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Vacuum cleaner reviews

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Last updated: 10 August 2020

Our experts lab test and review barrel and upright vacuum cleaners from brands such as Dyson, Miele, Electrolux, Shark and Kmart to help you quickly find the best performers on the market. This test covers upright vacuum cleaners and barrel vacuum cleaners, as well as bagless and bagged models. If you're looking for others see our stick vacuum reviews or robot vacuum reviews.

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Our expert testers give every vacuum cleaner a thorough workout to help provide the following:

  • the best vacuum cleaner 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
  • good and bad points for each vacuum cleaner
  • a recommended list to help you quickly see which models come out on top.
This review includes previously tested models that are now discontinued; to see them, select the filter at left under Related products.

Our test review shows that upright and barrel vacuum cleaners generally have more consistent performance across the board, as the technology is older and has been around longer than that of stick vacuums or robot vacuum cleaners. It's also true that you don't need to pay top dollar to get one of the best vacuums, but getting one with all added accessories might mean spending more money - so it's a case of deciding what you really need.
If you don't know where to start, read our vacuum cleaner buying guide.

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List of brands we tested in this review.


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    Recommended or typical retail price. You can often get a better price by shopping around.

    enter value/s in increments of 1 between 47 and 1299

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    Barrel vacs (aka cylinder vacs) are the type you pull along behind you – their long hoses and wands make them well-suited to cleaning a variety of spaces, including stairs and car interiors. Upright models are good for cleaning large areas of carpet as they have built-in power heads.

      Dust collector

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      Bagless vacs have on-board bins which can be messy to empty, but at least you don't need to worry about buying bags. Bags can be less messy to remove and replace, but are an ongoing cost. Water filter models use a water tank to trap dust; it must be emptied after each use. See our buying guide for more info.

        HEPA filter

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        High-Efficiency Particulate Air filtration - a filter for trapping very fine dust and pollen. Useful if you have allergies or asthma. Some are washable, others need to be replaced every year or so.

          Included in this review

          Members-only access
          • Recommended
          • Overall score
          • Cleaning performance score
          • Quick carpet clean score
          • Complete carpet clean score
          • Ease of use score
          • Cleaning corners and edges score
          • Pet hair removal score
          • Brand reliability score
          • Owner satisfaction score
          • Noise (dB)
          • Power measured (W)
          • Measured dust collector volume (L)
          • Good points
          • Bad points
          • Brand
          • Model
          • Price
          • Availability
          • Type
          • Dust collector
          • Carpet/hard floor head
          • Power head
          • Turbo brush
          • Hard floor tool
          • Crevice tool
          • Upholstery tool
          • Dusting brush
          • On-board tool storage
          • Variable suction control
          • Variable power
          • HEPA filter
          • Washable 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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