Best vacuum cleaner 2020: 12 best vacuums from Dyson to Shark

Our pick of the best vacuum cleaners for dust busting and taming pet hair, at the best prices

best vacuum cleaner: Dyson V11
(Image credit: John Lewis & Partners)

Finding the best vacuum cleaner will transform the way you clean your home. Suction, weight and the range of tools on modern vacuums have all been fine-tuned to the max and the latest models offer an efficient clean that feels like far less of a chore. The only hard thing is deciding which of the many top-rated vacuum cleaners is best for you and your home.

So, you'll be pleased to know that we've tried and tested a range of vacuums – from the best models for large homes to lightweight stick vacuums and robot vacuums better suited to quick clean ups – to save you the time researching every type from every store. Different brands have carved their own niches in the world of vacuum cleaners, so we have reviewed the best vacuums from Shark, Dyson, Vax, Samsung, Miele and more to show the choices available.

The best vacuum cleaner for you awaits below. Keep scrolling to see our rankings (click on the highlighted product titles to view) – all models have been reviewed by our appliance expert Sarah, and nothing with less than 4 stars has made the list.

What is the best vacuum cleaner?

Best vacuum cleaner quick links

If you want to buy the best vacuum cleaner (in our opinion) we would't hesitate to  buy the Dyson Big Ball Animal 2. It's powerful, easy to manoeuvre, compact, and not lacking in the suction required to clean a big home full of pets – it got a five-star rating in our review. Then, we can't fault our favourite cordless vacuum from Dyson which has super power, impressive suction and is incredibly lightweight, so we highly recommend buying the Dyson V11 Absolute if a cordless model is what you are after.

We have a wide range of vac types in our list below including robot, upright and cordless vacuums. See below for the full list in this guide, and don't forget to check out the reviews too which could go someway in helping come to a decision.

  • Now you've got the best vacuum cleaner, here's how to vacuum properly

Best vacuum cleaner 2020: ranked

Dyson Big Ball Animal 2

(Image credit: Dyson)

1. Dyson Big Ball Animal 2 Vacuum Cleaner

Best vacuum cleaner: especially brilliant for pet-owners, this vacuum is a great all rounder

Best for: All-rounder
Type: Cylinder
Bagless?: Yes
Cordless?: No
Weight: 7.9kg
Capacity: 1.5ltrs
Reasons to buy
+Powerful removal of dust and pet hair+Easy to move, use and empty+Great on all surfaces including hard flooring
Reasons to avoid
-Quite rigorous carpet cleaning might make it hard work for some

OUR VERDICT: An innovative design that distinguishes itself from the cylinder crowd because it’s easy to move and store. Well up to the challenge of dirt and debris removal on all floors. Read the full review.

For a large house with a few pets, this Dyson vacuum cleaner is simply the best vacuum cleaner for pets. Its clever brush heads pick up all the hair our furry friends leave behind, without getting tangled up, and the motorised brush bar gets out stubborn dirt from muddy paws. 
Buy the Dyson Big Ball Animal 2

Unbeatable suction

This cylinder model from Dyson is a firm favourite with anyone who wants a quick but highly effective clean. The pneumatic cleaner head automatically adjusts to different floor types for the most efficient clean we have seen. The vacuum is preset to easy mode with a max mode for extra stubborn dirt, but our reviewer found the easy mode was more than enough – in fact, the suction was so good that it did take a little bit more of a push over carpets. However it brought carpets up looking good as new, so you can't complain too much about a bit of additional effort.

Great range of attachments

Stairs and furniture are easily cleaned with the right attachments. Rotating heads pick all manner of fluff and debris from surfaces and it has a turbine head for finer dust which is great for hard floors. The generous hose makes it easy to reach every nook and cranny.


Dyson's signature ball makes this vac very easy to move. Although it is not the lightest, the compact design means it can be carried with ease – even up and down stairs which can be tough with a cylinder vacuum. If you do prefer an upright however, we also rated the Dyson Ball Animal 2 highly which is the upright version of this machine. This one got half a star more. Why? It was a little bit easier to manouevre – especially in high-suction mode.

Shop more Dyson vacuums at Amazon

Dyson v11 best vacuum cleaners

(Image credit: Dyson)

2. Dyson V11 Absolute Cordless Vacuum Cleaner

Best cordless vacuum cleaner: it has super powerful suction and transitions well from hard floor to carpet

Best for: Lightweight power
Type: Stick
Bagless?: Yes
Cordless?: Yes
Weight: 2.97kg
Capacity: 0.76ltrs
Reasons to buy
+Incredible power+Long running time+Easy to manoeuvre +Notifies you when it needs to be emptied
Reasons to avoid
-Expensive-Takes a while to charge-Not the lightest

OUR VERDICT: Excellent all-round cleaner that comes with attachments for every job and lets you know how much cleaning time is left before recharging. Read the full review.

This is our favourite Dyson cordless vacuum cleaner, and is scored five stars in our review. It has twice the suction of the others, easily power around the whole home on a full charge and, with a long running time, won't need recharging until you've finished the job.
Buy the Dyson V11 Absolute

Supreme clean

As well as high suction, the filter captures allergens with ease offering as thorough a clean as much larger vacuums. It has a good range of attachments and is well-designed for the car or spot cleaning so you could happily have it as the only vac for a small household, or a portable back-up in larger homes. It will hit the floor running for up to 60 minutes, so as long as you have time to charge it (4.5 hours a pop), and its nifty LCD screen will let you know just how much running time you have left so you're not left out on a limb.


Whether you have a lot of stairs or mobility issues, this vacuum is suitably lightweight. Despite it being lightweight, the power, battery and dust capacity have not been compromised. The style also means it will clean all those high up corners and crevices with little fuss.

Max power

It is great in standard mode, but you will need to switch it to max power for tougher jobs. This gives it super suction but does result in a couple of drawbacks. Firstly, it cleans so well you find yourself emptying the bin and cleaning the filter very regularly. Secondly, max power does decrease the battery life so you can only use it in short bursts. This isn't a problem if you keep on top of grime every couple of days, but if you are more of a fortnightly/monthly deep clean kind of person, you probably shouldn't get a cordless.

See all our top rated Dyson cordless vacuum cleaners.

Best vacuum Shark: Shark Powered Lift Away vacuum cleaner

(Image credit: Shark)

3. Shark DuoClean TruePet Cordless vacuum cleaner

Best vacuum cleaner for allergies: feels like an upright, works like a cordless and converts to a handheld

Best for: Upright fans in a cordless world
Type: Upright style
Bagless?: Yes
Cordless?: Yes
Weight: 5.7kg
Capacity: 0.6ltrs
Reasons to buy
+50-minute battery life+Versatile cleaning styles+Floor illumination+Battery can be charged separately
Reasons to avoid
-Long hair can get tangled-There are lighter cordless models

If you want the freedom of a cordless vacuum with the power and style of your old upright, then this Shark vacuum cleaner is for you.
Buy the Shark DuoClean Powered Lift-Away with TruePet

A new breed of cordless

Most cordless vacuums come in stick format which some people find a little hard to get used to. They might be much lighter than your average vacuum, but you essentially have to carry them like a massive handheld. If you prefer an upright – something you can push – then this will really suit you. It can also be unclipped and, as the name suggests, you lift away the dust canister for use on stairs or those hard to reach places.

The style does make the unit heavier than most cordless vacuum cleaners, but it is at its heaviest when you have it in upright mode in which case you would be pushing it anyway.

Power and charging

The battery life is on the generous side for a cordless at 50 minutes. This gives you plenty of time to whizz around and you can buy a spare battery to charge while the other is in use. The power is impressive and it is surprisingly quiet.

Dust and hair busting

It also comes with a great range of tools and has a button to adapt from hard flooring to carpet. And as the name suggests, it is designed to work well on pet hair, either with the main foot, or the attachments. Our reviewer noted that longer hair did get tangled in the brush, but it can be easily removed.

Using the boost button does shorten battery time, but for keeping on top of dirt and fluff every couple of days, this won't be a problem. Just make sure you have a second battery charged for a deep clean. It has a light too that is great for illuminating pesky dust particles.

Shop all Shark vacuum cleaners on Amazon.

Samsung POWERStick Jet cordless vacuum cleaner

(Image credit: Samsung)

4. Samsung POWERstick Jet Cordless Vacuum Cleaner

Best cordless vacuum for super powerful suction: a multifunctional model with all the power but half the noise

Best for: Cordless cleaning
Type: Cordless stick
Bagless?: Yes
Cordless?: Yes
Weight: 2.8kg
Capacity: 0.5ltrs
Reasons to buy
+Quiet+Powerful suction+Plenty of tools including mop head attachments+Converts easily to a handheld+Comes with a stand for charging and holding tools
Reasons to avoid
-Cost-Need space by socket for charging station

If you're looking for a cordless vacuum cleaner that can stand up to any corded model, and budget allows, this Samsung vacuum is for you. It's the latest cordless offering from Samsung can also be bought with spinning floor sweepers for an extra £50.
Buy the Samsung POWERstick Jet

Alarmingly powerful and quiet

Yes, our reviewer said the suction on this was 'alarmingly' powerful as it sucked up dust and hair from a recently vacuumed floor that the model before had missed. It excelled on carpet where it got right into deep pile. The turbo action brush lifts every last speck of dirt and despite the power, the Samsung POWERstick Jet is surprisingly quiet (even cats are unperturbed by the noise).

Battery life

The digital display shows the power with mid, max and the minus option – this is used to reduce power for delicate cleaning. On mid power the battery lasts 30 minutes comfortably, but the battery has an hour of life when used in combination with the lower power mode. Later this year, Samsung will be making the battery available to buy separately so you can have one charged and ready to go when the other one runs out. This will make this model a viable replacement to corded vacuums for larger homes as you will be guaranteed more cleaning time.

Very easy to move, carry and use

Some people find cordless vacs a little tricky to get used to, especially if the suction is so great that it makes the foot hard to sweep over the floor. This is not the case with this model, which moves with ease – despite its strong suction. It is of average weight for a cordless vacuum with the weight towards the head, but what is really smart with this model is the telescopic pipe that can be adjusted for the user's height. It can also be converted into a handheld which is perfect for tackling stairs, furniture and high areas.

Emptying the dust tank is a doddle. It is bagless so just detach the tank, empty over a bin, and you can even rinse it under the tap if you like. The five-layer HEPA filter means this vacuum is even suitable for homes with allergy sufferers.

Versatile tool kit – including pads for mopping and charging stand

The attachment selection is just what you need, but it comes with the added bonus of a wet brush for mopping floors. This can be used with reusable, multi-use pads for cleaning hard floors. For £50 more you can get the Samsung POWERstick Jet with spinning sweeper for buffing hard floors. With the standard model you get a combination tool, crevice tool and a mini motorised tool. There is a flexi hose too for reaching awkward spaces.

The Z Station is the POWERstick's charging stand. It keeps your cordless tidy and upright – along with all the tools – as it charges. It is very handy but unless you have a utility room or a large cupboard with a socket inside, you will find the charging station ends up in a kitchen or hallway as it charges.

See all Samsung cordless cleaners on

Best vacuum cleaner for ergonomic design: Miele complete C3 total solution powerline

(Image credit: Miele)

5. Miele Complete C3 Total Solution PowerLine Vacuum Cleaner

Best vacuum cleaner for ergonomic design: neatly stowed tools and a slick exterior show off Miele's renowned design prowess

Best for: Ergonomic design
Type: Cylinder
Bagless?: No
Cordless?: No
Weight: 7.26kg
Capacity: 4.5ltrs
Reasons to buy
+On-board tools for easy use+High capacity dust bag+Very effective on all sorts of floors and debris
Reasons to avoid
-Powerful suction leads to some noise

Miele are well known for producing great quality products and as this one has been about for a few years now, the price is very reasonable.
Buy the Miele Complete C3 Total Solution PowerLine

A practical and reliable clean

If you like a cylinder vacuum and are happy with using a bagged model, the Miele Complete C3 range will serve you well. It suits hard and carpeted floors well and the suction can be adjusted as you move around the home. 

Easy to handle

Miele really do think of everything when designing their vacuum cleaners to ensure that cleaning is less of a chore. Foot controls on the body of the vac mean no bending over. All of the tools are conveniently stowed away in the vacuum cleaner so you don't need to carry them about – and losing them is less of a risk. On that note, it has a great range of tools for everything from upholstery to crevices and  a delicate brush for dusting. 

While it isn't lightweight, it is fairly easy to handle and the long-reach cable and hose give better freedom of movement.

Thorough clean

Mud on tiles and bits on carpet is no match for this vacuum cleaner. It handles all debris very thoroughly and while it isn't a pet model, it handles hair with no trouble. Mud on carpet needed a little bit more going over but the machine did the job and left no remnants. 

Miele engineering at an affordable price

Now this model has been out for a while, meaning it is about £100 cheaper than the latest models. That is not to say it is worth £100 less – it does the job, it does it very well and is certainly built to last.

Shop all Miele floorcare on

Vax ONEPWR Blade 4 best vacuum cleaner

(Image credit: Vax)

6. VAX ONEPWR Blade 4 Cordless Vacuum Cleaner

Best budget cordless vacuum: a flexible cleaner with powerful suction that rivals the top sellers on carpet!

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

This cordless vacuum cleaner 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! 
Buy the Vax ONEPWR Blade 4

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 is 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. 

Shop more vacuums a John Lewis

See all of the best cordless vacuums in our dedicated buying guide.

Best vacuum for pet hair: Dyson Ball Animal 2 vacuum cleaner

(Image credit: Dyson)

7. Dyson Ball Animal 2 Vacuum Cleaner

Best vacuum cleaner for pet hair: great suction for fans of Dyson uprights

Best for: All-rounder
Type: Upright
Bagless?: Yes
Cordless?: No
Capacity: 1.8ltrs
Noise: 80dB
Weight: 7.34kg
Reasons to buy
+Powerful suction so great on carpet and hard flooring+Ball makes it easy to move+Long cord
Reasons to avoid
-Can be noisy-It isn't the lightest to move

This Dyson vac has clever brush heads which pick up all the hair our furry friends leave behind, without getting tangled up, and the motorised brush bar gets out stubborn dirt from muddy paws. Expect cleaning power comparable to the Dyson Big Ball Animal 2 above, but in an upright package instead of cylinder.
Buy the Dyson Ball Animal 2

Powerful suction

This vacuum cleaner is a great all-rounder that delivers on hard flooring, carpet and stairs with ease. Our reviewer found it handled both normal and deep pile carpet, but did mention that the strength of the suction can make it an effort to push.

This vac handles mud and light debris without scattering it around, leading to a quick and thorough clean where muddy paws have been.


The Dyson Ball Animal 2 comes with a two-in-one tool for dust and cobwebs, a stair tool and a turbine tool that is tangle-free – perfect for handling all types of pet hair. The latter will help get fur (and other debris) off upholstery, too. 

Ease of use

The cleaner head reaches right to the edges of the room. It is also low profile so it fits under furniture with ease. Its telltale ball means you can manoeuvre around obstacles with ease and the generous cord (over 10m) speeds up the process as you do not need to keep moving the plug to different sockets. The handle allows for ease of use in high corners and makes cleaning the stairs an easy job.

Shop more Dyson vacuums at Amazon

Best bagless vacuum cleaner for Miele lovers: Miele Blizzard CX1 Cat&Dog PowerLine vacuum cleaner

(Image credit: Miele)

8. Miele Blizzard CX1 Cat&Dog PowerLine Vacuum Cleaner

Best bagless vacuum cleaner: want bagless cylinder but don't want a Dyson? This is the best.

Best for: Easy emptying
Type: Cylinder
Bagless?: Yes
Cordless?: No
Weight: 8.71kg
Capacity: 2ltrs
Reasons to buy
+Powerful bagless convenience+Great on pet hair+Handles all surfaces like a pro
Reasons to avoid
-Quite heavy-Expect a workout if you don't turn the suction down on carpet

This vac shows that you don't have to join team Dyson to enjoy going bag-free and it is super easy to empty. It did not score quite as highly as the Miele Complete C3 in our review, but if you don't want to be tied to buying vacuum bags, it is for you.
Buy the Miele Blizzard CX1 Cat&Dog PowerLine

Ease of use

As well as a great clean, this has been designed for a super easy clean, too. As with nearly all Miele vacuum cleaners the tools are stored in the body of the vac so you shouldn't lose them as you go. While it isn't the smallest of models (or the lightest), the unit is efficiently designed and won't take up too much space either.

You flip the foot control to adjust the brushes and the cable retracts at the push of a button so using the machine is quick and low-labour. It works really well on all surfaces, but like other super-suction models, you might want to turn it down to make carpet easier to clean.

Pet hair and allergies

Pet hair is no problem for the Miele Blizzard CX1 Cat&Dog. And, if you have a mucky pup you will be pleased with how it copes with dried mud, too. A lifetime HEPA AirClean filter (approved by Allergy UK) makes it a good choice for asthmatics or allergy sufferers, and while a bagless model can be a worry for these users, emptying the bin was mess-free. The model also has a self-cleaning function that can be activated when you've tackled a dust storm. The dust tank is also an impressive size for a bagless.


Easy to move with a telescopic tube, people with back problems won't find this vacuum hard to use. However, it is on the weighty side, so if you have lots of stairs, you might prefer a lighter model – for a large bungalow though, it would be perfect.

Dyson Light Ball Multi Floor vacuum cleaner

(Image credit: Dyson)

9. Dyson Light Ball Multi Floor Vacuum Cleaner

Best vacuum cleaner for carpet: a multi-floor superstar, but a winner if your home is mostly carpeted

Best for: Carpeted floors
Type: Upright
Bagless?: Yes
Cordless?: No
Weight: 6.9kg
Capacity: 1.6ltrs
Reasons to buy
+Great edge-to-edge clean+Long cable+Restores carpet
Reasons to avoid
-Light but proves cumbersome if you are of smaller stature

This multi-floor vacuum cleaner from Dyson is your perfect new vac if you want a deep clean on all that pile (and those hard floor surfaces).
Buy the Dyson Light Ball Multi Floor

Conquers carpets

While this vacuum cleaner does a great job on all surfaces, if you have a lot of carpet this vacuum is a strong contender. The brush bar is on by default, perhaps showing a bias to carpet cleaning, but you can switch it off when you move to hard floors. Mud on carpet is no problem even on the preset mode, but you can whack it to max for anything really stubborn. Although it is not marketed for pet hair, it does a great job on that too.

Great range of movement

From the floor head that gets right to the skirting to the 9.4m cable, this vacuum has been designed to get everywhere with ease. It has just two extra tools (which can be fiddly to swap) but with one for the stairs and another that is a combo tool with brush and nozzle, it does everything you need without loads of extra bits of kit to mislay. 

Our reviewer also described it as responsive, finding it very easy to manoeuvre. It is light and the handle on the slender body brings the machine close to your leg for carrying, but if you do have mobility issues or are shorter it might be a bit tall and unwieldy.

Tidy choice

The dust canister is amongst the most straightforward to empty – easy to detach and it's obvious what you need to do to open it. It also stores well. As mentioned before it has a small range of multipurpose tools and is a light and thin upright that tucks away well.

Dyson fans should check out our Dyson deals page.

Best cordless vacuum cleaner: dyson heurist

(Image credit: Dyson)

10. Dyson 360 Heurist Robot Vacuum

Best robot vacuum: a robot vacuum cleaner with powerful suction

Best for: Robot cleaning
Type: Robot
Bagless?: Yes
Battery life: 75 mins
Charging time: 2.4 hours
Capacity: 0.33ltrs
Noise: 70dB
Weight: 2.51kg
Reasons to buy
+Detects drops+Great suction +Adapts & learns from your home layout+Captures 99.97% of allergens+Control with Dyson Link app, or simple touch controls
Reasons to avoid
-A little noisy as it moves between surfaces-Small dust tank

Introducing a new robot vac;  Dyson 360 Heurist. It's the result of more than 20 years' robot vac development and retains the powerful suction that Dyson is known for, plus a host of gizmos and gadgets to boot.
Buy the Dyson 360 Heurist Robot Vacuum

What it's good at?

As with the rest of the Dyson range, this little robot vacuum cleaner doesn't lose suction. In fact, it has 20% more suction and 20 times more memory than its predecessor, the Dyson 360 Eye. It is also smaller than similar models meaning it can get into tricky areas such as between chair legs. And it won't get stuck or lost either  because it has intelligent Simultaneous Localisation and Mapping (SLAM) vision system for accurate navigation

What do we like about it?

The Dyson 360 Heurist has eight advanced sensors so it can see precisely where it's going and, therefore, rarely bumps into obstacles as a result. It's full width-brush bars will also get right to the edges of rooms for excellent ground coverage.

That's one of the reasons this is a perfect robot vacuum cleaner for those with lots of furniture or units with legs. The Dyson 360 Heurist will continually learn and adapt to your home by mapping out its route so you don't have to worry about moving your house around every time the vacuuming needs doing. It also means you don't need to worry about it damaging itself or anything else in your home.

Anything else?

It can be controlled by buttons on the unit itself, or using a smart phone app that is available for both iOS and Android operating systems. You can also pair it with Amazon Alexa devices and control it by voice command.

What don't we like?

Although we have yet to review this robot vacuum cleaner, the price could put most people off but then again it may cut the time you spend doing chores in half (or more!).

Best robot vacuum cleaner for pet hair: iRobot Roomba i7 robot vacuum cleaner with phone

(Image credit: iRobot)

11. iRobot Roomba i7+ Robot Vacuum

Best robot vacuum for pet hair: with its Clean Base, this machine even empties itself!

Best for: Contactless cleaning
Type: Robot
Bagless?: Yes (but the clean base has a bag)
Cordless?: Yes
Weight: 3.8kg
Capacity: 0.5ltrs
Reasons to buy
+Self-emptying+Great room mapping +Smart compatible (Alexa and Google) and remote controls
Reasons to avoid
-Loud-Expensive-Does not handle deep pile rugs

This robot vacuum cleaner empties itself which is amazing, but its cleaning power is pretty impressive too, handling all flooring (apart from shag rugs) and all debris (apart from feathers). So if you're looking for the best hands-free vacuum cleaning experience, and you have pets, this vac is a great option.
Buy the iRobot Roomba i7+

Clean Base

This robot vacuum cleaner not only cleans with little input from you, but also empties itself. When its dust tank is full, it returns to the Clean Base to unload the dirt into a bag in the base. This needs emptying by you but our reviewer found it held about 30 loads of dirt and in her six-week test, it took just two bags – even after having been used to clean every day.

Comprehensive cleaning

The criticism of most robot vacuum cleaners is that they can only really keep on top of light soiling and a bit of fur. This model handled all of the flooring types in our reviewer's home (from carpet to concrete) and also tackled the dust and dirt that has come with her ongoing renovation project. She set it to clean once a day while she was out and on the few occasions it got stuck it would message her for help. It also alerted her to a blocked tank – note to self, robot vacuum cleaners should NOT clean up bits of rubble.

While it could not get right into corners, it got all the way up to the skirting and the only hurdles (aside from ledges of course) it couldn't overcome were deep pile rugs and feathers stuck on carpets. Pet hair, dust and even lentils were no problem.

Easy to use

Setting the iRobot Roomba i7+ up is quick and simple. Plug in the base, fit the dust bag to the tank and connect the robot to your home Wi-Fi. It took our reviewer less than two minutes to get going. 

The i7+ has great room mapping. After a few trips round the home it creates a virtual map of your home and allows you to select particular rooms for cleaning. It also has a Virtual Wall that can be used to create an uncrossable barrier between rooms, or for a halo effect when placed by pet bowls to keep the vacuum away.

Best vacuum on a budget: Henry (NUMATIC HVR200-11)

12. Henry (NUMATIC HVR200-11) Vacuum Cleaner

Best vacuum cleaner on a budget: a family favourite, Henry has a huge capacity and is an affordable price

Best for: Budgets
Type: Cylinder
Bagless?: No
Cordless?: No
Weight: 8kg
Capacity: 9ltrs
Reasons to buy
+Budget-friendly+Surprisingly powerful
Reasons to avoid
-A little heavy and cumbersome

This vacuum cleaner is a real classic, and it’s not hard to see why. If you're looking for the best vacuum cleaner on a budget, we recommend the Henry.
Buy the Henry vacuum cleaner

So user friendly

With specs like 620W or 1000W of power and a hefty 6 litre capacity, Henry is ever the under-rated wonder. Perfect for those who want a simple 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 or 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, he is a great back up for the nasty jobs.


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.

Find more cylinder vacuums at AO

Top tips for buying the best vacuum cleaner

About our reviews – and our reviewer

Our vacuum reviewer is Sarah Warwick, a homes, property and interiors writer with 20 years experience in the industry. Sarah is a serial house revamper who has written for nationals, magazines and websites. She gives the vacuum cleaners she reviews a serious run for their money over various surfaces, from floors to upholstery.

Which type of vacuum cleaner should you choose?

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;
  • Vacuum cleaners for pets (extra powerful suction and a non-tangling brush);
  • Deep clean: some models specialise in this.

Cleaning your vacuum cleaner

This might sound like an odd one, but don't forget that 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.

Not sure where to start with a new vacuum?

Use our guide on how to vacuum like a pro before you buy to ensure you choose the best vacuum cleaner to suit your cleaning needs. For more cleaning advice, tips and buys, check out our hub page. 

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