The best vacuum cleaners ensure thoroughly cleaning your floors is no longer a painstaking chore, instead, thanks to powerful suction, large dust bins, and in some cases, long-lasting batteries, ensuring your carpets and hard floors are free from dust, debris and allergens, couldn’t be simpler.
There's a huge array of different types of vacuum cleaner on the market that go about sucking up dust in varying ways, so choosing the best hoover - the colloquial term often used to describe vacuum cleaners because Hoover was one of the first manufacturers of vacuum cleaners - can be a daunting task.
As well as the traditional wired vacuum cleaners we grew up with, there’s also plenty of choice when it comes to the best cordless vacuum cleaners that run on powerful high-capacity lithium batteries, and the best robot vacuums that let you put your feet up by taking on floor cleaning completely for you. And don’t forget the wide range of handheld and stick vacuums to consider, while also choosing between wet and dry vacs too.
It’s worth noting that most brands offer animal variants of their top-performing models that come with dedicated tools for removing your furry friend’s hair from carpets and upholstery.
There are plenty of brands to choose from, with stalwarts such as Dyson, Miele, Vax, and Hoover rubbing shoulders with unsung heroes like Shark and Bosch. We’ve put many dust-busting and cobweb-sucking hours testing out these brands to rank the best vacuum cleaners you can buy.
If you can hold off until Amazon Prime Day 2021, which is just around the corner, we expect to see some hefty savings on many of the vacuum cleaners in this list, many of which are likely to be matched by other retailers, too. Amazon has a track record of knocking substantial amounts of cash off even recently-released vacuum cleaners, as well as top-of-the-range models, which are likely to be cheaper than any other time of year.
- Now you've got the best tool, here's how to vacuum properly.
- Find out just how often you should vacuum
- Check out the latest cheap robot vacuum deals
Best vacuum cleaners of 2021
Dyson's latest cordless vacuum cleaner, which comes following two years of R&D since Dyson’s V11 Absolute hit the shelves, really is its most impressive yet.
More potent than its best-in-class predecessor, it cleans even better on all surfaces and will last up to 60 minutes between charges. All this we'd expect from a new Dyson launch but where it really stands out is the built-in laser that shines a light (a green one in fact) on microscopic dust that's not visible to the human eye.
The laser-totting head is designed for hard floors, but it also ships with the High Torque cleaning head, which can be used on carpet. When paired with Auto mode, this cleaner head conserves the battery life by adjusting the suction power to suit the floor type automatically. It's also been given 56 polycarbonate teeth to help shred hair so it doesn't get stuck around the brush bar. It's got an LCD screen that as well as showing the remaining tun-time and where blockages are located, will also show you the amount and types of dust collect so you know your home has been thoroughly cleaned.
The V15 Detect Absolute doesn't come cheap, but we think it’s worth the money if you want simply the best cordless vacuum cleaner available today. The Dyson V11 Absolute is still available but with the same price tag as the V15 Detect in our eyes, this updated machine is the better choice.
Read our full review: Dyson V15 Detect Absolute
- What happened to the Dyson V12? Find out what we know about Dyson's change to its naming convention
Roidmi has won no less than six design awards for its innovative R10 vacuum cleaner, which was previously called the Roidmi S1E, and with a 270-degree handle, it's as functional as they are good-looking. While it can’t pack the suction punch of our top dust busters it comes in at fraction of the price of those.
It’s lightweight, and easy to carry and use in both stick cleaner or handheld mode, and it comes with a good selection of tools, including a motorized mattress brush to make upholstery cleaning easy. The R10 excels noise-wise too, as even though its decibel levels are similar to other cordless vacuums, its softer tone feels less intrusive, and you can chat while cleaning without having to shout.
The suction could be stronger, especially when it comes to deep-cleaning carpets, but with stylish looks, supreme ease of use, and a very useful run-time of 40 minutes, it’s a great everyday floorcare option.
Read our full review: Roidmi R10 cordless vacuum cleaner
The first cordless vacuum from floor cleaning stalwart Miele is one of the best vacuum cleaners on the market right now. It’s powerful suction can easily rival Dyson’s top-of-the-range models, and it has a similar floor-sensing cleaning head, which adjusts the speed of the brush bar for a deep clean on carpets, automatically.
However it trumps Dyson because the main unit can be moved closer to the cleaner head converting it into a cordless upright cleaner. This makes the vacuum cleaner easier to manoeuvre and means it can be left free-standing rather than having to be lent against a wall or piece of furniture. However in this mode, we did find it struggled to get under some furniture.
The battery lasted a respectable 60 minutes between charges on the lowest power setting - although this reduced to 16 minutes when we ran it on the highest power setting. The battery can also be swapped out if you purchase an additional battery, to reduce interruptions to your cleaning (you’ll need to purchase an extra battery). It is one of the heavier cordless vacuums we’ve tested at 4kg as well as being one of the most expensive, but we think it’s worth it.
Read our full review: Miele Triflex HX1 Cat & Dog
Released just days after the V15 Detect Absolute (above) this compact and lightweight cordless vacuum cleaner from Dyson is the best we've tested when it comes to cleaning hard floors.
The Omni-glide's main cleaning head has not one, but two soft brush bars, so they can clean your hard floors faster than other vacuums, without damaging them. Four 360-degree castors can also be found on the bottom of the cleaning head, which in conjunction with the articulating neck, ensure the vacuum can be steered in any direction. It can even lie flat on the floor so it can be easily maneuvered under low-lying furniture.
In our tests, it made light work of everything from fine dust and biscuit crumbs to large debris such as cereal. It has a vertical handle, rather than the trigger-style found on the V15 Detect and V11. It houses the swappable battery, which offers up to 20 minutes of runtime per charge, but we found it made the vacuum cumbersome to use in handheld mode.
The Omni-glide is one of the most affordable vacuums Dyson offer, but it's still pricey when you look at other vacuums offered by rivals. That said, if you have primarily hard floors in your home, we think it's worth it.
Read our full review: Dyson Omni-glide
LG’s latest cordless vacuum cleaner can mop as well as suck and at the same time, so you’ll be able to get sparkling hard floors as well as dust-free carpets with ease. The LG CordZero A9 Kompressor certainly gives our top performing Dyson's a run for their money when it comes to suction power, although some attachments did struggle with larger debris like cereal.
Currently only available in the US and Australia, LG says you’ll get up to 60 minutes runtime per battery in normal mode, but during testing, we got more than 70 minutes from each battery. Even on the most powerful mode, the vacuum cleaner lasted 27 minutes.
The dustbin has a handy compress function that when the level is pulled will compact the dirt and debris in the bin, so you’ll actually be able to suck up to 2.4 times the bin’s 0.44-liter capacity before it needs emptying. However, we did find the vacuum cleaner felt heavy and unbalanced. We struggled to suck cobwebs from ceilings for more than a few minutes because all the weight appears to be in the main unit.
The LG CordZero A9 Kompressor is expensive but offers good suction power and replaces two devices, so we think it's worth the investment.
Read our full review: LG CordZero A9 Kompressor
If you’ve got a bigger home, a bigger dust bin is a necessity, and thankfully the Dyson V11 outsize offers just this - at 1.9-liters it can hold 150% more debris than its sibling, the Dyson V11 Absolute and its newest cleaner, the Dyson V15 Detect Absolute (above). Combine this with a wider cleaning head and you’ll never have to abandon cleaning halfway through because the vacuum cleaner
The same suction and cleaning performance as its smaller sibling meant during testing it whipped away discarded biscuit crumbs, ground-in dirt, and even cereal and cat biscuits, almost instantly.
The High Torque cleaner head can automatically adjust the suction power needed based on the floor type, or you can opt to manually adjust it. The power settings, along with the remaining run time and any blockages and where they can be found, are displayed on the vacuum’s LCD screen.
Slightly more expensive than the Dyson V15 Detect, this vacuum could be worth the extra investment if it means your floor cleaning isn’t interrupted.
Read our full review: Dyson V11 Outsize
A relative newcomer to the floorcare market, Lupe Technology was founded by two former Dyson engineers, and their first cordless vacuum certainly rivals those from their former employer, and other rivals like Miele, when it comes to suction power. It sucked up fine dust, biscuit crumbs and cereal with ease on it’s most powerful setting, although the suction was so powerful it meant the vacuum became a little more difficult to manovre on hard floors.
The vacuum has a modular design so it can either be used as an upright cordless vacuum with either the cleaner head or a one-meter extension hose . Alternatively, the main body detaches from the main tube and floor head assembly to create a lightweight, portable vacuum for cleaning stairs or up high.
In our tests, the battery lasted just under 60 minutes on the lowest power setting, and took around 3.5 hours to fully recharge. The battery is swappable, too so if one charge isn’t enough for you to clean your whole home, you can purchase an additional battery. It’s heavy (4.6kg), and can be as loud as a diesel truck travelling at 40mph, but we think it’s worth it.
Read our full review: Lupe Pure Cordless Vacuum Cleaner
The Dyson Cyclone V10 Animal is one of the predecessors to the Dyson V11 range, and even though it’s more than three years old now, the vacuum cleaner can hold its own when it comes to cleaning power. With a slightly more affordable price tag than its newer siblings, although not quite as competitive as other models on the market, it’s worth considering.
From fine dust and pet hair to cereal and cat litter, the vacuum cleaner sucked up everything in its path with ease. It’s got a bin capacity to match the Dyson V11 and can equal Dyson’s newest vacuum when it comes to runtime - although this isn’t on the most powerful setting, unlike the V11.
There’s no LCD display or High Torque cleaner head which adjusts the suction automatically based on the floor type, but it is lighter and as we’ve said already, a little cheaper too.
Read our full review: Dyson Cyclone V10 Animal
Another great corded option, the Shark DuoClean Powered Lift-Away Upright NZ801UK is a powerful cleaner that picks up both pet and human hair with ease – and Shark’s Anti Hair Wrap tech means fewer hairs getting tangled around the brush.
It comes with a quirky selection of tools including a car detailing kit, dolls-house sized mini tools for super-precise cleaning, and a long under-appliance tool that's ideal for getting the fluff out from under the fridge. Sharks’ regular tools are all present and correct too, including an air-powered turbo brush.
The NZ801UKT is a little on the heavy side, but it moves over all floor types easily, and in Lift-Away mode it's much lighter and great for stair-cleaning. If you're looking for a corded machine that can tackle a wide array of vacuuming tasks, this Shark is a great bet.
Want to leave the vacuuming to someone else? The Roomba i7+ is the best robot vacuum you can buy in our eyes. The dust pick-up on floorboards, tiles and other hard surfaces as well as carpet is some of the best we’ve seen from a robovac.
In fact, it’s so automated it can even empty it’s own dust bin, too. The dock will suck up and store any debris from the vacuum every time it returns to its home, storing it in a disposable bag. These bags need changing every 30 days depending upon how often the vacuum is cleaning your floors. When the bag needs replacing, you’ll get an alert on the app. This does mean there’s an on-going cost with this robot vacuum. The bags will set you back $14.99 / £21.95 / AU$59 for three.
It’s circular design and rotating body means it has no problems manoeuvring through narrow areas. It’s even got Alexa and Google Assistant integration so you get the cleaning started just by uttering a few words. It’ll also store maps of every room in your home in a secure area online, speeding up cleaning time too.
Read our full review: iRobot Roomba i7+
If you’ve got a range of different floor types in your home from carpets to laminate and floorboards, this vacuum could be the time-saver you’re looking for. It can detect the type of floor you’re cleaning and adjust the suction power and brush bar speed automatically.
The cleaning head swivels, which ensures it glides around easily and is good for getting into nooks and crannies. It’s got a smattering of LEDs too, so you can see exactly what you’re vacuuming when the light levels are low, while the washable HEPA filter means it’s a good option for allergy sufferers too.
We were impressed with the suction power and dust pick up on all floor types, although it struggled with larger debris like small pieces of cardboard. It’s got a 4.5m hose and we found it could stretch enough to clean up 13 stairs at a time, but with all the tools stored on the vacuum itself, it’s a bulky and heavy machine.
Read our full review: Hoover H-Upright 500 Sensor Plus
Sebo has built up a loyal fan base for its quirky vacuums, and the Felix Wild ePower is likely to gain it a few more. The fabulously eccentric design and animal-print bag-wrap decorate a solid old-school corded cleaner that feels like it could withstand a nuclear strike.
Its cleaning chops are equally robust. The Felix Wild ePower delivers a super-deep clean on carpets, with all the dust kept inside the cleaner thanks to filtering bags and a separate washable filter assembly. It's far from a lightweight option though; it feels weighty to push around, and using it as a portable cleaner without the floor head is rather cumbersome.
One for Sebo fans, and those looking for something different to brighten up the cleaning chores, the Felix Wild ePower is proof that there's life in the bagged vacuum cleaner yet.
Which type of vacuum should I buy?
As we’ve mentioned already, there are many different types of vacuum cleaners to choose from these days; cordless vacuums, traditional corded vacuum cleaners, handheld devices that are great for sucking up crumbs on a daily basis, and robot vacuums that take the hard work out of the chore completely.
On the whole, the best cordless vacuums offer the same suction power, and in some cases more, as their corded rivals but ensure you’re not restricted by the length of the wire. That said, we still believe there's still a place for corded vacuums. Often sporting wider floor headers than their cordless counterparts, they ensure your floors are dust-free in fewer sweeps, while models with extra-long hoses let you clean the stairs without moving the vacuum. You don't have to deal with the worry of the battery running out mid-way through cleaning either, which can be a common occurrence with cordless vacuums.
Want to know more? Check out our types of vacuum article to discover just what tasks the different models are best suited to.
How to vacuum
Knowing how to vacuum may seem pretty obvious, but you may be surprised to learn that darting back and forth across a room isn’t the best way to ensure your home is thoroughly free from allergens like dust and pet hair.
Taking a more methodical approach by dusting surfaces first, so the dust doesn’t settle on your clean floor, and traveling from one side of the room to the other, slowly pushing the vacuum forwards and backward in a sweeping motion, will actually suck up far more debris.
Want to know more? Read our How to vacuum article for further tips and tricks.
How often should you vacuum?
“When the floor looks dirty” I hear you cry, but to keep your home allergen-free and your floors as clean as possible, you’ll need to vacuum more regularly than this.
We recommend vacuuming most floors once a week while increasing this to twice a week in high-traffic areas such as hallways and doorways. Especially, if you have carpet, as the longer dust is left, the more it becomes embedded in the fibres making it hard to thoroughly clean.
While this may seem like a lot, vacuuming this regularly will ensure there is less dust to suck up each time, making cleaning your floors a quicker process.
For more on this, head to our full feature on how often should you vacuum?