Which is the Best Cylinder Vacuum Cleaner in 2018? Reviews of the Top UK Cleaners

Written by James Hall | 0 Comments| Last Updated: May 30, 2018

The top cylinder vacuums are lightweight, powerful and great for cleaning stairs – but with hundreds on the market it can be difficult to know which to buy.  In this article, we review our picks for the best cylinder vacuum cleaners in the UK.

big ball animal 2 Dyson Big Ball Animal 2
  • Power: 600W
  • Dust Capacity: 1.5 litres
  • Filter: Cyclonic & Washable
  • Price: £££
  • Strong all-round performance & great on pet hair.
Top
Miele C3 Powerline Miele Complete C3 Powerline
  • Power: 900W
  • Dust Capacity: 4.5 litres
  • Filter: 11-Stage
  • Price: ££
  • Powerful suction, lightweight and versatile. Our #1 cylinder.
NUMATIC HVR200-12 Numatic Henry
  • Power: 620W
  • Dust Capacity: 9 litres
  • Filter: Standard
  • Price: ££
  • Iconic design with strong suction and huge capacity. A real workhorse.
Miele Blizzard CX1 Comfort Miele Blizzard CX1
  • Power: 900W
  • Dust Capacity: 2 litres
  • Filter: HEPA AirClean
  • Price: ££££
  • Pricey but an outstanding bagless vacuum for any surface.
Budget
Hoover Enigma Hoover Enigma
  • Power: 700W
  • Dust Capacity: 3.2 litres
  • Filter: Standard
  • Price: £
  • Great suction, pet brush and lightweight design - all for an excellent price.

 

New EU regulations for vacuum cleaners came into effect at the start of September 2017. These limit vacuum motors to 900W and noise output to 80dB. Retailers can still sell their existing stock, so vacuums that don’t meet the requirements are still available – but may not be for long. For this reason, we are regularly updating this page to remove vacuums that are no longer available. We are also re-reviewing new versions of popular vacuums where appropriate.

When it comes to cleaning stairs and other awkward locations, the cylinder vacuum is king. These unassuming vacuums have a large cleaning radius and strong suction power – and are often available for an excellent price.

But which are the best cylinder vacuums on the market right now? And how do you know which is the right one for your home? Let’s find out.

Why Buy a Cylinder Vac?

There are a number of important differences between cylinder vacuums and upright models.

Most importantly, the dust canister or bag is separated from the head via a long hose. This provides more versatility when cleaning difficult to reach areas, because you don’t need to move the entire unit. It also makes cylinder models useful for cleaning stairs and underneath tables.

Cylinders often rely on strong suction power instead of features such as motorised brushes, so an efficient motor is important. Most also include accessories and tools to attach via the hose, turning your vacuum into an all-round cleaning machine instead of just a dust-buster.

But does that mean a cylinder is the best option for everyone? Unfortunately not. Cylinders are best suited to smaller flats and houses, as they are less efficient for cleaning large areas of carpet. Even so, they can handle any type of flooring and accessories can make them a more versatile option than uprights.

Our Selection Process

As with any large appliance, it’s vital to read cylinder vacuum reviews before you buy. There are some excellent models out there from brands such as Dyson, Zanussi, Vax and Numatic (of Henry fame). On the other hand, there are also poor quality models with low suction power and unreliable motors which should be avoided.

That’s why we’ve listed the best cylinder vacuum cleaners in the UK (in our opinion), before providing a comprehensive buyer’s guide. So if you’re thinking of buying one, make sure you read and bookmark this page for future reference.

When choosing our list of the best cylinder vacuums, we’ve taken into account factors such as price, suction power, tools and dust capacity. You should also consider the cable length/cleaning radius, filtration system and whether the vacuum can match your requirements (such as pet hair).

Which are Our Top Cylinder Vacuums?

ImageProduct NamePrice RangeWeightPowerCord LengthDust CapacityRead More
Miele Classic C1 Junior££4.3kg800W5.5 metres4.5 litresView Price
NUMATIC HVR200 Henry££8.1kg620W10 metres9 litresView Price
Miele Complete C3 Powerline££5.4kg900W11 metre cleaning radius4.5 litresView Price
Hoover Enigma£4.9kg700W9 metre cleaning radius3.2 litresView Price
Numatic Harry HHR200££8.1kg620W10 metres9 litresView Price
Miele C3 Cat and Dog PowerLine£££5.4kg900W7.5 metres4.5 litresView Price
Dyson Big Ball Animal 2£££7.5kg600WNot listed1.5 litresView Price
Miele Blizzard CX1 Comfort PowerLine££££6.5kg900W6.5 metres2 litresView Price

Best Cylinder Vacuum – Our #1 Pick

Miele Complete C3 Powerline1. Miele Complete C3 Powerline

The Miele Complete C3 Powerline bagged vacuum cleaner is more expensive than others on this list – but don’t let that put you off. With its excellent suction power, 11 metre cleaning radius, adjustable power setting and three included accessories, this is an outstanding vacuum. Miele has also re-designed the motor to meet the 900W maximum set by EU regulations, which is great news for people looking to buy this model.

Aside from its excellent performance on almost any surface, the C3 is designed to be easy to use around the home. It’s relatively lightweight and has a large cleaning radius, so you won’t need to keep changing plug socket. The dustbags hold more dirt than previous models and have a self-closing system, so it’s simple to dispose of them without spraying dust everywhere.

Other features include a universal floor head, easy storage for the accessories and a bag that removes more fine dust than regular bags. In addition, the C3 comes with an AirClean 11-stage filter for efficient everyday filtration. While it doesn’t include a HEPA filter, this system removes most of the dust and allergens before it is released back into the air. It performs well on both carpets and hardwood floors too.

If you’re looking for a high quality, powerful cylinder vacuum cleaner and your budget can stretch to the C3, it’s a highly recommend model. The strong suction power, in particular, make it a choice to consider. Click here for our full review (note: the review is of the 1600W version, but the newer 900W model is almost identical aside from the motor).

Overview:

  • Price Range: £££
  • Power: 900W
  • Weight: 5.4kg
  • Dust Capacity: 4.5 litres
  • Filter Type: AirClean

Key Features:

  • Excellent suction power even with the reduced 900W power
  • AirClean filtration system for fine dust and allergen removal.
  • 11 metre operating radius and a number of cleaning modes.

View Price

Best Budget Cylinder Vacuum

The Hoover Enigma is a bagged cylinder with variable suction2. Hoover Enigma Bagged Cylinder Vacuum

If you’re looking for a low-budget cylinder vacuum that can rival more expensive options, the Hoover Enigma is our top pick. With great cleaning performance, pet turbo brush and variable power – along with a very reasonable price – the Enigma is an excellent all-round vacuum cleaner.

What makes the Enigma stand out though? The first thing is the price. With an RRP of just £99.99, it’s a relatively inexpensive cylinder vacuum considering its strong performance. If you can’t afford pricey vacs like the Miele Blizzard or Dyson Big Ball Animal 2, this is a great alternative.

Speaking of performance, the Enigma is fantastic on hard floors and is even powerful enough remove dust between floorboards. It also provides decent performance on carpets and pet hair (mainly due to the pet brush). In fact, the only thing it really struggles with is picking up larger debris, such as cereal.

There are a few minor drawbacks though. The cleaning radius is smaller than we would like, so you may need to change plug sockets more often than other vacs. It also can’t quite match the cleaning performance of more expensive vacuum cleaners on this list – although it comes surprisingly close.

Despite these drawbacks, the Hoover Enigma is an excellent cylinder vacuum cleaner. It’s powerful, lightweight and easy to use – plus it’s great on almost all surfaces.

Overview:

  • Price Range: £
  • Power: 700W
  • Weight: 4.9kg
  • Dust Capacity: 3.2 litres
  • Filter Type: Standard

Key Features:

  • Excellent value for money.
  • Strong suction power and powerful performance on almost any surface.
  • Great dust retention for allergy sufferers.

View Price

Best Bagless Cylinder Vacuum

Miele Blizzard CX1 Comfort3. Miele Blizzard CX1 Comfort PowerLine

One of the newest entries on this list is the Miele Blizzard CX1 Comfort PowerLine. It’s Miele’s first entry into the bagless market – and what a way to make an impact.

Unlike every other Miele cylinder vacuum to date, the Blizzard doesn’t use bags. Instead, it’s powered by a single “Vortex” cyclone that provides outstanding suction power. It comes with two heads, including an extra wide and low profile tool for cleaning hard floors, and is great on almost any type of floor.

Aside from its great cleaning performance, the CX1 also has an A-rating for dust re-emission due to the lifetime HEPA AirClean filter. Other features include a handle control system, low noise output (76dB) and a filter that automatically cleans itself.

There are a few drawbacks to the CX1 though. The biggest is the price – with an RRP of £400 this isn’t a model for people on a budget. It also isn’t great with pet hair on carpets, although Miele have released a Cat & Dog version to address this. We would also have liked a larger cleaning radius such as you get with the Numatic Henry.

Overall, the Miele Blizzard CX1 Comfort PowerLine is one of the best cylinder vacuums on the market. It’s powerful, stylish and easy to manoeuvre around the home. If you’re looking for a bagless cylinder and can afford it, the CX1 is a great choice (you can also check out our CX1 Vs Dyson Cinetic comparison).

Overview:

  • Price Range: ££££
  • Power: 900W
  • Weight: 6.5kg
  • Dust Capacity: 2 litres
  • Filter Type: HEPA AirClean

Key Features:

  • Great suction power
  • Wide hard floor tool
  • Excellent filtration

View Price

Best Cylinder Vacuum for Pet Hair

Miele C3 Cat & Dog4. Miele C3 Cat and Dog PowerLine

Pet hair is something many cylinders struggle with – especially those without a turbo brush. Fortunately, there are some cylinder vacuums that specialise in removing pet hair from carpets, furniture and hard floors. Our favourite is the Miele C3 Cat and Dog Powerline.

As the name suggests, this is a close relative of the C3 PowerLine (our #1 cylinder vacuum). It’s a 900W vacuum with powerful suction to remove more dust and dirt than many competing vacs, along with a 4.3 litre bag and 8.5 metre power cord.

For pet hair, the machine comes with a TurboBrush. This is effective at removing hair and fluff from carpets and other fabrics without damaging them. It also has an Active AirClean filter which includes a charcoal layer. This removes dog and cat smells from the room while keeping the air clean.

Other features include an easy-to-empty bagged design, foot switches for changing the power level, a cable rewind button and on-board storage for tools.

The Miele C3 Cat and Dog is an excellent cylinder vacuum for pet hair. It comes with a range of useful features, such as the TurboTool, and the filter system is great if your house smells of pets after vacuuming. The only downside is that it doesn’t include a HEPA filter, although if you’re willing to pay more you can get this and the TurboTool on the C3 Total Solution Allergy.

Overview:

  • Price Range: £££
  • Power: 900W
  • Weight: 5.4kg
  • Dust Capacity: 4.5 litre
  • Filter Type: Active AirClean

Key Features:

  • TurboTool for pet hair
  • Charcoal filter to remove pet odours
  • Strong suction and several power levels

View Price

Other Recommended Models

NUMATIC HVR200-12 Review5. Numatic HVR200 Henry

The “Henry” vacuum cleaner is probably the most recognisable in the UK – but it’s not just a pretty face. The Henry’s cleaning performance matches its reputation, plus it provides great value for money and a highly durable design.

With a large 9 litre capacity and excellent suction, the NUMATIC HVR200 Henry is a great option for simple, powerful cleaning. Like the Miele C3 series, however, it’s a bagged vacuum which you may not find as convenient as bagless alternatives – although this allows for a larger capacity and better allergen retention when emptying.

Features of the Numatic HVR200 (Henry to you and me) include increased suction compared to previous models, 10 metre cable for more convenient cleaning, an easy folding handle and upholstery brush. This version of the Henry also has strong filtration – which is great if you have a dust allergy.

Aside from its excellent suction power, the Henry can seemingly vacuum anything without getting blocked. This is why it’s such a popular choice for commercial cleaning.

There are a few downsides though. It’s a relatively basic vacuum that doesn’t come with a powered brush bar tool (such as the C3 Cat & Dog’s turbo tool). This makes it less effective at cleaning stubborn pet hair, although it still does a surprisingly good job. The floor tool also doesn’t always glide easily over carpet.

Even so, the Numatic HVR200 Henry cylinder vacuum is an excellent model that provides good value for money. And, if you get sick of the constantly happy Henry, you can even unclip his face! Click here to read our full review.

Note: Numatic also produces a smaller version of the Henry called the Henry Compact. The six litre capacity is still large, but it’s not quite as bulky as the full model. We’ve also written in-depth comparison between Henry and Dyson if you want to know more about the differences.

Overview:

  • Price Range: ££
  • Power: 620W
  • Weight: 8.1kg
  • Dust Capacity: 9 litres

Key Features:

  • Lower 620W power motor (compared with previous models), yet provides strong suction power
  • Large 9 litre capacity so you won’t need to empty it as often as other models
  • Cord rewind system

View Price

Miele C1 Junior6. Miele Classic C1 Junior

If you like the C3 series but want a cheaper alternative, the Miele Classic C1 Junior is an excellent option. It’s great on both hard floors and carpets, while the standard floorhead does a surprisingly good job on pet hair.

At its core, the Classic C1 Junior is a bagged vacuum cleaner with a similar design to the C3 series – albeit with fewer features. It’s lighter than the C3, but doesn’t come with the EcoTeQ or TurboTeQ floor heads. It includes power controls, clip on tools and a 800W motor though.

One of the best features of the Classic C1 Junior is its highly effective filtration system. The combination of bagged design and AirClean filter make it an excellent choice for people with allergies.

It’s brilliant at cleaning hard floors and carpets. The strong suction also removes plenty of pet hair – although the lack of a turbo tool means it’s less effective than the C3 Cat & Dog in this regard.

There aren’t many drawbacks to this model – especially considering the relatively low price tag. It’s not great at sucking up larger debris, such as cereal or cat litter, so you may need several passes to get it all.  This is a common issue with cylinder vacs though. It also has a relatively short 5.5 metre cable.

In summary, the Classic C1 Junior is a bargain cylinder vacuum that provides similar performance to many more expensive vacs. It’s not the largest or most powerful on the market, but it provides brilliant performance for the price.

Overview:

  • Price Range: ££
  • Power: 800W
  • Weight: 4.3kg
  • Dust Capacity: 4.5 litres
  • Filter Type: AirClean

Key Features:

  • Excellent cleaning performance on carpets and hard floors
  • AirClean filter is great for people with allergies
  • Variable power

View Price

Numatic Harry

7. Numatic Harry HHR200

If you’re looking for a bagged cylinder that can handle pet hair, the Numatic Harry excellent choice. It’s similar in most respects to the full-size Henry, but includes a turbo tool for pet hair and micro fresh filter. It’s also relatively quiet, with a noise output of just 72dB (click here for a list of our top quiet vacuums).

One of our biggest complaints about the standard Henry is that it doesn’t include a pet hair tool. This isn’t an issue if you don’t have a dog, cat or other shedding pet, as the Henry has ample suction for most tasks. But for people who need to clean large amounts of pet hair, the Henry isn’t the most effective option.

For this reason, Numatic has designed the Harry to appeal to pet owners. it comes with a turbo floor tool that’s great for cleaning hair on carpets, while providing the huge capacity and long cable we associate with a “Henry” vacuum. It also has an activated charcoal filter to remove odours.

While the turbo tool is designed for pet hair, it improves the all-round carpet pickup, so the Harry is even better at cleaning than the Henry. Like all modern Numatic vacuums, it’s also energy efficient with a 620W motor.

The biggest downside is that it’s a bit more expensive than the standard Henry. The price difference isn’t huge, but if you’re looking for a budget model the Henry is a great choice. It’s also a bulky vacuum and less mobile than models from Miele and other brands – plus it can be somewhat awkward to store unless you have a big cupboard.

Even so, if you want a Henry cylinder vacuum that’s great for cleaning pet hair, this is the one to get.

Overview:

  • Price Range: ££
  • Power: 620W
  • Weight: 8.1kg
  • Dust Capacity: 9 litres
  • Filter Type: Activated Charcoal

Key Features:

  • Bagged design and activated charcoal filter
  • Quiet when in use.
  • “Hairbrush” tool for pet hair

View Price

big ball animal 28. Dyson Big Ball Animal 2

The latest Dyson to enter our list of the best cylinder vacuums (replacing the Cinetic Musclehead – read the full review here) is the Big Ball Animal 2. It’s a powerful vacuum that’s great on both carpets and hard floors, while the tangle-free turbine tool is brilliant for removing pet hair.

Let’s start with the basics though. This model is built with Dyson’s full-size “Big Ball” design that makes it more mobile than the average cylinder. It’s also self-righting, so when knocked over it picks itself back up, and has a new hygienic bin emptying system.

One of the advantages of the Big Ball Animal 2 over previous Dyson cylinders is the “Pneumatic” cleaner head. This provides excellent performance due to the self-adjusting design, which ensures you get a seal on hard floors while still being able to push it on carpets.

The new floor head, combined with the powerful suction, means the Big Ball Animal 2 is great on carpets, laminate, floorboards and almost any other surface. It can also suck up larger debris, such as cereal, which many vacuums struggle with.

A bonus is that it’s quieter than previous Dyson vacuums. It’s still not the quietest on the market, but isn’t deafening like previous models!

There are some downsides though. It’s one of the heavier cylinders on this list, with a weight of 7.5kg, so it may be difficult for some people to carry up and down stairs. The bagless design also means it holds less dust and dirt than bagged cylinders.

Despite these drawbacks, the Dyson Big Ball Animal 2 is an excellent vacuum cleaner. It provides brilliant all-round cleaning performance and is great for pet owners.

Overview:

  • Price Range: £££
  • Weight: 7.5kg
  • Dust Capacity: 1.5 litre
  • Filter Type: Cyclonic + Washable

Key Features:

  • Excellent suction power
  • Great on almost any floor type
  • Effective at cleaning large debris along with small particles

View Price

How to Choose a Cylinder Model

Cylinder vacuum cleaners vary in size, weight, features and suction power – so it’s important to think carefully about what’s important to you before you buy. Here’s an overview of the main factors to consider.

Are You Sure You Want A Cylinder?

Our pick for the best cylinder vacuum cleaner - the Miele C3 Powerline

Cylinder vacuums are versatile and provide great value – but they aren’t always the best choice.

This is the first question you should ask: are you certain a cylinder is the best match for your requirements – or would you be better served by an upright or cordless model? As we mentioned earlier, cylinders tend to have a compact design and are easier to use in tricky to reach areas. This is because you don’t have to lift the entire vacuum to clean furniture or stairs.

On the other hand, upright vacuum cleaners are better at large areas of carpet. They can also make do with lower wattage motors, as dirt doesn’t have to travel along the hose. Dirt is also loosened by motorised brushes in the head, which is not the case with cylinder vacuums (at least when not using a turbo tool).

The type of flooring in your home also makes a difference. Both cylinders and uprights can clean any floor, but most cylinders tend to be more effective when used on hard flooring as they have strong suction but no motorised brush. There are, however, some models that come with a “turbo roller” attachment for carpets.

So, as a general rule, for small homes with stairs or lots of difficult-to-reach places, cylinders can be an excellent option. For cleaning large carpets, an upright may be more convenient.

Bagged or Bagless?

This is one of the biggest decisions when choosing a vacuum cleaner, as, unlike cordless vacuums, many of the top models are bagged. There’s nothing wrong with a bagged vacuum, as long as you factor in the additional cost of buying replacement bags – and don’t mind the sometimes fiddly process of emptying them.

There are also bagless cylinder vacuum cleaner models available. These have the convenience of not using bags, but tend to be more expensive. However, in the long run, the best bagless cylinder vacuums can often work out cheaper.

On the other hand, bagged vacuums often use self-sealing bags. These prevent dust from escaping when emptying, which can be helpful for dust allergy sufferers. Bagged vacuums are also cheaper upfront.

Filtration System

One of the most important features of any vacuum is its filtration system. The filter stops dust particles, which have been sucked into the vacuum, being released into the air. While anyone can benefit from a more effective filter, it is most important for people with a dust allergy or asthma.

Many cheaper cylinder vacuum cleaners come with a standard filter. These usually have multiple stages to filter allergens and dust more effectively. HEPA filters are considered the “gold standard” by most people, as they are the most effective at filtering out small dust particles, but are usually only found on more expensive models (click here for our list of the best HEPA vacuums).

Cleaning Radius

Unlike uprights, cylinder models have dust containers that are connected to the floor tool by a hose. The cleaning radius is how far around the central unit you can vacuum, and affects how convenient the vacuum is to use. If you have large rooms, a bigger cleaning radius is important.

Suction Power

Cylinder cleaners have a motor which powers a fan. This fan then generates suction through the hose. Cylinder vacuums rely on their suction power (unlike uprights which also have motorised brushes for removing dirt), so it’s important to choose a model that can generate large amounts of suction.

As a general rule, higher wattage vacuums have greater suction power, although the popularity of “Eco” models that reduce power consumption without sacrificing suction power have meant this isn’t always the case. The best way to judge suction power is often to read reviews from buyers.

Weight

One of the great things about cylinder vacuums is the ability to clean tricky regions of your home. However, if the vacuum is heavy or unwieldy, this extra convenience is lost. Make sure you know exactly how much the vacuum weighs before you buy. Most are in the 3-8kg range, although there are exceptions.

Other Considerations

  • Energy Efficiency. All vacuum cleaners in the EU need to have a power of less than 900W, but many use considerably less power. This is good for both the environment and your electricity bills!
  • Bag cost. We mentioned this before, but it’s vital to know how much bags cost before you buy. While bagged cylinder vacuum cleaners are often cheaper upfront, expensive bags can quickly make them the pricier option in the long-run if you’re not careful.
  • Warranty. A longer or more comprehensive warranty is an indicator that a manufacturer has trust in their product. If possible, look for warranties that include both parts and labour.

Conclusion

Cylinder vacuums might not be as “fashionable” as uprights, but it’s a mistake to overlook this category – especially if you have a small home or mainly need a vacuum for hard floors. While they don’t have the convenience of cordless vacuums, they provide more flexibility than regular mains-powered uprights and often have strong suction power.

Finally, if we had to choose our top recommended model, it would be the Miele Complete C3 Powerline. It has strong suction power, a stylish design and provides excellent value for money.

This has been a long post – so take your time and make sure you’re clear on the advantages and disadvantages of cylinder vacuums before making a decision! And if you have any questions or comments, don’t hesitate to ask in the comments section below. We aim to respond to all comments.

A-Z of Cylinder Vacuum Reviews

 

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