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7 Best Upright Vacuum Cleaner Reviews of 2022

Written by James Hall |

Upright vacs are versatile and great for home cleaning. Not all models are worth your money though! This article contains our list of the best upright vacuum cleaners in the UK to help you make an informed choice.

Vax U85-As-PME Vax U85-AS-Pme Air Stretch Max Pet
  • Power: 820W
  • Dust Capacity: 1.5 litres
  • Filter: HEPA
  • Price: £
  • Great on carpets and brilliant value.
Shark NZ801UKT Shark DuoClean NZ801UKT
  • Power: 750W
  • Dust Capacity: 0.83 litre
  • Filter: Washable
  • Price: £££
  • Powerful, lift-away design and great filtration. Our #1 upright.
Vax Air Lift Steerable Advance Vax Air Lift Steerable Advance
  • Power: 900W
  • Dust Capacity: 1.5 litres
  • Filter: HEPA Media
  • Price: ££
  • Turbo tool for pet hair and lift-away cylinder for stairs.
Dyson Ball Animal 2 Dyson Ball Animal 2
  • Power: 900W
  • Dust Capacity: 1.8 litres
  • Filter: Washable
  • Price: £££
  • Powerful suction and great all-round performance from Dyson's last upright.

Upright vacuum cleaners are popular in the UK – and for good reason. They are powerful, versatile and available for very reasonable prices. Uprights also excel at cleaning large areas of floor quickly.

A downside to this popularity is there are literally hundreds of uprights available. This can make it hard to choose the right model for your home.

Many appear to have similar features, yet the prices vary wildly. The new EU regulations (see below) have also meant most top models have been replaced with newer versions.

That’s why we’ve created a list of the best upright vacuum cleaners: to help you make an informed decision depending on your personal requirements and budget.

Who Should (And Shouldn’t) Buy an Upright Vacuum?

So what makes upright vacuums, or upright hoovers as they are known in the UK, so popular?

The best uprights combine high suction power with an ability to quickly clean large areas of hard floors and carpets. Most have rotating brush bars, which stir up carpet fibres to remove more dirt and hair.  Many also have a reasonably large dust capacity (although not as large as cylinders).

Despite these similarities across all uprights, however, the features and performance can vary a lot.

Some uprights excel at picking up pet hair and dirt from hard floors, but struggle to dig into carpet fibres. Others may perform brilliantly on carpets but “snow plow” on laminate floors.

Brands such as Dyson, Bosch, SEBO and Vax have also been forced to innovate – largely due to increased competition and new power regulations – by adding settings and features that wouldn’t have been available just a few years ago. These include off switches for the brush bars (for cleaning hard floors), “steerable” floor heads and wider cleaning paths.

When combined with the natural advantages of an upright, these features can provide excellent cleaning performance on almost any surface.

That doesn’t mean an upright vacuum is always the best choice though. If you need to clean stairs and under furniture, the separated nature of a cylinder vacuum is more convenient. Cordless vacuums, many of which are still technically uprights but with reduced power and no cord, also trump standard uprights in terms of convenience and manoeuvrability.

Aside from the type of vacuum, you should consider a variety of other factors, such as the filtration system, included tools and whether the vacuum comes with a warranty. It’s also vital to research the brand before you buy – some are known for high-quality, reliable vacuums. Others are not!

We want to help you find the best upright for your budget, which is why we’ve listed our top seven rated models below. Further down this page you’ll also find a full guide to choosing an upright, including factors such as price, suction power and many more. We also have an entire section of upright vacuum reviews, so if you’ve got your eye on a particular model try searching for it using the search bar above.

Editor’s Note: This section is about the best mains-powered models. If you are looking for a cordless vacuum, check out our cordless section instead.

A Word About the New EU Regulations for Vacuum Cleaners

As you may know, in September 2017 the EU enforced stricter regulations regarding mains-powered vacuum cleaners – including uprights. These state a vacuum must use a maximum of 900W and have a noise output of less than 80dB. Retailers can sell existing stock of vacuums that don’t meet these requirements, but gradually these models will be phased out. We are regularly updating this list of the best upright vacuums to reflect models that are available in the UK.'s Top Upright Vacuums

7 Best Uprights of 2022 – Which Models Made Our List?

ImageProduct NamePowerCapacityWeightPrice RangeRead More
Vax Air Lift Steerable Advance900W1.5 litres6.2kg££View Price
Shark DuoClean NZ801UKT750W0.83 litres6.7kg£££View Price
Dyson Ball Animal 2900W1.8 litres7.34kg£££View Price
Vax U85-AS-Pme Air Stretch820W1.5 litres5kg£View Price
Shark Lift-Away NV681UKT750W1.1 litre6.3kg£££View Price
Sebo Felix Navy Eco700W3.5 litres7kg£££View Price
Shark DuoClean HV390UK450W0.5 litre (max fill)4.8kg£££View Price

Listed below are seven of the best upright vacuums on the market at the moment. While the price and features vary, we believe each provides excellent value for money. Make sure you read the reviews to find the right one for your home though.

Vax Air Lift Steerable Advance1. Vax Air Lift Steerable Advance (UCSUSHV1)

The Vax Air Lift Steerable Advance might be a bit of a mouthful, but it’s an excellent mid-range upright that provides great value for money – especially if you have pets.

This is the upgraded version of the original Air Lift Steerable upright vacuum. While it shares many of the same features, the newer upright contains a different set of tools and an optimised design.

Let’s start with the feature that gives the Air Lift its name: the lift-out cylinder. Most uprights have a fixed body, which is one of the reasons they are less versatile than cylinders. In contrast, the Vax allows you to detach the dust canister from the floorhead, so it’s easier to clean stairs or other above-floor locations.

While the lift-out design isn’t as convenient as a cordless with a true handheld mode – you still need to use two hands when cleaning with the Vax – it’s a useful feature on a corded upright. A minor gripe is that the hose is unnecessarily fiddly to detach when using this mode, although once setup it’s great for cleaning awkward areas.

Aside from the lift-out cylinder, Vax has continuously improved the Air Lift features and performance. Other notable features include a 1.65 metre extendable hose, multi-cyclonic technology to prevent suction loss, and a variety of tools. It’s also easy to put together – although be prepared to spend some time maintaining the brushbar as it can get tangled with hair.

How does the Vax perform though?

As you would expect from a Vax model, the Air Lift Steerable provides excellent suction power. This power, combined with the strong brush bar, makes quick work of household mess on both carpets and hard floors. The pet turbo tool also does a great job at removing hair from stairs and upholstery.

It’s also easy to manoeuvre due to the steerable design. The addition of a variable suction slider is a bonus, as previous Air Lift models were sometimes difficult to push on carpets. It’s not quite as mobile as the Dyson Ball, but the dual axis design allows you to steer around furniture and other obstacles with ease.

There are a few downsides though. The 1.65 metre hose isn’t short compared to the average upright, but it’s less than half the Vax Air Stretch series. The Air Stretch also has a longer 13 metre cable. If you want to clean large areas without changing plug socket, the Air Stretch might be a better choice (although it doesn’t have a lift-out cylinder or steerable technology).

It’s also a bagless vacuum. This isn’t really a drawback, but the messy emptying system makes it unsuitable for people with allergies.

Even so, the Air Lift Advance is an excellent mid-range upright vacuum cleaner. It’s powerful, easy to use and has a detachable cylinder for above-floor cleaning – plus the pet turbo tool makes quick work of hair.

NOTE: This model replaced the excellent Vax U84-Al-Pe when the new EU regulations came into effect in 2017. If you want to read about the previous model, click here to read our full review. The Zanussi ZAN2000A suffered a similar fate.


  • Price Range: ££
  • Weight: 6.2kg
  • Dust Capacity: 1.5 litres
  • Filter Type: HEPA Media

Key Features:

  • Powerful suction means the Vax is great for cleaning household mess.
  • The cylinder lifts away for cleaning stairs or your car.
  • The turbo tool does a good job at cleaning pet hair.

Shark NZ801UKT2. Shark DuoClean Lift-Away NZ801UKT TruePet

The Shark NZ801UKT is the latest upright in the company’s excellent “Powered Lift-Away” series. It’s an expensive upright vac, but worth the money if you have pets or want a powerful all-round cleaner.

Shark is a company that often goes under the radar in the UK. This is a shame, as it’s impressive how many features Shark has packed into the NZ801UKT. The DuoClean floor head, for example, provides two brush rolls for removing household mess of any size. And, if you’re fed up with removing pet and human hair from your vacuum’s brush rolls, the latest version of the DuoClean features “Anti Hair Wrap” technology. This automatically prevents hair from becoming tangled – a useful feature if you have pets.

One of the best features of the NZ801UKT is the powered lift-away design. Like the Vax Air Lift, the cylinder can be detached from the floor head to clean above furniture, stairs and car interiors. This is a useful feature that makes cleaning awkward areas much less difficult.

What’s different about the Shark is that the brush bar is still powered in lift-away mode, so it can remove more dust and dirt. This means you get full performance in both modes.

It also comes with a pet hair tool for pet owners. This is brilliant for removing hair from sofas, car seats or stairs. It doesn’t come with a HEPA filter though, so it might not be the best vacuum for people with allergies.

In terms of performance, the NZ801UKT is a brilliant all-rounder. It’s decent on carpets, where the brush bars easily remove most dirt and hair, but it also does a brilliant job on hard floors. The standard floor-head also performs well when removing pet hair.

As with any vacuum, there are some drawbacks to the NZ801UKT though. The first is the 0.83 litre capacity. While this isn’t tiny, be prepared to empty it regularly – especially as it has such powerful suction. The eight metre cord is also shorter than we would like and the tools can be fiddly to use.

Overall, the Shark is an excellent upright vacuum cleaner that deserves more attention than it gets. It’s not perfect and possibly a tad overpriced, but it’s a great machine that excels at cleaning carpets and pet hair.

Note: If you don’t have pets and are looking for a cheaper alternative, the Shark NV602UK is an option to consider. While it lacks the advanced features of the NZ801UKT, it’s a powerful vacuum with a Lift-Away design. We’re also fans of the Shark AZ910UKT, which has a larger capacity than the NZ801UKT and a HEPA filter.


  • Price Range: £££
  • Power: 750W
  • Weight: 6.7kg
  • Dust Capacity: 0.83 litres
  • Filter Type: Washable

Key Features:

  • Powered lift-away design for cleaning awkward areas
  • Pet hair tool
  • Dual rollers for improved debris pickup

3. Dyson Ball Animal 2

Dyson Ball Animal 2Dyson is a brand that needs no introduction, and the Ball Animal 2 is one of their last ever upright vacuums (replacing the previous DC40 range and Light ball Animal).

Is it a worthy end-of-an-era upright from the King of cyclonic vacs though?

As you would expect from Dyson, the Ball Animal 2 a powerful vacuum cleaner that provides excellent performance on all surfaces. It also comes with a tangle-free turbine tool for pet hair and a redesigned cleaner head (more on that in a moment).

Like all modern Dyson uprights, the Animal 2 built with “Ball” technology for greater manoeuvrability. It also has an articulated handle for easier cleaning in awkward locations. While it’s a relatively heavy machine, it’s versatile for an upright and can handle most surfaces. The low-profile cleaner head is also handy for getting under furniture.

Allergy sufferers will be pleased to know the Ball Animal 2 has been certified by Allergy Standards Limited. We still don’t think it’s the best model for people with allergies, as the bagless design can be messy to empty. It does a good job of keeping pet dander, dust particles and other allergens trapped though.

All the features and tools are great, but the best thing about the Ball Animal 2 is how effectively it cleans on a variety of surfaces. The Epicyclic cleaner head provides ample brush bar power for cleaning deep into carpet fibres, while the same head provides a tight seal on hard floors. Dyson’s Root Cyclone technology also prevents suction loss and captures more particles.

When you combine the excellent floor performance with the tangle-free turbine tool, stair tool and combination tool, the Ball Animal 2 is a brilliant all-rounder.

Are there any downsides to this model though?

A few, although none big enough to prevent us recommending it. The 7.34kg is around average for an upright cleaner, although it might be too heavy for some people to carry up and down stairs. It’s also expensive – although it has a similar price to the comparable Shark model.

In summary, the Ball Animal 2 is one of the best uprights Dyson has ever built. It’s powerful, easy to use and comes with a range of useful tools. The pet turbo tool also does a great job at removing hair from upholstery and stairs. To learn more about it, read our full review here.


  • Price Range: £££
  • Weight: 7.34kg
  • Dust Capacity: 1.8 litres
  • Filter Type: Washable

Key Features:

  • Powerful suction and brush bar
  • Pet tool for stairs, upholstery and cars
  • Ball design for extra mobility

Vax U85-As-PME4. Vax U85-AS-Pme Air Stretch Max Pet

If you’re looking for a cheaper alternative to models such as the Dyson Ball Animal 2, the Vax Air Stretch Max Pet could be a great choice. This is a surprisingly powerful cleaner that provides excellent value for money.

Despite its budget price, the Vax provides decent suction power and strong cleaning performance on all surfaces. There’s no graduated suction setting, but the Vax has a relatively lightweight 5kg design and can clean both carpets and hard floors.

Like most of the vacuums on this list, the Vax is a bagless upright. This means it has a smaller capacity than bagged uprights and is messier to empty, but you won’t need to purchase replacement bags.

Other features include an integrated hose, 1.5 litre dust capacity, and adjustable floorhead. There are several tools, including a pet turbo tool for cleaning hair and a mattress nozzle. It also has a HEPA filter, which is important if you suffer from a dust allergy, pet allergy or asthma.

The main selling point of this vacuum is the huge cleaning radius. With a 13 metre cord and 3.6 metre hose, you won’t have to change sockets anywhere near as frequently as other vacs. For comparison, some of the vacuums we review have a six metre cord and no hose.

There are a few drawbacks though. The tools can be fiddly and difficult to attach, which is a shame as they make the Vax a versatile option. Also, if you hate tangled wires, the long cable may be more frustrating than useful.

In summary, the U85-AS-Pme Air Stretch Max Pet is a relatively cheap vacuum cleaner that doesn’t have many advanced features. Despite this, it’s versatile and provides an efficient clean, along with a huge cleaning radius. So, if you’re looking for a model that takes the complexity out of cleaning, the Vax could be a great option.

Note: The Vax Air Stretch replaces the U90 version of the Vax Air Reach, bagged SEBO Automatic X7 series and Sebo X1.1 (click here to read our full review) on this list.


  • Price Range: £
  • Power: 820W
  • Weight: 4.9kg
  • Dust Capacity: 1.5 litres
  • Filter Type: HEPA

Key Features:

  • Simple design and great value for money
  • Huge 17 metre cleaning radius
  • Excellent suction power for the price

5. Shark Lift-Away NV681UKT

The NV681UKT has a powered pet toolIf you like the look of Shark vacuum cleaners but the NV801UKT (our #1 pick) is too expensive, the NV681UKT is an option to consider – especially if you have pets.

The Shark NV681UKT still isn’t what we would call a cheap upright, but it’s great for cleaning almost all types of floor (including hardwood floors and carpet). It’s also fantastic at removing pet hair.

One of the biggest differences between the NV681UKT and NV801UKT is that the 681 doesn’t include Shark’s DuoClean floor head. It’s cheaper, but for all-round cleaning performance the extra brush roll makes a difference.

Aside from this, however, the vacuums have many of the same features.

Like the NV801 series, it has a powered lift-away canister. This means the brush bar is still powered even when the cylinder is detached. The Shark also has swivel steering and can clean horizontally.

As you would expect from a pet vacuum, the package includes a turbo tool for getting rid of pet hair. It also has a combination of washable and HEPA filters, which combine to remove up to 99.9% of allergens.

One of the drawbacks of the Shark NV680UKT is the small dust capacity. The 1.1 litre capacity one of the smallest amongst uprights, although it’s the same as the NV801UKT. Be prepared to empty it regularly – especially with the powerful suction.

We don’t have many other complaints about the Shark though. It’s one of the best upright vacuums on the market, especially if you own pets. If it’s within your price range, we don’t think you’ll be disappointed with the Shark.


  • Price Range: £££
  • Power: 750W
  • Weight: 6.3kg
  • Filter Type: Washable + HEPA

Key Features:

  • Powered lift-away design
  • Pet turbo tool and HEPA filter
  • Swivel steering

6. SEBO Felix Navy Eco

The SEBO Felix Navy has an unusual design but is an excellent uprightIt might have a retro style, but the SEBO Felix Navy Eco is an outstanding modern vacuum. It’s a bagged upright vacuum cleaner from the popular German brand – and it’s capable of cleaning hard floors, carpets and hair with ease. If you’re looking for a top-quality all-rounder, the SEBO is a great choice.

Let’s start with the basics. The Felix has a large 3.5 litre dust bag capacity, so you won’t need to empty it as often as many of the bagless models on this list. It weighs around 7kg, which is average for an upright, and has a 10 metre cleaning radius.

It’s great for cleaning both carpets and hard floors. Unlike many vacuums, it doesn’t struggle to pickup larger debris. It also has the suction power to remove dust trapped in crevices or between floorboards.

An interesting feature is the “L” shaped head. This is designed to clean right to the edge of skirting boards. The floor head also automatically adjusts its height depending on the surface.

The Felix really starts to shine when you tackle pet hair though. It doesn’t have a turbo tool, but the standard floor head makes quick work of both short and long hairs. The S-Class filter and bagged design also make it a great choice for allergy sufferers.

A downside to the Felix is that it can be difficult to clean stairs and above furniture. There is a hose, but it can’t match the Shark Lift-Away series, for example, at above floor cleaning. The relatively heavy design also makes it cumbersome to carry upstairs.

These minor drawbacks shouldn’t take too much away from what is a fantastic vacuum cleaner though. It’s powerful, easy to use and makes quick work of pet hair. Even if you don’t have pets, the Felix is one of best upright vacuum cleaners for carpets and hard floors.


  • Price Range: £££
  • Power: 700W
  • Weight: 7kg
  • Filter Type: S-Class

Key Features:

  • Attractive retro design
  • Great at cleaning pet hair
  • Excellent filtration

7. Shark DuoClean HV390UK

Shark HV390UKWe wanted to include a corded stick upright vacuum on this list, as they provide a bridge between the convenience of cordless vacuums and the power of uprights. Our top pick in this category is the excellent Shark DuoClean HV390UK, as it’s great for floor cleaning and has a unique “Flexology” design.

Let’s start with the basics though. One of the best things about the HV390UK is its carpet cleaning performance. It’s amongst best upright vacuums for carpets and also does a good job at removing pet hair (although if you have pets get the UKT version as it comes with a pet turbo tool). While it isn’t quite as effective on hard floors, it still does a decent job.

Like many cordless vacs, the stick can be removed to transform it into a handheld unit. This is great for cleaning stairs, car interiors or other awkward locations – and is a rare feature for corded vacuums.

Unlike the previous HV320UK, the HV390UK is built with Shark’s “Flexology” design. This is effectively a joint in the main tube, which allows you to clean under furniture without bending down. It’s also useful for storing the vacuum.

Shark has also included their excellent DuoClean floorhead with the HV390UK. This combines two brush rolls, so you can clean both hard floors and carpets without needing to change heads. The dual rollers also reduce snow ploughing on hard floors and are suitable for both large and fine debris.

Additionally, the HV390UKT comes a crevice tool and dusting brush. The combination of excellent floor head, detachable handheld mode and lightweight design make it one of the most versatile vacuum cleaners.

Like most stick vacuums, however, it struggles with cleaning high locations. Unlike traditional hoses, the stick mode is unwieldy when cleaning above floors. There’s the option of using the handheld mode, but this reduces the reach considerably.

Even so, the Shark DuoClean HV390UK is a great choice if you want the power of an upright with the convenience of a cordless vacuum. It’s outstanding at cleaning carpets and does a good job on pet hair, so it’s a genuine replacement for a full-size vacuum.


  • Price Range: £££
  • Power: 450W
  • Weight: 4.8kg
  • Filter Type: Washable

Key Features:

  • Versatile stick vacuum
  • Great on carpets
  • DuoClean floor head for improved cleaning performance

Which is the #1 Cheap Upright?

The models above provide excellent all-round performance, suction power and filtration, but they range from £150 to £300+. What if you want a cheap upright that still provides strong cleaning performance?

When it comes to cheap uprights, it’s hard to beat the Vax Air Reach. It’s great for cleaning carpets and is a capable long hair vac. It also has surprisingly good filtration and a huge power cord – although it’s not quite as effective on hard floors as the top models. The basic model doesn’t come with a pet turbo tool, although if you’re willing to pay more there is a pet version.

How to Choose an Upright Vacuum Cleaner

Listed above are seven vacuum cleaners which, in our opinion, are amongst the best upright vacuum cleaners on the market at the moment. While we don’t believe you can go far wrong with any of these models, it’s always a good idea to understand the underlying features, so you can get the best vac for your requirements. Here’s an overview of what you need to look for.

Price and Requirements

At, we think there is no such thing as the best upright vacuum for all situations. Instead, there are a group of excellent cleaners, but the right choice depends on what you need.

So think carefully about your requirements. Do you have a dog or cat that sheds a lot of hair? Then you should look for a vacuum cleaner with strong suction power and a turbo tool for pet hair. Does your home have low furniture and stairs? A lightweight and manoeuvrable upright, preferably with a low floor head profile, is probably the best option.

Here’s a selection of questions that might help you uncover what you need from your vacuum cleaner:

  • Does you or anyone in your household have difficulty lifting heavy objects?
  • How large is your house?
  • Do you own pets? How much hair do they shed? Are they allowed on the sofas?
  • Does anyone in your home suffer from a dust allergy?
  • How often do you usually vacuum to keep the house looking tidy?
  • Is your home mainly carpet or hard floors? Do you have any vinyl flooring?
  • If you have lots of carpets, how thick is the pile?
  • Is a quiet vacuum cleaner important to you?
  • How much money are you able to spend?

Once you answer to these questions, you’ll be in a much better position to choose the right vacuum cleaner from the list above.

But if you’re still not sure what you need after answering these questions – don’t worry! We’ll go into the different decisions shortly.

Similarly, the right vacuum also depends on your budget. Some uprights, such as the Shark Powered Lift-Away series, have an RRP of over £300 due to their proprietary technology, reliable motors and excellent performance. Others are available for considerably less.

But price is not always an indicator of quality – there are some great upright models available that come close to matching more expensive models, yet for a fraction of the price. On the other hand, cheap upright vacuum cleaners rarely provide the performance required.

Suction Power

The power of a vacuum is how much energy it uses in Watts. This is correlated to suction power, but is not the same. In other words, a higher motor power does not always equal greater suction. This is a common mistake made when buying an upright cleaner.

Suction power is arguably the most important factor when choosing an upright vacuum cleaner. While uprights often have motorised brushes for getting dirt and dust up from carpets, stronger suction power naturally means more dirt is removed (although uprights don’t rely on suction power as much as cylinder vacuums).

You should also be aware that since September 2017, all vacuums imported into the EU must have a maximum power of 900W. Fortunately, this doesn’t mean all newer vacuums have a reduced suction power. Instead, the regulations have forced brands such as Vax, SEBO and Bosch to innovate when it comes to getting more suction power.


Many people suffer from dust allergies. These can be made worse if a vacuum allows particles to leak from its canister or bag. Low quality vacuums often eject allergens via exhaust air if not filtered correctly.

According to, the best vacuum cleaners, in terms of filtration and dust retention, remove more than 99% of tiny allergens. The worst models only remove 10%, which means a huge amount are released back into the air. Dust retention isn’t solely based on the filter, but a HEPA or S-Class filter will go a long way to preventing allergens escaping. We’ve written an article about HEPA filters here.

It’s also important to check whether an upright’s vacuum filter is washable. Non-washable filters need to be replaced after a certain amount of time, which can add to the lifetime cost of the machine. Cheap upright vacuum cleaners tend to have standard, non-washable filters which can be costly in the long run.

Bagged or Bagless

Most of the best uprights are bagless, but that doesn’t mean you should ignore bagged machines. There really isn’t any difference in cleaning power, so the main differences are related to ease of use. A bagless upright vacuum cleaner is usually more convenient, but dust tends to escape much more easily when emptying. Bagged upright vacuum cleaners, on the other hand, are better for allergy sufferers, but lack convenience and force you to buy new bags.

As a general rule, bagless upright vacuum cleaners should be avoided if someone in your household suffers from a severe dust allergy.

Dust Capacity

The larger the dust capacity, the less often you’ll need to empty the canister or change the bag. For bagless vacuums, this is purely a matter of convenience. But for bagged vacuums, smaller capacities force you to use more bags, which increases the lifetime cost of the machine.

Additionally, some bagged upright vacuums gradually lose suction as their bag fills up. This can make it difficult to use the full capacity of the bag if you want to maximise suction power.

If you have a big house, you’ll probably want to choose a vacuum cleaner with a larger capacity. It can be frustrating to empty a vacuum multiple times in a single cleaning session. This isn’t so important for smaller homes.

Other Considerations

  • Weight. Lugging a heavy upright up and down stairs can be a pain, so it’s important to choose a lightweight model – especially if you struggle with heavy appliances.
  • Pet Hair. Some vacuums excel at picking up pet hair, which is vital if your dog or cat sheds a lot. Many pet vacuums also come with a motorised pet turbo brush tool for getting hair off sofas and other furniture, which can save a lot of time.
  • Floor Type. Just because a vacuum is effective at picking up dust and dirt from hard floors doesn’t mean it will cope with carpets (and vice versa). Make sure you choose a vacuum that’s best on the type of floor you have in your home.
  • Size. Closely related to weight is size. A small upright vacuum cleaner may not be able to hold as much dust and dirt, but will be easier to carry around the home.
  • Hose length. The hose is a vital part of an upright – especially for cleaning stairs and other hard-to-reach places.
  • Operating Radius. If you don’t have many plug sockets in your home, or are just fed up of switching every time you change room, the operating radius is important. This is loosely defined as the length of the cord plus the length of the hose. However, the cord length is more important as it sets how much of your home can be properly cleaned from a single socket.
  • Noise. Vacuum cleaners are loud – there’s no getting around that. But some are considerably louder than others. The Bosch BGS5SIL2GB, for example, has a noise rating of just 66dB (although it’s not an upright), while some vacuums are 85dB or more. If you have a baby, pets that are scared of loud noises or just want a quieter cleaning session, a quiet vacuum could be a good option.
  • Accessories. There are a variety of accessories provided with upright vacuums, from turbo heads to upholstery brushes and crevice tools. While most of these aren’t essential, it’s a good idea to think about which accessories would make your cleaning more efficient or less stressful. A powered mini turbo brush is especially important when buying upright pet vacuum cleaners, as they are designed to get hair out of upholstery.
  • Warranty. Even the best vacuum cleaners could suffer from technical problems – especially as vacuums become more advanced and computerised. For this reason, look for models with a long warranty for both parts and labour.


Upright vacuum cleaners are a great option for home cleaning – especially if your house or flat has lots of carpeted floor space. They are powerful, easy to use and come with a range of accessories for versatile cleaning.

It’s important to understand your requirements. Factors such as your budget, whether you have pets, the type of flooring in your home and whether you suffer from allergies can all affect the best choice.

If we had to choose a single upright to recommend, a good starting point would be the Shark NZ801UKT. It generates plenty of suction power, is built with a lift-out cylinder and has Shark’s excellent DuoClean floor head, so it’s a great all-rounder.

A-Z of In-Depth Upright Vacuum Cleaner Reviews

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2 thoughts on “7 Best Upright Vacuum Cleaner Reviews of 2022”

  1. Avatar

    Dyson has stopped making uprights?!

    • James Hall

      Hi Andrew, Dyson are not going to make any NEW corded upright vacuums. It will still sell its existing models, but it won’t be developing new ones as the company is going to focus on cordless vacs.


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