Need to know
- Three Kmart Anko vacuum cleaners (one bagged, one bagless, one upright) received the bottom scores in our tests
- The $47 Kmart 2000W Bagless vacuum scored 67% which, though mediocre, is just 1% less than the $999 Dyson we tested
- More expensive vacuums are not necessarily better. Check out our vacuum cleaner reviews to ensure you get the best value for money
For every person that's willing to spend whatever it takes for the vacuum cleaner of their dreams (we know you're out there), there's another for whom a vacuum cleaner is a total grudge purchase.
If this is you (no clean-freak judgement here), it could be tempting to opt for a vac at the dirt-cheap end of the scale, such as the $50–$100 Anko models available at Kmart.
Although we do love it when we find a bargain appliance that really shines, in the case of Kmart vacuum cleaners, it's sadly not so. The upright, bagged and bagless models we most recently tested were among the lowest scoring when it comes to giving your carpet a thorough clean.
But, don't whip out your wallet just yet – some of the expensive models from brands such as Dyson were not always better.
The worst performers
Although they're definitely some of the cheapest vacuums we've tested, three of the Kmart vacuum cleaners were also among the lowest scoring. The Kmart Anko 1200W Upright Vacuum ($89) will bring no joy to your housekeeping, scoring a woeful 57% on overall performance, coming last place in our testing.
The Kmart Anko 2000W Bagged Vacuum may cost just $49 but it bombed in our testing, achieving an overall score of just 59%.
The Kmart Anko 2400W Bagless Vacuum costs $95 and scored an overall 60% (view more detailed reviews of the Kmart vacuum cleaners).
How we test vacuum cleaners
"We used to test full-sized vacuum cleaners on hard floors as well as carpet," says CHOICE test expert, Matthew Tung. "But we only test on carpet now as we discovered that, when used on hard floors, there isn't much differentiation on performance between models and they all do the job quite well."
CHOICE tip: If you only have timber floorboards, tiles or hard surfaces in your home, don't waste your money on an expensive barrel or upright vacuum cleaner. A cheaper model will likely do the job just fine.
CHOICE expert Matt Tung testing vacuum cleaners in our labs.
Kmart vs Dyson vacuums
The best-performing Kmart vacuum we tested is the Kmart Anko 2000W Bagless Vacuum – it scored 67% which still means it sits firmly in the mediocre camp, and is really only good for doing a quick once-over on your carpet or hard floors.
However, it does only cost $47 which is significantly cheaper than many more expensive brands we tested that received similar scores, so it pays to check our extensive vacuum reviews and do your research before you buy. Take the Dyson Cinetic Big Ball Animalpro, for example. It will set you back $999 but scored just 1% more than than the $47 Kmart vacuum in our testing (and just 50% on cleaning performance – a score that assesses how well it cleans a carpet both quickly in four passes and completely in ten passes).
CHOICE household expert, Kim Gilmour, says "We've also reviewed the Kmart 1200W Upright Vacuum ($89) which went viral on social media a couple of years ago for supposedly being better than a Dyson. However, in our own tests, this model scored a dismal 55% for cleaning performance, compared with 75% for the recommended Dyson Small Ball Multi Floor upright ($599)."
To find out how other Dyson vacuums performed in our tests, read our complete vacuum cleaner reviews for corded/full-sized vacuums.
CHOICE household expert Kim Gilmour talks about how we test vacuum cleaners and how the $49 Kmart model stacks up
Are Kmart's stick vacuums any good?
Stick vacuum cleaners are useful around the kitchen and other areas of the home when you have an annoying spill and don't want to get out the dust pan and brush.
It's the best $69 I ever spentCHOICE Community member, Helen on her Kmart stick vacuum
If you can look past the market-dominating Dyson stick vacuums (or can't quite stretch to the hundreds of dollars required to buy into the brand), we've tested the $99 Kmart cordless stick vacuum. It doesn't make it onto our recommended list, but scored an overall 73% (including a 90% score for pet hair removal) which is certainly not the most impressive score but not the worst if budget is a big focus for you.
CHOICE community member Karen is not a fan, though: "The Anko stick vacuum was light and relatively easy to use, however, it just didn't suck up anything from our wooden floors or floor rugs," she said. "We would run it back and forth and still see the same bits of fluff on the floor. It was not good for sucking dust off hard surfaces, nor was it any good for sucking fluff off rugs."
Another stick vacuum model from Kmart impressed CHOICE Community member, Helen: the 2-in-1 Cordless Stick Vacuum for $69 (which we haven't yet tested): "I cannot tell you how much I love it. It has heaps of power and is two gadgets in one – it's the best $69 I ever spent."