Best vacuum cleaner: our top 9 vacuum cleaner reviews

Getting your hands on one of the best vacuum cleaners will make light work of (at least) one of your regular household chores. Yet with so many to choose from, it’s hardly surprising that when it comes down to finding the best your money can get it can get somewhat overwhelming. That’s where we can help.

We test a lot of vacuum cleaners. In fact, you’ll see from the badges of approval below that we’ve tested every single option in this guide. That’s how we know which vac you should invest in – and why. Our top spots are reserved for the seriously impressive, from Dyson, Shark, Vax, Miele, and Hoover. We have included many of the best cordless vacuum cleaners in this overall guide, as well as some classic canister and upright models that will suit the whole family. 

In this guide, you’ll find considerations on set-up, performance, and ease of use, as well as value for money. If you need something more specialist, like one of the best vacuums for pet hair, or allergies, then we’ve got those covered too. Keep reading to discover which of our top picks can help you battle dust and dirt in your home.

Our top picks

The vacuum cleaners to buy in 2022

Shark Cordless Upright Vacuum Cleaner [ICZ300UKT] Anti Hair Wrap, PowerFins, Powered Lift-Away, Pet Hair, BlueReal Homes Rated Gold badge

(Image credit: Shark)

1. Shark ICZ300UKT

This is our #1 best vacuum cleaner to buy in 2022

Specifications

Best for: Cordless cleaning with the power of a plug

Type: Cordless

Bagless: Yes

Cordless: Yes

Weight: 6.2kg

Capacity: 0.6ltrs

Reasons to buy

+

Supremely powerful

+

Stands upright unassisted

+

Incredible on pet hair

+

Lift-away for cleaning cars and stairs

Reasons to avoid

Heavy for a cordless vacuum

The Shark ICZ300UKT Anti Hair Wrap Cordless Upright Vacuum Cleaner boasts all the power of a corded vacuum, but in a cordless model. It has a removable battery which lifts out to slot into an external charger, and it can lift away to clean the stairs and upholstery without the stick.

Pet power
When we tried the Shark ICZ300UKT Anti Hair Wrap Cordless Upright Vacuum Cleaner on a pet hair-filled floor, it left a visible line of bright cream carpet after just one pass. That was on the regular power mode, but it is even more impressive when put into boost mode. 

Stable and sturdy
The Shark ICZ300UKT Anti Hair Wrap Cordless Upright Vacuum Cleaner can be left standing upright thanks to the heavier lower side of the stick. That makes it ideal for storing when it’s not in use.  

Easy to switch
Toggle between carpet and hard floors without the need to switch attachments. You can do this using the LCD control pad at the handle of the vacuum. This switches down the brush to work on your hard floors, or lowers the PowerFins to reach deep into the carpets. 

the best cordless vacuum is the VAX ONEPWR Blade 4 Cordless Vacuum CleanerReal Homes Rated Gold badge

(Image credit: Amazon)

This is the best vacuum cleaner you can buy on a budget

Specifications

Best for: Cordless

Type: Stick

Bagless: Yes

Cordless: Yes

Weight: 3.1kg

Capacity: 0.6ltrs

Reasons to buy

+

Light and easy to move around

+

Great for pet owners

+

Works well on all floors

+

Gets right under the furniture

+

Handy for the car

Reasons to avoid

A full set of tools could cost you extra

Might require investment in a second battery

This cordless vacuum gets our vote for the best cordless vacuum cleaner. It has almost three times more suction power than any of their other cordless vacuums – it lifted everything it was faced with, even mud, when our reviewer put it to the test! And at a fraction of the price of better known cordless vacuums, we think it is a steal. 

Supreme clean
Ideal for those with pets or anyone who regularly finds hair scattered around the house, it has a special head designed to pick up every bit of dirt including leaves, bits of small paper and big crumbs. This model also have DustTracker LEDs so you can easily see what else needs a clean.

Quick and easy vacuuming
The floorhead of the Blade 4 easily rotates which means that getting it exactly where you want it to go to is never a struggle. It’s also low enough to glide under furniture, and light enough to carry up and down the stairs. The handheld doesn’t drop its power, nor is it heavy either: it weighs just 2kg.

Cordless pro
It does the job and more, and only needs three hours to charge, after which it will run for 45 minutes. As with slightly older Vax models, additional batteries can be bought which is great if you need a longer run-time. In our opinion, this is the best cordless vacuum cleaner you can buy right now and offers versatility that cordless vacuums without removable batteries lack. 

If you have pets, the Vax Blade 4 PET vacuum cleaner has recently been released which has an antimicrobial coating to help prevent bacteria growth for a hygienic clean time-after-time, and a mini-motorised tool for removing pet hair. 

Read our full Vax ONEPWR Blade 4 cordless vacuum cleaner review.

Dyson V15Real Homes Rated Gold badge

(Image credit: Dyson)

3. Dyson V15 Detect

Best Dyson vacuum cleaner (so far!)

Specifications

Best for: A spotless home

Type: Cordless

Bagless: Yes

Cordless: Yes

Weight: 3kg

Capacity: 0.76ltrs

Reasons to buy

+

New anti-tangle hair screw

+

Versatile attachments

+

Green laser illuminates invisible dust

+

Super powerful

Reasons to avoid

Laser only works on hard floors

Trigger needs to be held for continuous operation

The Dyson V15 Detect truly has scored five stars all-round. When we tested it, it wowed us with its Piezo sensor that tells you the real-time dust particle collection. Gross, but cool. Why is it not higher on the list? Though it scored full marks in our testing, look at the price! It really is a high end buy, so we wanted to profile a couple of products that give you a fab clean for a bit less, first.

Deep cleaning technology
Dyson wanted to give customers proof that the vacuum really was cleaning their homes, even if the dirt isn’t always visible. Their solution? A Piezo sensor and LCD screen which gives you a dust particle count, in real time. 

This works in tandem with a green laser, which illuminates the dust on hard floors to show how well the V15 Detect works. In our experience, that’s very well indeed. 

Using the V15
You simply press the trigger (there’s no continuous mode) to activate the Dyson V15 Detect. It’s minimal in its controls, which makes cleaning straightforward. 

The 60 minute runtime was sufficient to clean our space, but as you’d expect, the Boost mode shortens battery life. 

Anti-tangle tech
Pet-lovers really have reason to rejoice with Dyson’s new anti-tangle. How it works? An anti-tangle conical brush bar. This works like a screw, gathering hair and filtering it up and towards the bin, preventing it from getting tangled around the brushroll itself. 

henry HVR160Real Homes Rated Gold badge

(Image credit: Numatic)

Our favourite Henry Hoover

Specifications

Best for: Budgets

Type: Cylinder

Bagless: No

Cordless: No

Weight: 7.5kg

Capacity: 6ltrs

Reasons to buy

+

Budget-friendly

+

Surprisingly powerful

+

Large capacity

Reasons to avoid

Tricky for storing in compact spaces

Has some weight to it

This vacuum cleaner is a real classic, and it’s not hard to see why. If you’re looking for a great budget vacuum with astonishing power, we recommend the Henry.

So user friendly
Henry is ever the under-rated wonder which keeps things simple, in a really good way. Perfect for those who want a vacuum that just works and works well, it’s a name you can trust to have your cleaning done in no time. 

Expert cleaning on a budget
There is a reason Henry and his Numatic family are so widely used by professional cleaners. They can clean for hours and hours before they need emptying, and the bags are easy to fit and empty. The range of attachments is good too, so he’s an all-round brilliant buy for homeowners on a budget. Quite a few of the Real Homes team have a Henry as a second vac for the really tough jobs. Think renovation dust, giving the car a deep clean after a muddy dog walk, or filthy carpets. If you have the room for storage, he is a great back up for the muckier tasks while your cordless keeps on top of daily mess.

Quality
While we wouldn’t necessarily recommend him for those with mobility issues, as he can be a bit heavy to lug around, Henry is certainly built to last. This is a vac that will stand up to everything life throws at it and if you do a lot of DIY and need a heavy-duty buddy for dust-busting, he’s your man.

Prefer another Henry model? We have more on our best Henry vacuum guide that could fit into your lifestyle just fine, but this one is our #1.

Read our full Henry HVR160 review.

Miele Blizzard CX1 Cat & Dog Bagless Vacuum CleanerReal Homes Rated Gold badge

(Image credit: Miele)

Best canister vacuum cleaner for homes with pets

Specifications

Best for: Canister design

Type: Corded

Bagless: Yes

Cordless: No

Weight: 8.7kg

Capacity: 2ltrs

Reasons to buy

+

Generous tank capacity

+

No dustbags needed

+

Self-cleaning filter

If you want a canister vacuum to keep on top of pet hair and family-size messes, look no further than the Miele Blizzard CX1 Cat & Dog Bagless Vacuum Cleaner. Like all Miele vacuums, it offers a supreme clean, but is a bit of an investment.

All the power
The Miele Blizzard CX1 Cat & Dog Bagless Vacuum Cleaner comes with a turbo brush attachment that’s extra powerful on pet hair and trodden carpets. It’s got some immense power, and comes with regular attachments that can also be used on hard floors and carpets. 

Self-cleaning
Cleaning out the filter on a vacuum has got to be one of the most tedious tasks, and it’s pretty messy, too. We love that the Miele Blizzard CX1 Cat & Dog Bagless Vacuum Cleaner has a self-cleaning filter, but this did mean it stopped to self-clean every now and again. 

Suitable for all
Tall or short, you’ll love the extendable telescopic tube. If you suffer from allergies, you’ll enjoy the British Allergy Foundation-approved filter, which will keep spores and dust at bay. 

Read our full Miele Blizzard CX1 Cat&Dog PowerLine vacuum cleaner review.

dyson v11 outsize rated 5 out of 5 starsReal Homes Rated Gold badge

(Image credit: Dyson)

6. Dyson Outsize Absolute

A fab choice for large homes and big messes

Specifications

Best for: All-rounder

Type: Stick

Bagless: Yes

Cordless: Yes

Weight: 3.5kg

Capacity: 1.7ltrs

Reasons to buy

+

Incredible suction

+

Quick to charge

+

Easy to handle

+

Versatile

Reasons to avoid

Top-heavy

No good on small rugs

After recently completing our Dyson Outsize Absolute review for Homes & Gardens, we are pleased to include this vac in our roundup. It boasts a 150 per cent bigger bin and a 25 per cent wider cleaner head than the Dyson V11 which makes it a fab choice for large homes, or if you just want to clean up big messes quickly.

Impressive suction
As with all Dysons you can expect some impressive suction, on flooring especially. The Dyson Outsize Absolute has 20 per cent MORE suction than the V10 thanks to a powerful Dyson Hyperdymium motor and 18 Dyson cyclones which generate forces of more than 79,000g to fling microscopic particles – such as pollen, dust and bacteria – into the bin. This blew me away during testing as it sucked up everything in it’s path, even a small 60cm diameter rug so it’s probably best to avoid taking the Outsize onto anything less weighty.

Running time
It has a 60-minute runtime if you use it on Eco mode. There are three modes to choose from – Eco, Auto and Boost – which, unsurprisingly, will use more juice. These modes can be easily switched between using a button at the top of the vac. You can even check the battery levels as you clean thanks to the really neat LCD screen. Oh and charging back up to full takes up to four hours, which isn’t long at all.

Attachments
There’s a lot of attachments which come with this cordless vacuum but nowhere to store them. However, they could come in very useful if you have a large home with lots of places for dirt and grime to gather.

Hoover Telios ExtraReal Homes Rated Gold badge

(Image credit: Hoover)

Best bagged cylinder vacuum cleaner around

Specifications

Best for: Easy, clean emptying

Type: Cylinder

Bagless: No

Cordless: No

Weight: 5.03kg

Capacity: 3.5L

Reasons to buy

+

Easy to set up

+

Very easy to store

+

Great suction

Reasons to avoid

Gets stuck around tight corners

If you prefer a bagged vac and/or have pets, we highly rate the Hoover Telios Extra TX50PET.

Great suction, across all floor types
The floorhead on this Hoover is suitable for carpets and hard flooring. It can be easily adjusted by a Floor Type Selector Pedal which is on the floorhead – this raises the brushes when you go onto wooden or ceramic flooring.

As for the suction, our reviewer was very impressed with just how much was picked up. You know it’s good when it gently lifts the carpets and rugs as your vacuuming!

Plenty of attachments
Arriving with a Crevice tool, Furniture nozzle and Dusting brush, you’ll be able to clean all areas of the home with ease. The attachments all get stored on board, too, so you always know where they are.

Manoeuvrability
The Hoover has a (very) useful 360 degree oscillation of the telescopic tube, which itself is extendable. The power cord can extend out to give you a cleaning radius of up to 10m.

Read our full Hoover Telios Extra TX50PET cylinder vacuum cleaner review.

Image of Miele Triflex HW1 Pro VacuumReal Homes Rated Silver Badge

(Image credit: Miele)

Best vacuum for suction power

Specifications

Best for : Large family homes

Type: Cordless stick

Bagless : Yes

Cordless: Yes

Weight : 4kg

Capacity : 0.5L

Reasons to buy

+

Incredible suction power 

+

Battery life that won’t let you down

+

Flexible for hard to reach places

Reasons to avoid

A serious investment 

Can be heavy during use

The Miele Triflex HX1 Pro is the brand’s first foray into cordless vacs, and its unbelievably impressive battery life could convert even die-hard corded vac fans.

Noteworthy suction and power
This vacuum will be a sound investment for sizable family homes thanks to its powers when it comes to combatting dirt, dust and hair. In our tests, we found that this vacuum outshone a corded alternative when it came to performance, and that it was super effective at pulling up dirt from rugs and carpet.

All the battery life you’ll need
When it comes to charge, this vacuum is fully equipped, with an extra battery pack included in your purchase. Overall you can get 60 minutes on each in low power mode, and we found around 25 minutes on the highest setting. That makes it a cordless vacuum that’s great for bigger homes.

Read our full Miele Triflex HX1 Pro review.

Image of iRobot Roomba s9+ vacuum

(Image credit: iRobot)

Our favourite robot vacuum

Specifications

Best for : Effort free cleaning

Type: Robot

Bagless: Yes

Cordless : Yes

Weight : 3.7kg

Capacity: 0.5L

Reasons to buy

+

Empties itself 

+

Excels at corner cleaning 

+

Convenient to run

Reasons to avoid

Eye watering cost 

Can be noisy 

The iRobot Roomba S9+ is a self-emptying, automatic vacuuming delight. It is great at picking up around the house, and it’s even good at navigating corners, making it the king of the best robot vacuums.

Intuitive app controls
Seeing as you won’t be doing vacuuming yourself, the most important feature of a robot vac is ease of use. This iRobot pick is a breeze to get along with, with a great app or the option to use the manual controls on top of the unit if you’d prefer.

D-shape for corner control
This robot vacuum won’t miss a thing thanks to its unique design allowing it to get into corner spots. It also has a protruding brush to make sure it’s gathering up all of the dust it should be.

Advanced mapping technology
Like many of the most high-tech robot vacs on the market, this bot will scout out your home in order to create a super accurate map, to begin with. Then it’ll follow the same path every time it operates, giving you the chance to set out no-go zones and highlight areas that need a little more TLC.

Things to note
Though this vacuum scored an incredible 5 stars in our review, we haven’t ranked it as an essential purchase, as its RRP is pretty astronomical.

Read our full iRobot Roomba S9+ review.

Hisnse H-Move product cut outReal Homes Rated Silver Badge

(Image credit: Hisense)

A lightweight and (very) affordable option

Specifications

Best for: Low budgets and weight(less)

Type: Cordless stick

Bagless: Yes

Cordless: Yes

Weight: 3kg

Capacity: 0.4litres

Reasons to buy

+

Fab suction 

+

Lightweight

+

Good suite of attachments

+

Removable battery makes recharging easy

Reasons to avoid

Not great on stairs

Small bin which is tricky to empty

On paper, the Hisense HVC6264BKUK Hi-Move certainly ticked a lot of boxes for me. And upon testing, it most certainly delivered. For a vacuum under £150, it is probably the most affordable cordless vacuum cleaner I’ve come across in a long time and it has some of the same features you see in the more premium vacs.

Performance
There are two settings and you can use it as either an upright-stick or handheld vacuum. I used the higher setting when vacuuming carpets as an upright stick, and the lower setting when using it as a handheld. The suction is FAB (on the higher setting) but this does mean that the vac is power hungry so I only ended up getting a runtime of 19 minutes and eight seconds, which was just about long enough to vacuum the upstairs carpet in my house.

The 0.4 litre bin size is ideal for small clean ups but bigger messes will see you wanting to empty it more frequently.

Versatility
A design feature which is useful for vacuuming under furniture is the flexible wand, although this was stiff when quickly trying the bend it, and an LED floorhead. There’s plenty of attachments, too, such as the Motorized Bed Nozzle, Flexible Tube, Brush Nozzle and Crevice Nozzle which means that all areas of the home can be cleaned.

Vacuuming the stairs was a challenge with the motorized bed nozzle and the floorhead due to angles / size, but you may have better luck than I did with this because our stairs are very steep. Being just three kilos in weight it really was very easy to move around.

Things to note
Because there’s a drop in suction when the battery is running low, and it spits out debris if you fill the bin up past the ‘max’ point, we couldn’t award this vacuum more than 4 stars, but we’ve placed it on our list because of its affordability. And if you need a cheap cordless for everyday runarounds, to complement a heftier model for deep cleans, this is it.

Read our full Hisense HVC6264BKUK Hi-Move Cordless Vacuum review.


How to choose the best vacuum cleaner

When you start for search for the best vacuum cleaner, deciding which type of vacuum cleaner you would prefer which go a long way in honing in on what is the best make and model for you. In the video below, our Brand Development Director Laura Crombie explains which factors to think about as you make your choice.

Handheld vacuum cleaners are always cordless, but you can now get larger cordless vacuums which do more than just sucking up a few crumbs off your car seats. Their battery life is much better than a decade ago and they make quick cleaning very convenient. Cordless are a good buy for small homes; they’re often lighter and smaller, so easier to store and whip around than bulkier models. Larger, more powerful vacuum cleaners tend to be corded, and these are what you want to choose for larger homes or if you need a really powerful vacuum cleaner (you have, for example, kids who tread biscuit crumbs into carpets or dogs that shed like you wouldn’t believe).

Cylinder vacuums, although occasionally less energy-efficient, are best for:

  • Small homes lacking storage space to keep an upright (cylinders can often be taken apart so the cylinder can be stored in a low cupboard and the pipe and foot stowed elsewhere if needed);
  • Getting into corners or under beds;
  • Easy use on stairs and landings.

Upright vacuum cleaners are usually heavier, although there are lightweight models available, but they tend to have a larger capacity, meaning you have to empty them less frequently than cylinder or, of course, small handheld vacs. They are therefore best for:

  • Prolonged use in larger spaces;
  • Easy use – you push the whole unit, rather than needing to tug the cylinder along after you;
  • Quick use – the larger foot (often with rotating brushes) makes quick work of cleaning up pet hair and dust.

Bagless vacuum cleaners can be messy to empty (we’d advise doing so outside, near the bin), but the ongoing cost of bags for traditional bagged models will make them more expensive in the long run, so this comes down to preference and budget.

On top of all this, you should also look out for the following special features:

  • HEPA filters for allergy sufferers;
  • Advanced filtration systems for pollen and dust;
  • Pet hair tools (extra powerful suction and a non-tangling brush);
  • Deep clean: some models specialise in this.

See how we compare cordless models in the shoppable video below.

Real Homes review process

We test the latest, trendiest and most innovative vacuum cleaners out there. We’re talking about everything from the best cordless vacuums for those who like stick format, to the best robot vacuum cleaners for a hands-free clean and the best vacuum for pet hair – so we can help YOU find the most suitable make and model for you.

We have always judged vacuum cleaners not just by their price tag but also by what it is EXACTLY that you get for your money. We look for how well they lift dirt from deep pile carpet, if they can easily manoeuvre around furniture, whether or not they can be easily carried up and down the stairs and how they perform on hard floors. We also take into account the attachments, packaging and delivery so you get the complete overview of what you can expect.

The majority of the vacuum cleaners which you have seen featured in this guide have been tested in our homes for up to two months. After this time frame they are either returned to the brand, or we are gifted them so we can continue to use them. Should this happen, we will update the relevant review about how the vacuum cleaner has performed over time and if there has been any unforeseen issues along the way. This is the same process we follow every time, for each of the robot vacuum cleaner, cordless vacuum or handheld vacuum cleaner we’ve managed to get our hands on. You can read more about our testing process on Real Homes for the full low down.

Multiple team members have reviewed the vacuums in this round-up, meaning that this guide is a true reflection of what Real Homes thinks is the very best.

Jennifer Oksien illustration

Jen is Homes Editor on TechRadar. Previously she has written for Ideal Home, Real Homes and Homes & Gardens as our Appliances Editor. She has tested out a number of vacuums in this guide, including the Hisense HVC6264BKUK Hi-Move Cordless Vacuum and the Henry HVR160.

Molly Cleary illustration

Molly is the Ecommerce Writer for Real Homes, and currently oversees vacuum content. She has tested out a number of vacuums to bring you the advice you need on what to buy, including picks from Dyson and Shark, as well as a number of robot vacuums. She’s currently testing out the Tineco Pure One S15 Pro to see if it’s worth a place in this line-up.

Linda Clayton head shot

Linda is a freelance journalist who has specialised in home tech, interior design and fitness for more than two decades. She has tested plenty of vacuums for Real Homes, including the iRobot Roomba S9+ and the Miele Triflex HX1 Pro cordless vacuum on this list. She tested out these vacuums in her Devon home, to find out how well they performed across various floor types and how well they coped with busy family life, and her three super-fluffy, world-class-moulting dogs. 

Image of Sarah Warwick, freelance contributor

Sarah has reviewed many vacuum cleaners for Real Homes, taking them through their paces at home to give us an honest, real-life opinion and comparison on every model. From this list, she’s had hands-on experience with the Vax ONEPWR Blade 4 cordless vacuum and the Miele Blizzard CX1 Cat&Dog PowerLine vacuum cleaner.

Cleaning your vacuum cleaner

To maintain max suction you need to keep your vacuum cleaner clean. Emptying the bag or tank regularly is key, so you may prefer a larger capacity that allows you to clean more of the house before this needs doing.

Most vacuums also come with a filter that may need washing every so often. This needs doing well in advance of use so that the filter is completely dry in time. If this sounds like a faff, check out filterless vacuums. 

You’ve reached the end of the page. Jump back up to the top^

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.