying and direct-drive cleaner head.
Hoover were once such a popular vacuum company that their brand name became synonymous with vacuum cleaners. While they have lost ground to companies such as Miele, Vax and Dyson in recent years, their models shouldn't be overlooked as there are some excellent options - particularly in the sub-£100 range.
Listed below are our top four picks for Hoover vacuum cleaners. There are cordless, cylinder and upright models included, so there's an option for almost every situation.
Inexpensive cylinder that’s great for pet hair with its Turbo Tool. Lightweight and has a self-sealing system when emptying bag.
Simple cylinder vacuum with an energy-efficient design and strong suction. Also lightweight and relatively cheap.
Large capacity upright with a 7 stage filter, pet Turbo Brush and an “edge to edge” cleaning system. This is a bagged model.
Upright cordless vacuum that comes with several useful features, including a 45 minute run time and a 2.5 metre hose.
Miele are one of the most popular manufacturers of vacuum cleaners sold in the UK. Based in Germany, the company produces a range of vacuums, but are best known for their "C" range of cylinder vacuums. These models, including the Miele C3 PowerLine, are amongst the best on the market at the moment.
We've listed our top Miele vacuums below. This list is dominated by cylinder models, although the Dynamic U1 is an capable upright. If you'd like more information about the company, please visit our Miele vacuums page.
One of the best cylinder vacuums if you have pets. Powerful, great for picking up pet hair and has an Active Filter system.
Miele's first bagless vacuum is an excellent model that provides great performance on all floor types. It's not cheap though!
Looking for a Miele vacuum that’s a bit less expensive? The C1 is powerful, has an AirClean filter and several accessories.
Excellent cylinder vacuum with a highly efficient AirClean filtration system, 4.5 litre capacity and a metal-plated floorhead.
Morphy Richards is a popular home appliance manufacturer. While they are probably best known for their kitchen appliances, the company produces a range of excellent vacuums. Many of their models are relatively inexpensive too - especially their cordless vacuum range.
Here's our picks for the best Morphy Richards vacuum cleaner. Each of these models provides great value - although it's important to have realistic expectations of these cheaper vacs compared to high-end models.
Probably the best Morphy Richards on the market at the moment. Handheld mode, 60-minute run-time and decent performance.
Another 2-in-1 cordless from Morphy Richards, although this one is less expensive and comes with a shorter run-time.
This model features a 3-in-1 design and a 30-minute maximum run-time. Great on hard floors but can struggle with carpets.
This cordless comes with a whopping 36V battery and enough suction to handle pet hair. Can struggle with carpet though.
Vax is another vacuum cleaner brand that needs little introduction. They are best known for their excellent range of upright vacuums, although they also produce cylinder and cordless models. There are also some excellent Vax cordless and handheld vacuums on the market.
If you're looking for a Vax vacuum cleaner, here are our four favourite models. These vacuums have all been rated highly by buyers and provide excellent value.
A versatile model that appears on more than one of our “Best Of” lists. Powerful suction and detachable canister for stairs.
This upright vacuum cleaner is built for convenience, with a pet turbo tool, long cord and hose, and powerful suction.
Huge 10 litre capacity and several cleaning functions, including vacuuming, spill cleaning and carpet cleaning. Highly versatile.
This cordless is a cheaper variation on the classic Dyson "hand stick" design. Great on carpets and includes a pet turbo tool.