It’s time to buy a new vacuum cleaner, and this seems like an easy task – right?
In reality, it’s not as simple as going to the store and picking up the first model you see; there is actually a lot more thought that needs to go into what you are buying.
After all, you want something that is going to clean your home effectively and keep everything looking tidy.
There are thousands of models out there, as well as a whole load of brands that anyone would struggle to list completely.
This is part of the reason you need to put thought into your purchase, as some brands work better than others, and there are companies that make vacuum cleaners that are suited to specific tasks. In addition to that, you need to look at the type of vacuum (cordless, upright, pet-friendly, to name a few) as well as any features that it has that could benefit your home.
At this point, you are probably feeling a little nervous and overwhelmed, but there is no need to worry. The UK may be filled with an endless list of vacuums, but we are here to help you out. This guide is perfect if you are trying to find your lifelong vacuum cleaner, and it will detail what makes each type good, bad, and the things that you should be looking for.
Everyone has a budget, regardless of whether it is a big or small one. As a result, it let's start things off by showing you the vacuums within the three main price brackets, so you can discover the one that works best for you.
The price you choose to spend will need to vary depending on the type of model that you need, as well as the brand that you go with. A good example of this is that a cordless vacuum for £100 may sound great, but in reality, it doesn’t function nearly as well as a model that is priced closer to £250. Similarly, you can find great cylinder vacuums in every price range.
Starting with the lower price bracket is a great step forward, and as you progress through this guide, you will be able to explore more of the model types and features that you might need – each of which may influence the amount you are willing to spend on a new vacuum. After all, if you invest well they can last you a good few years.
Up to £100
These are our top three picks for vacuum cleaners up to £100. If you want to read more details about each model, alongside our other expert picks, be sure to stop and read our Best Vacuum Cleaner Under £100 Guide.
Powerful yet energy-efficient cylinder vacuum cleaner. Cyclonic technology to improve suction with a large capacity canister and a range of handy accessories.
Sleek upright vacuum that stores away easily and features good suction for all floor types. Cordless with a long battery life and short charging period.
Reliable upright vacuum cleaner that is energy-efficient and offers excellent power when cleaning. Lightweight and easy to handle with a range of handy attachments.
Up to £200
Below, you will find our three chosen vacuum cleaners up to £200, which we have chosen because they are sure to serve you well.
Gtech AirRam MK2
The most famous model from Gtech, this cordless vacuum has the power and capability to replace a corded upright model. Lightweight and slides effortlessly under furniture.
This upright vacuum has a lift-away section that turns it into a portable model for cleaning the stairs. Great for pets, and has a filtration system for allergies.
Product Name Goes Here
Powerful suction and a universal floor head for carpets and wood floors that is activated using a foot button. Accessories included and adjustable working height.
This tends to be the price bracket that contains the top vacuum cleaners, and you can find our top three picks below.
Dyson V8 Absolute
Powerful cordless stick vacuum with an excellent running time and good charging period. Good main floor head and accessories, suitable for homes with pets.
Miele Blizzard CX1
Made for cleaning up pet hair, strong suction with a HEPA filter for asthma and allergies. Turbo brush for tough areas and efficient floor head.
Dual brush-roll design for all floor types and efficient cleaning. Converts to a handheld model and features a variety of tools to make things easier.
While a higher price doesn’t always mean better quality, when it comes to vacuum cleaners it is often the case. Spending a little more will often result in a superior vacuum. However, if you are really stuck to your budget, careful research should help you find something that works well for you.
Finding the right type of vacuum cleaner is also an essential part of the decision, as each model type has different benefits for the home.
For example, a cordless vacuum is ideal for those with little storage space and a smaller apartment, and robot vacuums are perfect for people who don’t get the time to vacuum properly.
This section takes you through each type in detail so that you can choose the one that is going to be best suited to you, your home, and your circumstances.
We’ve all seen and know upright vacuums, and why shouldn’t we? After all, they are the most popular type in the UK. Pretty much every manufacturer has a few different upright models – whether you are looking at Dyson or Vax. They are efficient, save space, and also excellent value for money, three things that most would want in their vacuum cleaner.
They tend to be really manoeuvrable, so you can slide them across the floor and turn them at the flick of your wrist. Of course, not every model has this level of flexibility, but it is an ever-growing trend within the market.
They weave around furniture with ease, and the suction tends to be excellent – making them ideal for homes that have one or more pets roaming around. They make cleaning quick, and the large dust canister means that you empty them less frequently to save time.
Most of the time, they have a motorised brush in the floor head, and this works to give your carpets a really deep and thorough clean, removing more dust and dirt than other vacuum types. They often come with plenty of attachments too, and these can be stored on-board, another feature that makes these vacuums really easy to pack away after use.
Of course, there are a couple of downsides to the upright models. They do tend to be a lot heavier than cylinder vacuums, which can put strain on the elderly, and you will also find it is harder to clean the stairs with them (some do come with tools to fix this though).
They are also noisier on average, and many have shorter power cords than their cylinder counterparts. Below, however, we have a few uprights that really bring the positive features to light, similar to our best upright vacuum guide.
Dyson Light Ball
Classic upright vacuum with powerful suction and easy handling, thanks to the ball technology. Glides around furniture with great tools and a washable filter.
SEBO Automatic X4 Extra
Strong suction and stylish design. Upright vacuum with extendable wand and accessories for making cleaning easier. Great filtration, adjustable height, and amazing warranty.
Great upright that uses lift-away technology to convert into a portable model for easy cleaning. Lightweight, easy to handle, and has headlights for getting hidden dust under furniture.
Key Features to Look for:
Many people are left wondering what a cylinder vacuum is and why they haven’t heard of them before. This could partly be because they aren’t as popular in the UK as they are in Europe, but if you have owned or seen a Henry vacuum before, you have experienced a cylinder model.
In many ways, they are the worker bees of the vacuum cleaner community – doing all the heavy lifting and working at an industrial level to keep your home as clean as possible.
The body of the vacuum and the main floor head are separated by a long hose, so you pull the vacuum behind you instead of pushing the whole thing across the floor.
Usually, the floor head it comes with does everything (and all floor types), but some models come with extras and attachments. They tend to be more compact than their upright counterparts, and the long hose means that it is easier to reach difficult places or low areas.
They are also better for cleaning the stairs due to the long hose, and while they may seem a lot bulkier, they are actually lighter than uprights most of the time and are less expensive on the whole. However, pulling it behind you does mean that there is more risk of it bumping into walls and furniture, as well as the fact that the hose can be tricky and untidy to store.
Cheap models can also find suction tricky and may struggle with things like pet hair. However, the models we have chosen for you to view are guaranteed to suck well – just like the ones in our best cylinder vacuum guide.
Uses radial root cyclone technology to prevent loss of suction. Powerful machine that uses ball tech for easy turning. Self-adjusting floor head and reduced noise levels for comfort.
Miele Complete C3
Bagged cylinder vacuum with powerful suction that is perfect for removing pet hair. Easy to use controls, floor head can be adjusted for use across all floor types easily.
Miele Compact C2
Lightweight and easy to handle, with a compact design for very easy storage. Great hose radius and tidy packing after use. Powerful motor for carpet and hard floors.
Key Features to Look for:
In many ways, they used to be a bit of a joke in the vacuum world as they had poor battery life and suction. However, in recent years they have begun to surge in terms of popularity, becoming a top choice for those who want something slim and compact, while still being good at cleaning the home.
A lot of this praise comes from the fact that battery life has been increased, and the suction has been improved as well. Most of the leading brands have at least one cordless vacuum for you to choose from.
The main reason people love them is that they are convenient and easy to store – with many of them being mounted on the wall. The lack of a plug means you don’t have to search for a socket, or worry about loose wires. They also tend to be really lightweight for easy portability, and they are usually ideal for cleaning the stairs and getting areas that tend to be harder to reach.
While they all have a similar set of advantages, it is important to remember that they have different designs. There are models, like the Gtech AirRam, that have been made in such a way that they can replace an upright vacuum.
On the other hand, most Shark cordless vacuums are simple sticks that make cleaning more convenient and can be turned into a handheld model for the stairs and furniture. Due to this, you need to make sure you are picking the right one for your home.
As with any vacuum, there are some downsides as well. Cordless vacuums need to be charged up, as they run on a battery and it will need to be replenished after use – this can take a few hours.
They tend to have smaller dust canisters as well, which means they need to be emptied more frequently, and you may find that the cheaper models struggle when picking up dirt as they aren’t as powerful. We have picked some great models though, and they certainly rival their corded cousins in terms of power. Plus, we have a best cordless vacuum guide you can check out.
Two brushes on the floor head for a deeper and better clean. Long running time and short charging period. Converts to a handheld vacuum, and perfect for homes with pets.
Gtech AirRam MK2
Can replace an upright vacuum with powerful suction. Great runtime and quick charge period. Easy to use and empty with compact storage when done.
Dyson V8 Absolute
Sleek stick vacuum with a superb running time and strong suction when in use. Easy to empty, and has a great floor head that picks up pet hair and grime easily.
Key Features to Look for:
In all honesty, these are little nuggets of genius, and you will definitely find yourself wondering what you did without one before you picked it up.
Of course, they aren’t made for cleaning the whole house (that would take a lifetime), but they are perfect for smaller jobs. Cleaning the car, the stairs, the furniture, and even your desk are just some examples of where they can really shine.
Handheld vacuum cleaners come in both corded and cordless formats, so you can pick the type that you like most. You will find that most handheld vacs are cordless, but the corded models tend to offer a little more power without the convenience of no cables – it’s the price you pay for more suction.
The corded models are better suited to larger jobs that require more time and energy, especially if you are giving your car a really thorough clean.
These little vacuums (corded and cordless alike) have been designed to be more portable and compact, with a handle so that you have full control over where it goes. They work as a great companion for your regular vacuum, scooping up crumbs and excess dirt/dust with great ease, as well as sliding into corner and difficult areas to get the bits you missed.
The only real downside is the fact that they can only handle small jobs and have a tiny dust canister. Other than that, even the cheap models at around £20 do a great job, and you will find that even the top and most reputable brands manufacture them.
However, you might want to check our best handheld vacuum guide for more information so that you can pick the best one for you, as well as the models we have carefully selected below.
Holife Handheld Vacuum
Powerful cyclonic suction with a great motor that can handle a range of debris. Lightweight with a long battery life and excellent range of attachments.
Cordless and lightweight design for quick and easy cleaning. Built-in tools to reach tricky and tight areas. Easy to empty with a good battery life.
Black + Decker Dustbuster
Cordless handheld vacuum that is lightweight and easy to handle. Filter sensor lets you know when it needs to be cleaned with smart battery sensor.
Key Features to Look for:
These started out as a sci-fi vision of the future, but it is here and ready to help you clean your home. In the beginning, they were not the favourite vacuum cleaners on the market, but their popularity in the UK has risen massively as the technology continues to advance and the cleaning becomes more reliable and accurate.
No more are they considered to be a gimmicky piece of tech; now they are advanced machines with detailed navigation systems that map out your home’s layout for a better clean.
They are perfect for those that lead busy lives, with most of the mid-range and above models having a scheduling system that will allow you to programme when the vacuum should start cleaning.
There is usually an app to accompany them as well, so you can tell it to get started and keep track of its progress while at work or out with friends. They are able to avoid obstacles and won’t hit the walls thanks to the mapping system, and there are even some models that use brushed to clean along the skirting.
They have decent suction, although not as much as an upright or cylinder model, and they will keep your carpets and hard floors looking really good. Of course, they aren’t the cheapest models out there, and some of the top range models can cost in excess of £800 (like Dyson), with the mid-range ones being around £300-£400 (namely brands like Roomba).
If you want a robot vacuum that is able to do an excellent job, you need to pick up one of the mid or top range models, otherwise, you could end up with something that does half a job.
Most models are able to return to their base when they finish cleaning your home so that they can charge, but they cannot use stairs or clean upholstery, so your need to vacuum is not completely removed.
You will also need to empty the dust canister each day so that it can carry on, and these tend to be quite small due to the compact nature of the robot vacuum. You can check out our best robot vacuum review guide, as well as these brilliant models below.
Eufy Robo-Vac 11
Cleans the house at the press of a button, with several cleaning modes to reach every corner of your home. Avoids obstacles and has great suction on all floor types.
Powerful suction and side brushes ensure a really thorough clean, and the battery life is exceptional with a good charging period. Also has automatic docking and cleaning scheduling.
Dyson 360 Eye
Strong suction makes this vacuum, alongside the good dust canister capacity and the smart navigation system. Can be controlled with a mobile app and has automatic docking.
Key Features to Look for:
If you have puppies or pets that are not fully housetrained, do not use this vacuum cleaner when you are not home as there have been a few horror stories of dog poo being dragged across the carpet. Robot vacuums aren’t that good at detecting obstacles yet!
Wet & Dry Vacuum
These are excellent vacuums that can solve the issue of both wet and dry messes. After all, it can be pretty frustrating when you have a large spillage and not enough paper towels to soak it all up.
They are incredibly versatile, as they can be used indoors or outdoors, and are able to clean up everything from building debris to spillages made by your guests at dinner parties. Some can even be used to unblock the sink! They make for a great all-rounder, with top brands like Numatic and Vax.
It is even possible to pick up handheld wet/dry vacuums, but these tend to be made for small kitchen or car spillages as opposed to large ones.
As they are made to tackle a whole range of messes, they are way more durable than most vacuum cleaners, and they are not subject to any power restrictions which means that the suction is incredible. They also tend to have large capacities because of the fact they are made to clean up large and tricky messes.
They are not ideal for those with allergies or asthma though, as the filtration system is not nearly as good as an upright or cylinder vacuum. Plus, while they are able to remove water from carpets, they cannot actually clean them, so you may need a second vacuum for that particular task.
They can also be quite bulky to store and use. However, the models below are great if a wet/dry vacuum is something you need in your life, and you can check out our best wet and dry vacuum review guide for them here.
Also read our best pond vacuum cleaners review here.
From a top brand, this vac offers massive suction and reliability. It can tackle even the largest jobs and has a range of tools for different situations.
This model has a massive hose and a lot of power, as well as a huge capacity for wet and dry debris. This one can even be used as a normal vacuum for more versatility.
Powerful and versatile, it comes with loads of tools as well as on-board storage to keep them all tidy. Plus, there is an additional blower function.
Key Features to Look for:
These are perfect if you want something quick and quiet to tidy your carpet up on a regular basis. They are great for the elderly, or people who become fatigued quickly after pushing or pulling the vacuum across the floor – or just when you don’t feel like using your regular vacuum cleaner. They are pretty cheap as well, and it is not uncommon to find good models for around £20-£50.
They are lightweight and easy to use, with good handling for those that aren’t as dexterous as they used to be. While they are able to sweep up dirt, there isn’t any suction with these models, so you will still be left with a lot of dust and debris in your carpet that will need to be vacuumed later. However, this is also what makes it so quiet, and it can even be used when the rest of the house is asleep.
It won’t replace your vacuum cleaner, but it can help, and brands like Gtech and BISSELL have manufactured models that are much more effective at collecting the dirt. We have a great little selection below so that you can flick through some top models, but you can also check out our best carpet sweeper guide for even more models and information.
With outstanding battery life, it keeps going for ages and does not take long to charge. Kills 99.9% of bacteria and does a great job sweeping the carpets.
Lightweight and easy to handle, as well as ideal for home and business use. Picks up stray debris easily and with no noise. Simple to clean out after use.
Leifheit Rotaro S
Height can be adjusted for comfortable cleaning, and it is always ready to go. Large canister and good pickup, wide sweeping width.
Key Features to Look for:
Vacuum's for Specific Tasks
You might be thinking, “I only need my vacuum to suck stuff up, I’m not worried about specifics.” However, once you get your vacuum home, you might find yourself regretting the fact that you didn’t pay more attention to the tasks you need it to complete.
What if you have allergies and you didn’t buy a vacuum with a filter? Or you have pets, and the suction just isn’t good enough. Similarly, you might end up with an upright vacuum that you cannot use on the stairs because it is too awkward and clunky. This section won’t just take you through the most common specific tasks; it will help you find the vacuum cleaner for the job.
It's not always easy to find a vacuum cleaner that will be able to clean your car efficiently, especially with a corded model (unless you have an incredibly long extension cable).
Plus, with the cordless versions, you will need to make sure that the suction is really good and that the running time is over 10 minutes in order to get a really good and thorough result.
You will want something that has the ability, whether built-in or with attachments, to reach into tight corners to remove dirt, debris, and pet hair that has accumulated over time.
They should also be comfortable to hold during the cleaning period – and all of this rules out most standard handheld vacuums. We have picked three of our favourite models on the market for you to look at, but you can also check out our best car vacuum review guide here.
Black + Decker PD1200AV-XJ
This cyclonic vacuum cleaner is small, but packs a lot of punch. It has powerful suction and triple filtration for a thorough clean.
Gtech Car Vacuum
This little handheld vacuum cleaner comes with exceptional power and an amazing attachment pack so that you can clean every inch of your car.
Black + Decker Pivot
The lithium tech promises fade-free suction at all times. The nozzle is designed to pivot into even the tightest areas for a truly unique build.
Vacuum for Stairs
These can be a real pain to clean effectively, and so you need a vacuum cleaner that is going to be able to cope with the awkward angles and not fall down the stairs while you clean.
There is the choice between corded and cordless models, and the variety is actually quite large. While cylinder vacuum cleaners are typically excluded from this section, the Hetty from Numatic does actually have a hose extension included so that you can vacuum the stairs safely.
Cordless stick vacuum cleaners tend to be the best option, especially those that transform into handheld models. This is because they are smaller and very lightweight, which is ideal for stair cleaning. They also tend to have good suction and will let you really scrub the carpet.
A classic handheld model would also work well, and they are usually very affordable as a companion for your main vacuum. Below, we have a selection of top picks for stair vacuum cleaners that you can browse through. If you want more information on each, or want to look at even more models, make sure you take a look at our best vacuum cleaner for stairs review guide.
Tough brush for a thorough clean. Small and compact design, but packed full of power. Bagless, easy to clean, and a load of attachments.
Numatic Hetty 160-11
This cylinder vacuum has a long extension hose to reach up to the top of the stairs safely. Powerful suction and a good attachment selection.
Dyson V8 Absolute
Lightweight stick vacuum that converts into a handheld model for easy stair cleaning. Long battery life, good charging period, and great suction.
If you are using a vacuum cleaner on the stairs, make sure that the hose is long enough to reach the top. It may seem tempting to balance the vacuum on the stairs while you work, but this can be very dangerous and may result in serious injury.
Generally speaking, most vacuum cleaners are able to tackle hard floors without much of an issue. A good number of vacuum cleaners will let you adjust the floor head’s bristles - either with a foot control or a button on the side of the machine. There are even some in the top range that will adjust automatically to save you the trouble of switching it yourself.
There is a huge selection of vacuum cleaners available for wooden and hard floors, so you have a great choice between corded and cordless models. The thing with hard floors is that they don’t require as much suction as carpets, so you can get away with a standard cordless model to keep things clean.
Below, there are three of our favourite and expertly selected hard floor vacuum cleaners. If you want to learn more about them, as well as the other models we recommend, you can read our best hard floor vacuum cleaner guide.
This upright vacuum works great on hard floors, and has versatile cleaning that gets right between the cracks. Easy to handle and turns into a portable model.
Good floor head for hard or wood floors, powerful suction that picks up dust and dirt. Simple brush control with great filtration.
Miele Complete C3
Powerful motor that cleans hard floors well and removes all the dust. On-board accessories included with a wide cleaning radius.
Carpet & Rugs
Unlike hard floors, carpets and rugs can be a little harder to shop for, and finding the best vacuum cleaner to deal with them is not always an easy task. Corded models tend to be the best ones to go for as they offer a lot more suction and power – ideal for really reaching down into the depths of your carpet or thick rugs.
Cordless models are an option, but they do not tend to have as much power or capability as their corded counterparts. There are some models that will do the trick, but you might find yourself a little disappointed by the results.
Additionally, you should also look at the tools that come with it. Mini turbo tools are superb for really getting the grime out of carpets, and a brush roll can help give them an even better clean.
We have selected a few top models for vacuum cleaners that can deal with carpets below for you to look at.
Dyson Light Ball
This easy to handle model has a brush roll for deep carpet cleaning, as well as extra tools for the rest of the home. Good dust capacity.
Miele Complete C3
Universal floor head that cleans carpet expertly and with no effort. On-board attachments for extra help, and a huge cleaning radius for practicality.