The Best Upright Vacuum Cleaners in 2021

Keeping your carpets and floors clean is an unenviable task that we all have to deal with, and unfortunately, as many of us are already aware, not all types, brands and models of upright vacuum cleaners are equal.

With the exception of the cordless stick vacuum, upright vacuums remain the most popular of all the various types, mostly due to their power, versatility and bin capacity

They are available in bagged and bagless models, and uprights are one of the best choices for really getting in there and deep cleaning dirt, dust and microbes that get ground into carpets.

the-Best-Upright-Vacuum-Cleaner

We spent more than 30 hours analysing nearly 60 upright vacuum cleaners available in the UK, from brands such as Dyson, Shark and Gtech, to find uprights that suits the various needs and price ranges of our readers:

Build quality, design and of course performance on various floor types.

Below you will see the Upright vacuum cleaners that ticked all the boxes, ultimately it was the Shark NZ801which earned our editors award in this review, scoring highly in all the areas we look for when choosing the best upright vacuum cleaner.

1. Editors Pick

Shark NZ801 UKT Upright Vacuum

Shark NZ801 UKT with Anti Hair Wrap 

2. Budget Pick

Gtech Air Ram Mk2

Gtech Air Ram MK2 Cordless Upright

And if our editors and budget pick are not for you? Don’t worry, we’ve picked an assortment upright vacuums to suit all budgets and requirements.

7 Best Upright Vacuum Cleaners UK ( In Order)

1. Shark NV801UKT DuoClean Lift-Away

Great upright for Allergy sufferers and pet owners

Best Upright Shark Vacuum – NV801UK/T

Flexible, powerful, easy to use. Those are the three key features that the Shark Life-Away pet brings to the table. 

It’s one of the best upright vacuum cleaners they have released and that we have reviewed, with improved technology to make handling and cleaning a much smoother process.

The strong suction can reach right down into the fibres of your carpet, pulling up old dirt and leaving it a level of clean you likely haven’t seen since it was new.

Not completely perfect, but there is very little going against this powerhouse. 

Power and Suction

750w might seem like a small motor, but it actually provides an exceptional level of power.

You’ll really feel the force when pushing it over carpets, but it manages to do this without making things difficult for you.

As it contains DuoClean technology, this means that there are actually two brush bars installed in the main floor head; a soft one at the front for hard floors and fine dust, and a bristled one at the back for carpets. 

As a result, it works seamlessly across all floor types and is even able to get into cracks and crevices in your wood floors.

The LED headlights that have become a signature feature of Shark upright vacuum cleaners can also be found here; highlighting missed dirt under your furniture.

It’s something we really appreciate as more often than not we’ve been shocked by the number of dust bunnies and clumps of pet hair that manifest under the couch and linger there. 

Cleaning Pet Hair

Pet hair is easy for this upright vacuum cleaner, and it is able to pull up even the oldest and most embedded hairs from your carpets.

Similarly, stairs and upholstery are no match for it as pet hairs can be removed from these surfaces effortlessly as well.

It even comes with a pet tool that will ensure a tougher cleaning process on those stubborn areas, the stairs, and bedding. 

Weight and Handling

The Dyson has often been a top pick for handling in this upright vacuum guide, but Shark comes out on top.

 Their Lift-Away tech has always been good, transforming it into a handheld machine, but this model goes one step further by powering it up.

This means that you can use the main floorhead while it is in its handheld mode for a more thorough clean. 

Combined with the flexible tech that allows it to reach under furniture and make awkward turns, no corner of your home will be free from its cleaning power.

It is a little on the heavy side, but once you are in handheld mode it’s a lot lighter - and that’s the only part you’ll be lifting. 

Filtration System

It has an excellent filter, using the traditional Shark sponge. It can hold masses of dust and dirt, and only needs to be washed once every month or so.

Combined with a HEPA filter located near the motor, you dust certainly has a tough system to go through.

It’s effective, so much so that it makes the air much clearer for those who have allergies and asthma. 

Pros
  • Powerful suction capabilities on hard floor and carpets.
  • Great performance on pet hair 
  • Superb filtration system for allergy sufferers and pet owners
Cons
  • The bin capacity is a little small for larger homes and high traffic homes
  • Can be slightly heavy/bulky for some 

This bagless vac comes at a reasonable price and from a trusted brand. While it may have a smaller dust capacity, and it’s a little too strong on vinyl and lino floors, there is also a lot going for it.

It is the perfect model for pets, as well as those who suffer from asthma and allergies.

Additionally, it transforms into a handheld vacuum and has a host of handy tools and accessories. It’s one of the best Shark models around, and one you won’t regret trying.

This reasonably priced upright vacuum is a great one to go for if you are looking for something reliable and powerful.

Made by a trusted brand, you can be sure that this will provide you with a great vacuuming experience.

Whether you have pets, or just a lot of dust, this model will take care of everything in no time at all. Plus, it is perfect for those with asthma and allergies.

While it can be a little complicated at first, you will get used to it in no time at all.

Read the full review of Shark NZ801UKT DuoClean Lift-Away

Key Features

  • Type: Upright Vacuum
  • Power : 750w
  • Dust Capacity: 2.2l
  • Weight: 7kg
  • Noise Level: 76db

Design

Features

Price

Have a questions? Ask in the comments below

2. Gtech Air Ram MK2 Cordless Upright

Traditional style upright, but cordless for more flexibility

Gtech Air Ram Mk2

This cordless model from Gtech offers a revolutionary clean and a smooth feel.

It is incredibly light, so you don’t need to have gone to the gym religiously for the past month in order to push it along your carpet.

It moves easily with your arm, and is suitable for all floor types – making it incredibly versatile.

The powerful rotating brush roll is also ideal for getting embedded hair out of your carpet, so you end up with a deep clean that offers the ultimate satisfaction.

The battery lasts 40 minutes after a four-hour charge, giving is superb life and enough power to get your house clean.

It even has a battery indicator to let you know when the charge is starting to run low. It doesn’t use bags and has a cleaner emptying system, so you don’t end up with mess all over your hands.

Pros
  • Nicely priced for many budgets
  • Lightweight and easy to handle
  • Cord free making it easy to grab and use
  • Good run time and ideal for small, to medium sized homes.
Cons
  • - Does not come with attachments (available at additional cost)
Our View

If you are looking for a lightweight bagless upright vacuum cleaner that still has that traditional upright feel to it, but has no cords and incredible power, then this model could be for you.

With a sleek design and easy manoeuvrability, you’ll be whizzing through the house and have it clean in no time.

With a fantastic battery life and a great guarantee from GTECH, this could be the upright vacuum cleaner for those who need something lightweight and are looking to have the house clean quickly and without hassle, not too mention in an affordable price range.

Read our detailed review of the Gtech Air Ram MK2  

Key Features

  • Type: Cordless Upright
  • Power : 750w
  • Dust Capacity: 0.4l
  • Weight: 3.2kg
  • Noise Level: 70db

Design

Features

Price

3. Shark NV681UKT Upright Vacuum Cleaner

Pet Hair Removal Vacuum for all those allergy sufferers

Shark produces  some of the best vacuum cleaners and steam cleaners in the world. When you buy one of these, you can expect fantastic quality and reliability.

It is ideal for those who have pets, as the powerful suction is great for picking up stray and embedded hairs.

Using Lift-Away technology, it is transformed into a handheld vacuum cleaner that can be used for above-floor cleaning, the stairs, and upholstery. 

I found this to be a really useful feature because of how small my stairs are; making it impossible to balance a full-size upright vacuum on them safely. This wasn’t an issue when using the handheld mode. 

It is ideal for those who have pets, as the powerful suction is great for picking up stray and embedded hairs.

The pet power brush roll can even remove the hair from your upholstery and furniture.

It can be used across all floor types, and also features a flexible head for smoother handling, and access to tight spots under your furniture.

It has a specialist hard floor attachment, making it ideal for use on all types of flooring.

Plus, the ergonomic handle was designed for comfort while you use it. LED lights are also installed to illuminate concealed dirt. 

It also features complete seal technology, trapping 99.9% of dust and dirt, making it perfect for asthma and allergy sufferers.

It can reach under all your furniture with ease, thanks to the lift away head, so no surface will go untouched.

It has advanced swivel steering for better manoeuvrability, and an easy to empty dust cup.

The dust canister has a good capacity at 1.1L, and is also easy (as well as clean) to empty, although the Zanussi Zan200a has double the capacity for less frequent emptying.

Plus, the ergonomic handle was designed for comfort while you use it.

Read our detailed review of the Shark NV681 UKT

Pros
  • Powerful suction
  • Lift away feature
  • Perfect for stairs
  • High-quality filter
  • Perfect for those with asthma and allergies
  • Easy to empty dust cup
  • Bagless
  • Ideal for homes with pets
  • Great tools and attachments
  • Suitable for all floor types
  • Ergonomic handle
Cons
  • It can be a little too strong for vinyl and lino
  • Dust canister could be larger

The NV681 comes at a reasonable price and from a trusted brand. While it may have a smaller dust capacity, and it’s a little too strong on vinyl and lino floors(great on hard floors), there is also a lot going for it.

It is the perfect model for pets, as well as those who suffer from asthma and allergies.

Additionally, it transforms into a handheld and has a host of handy tools and accessories. It’s one of the best Shark models around, and one you won’t regret trying.

This reasonably priced upright vacuum is a great one to go for if you are looking for something reliable and powerful.

Made by a trusted brand, you can be sure that this will provide you with a great vacuuming experience.

Whether you have pets, or just a lot of dust, this model will take care of everything in no time at all.

Plus, it is perfect for those with asthma and allergies. While it can be a little complicated at first, you will get used to it in no time at all.

Key Features

  • Type: Upright vacuum
  • Power : 750w
  • Dust Capacity: 1.4l
  • Weight: 6.3kg
  • Noise Level: 70db

FAQ's

Q: Is this upright vacuum worth the extra £100 Amazon now charge for true pet model?


Is the turbo pet brush the only tool capable of getting furniture pet hair?


A: Many customers have bought this model to replace the Dyson animal vacuum and the shark has in their opinion superior pet hair pick up.


The small turbo brush roll also does a great job of the stairs and soft furnishings. Worth every penny. 

Design

Features

Price

Have a questions? Ask in the comments below

4. Dyson Light Ball Multi Floor Upright

Lightweight upright suitable for all floor types

Dyson Light Ball Multi Floor

Dyson is a trusted and leading brand, as well as one that most people look to for the best upright vacuum cleaners, they provide excellent quality products.

The Multi Floor is one of their most popular models, and it comes at a very reasonable price.

This model is surprisingly lightweight considering it is an upright vacuum cleaner, and the ball technology also makes it easy to manoeuvre when you are cleaning your home.

Plus, it has powerful suction that is sure to leave your home feeling cleaner than ever. 

It is also bagless, which is great for those who don’t want to spend the extra money on new bags, and the HEPA filter makes it suitable for those who suffer from asthma or allergies.

The filter is also washable, so you don’t need to worry about buying a replacement.

This model also comes with a great range of tools too, like the stair tool and dusting brush, so you can get every corner of your home clean.

It also has a quick release function for easy tool attachment. 

When I managed to get my hands on the multifloor, I was shocked how quiet this vacuum is.

You most definitely wouldn't need to worry about waking up the baby with this mute vacuum.

Pleasingly, I found the large-debris cleaning mode works excellently, which makes this Dyson one of the few vacuum cleaners that cleans up larger spills such as cereal just as well as fine dust. 

Read our detailed review of the Dyson Lightball Multi-floor

Pros
  • 40% quieter than older model
  • Excellent suction
  • Has Dyson ball technology
  • Works on all floor types
  • Washable HEPA filter
  • Suitable for those with asthma and allergies
  • Filters are good at keeping allergens locked in tight
Cons
  • It could be easier to use
Our View
This model from Dyson is one of the most popular for a reason. It can work on a number of different floor types and is sure to leave your home looking fantastic.
While it is not great with pet hair, it will keep all other homes looking great, as well as providing the carpets with a deep clean.

A range of tools and accessories are also included to make your cleaning routine that much easier to deal with.

If you are looking for a great bagless vacuum cleaner - read our in depth guide.

Key Features

  • Type: Upright Bagless Vacuum Cleaner
  • Power : 700w
  • Dust Capacity: 1.4l
  • Weight: 6.9kg
  • Noise Level: 70db

FAQ's

Q: Does the Dyson Light Ball Multi Floor automatically change on the different types of flooring or would the brush continue to spin even when on the harder floors?


A: No, Unfortunately it doesn't automatically change itself but the option is there to change the height of the brush head so that if you have a hard floor or wooden and you don't want it to become damaged you can life the brush higher out of the way. 

Q: What is the difference between the Dyson Multi Floor and animal?


A: The main differences between the Dyson Animal 2 and Dyson Multi-Floor 2 are: The Animal 2 has 10% higher suction (in air watts). The Animal 2 is purple in colour, while the Multi-Floor is yellow. The electrical cord (Animal 2 has a 5 foot longer cord).

Design

Features

Price

5. SEBO Automatic X7 Hoover

Eco Friendly, Money Saving Automatic Hoover

This upright vacuum  from leading brand SEBO has a sleek and modern design that will fit in with the aesthetics of just about any home.

It has a 890watt motor that will provide you with suction powerful enough to get every inch of your home looking brand new. 

Perfect for pets, as well as all floor types, there isn’t a surface that the X7 is unable to tackle effectively.

It also features a computer control system for enhanced performance and a better cleaning result. 

It also comes with a wide range of tools and accessories to keep your home looking great, including a crevice toolstair cleaning hose and an upholsterydusting brush.

A bagged upright vacuum cleaner, it has a 5.3L capacity as well as a clean removal system to prevent allergens from breaking free on their way to the bin.

It’s also very simple to remove and replace each bag, and they last a surprisingly long time. However, if you prefer something that is Bagless, our Dyson model might be better suited to your needs. 

There isIt even has an easy blockage clearance system for when you have sucked up a clump that is just a little too big; shutting down the motor if it is too severe for your safety and the machines.

It also has an S-class filtration system to keep your air breathable, making it perfect for those with asthma or allergies.

This is something I benefit from, as the allergy sufferers in my home find the air to be massively clearer once the vacuum has whizzed around; even with pets in the home.

 It’s also eco-friendly and features low power consumption to save money on your bills, as well as help the planet. 

Pros
  • Comes from a trusted brand
  • Excellent suction
  • Computer control system
  • Works on all floor types
  • S-Class filtration system
  • Suitable for those with asthma and allergies
  • Ideal for homes with pets
  • Great accessories
  • Relatively compact  
Cons
  • It can be quite heavy
  • Difficult for cleaning stairs
Our View

While the Sebo X7 is a little pricier than most, it is certainly worth the money.

Featuring a great filtration system as well as powerful suction, you can rest assured that this model will leave you in good hands.

It might have a little trouble with the stairs due to its weight, but it excels in many other areas.

It is suited to homes with pets, and leaves the air clear for those who suffer from asthma and allergies.

Not to mention the smart safety technology that will keep you safe, but also improve the longevity of the machine.

Key Features

  • Type: Upright Bagged Vacuum
  • Power : 890w
  • Dust Capacity: 1.4l
  • Weight: 7.4kg
  • Noise Level: 80db

Design

Features

Price

Have a questions? Ask in the comments below

6. Dyson Animal DC40 Upright

Old seasoned model, but great for pets and hard floor surfaces

Dyson Animal DC40

As a homeowner, you know the importance of keeping your home clean. Dust and pet dander can be tough on the allergies and sinus.

In order to keep your home clean you need a good quality vacuum, but how do you know a good quality vacuum when you see it?

There are so many different options on the market that you have to choose form.

Well, take a look at the Dyson Upright-Dyson Animal DC 40. You are going to pay a bit more for this vacuum cleaner, but it offers features like none other you will find on the market.

The cleaner head installed on this upright vacuum has an active base that will automatically adjust itself to any type of flooring.

 

You can expect optimal cleaning performance with carpet, hard floors, vinyl, or any floor surface. The Radial Root Cyclone technology maximises airflow, so that users get the most suction power possible.


This upright vacuum is capable of turning on the spot due to the patented ball technology. You will be able to easily manoeuvre that vacuum around obstacles throughout your home.


This vacuum comes equipped with a lifetime washable filter. There will not be any need to go out and purchase additional bags because you can just wash the filter and reuse it.

You would be surprised at how much money this is going to save you over time

Pros
  • Lifetime Washable filter
  • Optimal performance with any floor surface
  • Superior filtering system
  • Radial Root Cyclone Technology maximizes airflow for suction power
  • 5-Years manufacturer warranty on parts and labor
Cons
  • You will spend more money than you will on a competitor brand

Overall, the Dyson DC40 is designed to offer a superior deep down cleaning every single time.

Key Features

  • Type: Upright Vacuum
  • Power : 700w
  • Dust Capacity: 1.6l
  • Weight: 6.6kg
  • Noise Level: 85db

Design

Features

Price

7. Dyson DC40 Multi Floor Upright

Most efficent for Cleaning Carpets on a Budget

Dyson DC40 Multi Floor

Superseded by the Dyson Lightball featured above but still available from Amazon on our link below and a reasonable price .

One of the main benefits of the DC40 is that it is more efficient in cleaning carpeted floors because of its powerful brushes that can easily remove pet hairs.

Since it has a larger head than cylinder vacuum cleaners, you will spend less time cleaning an area because it can cover more space.

Another advantage of this DC40 upright vacuum cleaners is they are less expensive.

With their higher capacity for dust storage, you also do not need to replace it that frequently, which makes using it less costly.

If you are on a tight budget, then this model could the better choice for you.

Upright vacuums are convenient to use. You simply have to slide it out of its storage cabinet, plug it in, turn it on, and start gliding it on the floors. Once you are done, just slide it in its storage space again and you are done. 

One known disadvantage of this type though is its incapability to reach tiny spaces, like those under your sofa or over your cabinets.

However, this is a thing of the past since new technology has made some upgrades on upright vacuum cleaners, allowing you now to connect various attachments to it, such as hoses that have a reach of more than ten feet.

Now that you know the benefits and advantages of upright vacuum cleaners, it is time to choose from the many brands and models available in the market today.

Some of the factors that you must consider are the size, what type of flooring surface it is able to clean, available attachments, power, warranty, and of course, the price.

One good brand and model that you might want to consider is the Dyson DC40.

Dyson has been creating vacuum cleaners since the early 1990s and is known for its advanced technology, making them a leader in their industry.

The DC40 is one of their latest models and it is gaining popularity among returning and new clients for all the good reasons. If you have pets you might be better considering a Dyson Animal.

Key Features

  • Type: Upright Vacuum
  • Power : 1,100w
  • Dust Capacity: 1.6l
  • Weight: 6.7kg
  • Noise Level: 85db

Design

Features

Price

Upright Vacuum Buyers Guide

When You Shouldn’t Buy an Upright Vacuum

How Much Do You Need to Spend on an Upright Vacuum?

Main Types of Upright Vacuum

What Key Features to Look For

Price Range

Bagged or Bagless

Power

Dust Capacity

Weight

Pets/Allergies

Other Considerations

Noise

Reach

Tools / Attachments

Floor Types

Warranty

Conclusion

While upright vacuums can be some of the most powerful vacuums in the market today, there’s no denying that these are quite pricey when compared to a cylinder vacuum...However, we have included models above that vary in price ranges to cater to most household needs and budget.

You must realise too that not because something is expensive, it is good enough and if something is affordable, it is of inferior quality. 

The best upright vacuum cleaners we covered are indeed great choices and hopefully we helped you come up with a great decision.

If you have any questions or if you wish to add any detail that we might have missed, please leave a comment below and we’ll reply as soon as we can.

Last Updated on February 12, 2021 by Gemma Tyler

  • Hi . I stumbled upon your site as I was searching reviews on vacuums. I live in the Caribbean with tiled floors, occasional rugs and lots of dust from opened windows. I must admit that this is my first vacuum purchase and I am totally confused. I need to be able to deal with dust and cobwebs, keep my tiles clean, and also use as a car vac. Too many to choose from though I did consider the Bissel Symphony. Help!

  • Nice blog.
    Thanks for the Post of vacuum cleaner
    I have read your post of “Best Upright Vacuum Cleaner: 2016 UK Review Guide ” and
    Your post is very helpful for me
    Good day.
    🙂

  • I would like a second vacuum cleaner for our rugs only. The Henry we have has too strong a suction and has removed the pile from one rug. Suggestions please.

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