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7 Best Upright Vacuum Cleaners in the UK (2023)

Written by James Hall |

A guide to the best upright vacuums

Upright vacuums 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.

Top Pick: Shark NZ801UKT

Shark NZ801UKT

Rating StarsShark NZ801UKT

The Shark NZ801UKT is our top pick for an upright vacuum cleaner. We found that the NZ801UKT is a powerful vacuum that’s great for cleaning both carpets and hard floors. It also comes with Shark’s DuoClean floorhead and is effective for removing pet hair

This model also comes with a range of Shark’s advanced features. These include a lift-out canister, anti-hair-wrap technology, and headlights. Overall, it’s a brilliant vacuum for the price.

We’ve found that the best upright vacuum cleaners are powerful, versatile, and provide better value than cordless vacuums when it comes to cleaning performance. Uprights also excel at cleaning large areas of floor quickly.

Unfortunately, our testing has shown that not all upright vacuums are worth buying! The worst models have weak suction and heavy designs, making them difficult to use around the home.

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.

7 Best Upright Vacuums in the UK

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.

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.

Shark NZ801UKT
Shark NZ801UKT
Dyson Ball Animal Multi-Floor
Dyson Ball Animal Multi-Floor
Vax Air Lift UCPESHV1
Vax Air Lift UCPESHV1
Vax Air Stretch Pet Max U85-AS-Pme
Vax Air Stretch Pet Max U85-AS-Pme
Hoover HL5 Pet
Hoover HL5 Pet
SEBO Automatic X7 Extra
SEBO Automatic X7 Extra
Shark HZ3000UKT
Shark HZ3000UKT
Price Range££££££££££££££££££££
TypeUprightUprightUprightUprightUprightUprightStick
Bag TypeBaglessBaglessBaglessBaglessBaglessBaggedBagless
Dust Capacity (L)0.81.81.51.52.55.30.3
Weight (kg)6.57.46.24.95.87.44.4
Hose?
HEPA Filter?
Pet Tool?
Overall Rating
View Rating Breakdown
4.4
4.2
3.8
3.8
3.9
3.9
4.4
VIEW PRICE
VIEW PRICE
VIEW PRICE
VIEW PRICE
VIEW PRICE
VIEW PRICE
VIEW PRICE

1. Shark DuoClean Lift-Away NZ801UKT

4.4

SV RATING

VALUE

4

EASE OF USE

5

CLEANING PERFORMANCE

4

FEATURES

5

TOOLS

4

Type: Upright | Bag Type: Bagless | Price Range: £££ | Dust Capacity: 0.8 litres | Weight: 6.5kg | Pet Tool: Yes | HEPA Filter: No

WHAT WE LIKED

  • Powered lift-away design helps when cleaning awkward areas
  • Strong all-round cleaning performance
  • Includes Shark's excellent DuoClean floorhead

WHAT WE DIDN’T LIKE

  • Very small dust capacity for an upright vacuum
  • Relatively short 8 metre power cord

The Shark NZ801UKT isn’t the cheapest upright vacuum on this list, but we feel it’s more than worth the money if you have pets or want a powerful all-round cleaner.

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 (although we’ve found it isn’t always 100% effective).

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. We found this to be a useful feature that makes cleaning awkward areas much less difficult than with other uprights. And, unlike with the Vax, the brush bar is still powered in lift-away mode.

We also like that the NZ801UKT 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, we found that the NZ801UKT is a strong 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 DuoClean floorhead 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, which is much smaller than most uprights we’ve reviewed. 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, we think 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 Shark vacuum cleaner, 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.

2. Dyson Ball Animal Multi-Floor

4.2

SV RATING

VALUE

4

EASE OF USE

3.5

CLEANING PERFORMANCE

4.5

FEATURES

4.5

TOOLS

4.5

Type: Upright | Bag Type: Bagless | Price Range: ££££ | Dust Capacity: 1.8 litres | Weight: 7.4kg | Pet Tool: Yes | HEPA Filter: No

WHAT WE LIKED

  • Excellent performance on all surfaces
  • Ball technology helps make the vacuum easier to manoeuvre
  • Pet tool is effective for removing hair

WHAT WE DIDN’T LIKE

  • Not the lightest vacuum on the market
  • No HEPA filter
  • Relatively expensive

The Dyson Ball Animal Multi-Floor is the latest in the company’s range of upright vacuums. We found that it provides strong performance around the home, including on laminate, hardwood, and carpets. The patented Ball design also makes it relatively manoeuvrable despite this being quite a heavy upright.

As you would expect from Dyson, the Ball Animal Multi-Floor vacuum cleaner generates strong suction and is excellent on all surfaces. It also comes with a tangle-free turbine tool and the company’s Motorbar cleaner head, which both help remove hair and other debris from deep in carpets.

Like all modern Dyson uprights, the Animal Multi-Floor is built with “Ball” technology for greater manoeuvrability. It also has a rotating telescoping handle for easier cleaning in awkward locations. While it’s a relatively heavy machine, we found that it’s versatile for an upright – although the lack of a detachable canister makes it more difficult to use on stairs than the Shark. On the plus side, the low-profile cleaner head is handy for getting under furniture.

All the features and tools are great, but the best thing about the Ball Animal Multi-Floor is how effectively it cleans on a variety of surfaces. We found that the Motorbar 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 Radial Root Cyclone technology also prevents suction loss and captures more particles.

When you combine the excellent floor performance with the tangle-free turbine tool, upholstery tool and dusting brush, we think the Ball Animal Multi-Floor is a brilliant all-rounder.

Are there any downsides to this model though?

A few, although none big enough to prevent us from recommending it. The 7.4kg 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. The lack of a HEPA filter is also a shame for people with allergies.

In summary, the Ball Animal Multi-Floor 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 removing hair from upholstery and stairs. 

3. Vax Air Lift UCPESHV1

3.8

SV RATING

VALUE

4.5

EASE OF USE

3

CLEANING PERFORMANCE

3.5

FEATURES

4

TOOLS

4

Type: Upright | Bag Type: Bagless | Price Range: ££ | Dust Capacity: 1.5 litres | Weight: 6.2kg | Pet Tool: Yes | HEPA Filter: No

WHAT WE LIKED

  • Powerful suction compared with similarly priced vacuums
  • Great value for money
  • The turbo tool does a good job at cleaning pet hair

WHAT WE DIDN’T LIKE

  • Relatively small cleaning radius
  • Not quite as powerful as the top models

We found that the Vax Air Lift is an excellent mid-range upright that provides great value for money – especially if you have pets. In fact, we think it can rival many pricier vacuums for pet hair removal.

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, we found makes a real difference to how easy it is to clean stairs or car interiors.

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 it’s setup we found it’s great for cleaning awkward areas.

Aside from the lift-out cylinder, other notable features include an 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 it perform though? We found that the Air Lift provides excellent suction power. This power, combined with the rotating 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.

We also found that the steerable design helps with manoeuvrability. 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. A big one is the cleaning radius, which at 10 metres is considerably smaller than other Vax vacuums we’ve reviewed. If you want to clean large areas without changing plug socket, we think the Air Stretch is a better choice (although it doesn’t have a lift-out cylinder or steerable technology). We also found that it’s not quite as effective on carpets as the top models on this list.

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.

4. Vax U85-AS-Pme Air Stretch Max Pet

3.8

SV RATING

VALUE

5

EASE OF USE

3.5

CLEANING PERFORMANCE

4

FEATURES

3

TOOLS

3

Type: Upright | Bag Type: Bagless | Price Range: ££ | Dust Capacity: 1.5 litres | Weight: 4.9kg | Pet Tool: Yes | HEPA Filter: Yes

WHAT WE LIKED

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

WHAT WE DIDN’T LIKE

  • Only average carpet cleaning performance
  • Fiddly tool attachments

If you’re looking for a cheaper alternative to models such as the Dyson Ball Animal Multi-Floor, we think the Vax Air Stretch Max Pet is a great choice. It’s a surprisingly powerful cleaner with a massive cleaning range – and it provides excellent value for money.

Despite its budget price, we found that the Vax provides decent suction power and strong cleaning performance on hard floors. We found it’s only an average performer on carpets, but it’s certainly not the worst we’ve reviewed.

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. There’s no graduated suction setting, but the Vax has a relatively lightweight 4.9kg design (making it one of the lightest uprights) and is easy to carry between rooms.

Other features include an integrated hose, 1.5 litre dust capacity, and an 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. We found 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 great for hard floors, plus the Vax has a huge cleaning radius. It’s not the best carpet vacuum though.

5. Hoover HL5 Pets

3.9

SV RATING

VALUE

3.5

EASE OF USE

3

CLEANING PERFORMANCE

4.5

FEATURES

4

TOOLS

4.5

Type: Upright | Bag Type: Bagless | Price Range: £££ | Dust Capacity: 2.5 litres | Weight: 5.8kg | Pet Tool: Yes | HEPA Filter: Yes

WHAT WE LIKED

  • Powerful vacuum that's great for cleaning carpets
  • Lift out canister and anti-hair tangle technology
  • Includes a pet tool

WHAT WE DIDN’T LIKE

  • Not as easy to steer as some of the other uprights on this list
  • Relatively short power cord

The Hoover HL5 Pets is a powerful upright vacuum that we found to be highly effective for cleaning carpets and pet hair. We like that it includes a HEPA13 filter, making it more suitable for people with allergies. The HL5 Pets model also comes with a pet turbo brush, which is essential if you have a cat or dog.

In terms of features, the HL5 Pets is packed full of new additions that we haven’t seen on previous Hoover vacuums. For example, the HL5 includes the company’s “Push&Lift” system. This is similar to the detachable canister found on certain Shark and Vax models, and we found it to be useful for cleaning stairs and other locations that can be difficult to access with an upright vacuum.

Another useful feature of the HL5 Pets is the “Anti-Twist” comb, which helps to prevent hair from getting caught around the brush bar. It also has a large dust capacity, so you won’t need to empty it as frequently as some of the other options on this list.

We’re impressed by how the HL5 Pets performs when cleaning carpets. It generates plenty of suction power, while the brush bar and pet tool do a solid job of removing hair caught in carpet fibres. We don’t think the HL5 Pets is quite as effective on hard floors, but it’s no slouch either. A bonus is that you can adjust the suction power depending on the type of flooring.

We have a few complaints about the HL5 Pets though, which is why it isn’t ranked higher on this list. It lacks the easy-to-steer design found on Dyson or Shark uprights, making it more difficult to manoeuvre around furniture. We also think it would benefit from a longer power cord.

Even so, the range of features makes the Hoover HL5 Pets a solid choice if you’re looking for an upright vacuum that’s great for carpets. The lift-out design, anti-tangle technology, pet turbo tool, and HEPA filter are all welcome additions to what is already an excellent vacuum.

6. SEBO Automatic X7 Extra

3.9

SV RATING

VALUE

3.5

EASE OF USE

4

CLEANING PERFORMANCE

4.5

FEATURES

4

TOOLS

3.5

Type: Upright | Bag Type: Bagged | Price Range: £££ | Dust Capacity: 5.3 litres | Weight: 7.4kg | Pet Tool: No | HEPA Filter: Yes

WHAT WE LIKED

  • Brilliant filtration system
  • Great for pet hair on floors
  • Large dust capacity

WHAT WE DIDN’T LIKE

  • No pet tool
  • Expensive
  • Relatively heavy

The SEBO Automatic X7 Extra is a bagged upright vacuum cleaner from the popular German brand. It’s brilliant for filtering allergens due to the S-Class filter, making it one of our top picks if anyone in the household has an allergy.

In terms of cleaning performance, we found that the SEBO is above average without being spectacular. It does a solid job on both carpets and hard floors, but it can’t match the best uprights. However, we found that the SEBO excels at cleaning pet hair on carpets and hard floors. We also like the huge 5.3 lire dust capacity.

Where this upright vacuum realIy shines is the filtration system, which combines SEBO’s S-Class filter with a bagged design. It traps nearly all dust and other allergens, which is why we think it’s one of the best upright vacuums for allergy sufferers.

It’s worth noting that the S-Class filter is not the same as a HEPA filter, but it provides very similar performance. SEBO claims that the S-Class’s filtration is only 0.07% less than the HEPA, which probably won’t make a noticeable difference to allergy triggers.

The biggest downside to the SEBO Automatic X7 Extra is the lack of a pet tool for cleaning stairs and upholstery. It’s also a relatively heavy vacuum cleaner and expensive for an upright.

Despite these issues, we think the SEBO is a great choice if you need a high-quality upright vacuum for allergies. It’s not cheap, but it’s built to a high standard.

7. Shark HZ3000UKT

4.4

SV RATING

VALUE

4

EASE OF USE

4.5

CLEANING PERFORMANCE

4.5

FEATURES

4.5

TOOLS

4.5

Type: Stick | Bag Type: Bagless | Price Range: £££ | Dust Capacity: 0.3 litres | Weight: 4.4kg | Pet Tool: Yes | HEPA Filter: No

WHAT WE LIKED

  • Lighter than full upright vacuums
  • Strong cleaning performance for the price
  • Flexology design is helpful for cleaning under furniture

WHAT WE DIDN’T LIKE

  • Not the most convenient for cleaning high locations
  • Can't match the best full-size uprights for cleaning performance

We 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 HZ3000UKT, as it’s great for floor cleaning, comes with a pet tool, and has Shark’s “Flexology” design.

We were impressed by the HZ3000UKT’s all-round cleaning performance. It can’t quite match the best models, but it’s a strong performer on carpets and hard floors, largely due to the excellent DuoClean floorhead. In fact, we think it’s one of the top uprights when it comes to value for money.

Similarly to many cordless vacs, the HZ3000UKT’s stick can be removed to transform it into a handheld unit. This feature is great for cleaning stairs, car interiors or other awkward locations – and is a rare option for corded vacuums. We also found the “Flexology” design – effectively a joint in the main tube – makes cleaning under furniture more convenient.

Additionally, the HZ3000UKT comes with a pet tool, crevice tool, and dusting brush. Shark has also included their anti-hair-wrap technology with this model, which helps prevent pet hair from becoming caught around the brush rolls.

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 HZ3000UKT is a great choice if you want the power of an upright with the convenience of a cordless vacuum. It’s great for cleaning carpets, hard floors, and pet hair, plus the advanced features make it a versatile choice for home cleaning.

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

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, LED headlights, and anti-tangle technology.

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!

Which is the #1 Cheap Upright?

The models above provide excellent all-round performance, suction power and filtration, but they nearly all cost more than £200. 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 Stretch Max Pet. It’s great for cleaning hard floors and is a capable carpet vacuum. It also has a huge cleaning radius and a relatively lightweight design, making it more convenient than many other upright vacuums.

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 upright vacuum for your requirements.

Price and Requirements

At SpotlessVacuum.co.uk, 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 have an RRP of over £300 due to their proprietary technology, reliable motors and strong 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, the cheapest 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).

The best way to judge suction power and cleaning performance is to read reviews, as manufacturers don’t publish this information.

Filtration

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.

The best vacuum cleaners for filtration and dust retention remove more than 99% of tiny allergens. The worst models capture much less, 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.

Stick Vacuums Vs Full Upright Vacuums

Traditional upright vacuums have a bulky and heavy design, but they compensate for this with powerful cleaning performance. Uprights are also great for quickly cleaning large areas of flooring.

However, if you want a lighter model with some of the same benefits, then consider buying a corded stick vacuum. These are still used in an upright position, but are lighter and more convenient to use. The downside is that stick vacuums usually have small dust capacities and aren’t as powerful as full-size uprights.

Pet Hair

Do you have a dog or cat in your household? If so, choosing a vacuum that excels at removing pet hair is vital – especially if your pet sheds a lot!

Pet vacuums should have strong suction power and a powered brush bar in the main floorhead. 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.

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. As we mentioned earlier, stick vacuums can be an excellent choice if you want a lightweight upright vacuum.
  • 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 for 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 with 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.

Conclusion

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.

All Our Upright Vacuum Reviews

NameOverall RatingTypePrice Range
Shark NZ801UKT
4.4
Upright£££
Vax Air Stretch Pet Max U85-AS-Pme
3.8
Upright££

Page Update History

12th September 2023

Moved to the new Spotless Vacuum design. Added multiple new vacuum cleaners:

  • Dyson Ball Animal Multi-Floor (replacing the Dyson Ball Animal 2)
  • Vax Air Lift UVPESHV1 (replacing the Vax Air Lift Steerable Advance)
  • Hoover HL500PT (replacing the Shark NV681UKT)
  • Shark HZ3000UKT (replacing the Shark HV390UK)
  • Sebo Automatic X7 (replacing the Sebo Felix Navy Eco)

2 thoughts on “7 Best Upright Vacuum Cleaners in the UK (2023)”

  1. Avatar

    Dyson has stopped making uprights?!

    Reply
    • 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.

      Reply

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