The best vacuum cleaners 2018

Whether you are after a cordless vacuum, cylinder option or a vacuum for getting rid of pet hair, we have picked out the best, including options from top brands like Dyson, Vax, Miele and Numatic

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A great vacuum cleaner, once discovered, will do more than just clean cobwebs and suck up crumbs. A far cry from the heavy upright hoovers of yesteryear, the vacuum cleaners on the market right now are lighter, have better mobile, and are more powerful than ever before. But finding the very best vacuum cleaner for what you specifically need is key. Read on to find exactly what you need...

Vacuum cleaners: what are the options?

Vacuums come in three main formats: upright, cylinder or handheld. 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.

Although occasionally less energy-efficient, Cylinder vacuums 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
  • Use on stairs and landings

Upright hoovers are usually heavier, although there are lightweight models available, but tend to have a larger capacity, meaning you have to empty them less frequently. 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

Finally, there’s the choice of bagged or bagless vacuum cleaners: bagless cleaners can be messier to empty, but the ongoing cost of bags for traditional models will make them more expensive in the long run, so it all depends on what you prefer.

On top of this, you can also get the following special features:

  • HEPA filters for allergy sufferers
  • Advanced filtration systems for pollen and dust
  • Cat and dog hair cleaning (extra powerful suction and a non-tangling brush)
  • Models that advertise being capable of deep clean

1. Dyson Cinetic Big Ball Animal

Our best vacuum cleaner for pet-owners

Specifications
Best for: Pets
Weight: 8.55kg
Capacity: 2.18ltrs
Reasons to buy
+Powerful suction+Ball makes it easy to move
Reasons to avoid
-Noisiest on our list at 87 dB 

For a large house with a few pets, we highly recommend the Big Ball Animal. 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. 

The Cinetic system essentially means you need not worry about a filter or pet hair clogging up the system. So even with hair, you won't even notice the difference in your vacuum. What's more? It offers a longer lifetime than the competition, too.

Although it's the noisiest on our list, we can overlook that because of its little maintenance and extremely high suction power. A great all-rounder cleaner, and its telltale ball means you can manoeuvre around furniture with ease. 

2. Vax U85-AS-Ue Air Stretch Ultimate

A lightweight vacuum cleaner that’s easy to carry up and down stairs

Specifications
Best for: Lightweight power
Weight: 4.9kg
Capacity: 1.6ltrs
Reasons to buy
+Light and compact+Long hose and cable
Reasons to avoid
-Capacity is quite small 

It might look like a standard upright vacuum cleaner, but the light weight and compactness of this Vax hoover is what sets it apart from the rest. It’s easy to lift up and down stairs, and has an extra-long hose and cord for those hard-to-reach places. This is the best vacuum cleaner for reach.

You can skip the lifting totally as the reach for this vacuum is 17 metres long. The attachment can be used to tackle the entire staircase, making it a perfect vacuum for those smaller or older, who don't want to lug about weight.

Say goodbye to plugging and unplugging your vacuum forever, as this one has an extra long cord, meaning you can do your house without changing sockets numerous times. 

It also doesn’t lose suction across carpets or hard floors, so if you find a heavy cleaner hard to lift, but don’t want to compromise on cleaning power, this is an excellent choice. 

3. Miele Complete C3 Silence EcoLine

An impressively quiet vacuum cleaner that’s been tried and tested for extended use

Specifications
Best for: Quietest
Weight: 5kg
Capacity: 4.5ltrs
Reasons to buy
+Much quieter than the average cleaner+Energy-efficient EcoTeQ floorhead
Reasons to avoid
-Not cheap 

For households with different waking times, or anyone who’s sensitive to noise, this quiet-as-can-be vacuum cleaner is a fab buy. The insulated motor minimises noise whilst cleaning, and the cleverly designed EcoTeQ floor-head performs very admirably with just 700W of power, making it an energy-saver too. Miele's Complete C3 Silence EcoLine is without a doubt the best vacuum cleaner for quiet cleaning.

The hefty 4.5-litre capacity means your worries about stopping to empty this beast are non existent. With plenty of storage space and three integrated accessories, it's ideal for vacuuming large areas.

Like all Miele products, the C3 Silence Eco Line is tested for the equivalent of 20 years’ use, so you know you’re in safe hands. 

4. Henry Hoover (NUMATIC HVR200-11)

A friendly face to keep in the cleaning cupboard

Specifications
Best for: Budgets
Weight: 8kg
Capacity: 9ltrs
Reasons to buy
+Budget-friendly+Surprisingly powerful
Reasons to avoid
-A little heavy 

This happy chap is a real classic, and it’s not hard to see why. The two-speed Henry Hoover is reliable and powerful, quite unfazed by carpets or hard floors, and is easy to set up, use and store; making it the best budget vacuum cleaner out there.

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. 

While we wouldn’t necessarily recommend him for those with mobility issues, as he can be a bit heavy to lug around, he’s an all-round brilliant buy for homeowners on a budget. 

5. Dyson V8 Absolute

The best cordless vacuum cleaner with helpful handheld attachments

Specifications
Best for: Ultimate handheld
Weight: 2.61kg
Capacity: 0.54ltrs
Reasons to buy
+Great handheld options+Convenient cordless design
Reasons to avoid
-Very expensive 

This powerful cordless vacuum performs excellently on all floor types, and thanks to its wire-free design, can be used anywhere. Introducing the Dyson V8 Absolute: the best vacuum for easy and quick cleaning.

It transforms into a handheld vacuum cleaner with just a click, and delivers up to 40 minutes of strong, even suction, picking up bigger bits of debris and fine dust for a complete clean. Emptying is as easy as a push of a button. 

Making short work of even pet hair, there's no need to worry about blockages. From cleaning your car to the stairs or even your pet's bed,  It's also a perfect vacuum for smaller spaces.

The only downside is that it’s very, very pricey.

6. Philips PowerPro Ultimate FC9920/69

The best hoover for allergy-sufferers

Specifications
Best for: Allergies
Weight: 6kg
Capacity: 2.2ltrs
Reasons to buy
+Removes up to 99.9% of allergens+HEPA filter cleans air
Reasons to avoid
-Pricey 

To easily suck up tiny particles of discomfort-causing allergens, look no further than this powerful machine. It’s on the more expensive side, but it’s certainly worth it for the effective filtration of dust, pollen and pet hair, and the HEPA filter that releases clean air back into the room.  This is the best vacuum cleaner for allergies.

Perfect for anyone with allergies or for homes with small children, its 3 in 1 nozzle will take care of 99.9% of dust, pet hair and pollen and ensure maximum dust pick up. What's more? With the help of its HEPA 13 filter, the vacuum releases cleaner air back into your home. 

The ergonomic dust bucket also allows you to dispose of debris cleanly, with its no-spill spout. For peace of mind when living with allergies, this is your best bet. 

7. Sebo D2 Titan Eco

A great buy for big houses that won’t scrape floors or furniture

Specifications
Best for: Coverage
Weight: 6.7kg
Capacity: 6ltrs
Reasons to buy
+Wide-reaching clean on a range of surfaces+Useful attachments
Reasons to avoid
-On the heavier side 

This cylinder vacuum cleaner is just the vacuum you need for a really deep clean across a range of surfaces, making it a great buy for bigger properties. Making short work of variations without any worry of damages, its the best vacuum for multi-surface cleaning. 

Perfect for anyone who's worried about damaging their new wooden floor, it also comes with some extremely useful attachments. Moving easily around furniture without damage legs thanks to its soft airbelt bumper system, it has a long cable and hose giving an impressive cleaning range even while staying put. Superb for cleaning up stairs and into corners too, it has a handy cleaning range of 15.5m. 

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