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Vacuum cleaner reviews

Last updated: 13 April 2016

Choosing a new vacuum cleaner can be hard. Bagged or bagless? Upright or barrel? Our experts comprehensively lab test and review leading brands to help you find the best performers on the market.

For what to look for in a vacuum cleaner read our buying guide, or if you're still working out which type of vacuum is right for you, read our vacuum cleaners overview. To see how we get our results, read how we test.

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Our test covers upright vacuum cleaners and barrel vacuum cleaners, as well as models that come with bags and those without.

Our expert testers give every vacuum a thorough workout to help find the models that:

  • are best at removing dirt and pet hair from carpet
  • are best at getting into corners and edges
  • are best at a quick clean
  • are the easiest to use
  • are the quietest
  • are the most reliable, according to our members
  • have the best range of extra features.

Our interactive comparison tool helps you find out which models have a blower function, have variable power and come with onboard storage. Our Recommended list 
will help you see quickly which models come out on top.

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List of brands we tested in this review.


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Dust collector
HEPA filter

Test results

Pet hair removal score
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To test pet hair removal, we embed cat hair in the carpet and, as with the dirt pick-up test, vacuum it to a set pattern and speed. We rate the results based on how much cat hair is left behind after the test. Where supplied, the turbo brush or power head is used for this test; otherwise, we use the standard cleaning head. Pet hair for testing supplied by Woof Cat & Dog Grooming, Bondi, NSW.

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Dirt removal from carpet score
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We pre-load the vacuum cleaners with artificial household dust, and embed sand evenly into a section of carpet before vacuuming it to a set pattern and speed. The sand collected is then weighed and recorded as a percentage of the sand applied; this is repeated twice for each vacuum cleaner and results averaged. We rate all models based on the dirt pick-up performance from carpet using the standard cleaning head.

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Blower facility
On-board storage

Included in this review

Members-only access
  • Recommended
  • Overall score
  • Dirt removal from carpet score
  • Ease of use score
  • Cleaning corners and edges score
  • Pet hair removal score
  • Quick cleaning on carpet score
  • Brand reliability score
  • Owner satisfaction score
  • Noise (dB)
  • Power measured (W)
  • Measured dust collector volume (L)
  • Good points
  • Bad points
  • Brand
  • Model
  • Price
  • Price category
  • Type
  • Dust collector
  • Carpet-hard floor head/power head/turbo brush/hard floor tool
  • Crevice / upholstery tool / dusting brush
  • On-board storage
  • Variable suction control
  • Variable power
  • HEPA filter
  • Dust bag full or clear bin indicator
  • Blower facility
  • Power stated (W)
  • Reach from power point (m)
  • Weight (kg)
  • Cost per bag
  • Items supplied with vac
  • Origin
  • Contact
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