Need to know
- Kmart sells a variety of its Anko-branded cheap stick and barrel vacs
- The price may be right, but they rated only poor to OK in our cleaning tests and often ranked in the bottom three
- Become a CHOICE member to access our full reviews and test results
For every person willing to spend whatever it takes for the vacuum cleaner of their dreams, there's another buying one as 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 models from Kmart's house brand, Anko.
Although we do love it when we find a bargain appliance that really shines, in the case of Kmart vacuum cleaners, the news kind of sucks. Their bagless barrel vacs were among the lowest scorers in our lab tests, and the stick vacuums on offer didn't fare much better.
Still, if you're tempted by the price tag, read on to see our expert analysis of each model's cleaning skills (or lack thereof).
Stick vacs are useful for quick cleaning bursts around the house, or when you're cleaning hard-to-reach spots in the car.
The category is dominated by market leaders such as Dyson, but with pricier models costing about $700–1599, you may be tempted to try your luck with a budget stick instead.
At the time of writing, these are the stick vacs on sale at Kmart:
- Kmart Anko 2 in 1 Cordless Stick Vacuum V8260-12A: $79
- Kmart Anko Cordless Stick Cleaner – Black: $99
- Kmart Anko Cordless Stick Cleaner 42923558: $129
- Kmart Anko Cordless Stick Vacuum Cleaner: $159
Are Kmart cordless stick vacuums any good?
In Kmart's case, our experts found you get what you pay for. Priced at $79, its current 2-in-1 cordless V8260-12A model performed OK overall, earning a CHOICE Expert Rating of 67% in our lab tests.
It rated well for cleaning hard floors and pet hair... but seriously struggled on carpet
It rated well for cleaning hard floors and pet hair, and very good for car cleaning in handheld mode, but seriously struggled on carpet, both for quick cleans and longer runs.
Still, at a tenth of the price of the big guns, it's a cheapie to consider – it just depends on your floor type and how you feel about doing extra laps to get the job done.
The $159 Kmart Anko Cordless Stick Vacuum: It sucks at sucking.
Rough end of the stick: Kmart's $129 Cordless Stick Cleaner was the worst performer in our tests.
Kmart's two other stick vac products fared no better, taking out some of the bottom spots in our stick vacuum review with scores of 59% and 63%.
Despite costing around twice as much as the 2-in-1 V8260-12A model, the Kmart Anko Cordless Stick Cleaner ($129) and the Kmart Anko Cordless Stick Vacuum ($159) performed even worse than their cheaper cousin.
Both models did well when it came to cleaning cars, and the $129 model was also excellent at removing pet hair – so perhaps they could be useful for cleaning your car after taking Fido to the park. (Although that's a very specific scenario: do you really need to spend $130 for this one job?)
There's little else to commend these vacuums on, though, and you'd be better off buying a stick vac that'll actually clean your home.
If you're on a budget, we've rounded up five of the best stick vacuums under $250. They're all far better buys than Kmart's stick vacuums.
Kmart stick vacuums: Pros and cons
When our experts put Kmart's stick vacuums through their paces, a few key themes emerged – both good and bad. Here's an overview of what they found.
- Good to excellent at removing pet hair
- Very good for cleaning car interiors
- Two models have swappable batteries
- Controls are rated very good to excellent
- Poor at cleaning corners and around edges
- Rated as 'poor' to 'borderline' for cleaning carpet
- No hard floor heads or upholstery tools
- Warranty is only one year
- No telescopic wand
How we test stick vacuums
Our expert testers put stick vacuums through their paces in our labs, assessing how well they perform on hard floors, carpet, and cars, and whether they're effective for removing pet hair and cleaning corners and edges.
We also score them on how easy they are to use and how noisy they are.
Want to know more about our rigorous testing? Learn more about how we test stick vacuum cleaners.
Mixed results from the CHOICE community
Our product tests are conducted in our CHOICE labs to very strict and tightly controlled standards. Often consumers agree with our review conclusions, but people may have different experiences using a product in their own homes.
'It just didn't suck up anything'
CHOICE community member Karen says of her Kmart stick vacuum: "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. 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."
'The best $79 I ever spent'
But another stick vacuum model from Kmart, the 2-in-1 Cordless Stick Vacuum for $79, impressed CHOICE Community member Helen: "I cannot tell you how much I love it," she says. "It has heaps of power and is two gadgets in one – it's the best $79 I ever spent."
Got a Kmart story?
Have you bought a product from Kmart that you love or hate? Tell us about it at CHOICE Community.
CHOICE expert Matt Tung testing vacuum cleaners in our labs.
In our test of more than 40 different models, Anko's three barrel vacs landed towards the back of the pack.
At the time of writing, these are the barrel vacs on sale at Kmart:
- Kmart Anko 2000W Bagless Vacuum SL153B: $52
- Kmart Anko 2200W Bagless Vacuum SL157C: $85
- Kmart Anko 2400W Bagless Vacuum SL163E: $99
Are Kmart barrel vacuums any good?
The 2400W SL163E model rated worst with a very ordinary 60%, despite being the most powerful and expensive Anko model we tested at $99. The 2200W SL157C model, priced at $85, did a bit better, with a score of 62%. But it still left plenty of dust to bust.
Anko's three barrel vacs landed towards the back of the pack
Ironically, our tests found that the cheapest Anko – the 2000W SL153B model was the best of a mediocre lot. It costs just $52 and got a CHOICE Expert Rating of 67% – not a great score, but definitely a better deal than its crummy cousins.
Of course, Kmart Anko isn't alone in producing average barrel vacs. More expensive models from Airflo, Vax, Electrolux, Bissell and even Dyson also got similarly low scores.
Barrel of fun (not): Kmart's 2400W model was one of the lowest scorers in our test.
Kmart barrel and upright vacuums: Pros and cons
Like their stick counterparts, Kmart Anko barrel and upright vacuum cleaners have their good and bad points. Here's what our experts thought overall:
- All have good controls
- Easy to use
- No ongoing costs for vacuum bags due to bagless design
- Only OK at cleaning corners and edges
- Bin is messy to empty
- No power head or hard floor tool
- No onboard storage
How we test barrel and upright 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 is likely to do the job just fine.
Read more about how we test vacuum cleaners.
Stock images: Getty, unless otherwise stated.