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How Long Should a New Vacuum Cleaner Last?

Written by James Hall |

how long should a vacuum cleaner last

Thinking of buying a new vacuum but want to make sure it’s worth the investment? Here’s our thoughts on how long a vacuum cleaner should last.

Vacuum cleaners are reliable machines, but they don’t last forever. So, if you’re buying a new vacuum, it’s important to know how long you can realistically expect it to last.

In this article, we’ll go through the average lifespan of a vacuum cleaner. We’ll also discuss what affects a vacuum’s durability, including brand, usage, type, and more.

How Long Should a Vacuum Cleaner Last?

Corded upright and cylinder vacuums typically last around 7-8 years before needing to be replaced, although this varies greatly depending on the brand and usage. Handheld and cordless vacuums typically have shorter lifespans.

Lifespan of the Average Vacuum Cleaner

On average, you can expect an upright or cylinder vacuum cleaner to last around 7-8 years – although this varies a lot depending on the brand. These vacuums might be less convenient than cordless models, but they are durable and typically built to last. They also don’t rely on a battery, which is often the first thing to wear down.

Cordless vacuums tend to have shorter lifespans (approximately 3-5 years,) especially if the battery can’t be replaced. Handheld vacuums are even less durable and typically last 2-4 years.

Robot vacuums are also less durable than bigger vacuums. They also rely on batteries, which may stop functioning after a certain amount of recharges. For these reasons, robot vacuums typically only last 3-5 years.

Vacuum TypeEstimated Average Lifespan
Upright (corded)7-8 years
Cylinder (corded)7-8 years
Stick (corded)5-7 years
Stick (cordless)3-5 years
Handheld (cordless)2-4 years
Robot3-5 years

These numbers are just an estimate based on our experience – the actual length of time a vacuum lasts can vary wildly. Many vacuums last longer than the average, while others will break down much sooner.

There are a number of factors that can greatly affect a vacuum’s durability. These include:

  • Brand (most important)
  • Type of vacuum
  • Usage
  • Maintenance

We’ll discuss each of these variables in more detail in the following sections.

Tip: The average lifespan listed above is for vacuums that are properly maintained and cleaned. Failing to clean the filters, unclog the hose, and perform other basic maintenance tasks can reduce the lifespan.

Which Vacuum Brands Are the Most Reliable?

Example of a reliable vacuum cleaner

As we mentioned earlier, the average lifespan of a vacuum cleaner varies a lot depending on the brand.

However, it’s difficult to rank vacuum brands for reliability across all their product range. While there are certainly some brands that produce more durable machines, the lifespan of a vacuum can still vary depending on the exact model.

Here are a few examples of brands we recommend if you’re looking for a reliable and long-lasting vacuum though:

  • Miele
  • Numatic (the Henry Hoover range)
  • AEG
  • SEBO
  • Shark
  • Dyson

We recommend avoiding brands with little name-recognition when buying a vacuum cleaner. These models are often cheap, but are not built to last.

It’s also a good idea to look for brands that offer long warranties on their vacuums, as this is a sign that the company values durability.

Other Factors That Affect Vacuum Lifespan and Reliability

Obviously ,the more frequently you clean the faster components are likely to break down. But misusing your vacuum cleaner can cause bigger issues and potentially break your vacuum. Examples include:

  • Running over the power cord. Regularly running over the power cord may cause damage to the wire over time. You also should never pull the vacuum by the power cord, as this puts a lot of stress on the connection.
  • Sucking up liquids (or damp materials.) Regular vacuums should never be used to suck up liquid spills, as this can cause clogging, damage the motor, and potentially risk an electric shock. Even damp mud or other materials should be cleaned up before vacuuming.
  • Not cleaning your vacuum cleaner. Regularly cleaning your vacuum is essential for maintaining suction power. Important spots to clean include the hose, filters, and canister.

To learn more, read our guide to extending the life of your vacuum cleaner.

Are You Sure Your Vacuum Cleaner Needs to be Replaced?

Don’t just throw away your vacuum if it stops working. Many vacuum cleaners are disposed of and replaced unnecessarily, due to simple issues that could be easy to fix.

Here are the most common faults that should be checked before getting rid of your vacuum cleaner:

  • Overfilled vacuum canister or bag. Overfilling your vacuum cleaner can cause a drop in suction power, which may make the vacuum appear to be broken. It also increases the chances of clogging.
  • Blocked filters. Filters need to be cleaned regularly to maintain your vacuum’s suction. If your machine isn’t sucking like it once did, check whether the filters need to be cleaned or replaced.
  • Clogged hose. If the hose is partially clogged your vacuum won’t be able to generate as much suction power as before.
  • Tangled brush bar. Long hairs or string that’s caught around the brush bar can prevent it turning freely, which may affect cleaning performance. A tangled brush bar also puts strain on the motor and reduces the lifespan of your machine.
  • Broken drive belt. The brush roll is driven by a vacuum belt. If this breaks or becomes overstretched, the belt will stop turning properly and the vacuum won’t be as effective. Fortunately, replacing a belt is an easy DIY task.

Even after checking for these issues, it’s still worth contacting a vacuum repair shop if your vac has stopped working. They may be able to fix the issue for a much lower cost than purchasing a new vacuum cleaner.


Vacuum cleaners last a long time. Corded vacuums tend to last around 7-8 years, although some brands are much more durable than others. Any vacuum with a battery is likely to last a shorter time – especially if the battery isn’t removable.

Do you have any questions about how long a vacuum cleaner should last? Let us know in the comments section below.

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